A man who spent 37 years in state prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit is also being barred from being compensated for his wrongful conviction.

Efforts are underway to eliminate or bypass the so-called “clean hands” provision that bars compensation if there had been previous convictions.

Robert Duboise, 55, has been walking the halls of the state Capitol, seeking compensation for 37 years he spent behind bars after it was ruled a wrongful conviction.

Duboise has maintained his innocence the entire time.

“You just got to keep your faith. That’s what it’s about. You’ve got to have patience. It’s easy to get in there, but it’s hard to prove your Innoncence once you’re in,” said Duboise.

His problem is that he had previously been sent to prison for nonviolent felonies.

Under Florida law, anyone wrongly convicted seeking compensation must have a clean record.

“An incredible story,” said State Senator Jeff Brandes.

Brandes has filed legislation waiving the clean hands provision for Duboise.

“We’ve taken a portion of their lives as a state then they should be compensated for that wrongful conviction,” said Brandes.

State law sets payments for wrongful convictions at $50,000 a year.

In Mr. Duboise’s case, he would qualify for $1.85 million.


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