Compensation bill for Florida exoneree fails for second time


Florida is one of 29 states that lack a law compensating the wrongfully convicted after their release.

Alan Crotzer

was exonerated by DNA testing and released from Florida prison in 2006 after serving more than 24 years for a rape he didn’t commit. The Florida Senate ended its 2007 session this week without passing a proposed bill that would pay Crotzer $1.25 million.

In today’s USA Today, columnist DeWayne Wickham writes that the legislature should have compensated Crotzer for the injustice he suffered:

That idea shouldn't be a hard sell. Crotzer was robbed of what could well have been the most productive years of his life by a wrongful conviction. And in the 15 months since his release, he has struggled — without any useful job skills — to put his life back in order. How long will he be forced to wait for Florida to pay the debt it owes him?

What is it going to take to get Florida and the other states that don't have them to enact a compensation statute?

DNA testing has made it possible for some people who have been imprisoned by mistake to go free. Now we've got to find a way to get state lawmakers such as Pruitt to move expeditiously — and predictably — to help make these victims whole.

Read the full column here

. (USA Today, 05/08/07)

Miami Herald:

Exonerated convict may not get compensation


How does your state stack up?

View a map of compensation bills nationwide


Read more about compensation laws


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