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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mike Lambrix - Regrets of the Dying, a podcast about life, death and regrets

Mike Lambrix has been on Florida’s death row for 34 years. Convicted of double-murder, he’s been scheduled to die three times, with a fourth execution date expected soon. 

Here he tells us what it feels like waiting, the regrets he holds, and what happened on that late night in Glades County.

Based on years of letters, written and read by Lambrix, and recorded on location in Florida State Prison.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Save-Humanity - Article from Mike Lambrix about his journey through life

Mike Lambrix, from death row in Florida: "Life is about choices and our choices define not only who we are, but who we become"

July 13, 2017
Read this article from Mike Lambrix currently on death row in Florida, and learn about his journey through life, and his testimony that may help others in their own journey:

"Too often I find myself asking that man in the mirror how it is that this has become my so-called "life" and in search of that ever-elusive answer I think back upon the journey that led me to where I am today"

- Credit Photo: Rune Eraker -

In his testimony, Mike Lambrix reflects on how his life was drawn into a "black hole" -- In physics, "black holes" are caused "when a massive star explodes with such a force that it rips the fabric of space, creating a hole not unlike what would occur if you could create a hole on the ocean floor so massive that it would drain the water, (...) pulling everything into it". -- an event called in physics " The Event Horizon".

Mike then recounts his life from childhood. Whilst many would perceive his childhood and his later adult life as extremely hard, full of black holes that somehow make him a kind of survivor, Mike Lambrix himself does not dwell on this. Rather he states:
"An expert in my case said I never had a chance, that the trajectory of my life was all but predetermined by the environment I was brought in and the trauma that I encountered along the way. But I don't believe that."

- Credit Photo: Rune Eraker -

Mike Lambrix will be part of the exhibition "Noble Is The Man"  by Norwegian photographer Rune Eraker at the Nobel Peace Prize Center in Oslo from September 2018 till January 2019.

To learn about the case of Mike Lambrix, visit

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Florida Cranks Up The Killing Machine

Just when we thought that executions in Florida would remain on hold for a while, Governor Scott unexpectedly rescheduled Mark Asay's execution, and he is now scheduled to be executed on August 24, 2017.

Those who regularly read my blog know that Governor Scott signed my death warrant on November 30, 2015 and I was scheduled to be executed on February 11, 2016. While I was on death watch in the segregated housing area immediately next to the execution chamber, they killed Oscar Bolin on January 6, 2016 (please read: "Execution Day - Involuntary Witness to State Sanctioned Murder") and the very next morning Governor Scott signed a death warrant on Mark Asay, commonly known as "Catfish".

But the following week the United States Supreme Court issued it's decision in Hurst v Florida which by almost unanimous vote the court recognized that the way people were being sentenced to death in Florida (since 1974) was illegal, effectively rendering these death sentences unconstitutional.

A week before my scheduled execution the Florida Supreme Court granted a "stay of execution" until they could decide whether that USSC "Hurst" decision required my death sentences to be thrown out. Subsequently, the following month the Florida Supreme Court also granted Mark Asay a full stay of execution and since early 2016 there have been no further scheduled executions.

But just a few days before Christmas (2016) the Florida Supreme Court issued a decision in Asay's case that unanimously recognized that in light of the US Supreme Court ruling in Hurst v Florida, there is no question that (like me) Asay was illegally condemned to death by a non-unanimous jury (his jury vote was 9-3).

However, once again reflecting how the politics of death override principles of moral restraint, by narrow majority the Fl Supreme Court ruled in Asay v State that they would only throw out the illegally imposed death sentences (retroactive application) of those whose sentences were filed after June 2002 as to retroactively apply Hurst to all death sentences would be too much of a burden on the state.

So, despite the unequivocal recognition that Asay (and about 190 others) were illegally sentenced to death, the Florida Supreme Court said to go ahead and kill them anyway.

This absurd "partial retro activity" rule is now being challenged in my own case and many others as no court has ever before recognized a substantial change of constitutional law as only partially retroactive - it is either fully retroactive to all cases, or none.

But like a relatively few others, Mark Asay decided not to let his lawyers challenge this "partial retro activity" rule as he doesn't want his death sentence reduced to "life" in prison. The truth is that there are a number on Florida's death row who prefer to be under a sentence of death than to "life" in prison with no realistic hope to ever being set free again. The way they see it, they're going to die in prison anyway so why delay the inevitable? Growing old in prison is not an easy way to go...as you grow older, you become less able to defend yourself from the younger predatory prisoners and your existence often becomes a living hell. So, if you're going to die anyway, why not force the state to kill you instead of slowly rotting away?

