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Alan Crotzer Compensation Signed

April 10th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

A St. Petersburg man who spent 24 years in prison is now 1 million 250 thousand dollars richer. Governor Charlie Crist signed the legislation proving compensation for those years behind bars, But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, Alan crotzer says no amount of money can repay him for the years lost.

The document that set Alan Crotzer free hangs prominently on his living room wall. He knows exactly how long he was behind bars.

24 years, 6 months, 13 days, and 4 hours wrongfully convicted, Crotzer said.

Since his release after DNA proved Alan Crotzer innocent, he has been working as a land scape artist in Tallahassee. His freedom is something his mother never got to see. She died in 2001.

From the beginning, she asked me son, do you know anything about it? And I said no, Crotzer said. After that, she began to talk to me confidently, saying Please dont worry about it. Gods gonna fix it.

2 years 2 months 18 days and 5 hours after his release, the state did its best to make up for the mistake.

Without further adieu, I want to sign this into law, Governor Crist said.

Governor Charlie Crists signature makes Alan 1.25 million dollars richer.

The settlement works out to about 50 thousand dollars a year. But Crotzer says it cant make up for what he lost.

I was thinking about being in the Coast Guard, Crotzer said. I was thinking about a lot of things. I wanted to travel, I wanted an education. Nothing can give you back 25 years of your life.

For now, Alan is keeping his job, but the claims bill also provides tuition for Alan at a state university. And that is likely next on his agenda.

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