[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----TENN., N.C., VA., ILL., FLA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jun 8 22:05:57 UTC 2006
TENNESSEE----federal death penalty to be sought
Feds To Seek Death Penalty Against Taylor In Guy Luck Murder----First
Death Penalty Case For Local Federal Court
Federal prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty against Rejon
Taylor in the murder of Atlanta restaurant owner Guy Luck at Collegedale.
It apparently will be the first federal death penalty case in Chattanooga.
2 other young Atlanta men charged with the murder - Sir Jack Matthews and
Joey Montrez Marshall - have agreed to plead guilty and may testify
Prosecutors said earlier they had decided not to seek the death penalty
against any of the defendants.
However, authorities said Taylor recently recruited other jail inmates in
an escape attempt at the Hamilton County Jail. The attempt was foiled, but
a correctional officer was injured.
Officials said Taylor obtained weapons for the escape try.
They said he "has failed to adapt his behavior to societal norms, thereby
demonstrating a significantly low rehabilitative potential" and has
demonstrated a lack of remorse for the crime.
They said he is a continuing escape risk.
Federal authorities said Taylor "is likely to commit in the future
criminal acts of violence that would be a continuing and serious threat to
the lives and safety of others."
Prosecutors are Steve Neff and Chris Poole.
Taylor is represented by attorneys Bill Ortwein and Howell Clements.
Approval for the death penalty had to go to the U.S. Attorney General.
The case, which was switched from Hamilton County Criminal Court, earlier
had been ruled "death eligible."
A Federal Grand Jury had indicted the trio for carjacking resulting in
death, firearms murder during and in relation to carjacking, and
kidnapping resulting in death.
According to an earlier hearing in state court, one of the defendants said
the plan was to let the victim out to find his way back to Atlanta, but he
was shot after he "jumped" them on Aug. 6, 2003.
County Detective Chris Chambers said Matthews said the 51-year-old Luck
was abducted at Buckhead in his white Econoline van. The plan was to drive
him north and let him out to find his own way back, it was stated.
He said Matthews stated they pulled off I-75 at Collegedale when Mr. Luck
The detective said Matthews stated that he turned and fired, striking the
victim in the right arm.
Matthews said Taylor also turned and fired several shots, including one
that grazed him (Matthews).
Detective Chambers said Matthews said it was a robbery plot and he got
$200 of the cash taken from the victim.
He said Matthews said that after the shooting, he and Taylor ran to a
maroon Impala that Marshall had driven up from Atlanta following them. He
said he was bleeding, and he lay in the floor in the back as they went
back to Atlanta.
Matthews said they went to Marshall's house, then Marshall and his
girlfriend dropped him off at Grady Hospital.
He said the guns were left in the van, and that, Detective Chambers said,
is where they were found.
Matthews said they wore gloves during the robbery.
Detective Chambers said the Impala was found partially stripped in
Atlanta. He said there was blood in the back.
He said a receipt was found where they had bought gas in Cartersville on
the way north toward Chattanooga that morning.
Detective Chambers said a resident in the neighborhood where the
restaurant operator was abducted had reported the Impala as a suspicious
vehicle that morning.
(source: The Chattanoogan)
Resist Against the Machine and the Routine
As one police officer slammed the van door shut, with 6 of us in tow
destined for the county jail, an officer in the driver's seat turned the
key to get us on our way. But nothing happened. He turned the key again.
And again, nothing. For several minutes, this went on. We waited patiently
in the back, strapped to chairs, and handcuffed behind our backs.
I couldn't avoid thinking about Willie Brown, there in the prison at that
moment, just yards away, strapped to a gurney, hooked up to a new machine
that the prison promised would save him from any pain.
In the weeks building up to this moment, the state was forced to assure a
U.S. District Court judge that medical staff would be able to guarantee
that prisoners would not suffer during their lethal injection of poisonous
drugs. Because the Department of Corrections could find no doctor or
anesthesiologist who was willing to violate the medical code of ethics and
oversee the process of exterminating a "patient," faith was put into a
machine - a machine that would tell a prison doctor and nurse when the
brain was dead.
Despite the obvious failure to meet the judge's request, and even though
the manufacturer of the machine said that it was sold to Central Prison in
error, the judge nodded okay, the governor turned his head, and the
machine made history.