Myself, despite spending way over three decades on death row and facing execution several times, somehow I do still hold on to the hope that the courts will one day do the right thing and exonerate and release me. I must admit that at 57 years old, it's becoming harder to see that rainbow in the distant horizon.
And so yesterday afternoon (July 3, 2017) when the lieutenant came on the floor and took Asay away to death watch, for a while there I wondered whether they'd come back and get me to. They always pull only one at a time when you're execution date is scheduled, so it was very possible that Governor Scott, who is running for the United States Senate now, said to hell with the courts and went ahead and rescheduled both me and Asay.

But they didn't come back and get me. That doesn't mean that they won't as the governor certainly could, as the Florida Supreme Court formally lifted my stay of execution - but unlike Asay, I'm allowing my lawyers to pursue legal challenges to that "partial retro activity" rule, so it would seem that the governor should not attempt to reschedule my own execution until that legal issue is resolved.

Even though Asay has made that choice not to allow his lawyers to pursue a similar challenge in his own case, it is still very troubling that Governor Scott made the choice of wanting to carry out his execution.

If Florida proceeds with Asay's execution, he will be the first person to be put to death despite the Supreme Court's recognition that he was illegally condemned by a non-unanimous jury vote. It's one thing to carry out a legally imposed death sentence, but another thing altogether to put a person to death who you know was illegally sentenced to death - who under current law absolutely cannot be put to death. But for no other reason but that the court decided to create a time limitation to retro active application, Florida will go ahead and try to kill him anyway.

Even more troubling is that those who would allow Asay's execution to be carried out next month knew that the pending challenges to this politically motivated "partial retro activity" rule will most likely be successful, recognizing that all of those sentenced to death by a less than unanimous jury vote are entitled to have that death sentence thrown out.

Is this really who we are as a society? Already the United States is the only Western country in the world that continues to allow for the death penalty and we stand in the company of North Korea, Iran and China when it comes to this thirst for putting people to death under the pretense of administering justice.

But Florida is now crossing another line altogether - now Florida is proceeding to carry out executions that they know are illegal. There is absolutely no question that in light of recent Supreme Court decisions the death sentence imposed on Mark Asay by non-unanimous jury vote is illegal.

Does the ends justify the means? many have long argued that it's a slippery slope from administering justice to state sanctioned murder. As Florida crosses this line they cannot come back from, I'd venture to say that as a society Florida has now slid down that slippery slope and the scheduled execution of Mark Asay is nothing less than a cold-blooded act of state sanctioned murder.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Carrot and the Stick

 Written June 15.
Basic psychology...you have a carrot and you have a stick. At some point way back when Neanderthals ruled the world, they figured out that when you put the two things together you can tame even the wildest of animals. A good example are the lions, tigers and bears at a circus, and how they bow down to their trainer under both the threat of the stick and the treat that follows when they submit.But as only a good trainer knows, try to beat an animal down without throwing a treat their way, and it's just a matter of time before that animal will reach the point were it turns on you.

The problem on Florida's death row today is someone ate the freaking carrot and all that's left now is the stick used to constantly beat us down. And there's no doubt in my mind that it's going to get a hell of a lot worse before there's any hope of it getting better as I've seen these same cycles come and go through the many years and they always end the same way, and it never ends well. It just goes to show that there's a lot of truth in that saying that those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

You see, when it comes down to it people are not so different from lions and tigers. Some would even argue that humanity is by far the most vicious animal on earth and there's a lot of evidence to support that argument.

There's a balance to everything and in this context that's why the carrot is so important. With few exceptions, prisoners will generally jump through whatever hoops they're told to - as long as there's at least the illusion of a reward that follows. It has been long recognized by prison administrators that giving prisoners basic privileges (social visits, allowing electronic play toys like radio and TV etc) really are not about pampering convicted felons as some would want others to believe, but it's about promoting a safe and, dare I say "peaceful" prison environment as experience has shown that if you don't treat prisoners as human beings they will become animals, and when pushed too far, any animal will reach the point when they will bite back.

Many in prison today believe that that's exactly what these now in power of the prison system actually want. Why, you ask? Because by actually promoting disruptions and inciting violence, the puppet masters can then argue for the need of substantial budget increases. As it stands, the Florida Prison system has been choked almost to death by the republicans that control the state legislature. These politicians want to lock up everyone but they don't want to provide the necessary funding to pay for it.

