Breaking news: Mike's Death Warrant Re-issued!, Date Set For October 5, 2017


Read more: http://www.southerninjustice.net
http://www.save-innocents.com/save-michael-lambrix.html


What You Can Do:

* Write/email Governor Scott - Template letter HERE

* Sign Mike's petition HERE

* Send an Amnesty Appeal for Michael Lambrix






Saturday, September 23, 2017

Death Watch Journal (20 days to scheduled execution)

As I write this it’s now Friday evening, September 15, 2017. About this time less than three weeks from now I will be strapped down to a gurney and by pre-planned and practiced ritual, I will be put to death as others watch, for a crime I did not commit.

Around the world many people are doing all they can to protest my scheduled execution and I cannot even reach out to them to let them know how much I appreciate all they’re doing. I hope somehow they know.

For my own part, I’m now on Day 10 of my hunger strike, and I’m feeling its effects. Although I drink plenty of water (and only water) I’m now down to 185 pounds. I was over 200 pound just a few weeks ago. The didn’t start taking my weight each day until I formally missed 21 meals, so the prison records reflect that I began at 202 pounds. But truth be told, I needed to lose some weight anyway. And other than some light-headedness and stomach cramps, I’m doing all right.

The warden came down earlier today and asked me why I’m doing this, and offered his observation that in his decades of experience, he’s never seen a hunger strike do any good. So I politely explained that it wasn’t about changing the outcome, but rather my only means of passively protesting the state’s intent to kill me for a crime that I didn’t commit. It was not an adversarial conversation but a polite exchange between me and the warden. Of course, I imposed my own unquenchable sense of humor upon him by inviting him to join me in my hunger strike, and he laughed as he declined.

But my biggest problem now is that I’m already almost halfway into this 34-day death warrant and I still haven’t been able to meet with my lawyers because of Hurricane Irma. My lawyers are in Fort Lauderdale and were forced to evacuate due to projected landfall in their area. When Irma hit Florida and made its way up to this area, it knocked out the prison’s phone system so that no phone calls could come through. And it caused “historical flooding” in the entire Northeast Florida area, making the roads to the prison impassible. Many employees couldn’t even make it to work, forcing the prison to cancel all social visits this weekend.

My lawyers requested that the execution be postponed due to the statewide emergency, but not surprisingly, Governor Scott quickly refused to even consider it. His only objective is to kill as many of us as he can as he campaigns for the 2018 U.S. Senate race, so I’m sure that he considers my lawyers’ inability to represent me as my execution draws closer as an advantage to him.

But as I’ve written before, at least I already had four separate appeals pending in various courts before my execution was rescheduled. With any luck, the U.S. Supreme Court will take an even closer look at the two appeals arguing my actual innocence that are before it now that I have an imminent execution date.

If the courts do the right thing and review my case rather than rubber-stamp it denied, then there’s a really good chance that I could finally have the readily available evidence substantiating my innocence claim (including DNA evidence) heard and then be exonerated and released, as others  have before me.

I try to focus on that positive — the truth is that if the rescheduling of my execution will compel the courts to now take a closer look at my case, and finally do the right thing, then maybe the best thing that has happened to me is that Governor Scott tried to kill me, and it could lead to my exoneration and release rather than my death.

                                                               

                                                                        
And I wouldn’t be the first one in Florida who only won release after facing down a date with death. By far, Florida leads the country in the number of men and women wrongfully convicted and condemned to death only to be judicially exonerated and released after having a death warrant signed and coming close to execution.

I guess sometimes you got to dance with the devil to get through hell… that’s  just the nature of the beast. But this time feels different, like a dark and ominous cloud hangs over me that I just can’t shake. Maybe it’s the reality of knowing that nobody has survived a death warrant under Governor Scott. Even if you do get a stay of execution, like a psychopath he continues to methodically stalk you and reschedules the execution until you’re dead, all the while categorically unwilling to even consider substantiated claims of innocence.

Or maybe it’s because for the first time I’m down here alone, nobody but the single hard who sits mostly at his desk some distance away on the other side of the locked gate, giving me an overwhelming feeling of isolation. He will make his round each 30 minutes, but for the most part I have nobody to talk to to relieve the anxiety and stress.

