wrongful conviction

Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers may be looking at getting rid of the state’s so-called “Clean Hands” provision. That provision stops those with a prior felony record from automatically receiving compensation, even if they were wrongfully imprisoned for a new crime.

Innocence Project of Florida facebook

A pair of bills backed by the Innocence Project have passed their first committee hearing.

prison cells
Thomas Hawke via Flickr

A bipartisan effort to revamp the state’s wrongful incarceration compensation program is moving through the legislature. The proposal could make it easier for exonerees to get compensation.

Lawmakers At Odds Over Death Penalty Reforms

Feb 9, 2016
The Florida Capitol Building from Adams Street
Steven Martin via Flikr / WFSU News

In its Hurst versus Florida ruling, the US Supreme Court found Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme unconstitutional. Now it’s up to the Florida Legislature to fix this system, but the question is how.

The Florida Channel

More than four decades ago James Richardson was convicted of poisoning and killing his seven children.

Richardson initially received the death penalty, but it was lessened to life in prison. The sentence was overturned in 1989 because of misconduct by prosecutors and witnesses lying during his trial. But Richardson could not be compensated under state law because he couldn’t prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s an issue central to the case, says Democratic Senator Darren Soto:

New York Times / dealthpenaltyinfo.org

A state legislative House panel has approved a plan aimed at compensating an elderly man wrongfully accused of one of the worst mass murders in Florida history.

The proposal by Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth) expands the state's wrongful incarceration law to consider the case of 77-year-old James Richardson, who was living in Arcadia in 1967 when he was accused of poisoning his seven children.

Richardson spend more than 20 years behind bars before he was freed in 1989 amid allegations of misconduct and perjury by prosecutors and investigators

MGN Online

A bill seeking to compensate a man wrongfully convicted for killing his kids passed its first Senate hearing Tuesday.

Last year, Orlando Democratic Senator Geraldine Thompson filed a claims bill on behalf of James Joseph Richardson, who was wrongfully convicted in 1968 for allegedly poisoning his seven children.

Lawmakers Seek To Abolish, Reform Fla. Death Penalty

Jan 4, 2013

Florida is the state with the most people who were sentenced to death but later acquitted of their crimes. The state’s 24th overturned conviction came in December. Seth Penalvar was acquitted of murdering three people in Miramar after his third trial. He’d been in prison since 1994 while appealing the conviction.

Only a few people convicted of crimes they did not commit have been compensated since a Florida law passed four years ago. Some advocates say it’s unlikely many other people wrongfully convicted will get paid by the state, if that law remains unchanged.

Under a current Florida law, a total of just three people have received a combined total of $3.2 million as compensation for wrongful imprisonment. And, Innocence Project Executive Director Seth Miller says that number may stay that way for awhile.