Monday, November 24, 2008

Florida Today Calls for Investigation into Brevard County

On Sunday, the the editorial board of Florida Today called for Governor Crist to look into the actions of the Brevard County District Attorney's office, which reek of misconduct and corruption. They called for:

A state probe ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist into possible repeated miscarriages of justice at the State Attorney’s Office, including in the cases of Dillon and Wilton Dedge, convicted of rape in 1981 but freed in 2004 after DNA evidence proved the Port St. John man’s innocence... And of Juan Ramos, who was tried and sentenced to death for rape and murder in 1983 in Brevard, although no physical evidence linked him to the crime. Ramos was acquitted in 1987.

The editors added: "Prosecutors’ mishandling of the cases follows an ugly pattern of incompetence and impropriety that cries out for investigation." Florida Today correctly observes that there is "overwhelming justification" for a probe. But the evidence goes beyond justification to the creation of an imperative: It would be negligent at this point for the Governor to ignore his duty to the public to make sure that the laws and the Constitution are faithfully enforced.

Today, reasonable people are making the conclusion that Brevard county systemically engages in corruption and collusion. We previously called for an investigation when Dillon was granted a new trial. Governor Crist ought to step up and call for a thorough investigation of those practices that put Dillon and other innocent people behind bars. Justice demands it.

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1 comment:

victim said...

Whoever does the investigation should note how many DUIs of the mid-1990s were due to a .15% blood alcohol level.
I got pulled for a burnt out taillight in 1995 after drinking ONE BEER. The State Trooper smelled the beer and asked me to perform a field sobriety test, which I did. He said I passed the test, but he wanted to take a breath test. I said, "No problem". Two Deputy Sheriffs drove me out to a power generator station and gave me the test. I blew a .15.
I went to the States Attorneys Office and requested all the information they had on the testing equipment. They told me that information was not available to the public. I called (then) Governor Bob Graham who in turn called their office. They reluctantly gave me paperwork to File For Discovery, which I did.
According to the equipment manual, if the machine is used within 50 feet of a power source, such as a generator, it would register a .15 "even if the subject had zero blood alcohol content".
I got to see my Public Defender for the first time fifteen minutes before the trial. He had been on vacation. He asked me how I got all the information I had. He told me I was going to jail if convicted. In walked seven State Troopers and two equipment "experts" to tesify against me. I had no choice but to accept a plea bargain.
The whole ordeal cost me my job, my girlfriend. and a couple thousand dollars in time and fines.