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.
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Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
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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
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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
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Nov 27, 2019 20:52:02 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: Walter Barton (Arkie) has been on Missouri's capital punishment row for many, many years. He has been through 5 trials! Each time is guilty. He'll finally go to hell on May 19, 2020...
Feb 22, 2020 20:23:42 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: This site has a locked ARKIE BOARD shouting out his innocence. Shout it out to the devil that his son will be home soon...
Feb 22, 2020 20:25:41 GMT -5
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Mar 20, 2020 4:19:50 GMT -5
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Mar 20, 2020 4:30:41 GMT -5