You are never too young or too old to get into good trouble, necessary trouble ~ Rep. John Lewis
I’ve never met Gary Bennett, but I’ve had the honor of meeting some of his family, including his mother, the Marvelous Ms. Maxine (pictured right), whom I continue to miss. Death denied her a reunion with Gary … as it did Gary’s father, his brother, and one of his sisters. The heartbreak of denied reunions is only part of the burden the family continues to bear … their ongoing financial sacrifices have devastated their personal lives. That they have been taxed without representation for close to 32 years is clear as can be, and they weren’t just defrauded to wrongly incarcerate Gary: he is but one of dozens framed in Brevard County, Florida using oft-disgraced dog handler John Preston.
Gary’s frame-up was different from the others in that he was framed after Preston had been disgraced in a federal court … Dale Sutton was cleared of charges by the actual perpetrator in 1982 and released from custody in January of 1983; Gary was framed in January of 1984. The principle player in Gary’s frame-up was then-prosecutor John Dean Moxley, who was also a principle player in the now upset, nearly identical Brevard/Preston convictions of Juan Ramos (1987), Wilton Dedge (2004) and William Dillon (2008).
Under an incurably tainted transfer initiated by Charlie Crist and renewed by Rick Scott, Gary’s prosecution was shifted to Orange County, Florida, into then-prosecutor Jeff Ashton’s unclean hands. Ashton ignored the taints on the transfer, which included Orange County’s use of John Preston, with FBI participation, that resulted in Linroy Bottoson’s wrongful 2002 execution. Ashton also ignored that the theory of the crime in Gary’s case was intact, and recycled the lurid lie he had leveled at still-framed death row inmate William “Tommy” Zeigler in formulating a new theory of the crime. Ashton also ignored the impropriety of John Dean Moxley corresponding with him regarding Gary’s prosecution, not once, but at least three times.
In prison, Gary has been beaten to the point of requiring hospitalization. He has had corrections officers author numerous libelous Discipline Reports, which caused him to be placed in solitary, and not only ruined his chance at parole, but gave the board the opportunity to extend his sentence. He has had his epilepsy medication willfully withheld, which caused him numerous seizures … each one a life threat; each one a humiliation. Gary has never had a neurological workup, although his epilepsy is volatile, while I see a neurologist every six months for mine. The dental care that Gary has been promised for five years have never materialized; he continues to pay dental care copays to be in constant pain and have difficulty eating.
Gary is represented by Centurion Ministries and the Innocence Project of Florida, neither of which apparently formally objected in advance to the bogus Discipline Reports that the parole board was going to review, like I did. Neither objected to his epilepsy medication being withheld, like I did. Neither attempts to garner any public attention, like I do. I haven’t looked at the board composition of Centurion lately, but I have the IPoF … retired FBI agent Robert Cromwell remains on their board, year after conflicted year. John Preston is one of many DNA-discredited dog handlers the FBI used, and although thousands of criminal investigations were affected, phony “scent evidence” is perhaps the least of the FBI’s oft-reburied forensic foul-ups, and forensic foul-ups are just a slice of the FBI’s overall corruption. Continual inflammatory media coverage of Snowden’s four secure laptops inspire continual off-with-his-head cries, while zero coverage of the FBI’s 160 “lost or stolen” laptops continue to actually jeopardize national security.
Why would the media cover for the FBI? Ask former Florida legislator/Governor/U.S. Senator Bob Graham. His family currently publishes Slate, and retains financial ties to its former holding, the Washington Post. Graham’s anything-but-helpful involvement with John Preston dates back to his days as Florida’s governor, and continued throughout his ten years on the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee. To hold the FBI accounting for their “scent evidence” screw-ups, Graham would have had to hold himself accountable for his own … so he didn’t. And because he didn’t, the FBI is still tasked with investigating public corruption that affects trial outcomes, and the FBI is still generating most of the public corruption that affects trial outcomes.
Gary’s open letter to John Dean Moxley is pretty darn tame, considering he’s been in prison for 31.5 years for a homicide that a legion of public servants and a passel of non-profits knows he didn’t commit, including the American Bar Association, Florida Bar Association and Brevard County Bar Association.
Please stir up some “good trouble” by sharing Gary’s letter. Thank you.