Towards saving Tommy: @FLGovScott must honor #LoveFL supreme court ruling and investigate all death sentences

Innocent William “Tommy” Zeigler has been on Florida’s death row for over 40 years because of public corruption. Although gravely misinformed, Tommy’s jury still didn’t vote for a death sentence. The judge – who had a history of butting heads with Tommy (and losing) – overrode the jury, and imposed the death penalty.

Other death row innocents – like Crosley Green and Kris Maharaj – have had their sentences commuted to life, rather than being set free. This limits their appeals, and  lessens their chances of being freed. It shouldn’t: their convictions should be evaluated in the knowledge that a life sentence is a death sentence, just one that is easier to ignore, sans death warrant drama.

Tommy likely wouldn’t have been convicted if it weren’t for the local media, per former editor-in-chief of the Orlando Sentinel David Burgin, who openly apologized not only to Tommy but to fellow Floridians:

The Sentinel spent no time trying to cover the case with a hard eye on the defendant’s story. Tommy Zeigler’s “guilt” was assumed and he was treated as guilty in the local press, and therefore all or most all of local media. The Sentinel’s reporter on the case and top editors played footsy with Orange County prosecution officials and police, taking their every word as official. This letter would be long indeed if I were to cite every instance that Sentinel coverage of Mr. Zeigler’s nightmarish plight left the public thinking these horrible murders on Christmas Eve amounted to an open-and-shut case.

The rest of Mr. Burgin’s apology is here.

If Governor Rick Scott fails to reasonably respond to the  Florida Supreme Court finding our methods of issuing death sentences unconsitutional, it is my fervent hope that come January – when corrupt 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jeff Ashton steps down – that all heaven breaks loose for those falsely convicted in Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, despite whatever the corrupt mainstream media does.


For Immediate Release


ACLU Responds to Florida Supreme Court Ruling State’s Death Sentencing Statute Unconstitutional

TALLAHASSEE, FL. – The Florida Supreme Court today ruled that the state’s system of issuing death sentences is unconstitutional.  The Florida Legislature passed a law earlier this year requiring a jury vote of at least 10-2 for a person to be sentenced to death, revising a previous statute that required only a bare majority of jurors to agree. The Court today ruled that the statute was unconstitutional, and that a death sentence in Florida must result from a unanimous jury decision.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and the ACLU Capital Punishment Project filed amicus briefs urging the court to find the statute unconstitutional.

Responding to today’s ruling, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon stated:

“For years, we have warned the Florida legislature that unless they rewrote our state’s broken death penalty statute, the courts would take the issue out of their hands. We require a unanimous jury in all other situations except death sentencing.  A person should not be sentenced to death by a less than unanimous jury.

“Just as we said they would, the Florida Supreme Court has inserted some much-needed fairness in our death penalty process by declaring that anything short of a fully unanimous jury on every necessary issue is unconstitutional.

“Florida, with its non-unanimous jury requirement, has seen more death sentences reversed than any other state.  Racial disparities, over-zealous prosecutors and a lack of resources for defense counsel continue to plague death penalty cases.

“We are heartened by the court’s decision which should reduce both the number of death sentences, as well as the number of wrongful convictions that have plagued our state.  But the unanimity issue was just one aspect of a crumbling death penalty system which is getting harder every day to justify.

“All defendants on Florida’s death row whose cases are pending on direct appeal must now receive new sentencing hearings unless the State can prove its heavy burden of showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the error in their cases would not have affected the jury verdicts in capital sentencing, a very difficult standard to overcome.  The full impact of the decision remains to be seen as the Florida Supreme Court has yet to decide whether new rulings will apply retroactively to those defendants who cases were already decided on direct appeal.  The question of retroactivity is pending in the Lambrix case, a case briefed but not yet decided by the Florida Supreme Court.

