Ft. Lauderdale man to receive $179,000 for wrongful imprisonment

Legal News for Florida Criminal Attorneys. A wrongfully incarcerated man will receive $179,000 for his erroneous conviction.

Florida criminal lawyer alerts- Fort Lauderdale man eligible for compensation after wrongful conviction.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (News)—Under the State of Florida’s Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Compensation Act, passed in 2008, a man convicted of an April 1991 gas station robbery will be the first to receive compensation for his wrongful conviction at 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, 2010. The Fort Lauderdale man will sign legal documents on Tuesday, enabling him to begin receiving damages totaling $179,000 for the three years and seven months he wrongfully spent confined to a prison cell, according to information provided by the Sun-Sentinel.

Fort Lauderdale resident, 42-year-old Leroy McGee reportedly had a time card and a janitorial job at Fort Lauderdale High School, while subsequently failing to match the description of a gas station robber. However, with an attorney who allegedly “failed to raise a single objection during the case and attempted to enter the wrong time card into evidence”, the jury appointed to the case convicted him and he was sentenced to 43 months in prison by Broward Circuit Judge Paul Backman.

While locked up, the inmate allegedly wrote letters to people and organizations including President Bill Clinton, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Judge Backman. Backman reportedly threw out the conviction after McGee had already been released from prison.

Though McGee was eligible to receive $50,000 for every year wrongfully spent incarcerated in July 2009, he would not immediately sign the paper work to receive compensation because the state allegedly refused to cover the costs associated with hiring an attorney. In regards to the seemingly imperfect legislation, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida reportedly stated, “If you’ve been in prison for a long time, you have no money… but to get your compensation, you have to spend money you don’t have to get a lawyer.” However, McGee’s attorney recently agreed to represent him pro bono, rather than for 25 percent of his state earnings. He will reportedly sign the papers at a news conference at the Broward Public Defender’s Office, noting that though the compensation will help him, the 43 months he wrongfully spent in prison are irreversible.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Criminal Lawyers.