Order by: Date Relevancy
Your search returned 11 entries.
Compensation bill for Florida exoneree fails for second time
Posted: May 8, 2007
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?Miami Herald: Exonerated convict may not get compensation (05/02/07)
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)
How does your state stack up? View a map of compensation bills nationwide.
Read more about compensation laws.
Tags: Florida, Alan Crotzer, Exoneree Compensation
Florida exoneree feels "reborn" as civil rights are restored
Posted: September 7, 2007 11:21 am
Alan Crotzer, who served 24 years in Florida prison for a crime he didn’t commit, is enjoying civil rights he had stripped of him years ago. He registered to vote on Thursday, and said he felt “reborn” as he gained the right to have his voice heard in our government. Crotzer encouraged people exonerated by DNA evidence as well as formerly incarcerated people who had served their full sentence to apply for restoration of rights under a new law passed in April in Florida.
''Today is a triumph for me because now I have the right to vote again,'' said Crotzer, 46. ''I just want to be heard. ... I want to say to anyone who has not had their rights restored, to try to get them restored.''Read more about Alan Crotzer and other Florida exonerees.
Read the full story here. (Tallahassee Democrat, 09/07/07)
Tags: Alan Crotzer
Exoneree compensation sought in Florida
Posted: September 18, 2007 1:55 pm
Alan Crotzer was freed from prison nearly two years ago after DNA testing proved he didn’t commit a 1981 rape for which he had served half his life in prison. As he continues to adjust to life outside of prison, he is seeking compensation from the state for the loss of more than two decades. Florida is one of 28 states in the U.S. that do not have laws providing compensation for the wrongfully convicted. That could change in 2008.
While a “private” bill has been proposed that would pay Crotzer $1.25 million (or about $50,000 for each year he served), this bill doesn’t create a state policy to handle the reentry of those exonerated in the future. A similar bill to compensate Crotzer failed in the legislature last year. A “global” compensation bill has also been submitted for the state’s 2008 legislative session. This bill would provide $50,000 in compensation for each year an inmate serves for a crime he or she didn’t commit. The Innocence Project recommends that states pass laws (or amend existing laws) to provide $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration. Read more about the Innocence Project’s proposed reforms here.
Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, says she will reintroduce what is being referred to as a "global" bill providing automatic compensation of $50,000 per lost year to anyone wrongly incarcerated. Should such legislation pass, victims would not have to go through the individual claims bill process.What is your state’s compensation law? View our map to find out.
"This is an egregious act," Joyner says. "Somebody took that much time of your life? My God, no amount of compensation could give me back the years I wasn't able to enjoy life. Just having the ability to make a phone call, or catch a bus somewhere."
Read the full story here. (Tampa Tribune, 09/18/07)
Learn more about exoneration cases and ongoing reform efforts from the Innocence Project of Florida.
Tags: Alan Crotzer, Exoneree Compensation
Florida editorial: Compensate the exonerated
Posted: January 30, 2008 4:55 pm
An editorial this week in the St. Petersburg Times examines the case of Alan Crotzer, who was exonerated through DNA testing in 2006 after serving 24 years in prison for a rape and kidnapping he didn’t commit. Crotzer has been out for two years, but has yet to receive any kind of compensation from the state of Florida, which is not among the 22 states with standing laws compensating the wrongfully convicted.
Crotzer and his advocates are working this year to pass a “private” bill that would provide him the compensation he deserves; such bills only apply to one individual, rather than to anyone who has been proven innocent. The editorial calls for a systemic solution. A bill proposed by State Sen. Arthenia Joyner would compensate the wrongfully convicted with up to $100,000 for each year of wrongful conviction. Passing this bill, the newspaper says, should be a priority for state lawmakers.
The Legislature has a responsibility to address an issue it has kicked down the road for years: compensation for the wrongfully convicted. Lawmakers need to put aside their differences and bring Florida into the ranks of those states that have an automatic system for providing recompense to people wrongly incarcerated - sometimes for decades. It is not just a duty but a moral imperative.Does your state have a compensation law? View our interactive map to find out.