But we all know that you can't always trust a machine to work.
After several more minutes of banging on the steering wheel and jamming
the key into the ignition switch, the officer finally got the van started,
and we were whisked out of the prison parking lot, past Willie Brown's
family, past the vigilers on the sidewalk, and to the jail.
Once to the jail, our van approached the electronic gate that leads into
the indoor prisoner transport parking area. The gate did not raise on cue.
Once again frustrated, our police driver backed up the van, then drove
forward. Nothing. Backed up again, forward, back, forward. Finally the
machinery of the gate worked, and we were in.
There were 6 of us, and we had all been through the process before: paper
work, finger prints, a photograph, waiting, seeing the magistrate,
promising to appear in court, sitting in a jail cell until 3 a.m. waiting
to be released once the execution had been carried out.
The officers at the jail know who we are now. They know who has been
arrested before, what our names are, and who the new people are. They know
The routine is that North Carolina is a killing state, and doesn't
hesitate to arrest and jail those who dissent by action. During the winter
and spring months so far, North Carolina has been on a rampage of killing
6 prisoners in 6 months. This pace has put this state as the number 2
killing state - only behind Texas.
And the people have responded. During the last 4 executions, 55 arrests
have been made.
College and high school students and faculty, mothers, pregnant women, a
former death row prisoner, family members of murder victims, national
organizational leaders, human rights advocates, and so many others have
been willing to put their bodies in harms way at the risk of intimidation,
persecution and prosecution.
Just 12 hours earlier in the day, dozens of people packed the courthouse
across the street from the jail to support those facing charges for
trespassing during the January and March executions. 15 defendants
appeared in court, prepared for trial, with witnesses and attorneys ready
to make their case, but our day in court was put off until June 19.
As the officer at the prison told me to stand up so he could handcuff me,
I said, "That is not necessary. I am not a criminal." He repeated his
request, and I reiterated mine. At that moment I didn't feel like a
criminal. The real crime was what the state was doing that night to Willie
Brown and his family.
In the end, I got handcuffs that were a little tighter than everyone
In the eyes of the state, we are criminals. We deserved to be dragged,
pushed, threatened, harassed, strapped, cuffed and jailed. Why? Because
not only do we oppose the state and what the state does to murderers, but
we act with consistency in what we preach.
The magistrate at the county jail announced that we were all being held in
jail until we could pay a $3000 bond to secure our release.
We all spent the night in jail. Some of us were fortunate enough to get
bailed out by mid morning, while 2 stayed in until late afternoon when a
judge ordered their release without the bond.
Willie Brown got out that night too, with a ride in a police van. But his
bail was much higher. Just after 2:00 a.m., prison workers loaded his
poisoned body into a body bag and put him into the back of the van to be
taken to a hospital.
I wonder if the van started right away for him that night. And did the
machine monitoring the execution work too?
We surely cannot put our faith in the machine, nor can we put faith in the
leaders of our state. Everything and everyone is slave to routine. And
when the failing machine takes over and routine becomes the norm, then we
have lost our soul as a society.
As long as killing remains routine in our justice system, and as long as
we put our faith in machines and not in God and Love, our resistance at
the prison and elsewhere will continue to engage the powers so that the
routine and the machine are slowed to a grinding halt and killing will be
Note: The trial of the execution protesters is scheduled for June 19 in
Raleigh, North Carolina. They face multiple counts of trespass.
(source: Scott Langley, Instrument of Peace)
Mentally ill man shouldn't face execution
No one wants to go into his cell because he smears his feces everywhere.
He bathes only when forced to by the guards. He howls and bangs on the
walls. He parrots what you say to him.
He thinks he is going to come back tomorrow to work at a Burger King.
His name is Percy Levar Walton, and this man is not in a mental hospital.
He was in a cell on death row at Sussex I State Prison until he was moved
to Virginia's death house at the Greensville Correctional Center in
Jarratt. There he will be executed tonight.
Is the year 2006 or 1706? Is this the modern-day commonwealth of Virginia
or a newly founded colony fighting for survival?
Is the cell constructed of cinder blocks and stainless steel or wooden
walls and rusty wrought-iron bars?
