Currently, Colorado has no support system for exonerated prisoners, although it does offer help for prisoners on parole.
Rep. Williams said she was inspired by the recent case of Robert Dewey, who was exonerated in April. He was wrongfully convicted in 1996 for the rape and murder of Jacie Taylor. He is the first person to be exonerated through Colorado’s Justice Review Project, and the 290th person in the United States to be exonerated with the help of DNA evidence.
Senator Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, has agreed to sponsor Rep. Williams’ bill in the Senate. If the bill passes, it would make Colorado the 28th state to offer assistance to exonerated prisoners. Each state, however, offers different aid – for example, New Hampshire offers $20,000 one time to exonerated prisoners, while Texas offers not only $80,000 a year in financial assistance, as well as job training, housing, and medical coverage.
“If a mistake has been made, we need to take responsibility,” Williams said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
The law is also supported by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Currently, South Carolina does not offer assistance for wrongfully convicted prisoners, but if you have been wrongfully convicted, you are not alone. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We focus on criminal defense, and can help you with parole hearings or expungements. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.