Justice: what took you so long?

Florida finally paid Alan Crotzer for the nearly twenty-five years he was wrongly imprisoned. The Senate voted to pay him $1.25 million in compensation for the years he spent behind bars for crimes he didn't commit. Some say $1.25 million is too little for what Mr. Crotzer went through. The Senate vote was 33-5. Who the hell would vote against this? Unless they thought he deserved more money, and yes he does. Damn right, he does.

But after the Senate vote, it wasn't about money for Alan Crotzer. He started to speak about his mother, and his wish that she could have lived to see this day, to know that she had been right.

His mother always believed in him and encouraged him to keep fighting to prove his innocence. She told him "God's going to fix it, and when he does he's going to fix it right." While he was imprisoned, Alan Crotzer's mother died, and he was not allowed out to attend her funeral. That his mother didn't live to see him set free is the hardest thing he deals with.

His fingerprints were not at the crime scene. Witnesses verified he was elsewhere when the crimes took place. Through the efforts of the Florida Innocence Project he was freed when DNA evidence proved he could not have committed the crimes. His co defendants said he wasn't with them the night of the crimes.

He spent 24 years 6 months 13 days 4 hours locked up, separated from his loved ones. He was stabbed while in prison. And yet he can still love. This man, Alan Crotzer, is a rock.

In Florida, nine inmates have been exonerated through DNA evidence. Eight were set free, one died while in prison.

Contributing sources for this report:Tampa Tribune online; David Royse, The Associated Press.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our criminal injustice system is a crime in and of itself.

Glad the poor soul finally got set free. Over 24 years and innocent. $1.25 mil just don't make up for that kind of injustice.

The scientifically impossible I do right away
The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

Oh yeah, I should warn you in advance. YOU'VE BEEN tagged. Read all about it in my next post 4/8/08
after 9am est.