Are we really preparing to kill a mentally ravaged individual as if we
were all stuck in a Victor Hugo novel?
Gov. Tim Kaine once again faces the specter of death in the execution of
Percy Walton. Will he show mercy as Gov. Gilmore did to Calvin Swann,
another death row inmate who also suffered from schizophrenia and who also
was sentenced to death by the same Danville judge? Or will Walton become
Virginia's 96th sacrifice in recent years to the death penalty gods?
There are alternatives to the death penalty, and Kaine has the option of
commuting this man's sentence to life in prison without parole. In that
case, Walton will die in prison as did Swann.
It is ironic that this event is going forward at all. Last October, no
less a figure than Sen. Kenneth Stolle, a death penalty supporter and the
chair of the Courts of Justice Committee of the Virginia Senate, said, "It
is only a matter of time before Virginia and other states ban the death
penalty. ... It will come when an innocent man is executed. Inevitably,
somebody who is innocent will be executed."
Indeed according to the latest Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans
believe that an innocent person has already been executed within the last
five years. How many more people will we put to death before we end the
practice of capital punishment?
But Walton's execution is not a matter of guilt or innocence. He pleaded
guilty to the three murders he was charged with. He is guilty of murder.
The question is what constitutes an appropriate punishment in such an
Under Justice Lewis Powell, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled back in 1986 that
an individual had to be "mentally competent" to be executed.
Can a severe schizophrenic be deemed mentally competent when his 2 most
recent IQ scores came in under 70 -- in the range of a person mentally
retarded to the level of an 8-year-old -- and when he states that after
execution he will come back to ride a motorcycle? Does he really
understand what death means if he thinks his execution will result in his
getting a job at a fast food restaurant?
There is no doubt that for the good of society Walton needs to be
maintained in a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane.
The real question is this: Does society need to, indeed have the right to,
strap him to a gurney tonight and lethally inject him with chemicals,
employing a method of euthanasia that even Virginia bans from use on cats
and dogs as cruel and inhumane?
When, as a society, will we treat people with mental illness instead of
punishing them for suffering from it?
(source: Roanoke Times (Payden-Travers, of Charlottesville, is the
director of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty)
Va. death row inmate wins new trial
In Richmond, the state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new trial to
determine whether a death row inmate is mentally retarded, making him
ineligible for capital punishment.
The justices said that the 1st jury charged with determining Daryl Atkins'
mental state should not have been told that he had earlier been sentenced
to death for a 1996 murder because the information was prejudicial.
The jury finding became necessary after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
Atkins' case in 2002 that executing the retarded is unconstitutional.
The court left it to the states to define retardation and sent Atkins'
case back to circuit court. The jury determined last August that Atkins
was not retarded, allowing his death sentence to stand.
In the appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, Atkins' lawyers argued that
this jury should not have been told about the conviction and sentence
because its sole duty was to determine whether Atkins is mentally
retarded. Lawyers for the state argued that the jury was entitled to all
the information, but the high court disagreed.
"The fact that the jury knew a prior jury had sentenced Atkins to death
prejudiced his right to a fair trial on the issue of his mental
retardation," Justice Cynthia D. Kinser wrote.
Atkins was convicted of the 1996 robbery and shooting death of Air Force
enlisted man Eric Nesbitt.
(source: Associated Press)
Does killer grasp death?----Experts say he has schizophrenia; can he
This could be the last day in the life of Percy Levar Walton, who showed
no mercy shooting 3 Danville residents to death in 1996.
It is unclear he fully understands this.
A federal judge issued a stay of execution yesterday afternoon that was
quickly appealed by the Virginia attorney general's office to the 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, which quickly lifted the stay.
Walton is set to be executed by injection at 9 p.m. unless the courts or
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine respond to pleas from Walton's lawyers that range
from the propriety of lethal injection to the meaning of death.
Yesterday's stay by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith in Norfolk
concerns Walton's challenge to the constitutionality of the way Virginia
conducts lethal injections.
Smith noted that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month in
a similar case, Hill v. Crosby, on whether such challenges can proceed.
Smith said the most prudent course of action would be to wait and see how
the justices rule.
