Wrongly Convicted Colorado Man Nears Settlement

August 6, 2013

A Mesa County, Colo., man who inspired a new law compensating the wrongly convicted is nearing a monetary settlement with the state.

The Daily Sentinel reports that Colorado seeks to pay Robert Dewey about $1.2 million. The 52-year-old was convicted of a 1994 rape and murder but was cleared by DNA evidence 17 years later. After his release, Dewey was living in poverty.

Dewey’s case inspired a new law granting exonerated former prisoners or their survivors up to $70,000 for every year wrongly spent behind bars for a felony conviction. Former convicts have to be provably innocent, not cleared on legal technicalities or appeals.

A hearing on Dewey’s petition is scheduled later this month.

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