Advertisement

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at tampabay.com/coronavirus as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. News
  2. /
  3. Florida

Wrongly convicted Jacksonville man to receive $2 million in reparations

Nathan Myers spent 43 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Now, after being denied money, he’ll receive the maximum amount in reparations from the state.
Nathan Myers, left, embraces his uncle, Clifford Williams, during a news conference after their 1976 murder convictions were overturned March 28, 2019, in Jacksonville. The order to vacate the convictions originated from the first ever conviction integrity review unit set up by State Attorney Melissa Nelson. [Associated Press]

The Florida attorney general’s office announced Saturday that it would reverse an earlier decision to deny reparations to a Jacksonville man who served nearly 43 years in prison over a murder he did not commit.

Nathan Myers, now 62, will be given $2 million from the state, the maximum allowed under Florida’s Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Act. He had been arrested as a teenager in 1976.

Myers was originally granted a petition for the reparations last summer. That petition was then denied by the Office of Attorney General, who vetoed it for not having “clear and convincing evidence” of his innocence. The attorney general’s office went back on that decision Saturday, however, saying in a letter that it was wrong — and that it had no authority to strike down a court’s decision.

“The DLA (Department of Legal Affairs) cannot second-guess decisions made by courts,” general counsel Richard H. Martin wrote. ”The DLA will inform the Chief Financial Officer that the application meets the requirements of the statute and is complete.”

Myers has been free for a year now and lives with his wife in Orlando, according to the Florida Times-Union.

“I can’t stay down. I can’t sit down now,” Myers told the TV station First Coast News. “I feel so good right now, as good as I feel since the day I got out.”

Still, though, with decades of his life lost to the prison system and his reparations being on hold, Myers says he will not believe the $2 million compensation is real until he can feel it in his hands himself.

“Once that money lands in my bank, that’ll be the time to celebrate, because that’s how I know it’s real," he told the Times-Union.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement