Monday, December 21, 2015

Letter from Mike from Death Watch (Part II)


Mike thanks everybody who has sent him cards, letters of support, prayers and wishes! He much appreciates, and is deeply touched by,  any way you have reached out to him and feels blessed that so many people care about him. Any messages and comments you may want to leave here will be sent to Mike too.

Mike asks  you to read the page his son Cary Michael Lambrix has created, his son is trying to raise the money needed to visit his dad for the last time..


I’m now on my second week of my death watch experience with about two months yet to go until my scheduled execution. With the process they apply in determining whose death warrant to sign they had to know by signing my death warrant on November 30th and scheduling my execution for 6:00 pm on February 11, 2016 that it would mean that I will be down here on death watch through the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. Obviously, Governor Scott and his staff had to know that both State and Federal Courts will be out for the holidays. So, why would they sign a death warrant at this time?



You know it really doesn’t bother me personally as I wasn’t exactly expecting much of a Christmas anyways. If Governor Scott and his staff thought by putting me under an active death warrant over the holidays would somehow inflict that added measure of misery to a man they intend to kill, then they are wrong as it won’t really bother me. In some ways, I will actually have a better Christmas now.


But what does bother me is how this will affect my family and friends, all of whom did nothing to deserve this. Talk about a heart of stone and the Grinch that stole Christmas. I’ll bet Governor Scott gave absolutely no thought whatsoever to the pain he inflicted upon my parents and children and sisters and my dearest friends who give so much of themselves to support me. Nobody ever thinks about how all of this affects those closest to the condemned.


The last time I was on death watch in late 1988 it was so much easier as I had no one. ( Read about Mike's stay of execution in 1988) My family and I were estranged and I had no close friends. Even my three children were then too young to know what was going on. But in the years since then I’ve grown close to my mother and stepfather, who for many years now visit regularly. And my kids are now grown with kids of their own. And I’m truly blessed with my small group of close friends who so selflessly give so much of themselves to be there for me. Already this is causing them so much pain.


Now I find myself wishing that I were alone again as I don’t want them to have to go through all of this. Last week when my parents came to visit for the first time since my execution date was scheduled, I could see the pain in my mother’s eyes and how much this was taking out of her. My sisters came with them. I had not seen them in a few years and I could only watch helplessly as they struggled to fight back the tears and I just wanted to hug them through it. Once I went on death watch I was no longer allowed regular visits, but all visits are now non-contact (through glass). I tried to joke around and make them laugh, but I know they saw right through me… tears of a clown. I struggle with that conflict ~ I want so much to see them, but I don’t want them to be hurt by what is yet to come. Everybody keeps asking me how I’m doing but it’s how they’re doing that concerns me the most. 

When that visit ended I was escorted back to the death watch floor and before putting me back in my solitary cell they measured me for the execution suit. You gotta love the irony of that ~ for 32 years I had to wear whatever clothes they would provide, only too often baggy pants and bright orange shirts. But now that they intend to kill me they want to buy me a nice new suit that will be custom tailored to fit me. I guess it’s sort of like dressing a turkey up for the holiday feast… I got to look good when they lay me out on the gurney in front of the witnesses. It just wouldn’t be proper to kill a man while he is dressed in baggy pants and a bright orange shirt. When it comes down to it, it's all about the ritual, and perhaps that’s the most tragic commentary of all ~ they’ve carried out this ritual of death so many times that they’ve perfected every detail and nothing is left to chance.


I once read about how during the Holocaust, the Nazi's went to great pains to methodically record every detail of their process. The records were so meticulous that they even kept records of the records. And it’s the same on death watch here, as an officer is assigned to the cell front whose only job is to meticulously record in a green log book, marked with my own name, everything I do. Even as I write this he sits not more than ten feet away with that log book in his hands undoubtedly writing down that I am sitting at my small desk writing. It’s not personal ~ it’s merely his job. If he didn’t do it, someone else would have to.


The truth of the matter s that I’ve never been treated better by the prison staff than I am now. From the warden on down, there’s not even so much as a suggestion of malice in any of them. Given my previous experience on death watch years ago, I expected some to deliberately go out of their way to taunt us as they did back then, but this warden has no tolerance for such misconduct.


The cell I’m now in is huge and took sometime to get used to. I don’t know what the exact measurements are but I’d guess that it’s about eight foot by 12 foot, give or take a few inches. As long as I remain on “Phase II” my personal property stays in the cell with me, including my T.V. and MP3. My music continues to be my escape from all else around me and it’s a comfort to have.
A few night after I was moved down to death watch the light in my cell went out. Not long after that the toilet clogged up. I’m told that this particular cell had not been used in a while as the Governor usually only has one person under an active death warrant at a time. There’s only three cells down here and Oscar Bolin is in the first cell about 10 feet away. Both the light switch and the toilet were fixed the next morning.


