Tallahassee, FL—We the People of Florida, greatly depend on our state Legislators to protect our rights. There should be no difference in judicial proceedings in Central Florida and judicial proceedings in Tallahassee—or anywhere else in Florida for that matter. A defense attorney from Central Florida called the Leon County Courthouse, spoke with someone in State Attorney Willie Meggs’ office and the woman said, “That’s not the way we do things here in Leon County.” The Basic Principles of Ethics in Florida starts as follows:
A public office is a public trust. The people shall have the right to secure and sustain that trust against abuse. Article II Section 8. Constitution of the State of Florida: No man can serve two masters. A situation which “tempts” to dishonor.
NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS. A SITUATION WHICH “TEMPTS” TO DISHONOR.
Too many Black youths have been sent to Florida prisons based on criminal investigations that were handled by the late Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, and then handed over to Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs and then assigned to be prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell (Sheriff Larry Campbell’s son). This assignment of cases to be prosecuted by State Attorney Willie Meggs widely opened the door for Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell and all of Sheriff Larry Campbell’s employees within the Leon County Sheriff’s Office—to serve two masters—putting these individuals in a position that may tempt them to dishonor their responsibilities. Although the State Constitution refers to people elected to public office, no elected official should initiate such biasness. For over fifteen years defendants and employees of Sheriff Larry Campbell endured this type of injustice and demoralization. State Attorney Jack Campbell filed complaints with Internal Affairs against Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies when they did not cooperate with his terms. Defense attorneys all over the state of Florida have argued this biasness in Leon County Courtrooms, only to be ruled against by 2nd Circuit and Leon County Judges. In most cases, some of the judges (both Circuit and County) were former employees of State Attorney Willie Meggs, hence, former colleagues of State Prosecutor Jack Campbell. Family members of defendants have sought out some form of intervention or change of prosecutor due to the obvious bias—to no avail. Second Circuit Judges, Leon County judges, and other government officials refused to intervene. In the majority (if not all) of the cases where Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell held investigative jurisdiction that were then prosecuted by State Prosecutor Jack Campbell, most of State Prosecutor Jack Campbell’s witnesses were Leon County Sheriff’s detectives, deputies and other employees who were given the “Green Light” to commit perjury—“Help” Sheriff Larry Campbell’s son get convictions.
It is a fact that State Attorney Willie Meggs and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division are responsible for bringing charges against law enforcement officers who commit perjury. In a judicial family formation with the Campbell’s and the Meggs’, nobody—neither ordinary citizens nor law enforcement officials are safe. “No man can serve two masters. A situation which “Tempts” to dishonor.” Law enforcement officials with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office have been repeatedly put in positions to dishonor their badge. Are Florida Legislators “Content” with State Attorney Willie Meggs and Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell giving deputies the “Green Light” to commit perjury?
In June 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed his first executive order to reform prisons in Florida. However, over three hundred prisoners have died in Florida’s prisons a.k.a. “Death Camps.” Many correctional officers in Florida have attempted to speak out against the harsh practices within prisons. Many correctional officers are in fear of their superiors. There are correctional officers who have committed suicide after being Indicted on charges of inmate abuse. It’s a culture that most correctional officers must be abusive or outcasts. There are several correctional officers who have been linked to White Supremacy groups. While other states across America are forming task forces to combat prison abuse of inmates by correctional officers and to investigate possible wrongful convictions, Governor Scott’s executive orders does not form any task force to address these issues. Governor Scott’s executive orders leave prison reform in the same agency that turned a blinded eye to the hundreds that were murdered in prison, the Department of Corrections. (The wolf guarding the hen house.) Is Governor Rick Scott “Content” with inmates dying in prison due to abusive correctional officers? Is Governor Scott “Content” with inmates being convicted wrongfully due to prosecutorial misconduct?
In April 2011, Orlando Sentinel columnist, Scott Maxwell, wrote a column that brought favorable attention to Pam Bondi, who was then the Republican candidate running for Attorney General. The article titled, “Tackling wrongful convictions—will Bondi keep her word?” quotes Pam Bondi as vowing to be “a crusader for justice.” The article goes further stating Bondi specifically, “promised to do more than her predecessors about Florida’s shameful record of wrongful convictions—a growing problem that costs taxpayers money and the victims decades of their lives.” Pam Bondi won the Attorney General race.
In September 2014, Mr. Maxwell wrote about his “buyer’s remorse” for having supported Pam Bondi in 2011. In the article titled, “Pam Bondi played games with executions, convictions and donations,” Mr. Maxwell outlines the various actions that Attorney General Pam Bondi reneged on, including investigating a string of wrongful convictions.
