Florida Senate - 2022 (NP) SB 52 By Senator Brandes 24-00125-22 202252__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Robert Earl DuBoise; 3 providing an appropriation to compensate Mr. DuBoise 4 for being wrongfully incarcerated for almost 37 years; 5 directing the Chief Financial Officer to draw a 6 warrant payable directly to Mr. DuBoise; providing for 7 the waiver of certain tuition and fees for Mr. 8 DuBoise; requiring the Chief Financial Officer to pay 9 the directed funds without requiring that Mr. DuBoise 10 sign a liability release; declaring that the 11 Legislature does not waive certain defenses or 12 increase the state’s limits of liability with respect 13 to this act; prohibiting funds awarded under this act 14 to Mr. DuBoise from being used or paid for specified 15 attorney or lobbying fees; prohibiting Mr. DuBoise 16 from submitting a compensation application under 17 certain provisions upon his receipt of payment under 18 the act; requiring specific reimbursement to the state 19 should a civil award be issued subsequent to Mr. 20 DuBoise’s receipt of payment under the act; requiring 21 Mr. DuBoise to notify the Department of Legal Affairs 22 upon filing certain civil actions; requiring the 23 department to file a specified notice under certain 24 circumstances; providing that certain benefits are 25 vacated upon specified findings; providing an 26 effective date. 27 28 WHEREAS, Robert Earl DuBoise was arrested on October 22, 29 1983, for the August 18, 1983, rape and murder of a Tampa Bay 30 woman and was convicted of capital murder and attempted sexual 31 battery on March 7, 1985, and 32 WHEREAS, Mr. DuBoise spent 3 years on death row, and 33 WHEREAS, on March 10, 1988, the Florida Supreme Court 34 issued a mandate vacating Mr. DuBoise’s death sentence, and on 35 April 4, 1988, he was resentenced to life imprisonment for 36 murder and a consecutive 15-year sentence for attempted sexual 37 battery, and 38 WHEREAS, Mr. DuBoise has maintained his innocence since his 39 arrest and for the entirety of his incarceration for the past 37 40 years, and 41 WHEREAS, on September 11, 2020, the Conviction Review Unit 42 (CRU) for the State Attorney’s Office for the 13th Judicial 43 Circuit issued a 49-page “CRU Summary Fact-Finding Report” based 44 on a comprehensive investigation spanning nearly 1 year, 45 culminating in the conclusion that “Robert DuBoise’s conviction 46 should be vacated and Robert DuBoise be exonerated of the 47 charges against him,” and 48 WHEREAS, on September 14, 2020, the Circuit Court for the 49 13th Judicial Circuit granted, with the concurrence of the 50 state, a motion for postconviction relief, vacated the judgment 51 and sentence of Mr. DuBoise, and ordered a new trial, and 52 WHEREAS, the CRU report found that there was no credible 53 evidence of Mr. DuBoise’s guilt and, likewise, that there was 54 clear and convincing evidence of his innocence, and 55 WHEREAS, on September 14, 2020, as the result of the CRU 56 report, the state orally pronounced a nolle prosequi with regard 57 to the retrial of Mr. DuBoise, and 58 WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that the state’s 59 system of justice yielded an imperfect result that had tragic 60 consequences in this case, and 61 WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that, as a result of 62 his physical confinement, Mr. DuBoise suffered significant 63 damages that are unique to him, and that the damages are due to 64 the fact that he was physically restrained and prevented from 65 exercising the freedom to which all innocent citizens are 66 entitled, and 67 WHEREAS, before his conviction for the aforementioned 68 crimes, Mr. DuBoise had prior convictions for unrelated 69 nonviolent felonies, and 70 WHEREAS, because of his prior nonviolent felony 71 convictions, Mr. DuBoise is ineligible for compensation under 72 chapter 961, Florida Statutes, and 73 WHEREAS, the Legislature apologizes to Mr. DuBoise on 74 behalf of the state, NOW, THEREFORE, 75 76 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 77 78 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 79 found and declared to be true. 80 Section 2. The sum of $1.85 million is appropriated from 81 the General Revenue Fund to the Department of Financial Services 82 for the relief of Robert Earl DuBoise for his wrongful 83 incarceration. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw a 84 warrant in the sum of $1.85 million payable directly to Robert 85 Earl DuBoise. 86 Section 3. Tuition and fees for Mr. DuBoise shall be waived 87 for up to a total of 120 hours of instruction at any career 88 center established pursuant to s. 1001.44, Florida Statutes, 89 Florida College System institution established under part III of 90 chapter 1004, Florida Statutes, or state university. For any 91 educational benefit he receives, Mr. DuBoise must meet and 92 maintain the regular admission and registration requirements of 93 the career center, institution, or state university and make 94 satisfactory academic progress as defined by the educational 95 institution in which he is enrolled. 96 Section 4. The Chief Financial Officer shall pay the funds 97 directed by this act without requiring that the wrongfully 98 incarcerated person, Mr. DuBoise, sign a liability release. 99 Section 5. With respect to the relief for Mr. DuBoise as 100 described in this act, the Legislature does not waive any 101 defense of sovereign immunity or increase the limits of 102 liability on behalf of the state or any person or entity that is 103 subject to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, or any other law. Funds 104 awarded under this act to Mr. DuBoise may not be used or be paid 105 for attorney fees or lobbying fees related to this claim. 106 Section 6. Upon his receipt of payment under this act, Mr. 107 DuBoise may not submit an application for compensation under 108 chapter 961, Florida Statutes. 109 Section 7. If, after the time that monetary compensation is 110 paid under this act, a court enters a monetary judgment in favor 111 of Mr. DuBoise in a civil action related to his wrongful 112 incarceration, or Mr. DuBoise enters into a settlement agreement 113 with the state or any political subdivision thereof related to 114 his wrongful incarceration, Mr. DuBoise shall reimburse the 115 state for the monetary compensation awarded under this act, less 116 any sums paid for attorney fees or costs incurred in litigating 117 the civil action or obtaining the settlement agreement. A 118 reimbursement required under this section may not exceed the 119 amount of monetary award Mr. DuBoise received for damages in the 120 civil action or settlement agreement. The court must include in 121 the order of judgment an award to the state of any amount 122 required to be deducted under this section. Claimant Mr. DuBoise 123 must notify the Department of Legal Affairs upon filing any such 124 civil action. 125 Section 8. The department must then file a notice of 126 payment of monetary compensation in the civil action, and the 127 notice shall constitute a lien upon any judgment or settlement 128 recovered under the civil action which is equal to the sum of 129 monetary compensation paid to the claimant under this act, less 130 any attorney fees and litigation costs. 131 Section 9. If any future judicial determination determines 132 that Mr. DuBoise, by DNA evidence or otherwise, participated in 133 any manner in the death or sexual battery for which he was 134 incarcerated, the unused benefits to which he is entitled under 135 this act are vacated. 136 Section 10. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.