Read the full story here. (St. Petersburg Times, 01/29/08)
Tags: Florida, Alan Crotzer
Florida lawmakers will move forward with compensation for exoneree
Posted: February 21, 2008 4:45 pm
For three years, exoneree Alan Crotzer has been asking the Florida Legislature to compensate him for the 24 years he spent in Florida prisons for a crime he didn’t commit. Yesterday, he got some good news.
The Senate President said yesterday he would prioritize Crotzer’s claim to $1.25 million for 24 years of wrongful incarceration. That’s approximately $50,000 per year served, which is the amount that the federal government recommends and the Innocence Project advocates for compensation statutes across the country. Legislation to compensate Crotzer had stalled in the Senate last year on procedural grounds despite strong support from the House and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who called the bill a “no-brainer.”
While Crotzer deserves to be compensated immediately for the injustice he suffered, Florida needs a more inclusive solution to help the exonerated get back on their feet. Innocence Project of Florida Policy Director Jenny Greenberg said it’s time for the state to join 22 others and pass legislation that would compensate people who have been wrongfully convicted (rather than considering separate bills to compensate each individual).
Greenberg … said a ''universal claims bill'' for the wrongfully convicted will help, but hopes that lawmakers won't make the bill so restrictive that victims of the justice system won't be able to get money to get back on their feet.Our free monthly email newsletter, which was sent to subscribers yesterday, included an update on compensation reforms nationwide.
''It's not just Alan Crotzer who's affected,'' she said.
Read the full story here. (Miami Herald, 02/21/08)
Didn’t get it in your inbox? Subscribe here.
Or read the newsletter on our website here.
Tags: Florida, Alan Crotzer
Florida exoneree to be compensated after 24 years in prison
Posted: April 4, 2008 4:45 pm
The Florida State Senate approved a bill yesterday that would compensate exoneree Alan Crotzer $1.25 million for the 24 years he spent behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. The bill will move to the desk of Gov. Charlie Crist, who has said he will sign it. Crotzer will become only the second of nine Florida exonerees to receive state compensation after exoneration. The state is one of 27 that lack a law compensating the wrongfully convicted. In a column in yesterday’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Michael Mayo called for a better system to compensate Florida’s exonerated:
It's up to wronged individuals to lobby the Legislature for compensation, an inconsistent and maddening process. Last year, the Senate didn't take up Crotzer's claims bill. So far, only one of Florida's nine DNA-exonerated inmates, Wilton Dedge, has gotten a claims bill passed ($2 million in 2005).And Mayo was in the audience when Crotzer spoke this week at Nova Southeastern University.
A less capricious system could soon arrive, with the Legislature considering a broader bill (HB1025) that would set an automatic process for the wrongfully convicted. It would cap payment at $50,000 per year of imprisonment or $2 million.
"I just want to let you know there are a lot of Alan Crotzers out there," (Crotzer) said.
Crotzer went away at 21. He got his life back at 45.
He now works a $9.50-an-hour job for a landscaping firm in Tallahassee. He got married last year, has two stepchildren, 14 and 12. He voted for the first time in January. He got his first passport two months ago.Read more coverage of Crotzer’s compensation:
"I just want to be an average person," he said.
Read the full column here. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 04/02/08)
Associated Press: Crotzer compensation $1.25 million approved
Tags: Alan Crotzer
Editorial: Fair, straightforward compensation needed in Florida
Posted: April 29, 2008 2:10 pm
Florida is one of 27 states with no law compensating the wrongfully convicted upon their exoneration. Last month, lawmakers approved a bill compensated Alan Crotzer $1.25 million for the 24 years he spent in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, but the bill was for him only, making him the second Floridian to receive state compensation after exoneration. Another Florida exoneree, Wilton Dedge, received a similar state compensation package.
