February 23, 2007

Written Statement of Michael Lambrix, #XXXXXX

(To be submitted in person to disciplinary team at disciplinary hearing)

On February 9th, 2007 I was informed that I have been written a disciplinary report for alleged violation of “0914 – Mail Violations” because of a personal profile about me on an Internet site called “MySpace.” I would plea “Not Guilty” to this alleged infraction and submit this written statement in my own behalf. Attached to this written statement is a printed copy of the website “Southern Injustice” (located in the Internet at www.southerninjustice.com), which I request be formally placed on the record as evidence along with this instant written statement.

This disciplinary report alleges that the “myspace.com” profile on me violates FAC/DOC § 33-210.101(9), which in relevant part prohibits any form of “ads soliciting pen pals.” The myspace.com profile in question does not in any conceivable form ask for or encourage anyone to correspond with me. This profile exists exclusively to draw attention to my web page “Southern Injustice,” which as shown by the attached printout is solely about my claim of innocence of the crime in which I have been wrongfully convicted and condemned to death. Nothing on the myspace.com profile or this “Southern Injustice” web page in anyway attempts to solicit pen pals.

In fact as is plainly self-evident by the evidence provided, specifically, the printout of the myspace.com profile and the attached printout of the “Southern Injustice” web page, I do not even provide my DOC Inmate Number or address in which to write me. Pursuant to applicable rules governing all incoming mail, unless I provide my DOC Number and institutional address even if a person reading this myspace.com profile wanted to write me, they could not. Nothing in this myspace.com profile, or the referred to web page “Southern Injustice” even suggests that I want anybody to contact, or otherwise correspond with me whatsoever. This clearly is not any form of ad soliciting pen pals thus is clearly not a violation of FAC/DOC Rule 33-210.101(9).

Because this action has been brought against me, in the event that I am unjustifiably subjected to disciplinary punishment even though I clearly am not in violation of FAC/DOC Rule 33-210.101(9), for the purpose of exhausting the necessary administrative remedies relevant to this improper action, I would respectfully submit the following:

(a) I would respectfully submit that this unjustified disciplinary action is clearly motivated by an intent to retaliate against me and subject me to retaliatory disciplinary action because of my attempt to publicize my claim of actual innocence of the crime that I have been wrongfully convicted and condemned to death for. I have a protected Constitutional right to publicly advocate my innocence without being subjected to retaliatory punitive actions by any agent of the State, including the Department of Correction’s employees.

(b) Additionally, I would now move to challenge the Constitutionality of FAC/DOC Rule 33-210.101(9), which prohibits soliciting pen pals, as this rule is clearly unconstitutional as evidenced by this instant disciplinary action. The language of the rule is ambiguous and open to arbitrary and subjective interpretation that allows for the malicious abuse of the rule by individuals motivated to illegally retaliate against individual persons who attempt to exercise their protected right to free speech. This attempt to now expand application of FAC/DOC Rule 33-210.101(9) to the circumstances reflected within this action now establishes that this rule’s true intent is to coerce and intimidate silence of inmates illegally and does not serve any legitimate penological purpose. Thus, for the purpose of exhausting administrative remedies, I do now challenge the Constitutionality of this rule (33-210/101(9) as a defense to this disciplinary action.

In conclusion, I again respectfully reiterate that I plea “Not Guilty” to this clearly unfounded disciplinary report. Under no reasonable interpretation can it be said that I am in any conceivable manner attempting to “solicit pen pals” in violation of FAC/DOC Rule 33-210.101(9). The MySpace profile in question explicitly only seeks friends to join my web page – nothing more – and the web page “Southern Injustice” clearly is focused exclusively upon an attempt to publicly advocate my claim of actual innocence. On neither that myspace.com profile nor the attached “Southern Injustice” web page do I in any conceivable manner ask or encourage anyone to correspond with me and I do not even provide my DOC inmate number or institutional address, so nobody reading this content can use this to contact or write me even if they wanted. I would respectfully request that this disciplinary team find me “not guilty” of this alleged infraction.

Michael Lambrix
Feb 14th, 2007

February 20, 2007

Copy of Mike's DR

This is a copy of Mike's two page Disciplinary Report. Please click each page to read.

I will post Mike's written response when I get time to type it in over the next day or so.

February 17, 2007

State Moves to Silence Death Row Innocence Claim

What does the State of Florida do when confronted with a case of substantial innocence and a wrongfully convicted death row inmate determined to scream his innocence to anyone who will listen? No longer able to deny the claim, the state simply engages in pathetically disingenuous means to illegally and unconstitutionally silence the victim of such an injustice.

