Denver Post Calls for Compensation
Posted: July 27, 2012 1:45 pm
Three months after Colorado’s first DNA exoneration, the Denver Post is calling for a statewide compensation bill. Robert Dewey served 17 years in prison for a murder he did not commit before DNA evidence proved his innocence. When Dewey was released in April, he left with the clothes on his back. If not for the support of the Innocence Project as well as his friends and family, he would have been homeless and destitute because Colorado is one of 23 states that does not have a compensation statute for the wrongfully convicted.
The Denver Post points out that the federal government offers up to $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration and urges legislators to consider how the wrongfully convicted in Colorado should be compensated.
And what about services when they’re released? They ought to have help in finding a safe, low-cost place to live. They should get medical care, at least for a time. Job training should be on the list, as well as help in finding employment.
The state cannot give back the time that the wrongly imprisoned spent behind bars, but it can make re-entry into society less painful and punitive.
Read the full editorial.
National View: 27 States Have Compensation Statutes: Is Yours One?
Read more about Compensation for the Wrongly Convicted.