As a result, prison employees haven't received any pay raises for about the last decade. Politicians have stripped them of many of the benefits that once made working for the state attractive (and it's not only prison employees, state employees are also being screwed, for example read: "We need to fix the crisis in FHP's ranks" - The Lakeland Ledger, June 3, 2017.
Yes, I really do have a point. But as anyone who regularly reads my rhetorical ramblings already knows, I suffer from a chronic, and apparently incurable form of diarrhea of the mouth...which is also why in this age of the Internet and the inconvenient truth that we, as a society, have devolved to the point most people now have the attention span of gnat :-( and so only my most committed friends have the patience to read what I write.

What is my point? I have a bookshelf firmly attached to the wall of my solitary prison cell. It was designed to put books on and for decades that's just what i did - I put my books on that bookshelf. But then the animal trainers abruptly decided that all our property in our cell must be stored in a steel footlocker we are provided, and absolutely nothing can be out of that locker unless in actual use at that moment. Anything that doesn't fir in your locker is immediately declared "contraband". And if you fail to follow this rule then the first few violations result in what they call a "72 hour property restriction" in which they will take all your property out of your cell and for at least 3 days you will be stuck in an empty, stripped down cage (and in the hot, humid summer months without the small plastic fan we are allowed to have). If you still refuse to follow the "rules", then they will write up a formal "disciplinary report ("D.R.") and you will lose all your property and privileges (canteen, visits etc) for at least 30 days.

But coming up with this policy was only the beginning. Then it was decided that from early morning until the evening our bunks had to be made up in a military fashion and anytime an "official visitor" came on the floor we had to be in our full dress "class A" uniform and stand at attention against the wall - and, of course, in strict silence until they completed their so called "inspection", and non-compliance resulted in the above disciplinary sanctions.

With few exceptions, most death row prisoners complied, including myself, as you have to pick your battles in prison and nobody wins a pissing contest with the puppet masters.

However, now this has taken another big step - now these so called "inspections" are happening 2-3 times a week, and often there is never any actual inspection, but rather this has apparently become a perverse form of entertainment just to watch us jump through hoops. They'll wake up everybody relatively early in the morning and tell us to be prepared for "inspection", and we must wait and wait, only to be told hours later that it's all clear.

Some might say: "So what?", as on the free world side of these bars it's hard to see how these things cause significant disruption and create an escalation of unnecessary animosity between the prisoners and staff. The simple truth is that nobody likes to get beat down with that metaphorical "stick" without reason and constantly putting us through this just because they can has nothing to do with any legitimate form of institutional "security and order", but at least from our perspective, it's about abusing and provoking us for no reason but to incite disruptions to justify their need to convince the state legislature that they must have more money for staff to manage the prison system.

And it all comes down to the stick and the carrot. Since this escalation of essentially beating us down just because they can is one-sided, with no promise of a carrot to follow,the death row environment is becoming increasingly disruptive - the balance no longer maintained - and many of the guys are now talking about standing together in a hunger strike to protest this escalation of abuse of power.

What few also realize is that the death row unit is generally the most disciplined housing and not because they're beating us over the head with a stick, rather it's because most of us have been here for many years and all we want is to be left alone. Most guards actually want to work death row as we don't cause problems. Allowing us to maintain our sense of dignity and self respect gives us that sense of humanity that is vital in this inferno we must exist in. (Please read - "Death Row, the Ninth Ring") 

And when people are reduced to nothing but animals, beaten and broken and forced into a corner, then they will begin to respond as animals, and that is not an environment we want to live in. And while many will take great pleasure in seeing condemned prisoners suffer, I like to think most people will find it morally intolerable.

At the end of the day one fundamental truth remains - treat people with dignity and respect and you retain the humanity within all of us. But allowing those entrusted to control the environment to systematically abuse that power not only compromises the humanity within the prisoners but within all of society as if history has taught us nothing else, it is that ultimately any society is judged by the way it treats the very least amongst it's ranks.

To illustrate where this escalation of abuse of power always inevitably leads to, I would strongly encourage everyone to read what the Federal Court wrote in Valdes v Crosby 450 F.3d. 1231 (11th cir. 2006), detailing how a familiar escalation of abuse of power led to the violent assaults of at least 167 prisoners by staff, climaxing with staff physically beating a death row prisoner to death. Again, those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. And by the way, the prison official responsible for that escalation (James Crosby) was subsequently sentenced to 8 years in Federal prison on corruption charges. Is that really who today's prison administrators want to see as an example to follow?