And nobody’s heard from my daughter yet. She lives in the part of Florida that was hit with some of the worst flooding and was forced to evacuate to an emergency shelter. But she is mentally disabled and nobody has heard from her since the hurricane passed. Hopefully, I’ll hear something soon.

And it’s the letters or cards that I haven’t received. There’s a few people that I’m hoping to hear from that haven’t yet written. Don’t get me wrong, I truly am so incredibly blessed by having a small group of friends who have stood by me through the years, and my family, too. And they are all giving so much of themselves to help me through this. But it’s those that I was hoping to hear from that apparently haven’t written that kind of brings me down as I need to know that they are all right.

I do try to focus on the positive and maintain the hope. But it’s become hard… it’s been a really hard year altogether, and I guess I was already kind of down. Years ago, I wrote an essay about the resilience of not being knocked down so hard that I can’t get back up and declared myself a “weeble.” (“When Weebles Wobble.”)
But the truth of the matter is that more and more I really don’t want to get back up. I’m tired. It’s been a long journey and I have no confidence in the courts. I do have hope, but not confidence and there is a big difference. If it wasn’t for the people in my life who encourage me even at their own sacrifice, I probably would even welcome this scheduled execution.

And that’s just the thing — although the administration of “justice” always bow down before the alter of the politics of death, love will always prevail. And I am loved. And at that thought, I am now smiling.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

URGENT ACTION AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FOR MICHAEL LAMBRIX

Date: 21 September 2017
                                              

URGENT ACTION FLORIDA EXECUTION RESET, INNOCENCE MAINTAINED 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/7138/2017/en/

Michael Lambrix is scheduled to be executed in Florida at 6pm on 5 October. Twentythree years old when he was sent to Florida’s death row in 1984, he is now 57. He maintains that he acted in self-defence during the crime in question. 
Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant were killed on 6 February 1983 and buried near the trailer home that Cary Michael Lambrix shared with Frances Smith. Michael Lambrix was charged with murder. His 1983 trial ended in a mistrial after the jury could not agree on a verdict. At retrial in 1984, the jury voted to convict him of two counts of first-degree murder and recommended the death penalty, by 10 votes to two for one murder and eight to four for the other. Michael Lambrix maintains his innocence of pre-meditated murder, claiming he acted in self-defence when Clarence Moore fatally attacked Aleisha Bryant and came at him when he tried to stop the assault.

The prosecution’s key witness for its case against Michael Lambrix was Frances Smith, who testified that Lambrix had killed the victims. The judge did not allow the defence to raise prior inconsistent statements she had given to police. Deborah Hanzel, who was living with Smith’s cousin at the time, testified that Michael Lambrix had told her that he killed the victims. She recanted this in 2003, saying that Lambrix “never told me at any time or in any manner indicated to me that he killed the victims”. She said that Frances Smith had told her “she didn’t really know what happened outside but that Mr Lambrix had told her that the guy [Moore] went nuts and he had to hit him”. Deborah Hanzel said that she had lied because she had been asked by Smith to corroborate her story and had done so “due to the fear instilled in me” about Lambrix “by Frances Smith and state officials”. She was recanting now, she said, because “I cannot run from the truth. I do not want to feel the guilt anymore”.

In November 2015, Michael Lambrix’s lawyer was informed, with no explanation, that executive clemency had been denied. Execution was set for 11 February 2016. This was stayed after the US Supreme Court ruled on 12 January 2016 that Florida’s capital sentencing statute was unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court has deemed that this ruling does not to apply to those, like Michael Lambrix and scores of others, whose death sentences were final by June 2002, even if they were based on non-unanimous jury votes, which would now be unlawful. On 9 March 2017, the state supreme court lifted the stay, and said that “we will not generally second-guess the executive’s determination that clemency is not warranted”. On 1 September, the governor set the execution for 5 October.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:  Calling for the execution to be halted, denial of clemency reconsidered, and the death sentence commuted;  Expressing deep concern at the non-transparency of Florida’s clemency process;  Noting that Michael Lambrix denies pre-meditated murder and maintains that he acted in self-defence, that that the state’s case was circumstantial, and pointing to the Hanzel recantation;  Noting that Michael Lambrix was sentenced under a law now deemed unconstitutional, and on nonunanimous jury recommendations for the death penalty, which would now be unlawful in Florida.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 OCTOBER 2017 TO:
Governor Rick Scott Office of the Governor,
The Capitol 400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001, USA
Email: Rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

