While Florida’s conviction corruption flourishes, Governor Scott again used the ugly, easy Paper Tiger pretense at toughness on crime … pen swipes on a death warrant.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: January 9, 2012 5:10:17 AM EST
Cc: ASKDOJ <ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov>, Tampa Division <Tampa.Division@ic.fbi.gov>
Subject: Executing Robert Waterhouse while ignoring conviction corruptionHonorable Governor Rick Scott
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Dear Governor Scott,
I am writing to insist that you commute Robert Waterhouse’s death sentence, and immediately take steps towards ending Florida’s death penalty.
Over my objections, you executed Manuel Valle and Oba Chandler.
My objections to Manuel Valle’s execution (below) read in part, “1) Valle is a Cuban national, and was to be afforded benefit of contact with his government; 2) Valle has been on death row for 33 years and has known sixty (60) men who were put to death, which many judges consider to cruel and unusual punishment and a firm basis for commuting a death sentence to life imprisonment; 3) Valle was denied a transparent clemency hearing – his counsel was not present and the hearing was conducted in secrecy, 4) Governor Scott had ample time while the courts were reviewing Valle’s appeal concerning the new lethal injection protocol to legitimize the death warrant by affording Valle contact with the Cuban consul and conducting a transparent clemency hearing that was respectful of the 33 years of hell Valle has already been through in knowing 60 fellow death row inmates who were executed.”
My objections to Oba Chandler’s execution can be similarly summarized: 1) True fiscal conservatives oppose the death penalty; there is no way to justify its costs, particularly in economic downturns when its costs force cuts to education, law enforcement, the judiciary, human services and more; 2) True Christians don’t cast the first stone, let alone play God by affixing a signature to a death warrant; 3) The value of executions is in temporarily silencing the shrill voices of those who mistake vengeance for justice, as the death penalty has no deterrent value; 4) Neither your body nor soul has caller ID; chances are greater than 90% that any “Thou shalt kill” messages you receive through prayer aren’t Almighty; 5) I do not wish to have any party put blood on my hands, using my tax dollars.
Robert Waterhouse was convicted by the perjured testimony of a jailhouse informant; that and many other controversies were investigated and described in detail by another man named Robert Waterhouse … a journalist. “Robert Waterhouse by Robert Waterhouse” was published in Justice: Denied – The Magazine for the Wrongly Convicted (link below).
The article – written when former Governor Bob Graham was a U.S. Senator – indicates that executing Waterhouse would likely be another travesty … like Gerald Stano and Linroy Bottoson’s executions.
It will be author Waterhouse’s published objections that you will be ignoring this time.
You ran for governor as a businessman. Business math doesn’t support continuing the death penalty or ignoring rampant conviction corruption, nor does elementary math. You’re increasing Florida’s red ink, and some of it is blood. This makes you not a businessman, but the worst kind of politician; one with no potential to be a statesman, and great potential for yet more bloody red ink.
Commute Robert Waterhouse’s sentence, and work towards ending Florida’s death penalty.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: September 28, 2011 7:03:45 AM EDT
Cc: ASKDOJ <ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov>
Subject: Manuel Valle’s 3 p.m. execution – deliberate rights violationsAttn: Warren Davis, Office of Citizen Services
Office of Governor Rick Scott
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001Dear Mr. Davis,
I was displeased to receive your response to my email to Governor Scott concerning his imprudently signing a death warrant for Manuel Valle; I’d hoped your employment was terminated upon Governor Scott’s inauguration.
Our new governor is quite disingenuous enough on his own without you adding your frustratingly furtive non-responsiveness into the mix, which I have had the distinct displeasure of receiving intermittent examples of since 2007.
To review the controversies you skirted in your response concerning Valle’s death warrant: 1) Valle is a Cuban national, and was to be afforded benefit of contact with his government; 2) Valle has been on death row for 33 years and has known sixty (60) men who were put to death, which many judges consider to cruel and unusual punishment and a firm basis for commuting a death sentence to life imprisonment; 3) Valle was denied a transparent clemency hearing – his counsel was not present and the hearing was conducted in secrecy, 4) Governor Scott had ample time while the courts were reviewing Valle’s appeal concerning the new lethal injection protocol to legitimize the death warrant by affording Valle contact with the Cuban consul and conducting a transparent clemency hearing that was respectful of the 33 years of hell Valle has already been through in knowing 60 fellow death row inmates who were executed.
To review the controversies you introduced in your response: 1) Despite your contrary claim, Governor Scott does not take his responsibilities to the incarcerated seriously … he has ignored my correspondence, including that concerning William “Tommy” Zeigler and Gary Stanley Bennett forestalled appeals, which accentuate the ongoing prosecutorial misconduct in both cases; 2) Governor Scott constituents include Buddhists, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists, etc., and his sworn oath requires him to adhere to the rule of law ahead of the tenets of his personal faith, and he has not done so in signing Valle’s death warrant, 3) While the emotions of homicide victims’ families are lawful mitigating factors in imposing the death penalty, the emotions of any party do not – at any time or under any circumstance – make it ethical to flout due process.