The state desperately needs a universal compensation law, and lawmakers are considering one right now. But there are serious problems with the Florida bill in its current state, and an editorial in today’s Daytona Beach News-Journal details some of these problems:
Both House and Senate versions deny compensation to anyone with another felony conviction -- even if the other conviction is relatively minor. This so-called "clean hands" provision is a cruel excuse to perpetrate injustice.
The fact that someone has a prior conviction does not make a wrongful conviction any less wrong. In fact, the existence of a prior conviction increases the possibility of injustice: Police sometimes focus an investigation on someone who's already been in trouble with the law, to the exclusion of other more likely suspects.
Crotzer's case provides a perfect example of how unfair this provision can be. Before he was wrongfully convicted of robbery and rape, he stole beer from a store. While in prison, he was convicted of a drug offense. Both crimes were relatively minor and would draw relatively short prison terms -- if any. Yet under this proposal, he would be barred from compensation for his 24 years behind bars.
Read the full editorial here. (Daytona Beach News-Journal, 04/29/08)
Tags: Florida, Alan Crotzer, Wilton Dedge, Exoneree Compensation
“Fatally flawed” compensation bill advances in Florida, California exoneree settles for $500K
Posted: May 1, 2008 4:22 pm
Florida lawmakers voted on Tuesday to advance a bill compensating the wrongfully convicted for each year they spent in prison before their exoneration, but restrictions on the bill exclude too many people. The bill would pay some exonerees $50,000 per year served, but it excludes anyone with a prior felony conviction. This would include Alan Crotzer, who spent almost 25 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit. He was convicted of stealing beer from a convenience store before his wrongful conviction, and that would disqualify him. Crotzer will be paid $1.25 million by the state after lawmakers passed a bill specifically written for him. While the Innocence Project has commended Florida legislators for addressing this important issue, the provision about unrelated prior felony convictions falls far short of the state’s obligation to compensate the wrongfully convicted.
Eric Ferrero, spokesman for the national Innocence Project, said the clean hands provision is a ''fatal flaw.'' He said that of the 23 states that have compensation laws for the wrongfully incarcerated, none disqualify people based on unrelated prior felony convictions.
''Prior convictions have nothing to do with the fact that an innocent person was wrongfully convicted,'' Ferrero said. ``They have paid their debt to society for prior convictions but society has not paid its debt to them for a separate and unrelated wrongful conviction.''
Read the full story here. (Miami Herald, 04/29/08)
In other news, California exoneree James Ochoa has reached a tentative settlement in his lawsuit against Buena Park, California for his wrongful conviction. Ochoa spent 10 months in prison for a carjacking he didn’t commit before DNA cleared him. He also received approval recently to receive $30,000 in state compensation. Read more here.
Does your state have a compensation law? Find out here.
Tags: Florida, Alan Crotzer, Exoneree Compensation
Florida exonerees speak out
Posted: October 15, 2008 1:16 pm
Two men who spent decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit told their stories last week to students at the University of Tampa. Alana Crotzer and Larry Bostic spent a combined 42 years in prison before DNA testing exonerated them and led to their release.
Crotzer (above right, with DNA analyst Ed Blake, whose lab conducted testing in Crotzer's case) talked about work he does today mentoring teens in the state department of juvenile justice. He said he is readjusting to life outside of prison, and only looking forward.
"I lived through a lot of stuff," said Crotzer, 47, who was charged with kidnapping, robbery and rape in 1981 when he was 19. "They kept me for all of my 20s, all of my 30s and half of my 40s. But I don't have to be bitter. My life has to go on."Read more about Bostic and Crotzer’s cases.
Read the full story here. (Tampa Tribune, 10/9/08)
More than one-third of exonerees were arrested between the ages of 14 and 22. They lost the prime of their lives for crimes they didn't commit. Learn more about the impact on wrongful conviction on young people and get involved today.
Tags: Larry Bostic, Alan Crotzer
Two Years Free
Posted: January 23, 2009 4:50 pm
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)
Tags: Alan Crotzer
Friday Roundup: False Confessions, Investigating Wrongful Convictions
Posted: February 3, 2012 4:30 pm
Tags: California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Alan Crotzer