AMOS KING - FLORIDA DEATH ROW - Execution date January 24, 2002
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 1:46 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - FLORIDA JANUARY 10, 2002 TIME RUNNING OUT FOR FLORIDA'S LATEST CLAIM OF INNOCENCE
Amos King fires attorneys to save his life
Almost twenty five years ago Amos King was tried and convicted of murder on not much more than circumstantial evidence. Since the beginning, he has maintained his innocence and fought to receive a fair trial and the chance to prove his innocence in a court of law. But, for Mr. King, time is running out.
Amos King is scheduled to die by lethal injection on January 24th at 6:00 p.m. At a time when a condemned man should be fighting alongside his attorneys to win last minute appeals, Mr. King is battling against his.
As far back as 1989, Amos King was demanding that DNA testing be done, but with no assistance from his attorneys at that time, his demands were ignored. Today, Amos faces the same battle, and again, no help from those whose sworn oath it is to save him. Complicating matters is the fact that most of the evidence that could have been tested for DNA results was destroyed by the State Medical Examiner as early as 1979. What little evidence that does remain could be tested by FBI labs., and Barry Scheck's Innocence Project has expressed an interest in assisting, yet Mr. King's current attorneys have not followed through on promises made to Amos to have this option explored.
This is but one of many broken promises made to Amos King by his appeals attorneys over the past 24 years, but of all of them, this is the most fatal.
Governor Bush prides himself in offering "multiple levels of appeals" to those sentenced to death, and implied that Juan Melendez, even though released, was not necessarily wrongfully convicted. But, compounding withheld materials, prosecutory misconduct, and documented flaws in the legal system, a poor defense will guarantee nothing but a verdict of guilt at every level, even when someone is innocent. Despite the grave consequences of what frequently appears to be willful legal negligence, Governor Bush insists on speeding up the execution process and continues to deny that errors in the system occur.
In the wake of the recent exoneration of Juan Melendez, and the growing awareness that there exists a high probability that dozens more innocent men and women are imprisoned wrongly on Death Row, every claim of innocence needs to be carefully investigated. When one inmate is released for every two who are executed, making Florida lead the nation in wrongful convictions, every precaution must be taken to insure that an innocent man does not die at the State's hands.
Let Amos King not be a case resembling Frank Lee Smith's, where eleven months after his death, DNA testing finally proves what was declared all along--his innocence.
Florida Support Group
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Lee S. Saunders.
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