Mainstream media mangles meaning of Timely Justice Act

Sides debate whether Florida Gov. Rick Scott should sign ‘Timely Justice Act’ affecting death penalty process |

Rod Smith, a Gainesville attorney, former member of the Florida Senate and former state attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, said that even one of his highest profile cases — that of Danny Rolling, the man later convicted of the Gainesville student murders of 1990 — took a long time to move through the system despite the fact that it had a large amount of resources dedicated to it …

According to Smith, the main reason for supporting the death penalty, and the one the law recognizes, is its value as a deterrent, but this value may be reduced if inmates are waiting decades to be executed.

via Sides debate whether Florida Gov. Rick Scott should sign 'Timely Justice Act' affecting death penalty process |‘s Patrick Kelly omitted a couple of Rod Smith’s relevant activities.

Smith served on the Florida Innocence Commission, which Florida’s Legislature had claimed would be modeled on North Carolina’s commission, which investigated conviction integrity.

Florida’s commission didn’t investigate clouded convictions, it instead chased the bright elusive butterfly of “preventing future wrongful convictions,” which requires blaming false convictions entirely on law enforcement, as if law enforcement had the same limitless resources of prosecutors offices to verify the information used for arrests they make on probable cause.

This sham was very convenient to many within the justice system, including Smith … I’m told there are significant clouds on the convictions of James and Cecil Simmons dating back to Smith’s days as a state attorney.

Smith was also the former Democratic Party Chair, and his accepting that position was the reason I terminated my active party participation.

It’s easy to see why I refused to follow Smith as a “leader” … there is no appreciable deterrent quality to the death penalty, and it was unethical to make a contrary claim.

If there was well-meaning behind the Timely Justice Act, my years of related correspondence directed to Florida legislators and governors, beginning with Jeb Bush, would have been answered.

Incomplete information on Smith wasn’t the article’s only trespass against us Floridians … they printed remarks from Innocence Project of Florida Director Seth Miller, too.

The Board composition of the Innocence Project of Florida has too many conflicted interests to address in one post, so I’ll address just one: former FBI agent Robert Cromwell.

The FBI was involved in Linroy Bottoson’s prosecution, which resulted in his 2002 execution, despite his schizophrenia. Discredited dog handler John Preston was involved, too, and so was the requisite jailhouse informant, who recanted, as have other jailhouse informants from Preston cases, including Roger Dale Chapman and Clarence Zacke, who testified against both Wilton Dedge (DNA-exonerated 2004) and Gerald Stano (executed 1998).

As the FBI is entrusted to investigate public corruption that affects trial outcomes, including its own, it should have investigated every single Preston perjury nationwide, including those before grand juries. Preston claimed to have participated in 1,000 criminal investigations.

Had the FBI acted in good faith, they would have stopped executions, freed innocents and cut short the perjuries in progress of a Preston copycat: Keith Pikett participated in over 2,000 Texas criminal investigations before being DNA-discredited. Denied the FBI’s due diligence, Pikett’s victims are fighting their way free one-by-one, just like Preston victims.

The Innocence Project of Florida’s is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Florida Bar Association, both of which are doing everything they can to keep conviction corruption buried despite their lawful obligations to do the exact opposite.

Were it not for the mainstream media mangling the truth about conviction corruption – decade after decade – every Floridian would know that the Timely Justice Act is a concerted attempt to kill death row innocents – like William “Tommy” Zeigler – before they manage to wrangle their first fair day in court.

Florida death row exoneree Juan Melendez reached out to Jeb Bush, too; two years earlier than I did. While Juan sat on death row, the actual killer’s confession sat in a box. In the linked press release, Juan said, “Florida’s death penalty system is broken. We lead the nation in wrongful convictions, and the Governor is in denial that Florida needs an immediate and formal “Time-Out” on executions.”

Until we elect a governor that isn’t in denial, Juan Melendez and other Florida death row exonerees won’t know peace, and incarcerated innocents like Tommy will never have a chance at freedom.

If the media keeps mangling the truth of every life and death issue, we’ll just get another Bush, or another Crist, or another Scott … pretending, like predecessors, that justice is available in Florida.

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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