The End of Yet Another Year
Here I am once again and I must begin by first expressing my gratitude to the small circle of really
awesome friends that I’ve been blessed with. Often I look around me and am only too aware that most of the guys in here have nobody and rarely even get mail. It makes me appreciate that even in the depths of this hell that man has created, there truly are many levels and no matter how bad it might be I know that I am far more fortunate than most of those around me. So, that’s why it’s so important to me that I let my friends know how much I do appreciate them.
It’s been a pretty difficult past few months. The denial of my new evidence innocence appeal this past June was a hard blow, but through the too many years I’ve gotten pretty good at rolling with the punches. The Florida Supreme Court also denied our “Motion for Rehearing”, but that was to be expected, Now within the next few months we will file a new appeal (technically called a “Petition for Writ of Certiorari”) in the United States Supreme Court, asking them to review the Florida Supreme Court’s denial and I think that under applicable Federal law there is a good chance that the Supreme Court will accept review and reverse the Florida Supreme Court, and throw my convictions out. This appeal, when it is filed, will be posted on my new website (which is still under construction) www.southerninjustice.net (the previously posted website www.southerninjustice.com is no longer accessible to me, which is why we had to put up a new one)
Also, as of November 22, 2013 my new appeal has been now filed in the Florida Supreme Court under Lambrix v State, Case No. SC13-1471. This appeal argues that based on the 2012 decision in Martinez v Ryan (US Supreme Court) the state court must now allow a full review of all the claims that were previously found “procedurally barred” including the evidence supporting my innocence, because my original post conviction lawyer failed to properly raise them. In 1996 the Florida Supreme Court made it clear that this 1996 decision was wrong. IF we can convince the Florida Supreme Court that they must now re-open my case, then I will finally be able to present all the evidence supporting my claim of innocence.
I am also pursuing a similar argument in the Federal Courts, but so far both the state and federal courts are refusing to recognize that last years Supreme Court decision in Martinez v Ryan requires re-examination. I think it’s only a matter of time before the Us Supreme Court will take up the issue, and then order the State and Federal courts to fully review claims brought under Martinez. And there’s a good chance that my case will be the one the US Supreme Court decides this important issue on. Again, the recently filed appeal now pending in the Florida Supreme Court will soon be available to read on www.southerninjustice.net
For those who constantly whine about how death row prisoners should only be allowed one round of appeals and then quickly put to death, they need to read the recent decision by the Florida Supreme Court on Roy Swafford v. State of Florida. On November 7, 2013 the Florida Supreme Court vacated Roy’s capital murder and rape conviction after previously denying relief in at least 4 appeals. Only now, almost 30 years later, did the evidence (including DNA evidence) finally rise to the level that the Court could no longer deny that Roy was wrongfully convicted and condemned to death for a crime he was innocent of.
What should really bother those of moral conscience is that all of this comes only after Roy came close to being executed years ago, and only a month after Roy’s name was included on a list of “death warrant eligible” prisoners. Roy’s case should remind all of us, especially these pro death penalty politicians who want to expedite executions that our system is far from being anywhere near perfect and even after many appeals have been repeatedly denied, and in too many cases there are still substantial and as yet unresolved questions of innocence.
But even as glad as we all are that Roy Swafford was finally exonerated of a crime he was innocent of, this past month another man who has been here for at least 30 years passed away. Tommy Groover died on October 31 (Halloween) after a long battle with health issues. This year has taken many of those from amongst our ranks, with Michael Bruno, Peter Ventura, Gary Alvord, Thomas Wyatt, “Buck” Gordy and Tommy Groover dying of natural causes” while the governor Rick Scott is pushing to put a record number of men to death by execution. If Governor Scott succeeds in executing Askari Muhammed (Thomas Knight) in December 27, then he will hold the record for the most executions by any Florida governor in a single year. And it will only get worse next year!
I hope that all of you will check out my new website www.southerninjustice.net, as well as my postings on www.minutesbeforesix.com (If you haven’t already read my continuing series “Alcatraz of the South”, you should) and until next time, I wish all of you a Happy Holiday
Michael Lambrix #482053