Salutation: Dear Governor Office of Executive Clemency Florida Parole Commission, 4070 Esplanade Way Tallahassee, FL 32399-2450, USA Email: ClemencyWeb@fpc.state.fl.us  Fax: +1 850 414-6031 or +1 850 488-0695 Salutation: Dear Members of the Clemency Board Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation  Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 31/15. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/3192/2016/en/


URGENT ACTION FLORIDA EXECUTION RESET, INNOCENCE MAINTAINED
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 


On 12 January 2016, in Hurst v. Florida, the US Supreme Court ruled Florida’s capital sentencing scheme unconstitutional because it gave juries only an advisory role in sentencing. This, it said, was incompatible with its 2002 Ring v. Arizona decision that the US Constitution requires juries, rather than judges, to make the factual findings necessary to sentence a defendant to death. In December 2016, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Hurst applied retroactively to just over half of the nearly 400 prisoners then on death row, who would be entitled to resentencing if the state failed to prove that the “Hurst error” was “harmless”. Justice James Perry dissented, arguing that the majority had decided “to arbitrarily draw a line between June 23 and June 24, 2002 – the day before and the day after Ring was decided”, but “does not offer a convincing rationale as to why 173 death sentenced persons should be treated differently than those whose sentences became final post-Ring…The majority’s application of Hurst v. Florida makes constitutional protection depend on little more than a roll of the dice.” Justice Barbara Pariente also argued that Hurst should apply retroactively to all death sentences, pointing out that “we must be extraordinarily vigilant in ensuring that the death penalty is not arbitrarily imposed”. She subsequently noted in the March 2017 decision in Michael Lambrix’s case that given her way she “would vacate [his] sentences of death and remand for a new penalty phase”. 

Governor Scott signed into law a new post-Hurst sentencing statute in March 2016. That was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court in October for not requiring juror unanimity on votes for death. The legislature passed a new statute, requiring juror unanimity, which the Governor signed on 17 March 2017. In its October 2016 ruling, the Florida Supreme Court noted evidence that juries not required to reach unanimity “tend to take less time deliberating and cease deliberating when the required majority vote is achieved rather than attempting to obtain full consensus” and noted “that the requirement of unanimity in capital jury findings will help to ensure the heightened level of protection necessary for a defendant who stands to lose his life as a penalty”. Florida’s lack of a unanimity requirement until now may be one reason why it accounts for more wrongful convictions uncovered in capital cases than any other state, accounting for 17 per cent of the national total since 1973.

Under state law, the Florida governor can grant reprieve from execution of up to 60 days, but can commute a death sentence only with the approval of two members of the Board of Executive Clemency. The Board is comprised of the Governor and members of the Cabinet. The Governor can deny clemency for any reason, regardless of the Board’s vote on the matter. Executive clemency has not been granted in a Florida capital case since 1983. In 2006, the American Bar Association concluded that the lack of transparency surrounding Florida’s clemency process meant that it was impossible to determine the extent to which “inappropriate political considerations” impacted that process.  In a letter to the Board of Executive Clemency after Michael Lambrix was denied clemency in 2015, his lawyer submitted that his client had received neither a “meaningful clemency interview” nor a “meaningful clemency hearing”. 

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally. Today 141 countries are abolitionist in law or practice. In 1972, Florida became the first in the USA to revive the death penalty after the US Supreme Court had overturned the country’s capital laws earlier that year because of the arbitrary manner in which death sentences were being handed down.  The Court upheld new statutes, including Florida’s, in July 1976. In 1979, Florida carried out the USA’s first “non-consensual” execution under these laws, three and a half years before any other state did the same thing.  It carried out its first post-Hurst execution on 24 August 2017, its 93rd execution since 1976. There have been 1,460 executions in the USA since 1976, 18 of them this year.

