Florida Senate - 2021 (NP) SB 36 By Senator Thurston 33-00137-21 202136__ 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 Mr. Brown; prohibiting the award 10 of any additional amounts for specified purposes; 11 providing an effective date. 12 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, 39 NOW, THEREFORE, 40 41 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 42 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 Mr. 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.