Florida Senate - 2022 (Corrected Copy) SB 54 By Senator Jones 35-00232-22 202254__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Barney Brown; providing an 3 appropriation to compensate Mr. Brown for being 4 wrongfully incarcerated for 38 years; directing the 5 Chief Financial Officer to draw a warrant payable 6 directly to Mr. Brown; declaring that the Legislature 7 does not waive certain defenses or increase the 8 state’s limits of liability with respect to this act; 9 providing that the appropriation satisfies all present 10 and future claims related to the arrest, conviction, 11 and incarceration of Mr. Brown; prohibiting the award 12 of any additional amounts for specified purposes; 13 providing an effective date. 14 15 WHEREAS, in 1970, Barney Brown was convicted in Miami-Dade 16 County, then known as Dade County, of rape and robbery and was 17 sentenced to life in prison despite an earlier acquittal of the 18 same charges in juvenile court, and 19 WHEREAS, Mr. Brown served 38 years in prison, during which 20 time he steadfastly maintained his innocence, and 21 WHEREAS, in September 2008, the Circuit Court in the 11th 22 Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County vacated the 23 judgment and sentence of Mr. Brown as entered on September 11, 24 1970, because significant doubt existed as to his guilt, and 25 WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that the state’s 26 system of justice yielded an imperfect result that had tragic 27 consequences in this case, and 28 WHEREAS, this act is based on a moral desire to acknowledge 29 those who are wrongfully convicted of a felony offense, 30 incarcerated as a result of that conviction, and subsequently 31 determined to be innocent, and is not a recognition of a 32 constitutional right or violation, and 33 WHEREAS, the Legislature is providing compensation to Mr. 34 Brown to acknowledge the fact that he suffered significant 35 damages that are unique to him, and 36 WHEREAS, the Legislature intends that any compensation made 37 pursuant to this act be the sole compensation provided by the 38 state for any and all present and future claims arising out of 39 the factual situation described in this preamble, including the 40 wrongful incarceration of Mr. Brown for 38 years, NOW, 41 THEREFORE, 42 43 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 44 45 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 46 found and declared to be true. 47 Section 2. The sum of $1.9 million is appropriated from the 48 General Revenue Fund to the Department of Financial Services for 49 the relief of Barney Brown for the injuries and damages he 50 sustained. 51 Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw 52 a warrant in favor of Barney Brown in the sum of $1.9 million 53 upon funds of the Department of Financial Services in the State 54 Treasury, and the Chief Financial Officer is directed to pay the 55 same out of such funds in the State Treasury. 56 Section 4. The Legislature, by this act, does not waive any 57 defense of sovereign immunity or increase the limits of 58 liability on behalf of the state or any person or entity that is 59 subject to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, or any other law. 60 Section 5. This award is intended to provide the sole 61 compensation for any and all present and future claims arising 62 out of the factual situation in connection with Barney Brown’s 63 arrest, conviction, and incarceration. No additional award may 64 be made for attorney fees, lobbying fees, costs, or other 65 similar expenses to Barney Brown by the state or any agency, 66 instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof, or by any 67 other entity, including any county constitutional office, 68 officer, or employee, in state or federal court. 69 Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.