For further information on Florida’s death penalty, see Death in Florida, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/6736/2017/en/.      Name: Cary Michael Lambrix Gender m/f:  m

Further Information on UA: 31/15 Index: AMR 51/7138/2017 Issue Date: 21 September 2017

Death Watch Journal (25 days to execution)

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.

Just 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.

When 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.

Some 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.

Governor 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.

On 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.

That 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.

What 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.

By 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.

I 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 the state?

It 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.

I’m 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.

I 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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

URGENT REQUEST! PLEASE CONTACT THE GOVERNOR TO MAKE YOUR OPINION KNOWN. SILENCE IMPLIES CONSENT.

What you can do:

Contact governor Scott:

Governor Rick Scott: Tel: 850-488-7146
Email: Rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com
Address: Office of Governor Rick Scott, State of Florida, The Capitol 400, S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-000, USA.

Letter template, please adapt/personalize as you wish.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you about the case of Cary Michael Lambrix, #482053, with the purpose to respectfully ask for a clemency hearing on his behalf. Michael Lambrix is scheduled for execution on 10/5/2017.
I am [describe who you are, any particular moral, human or personal reason why you are writing to them).
This case is unique enough that it should compel the State of Florida to grant a
special attention to under the form of an official clemency hearing (his last clemency hearing was held over thirty years ago).

Many reasons could be given in support of such a hearing, such as:

1. The inordinate length of time already served
2. He has never been given the opportunity to present his version of events as a coherent whole. The members of the Cabinet deserve to hear the full story.
3. Lambrix’s version of events (manslaughter in self-defence) remains credible. By contrast, the case against him appears in many ways legally contentious:
- The key witness changed the story she told the police several times
- The key witness admitted in court to having had a sexual affair with the
State’s lead investigator
- Another leading witness later retracted her evidence
- Key forensic evidence has gone missing or is unavailable for testing (namely
fingernail scrapings and the tire iron)
- The State theory of the sequential killing of the two victims appears to many
questionable at best.
4. The jury verdicts were not unanimous, but 8-4 and 10-2. Should Mike Lambrix be tried today, he would NOT have been sentenced to death.
5. Mike Lambrix has twice refused offers of a plea-bargain, even though had he done so he would long since have been free.

However, there is one human picture that the courts will not be able to address:
Mike Lambrix is a man of exceptional intelligence and personal resolve who has educated himself in prison and managed to make his experience valuable to others:
He will be next year part of a major exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Norway, and his writings, his advice to others on how to pursue legitimate successful lives are already part of a wider, burgeoning effort to educate and encourage the public.

Sincerely,

Sign Mike's Petition:  petition:  https://www.change.org/p/governor-rick-scott-please-grant-michael-lambrix-a-clemency-hearing

Friday, September 15, 2017

save-innocents.com

Press release Lambrix September 2017


Amidst tragedy of Hurricane Irma, Death Row Prisoner in Florida Declares Hunger Strike To Protest His Innocence

September 15, 2017
In an unprecedented move, Florida death row inmate Michael Lambrix has declared a "hunger strike" to protest his scheduled execution (October 5, 2017)
Michael Lambrix has consistently maintained his innocence in a case that remains essentially a highly circumstantial case (no eye witnesses, no physical or forensic evidence, no confession). Despite the case receiving international attention, his appeals for justice  in courts have been defeated for over 30 years.
The State funded agency CCRC South recently filed a strong and comprehensive "habeas petition" in the Florida Supreme Court specifically arguing that he must be allowed to present and be heard upon the wealth of evidence, including DNA testing (see  Lambrix v Jones, Case No SC17-1608)
Support in the US and around the world, as well as attorney Adam Tebrugge strongly believe that should Michael Lambrix lose his appeal again, he should then get a unique clemency hearing.
Mike Lambrix has said:
I have been forced into a non-win situation in which the vast resources of the State of Florida
are being employed to put me to death for a crime I am actually innocent of. I cannot stop anyone from executing me. But I am constitutionally entitled to protest against this injustice by declaring and maintaining a hunger strike as an expression of the free speech without governmental intrusion.

