Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 16, 2009

Dear Sis~
Last week a guy here on the row, Herman Lindsey, was totally acquitted by the Florida Supreme Court on his direct appeal, based upon insufficiency of the evidence. I read his briefs about 4 or 5 months ago and I told him then I believed he'd go home - the state simply didn't have any real evidence (and yet the jury convicted him). Not surprisingly, the main bit of "evidence" was a jailhouse snitch, a guy who claimed Herman "confessed" to him. In return, the snitch got a deal to get out of jail. About 40% of all prisoners who are exonerated had a jailhouse snitch involved in their case, and many of these rats completely fabricate the alleged "confessions". The prosecutors and the judges know these rats lie like Hell and yet they continue to use them and vouch for their integrity to the jury. Anyway, I'm always conservative when a guy asks me about his chances of winning on appeal (after I've read the appellate briefs) and total acquittals are very rare (perhaps once every 4 or 5 years from the Florida Supreme Court in capital cases), but after I read Herman's briefs (and the state's brief) I felt confident he'd win. It's been 8 days and Herman is still here; they've told him they would release him on the 16th day - they have to allow the state their allotted 15 days to file a motion for rehearing (the Attorney General's office has apparently already announced they won't be filing for rehearing). So, Herman will be one of those rare and lucky souls who walks off death row, directly home. (Although he would have been even luckier had he not been convicted!) Can you imagine that transition? From death row to total freedom ...
I think old Roy might be the next one to be acquitted, although it will be another 2 years or more before his direct appeal is heard. Roy also has a jailhouse snitch (a guy with over 40 felony convictions). There was no body in Roy's case, the state couldn't even prove the alleged victim even died. Roy is 69 years old and frail, with serious health issues, so he may not even live to see freedom...
I just read The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, again. I read it maybe 25 years ago but wasn't wise or mature enough to appreciate it. It's a beautiful book, deep and thought provoking. What a writer he was!
Love & Peace, Bill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Billy - I am Roxanne & Johnny's brother. Did you ever get my letter about her passing?