Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sentenced To Death

On February 7, 1990, at the age of 21, I was arrested for the armed robbery shooting death of a 38-year-old male. This case, no. 90-10067-CF, was appointed to Judge David Wiggins out of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida. Since my co-defendant, John David Hatch was being represented by the Public Defender, Judge Wiggins would have to appoint me conflict-free counsel. And on February 17, 1990 Judge Wiggins appointed Henry Davis, a lawyer who had never handled a capital case. Davis failed to ask for co-counsel, hire an investigator, track down and interview witnesses or examine physical evidence, including bloody clothing of Hatch’s and mine that the sheriff’s office was in possession of and which the jury never saw because the prosecutor, Lance Day, kept it from them. On February 22, 1991, I was sentenced to death. Direct appeal was filed (see state v Clark 613 so2d 412 Fla 1992) and denied. Certiorari was denied on October 4, 1992. Capital Collateral Regional Counsel (CCRC) was appointed in 1993 to represent me in my 3.850 motion for post conviction relief. The 3.850. was filed on November 16, 1994 and was amended on November 1, 1995. Judge Wiggins issued an order on June 18, 1996, granting evidentiary hearings on four claims: two Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (IAC) claims on Davis and two claims of prosecutorial misconduct by Lance Day. Over the next couple of years, before the evidentiary hearing was held, both Davis and Day were appointed as Fourth Circuit judges. The proper remedy Judge Wiggins should have taken, according to F.S. 38.10 and FL.R. crim.P. 2.160, was to disqualify himself. Not only did he fail to do so, but Wiggins stalled this case in direct violation of Florida Supreme Court (FSC) ruling in Jones vs. state 740 so2d 520 (Fla 1999) The evidentiary hearing was stalled from Nov 1994 until Feb 2007. What made it worse was that in June 2003, I lost my CCRC representation.

Wiggins then appointed a friend, Dale G.Westling Sr., to represent me. I fought this and on March 22, 2005 went pro se, acting as my own counsel. Judge Wiggins and Westling turned my CCRC files over to the state, violating the FSC ruling in Kight v. Dugger 574 so 2d.1066 (Fla 1990) and in doing so, violating attorney-client and doctor-patient confidentiality rights. For the file contained over ten years of correspondence, doctors reports, I.Q. tests and more, all of which was post conviction material. In June 2005,Westling filed a motion to withdraw. Wiggins then appointed Christopher Anderson, who also filed a motion to withdraw two weeks later on June 28, 2005 due to the fact that he didn’t want to challenge the two sitting Judges Davis and Day.

Harry Brody (bar no. 0977860) was my last counsel at CCRC and Wiggins refused to let him keep this case. Yet on September 8, 2005 not only did Wiggins reappoint Brody, but allowed Brody to file a new 3.850, which is unheard of. It was filed in January 2006 and ruled on in May 2006. Brody would not provide me with the order. At this time I still admired and trusted Brody and therefore had no reason to suspect deception from counsel. Then at the evidentiary hearing on February 26, 2007, I questioned Brody about the witnesses and Brody responded that he was only calling two witnesses and wasn’t presenting bloody clothing or other evidence and testimony. Brody stated, “The judge no longer wants to hear those claims, but don’t worry, we will get them in on appeal.” Again, at this time, I still trusted Brody. I began filing pro se pleadings, written arguments, and a motion on the cognizable claims. It was when the state responded to a motion in April 2007 that I realized that Brody had lied to me. The witnesses and evidence should have been presented at the February 26, 2007 evidentiary hearing. I then filed a motion to take judicial review of the judicial abuse in May 2007 to the FSC (case no: sc-77553) notifying the court of counsel’s lie, the court’s failure to disqualify, and the attorney-client confidentiality violation. The Florida Supreme Court (FSC) dismissed the motion without prejudice, stating these claims could be raised on appeal.

In December 2007, I was issued a new case no:SC07-2318. I filed motions to dismiss counsel, which were denied. Brody would not raise the appealable claims in his initial brief, nor would he file a reply brief. Brody was intentionally sabotaging this case, protecting the three Judges Wiggins, Davis and Day and the record absolutely, unequivocally supports sabotage. Brody’s failure to raise and take appeal on valid legal claims shows that a conspiracy to protect these judges exists. The FSC then forced me to be represented by Brody, although according to the law, in post conviction there’s no “right” to counsel. The FSC literally tied my hands so I was unable to defend myself. One thing is certain; the FSC is not following F.S. 27.771(12) providing the court monitor counsel’s performance.

FDOC records show that Brody showed up drunk wearing an old t-shirt and cut off shorts, trying to visit his clients on death row. And the prison administration turned him away. This isn’t slander, because everything is on the record. Copies of the record can be obtained through the sunshine law/freedom of information. (If you have questions, please ask and I’ll provide the answer and support it with documentation.) Justice Barbara Pariente wrote a letter to the chair of the state senate committee on criminal appropriations urging that the disbanded CCRC Northern Regional Office be reinstated based on the unanimous views of the Justices of the FSC that the private attorney registry system in North Florida has been a failure. Justice Raoul Cantero testified to the legislative committee that the representation provided to capital defendants by registry counsel constituted “some of the worst lawyering he’s ever seen!” But this is not just poor lawyering. It’s a conspiracy to sabotage evidence and testimony, procedurally barring it from federal review in an attempt to protect these three judges for judicial favors. On April 29, 2010 the FSC denied my appeal. All of my pro se filings were stricken as unauthorized. I’ve since filed motions to proceed pro se and to discharge counsel in the United States Middle District Jacksonville Division (Case No. 3:10-cv-547-j-32). On July 8, 2010 a telephonic hearing was held and Judge Timoth J. Corrigan removed Brody as counsel and has set a Farret hearing to allow me to proceed pro se. I’m going to attempt to file my 28 USC 2254 writ of Habeas Corpus and corresponding brief. Anyone who can assist with legal advice….I’d be overjoyed to hear from. Any media outlets that would like to do an interview, you have just found a willing participant. And I’ll cover anything from my case to my life on death row. I encourage you to research this, download all of this and send it to the legislature and house appropriation committee. Thank you for your time in allowing me to share this and bring you some insight into a broken justice system.

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