Colorado Lawmakers Consider Mandatory Compensation for Wrongful Imprisonment

To the tune of $70,000 per year, plus health insurance, a state tuition waiver and reimbursement for legal fines and fees


The heart-wrenching case of a Colorado man living in poverty after spending nearly two decades behind bars for crimes he didn't commit moved state lawmakers to give unanimous initial approval Thursday to a bill setting standard compensation rates for people wrongly imprisoned.

Wearing jeans and a black leather jacket, 52-year-old Robert Dewey of western Colorado choked back tears as he told the House Judiciary Committee about spending more than 17 years behind bars for someone else's crime. Dewey talked about missing his son's funeral, dealing with fellow prisoners, and losing skills in his beloved profession of motorcycle repair.