In an emergency appeal of Smith's ruling, the Virginia attorney general's
office said other death-row inmates who have sought stays on the basis of
the Hill case have been unsuccessful and executed as scheduled --
including Virginia's Dexter Vinson, executed in April, and James Reid, in
Experts say Walton, 27, suffers from schizophrenia, a condition that has
worsened over his decade on death row. A minority of judges have noted
there is evidence he does not have a realistic understanding of what it
means to be dead.
Nevertheless, he has been found competent under legal standards to be
executed because he knows that he is to die for the murders of Jessie and
Elizabeth Kendrick, 80 and 81, and Archie D. Moore Jr., 33.
The standards stem from a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court case, which decided that
those who are unaware of the punishment they are about to suffer, and why
they are to suffer it, cannot be executed.
Walton's lawyers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in
Walton's case. They argue, among other things, that Walton should have a
hearing to determine if he understands that death will mean the end of his
The state and a majority seven judges -- of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of
Appeals argue that such an understanding is not necessary, that the U.S.
Constitution does not define death and that the courts should not be in
the business of defining death.
6 dissenting 4th Circuit judges, however, feel such an understanding is
They wrote they did not wish to rewrite the 1986 decision, but rather: "It
is a simple recognition that the constitutional question 'Do you
understand that your execution will cause you to die?' cannot be
meaningfully answered unless the condemned understands what 'to die'
If the courts turn down Walton, the matter will drop in the lap of Kaine,
who is considering a clemency petition from Walton. Walton's lawyers are
seeking mercy from Kaine; they argue that Walton is mentally ill, mentally
retarded and had just turned 18 at the time of the crime.
In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has banned the execution of the
mentally retarded and those who kill while under the age of 18.
Meanwhile, Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of
Corrections, said preparations for the execution were proceeding yesterday
at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, home of Virginia's
Traylor said that several family members of Walton's victims are scheduled
to watch the execution, but he could not comment beyond that.
Irene Jurscaga, 85, of Suffolk, Elizabeth Kendrick's sister, said last
week that she and the Kendricks' son, Grady Kendrick, of Myrtle Beach,
S.C., plan to attend Walton's execution.
The Kendricks' bodies were discovered when their daughter arrived home for
Thanksgiving. Moore's body was found 2 days later.
Moore had been shot in the head, stuffed into a closet, a plastic bag
placed over his head and cologne sprinkled over his body.
Walton described the killings in graphic detail to a fellow jail inmate.
He said that before Elizabeth Kendrick died, she was on her knees begging
for her life. Her husband lay face down nearby crying. Walton told them to
shut up. He shot Elizabeth and then tried to cut Jessie's throat.
Unsuccessful, he put a gun against the top of Kendrick's head and shot
If Walton is put to death, it will be the second execution in Virginia
this year and the 96th since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the death
penalty to resume in 1976.
(source: Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Court orders new hearing on whether York killer is retarded
The Virginia State Supreme Court today ordered a new hearing to determine
whether a Hampton man who murdered a Langley Air Force Base airman 10
years ago is retarded and, therefore, ineligible for the death penalty.
Last year, a jury in York County decided that the defendant, Daryl Atkins,
28, was not retarded. A judge set his execution for December 2005.
That ruling was appealed and argued before the Virginia Supreme Court in
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that a prosecution witness at that hearing
should not have testified, and the jurors should not have been told that
Atkins was previously sentenced to death by a different jury.
Joseph Migliozzi, the capital defender for southeast Virginia who helped
defend Atkins, learned of the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday morning.
"That is great news," he said. "It had to happen."
Migliozzi said the York County commonwealth's attorney could decide to
have another hearing or concede that Atkins is mentally retarded and let
him be sentenced to life in prison.
Atkins' mental retardation trial was the first of its kind after the U.S.
Supreme Court's decision in 2002 to ban executions of the mentally
retarded. It was also Atkins' case that led to the Supreme Court ban.
The matter was sent back to a York-Poquoson Circuit Court to determine
whether Atkins was retarded because the high court only handles
constitutional issues and not factual matters.
Atkins was sentenced to death in 1998 for robbing and killing 21-year-old
Eric Nesbitt, an airman stationed at Langley.