When I read about how the Nazi’s killed the Jews at their own infamous death camps, I recall how they would place the condemned prisoners in long lines that led to long buildings and they would be told that it was a shower. Presumably they had no idea they were actually being led to their deaths in industrial sized gas chambers and spared that agony of imminent death until that final moment when once secured in the the large chambers instead of a shower they were gassed. I wonder how many moments passed between the realization of imminent death and death itself?



But here in America we are far too civilized and humane to keep a condemned man in a state of ignorant bliss until that final moment. Instead, when Governor Scott signed my warrant on the morning of Monday November 30, 2015 and the warden then read my warrant to me, instructing me to then initial the death warrant as an acknowledgement that I received it, I was told that in precisely 73 days on the evening of Thursday February 11, 2016 I would be led into the execution chamber and then strapped into a gurney facing a glass window. At least 20 witnesses will watch as they insert I.V. tubes in both of my arms and upon signal by the warden, they will then pump that lethal cocktail of drugs into my arms and stand around until they pronounce me dead. 


The Nazi’s went to great lengths to spare those condemned to death the knowledge that they would soon die. Their machine of death was as cold and calculating as any ever devised by the mind of man at his most evil. But here in America we don’t engage in any such pretense. Rather, we want those we condemn to death to know it’s coming and the process is meticulously structured in such as a way that not even for a moment  throughout the prolonged “death watch” process will the condemned escape the reality that the clock on the wall is counting down his last days, hours, and then minutes. The agony of imminent death will not be escaped . And we call that humane - Mike

Michael Lambrix #482053
Florida State Prison Q2301
7819 NW 228th street
Raiford  Florida 32026-1100

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Message from Mike Lambrix to his friends - from Death Watch

Dear friends,

As all of you know, on Monday November 30 - only hours after the US supreme Court declined review of my new evidence actual innocence appeal, Florida governor Rick Scott signed my death warrant, scheduling my execution for February 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM.

I was immediatelt transferred to the "death watch" housing area on the bottom floor of Florida State Prison, joining Oscar Bolin who is scheduled for execution on January 7, 2016. We are the only two on death watch. All of you, please keep Oscar in thoughs and prayer that something will come through to stop his scheduled execution.

Let me begin by saying I'm alright, you'all should not worry about me. I've known this was coming and I'm both mentally and intellectually ready. By far, my greatest worry right now is how this will affect those closest to me and I truly wish that I could give each of you a big hug right now and hug you all right through all this :-) (big smile). Since all of you closest to me know me only too well, you already know that I work best under pressure and true to form, since they moved me to death watch on Monday, November 30 I've been burning up my ink pen :-) (another smile)

First, let me say that death watch isn't all that bad, as it's like a whole other world down here. I've spent the last 32 years in a 6 foot by 9 foot cage and now I'm in a huge 8 foot by 12 foot cell that's actually super clean. As long as I remain on phase 2 death watch, I'm allowed to keep all my property in my cell as long as it all fits in the one footlocker, so I had to spend 2 days going through my property and sort out all that accumulated through the years - I threw away 2 full boxes of paperwork and old letters and I can't really complain. Like most of us on the row we are allowed so very little and what we do get is hard to let go and we become basically "pack rats". In time it accumulates, so finally being forced to reduce all that's piled up is somewhat liberating. But equally so I will miss being able to re-read old letters from those closest to me. When those moments come, often late at night when I can't sleep, being able to re-read special letters was a form of comfort. They were hard to let go, and that's why so many piled up through the years.

To summarize the death watch procedure; I will no longer be allowed regualr contact visits and will instead only be allowed non-contact (behind glass) visits on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - but only those on my approved visiting list will be allowed and I can have up to 12 hours each week over those 3 days. All visits must be scheduledat least 24 hours ahead through warden Palmer's office.

Although for obvious reasons I cannot discuss what legal actions will be pursued before they are actually filed I can tell you this - I am confident that my legal challenges will be succesful and am impressed by the unexpected way so many lawyers dropped everything else they were doing to quickly join my legal team as soon as they signed my death warrant. Hopefully, as legal actions are filed, we will be able to quickly post them on my website www.southerninjustice.net

But make no mistake about it, I am taking this seriously and there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that they would kill me despite my innocence. If I've learned anything over the past 32 years it is that few people out there have any clue as to just how corrupt our legal system really is and they will kill the innocent.

We really do have a lot going on and good reason to believe that I will win - and so it really comes down to that age-old saying: "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst". I am allowed regular mail and will welcome all mail..and send me some good jokes so I can have a laugh too! With thoughts and love - Mike

Michael Lambrix #482053
Florida State Prison Q2301
7819 NW 228th street
Raiford  Florida 32026-1100





Mike, Christmas 2014


                                         

Tuesday, December 1, 2015





December 16th, 2015
Founder of the oldest penpal organisation in Europe, "astounded" that Florida considers executing his friend of 25 years Mike Lambrix, without granting a clemency review
http://www.save-innocents.com/15-december-2015-jan-arriens-…







Clemency counsel for Mike Lambrix objects to the denial of clemency and requests a stay of execution to allow time for the full Executive Clemency Board to conduct a hearing.
http://www.save-innocents.com/press-release-michael-lambrix…