Pam Bondi is not a crusader for justice. When seventeen year-old DeShon Thomas’ mother repeatedly contacted Attorney General Pam Bondi about acts of corruption that was preventing her son’s case from proceeding through the Leon County Judicial System, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s response was to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigations. In 2011, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell charged DeShon with Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent. DeShon plead NOT GUILTY. As DeShon sat in the Leon County Jail awaiting trial, DeShon’s mother took notice that DeShon’s case process was distorted—absolutely nothing was happening—no depositions, nothing. In 2012, what DeShon’s mother’s didn’t realize at the time of contacting Attorney General Pam Bondi was that Ms. Bondi, herself, was being investigated for violating at least one of the same problems that was hindering DeShon’s case from proceeding through the judicial system. Both Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott were facing charges for violating Florida’s Public Records law. According to the flow chart, it was up to State Attorney Willie Meggs to bring charges against Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi. (CRIMINALS PROTECTING CRIMINALS! THE FLOW CHART IS EXACTLY WHY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IN TALLAHASSEE/ LEON COUNTY FEEL “BOXED IN”—THEY HAVE NO PROTECTION) In part, DeShon’s mother complained that after having paid defense attorney, Greg Cummings nearly $30,000, over the span of sixteen months to represent her son, Greg Cummings, State Prosecutor Jack Campbell and Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson were conspiring against DeShon. In part, State Attorney Willie Meggs and State Prosecutor Jack Campbell, the son of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, refused to allow the District Two Medical Examiner’s Office to release to DeShon and the public, the victims’ autopsy reports—which is a violation of Florida’s Public Records law. (A 17-year-old kid that is in an adult jail, facing his lifetime in prison if convicted, he’s named as the only suspect, and State Attorney Willie Meggs and the prosecutor, Jack Campbell, refuses to allow the medical examiner’s office to release the victims autopsy reports—and—his defense attorney Greg Cummings—refuses to discuss the autopsies with him and refuses to file the autopsies with the court to make them public record.) After Greg Cummings was fired from DeShon’s case, State Attorney Willie Meggs and State Prosecutor Jack Campbell still would not allow the victims autopsy reports to be released.
DeShon, who at the time of his arrest was a freshman at Tallahassee Community College and working at a fast food restaurant, had no reason to want the victims, 20-year-old, Laqecia Herring and her 17-year-old brother, Sterling Conner Jr. murdered. Laqecia was pregnant at the time of her murder. Prior to Laqecia’s murder, she’d named DeShon and another young man as the father of her unborn baby. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell held investigation jurisdiction over the double murders, citing DeShon wanted Laqecia to have an abortion. DeShon’s mother, along with many Americans and citizens abroad believe that if Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and State Attorney Willie Meggs together had the evidence to prove that DeShon Thomas was the cold-blooded murderer of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her brother, then Mickey Mouse could’ve prosecuted the case and gotten a conviction. But since Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and his son were paired together, State Attorney Willie Meggs, who has a staff of over forty Assistant State Attorneys over six counties, would not separate Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell from his dad, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell. The father/son team had to stay together. And this father/son team was supported by Circuit and Leon County judges, who were determined to make sure State Prosecutor Jack Campbell convicted DeShon, a child—no matter what the cost.
In November 2014, Mr. Maxwell called attention to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, in his article titled, “Bondi named in pay-to-look-away scandal.”
The Innocence Project stated that in 2014, The National Registry of Exonerations recorded 125 exonerations in America. Of the 125 exonerated, only 2 were exonerated in Florida.
Has the “Greed” of money and power in Florida’s political arena so desperate, so EVIL that sentencing an innocent 17-year-old to prison for the rest of his life and blatantly robbing his single mother of thousands of dollars, considered to be ok? Is everybody in politics and judicial officials ok with that? Is Regional Counsel Jeff Lewis ok with his 2nd Circuit Director, Regional Counsel Daren Shippy, filing subpoenas with fictitious names on them in an attempt to conceal a witness from his juvenile client and the courts?
DeShon was 17-years-old when his life was turned upside down. DeShon was sentenced to Two Life Sentences plus 30 years. DeShon just recently spent his fourth birthday in custody (3 birthdays in the Leon County Jail and 2 birthdays in State Prison). Now, at twenty-two years, DeShon continues to grow in Christ and continues to maintain his INNOCENCE. (Was Christ not wrongfully convicted and crucified?) Today, as the Regional Counsel’s Office casually Waltz dance with DeShon’s appeal, DeShon and his family knows that justice will prevail. Since DeShon’s incarceration, the Criminal Justice System is being shaken like it’s NEVER been shaken before—by both political parties.
Recently, President Obama stated that he’d called on Iran to release all four Americans being held as prisoners. The families of Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson have expressed to the world about their loved on being held in Iran’s prison for more than over four years on trumped up charges. The family of DeShon Thomas understands the four families feelings of turmoil. The only difference—DeShon Thomas’ family is being intimidated and threatened right here in the United States by their own local government officials—out of Florida’s capital city—Tallahassee. DeShon and his family are sickened by the blatant LIES and EVIL by adults in authority. Sadly, the corruption and greed of the Criminal Justice System on the state level, including Florida, which makes the United States Criminal Justice System look weak. Former President Bill Clinton admitted that when it comes to the Criminal Justice System during his time in office, he made a “mistake.” Not realizing the bill that he signed was going to cause law enforcement agencies and courts on the local level to “Run Wild” and turn inmates–prisons into high profit businesses.
DeShon Thomas is not the first child to be wrongly convicted on double murder. In 1944, the State of South Carolina, convicted and executed fourteen-year-old, George Stinney Jr. for murdering two preteen white girls. George Stinney Jr. was the youngest to ever be executed in the United States. Over sixty years later, in 2014, George Stinney Jr. was exonerated. Although the Supreme Court has halted the death penalty of youths, as well as life in prison sentences, are Florida Legislators, Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi content with allowing corruption to occur in Florida’s courtrooms?