News 01.23.09

Two Years Free

 

Today is the second anniversary of the day

Alan Crotzer

walked out of a Florida prison a free man for the first time in a quarter-century.

Crotzer was convicted of rape, kidnapping and robbery in Florida in 1981 after being misidentified in photo lineups and tried alongside one of the three actual perpetrators of the crime. He was sentenced to 130 years in prison.

More than 20 years later, Crotzer and his pro bono attorneys obtained access to DNA testing on evidence from the crime scene. The results proved Crotzer’s innocence and he was released from prison – after spending more than 24 years behind bars for a crime he  didn’t commit.

In April 2008, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill compensating Crotzer $1.2 million for his wrongful incarceration. The bill only compensated Crotzer, and at the time the state had no bill compensating all exonerees upon their release. One month later, in May, Crist signed a universal exoneree compensation bill for the state. Florida is now one of

25 states

with an exoneree compensation law.


Watch a slideshow of photos by Vance Jacobs chronicling Crotzer’s release and his first months of freedom

.

Other exoneree anniversaries this week:


Travis Hayes

, Louisiana (Served 8 Years, Exonerated 1/19/2007)


Robert Miller

, Oklahoma (Served 9.5 Years, Exonerated 1/22/1998)

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