DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gave a personal apology to man who was wrongly jailed after signing a bill into law Wednesday to compensate the wrongly imprisoned.
The new law would allow exonerated former prisoners or their survivors up to $70,000 for every year wrongly spent behind bars for a felony conviction. The person would have to be proved innocent, not cleared on legal technicalities or appeals.
Hickenlooper signed the bill in front of Robert Dewey of western Colorado. Dewey was cleared by DNA evidence after spending more than 17 years behind bars for the murder of Palisade woman Jacie Taylor, which he did not commit.
After signing the new law, Hickenlooper shook Dewey's hand and apologized for Dewey's ordeal.
DNA linked Douglas Thames to Taylor's murder, according to police. Thames is already serving a life sentence in a Fort Collins prison for another murder.