Wrongly convicted inmates could see compensation

11:08 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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After serving 18 years in prison, he was able to walk out a free man, but he also walked into an entirely new struggle.

"It's a drag what happened to me," he said. "But there's nothing you can do about it now. When I walked out, I had nothing, and it's hard. I don't have retirement and can't collect social security because I haven't contributed to it in 18 years."

He spends his time working on an old Harley Davidson motorcycle that was donated to him. It's his only means of transportation so he's working on fixing it up. But for Dewey, it's not just a motorcycle; it's a way to escape from the last 18 years. It's away for him to feel free.

"Just cruising, not a care in the world to an extent. When I'm on it I feel protected," Dewey said.

But trying to live and survive life after prison isn't easy, especially when you don't have anything to return to. Representative Angela Williams is trying to change that for people like Dewey. She's drafting legislation that would provide compensation for those who have been wrongly convicted and incarcerated.

"As a state, we have the responsibility to try to get him and others who may fall into this category acclimated back into society as much as we can," Williams said.

Williams says the bill would give fifty thousand dollars a year for each year served, it would also provide things like free health care and therapy.

"We just want to make sure they can live life. It's what we need to do because it's the right thing," Williams said.

The bill is supported by several groups to include the ACLU, the Innocents Project and the Colorado District Attorney's Council. It will be presented during the next legislative session in January.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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