Florida Senate - 2011                              (NP)    SB 52
       
       
       
       By Senator Smith
       
       
       
       
       29-00063-11                                             201152__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Larry Bostic; providing an
    3         appropriation to compensate Larry Bostic for wrongful
    4         imprisonment and for being a victim of a miscarriage
    5         of justice; directing the Chief Financial Officer to
    6         draw a warrant; requiring the purchase of an annuity;
    7         providing for the waiver of specified tuition and
    8         fees; providing for the waiver of fees and premiums
    9         for enrollment in the state health insurance plan;
   10         providing conditions for payment; providing
   11         legislative intent; prohibiting the payment of certain
   12         fees and costs; providing an effective date.
   13  
   14         WHEREAS, in 1989, Larry Bostic was convicted in Broward
   15  County, Florida, of rape and robbery, and was sentenced to 8
   16  years in prison to be followed by 5 years probation, and
   17         WHEREAS, while on probation awarded to him for crimes he
   18  did not commit, Mr. Bostic was reimprisoned for 17 years, and
   19  after serving more than 18 years in prison, during which time he
   20  maintained his innocence, Mr. Bostic was fully exonerated
   21  through DNA testing, and such results were matched to the actual
   22  perpetrator of the rape and robbery, and
   23         WHEREAS, an order of the circuit court, entered on
   24  September 21, 2007, judicially established the fact that Mr.
   25  Bostic should not have been incarcerated for the rape and
   26  robbery, and
   27         WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that no system of
   28  justice is impervious to human error, and
   29         WHEREAS, United States v. Hasting, 461 U.S. 499, 508
   30  (1983), reads, in part, “[G]iven the myriad safeguards provided
   31  to assure a fair trial, and taking into account the reality of
   32  the human fallibility of the participants, there can be no such
   33  thing as an error-free, perfect trial, and ... the Constitution
   34  does not guarantee such a trial[,]” and
   35         WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that the state’s
   36  system of justice infrequently yields imperfect results that may
   37  have tragic consequences, and
   38         WHEREAS, this act is based on a moral desire to acknowledge
   39  those who are wrongfully convicted of a felony offense, who are
   40  incarcerated as a result of that conviction, and who are
   41  determined to be actually innocent and is not a recognition of a
   42  constitutional right or violation, NOW, THEREFORE,
   43  
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45  
   46         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   47  found and declared to be true.
   48         Section 2. There is appropriated from the General Revenue
   49  Fund to the Department of Financial Services the sum of $1.7
   50  million under the conditions provided in this act.
   51         Section 3. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to draw
   52  a warrant in the sum of $1.7 million for the purposes provided
   53  in this act.
   54         Section 4. The Department of Financial Services shall pay
   55  the funds appropriated under this act to an insurance company or
   56  other financial institution admitted and authorized to issue
   57  annuity contracts in this state and selected by Larry Bostic for
   58  the purchase of an annuity. The Department of Financial Services
   59  shall execute all necessary agreements to implement this act.
   60         Section 5. Tuition and fees for Larry Bostic shall be
   61  waived for up to a total of 120 hours of instruction at any
   62  career center established pursuant to s. 1001.44, Florida
   63  Statutes, at any community college established under part III of
   64  chapter 1004, Florida Statutes, or any state university. For any
   65  educational benefit made, Larry Bostic shall meet and maintain
   66  the regular admission requirements of, and be registered at,
   67  such career center, community college, or state university and
   68  make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the
   69  educational institution in which the claimant is enrolled.
   70         Section 6. Enrollment for Larry Bostic shall be made into
   71  the State of Florida Health Insurance System, similar to that
   72  available to employees of the State of Florida. All fees and
   73  premiums shall be waived during the lifetime of Larry Bostic.
   74         Section 7. The Chief Financial Officer shall purchase the
   75  annuity as required by this act upon delivery by Larry Bostic to
   76  the Chief Financial Officer, the Department of Financial
   77  Services, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
   78  House of Representatives of an executed release and waiver on
   79  behalf of Larry Bostic and his heirs, successors, and assigns
   80  forever releasing the State of Florida and any agency,
   81  instrumentality, officer, employee, or political subdivision
   82  thereof or any other entity subject to the provisions of s.
   83  768.28, Florida Statutes, from any and all present or future
   84  claims or declaratory relief that the claimant, or his heirs,
   85  successors, or assigns, may have against such enumerated
   86  entities and arising out of the factual situation in connection
   87  with the conviction for which compensation is awarded. However,
   88  this act does not prohibit declaratory action to obtain judicial
   89  expunction of Larry Bostic’s judicial and executive branch
   90  records as otherwise provided by law.
   91         Section 8. The Legislature may not be deemed by this act to
   92  have waived any defense of sovereign immunity or to have
   93  increased the limits of liability on behalf of the state or any
   94  person or entity subject to the provisions of s. 768.28, Florida
   95  Statutes, or any other law.
   96         Section 9. This award is intended to provide the sole
   97  compensation for any and all present and future claims arising
   98  out of the factual situation in connection with Larry Bostic’s
   99  conviction and imprisonment, and no part of the award shall be
  100  paid for attorney’s fees, lobbying fees, costs, or other similar
  101  expenses.
  102         Section 10. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.