JAILHOUSE SNITCHES, FLAWED JUSTICE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly, was published by Florida Today, on-line, 20 Oct 2017:  “Non-Vetted Jailhouse Snitches Make For Flawed Justice”)

Those spending prison time based on the testimony of a non-vetted jailhouse snitches who offered a story to gain personal favor from prosecutors, should have their cases seriously reviewed by the governor, or at the least, a district court of appeals, or perhaps the state Supreme Court.

Sadly, Brevard County had a number of those cases of non-vetted testimony from in-custody snitches in which the prosecutor’s office of the early 1980s used to help expedite convictions.

Bill Dillon spent 27 years in prison, based partly on the testimony of a jailbird who falsely claimed Dillon had confessed to him in the cell. That snitch openly admitted to his lie 27 years later. Another innocent man, Wilton Dedge spent 22 years in prison for rape, based partly on the self-serving testimony of another inmate. These cases were featured in FLORIDA TODAY’s award-winning podcast series Murder on the Space Coast.

In both cases, prosecutors also gave undue weight to a dog’s sniffer. The infamous handler, John Preston, had later been shamefully outcast from the justice system as a fraud,

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “MARSHALL” – 8.5

“MARSHALL”  –  8 ½

     In a word:  Engaging

     This movie is not so much about the life of the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Rather, it’s about a young civil rights attorney and the struggles he had to overcome in defending a young black defendant charged with rape in 1941 in Greenwich, Connecticut. At this time, Marshall was the sole staff attorney for the NAACP.

     The story focuses on the plight of a black chauffeur accused of raping a wealthy white woman, married, who was his employer. Several issues of racism are highlighted, particularly in the courtroom as the judge would not allow Marshall to utter a word during the trial, but had to pass that task on to a white attorney who had never tried a criminal case. The partnership between Marshall and Sam Friedman starts off on rocky grounds but eventually evolves into harmony and mutual respect.

     Actually, the trial is quite interesting with evidence and revelations that would intrigue folks who like to solve crimes.

     The movie is well-directed and maintains a pace which keeps the viewer engaged. Acting is good, with the Marshall role played by Chadwick Boseman, the same actor who portrayed

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OUTLAW CAMPAIGN FINANCE

(Published in Florida Today, Oct. 13, 2017)

 

Campaign finance doesn’t need reform, it needs to be outlawed.

When a cop accepts money or favors in exchange for a special consideration, it’s called bribery. When a special interest group, or private party, contributes a huge sum to a senator or president in exchange for special considerations, it’s called politics. No big deal.

By the time presidential campaigns are over, the candidates and their political parties will have expended over two billion dollars to get elected. Think of all that could be done with that money. Millionaires, corporations and investors of all ideologies donate mega bucks to their select candidate for one main reason: to enhance their cause or their business in hopes to see legislation that will sway thinking and make them prosper.

That’s called “corruption” where I come from.

Besides direct donations, politicians have designed ingenious methods by which to suck up billions under the umbrella of legitimacy, i.e. super PACs and nonprofit foundations. Hillary Clinton raised $1.4 billion for her campaign, not counting the proceeds into the Clinton Foundation.

Without doubt, foundations seem to be legitimate methods by which to enhance a campaign through the back door.

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NOVEMBER 4TH: CIVIL WAR?

Some are calling it the brink of a Civil War.

Watch November 4th. Those who saw what took place during the “Arab Spring” of the Middle East in 2011 will understand what America will be facing on November 4th. And, the fundamental goals of the insurgents then (and now), was to lay groundwork for a coup and change the leadership of government. In Egypt, that worked for a short while as the Muslim Brotherhood became the new rulers, with Morsi at the helm. That was short-lived because the people of Egypt took their country back from the Muslim Brotherhood who was installing strict Sharia throughout the land, while terrorizing Christian Coptics.

     For the USA, pay close attention to “Antifa” which is one of the primary organizations behind the movement, to be supported by, and tagged with, several other powerful, well-financed anti-American organizations whose sole purpose is to create chaos, instill fear and – most of all – bring down the Trump administration. The intended coup.

     Think George Soros.

     There are numerous sources and web sites which identify the grand plan set for November 4th which is to invade some of America’s largest cities to label themselves as

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “BATTLE OF THE SEXES” – 8.0

BATTLE OF THE SEXES  – 8.0

     In a word:  Struggles

This is an entertaining, well-done movie about personal struggles within two sports stars who lived under the public eye. Folks who’ve been around a while, will remember the much ballyhooed tennis match between the dominant, 29-year-old female star of 1973, and the over-the-hill once-great Bobby Riggs, 55 year-old, who challenged Billie Jean King to a one-on-one match to prove a great man would always beat a great woman on the court.

     There was much more playing out in this docudrama than a mere tennis match, although the fact remains that the event topped the charts as the most watched sports even (then) in history.

     At play was the rise of women’s plight for equality in a time when male professionals earned ten times the dollars than did women, and it appeared their demands were falling on deaf ears until Billie Jean King came along to stand up to the establishment. 

     Once a major tennis star of the 1950’s, Bobby Riggs struggled with being a notorious gambling addict, not to mention an egomaniac who, knowing of the friction between women and men in tennis, concocted an idea to prove women’s tennis

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “AMERICAN MADE” – 8

AMERICAN MADE” –  8.0

     In a word: gripping

     Before describing the movie, we should take into account a few tidbits about the actor Tom Cruise, probably the most recognized star in Hollywood, though he never won an Oscar for any of the 41 major movies he has made. Now age 55, looking more like 35, his dynamic persona and physical conditioning is nothing less than amazing, as he performs almost all his own stunts. In terms of money, he is the 8th highest grossing actor of all time in America. His films have grossed over $9 billion worldwide.

     For Tom Cruise, American Made is just another high-powered action film based on the true-life story of Barry Seal, a one-time pilot for TWA who – in the early 1980s — was lured into the world of drug smuggling, commiserating with the top figures of the international cartels, including the notorious Pablo Escobar. He is also acquainted with Manuel Noriega, famed dictator of Panama. Intoxicated by the flow of money, Seal becomes careless in some of his contacts as the film depicts him as collaborating with DEA or CIA until the web of crime and law enforcement catches up

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SHAME ON THE NFL

Enough already!

     We have critical concerns all over the globe; National health care, immigration, threats of terrorism, violent crime, possible war with North Korea or even Iran. The best that professional football players can do for their country is defy the American flag and turn sour on the very nation that have made them wealthy?

     When sports icons use fame to disparage our nation, it makes me want to throw up. I am not alone, many millions feel the same, especially military veterans, disabled soldiers and their families, police and fire personnel, nurses and doctors and teachers, and many more who dedicate their lives to America.

     NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, is an example of a tail wagging the dog. He and some  owners are so intimidated by multi-million dollar athletes that they cave under pressure rather than having the guts to take a stand on behalf of a nation that has paved their way to become millionaires.

     Players are employees of organizations, as I was a cop for 30 years. Staff members work for organizations, not the other way around. I would never publicly denigrate or embarrass my employers, especially not while on duty. When players take the field and

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