Bill to pay wrongly accused advances-- April 18, 2007
TALLAHASSEE -- After hearing from a man who spent more than 24 years in prison for crimes he didn't commit, a Florida House council approved a plan today to pay wrongly convicted people $50,000 a year for time spent in prison.
The bill (HB 125) by Rep. Priscilla Taylor, D-Riviera Beach, would also give exonerated inmates free college tuition to get started on their lives. The House Safety and Security Council unanimously approved it.
Alan Crotzer, who was freed last year from a 130-year prison sentence, told the council there is no way to make up for the 24 years, six months and 13 days he spent in prison. DNA tests proved that Crotzer, 46, could not have been involved in a kidnapping and rape for which he was convicted in 1981.
The bill is also up for a committee hearing Thursday in the Florida Senate.
Crotzer is seeking $1.25 million for the years he spent in prison. He has a special claims bill pending but said he would rather see the state pass Taylor's bill to provide a formal state policy for compensating prisoners whose "actual innocence" is proved scientifically.
At the end of 2005, Wilton Dedge got $2 million and an apology from lawmakers trying to make up for the state's errors that put the innocent man behind bars for 22 years.
The Brevard County man was compensated for his lost liberty after DNA evidence cleared him. He was released in August 2004.
Wrongly imprisoned for 24 years, man may get $1.25M from state-- April 27, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A St. Petersburg man is a step closer to being compensated with $1.25 million from the state for spending nearly a quarter-century in prison for two rapes and a robbery he did not commit.
Alan Crotzer watched from the spectator gallery Friday as the House voted unanimously to pay him $50,000 for each of the 24 years he sat in prison. He then walked out into the hallway and fought back tears.
"They showed they do have a heart," Crotzer said. "They did what was right."
Crotzer's fight isn't over - the measure still needs approval from the Senate, which is less open to the idea than the House.
His chances might be boosted by the backing of Gov. Charlie Crist, who supports the compensation measure.
"I think that's fair - it may not be enough to be honest with you," Crist said Friday. "I can't imagine being in jail for one year when you did absolutely nothing wrong."
House members have apologized to Crotzer and agreed the compensation was the least the state could do.
The bill (HB 125) also waives tuition for up to 125 hours of credit at a community college or state university for Crotzer.
"There's no way to make everything right but this goes a long way," said Crotzer's volunteer attorney, Mike Olenick.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Priscilla Taylor, D-West Palm Beach, originally would have spelled out that anyone wrongfully imprisoned in Florida should receive compensation. It was changed to just focus on Crotzer, who was set free last year after DNA evidence convinced prosecutors that he wasn't involved in the 1981 armed robbery and rapes that led to his 130-year prison sentence.
Crotzer said even if the compensation bill passes the Senate, he plans to do something he wasn't able to do in prison.
"I'm still going to work, contribute to society," Crotzer said. He said he has a job offer as a dishwasher at a Tallahassee restaurant, and may move his family here.
The $1.25 million for Crotzer in the House bill was based on a federal government model that suggested states pay wrongfully convicted prisoners $50,000 a year for every year they spend in prison.
Crotzer said that the compensation has taken longer than it should, but overall he's mostly just happy to be free.
"I was never bitter, or angry, because that's not the way I was raised," he said.
Lawmakers again consider money for wrongly convicted man-- August 1, 2007
Lawmakers will again consider compensation for Alan Crotzer, who spent nearly a quarter-century in prison for two rapes and a robbery he did not commit.
A bill filed in the state Senate on Wednesday would pay Crotzer, of St. Petersburg, $1.25 million and waive up to 120 hours of tuition and fees should he want to go to college or get career training. The bill was filed by Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres.
Wednesday was the deadline in the state Senate for filing claims bills, which seek to compensate people with cases against government agencies, to be considered during the legislative session that begins in March. A House measure, sponsored by Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach, was filed in May, but a Senate companion had to be filed by Wednesday for the proposal to have a chance of passage next year.
Crotzer was released last year after DNA evidence convinced prosecutors that he wasn't involved in the armed robbery and rapes that led to his 130-year prison sentence. The Legislature failed to pass a similar compensation bill earlier this year.