“The Florida legislature should not attempt any further small fixes of the unsalvageable death penalty. No one should have to die from the flaws in our judicial system—the racial bias, the extreme variation from county to county in the use of the death penalty, the definitions of intellectual disability that don’t match science and medicine, and so many more.

“We see other states wrestling with the same problems and coming to the same conclusion: capital punishment must end.”

Posted in #ColorOfLaw, #CruelAndUnusual, #FauxForensics, #JudicialMisconduct, #LoveFL, #MaliciousProsecution, ACLU, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Security/Welfare Checks” – UPDATES and CONTINUED CALL FOR LETTERS, Oct. 2016

“Guards are jarringly waking prisoners in solitary confinement every 30 minutes in the name of “security/welfare checks” throughout all CA prisons’ isolation units. Loudly disturbing and waking people every 30 minutes is serious, ongoing sleep deprivation, a debilitating, internationally-condemned form of torture.”

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

End the “Security/Welfare Checks”

from the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) Committee to End Sleep Deprivation

Please read the below update and write letters to Lindsay Hayes, the suicide expert who’s endorsed this harmful practice by CA Dept. of Corrections. Hayes can stop the “security/ welfare checks.” We want Hayes to hear the voices of the women and men affected by these torturous checks, and we ask you to be the messengers.

Use these templates and prisoner quotes, and send to the listed addresses:

Write to:
Lindsay M. Hayes

40 Lantern Lane
Mansfield, MA 02048

Copy to:
Matthew A. Lopes, Jr.
Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC
317 Iron Horse Way, Suite 301
Providence, RI 02908

If possible, send us…

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Escalating U.S. Role in Reckless Intervention, U.S. Launches First Direct Strikes Against Rebel Targets in Yemen

“As the administration continues to review the U.S. military role in the intervention, it should heed the calls of human rights groups, aid groups, peace groups, international bodies, and Yemeni civilians by immediately ending U.S. military support to (and now participation in) the coalition, suspending the transfer of weapons to coalition members, and supporting a diplomatic solution to the war.”



Yesterday, for the first time, the U.S. launched strikes against Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen, making it a now active participant in the the Saudi-led bombing campaign that it’s been facilitating for over a year and a half. The strikes targeted and destroyed three radar installations that the Pentagon says were used by the Houthis in two attempted strikes over the past several days against a U.S. naval destroyer, the USS Mason. While none of the attempted strikes on the USS Mason were successful, a Pentagon spokesperson claimed the strikes against Houthi positions were necessary to “protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation.”

While these strikes represent a significant escalation, it’s important to note that the U.S. has already been deeply involved in the intervention since it began in March 2015; conducting mid-air refuelings of Saudi coalition jets, providing targeting assistance, participating in a naval blockade, and…

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Oct. 15 Merced, CA: Day of Action in Support of Hunger Strikers

#FailureToKeepFromHarm is a federal crime. How stupid, hypocritical and corrupt we look trying to police the world when we refuse to police our police.

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

ON SEPTEMBER 9TH, people incarcerated in the county jail in Merced, California, located in the Central Valley, in conjunction with the nationwide prison strike that began on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, issued a set of demands to jail staff. They demanded the firing of a brutal sheriff, Lt. Moore, access to baseline calories per day and proper legal resources, an end to forced dress out in gang colors and classifications, an end to solitary confinement, and much more.

Inmates at Merced County Jail have long had to live with brutal staff and horrible conditions. Almost monthly, guards have carried out raids which have left various inmates injured from projectile weapons. Many inmates at the county jail haven’t even been found guilty of a crime and are simply waiting for court and cannot afford to bail out. For many locked up in Merced, their only crime was being poor.


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Stop #PrisonIndustrialComplex from morphing into #TreatmentIndustrialComplex (video)

Society’s Parasite: A Look Inside The Treatment Industrial Complex or “TIC” • BRAVE NEW FILMS

Published on Oct 11, 2016

For-Profit Prisons have ruined lives, wasted millions in tax dollars, and haven’t made us any safer. But it doesn’t end there. Now that mass incarceration is being threatened by a wakening public, the parasites are moving on to capitalize on the “treatment” process after prison. This is the Treatment Industrial Complex.

