This Colorado law compensates individuals who are wrongly convicted of a crime

This Colorado law compensates individuals who are wrongly convicted of a crime

Perhaps one of the worst case nightmare scenarios for a person is to be accused, tried and found guilty of a crime they did not commit. Unfortunately, the legal system is far from perfect and it does happen on a regular basis.

Sometimes, a person is forced to serve out their sentence with no hope of seeing a ruling overturned. Other times, new evidence comes to light, a witness changes their mind, or any number of things can change within the system to prove a person’s innocence.

Recognizing the trauma this can cause for an individual, in 2013, Colorado passed the Compensation for Persons Wrongly Convicted law. The state joined just over half the other states in the U.S. that now have compensation statutes for those who have been wrongfully convicted.

The statute allows a person who has been wrongly incarcerated to receive $70,000 for every year they were in prison. They will also receive an additional $50,000 per year for each year of incarceration they served under a sentence of execution. The statute also allows for payments of $25,000 per year for every year a person served on parole or as a registered sex offender.

The only stipulation is that a person who is wrongly convicted must not have pled guilty to avoid prosecution in another case where they may not actually be innocent.

The other thing to note is that compensation is not automatic. It could take a person weeks to be approved for payments and several additional months before they may see any money.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.