Photo: Rune Eraker
Mike Lambrix will be part of an exhibition "Noble is the Man"
at the Nobel Peace Prize center in Oslo, 2018


 Background information

. Summary of the case, key prior media interviews, and general campaign information:
  http://www.save-innocents.com/save-michael-lambrix.html

. To access Mike Lambrix story and his life advice to others:
  https://www.save-humanity.org

. For all detailed appellate actions filed in Lambrix's case and more information:
  www.southerninjustice.net



Sign the Petition here

 

Write/email the Governor:

WRITE TO THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA TO ASK FOR A CLEMENCY HEARING

PLEASE GRANT MICHAEL LAMBRIX A CLEMENCY HEARING
His last clemency hearing was over 30 years ago.
He never has had an opportunity to present his version of events as an integrated whole.
Should he be tried today, he would NOT be sentenced to death (the jury was not unanimous)..
He twice refused offers of a plea-bargain, even though had he done so he would  since have been free.
Mike Lambrix has educated himself in prison and managed to make his experience valuable to others: He will be next year part of a major exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Norway, ("Noble is Man") and his writings, his advice to others on how to pursue legitimate successful lives are already part of a wider growing effort to educate and encourage the public, which needs to be supported.
Tel. : Governor Rick Scott: 850-488-7146
Email: Rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com
(Office of Governor Rick Scott State of Florida The Capitol 400 S. Monroe St. Tallahassee, FL 32399-000)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi:
Tel 850-414-3300 Pam Bondi
Email: http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact?Open&Section=Attorney_General
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis:
Tel (850) 413-2850
Email: CFO.Patronis@MyFloridaCFO.com

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam
Tel 850-413 2850
Email adam.putnam@wustl.edu And info@adamputnam.com
 

 Contact
 Emmanuelle Purdon emmanuellepurdon[at]mac.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Death Watch Journal (Execution Rescheduled)

On Friday, September 01, 2017, Florida governor Rick Scott decided that it was time kill me again and signed an order rescheduling my previously “stayed” execution for Thursday October 5, 2017. That gave me about 35 days to live. By that afternoon I was pulled (not forcibly) from my regular death row cell on “G-wing” and escorted up to the front of the prison and brought to an office where FSP warden Barry Reddish then read the governor’s order to me and then it was back down that long main corridor to the very end of the prison where the heavy steel door leads on to “Q-wing.”

The bottom floor of Q-wing is Florida’s execution chamber as well as the 3 cells that house the condemned prisoners while on “death watch.” Since they just put Mark Asay to death last week (August 24) I was the only prisoner down here and was placed in “cell one” (see Cell 1— PBS documentary, featuring myself), to once again slowly count down what the state of Florida intends to be my last days in this life.

The question now is where do we go from here? I must first accept the reality that especially since current governor Rick Scott began his unprecedented campaign to kill as many prisoners as he could — he’s running for the U.S. Senate and in these southern states nothing wins more votes than a good old fashioned lynching — not even one person he’s targeted for execution has survived.

That’s just the reality of it and so going into this I must accept that the odds are stacked against me. By confronting and accepting that truth, I can at least come to terms with it.

But with that said, my lawyers seem somewhat confident that at the very least we have a good chance of having the courts put a stop to all this on the one big issue of whether Florida can continue to execute those who have been illegally sentenced to death. This is generally referred to as the “Hurst” issue and it is what the Florida Supreme Court ordered a stay of execution on in my case only last year when I was originally scheduled for execution on February 11, 2016.

This issue comes from the January 2016 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hurst v Florida in which by a rare super majority (8 to 1 vote) the Supreme Court recognized that the way Florida was sentencing prisoners to death by allowing the judge to determine the sentence was illegal, as under the Constitution any such sentence has to be determined by a jury.