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Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Using new media and internet video campaigns, Brave New Films has created a quick-strike capability that informs the public, challenges corporate media with the truth, and motivates people to take action on social issues nationwide. Brave New Films’ investigative films have scrutinized the impact of U.S. drone strikes; the prosecution if whistleblowers; and Wal Mart’s corporate practices.

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PHSS Supports Strike Against Prison Slavery and Inhumane Conditions

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) supports the peaceful work stoppages and hunger strikes that began throughout the country on September 9, 2016 by incarcerated people fighting prison slavery, solitary confinement, and other abuses. Opposing dehumanization in prison is an expression of the struggle for the recognition of all of our humanity. We support peaceful prisoner-class-led movements struggling against prison dehumanization and for human rights for all.

For more info on PHSS, see

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OCTOBER 9, 2016

Contact: Duncan Tarr, 313-409-8615,

KINCHELOE, MI – More than two weeks after prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility participated in a nationwide prison workers’ strike, the prisoners’ own accounts of what happened are beginning to emerge. Prisoners report that the facility was on lockdown from September 10 to the morning of September 22, preventing communication with their outside supporters.

Most prisoners, including kitchen staff, did not report for work on September 9 in conjunction with the nationwide work stoppage [in remembrance of the historic Attica rebellion in 1971.] The following morning, between 400 and 500 prisoners marched peacefully in the yard.

The deputy wardens came to the prisoners, who communicated their grievances, including low wages, the commutation process , restrictive visitation room seating in violation of MDOC policy, high phone rates, poor quality and quantity of food provided by private contractor Trinity Services Group, the way the yard is run, living conditions that squeeze eight men into a room intended for four, no re-entry programs, no bleach for clothes, MP3 players that break easily and cannot be fixed or replaced, not enough room in the law library, not enough room in the visiting room and so some visitors are turned away, and not being allowed to transfer to other facilities.

Prisoners also demanded no retaliation for their peaceful protest, and according to prisoners, the deputy wardens agreed to address the grievances or communicate them to the legislature if necessary. The prisoners thought they had come to a common agreement and began to disperse.

To their surprise, as soon as the deputy warden left, a tactical team stormed into the yard with guns, rifles, tear gas, and shields. The armed officers then started grabbing the men alleged to be instigators, handcuffed their arms behind their backs with zip ties, and threw the men to the ground in the yard. They were left for five to six hours in the rain, and were not permitted to use restrooms during that time, forcing some to soil themselves. [emphasis added]

The violent assault of the armed officers triggered panic among the prisoners, who feared for their lives. Some reported being shot at directly with tear gas canisters. Others attempted to barricade their unit doors. Reportedly, fires were set in several units, at least one window was broken, and sinks and surveillance cameras were damaged after the officers began their assault. Media reports have focused on who was to blame for the damage to physical property, not the violence done to prisoners in violation of their human rights.

Evelyn Williams, a family member of a prisoner, said, “It’s a very racist facility, where they intimidate and harass prisoners on a daily basis. The men just wanted the broken policies to be fixed. They’re treated like animals, with no respect and no justice. They can’t even afford to buy soap on their wages.”

About 150 prisoners accused of being instigators were transferred to other facilities, where an unknown number were charged with inciting a riot and punished with isolation. Prisoners report that some punished had nothing to do with the protest. In violation of MDOC policy, guards destroyed the property of the accused prisoners and encouraged other prisoners to steal their personal food.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Prisoners, family members, former prisoners, and local organizers are available for interviews with local and national media.’

Posted in #ColorOfLaw, #CruelAndUnusual, #ExcessiveForce, #FailureToKeepFromHarm, #IncarcerationNation, #PrisonIndustrialComplex, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment