Fla. Could Pay Man Who Spent Two Decades in Prison

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida could pay $1 million to a former farmworker who spent 21 years in prison after he was convicted of killing his 7 children.

State legislators are advancing a bill that would let James Richardson qualify for $50,000 for every year he spent in jail.
Richardson was convicted in 1968 of poisoning the lunch of his children with an insecticide. Authorities at the time insisted he killed his children in order to obtain a life insurance payment.

But the conviction was set aside after it was reinvestigated by then-Miami-Dade County State Attorney Janet Reno. Reno called the investigation inadequate and incomplete and that leads were not pursued.

Legislators in 2008 passed a law that allowed people who were wrongfully incarcerated to apply for payment. But Richardson's claim was turned down.

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