As I write this, it’s now Sunday night, September 10, 2017, and I now have less than 25 day to go before the state of Florida plans to put me to death for a crime that I didn’t commit… and there’s nothing I can do about it.
my luck, one of the worst hurricanes in Florida history decided to form
about the same day that Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the order
rescheduling my execution. I was already placed at a substantial
disadvantage when Governor Scott only gave me less than five weeks — and
in what has become a too familiar pattern, he deliberately waited until
late Friday, September 1, to sign the order for October 5, knowing that
Monday, September 3 would be a holiday (Labor Day), and everything
would be shut down.
he did that, he knew it meant that even under the best circumstances,
nothing could be done until at least Tuesday, September 4. And he did
the same when he signed the order rescheduling Mark Asay’s execution on
July 3, the day before the Fourth of July holiday.
people continue to remain skeptical of what many call the pervasive
“politics of death” that infest the death penalty process. But when it
comes down to it, capital punishment is not about objectively targeting
the “worst of the worst,” but rather it’s about politically targeting
those least able to defend against the vast resources of the state. From
the very beginning, a local prosecutor exercises his or her discretion
in seeking the death penalty and once that process begins the deciding
factor is politics.
Scott knows that the courts will not allow him to schedule executions
without providing ample time for appellate review. So he colluded with
his attorney general, Pam Bondi, to try to stack the deck — to make it
look on paper that is providing reasonable time between signing the
order and the actual execution date.
top of that, Hurricane Irma decided to target Florida. As this monster storm
ravished the Caribbean islands, all but wiping out several of them,
Florida began to prepare for what was expected to a major direct hit.
The early projections had Irma blowing in as a destructive “category 5”
in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, and everything in southeast Florida
was shut down.
included all the courts and my lawyers’ offices. I’m not 10 days into a
34 day death warrant and because of Hurricane Irma, I still haven’t
been able to meet with my lawyers to go over our legal strategy. In
fact, they all had to evacuate southeast Florida and I haven’t even had a
phone call since last week. But it isn’t their fault.
I do know at this point is that last week my lawyers did file a motion
with the Florida Supreme Court requesting more time due to the
unexpected hurricane, and the court granted an extension of one week for
filing the state appeals (which are now due no later than September 17)
— but the court refused to postpone the scheduled execution date of
October 5, even though they knew that my lawyers lost a least a full
week of ability to work.
late Saturday, Hurricane Irma turned away from the Miami area and began
a NW path that ultimately led to landfall precisely at the Naples/Marco
Island area of southwest Florida. I had to wonder whether that was the
hand of God spanking Governor Scott, as it was a direct hit on his
private mansion on the waterfront in Naples. It also directly his the
hardest that part of southwest Florida that makes up the Twentieth
Judicial Circuit — the very same judicial circuit that wrongfully
convicted and sentenced me to death.
believe in the concept of ‘karma’ and that God does still take an
active role in the bigger issues around us. Can it be just a coincidence
that an already powerful hurricane formed into the monster it became
about the same time Governor Scott signed the order rescheduling my
execution, then shifted as if guided by some Supreme Power (God?) from
its projected landfall in Miami, all the way over to the other side of
is what it is and there’s a lot stronger evidence that this hurricane
was the universe’s (ie. God) way of sending a message to those
responsible. But people like that are too consumed with playing God than
actually listening to God - and I have to wonder what wrath God might
inflict upon the state of Florida if they do proceed to put me to death
despite the wealth of readily available evidence substantiating my
actual innocence? Comes down to it, there’s no free rides in life. And
the God that I believe in is not tolerant of a politically corrupt
process that is only too willing to kill the innocent under the pretense
of administering “justice,” Florida will have its day of reckoning and
we can all thank Governor Scott when that happens.
doing all I can as this methodical process continues to unfold, and
each day I step a bit closer to the day that they plan to kill me. I
know only too well that there’s nothing I can do to stop this runaway
train. But that doesn’t mean I will just lay down and die. As I
previously gave notice of, I will passively protest this act of
state-sanctioned murder by initiating and maintaining a hunger strike
while on death watch. This is not an easy thing to do, but what else can
I do to protest this? Already I’m experiencing severe stomach pain and
muscle cramps. But far better people than I have endured much worse to
stand up and protest an injustice by engaging in a hunger strike.
will be posting longer weekly updates on www.minutesbeforesix.com, and
you can read updates on the international campaign to stop my execution
at www.save-innocents.com. Many people around the world are doing all
they can to help me, and I wish I could thank each of them in person
with a big hug.