DENVER (AP) – Colorado is beginning work on a standard compensation package for people imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.

Exonerated people would get at least $70,000 for every year behind bars under a bill facing its first test in House committee Thursday.

The bill’s inspiration was on hand to argue for its approval. Robert Dewey of western Colorado is scraping by on food stamps and charity after he was cleared last year of a rape and murder conviction by DNA evidence.

Dewey wore a leather jacket and T-shirt and said he has “no future” unless lawmakers approve the payments. Democratic sponsors say the state bears responsibility when people can prove they were wrongly imprisoned.

The bill would add $25,000 for each year of parole and probation.

Dewey will tell you it’s the little things — the things most people take for granted — that you miss the most when you’re behind bars.

RELATED: New Legislation Aimed At Helping Those Who Are Wrongly Imprisoned | Man Convicted In Mesa County Of Murder, Rape Freed By DNA Evidence

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