Exonerated Broward man seeks $1.7 million from state after serving decades of 400-year sentence

A man who was exonerated after spending 34 years in prison for an armed robbery would receive $1.722 million from the state, under a newly filed Senate bill.

Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, filed the so-called “claim” bill (SB 6) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start in January.

The bill, filed Friday, would compensate Sidney Holmes, who was convicted in April 1989 of armed robbery with a firearm for a 1988 incident outside a Fort Lauderdale convenience store, according to the bill.

Holmes, who had previous felony convictions, was sentenced to 400 years in prison but maintained his innocence in the armed robbery.

This year, a review by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office led to an order vacating his judgment and sentence.

Under the bill, the Legislature would acknowledge that “the state’s system of justice yielded an imperfect result that had tragic consequences in this case.”

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