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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Exnerated Florida Man Might Finally Be Compensated

From palmbeachpost.com: This time around, Alan Crotzer might get his money.

"From Al's perspective, finally having a glimmer of hope - to me, that's a hallelujah," said Michael Olenick, Crotzer's attorney.

Crotzer spent 24 years, six months, 13 days and four hours in prison for violent crimes he did not commit, and now Olenick is trying to get him compensated through a special bill in the Florida Legislature. These kinds of "oops, we're sorry" compensation votes are always touch-and-go, filled with emotion and politics and finger-crossing.

But this time, Olenick is pretty sure his client will see some money. They're asking for $1.25 million, and there seems to be the right support.

Initially represented by the Innocence Project of Florida, Crotzer got out of prison in 2006 after DNA showed he could not have committed the crimes. Then from St. Petersburg, Crotzer, 47, was in prison for the 1981 kidnapping and rape of a Tampa woman and a 12-year-old girl. He was 20 years old.

"When I think about Al, I swear, I could break down and cry," Olenick said Monday.

Crotzer's compensation case is being argued on its own because Florida does not have a law setting uniform paybacks for DNA exonerees. Each one has to be argued on its own.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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