Body of Petition to Obtain Justice in the 1st Degree Homicide of Frank Valdes:
We, the undersigned, expect true justice for the brutal murder of Frank Valdes, an inmate on death row at Florida State Prison.
We are requesting for a fair trial at the federal level.
We urge that the Florida DOC be put under Federal injunction before future trials are necessary.
We are also requesting that the Judicial Qualifications Committee and the Florida Bar look into the matter of the trial held, by Judge Larry Turner, because:
*As presiding judge, he addressed both the court and the jury prior to closing arguments and acknowledged that he realized that just about everyone present was either related to, was friends with, or saw each other at the local stores. Did he honestly believe that conversations regarding the trial never took place up to this point or even before the jury was selected?
*Nine "correctional" officers were charged by the State of Florida with the crime of murdering Frank Valdes. We all knew at the beginning that a fair trial was not possible in the prison communities of North Florida, not in Bradford County, and most especially not in the tiny town of Starke, Florida, where everyone depends on the prison for income. It was obvious that a fair & unbiased jury could not be found , but even after questioning over 2, 000 potential jurors,the trial remained in Bradford County. Once the trial was staged in the guard's back yard, acquittals were predictable.
The acquittal of these guards and the latest injustice committed by the State Attorney who has dropped all charges against the remaining accused guards has outraged the public.
Ever since the death of Frank Valdes , the continued threats and beatings have occurred on a daily basis throughout the Florida prisons. Now, with their unbelievable acquittal, the state has given a "license" to murder, as long as one works for the DOC and only murders 'inmates'.
The law SHOULD apply to prison guards, too!
The felony murder rule does apply and the federal authorities can seek justice, if they choose to do so. We want justice in the Frank Valdes case and we demand professionalism and rehabilitation within the Florida Department of 'Corrections'!
Recipients: John Ashcroft, Florida Bar, Judicial Qualifications Committee
Sponsor of Petition: Making the Walls Transparent
Geographic Scope of Petition: Florida, United States
Launch Date: 05/14/2002
Ending Date: 09/11/2002