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