On March 26th, 2008 the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill to compensate Alan Crotzer a sum of $1.25 million and 120 credit hours of higher education for the agony he endured being wrongfully imprisoned for 24 years. The compensation bill amounts to $50,000 for every year Crotzer spent in prison.
Alan Crotzer was wrongfully convicted in 1982 for robbery, kidnapping, and rape. He was sentenced to 130 years in prison, but was exonerated and freed in January of 2006 when analysis of DNA evidence proved his innocence.
Only 20 years old when he was unjustly imprisoned, by the time he was released in 2006 Alan Crotzer had spent more years of his life behind bars than as a free man.
Last year, the House passed a similar bill awarding Crotzer restitution, but the bill was quashed by the Senate due to budgetary concerns – Crotzers claim was rejected after the state was made to pay $5 million in compensation for the wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Martin Lee Anderson, a teenager who perished under suspicious circumstances at a municipal boot camp for juveniles.
After the first bill was impeded in the Senate, Alan Crotzer said that members from both houses and Governor Charlie Crist offered apologies to him. Governor Crist and many members in the Florida Senate have affirmed their intent to sign the current bill proposing a settlement for Crotzer.