'Today, justice will be done'
That's how Gov. Charlie Crist opened the signing of the $5-million Martin Lee Anderson claims bill. With the boy's parents at his side, Crist said, "We will never know what you have endured and what you had to go through. And we are so sorry for your loss."
Anderson, 14, died in January 2006 after a rough encounter with guards at the Bay County Boot camp. Crist's backing accelerated the claims bill this session. "If it wasn't for him we wouldn't be here today," said Anderson's mother, Gina Jones.
While the Legislature approved a host of claims bills, it left out one high profile one, to compensate Alan Crotzer for more than 24 years in prison on bad rape charges. Many felt Crotzer was as deserving, if not more.
Crist was asked if his expected budget vetoes would free up the $1.25-million for Crotzer and whether that should be added to the special session. "Perhaps. I don't know. I haven't decided yet. You're right I support the case. I strongly support the case. It's a case that cries out for justice. I want to make sure we do what that special session is called for, and that is lower property taxes. If it looks like they are getting close to a deal then we can consider other things. "