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Colorado compensates wrongfully convicted persons

The criminal justice system aims to both hold guilty individuals responsible for criminal infractions and to ensure that the rights of innocent, accused and convicted individuals alike are respected. Tragically, even when innocent persons have mounted a compelling criminal defense, they may sometimes be wrongfully convicted due to some unacceptable loophole in the system.

When individuals are wrongfully convicted, they may have months or even years of their lives taken from them as they are forced into incarceration. They may suffer serious economic loss, social repercussions and other unacceptable consequences as a result of the wrongful conviction. No law can give lost time back to a wrongfully convicted person. But Colorado law does provide for certain financial compensations for persons wrongfully convicted by the state.

To qualify for wrongful conviction compensation, an individual must have been exonerated and found innocent after being sentenced to incarceration and serving some term behind bars. In addition, the offense must have been either a felony or certain offenses committed by juveniles that would ordinarily have been treated as felonies.

Qualified persons may receive $70,000 for each year that they wrongfully spent in incarceration. They may also receive certain other benefits including healthcare and tuition waivers in order to help them regain their financial footing. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully incarcerated, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to help you secure freedom and appropriate compensation if you qualify for it under Colorado law.

Source: Innocence Project, “Colorado – State Compensation Laws

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