State panel restores Sammie Smith's civil rights

State panel restores Sammie Smith's civil rights

Published Jun. 3, 2010 7:09 p.m. ET

Former Florida State star and Miami Dolphin running back Sammie Smith has won restoration of his civil rights.

Gov. Charlie Crist and the independently elected cabinet, sitting as the state Clemency Board, voted Thursday to restore the rights following testimony from Smith, former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, several assistants and family members.

Crist said Smith's testimony was compelling.

The 43-year-old Smith served seven years in prison after being convicted in 1996 on two federal charges of possession and distribution of cocaine.


Smith ranks fifth in rushing at Florida State with 2,439 yards in three seasons before being taken with the ninth pick of the first round by the Dolphins in the 1989 draft.