Framed to Prevent Release:
Troy M. Griffin
By Arlene Johnson
July 7, 2001
I, Troy M. Griffin, an inmate at Florida State Prison have been framed for a crime I didn't do because I was within months of release.
The judge said this "assault" was supposed to have happened on November 5, 1999 when a fire took place at Florida State Prison. When the administration allowed the guards to open up all cell doors and told us to come out and go toward the back door without any restraints, the officers saw so many inmates without any restraints, it caused certain officers to panic and react negatively.
Now, after the building was cleared of all other inmates, myself and another inmate were still in the building. I risked my life with all the smoke to help my friend get out of his cell because his door was jammed and it had been over 15 minutes and nobody was helping him. After getting him out of his cell, we exited the building, entering a crowd of inmates and officers. As I was waiting in the crowd, Lt. Palmer appeared and threw me to the ground, where I was then attacked by several officers; now they are trying to say that I assaulted an officer.
Now, let me tell you why all of a sudden they're trying to give me another charge. First of all, I'm a writ writer. Secondly, I'm a prime witness in the case which is the lawsuit that's now in effect that Peter Siegel is handling.
Peter Siegel came out here to interview me concerning the lawsuit. He wrote me a letter asking me if anything happened to me since our last visit. I wrote him and told him that these guards have been constantly harassing me, threatening me with, "We are going to teach you about going out there talking to those lawyers. We are going to get you some more time in prison." These threats occurred for a period of time. Peter Siegel and Lisa Shirley have letters ahead of time, even before they brought this charge on me.
Why did they wait so long to charge me? What transpired between 1999 and 2001, out of 96 inmates that were on the recreation yard that day I'm the only one that got charged. Something has got to seem strange about that.
I have about 10 months at the most before I go home. I've done 7 years already. I have a very good and supportive family and a little son who is waiting for me. I can't allow them to frame me for another five years. That's what the charge they are dropping on me carries.
I've seen these guards frame a lot of inmates when they are about to go home, so that's what they are trying to do to me. They are trying to retaliate against me because my coming forward to report the abuse that I and others suffered and about the lawsuit. It's hard for me to explain everything to you. I know these guards are watching my mail, so I wish I had a phone call or a visit with you.
Editor's note: Troy wrote this letter to Kay Lee of Making the Walls Transparent in June, 2001. All the prisoner advocates worked hard on this case to prevent Troy from suffering for 5 more years behind bars.
The last I heard from Troy was that he would be transferred to a jail for a short period of time and then freed to go home. The reason why I wanted to publish this case is because it is representative.
Troy's psychological state is an atrocity in and of itself.