Crotzer said after all that time in prison, he knows something about waiting.
"I'm being very patient because I know that through patience, all things will happen," Crotzer said Wednesday. "So I just got to hang in there."
"In reality, you can never compensate a man for what Al went through," said his volunteer attorney Mike Olenick. "Just think about a thousand strip searches, think about the injustices, think about what he went through."
But the compensation is a start to acknowledging and righting the wrong, he said.
The $1.25 million figure is based on a federal government model that suggested states pay wrongfully convicted prisoners $50,000 a year for every year they spend in prison. Crotzer was in prison more than 24 years.
JimSneak: Ronnie James Dio what it be like dude? I used to be a member here with more posts then even you, lol...
Apr 29, 2019 20:38:20 GMT -5
festus: You responders seem to be a little bit low on the evolution tree of brains....
May 4, 2019 9:39:03 GMT -5
puppylover54: im ted bundys daughter
May 11, 2019 19:46:15 GMT -5
May 11, 2019 19:46:24 GMT -5
bundyobsessed: What is Bundy's daughter's new name?
May 22, 2019 19:36:21 GMT -5
beanybags: no way to know since both sites are gone
Jun 16, 2019 17:16:23 GMT -5
seriously: Regarding your comment that Charles Ng comes from a "wealthy family", a "GOOD FAMILY"; since when does being wealthy equate to good? They are two entirely different things; and, frankly, some of the worst criminals are in fact wealthy. Con't in next post.
Sept 1, 2019 20:16:46 GMT -5
seriously: Consider the Clinton's: Bill has oral "isn't sex" in the White House, now virtually every kinder. knows what oral sex is. Then there's Hillary first deriding the women who came forward about her husband; then she deleting files to hide her activities.
Sept 1, 2019 20:19:48 GMT -5
seriously: Oh, and let's not forget Bill Clinton "didn't inhale" when he smoked pot...yeah, right! At a time when America's young men are being drafted for the Vietnam war, Bill & Hillary choose to take a trip to Russia and conveniently miss the draft all together.
Sept 1, 2019 20:22:46 GMT -5
seriously: Remember Hillary is for women & children; yet she only had one child and she doesn't even bake cookies...oh my! She defames her opponents with accusations of womanizing hoping we forget about her husband IN THE OVAL OFFICE! Not happening honey!
Sept 1, 2019 20:26:48 GMT -5
seriously: Then there's the BIG BANK BAIL-OUT; the banker's show up in Washington D.C. to get WELFARE (OUR tax dollars) by flying there in a LEAR JET...really! Even Obama was shocked at that move! But they're GOOD because they're WEALTHY? I think not!
Sept 1, 2019 20:33:22 GMT -5
seriously: I think Obama should have made them liquidate all their assets both business AND PERSONAL so they could climb over their own pile of s***; instead of expecting the American tax payers to do it.
Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
seriously: Wake up people! Don't you realize that WE THE PEOPLE don't need the rich, THEY NEED US...to do the work that makes them richer so they don't have to clean their own toilets; and all we get is industrialized meats and crops, GMO's, antibiotic resistance.
Sept 1, 2019 20:38:53 GMT -5
seriously: Patented seed crops, running small farmer's out of business, toxic waste, poisoned water, dirty air, deforestation, global warming. By the way, who even wants to live in a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT world with a GLOBAL ECONOMY?
Sept 1, 2019 20:41:57 GMT -5
seriously: America should be more like Switzerland, fix our own 'broken wagon' and let the rest of the world fix theirs...it's not an U.S.A. problem. Screw oil, it pollutes the earth...GO SOLAR, WIND, WATER POWER! Screw the utility companies!
Sept 1, 2019 20:48:33 GMT -5
seriously: That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Best way to topple the rich...eliminate money and go back to the barter system; let the rich wipe their own bums and clean their own toilets...for a change! No more "Groom of the stool" for them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:51:50 GMT -5
seriously: Then banks and wall street can crash all they want; why should we be dragged down with them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -5