Tallahassee, FL—In June 2013 the Miami Herald published an article entitled, ‘Gov. Scott signs bill to speed up executions in Florida.’ The State of Florida Department of Corrections has over 50 prisons including private prisons that house over 100,000 inmates. Also, there are more than 50 county jails that are under the authority of each individual county sheriff.
In February 2015, the Miami Herald published an article entitled, ‘The ‘Cannibalizing’ of Florida’s prison system.’ In part the article uncovers Florida’s contract with private prison companies to “guarantee them a 90 percent occupancy rate, pay them per inmate, and allow them to charge more for extra services and programs.”
Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court ruled Florida’s Death Penalty Law unconstitutional—in part stating that the law gives too much power to judges and not enough to juries which is a violation of the Sixth Amendment. Following the ruling, a partial headline in an article published in the New York Times states, “Florida scrambling to fix death penalty law.” However, neither Governor Scott nor any state representatives nor any of Florida’s 67 state attorneys were ‘scrambling’ to fix Florida’s death penalty law because many years ago, Florida had already been told to “fix” their death penalty process. In the recent months and years, many of Florida’s judges have been either removed from the bench or reprimanded for many different reasons—including unethical and immoral acts. In some counties the question has come up to whether or not judges were in fact judges. Fake cops being used and providing court testimony has also come up.
In November 2014, after Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Smith was gunned down by a deranged gunman who was known to some of those (possibly not Chris Smith) within the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. The gunman had previously made threats about harming local law enforcement officers and first responders. Deputy Chris Smith was murdered and Deputy Wulfekuhl was shot by the gunman but survived, and due to the deranged gunman having set his house on fire to lure in first responders—first responders arrived near the scene but were kept at a safe distance until the gunman was shot and killed. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell waited over 24 hours to hold a news conference to brief the news media and address the citizens in the community. Reportedly, Governor Scott issued a statement expressing his sadness…
As the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty spiked Governor Scott never pushed for a bill to increase the compensation for the widowers and the fatherless or motherless children left behind due to their father or mothers’ heroic devotion to ‘serve and protect’ the communities that they sacrificed their lives to protect. Certainly, after Leon County Deputy Chris Smith was murdered, his wife and children needed more than expressions of sadness. And surely, there were plenty of other families who had lost their loved ones in the line of duty who needed more than expressions of sadness. But, unfortunately, it is obvious that compensating military personnel/veterans (working full-time as civilians), law enforcement officers, first responders and educators is not at the top of the list of Governor Scott. Writing bills to “speed up executions” and contracts to private prison—guaranteeing them “a 90 percent occupancy rate” is worth monetarily worth more.
It was not until Bridget Pine, the wife of Orange County Deputy Scott Pine, put herself and her very young children in front of the news cameras in Orlando several times expressing her financial hardships after her husband had been gunned down while in the line of duty. Deputy Pine joined Orange County Sheriff’s Office in 2011. He served with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for about two years. Instead of having time to mourn the untimely loss of her husband, Mrs. Bridget Pine, widower and mother of three, had to get out and partner with former Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Judge Belvin Perry and lobby for expanded spouse benefits to provide for her family as a single mother—a role that she did not plan. The bill (SB 7012) passed through both houses. Governor Scott signed the bill into law in April 2016 at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in front of several news cameras and reporters. Many reporters questioned Gov. Scott’s motive—using the signing of the bill to boost his political aspirations.
Imagine if the top of Governor Scott’s agenda—and all of his ‘business’ sense were to find ways to improve the lives of military personnel/veterans, law enforcement officers, first responders and educators.
All military personnel/veterans, law enforcement officers, first responders and educators should be DISGUSTED by wrongful convictions. Crime can be combated without corrupt law enforcement officers, corrupt state attorneys, corrupt public defenders, corrupt defense attorneys, corrupt judges, and corrupt medical examiners and so forth and so on—a corrupt judicial system DOES NOT make communities safe.