Our Dear Friend Mike Lambrix left us on October 5, 2017
He went from the Darkness to the Light..

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Letter from Q-wing - Part XII of Death Watch Series

As of this week it's been a month since I was moved back to the regular death row wing leaving that cell down next to the execution chamber and I don't miss it! The other day, shortly after his oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court, they granted Mark Asay an indefinite stay of execution and moved him back to the regular death row wing, only a few cells from my own. That means that at least until the Florida Supreme Court resolves the issue of whether the US Supreme Court decision in Hurst v Florida applies retroactively to all capital cases (such as mine) nobody is under an active death warrant in Florida.

In the meantime only a few days ago the Florida legislature voted to adopt a new death penalty statute. Although almost every legal expert has said that what is required is an unanimous jury vote in order to impose the death penalty, the Florida legislature adopted a new statute that requires only a 10-2 vote to impose death - and continues to characterize that vote as a "recommendation", leaving the judge to be the person to determine the final sentence.

Undoubtedly, Florida Governor Rick Scott will sign it into law, even though they all know that once again the Supreme Court will strike it down as unconstitutional. When it comes down to it, these things are all about politics, not justice - and why should the politicians care if they waste hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers money by passing new death penalty laws that they know will be overturned as they have nothing to lose - by playing politics with the death penalty, they win votes in the upcoming November elections and so what if this new law is then thrown out, as all that money lost by illegally sentencing people to death certainly will not come out of their pockets. I've said it before and I'll say it again ...people out there just don't understand how completely corrupt  this whole process is.... worse yet, most don't even care.

It's not only about how such games will surely result in Florida death sentences being thrown out again but it's also incredibly unfair to the victims families - each time these death sentences are vacated, the case must be remanded back to the trial court and the entire penalty phase of the trial must be done over - and the victim's family must go through that entire traumatic process again and that's just not right, haven't already been through enough? But mark my words... the politicians that voted for this new Florida death penalty law and Governor Rick Scott all know with certainty that these new law also will be thrown out, with means that every person sentenced to death under these newly written law will have their death sentences thrown out again. When does this insanity stop? I guess it's not really my problem - if the court does rule in my favor within the next few weeks or months then I will either receive an automatic life sentence (and technically be almost immediately eligible for parole) or they will remand my case back down to the original trial court for "resentencing" and there's no doubt in my mind that I would receive a life sentence and start focusing on trying to win parole.

In the meantime my other appeals continue to remain pending that focus on my consistently pled claim of innocence (see: www.southerninjustice.net ) Although this issue pertaining to the constitutionality of the death penalty continues to get most of the attention, those following my case should remember that I do still have numerous legal claims pending both before the state and federal court specifically arguing my legal and factual innocence. I continue to remain hopeful that the courts will do the right thing and grand relief on any of the substantive constitutional claims that will result in my freedom. And it could very well happen.

Imagine that - this month I will "celebrate" the 33rd anniversary of my arrest and continuous incarceration on these charges, and on March 24 I will mark 32 years on Florida's death row. Although I  technically remain on "death watch" and still have that dark blue suit (bought by the prison just to kill and bury me in) waiting downstairs, and most of my closest friends worry that my pending appeal will be denied and my execution rescheduled, the fact is that I prefer to focus on the possibility that within the coming weeks, or months, the courts could still do the right thing and order my exonoration and release from prison.

 I like to dream of the day when I might still be free.  The other day I had another visit from my sisters and we talked about my dream of being able to lay on the grass outside far away from city lights so that at night I can look up and see the stars once again. It's funny howit's human nature to take the things that matter the most for granted until they are long gone and even lost forever. For me, part of that is my love for the outdoors. When growing up in Northern California the family had a ranch on Point Reyes (it is now part of the Point Reyes National Seashore) It was right on the Pacific Ocean and as a child we would spend almost every weekend camping at the ranch and I can remember the many nights when we would all gather around the campfire and sing folk songs, as our father played the guitar.  And as the campfire slowly died down and it was almost time to go to sleep, I would look up and see the infinate numbers of star suspended above and even the memory today almost takes my breath away. And that's what I hope to see again.. that night sky that I still remember so well, but haven't seen in so long.

                                          Night sky at Point Reyes

That's why, instead of worrying about whether my pending appeals might be denied,  and in a few weeks I may yet again be down on the bottom floor of Q-wing counting down the days until my scheduled execution, I rather choose to spend these hours and days of what I know only two well is nothing more than a temporary reprieve, thinking not about the negativity of a possible execution in the foreseeable future, but instead dreaming about winning my freedom and walking back out in the real world and then laying down in the field of grass looking up to the night sky and allow my soul to be healed beneath the beauty of the universe that each of us are all part of.

Recently, someone so very special to me sent me something she wrote entitled "for when you think your existence doesn't matter" in which reminds the reader that each of us are made up of the very same particles that make up the universe as a whole ...in all of God's creation we each are part of the greater whole... and her words make my soul smile.

Perhaps each of us should take a  moment to look up at the night sky and remember that for all it's infinate beauty, we each are part of that whole.


Joana said...

Please.....Do not execute Mr.Michael lambrix...I want him to be free....He has stayed in prison for such a long time...this just a terrifying burden...

Joana said...

Please....Send all my best wishes to Mike....And make him know not to be unhappy as he will be free one day....