Orlando Sentinel – Appeal court steps into conflict between judge, Orlando police
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton had asked Shea to take himself off the cases, arguing the judge went too far in recent hearings when he accused Orlando police of ignoring subpoenas.
Shea refused to step aside, ruling his comments on “unspecified members of the Orlando Police Department who fail to appear for depositions as required do not show a personal bias or prejudice.”
Ashton appealed, asking the Fifth District Court of Appeal for a stay in 48 cases set for trial before Shea, and a temporary stay was granted on Thursday, the appeal courts online dockets show.
Orlando police Chief John Mina made similar complaints against the judge, and has also filed a complaint with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates judicial misconduct.
The Orlando Sentinel has an abysmal history of reporting about crime, as explained by one of its former editors-in-chief in his “To Whom It May Concern” letter that I’ve posted more than once. The newspaper is apparently quite hesitant to break with this decades-long tradition.
Despite what the OS wrote, there’s nothing wrong with a judge expecting officers to respond to subpoenas. Nothing.
So that means there’s everything wrong when a police chief, a prosecutor’s office, an appeals court and a major newspaper all pretend that there is.
Ashton was the lead prosecutor in the frame-up that prompted the former Orlando Sentinel editor-in-chief, David Burgin, to write:
To Tommy Zeigler and to the state of Florida, I can only apologize unofficially for the dastardly role The Orlando Sentinel played in the pathetically wrongful conviction of Mr. Zeigler for murder.
Ashton’s misconduct isn’t something Florida’s governor and attorney general can tolerate any longer, no matter what the dastardly Orlando Sentinel publishes.
Tommy Zeigler’s been on death row for 38 years, although he is a survivor of attempted homicide, not a murderer. There’ll be no telling how many other frame-ups Ashton is keeping intact until he’s investigated, and that investigation will necessarily lead to an investigation of not only Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeals, but its Supreme Court, and the cooperative corruption that’s been going on between state attorneys and governors for at least 38 years.
The Orlando Sentinel has forsaken the journalistic ethics that are necessary to ensure public safety in order to engage in political power plays that help public corruption flourish … public corruption that costs innocents their freedom, and their lives.