Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

FLA Death Penalty Games

I'm in the midst of challenging the reappointment of a guy named Spalding to the Capital Collateral Representative (CCR) post of Florida (that's the state funded agency that handles collateral appeals for indigent capital/condemned prisoners). I'm still on direct appeal, but I feel that I have standing as a prospective client, not to mention the sure standing of those who are actually represented by CCR, especially because his post is statutorily created and he's my attorney in waiting so to speak. Anyway, this character (who just so happens to be pro death penalty) made a deal with the Governor's office in late 1990 to abide by an unpromulgated one year timetable for filing 3.850 (ineffective assistance of counsel) appeals in exchange for more funding and no warrants being signed in that one year; he's forced his staff to abide by this since that time and forced out anyone who opposed it (by law we have two years to file). He never informed death row, never offered a counter proposal of his own on our behalf, nor did he inquire of death row if we had a viable counter proposal to offer.

In any event, I've gathered signatures from 2/3 of the men on this wing (a lot of them are scared to sign) and have petitioned the Public Defenders Association (they submitted his name with three others to the Governor without consulting us, so I've threatened a class action if they don't withdraw his name from consideration); the governor, who nominates one of the four names submitted to him by the PDA and then sends it to the Senate for confirmation; and the Florida state Senate because they have the last say in the matter and I doubt the governor will withdraw his pliable candidate. I've also written to Florida Supreme Court, Justice Overton, who chairs the Overton Commission that was the starting point of this inquiry as to what could be done to improve things and lower costs, etc., informing him that I have a viable counter proposal to make that does not require abolishing the death penalty, will unclog the courts of capital cases and would require absolutely no tax increases to fund it and our rights will be protected.

Now we're about to do a media blitz and we're organizing supporters and getting them to sign a petition I wrote up from churches, etc., demanding that we at least be heard. This will go to the court itself from Tampa, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville. I'll keep you up to date on this as it unfolds.

F.V. Starke, FL

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login