Florida Senate - 2020                              (NP)    SB 18
       By Senator Thurston
       33-00271-20                                             202018__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Barney Brown, who was
    3         wrongfully incarcerated for 38 years; providing an
    4         appropriation to compensate him for his wrongful
    5         incarceration; providing that the act does not waive
    6         certain defenses or increase the state’s liability;
    7         providing that the appropriation satisfies all present
    8         and future claims related to the arrest, conviction,
    9         and incarceration of Barney Brown; prohibiting the
   10         award of any additional amounts for specified
   11         purposes; providing an effective date.
   13         WHEREAS, in 1970, Barney Brown was convicted in Miami-Dade
   14  County, then known as Dade County, of rape and robbery and was
   15  sentenced to life in prison despite an earlier acquittal of the
   16  same charges in juvenile court, and
   17         WHEREAS, Mr. Brown served 38 years in prison, during which
   18  time he steadfastly maintained his innocence, and
   19         WHEREAS, in September 2008, the Circuit Court in the 11th
   20  Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County vacated the
   21  judgment and sentence of Mr. Brown as entered on September 11,
   22  1970, because significant doubt existed as to his guilt, and
   23         WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that the state’s
   24  system of justice yielded an imperfect result that had tragic
   25  consequences in this case, and
   26         WHEREAS, this act is based on a moral desire to acknowledge
   27  those who are wrongfully convicted of a felony offense,
   28  incarcerated as a result of that conviction, and subsequently
   29  determined to actually be innocent, and is not a recognition of
   30  a constitutional right or violation, and
   31         WHEREAS, the Legislature is providing compensation to Mr.
   32  Brown to acknowledge the fact that he suffered significant
   33  damages that are unique to him, and
   34         WHEREAS, the Legislature intends that any compensation made
   35  pursuant to this act be the sole compensation provided by the
   36  state for any and all present and future claims arising out of
   37  the factual situation described in the preamble of this act,
   38  including the wrongful incarceration of Mr. Brown for 38 years,
   41  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   44  found and declared to be true.
   45         Section 2. The sum of $1.9 million is appropriated from the
   46  General Revenue Fund to the Department of Financial Services for
   47  the relief of Barney Brown for the injuries and damages he
   48  sustained.
   49         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   50  a warrant in favor of Barney Brown in the sum of $1.9 million
   51  upon funds of the Department of Financial Services in the State
   52  Treasury, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the
   53  same out of such funds in the State Treasury.
   54         Section 4. The Legislature, by this act, does not waive any
   55  defense of sovereign immunity or increase the limits of
   56  liability on behalf of the state or any person or entity that is
   57  subject to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, or any other law.
   58         Section 5. This award is intended to provide the sole
   59  compensation for any and all present and future claims arising
   60  out of the factual situation in connection with Barney Brown’s
   61  arrest, conviction, and incarceration. No additional award may
   62  be made for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, or other
   63  similar expenses to Barney Brown by the state or any agency,
   64  instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof, or by any
   65  other entity, including any county constitutional office,
   66  officer, or employee, in state or federal court.
   67         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.