Gary Bennett is innocent, incarcerated and – after nearly 30 years – in increasing danger.
Anyone wishing copies of the pdf’s referred to or the conflicted 2009 Executive Order transferring Bennett’s case can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: February 18, 2011 12:01:47 AM EST
To: Seth Miller <email@example.com>
Cc: The Innocence Project <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Gary Bennett is innocent, and at risk
Dear Mr. Miller:
I am writing to again express my discontent with the Innocence Project of Florida’s inactivity, and to request immediate action to prevent physical harm and future unfair proceedings in one specific case.
The IP’s failure to make the undoing of US Supreme Court overreaches in Imbler v Pachtman and Van de Kamp v Goldstein a priority – when combined with the shift from freeing innocents to seeking “reforms” in apprehending and prosecuting of suspects in Congress and state legislatures – will have thousands of innocents dying behind bars nationwide without ever having a fair day in court.
As you know, one of those innocents is Gary Bennett, incarcerated although innocent for nearly three decades in a conviction nearly identical to three others from Florida’s 18th judicial circuit that have been upset – Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge, Bill Dillon. Most of the hundreds that phony crime scene dog handler John Preston testified against nationwide are likely innocent; there was no reason to call Preston in if there was legitimate forensic evidence available. Preston was called in on Bennett’s case because all the 18th had on Bennett was an easily explained partial print. Preston was likely called by Florida’s 18th more than any other circuit nationwide.
You called me personally years ago, Mr. Miller, and told me you had the Preston-tainted convictions well in hand; you asked me to back off on writing and speaking publicly about them. Contrary to your claim, Bennett now has no reasonable expectation of getting a fair day in court, because you have remained silent when it became clear that the 9th Judicial Circuit was assisting the 18th in delaying and confusing Bennett’s case, with inaccurate and sporadic media coverage in the most popular daily newspapers in both circuits, Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel.
You didn’t call out State Attorney Lamar of the 9th Judicial Circuit for accepting a conflicted year-long transfer of Bennett’s case in June of 2009; you instead called out Lamar for refusing to cooperate with Florida’s Innocence Commission to discuss Malenne Joseph’s misidentification in his circuit that resulted in her false conviction. As that false conviction was already cured, there was no danger posed by Lamar’s refusing to waste time on an Innocence Commission that isn’t addressing innocence.
There were dangers posed by Lamar accepting transfer of Bennett’s case. Preston, with FBI involvement, was used against Linroy Bottoson in the 9th Judicial Circuit, resulting in Bottoson’s execution. Lamar has motive to uphold Preston convictions, just like the 18th. After the tainted transfer expired, 9th Circuit prosecutor Jeff Ashton misrepresented its nature in Florida Today, tainting potential 18th Circuit jurors if a new trial is ordered, putting Mr. Bennett in additional danger. You remained silent again.
The 18th Circuit’s State Attorney Wolfinger, of course, is still in office, so the conflict he portrayed to then Gov. Crist to effect Mr. Bennett’s 2009 stall/transfer – having served as one of Bennett’s defenders – still exists. You remained silent again.
A source says that sealed evidence tubes bearing Wolfinger’s initials were shipped to Orchid Cellmark in Farmers Branch, TX, and that those sealed, initialed tubes were empty. You remained silent again.
Preston’s other victims are faring no better, in Brevard or elsewhere in the nation. USA Today’s 1994 bogus “all clear” on Preston’s perjuries wasn’t worth even one of the papers it was printed on. Again, silence.
Meanwhile, two of Bennett’s siblings have died and his elderly mother’s health is faltering. She and the surviving family members remain in the hell that the Ramos, Dedge and Dillon families are all too familiar with. Bennett was recently terrorized by two thugs. They are younger, brawnier, and unlike Bennett, are legitimately dangerous criminals. Bennett’s epilepsy – a horrid childhood gift from a violent father – makes him a moving target for thugs.
The IPF has considerable work to do to make sure that Gary Bennett can receive a fair retrial after your strangely subversive silence. The issues again: 1) tainted transfer to 9th circuit for intention delay, 2) public misstatement of nature of the transfer to taint the jury pool, 3) stated conflict in 18th portrayed to Gov. Crist to achieve transfer to 9th still exists, 4) sealed evidence tubes were empty, 4) media continues to misrepresent status and events of Preston perjury cases.
Among previous issues I addressed with the IP and IPF that remain unresolved: 1) the IP and IPF refuse to remind the FBI of their mandate to investigate public corruption that affects trial outcomes, including the FBI’s discredited “bullet lead analysis,” 2) former U.S. A.G. Reno’s conflicted presence on IP Board; the DOJ under her direction paid insufficient attention to clouded convictions, 3) former FBI agent Robert Cromwell’s conflicted presence on the IPF Board; the FBI had used Preston to achieve convictions and appears to be involved in coverups, 4) the IPF accepted clients and then failed to apprise them of their status; some have apparently been dropped without notification, 5) multi-year federal grant funding for “scent evidence” at Florida International University resulted in Kenneth Furton’s testimony FOR Texas discredited dog handler Keith Pikett, 6) the IPF promoted an Innocence Commission that isn’t addressing clouded cases and simultaneously promoted Sen. Haridopolos, despite his financial ethics scandals and his being the son of a former FBI agent who actively campaigned for incumbent Sheriff Parker, who refuses to investigate his department’s role in Preston perjuries and other matters that obstruct justice.
Innocent Malenna Joseph is free and safe after losing months of her life. Innocent Gary Bennett is incarcerated and in imminent physical danger from thugs and stress-engendered seizures after losing nearly three decades of his life. Bennett has little chance of being exonerated while being tag-teamed by the 9th and 18th judicial circuits while the Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today play dumb and the IPF remains silent.
Your blog post from February 14th focuses on Ms. Joseph. A search of the IPF site indicates there were three posts that mentioned Mr. Bennett – all from 2009. Months lost v decades lost, admitted error v unexplained empty evidence tubes, free and safe v incarcerated and endangered.
Here’s hoping that more people are paying attention to my blog than to yours, Mr. Miller.
open pdf attachments below:
DOC record Danion T. Lennon
DOC record Luiz M. Gutierrez
Epilepsy and Crime article from http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/newsletter/feb11_crime
IPF blog re Malena Joseph, 2/14/11
IPF site search re Gary Bennett revealing no blog posts since 2009