Al Crotzer officially received his financial compensation from the state for spending nearly a quarter of a century behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
Governor Charlie Crist already signed an executive order awarding Al Crotzer $1.25 million and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink held a ceremonial signing of that paperwork at the capitol Tuesday.
Crotzer was arrested in the Tampa areas in the early 1980s for a rape and kidnapping he didn’t commit. He was exonerated in 2006 by DNA evidence.
Now he will get an initial lump sum of $250,000 followed by $6,700 per month for the next 20 years. He will also receive a 4-year college tuition scholarship.
“Freedom is priceless…money can never ever replace freedom in any way in the world so my freedom is everything and money is just a tool to help rebuild my life,” said Crotzer.
Crotzer plans to attend college and major in social sciences. He also promises to continue advocating for people who may be in similar situations as himself.
“It’s a good feeling for me because I know that I’m giving hope and not only to the inmates but also the families to see me because God did bless me, he’s been working with me continuously to do so and it gives them hope and that’s a good thing because in [prison] there you have nothing,” said Crotzer.