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.
   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,
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.