Eileen Addison, commonwealth's attorney for York County and the city of
Poquoson, said today that "at this point, our plan is to re-do the
But Addison said Nesbitt's family will be consulted before the issue is
If the victim's family does not want to go through another proceeding,
Addison said, "there is always the possibility of an agreement with (the
defense) that (Atkins) should be sentenced to life rather than death."
(source: The Virginian-Pilot)
Death penalty possible in slaying
A Chicago man could face the death penalty in connection with the
bludgeoning death of a friend in an Elk Grove Village motel.
Michael R. Davis, 20, of the 800 block of West 76th Street pleaded not
guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and armed robbery before Cook County
Circuit Judge Thomas Fecarotta Jr. in Rolling Meadows. Prosecutors said
they would probably make a decision on whether to seek the death penalty
by Davis' July 18 court date.
Davis is charged with using a hammer to kill Krystal Heskin, 31, on April
17. Heskin, formerly of Grayslake, was living at the Motel 6 at 1601
Oakton Ave., according to authorities.
Heskin and Davis had a dating relationship, authorities said.
Fecarotta appointed a public defender to represent Davis, who is in Cook
County Jail in lieu of $2.5 million bail.
Davis stole a cell phone, cash and a video game from Heskin and was
arrested at his home, authorities said. Because Davis was charged with
murder during the commission of another felony, he could be eligible for
the death penalty, prosecutors said.
(source: Chicago Tribune)
Court says Crosby is fair game for suit
A federal appeals court has ruled that former state prisons boss James
Crosby can be sued by relatives of a death-row inmate who died after being
beaten by guards at Florida State Prison when Crosby was warden.
A 3-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the
family of inmate Frank Valdes had "more than adequate" evidence for a jury
to determine whether Crosby knew, or should have known, that violence
against hated inmates was common at the giant prison near Raiford.
Valdes, who died on July 17, 1999, was in the prison's notorious "X-wing"
- where the most dangerous offenders are kept - following the murder of a
guard at another institution.
The court said Mario Valdes, the inmate's father, could try in court to
show that "inmate abuse at the hands of guards was not an isolated
occurrence, but rather occurred with sufficient regularity as to
demonstrate a history of widespread abuse at FSP." Whether Crosby was
sufficiently warned about it is "a factual question for the jury," the
Wanting 'humane treatment'
Attorney Guy Rubin of Stuart said Valdes was not resisting when he was
kicked and beaten and given electric shocks.
"I don't think anybody on death row is going to be a sympathetic
individual, but we have laws that provide for the respectful and humane
treatment of our prisoners, and that's what this case is about," Rubin
said. "The judge and jury are the ones who make decisions regarding what
an inmate's lawful punishment should be, not a goon squad acting under
protection of a high-ranking official."
Ron Wasilenko, the Jacksonville attorney representing Crosby, could not be
reached for comment on the ruling.
Crosby, who worked his way up through the ranks of the Department of
Corrections, became secretary of the agency in Gov. Jeb Bush's second
term. He was fired early this year amid state and federal investigations
unrelated to the Valdes case.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan in Jacksonville denied Crosby's claim
of immunity from civil suit for actions taken in his official capacity as
warden. The 3-judge panel, in a ruling written by former Florida Supreme
Court Justice Rosemary Barkett, upheld Corrigan - saying public officers
have immunity "as long as their conduct violates no clearly established
statutory or constitutional rights" of citizens.
The panel said "there is insufficient evidence" that Crosby ordered the
Valdes beating or took part in it. But the judges said his predecessor,
warden Ron McAndrew, warned Crosby that the prison had a "notorious
reputation" and even named some guards whom he considered dangerous.
The court also cited testimony by the Rev. Andrew MacRae, a chaplain from
1994 to 1999, who said "Crosby had a more 'hands-off' approach than prior
wardens had, thus permitting the 'good old boys' network of guards to
mistreat inmates." MacRae said he was prevented from seeing some prisoners
after violent encounters with guards.
The court said Crosby ended the practice of videotaping "cell
extractions," when teams of guards subdue violent inmates and remove them
from their cells. McAndrew said ending the videotaping "sent a message to
corrections officers that the administration at FSP was going to permit
further abuse of inmates," the ruling said.
