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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Shannon Weidemann
Shannon Weidemann
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Florida Man Wrongfully Convicted to Receive $1.25M

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A man that was wrongfuly convicted in 1981 for rape and spent over 24 years in prison will receive compensation equalling $1.25 Million.  The Florida Legislature passed a bill that would give him $137 for every day he spent locked up.  Alan Crotzer was in the Senate Gallery when the bill was passed.

Crotzer, who is black, was convicted by an all-white jury for the July 1981 robbery and rape of a woman and a 12-year-old girl in Tampa, despite a solid alibi and a lack of physical evidence against him.

He was sentenced to 130 years in a maximum-security prison. While incarcerated, Crotzer was stabbed by a fellow inmate, his ankles became disfigured from prison boots that were too small and his teeth were left to rot without proper dental care. His daughter and grandchildren stopped talking to him.

 DNA evidence cleared him of the crime in 2006.  The Governor has pledged to sign the bill and has also offered the man free tuition at any state University.  The bill passed 33-5 in the Senate.