Those familiar with this blog know the story of death row inmate Michael Lambrix, who was wrongfully convicted and condemned to death almost 24 years ago in one of the smallest rural communities of the South. Throughout this time Lambrix has consistently maintained his innocence, insisting that the sole key witness – his own estranged girlfriend at the time – and the local state attorney’s office had collaborated together to deliberately have him wrongfully convicted and condemned to death.

Only in recent years did the evidence finally surface to substantiate Lambrix’s long pled claims. This was a wholly circumstantial case – there were no eyewitnesses, no physical or forensic evidence, and no confessions. The case was built upon the testimony of that one key witness, Frances Smith-Ottinger, who claimed Lambrix told her he committed this capital crime.

In recent years irrefutable evidence was revealed that this key witness was having a secret affair “of a sexual nature” with the local state attorney’s lead investigator, Robert Daniels who was coincidentally the same person who formally initiated the charges against Lambrix and then personally supervised the development of the specious circumstantial evidence used to convict and condemned Lambrix. Subsequently, additional evidence was developed to show that key witness Smith-Ottinger and Investigator Daniels worked together to coerce false testimony and fabricate crucial evidence used to convict and condemn Lambrix. Please read, “Southern Injustice: Condemning An Innocent Man.”

With this evidence now exposed, the organization “Southern Injustice” has aggressively pursued exposure of this inconceivable injustice (See, www.southerninjustice.com) primarily through the Internet and media campaigns.

In a desperate and disingenuous attempt to unconstitutionally silence Lambrix, the state of Florida has now compelled prison officials at Union Correctional Institution to initiate formal disciplinary charges against Lambrix, claiming that Lambrix somehow violated prison rules by advocating his case on “My Space” (See, www.myspace.com/lambrix) as a pretense to place Lambrix in disciplinary confinement (“the hole”) for 30 days, and place Lambrix on complete mail suspension for up to 6 months!

This nation was built upon the principle and protection of free speech. What conceivable purpose does the state have to effectively silence a death row inmate’s attempts to publicly proclaim his innocence? Why is the state willing to take such Draconian action? Florida can no longer credibly deny Lambrix’s innocence, so now they are attempting to silence him in a way that should offend every person of conscience.

Your help is desperately needed to address this matter. The state should never have the power to silence any person who dares to speak out against an injustice. Any form of governmental sponsored censorship is a threat to free speech to everyone. Please phone or email the Florida Department of Corrections Secretary and the Union Correctional Institution’s warden immediately to express your outrage in this matter.

Warden Hicks


(386) 431-2000
FAX: (386) 431-2016

Secretary McDonough


(850) 488-7480

February 12, 2007

Petition Returned for Shortening

The Petition was returned because it was six pages too long handwritten. Here is a copy of the USSC letter from the clerk.


February 09, 2007

Florida Supreme Court Rejects DNA Innocence Claim

In a recent sharply divided opinion by the Florida Supreme Court death row inmate Paul Hildwin was denied relief even though newly discovered DNA evidence now proves that contrary to the state’s claims, he did not rape and kill a 42 year old woman over twenty years ago. See, Hildwin v. State (2006).

At trial the state told the jury that Hildwin has brutally killed Vronzette Cox after raping her, then stole her personal belongings. The main evidence against Hillwin was a pair of semen – encrusted pants, which the state has their own expert witness testified was of a blood type consistent with that of Hildwin. The state’s motive was that Hildwin raped Ms. Cox as she desperately fought for her life, then he beat and strangled her to death before discarding the body in the woods where she was found. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime.

When Hildwin stood trial in the mid 1080’s DNA testing was not available. Hillwin has maintained his innocence of this crime even after almost twenty years on Florida’s death row. For many years Hildwin tried to compel DNA testing of the physical evidence, but it wasn’t until Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project got involved that it appeared that justice would finally be done. The forensic evidence was finally tested and then conclusively proved that the semen the state convinced the jury came from Hildwin simply did not.

With a team of lawyers arguing his case, this newly discovered evidence was formally presented to the Florida Courts. However, although the state made a point of convincing the jury this semen came exclusively from Hildwin at trial, now the state flip–flopped, arguing that the DNA results conclusively showing that the semen could not have come from Hildwin proves nothing – that at best it only proves that he didn’t rape Ms. Cox, but the state argued that this wasn’t prosecuted as a “rape” case – it was only prosecuted as a murder case and since technically Hildwin failed to present any new evidence that he didn’t commit the murder, he was not legally entitled to relief.

