Representative Anna V. Eskamani Files Claims Bill for Clemente Aguirre
Aguirre spent over a decade on death row for a 2004 double murder in Seminole county that he never committed
Tallahassee, FL — Representative Anna V. Eskamani has filed HB 6523 to compensate Clemente Aguirre for being wrongfully incarcerated for nearly 15 years. Senator Victor Torres is the bill’s Senate sponsor.
Aguirre was found guilty of murder in the 2004 stabbing deaths of former neighbors Cheryl Williams and Carole Bareis. Aguirre has always professed his innocence, and originally told police he knew nothing about the murders because he was an immigrant from Honduras and feared being deported. But then later in the day he confessed to discovering the bodies.
Aguirre was originally convicted and sentenced to death in 2006 but in 2016 — thanks to a legal team, the Innocence Project, and new evidence — the Florida Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction based on new evidence, including DNA testing of several pieces of evidence that implicated another suspect.
“This session the Florida Legislature has an important opportunity to repair the past, and grant Clemente Aguirre a second chance in life,” said Representative Anna V. Eskamani. “We are proud to file this claims bill alongside Senator Victor Torres and to help Aguirre achieve compensation for his wrongful incarceration.”
Joshua Dubin, attorney for Clemente Aguirre and Innocence Project Ambassador added, “This is another step toward justice and closure for Clemente Aguirre. This special claims bill is a way to provide Clemente Aguirre with the means with which to rebuild his life after having lost 14 precious years.”
Clemente is Florida’s 28th death row exoneree — the state leads the nation in death row exonerations. Chair of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Ingrid Delgado added, “Clemente Aguirre was wrongly incarcerated for over 14 years, almost 11 of them on death row, before his exoneration in 2018. We are thankful to Representative Eskamani for filing a relief bill that would both recognize the harm done to Mr. Aguirre through his wrongful incarceration and support him in reestablishing his new life as a free man.”