Thanks, Okaloosa, for ignoring Grady Judd. Everyone should.

One Florida County Wisely Says No to Putting Children in Adult Jails | Southern Poverty Law Center

“Last week, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners said “No, Thanks!” to placing children in adult jails. The commissioners wisely decided to leave youth detention where it belongs – with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.”

via One Florida County Wisely Says No to Putting Children in Adult Jails | Southern Poverty Law Center.

Yes, I have issues with Sheriff Grady Judd … I think that Leo Schofield is innocent.

From: Susan Chandler
Date: October 17, 2009 4:01:44 PM EDT
Cc:, Governor Charlie Crist ,, FADP Mark
Subject: “Will Polk County sheriff’s push for execution of death-row inmate spur trend?”

Dear Ms. Lundy:

I wrote the following comment to your above captioned article online:

“It doesn’t fall to Sheriff Judd to override the sentiments of taxpayers that don’t support the death penalty by spending department time on an attempt to circumvent the Judicial branch of government. Judd’s disdain for the taxpayers is evident is his being a DROP double-dipper, accepting wages and retirement benefits simultaneously. Were Judd truly interested in justice, he would be concerned about Leo Schofield’s Polk County conviction. In 2007, fingerprints that should have been “run” prior to arrest and prosecution were processed and pointed directly to Jeremy Scott, who lived nearby and had a lengthy, violent criminal history. Shofield has been behind bars for 20 years. If Judd’s ill-advised call for Johnson’s execution spurs a trend, it will be because the media has irresponsibly condoned lynch mob behaviors through “false light” reporting that eliminates so many facts that the public cannot possibly form a reasoned opinion.”

The comment follows along the lines of my October 6th email to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, which I copied to Governor Crist and Chief Inspector Miguel and I posted on my blog. I’m laying out a paper trail that makes it clear that justice is unavailable throughout Florida, with the media responsible for making executions Floridians’ sole focus.

Leo Schofield is likely innocent, so is William “Tommy” Zeigler, so is Gary Bennett, so are scores of others; public safety hinges on prosecuting the right person. The Sentinel’s subscribers, advertisers and the taxpayers inadvertently contributing to its wealth through public notices deserve the information needed to vote for candidates that believe truly in justice and will deliver it to the best of their abilities, not ones that use the death penalty to give the appearance of being tough on crime.


Susan Chandler

From: Susan Chandler
Date: October 6, 2009 2:39:18 AM EDT
Cc: Governor Charlie Crist ,
Subject: Bloodthirsty call-out on the taxpayer’s dime

Dear Polk County Sheriff’s Office:

Your bloodthirsty call-out on the taxpayer’s dime for Paul Beasley Johnson’s execution is inappropriate on too many levels to address.

Topping the list is that the St. Petersburg Times doesn’t think all of Polk County’s prosecutions are righteous. Their September 2, 2007 editorial, “Justice demands a new trial” says that the evidence in Michelle Schofield’s murder points to Jeremy Scott, not Michelle’s husband, Leo Schofield, who’s been behind bars for 20 years.

The newspaper’s 2008 database of DROP double dippers shows “pride in service” Sheriff Judd is collecting in $5,956.52 per month in “retirement” payments on top of his wages; as of last year, he’d collected $361,416.99. Our legislators have done as little to curb the DROP welfare-for-the-wealthy monster they created as they have in addressing our courts abysmal failure at self-policing.

Without it in any way signifying that our courts have conducted themselves with candor, Florida still holds the national record for the most death row exonerations. An obvious example of judicial ineptness is that despite three related exonerations within one county, our judges still can’t rightly remember that self-proclaimed “scent evidence” expert John Preston was resoundingly discredited, let alone trouble themselves to ask their IT department to do a word search and find the scores of other cases Preston’s testimony tainted. Men were executed, others have been behind bars wrongfully for close to 30 years.

“If I thought a particular prosecution was wrong or over zealous, I could not say so beyond closed doors,” laments retired Metro-Dade officer Marshall Frank in his book “Criminal Injustice in America; Essays by a Career Cop.” The book’s first chapter damned the historically impoverished for caving in to peer pressure through the construction of a composite youthful offender named Gigo, for “garbage in, garbage out.” In Frank’s eyes, ghetto kids that cave to peer pressure are garbage; cop[s] that cave to peer pressure are victims – now that I understand the mindset, I pity it.

PIty aside, rabble rousing isn’t in your job descriptions – use your home computers and cell phone on your own time, leaving your official positions out of any subsequent grisly death “appeals.” Crist’s priority is already death; he rushed to execute Wayne Tompkins and John Marek while he ignored obvious innocents like William “Tommy” Zeigler. Any attention Crist pays to Polk should be to Schofield, not Johnson. Since Crist’s probably read about Polk County’s finest playing Wii while executing a search warrant last month, he’d be wiser to finally heed my pleas to address wrongful convictions after all these years than to listen to y’all, especially since “Outrage” premiered on HBO last night.


Susan Chandler

About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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2 Responses to Thanks, Okaloosa, for ignoring Grady Judd. Everyone should.

  1. Larry says:

    why does Leo Schofield refuse to take a lie detector test?


    • I don’t know that Schofield has refused to take a lie detector test. I do know two reasons why I would refuse one.

      Both my store manager and I allegedly flunked company lie detector tests in the early 70’s at a Zales Jewelry outlet. On retakes, my manager was grilled about theft, and I was grilled about drugs. My manager was likely cleared because we had no missing cash, supplies or inventory; he wasn’t in the mood to discuss it. I was cleared when questions were reframed to isolate my concerns for the drug habits of a family member I’d been conned into resuming responsibility for … which I wasn’t in the mood to discuss afterward, either. There was no evidence to suggest that my manager was a thief or that I was on drugs. Zales’ witch hunt wasted a money and turned storewide employee enthusiasm into resentment, likely in many stores – Zales since declared bankruptcy twice, if memory serves.

      The second reason I’d refuse a lie detector test stems from eight years of advocating for incarcerated innocents, knowing that the exoneration stats indicate that officers often tell suspects who’ve passed lie detector tests that they’ve flunked, and that officers’ lies have resulted in extracting false confessions, which resulted in false convictions. False convictions – of which there are likely tens of thousands – are going a long way towards bankrupting our nation not just financially, but morally.

      A convicted killer’s print was found in Schofield’s wife’s car, a convicted killer that lived near them. Every civil servant who played a role in hiding that print for so long doesn’t deserve any more paychecks from Floridians, including pension checks. They instead deserve prosecution. And I sure wouldn’t trust lie detector tests to sort naughty civil servants from nice … sociopaths are known for the ability to pass with flying colors when they’re guilty.

      When a false confession is extracted by overzealous interrogation that includes misrepresenting the results of a lie detector test, prosecutors are the first to remind juries of the tests unreliability. Disreputable prosecutors have their cake and eat it too – and not just on alternately being for and against lie detector tests. They’ve been immune from being prosecuted for trial misconduct since 1976, and have made a deadly joke of our justice system.


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