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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Colorado Attorney General's Exoneration Program to Expand

May 02, 2012
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Colorado's Attorney General's Office says it has been awarded additional funding to expand the program that exonerated Robert Dewey after 17 years in prison. Since being convicted, Dewey tried to appeal through the justice system, but nothing ever came about until phase one of the Justice Review Project (JRP) that began in 2010. It was a process that began back in 2009 when money suddenly became available at the federal level. "There was a pool of money available for organizations and state offices and we applied for it," Julie Selsberg, Senior Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, said. "We were the only pure prosecution office to be awarded some of that` grant." A total of 15 organizations from across the country were awarded funds by the National Institute of Justice. Colorado's were aimed at identifying cases in our state where DNA testing could potentially exonerate a wrongfully-convicted inmate. Nearly 5,000 cases of murder, manslaughter, and sexual assault were screened state-wide without applications for review. Under the strict rules of the JRP, further eligibility would be determined.