William “Tommy” Zeigler has wrongfully been on Florida’s death row for over 35 years. For 20 of those 35 years, he’s been represented by a high rent, high-powered NY law firm – Epstein, Becker and Green – that somehow can’t get Zeigler’s name in the papers.
Zeigler has a hearing tomorrow, and I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t received another press release from “Citizen Advocate” Ray McEachern.
McEachern – sans Park Avenue prowess – has gotten Zeigler’s name in the papers, specifically the St. Petersburg Times. But when it comes time for Zeigler to be before the tribunal again, the media loses interest in anything but covering up their decades of complicity in wrongful convictions.
Former prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton – of established Casey Anthony prosecutorial misconduct – constructed a defeated-before-presented new theory of the crimes Zeigler was convicted of … officer Jimmy Yawn had already made it clear that if any homosexual acts had been convicted on one of the homicide victims, it was by another officer after Yawn left the crime scene, not Zeigler. The staged photo remains a staged photo, not evidence, despite Ashton’s vulgar libel.
Before retiring, Ashon – via tainted transfer – had been prosecuting Gary Bennett’s Brevard County case. It is no coincidence that Bennett was also depicted as a homosexual to keep his 27+ wrongful conviction intact.
The media paid no attention to Bennett’s appeal, either, despite Bennett’s case being a carbon copy of three upset convictions of other Brevard men – Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge and Williams Dillon. Perhaps 100 Brevard men were wrongfully convicted with the use of dog handler John Preston, known to be a perjurer and a charlatan since December of 1982, when an actual perpetrator cleared wrongfully convicted Dale Sutton in Ohio.
Sutton was released in January of 1983. Bennett was convicted in January of 1984.
Ramos was released in 1987. Dedge was released in 2004. Dillon was released in 2008. Linroy Bottoson – whose identical conviction was in Orange, tainting Bennett’s transer – was executed in 2002.
To this day, Florida journalists and public servants pretend no knowledge of Sutton, although a Sentinel article of January 30, 1984 makes it clear they all knew much and were saying little – the link for “Legal foes differ on value of dog’s nose” appears below.
If media inattention makes Ziegler’s appeal go down in flames in December like Bennett’s did in November, the end result is that it is will ultimately be easier to prove conspiracy to violate rights by public servants and the Bar, and prove an additional charge against the media … conspiracy to influence election outcomes.
Another nation will likely define and damn these high crimes playing out against thousands of American innocents decade after decade, just as another nation has defined and damned George W. Bush’s war crimes.
I pray that they do so sooner rather than later. Prosecutors present grim fairy tales to tribunals as fact with no fear of consequence, and if President Obama doesn’t veto the bill that will make him omnipotent while making dust of due process, prosecutors’ grim fairy tales will officially become the “good old days.”
The time to wake up and stand up is before a wrongful conviction affects you or your family. If you think an innocence organization will protect you, I suggest that you try waiting for a bus on the wrong corner and see if your waiting there somehow changes the bus route. The very rude reality of innocence organizations is chillingly clear in the tax-exempt returns they file with the IRS.
Stand up before our presidents have the power to make military arrests of ordinary citizens, the bastion of oppressive Third World nations.
Please don’t stop reading here. Read McEachern’s press release, and if you’re in Orlando, go to Tommy Zeigler’s hearing tomorrow. And take your friends.
“Legal foes differ on value of dog’s nose,” Alex Beasley, The Sentinel (now the Orlando Sentinel), 1/30/84 (pdf)
From: “Ray McEachern”
Date: November 30, 2011 8:08:07 AM EST
Subject: 35 Year Death Row Inmate has Last Chance to Prove His Innocence
35 Year Death Row Inmate has Last Chance to Prove His Innocence
Contact: Ray McEachern 813-294-6772
Tomorrow, December 1 at 9:30, Tommy Zeigler’s lawyers will ask Orlando Judge Reginald Whitehead to give him one last chance to prove the prosecution has been wrong for thirty-five years. Seven years ago Zeigler thought DNA would finally set him free because it showed that the blood stain on his shirt came from a man Zeigler has claimed he had to fight the night Zeigler was shot in the stomach and his wife and three others were killed in his furniture store in Winter Garden, Florida. Judge Whitehead ruled against him on a technicality because under Florida law DNA must exclude a convict from the crime scene. Because the evidence of his innocence is so overwhelming, Zeigler has been granted a second chance to seek DNA testing that will disprove the prosecution theory that some of the blood on Zeigler must have come from one of Zeigler’s family who lay dead in the store.
The evidence that Zeigler was framed – possibly with law enforcement involvement – is overpowering and includes the undisputed facts below:
1. The bullet entry wound in Zeigler’s stomach is one inch to the right of his navel and the angle of the exit wound shows that it could not have been self-inflicted by the right-handed Zeigler.
2. The judge in the original trial, Maurice Paul, who is now a federal judge, had a conflict of interest with Zeigler and should have recused himself.
3. The prosecutor, Robert Eagan, ordered the police not to investigate Zeigler’s claim that police might have been involved in the crime. (Eagan memo of March 1976 will be supplied on request)
4. The policeman who claimed he was in a restaurant across the street as the murders occurred and who carried Zeigler to the hospital was later found to be involved in gun running and murder plots in Central America.
5. Police reports were suppressed by the prosecution that showed the blood on Zeigler’s wounds was dry and that witnesses saw a policeman at the scene before the murders were reported.
6. Crime scene photos were staged according to testimony by the first policeman on the scene.
7. A police investigation after Zeigler’s trial turned up evidence that one of the men Zeigler said attacked him had been the shooter of another Winter Garden store owner in a still unsolved murder five years before the Zeigler murders.
8. An Orlando area woman recently signed an affidavit that her deceased son had been coerced by the prosecution in 1976 to perjure himself by testifying against Zeigler. When he refused, he was tried for murder and found innocent by a jury deliberation of less than an hour.
The Tommy Zeigler case is a classic example of why Florida leads the nation in the number of wrongly convicted people who have been exonerated.