A official signature doesn’t legitimize a specious document, and within my knowledge, Governor Scott has signed another … an extension of the Executive Order that transferred responsibilities to prosecute Gary Bennett from the 18th judicial circuit to the 9th. Both prosecutor’s offices had used charlatan dog handler John Preston, who participated in Bennett’s Brevard case. The 9th’s stake in keeping Bennett’s frame-up intact is maintaining faux legitimacy for Linroy Bottoson’s wrongful execution.
My February 2009 email to Governor Crist that appears below the dashed line indicates you’re not a man of your word, Mr. Davis; you didn’t get back to me about investigating Brevard. Little has changed since 2009. We now have an Innocence Commission, but in name only; it isn’t investigating conviction integrity. We now have you spinning Scott’s shadiness as you once spun Crist’s; Crist signed the initial tainted Executive Order throwing Gary Bennett to Lawson Lamar’s wolves, he also signed Wayne Tompkins’ precipitous death warrant.
Putting Valle down like a rabid dog – after treating him worse than a dog for 33 years – isn’t justice. Ohio’s governor demonstrated courage in commuting Joseph Murphy’s sentence, courage that other governors lack – Texas’ governor executed Stephen Woods, Georgia’s governor executed Troy Davis, Alabama’s governor executed Derrick O’Neal Mason. Woods was innocent, Davis was most likely innocent and Mason may have been guilty, but the disavowal of the death sentence by the original presiding judge should have been a conclusive mitigating factor for commutation when added to the inhumanities and indignities Davis endured on death row.
Governor Scott should stay Valle’s execution and order a transparent clemency hearing after Valle is given the opportunity to contact the Cuban consul, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because an increasing number of citizens are determined to see public servants that deliberately conspire to violate rights – both of citizens and foreign nationals – led away in handcuffs to serve stiff federal sentences. Your involvement in violating rights will be the sum total of all the governors you’ve issued official lies for, Mr. Davis.
From: “Governor Rick Scott” <Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com>
Date: September 23, 2011 4:38:23 PM EDT
To: “Governor Rick Scott” <Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com>
Subject: Thank you for contacting Governor Rick ScottThank you for contacting Governor Scott regarding the death penalty case of Manuel Valle. The Governor asked that I respond on his behalf.
Under Florida law, it is the Governor’s solemn duty to sign death warrants. Governor Scott takes this responsibility very seriously and is committed to following the law in as thoughtful and deliberative a manner as possible. He did so in this case.
Governor Scott has expressed that signing death warrants is one of his most difficult tasks, one that requires him to balance his Christian value of forgiveness with his obligations as Governor. After long and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances, Governor Scott concluded that clemency is not appropriate in the case of Manuel Valle. He stated that conclusion in the death warrant.
The families of the victims of the heinous crimes, for which individuals have been sentenced to death, are in Governor Scott’s thoughts and prayers as he carries out the laws of Florida.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact the Governor’s Office.
Office of Citizen ServicesFrom: Susan Chandler
Date: September 19, 2011 8:42:44 AM EDT
Cc: ASKDOJ <ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov>
Subject: Executing Manuel Valle without due processGovernor Rick Scott
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Dear Governor Scott,
I am writing to ask that you adhere to international treaties and allow Cuban national Manuel Valle to interact with his government, and that you direct the Clemency Board – of which you are a member – to at long last conduct a clemency hearing that is not in secret and for which Valle’s counsel is present.
Valle has been on death row for 33 years, a length of time which many judges consider to cruel and unusual.
These issues – flouting international agreements, denying a transparent clemency hearing, traumatizing through warehousing Valle while 60 other death row inmates known to him were executed – should have been addressed while the legality of new lethal injection protocols was being weighed.
In addition to being thoroughly repugnant to those of us who don’t confuse vengeance with justice, the death penalty is preposterously expensive to administer, and the lengthy appeals process – quite obviously – does not ensure fairness for the convicted … it merely clogs our courts and delays justice for others.
By any interpretation, the balance sheet indicates that we can’t afford interminable, snowballing travesties. A wise man would follow Illinois lead immediately and make Florida’s death penalty go away.
just discovered you here on word press, susan, while searching FADP for details of what looks like a done deal for poor mr waterhouse. state-sponsored murder is always wrong; killing this 65 yr-old guy is as hideous as it gets.
we’re heading up to gainesville tomorrow to visit a friend, thinking of checking in w/ that starke reality wed nite. got an update?
you’re def doing great work here. i myself am a survivor of a FL murder conviction and sentencing. we went to troy davis’ funeral in charleston last fall. adele & i are wanting to do more w/ Amnesty Intn’l and Pax Christi FL. love to meet you.
Thanks for your kind words, Jim. How unfortunate that your experience with Florida’s broken criminal justice system is first-hand. So far as I know, Gov. Scott intends to proceed in executing Mr. Waterhouse tomorrow, although the destruction of evidence (and more) darkly clouds his conviction … no Florida governor should ever assume that evidence destruction was innocent; our history strongly suggests the opposite. I hope to be well enough to travel soon, perhaps then we can get together; I’d enjoy meeting you. If you go to the vigil, please say an additional prayer for Mr. Waterhouse for me.