Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Speeding Up Appeals: Florida

Dudley Sharp

Re: Rebuttal to "On death penalty, wrongly accused are victims, too",  Leonard Pitts, Jr., In My Opinion, Miami Herald, 5/18/13

Pitts - Dead Wrong

Mr. Pitts is upset that Florida wants to have a responsible death penalty protocol, in an effort that may get appeals down to about 10 years on average, prior to execution, or a reasoned 4-6 years of state appeals and 4-6 years of federal appeals, or 40% more appeals time than in Virginia's death penalty cases.

As an example of how the death penalty should be handled, Pitts cites courageous pseudo-Saint George Ryan, a former governor who commuted the death sentences of all murderers on Illinois' death row.

Let's look at Mr. Pitts' shining example.

Gov. Ryan was a lying, felonious politician.

What courage? Ryan was held in total contempt by both political parties and by Illinois citizens. Ryan knew he had broken the law and was likely going to jail, which did occur, Ryan had already decided that he could not run for office, again.

What Ryan was filled with was contempt, not courage.

Ryan commuted all of those death sentences because Ryan's only remaining supporters were the murderers on death row and those who would do anything to make sure that all murderers lived.

No one doubts that there were problems with Illinois' death penalty system. There was also no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the death row cases were solid. Ryan promised he would review all cases individually and decide accordingly. Of course, that is not what he did.

Governors and murder victim's family members soundly criticized Ryan. Murderers and their supporters cheered, literally, as, certainly, did Mr. Pitts.

Ryan showed his disrespect for the innocent murder victims, their surviving loved ones,  the state - the prosecutors, the trial judge, the jurors, the appellate courts, Illinois citizens and justice.

Mr. Pitts' claim that there have been 24 "exonerated" from Florida's death row is false.

At least since 2002, it has been well known, throughout Florida, that the "exonerated" claims for Florida's death row was the largest of the nationwide frauds regarding the "exonerated" or "innocence" claims (1).

Based upon two studies, from 2002 and 2011 (1) by a state agency, the Florida Commission on Capital Cases, the real number is from 4-5 actual innocents discovered on Florida's death row since 1973, or about an 80% error rate in the "exoneration" claims made by Pitts and other death penalty opponents, a percentage similar to the national error rate, by death penalty opponents, for such claims, based upon the, now, 142 "exonerated" from death row, with proof of innocence (2), whereby the reality is the numbers are 25-40 (2), based upon a number of reviews, inclusive of an admission by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) that their claims are not based upon either exoneration or innocent, as commonly and properly defined (2), as opposed to the bizarre definitions created by DPIC, in order to further this deception.

Basic, easy, fact checking confirms this.  Possibly, Pitts didn't get the memo. Really?

No one wants the actually innocent to be investigated, arrested, indicted, tried, convicted or sentenced.

Reality finds that innocents are more protected with the death penalty (3).

Virginia executes their murderers within 7.1 years, on average, and has executed 70% (or 110) of those murderers so sentenced since 1976.

Virginia has no claims of an innocent executed.

Obviously, Florida can, responsibly, have a similar protocol.

But, as Mr. Pitts wants to make sure that all murderers live . . . .

1)  Florida: The 83% error rate in "exoneration" claims.

 This may represent the worst case of media deception, as the Florida media has known the real numbers since 2002, but refuses to use them, instead, pushing the well known deception of the 23/24 numbers. That is how bad it has gotten.

        a)  Case Histories: A Review of 24 Individuals Released from Death Row (2002), FLORIDA COMMISSION ON CAPITAL CASES, Locke Burt, Chairman, June 20, 2002, Revised: September 10, 2002      http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/Publications/innocentsproject.pdf
        b)  TRULY INNOCENT?: A Review of 23 Case Histories of Inmates Released from Florida‘s Death Row Since 1973, Commission on Capital Cases, The Florida Legislature, Roger R. Maas, Executive Director     May 13, 2011 

2)  a) The 130 (now 142) death row "innocents" scam

     b)  The "Innocent", the "Exonerated" and Death Row

3) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims