The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal


by Mark Lane Book Reviews

Arcadia book coverIn 1970, James Richardson, a black migrant worker in Arcadia, was accused of killing his seven children. He was convicted of killing one of his children and sentenced to death. Shortly after the trial, Mark Lane wrote Arcadia and advocated Richardson was innocent. He alleged the trial involved unlawful actions on the part of the authorities involved.

Eighteen years later, Gov. Bob Martinez assigned State Attorney Janet Reno to investigate the lawfulness of the trial. After her investigation, she concurred with Lane and filed a memo of nolle prosequi. The court vacated the judgment, conviction, and sentence.

The Florida Legislature awarded Richardson $3 million in a claim bill for the injuries and damages sustained from wrongful imprisonment (see Florida Senate H.B. 549 (2013)).

Thomas Gallen of Bradenton is a member of The Florida Bar.