Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida may compensate ex-inmate who was wrongfully convicted

A man who spent 21 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his seven children might be compensated by the state more than 40 years later under a bill passed by the Legislature.

The Senate voted unanimously late Friday for a bill that changes a law that compensates wrongfully incarcerated prisoners so that James Richardson can be paid more than $1 million. The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

Bill sponsor Sen. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando said the now-78-year-old Richardson wants to build a church with the money.

Richardson was convicted in 1968 of poisoning the lunch of his children with an insecticide. But the conviction was set aside after it was reinvestigated by then-Miami-Dade County State Attorney Janet Reno.

Sales tax holidays

Shoppers buying clothes and school supplies will get a three-day tax holiday in August.

The Florida Legislature on Friday approved a tax cut package and sent it to the governor.

The $105 million tax cut package includes a back-to-school sales tax holiday on Aug. 1-3.

Under the bill (HB 5601), shoppers would not have to pay sales taxes on any clothes worth $100 or less. Shoppers would not have to pay taxes on school supplies worth $15 or less or on the first $750 of a personal computer.

The bill also includes a three-day sales tax holiday in September on the purchase of energy efficient appliances. It also includes a nine-day sales tax holiday on the sale of hurricane preparation supplies such as batteries and generators.

Early 2016 session

The House gave final approval Friday to a bill (HB 9) that would move up the starting date of the 2016 legislative session from March to January.

Sessions typically last from early March to early May, except in redistricting years. But the bill calls for a one-time change to start the 2016 session on Jan. 12. Supporters of the change have said that, in part, it will allow lawmakers to be home with their families for such things as spring break. House members voted 93-22 to approve the bill, which passed the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to the governor.

Life term changes

The Legislature passed a bill that reworks mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

The bill passed the House 115-0 Friday and passed the Senate 36-0 last week. It now awaits the governor.

The bill (HB 7035) would bring Florida law in line with a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said life terms without parole for juveniles violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, leaving Florida law in need of an update. The bill leaves the mandatory minimum for first-degree murder, creates judicial sentencing reviews and denies those reviews for those previously convicted of violent felonies before committing first-degree murder.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

Florida may compensate ex-inmate who was wrongfully convicted 05/02/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2014 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  2. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  3. Bicyclist in critical condition after colliding with vehicle in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist is in critical condition after he ran a red light and was struck by a car on Monday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  4. Myanmar leader sidesteps atrocity allegations in first address on Rohingya crisis (w/video)

    World

    YANGON, Myanmar - In her first major speech Tuesday on the worsening Rohingya crisis, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sidestepped allegations of atrocities committed against the stateless Muslim minority and cast the conflict as just one of many problems ailing the country.

    A Rohingya Muslim, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carries his belongings as he arrives at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Free lunch, school routines, spending cuts and more

    Blogs

    FREE LUNCH: Hurricane Irma caused many families to go without income for a week. Many also lost power, and along with it the food in their refrigerators and freezers. Making matters worse, replacing it isn't so easy, as grocery stores have limited supplies. Hoping to ease the burden, the state has asked for …