William Dillon

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A bill seeking to make it easier for more people wrongfully convicted of a crime to receive compensation is now heading to Governor Rick Scott for approval. It would make changes to a Florida law that currently denies compensation for those with a prior felony record.

Florida Channel

Florida is the only state in the nation that bars people with a prior felony record from receiving compensation after they were wrongfully incarcerated for a new crime. But, could legislation to allow more people to receive compensation be in trouble with two diverging bills in the House and Senate?

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.

MGN Online

A bipartisan effort is underway to relax Florida eligibility requirements for a wrongfully incarcerated inmate with a prior record to be compensated. But, some say they’d like to see that effort go further.

The first bills of the 2013 Florida Legislative Session have been filed in the Senate. They are 19 claims bills, and  they total more than 36-million dollars.

“That’s a lot of money,” remarked Senate President Don Gaetz.

Gaetz made that comment when he heard the amount of compensation Senators are asking for on behalf of victims due to wrongful convictions, deaths, and injuries.

This year, the Florida Legislature passed several claims bills to compensate individuals for injuries or losses suffered due to the negligence of the government. 10 of the bills are on the Governor’s desk, and another has already been signed. As Sascha Cordner reports, with about $40-million dollars in claims to sort through, the Governor says it’s not going to be an easy task.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed off on a measure to compensate a man who wrongfully spent 27 years in a Florida prison.  Regan McCarthy reports the governor signed bill just hours after it passed out of the Senate. 

 William Dillon spent almost three decades in a Florida prison for a murder he didn’t commit before he was exonerated by DNA evidence. Now he’s a singer song writer. He’s just released his first full length CD Black Robes and Lawyers.

Several high profile claims bills have moved a step closer to passing. Regan McCarthy reports a House Committee considered a total of 16 claims measures including the Brody bill and another measure that, if passed, would be one of the highest claims bills in the state’s history.

Lawmakers in a House committee have given the okay to a number of claims bills. Regan McCarthy reports among the measures now moving through the house are two proposals the Senate President calls priorities.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos is making good on his promise to pass restitution bills for a man who spent 27 years wrongfully incarcerated, and another who was paralyzed following a crash with a Broward Sheriff’s deputy. Lynn Hatter reports the claims bills are the first pieces of legislation to clear the chamber.