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Crist signs Crotzer relief bill (UPDATED)

2008410_crotzer_claim_bill Gov. Charlie Crist just signed into law the Alan Crotzer Relief Bill, giving the exonerated man $1.25 million and free college tuition to make up for the almost 25 years Florida locked him up for two rapes he did not commit.

"I want to thank Alan for his courage and his attitude and his strength and his spirit. This is a very happy day," Crist said from his Capitol office.

Crotzer, smiling in a dress shirt and black tie, said he planned to take advantage of the tuition offer by studying juvenile justice as a way "to give back." He noted the last time he was in a classroom was 1983.

Crotzer raised his hands in the air when Crist signed the bill into law with a blue Sharpie. Asked how he felt afterward, Crotzer said, "Like I'm no longer an exoneree, I'm a regular person. That's how I feel."

Added Crist: "He's back."

Here's a story about lawmakers approving Crotzer's claims bill last week. Read more about Crotzer's ordeal at

(Updated photo courtesy of the governor's office.)