It also said MacRae knew about "touching up" an inmate - inflicting minor
injuries during a cell extraction, so the prisoner could be treated and
wounds could be documented at an infirmary, then taking the prisoner back
to a cell for a brutal beating. The court said "he believed these
incidents increased during Crosby's tenure because of Crosby's hands-off
The DOC declined comment on the ruling. Attorney Cassandra Capobianco, who
represents 10 inmates in unrelated legal action alleging chemical spraying
and other mistreatment, said the Valdes ruling established that
unwarranted violence was common at FSP.
She said Jim McDonough, who fired numerous high-level prison
administrators since he replaced Crosby as DOC secretary, has improved the
situation but violence by guards still occurs.
"The steps he has taken seem to make a lot of sense," she said.
4 guards were acquitted on state charges in Valdes' death. Rubin said the
Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has a pending
"It's been 7 years and nothing's happened," he said. (source: Tallahassee
Memories fail wrongly accused; so does Florida
Memories fail. Orlando Bosquete can tell you: Even in the most brutally
intimate of circumstances, eyewitnesses can identify the wrong man. And if
a distraught sexual assault victim insists that a shirtless Mariel refugee
standing in the half-light outside an all-night convenience store was her
assailant, being innocent is hardly enough to keep him out of prison.
Bosquete spent 13 years in prison and years more as a fugitive on the word
of a single witness who in 1983 thought she recognized him from the back
seat of a police cruiser.
She was wrong. 23 years later, DNA evidence exonerated Bosquete (though
the feds immediately stuck him back behind bars to await an immigration
hearing). It was another horrible error undone by DNA testing. It was
another horrible error that our criminal justice system regards as a mere
aberration. Even as the aberrations add up.
Just Tuesday, James Calvin Tollman was freed after 18 years in a
Connecticut prison. In 1988, a woman recognized his face in a photo lineup
as the man who raped her. A DNA test, 18 years later, proved otherwise.
The Innocence Project counts 181 wrongly convicted prisoners freed by DNA
testing since 1989. Project director Barry Scheck said Wednesday that
about 80 percent of those convictions had been based on mistaken
identification by eyewitnesses.
Memories fail. Luis Diaz can tell you. Eight eyewitnesses identified him
as Miami's infamous Bird Road rapist and sent him to prison for 26 years
until DNA evidence reminded us that, with a little artful police work,
eyewitness recollections can be retrofitted to fit a particular suspect.
It happened to Luis Diaz 8 times over.
Memories fail. In 1981, a 17-year-old victim of a brutal rape in Sharpes,
Fla., picked Wilton Dedge out of a photo lineup and that was enough to
send him to prison. Dedge managed to win a new trial in 1984 but he was
convicted again through another notoriously rotten prosecution tactic: a
jailhouse informant claimed he heard Dedge confess. No surprise there.
The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Law School
found that nearly 10 % of the erroneous convictions were based on lying
snitches, looking to sweeten their own deal.
Dedge did 22 years in Florida prisons before DNA testing set him free.
Memories fail. Alan Crotzer did 24 years in Florida prisons for robbery,
rape and kidnaping in Tampa after a witness picked him out of a lineup.
Years later, DNA proved the witness wrong.
Frank Lee Smith of Fort Lauderdale died of cancer after 14 years on Death
Row for murdering a child in Fort Lauderdale. But DNA testing later proved
that the lone eyewitness had picked the wrong man.
Of course, she had attempted to recant her testimony, claiming Broward
County Sheriff's deputies had pressured her into picking Smith from a
photo lineup. Memories fail. And sometimes the failure is enabled by lousy
DNA testing, pushed by the nonprofit Innocence Project, has now exonerated
7 wrongly convicted prisoners in Florida, including Jerry Frank Townsend,
a mentally disabled man whose confession was extracted during a relentless
interrogation by BSO.
But Florida pretends that wrongful convictions are mere aberrations.
Neither the courts, the prosecutors, the governor nor the Legislature have
pushed for new technology and modern scientific identification procedures.
They haven't tried to reform a system that puts the innocent in prison.
"I'm disappointed," admitted Scheck, who said he had expected Florida to
launch workshops, teach-ins and pilot projects to fix a broken system. "I
really thought that after all these exonerations, they'd do something.
"They've done nothing."
(source: Miami Herald)
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