In the aftermath of the Hurst v Florida decision, Florida change the laws on the death penalty., now not only requiring that the jury determine the sentence (life or death) but that it must do so by a unanimous vote (12 to 0) instead of the simple majority previously required.

However, in Mark Asay  v State of Florida, the Florida Supreme Court decided that they would allow this substantial change of law to be retroactively applied only as far back as 2002. Specifically, the Court decided by a marginal majority that those illegally sentenced to death after June 2002 would have their sentences thrown out, but those illegally sentenced before June 2002 would not. This “partial retroactivity” rule is unprecedented and as the lawyers are arguing, creates an arbitrary process that is itself unconstitutional.

                                                                   

                                                            - Photo by Rune Eraker -


This issue was not resolved in Mark Asay’s case as he didn’t want his lawyers to pursue it. Although they did superficially present this “partial retroactivity” to the court, it was not fully addressed. My case will now be the first one to fully address this issue, but it is expected that the Florida Supreme Court will be very unreceptive to the issue — after all, they are the ones that created this absurd rule. For that reason, it’s far more likely that if it is fully addressed, it will be by the U.S. Supreme Court, and we won’t know if they will grant review until only shortly before the scheduled execution.

While that issue appears to be what the lawyers will undoubtedly focus on I do have at least 3 other appeals already pending in the courts, which focus on my consistently pled claim of actual innocence.

As those already familiar with my case know (see www.southerninjustice.net) I have maintained my innocence in this wholly circumstantial case (i.e, no eye witnesses, no physical or forensic evidence, no confessions, etc.) and there is a virtual wealth of readily available evidence, including including DNA evidence — that supports my claim of innocence, but the courts have refused to allow this evidence to be heard because they say that my lawyers failed to present it in my original “post conviction” appeal.

Before Governor Scott signed the order rescheduling my execution, my lawyers filed a comprehensive “Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus” in the Florida Supreme Court; (see Cary Michael Lambrix v Julie Jones, Case No. SC17-5153) that fully summarizes how the collective evidence does establish my actual innocence and that I am entitled to have this evidence heard before they kill me. Also, in this original “actual innocence” habeas, my lawyers challenge the Florida Supreme Court’s earlier denial of our request for DNA testing — the Court stated that DNA testing was already done, but that simply is not true and our argument is that the courts cannot deny in a case presenting a claim of actual innocence, on clearly false pretenses.

Additionally, I have two separate appeals still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, both arguing why I was wrongfully convicted. In Cary Michael Lambrix v Julie Jones, we argue that the federal court’s refusal to allow the evidence establishing my actual innocence heard violates established federal law. If the U.S. Supreme Court grants review of that case, not only would it probably lead to my own exoneration and release, but it would open the door to forcing the Florida federal courts to allow other cases to be heard.

Last, in the other case already pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Cary Michael Lambrix v State of Florida, case17-5539 we argue that the Florida Supreme Court violated its own rules by denying me a new trial on the issue based on irrefutable evidence that my appointed public defender that represented me at trial was secretly acting as a witness against me to the FBI, and that  under long-established federal law this undisclosed “conflict of interest” requires the court to throw out my convictions and order a new trial.

Bottom line is that I do have numerous strong appeals already pending and several more that haven’t been filed yet. Legally, I’m in a better position now than I have been in many years. But we also know that one of the reasons that Governor Scott hand picks which cases he will sign a death warrant on is because he is deliberately stacking the deck — he knows that once you’re “under warrant” the politics of Trump justice and the courts are significantly less receptive to anything you file - even becoming openly hostile. That’s why nobody has survived a death warrant under Governor Scott — I’m the only one still alive.

I don’t know how this will play out. I don’t have any confidence in our legal system as it has long been corrupted by the “politics of death,” and proven itself only too willing to sacrifice the innocent. But I am blessed with my friends who will advocate my case the best that they can…. politics work both ways. Maybe with their help we can turn the politics of death to our advantage. Maybe.

Read Mike's moving essay Why the Butterflies Must Die at MinutesBeforeSix

Friday, September 1, 2017

Breaking News - New Execution Date for Mike Lambrix!


Innocent and Executed - please read