By a narrow margin of a 4 to 3 vote in a strongly divided opinion, the Florida Supreme Court agreed with the state’s attorney and denied relief. The three member dissenting opinion, which included Justice Peggy Quince – herself a former deputy assistant attorney general specializing in capital appeals – began by stating, “Justice demands a new trial for Hildwin, one free of the tainted evidence used to convict him of first degree murder, which sentenced him to death.” In their well written dissent the Justices pointed out that Hillwin compelling DNA evidence is comparable to that recently addressed in House v. Bell, 126 S. Ct. 2064 (2006) by the U.S. Supreme Court, in which they ruled in favor of the condemned prisoner. Pointing out that at the very least this semen evidence used to convict Hildwin misled the jury as it now shows it did not come from Hildwin and “yielded a conviction that we can no longer confidently rely upon.”

One would think that when DNA evidence now conclusively establishes that the arguments made by the state to convict and condemn Hildwin were wrong – that the only physical evidence allegedly “proving” Hillwin committed this brutal murder now shows it had to be someone else – that the courts would want to correct this obvious injustice. But once again logic and reason fail to win the day and yet another miscarriage of justice continues to be perpetuated by the State of Florida. See, Southern Injustice: Condemning An Innocent Man.

To compound this tragedy of “justice” even further, as Paul Hildwin continues to fight for “justice” in the courts, he must also battle yet another beast – Hillwin has been fighting cancer now for several years. Will justice prevail in time – or will Hildwin become yet another victim of injustice like Frank Lee Smith who was finally exonerated by DNA evidence after 16 years on Florida’s death row – but tragically died of cancer before the evidence finally exonerated him? See, Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.

With cases like that of Paul Hildwin can any reasonable person have confidence in our courts? With evidence now conclusively proving the state’s theory was wrong, how can any person of conscience still vote to kill this man?

Once again, especially in a state that has a record number of wrongful convictions in capital cases, we must ask ourselves if this is really about justice – or is it just a contemporary twist on the infamous Southern tradition of bigotry and injustice? See, Exposing the New face of Bigotry & Injustice in the South

February 02, 2007

Top Prosecutor Charged With Misconduct

Once again we see corruption within the judicial system expressed as yet another elected state attorney is caught unethically manipulating evidence to win a conviction. Mike Nifong, the prosecutor who made national headlines last summer while pursuing rape charges against three Duke University lacrosse players has now been formally charged by the North Carolina State Bar Association with numerous ethics violations, including making misleading and inflammatory statements to the media and deliberately concealing exculpatory evidence.

According to the recently filed Bar complaint, state attorney Nifong’s conduct amounted to “systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion.” In early January Nifong was removed from the nationally publicized case after a first set of ethics complaints were brought against him. Subsequently, the rape charges lodged against the lacrosse players were dropped when the accuser, a woman hired to “entertain” at a private party, conceded that she was not sure if she even had sex, non-consensual or otherwise, with anyone.

These latest revelations of unethical prosecutorial misconduct in this sensationalized case came out last month when the director of DNA Security, Inc., a private company contracted to process the DNA samples in this alleged rape case, admitted that state attorney Nifong had instructed him to only include actual DNA matches in the report that was released, this deliberately and illegally concealing the fact that the DNA tests conducted actually found no matches to any of the three Duke University players who were charged in the alleged rape, supporting their claim that this crime never happened and was a deliberate fabrication.

Perhaps even more troubling is that – the only reason formal ethical complaints were brought against this particular state attorney was because this was a nationally publicized case. But what of the many cases of prosecutorial misconduct that have actually resulted in innocent men and women being wrongfully convicted and even condemned to death, due to prosecutors deliberate concealment of crucial evidence? In Florida, at least 25 men and women were wrongfully convicted and condemned to death only to later be exonerated by the Courts and released. By far the most common cause of these inconceivable miscarriages of “justice” is prosecutorial misconduct – yet not even once has a Florida prosecutor responsible for unethically convicting and condemning an innocent man been brought up on ethics charges in the Florida Bar.

Every one of us should be extremely concerned about the widespread corruption that plagues the judicial system today. I would encourage you to please fully read the content of “Southern Injustice: The New face of Bigotry & Injustice in the South.”