I do agree that the appeal process is in the federal court system is overly burdensome. I also agree that Death Row should be a short term holding facility but only after all exhaustive attempts have been made to ensure that real justice has been afforded each prisoner. After reading Mr. Ortenzo’s article I assume that he is a proponent for the death penalty. I myself, am not against the death penalty, but only when it is clearly determined that the individual who is about to die really did the crime.
In his editorial, Assistant Chief of Police Ortenzo stated, "Each and every case, no matter how egregious the crime, certainly deserves several layers of careful and exhaustive reviews." Well Mr. Ortenzo, this is not happening in Fort Lauderdale, or in the State of Florida, or in the entire United States. This is not how our criminal justice process works. With the advent of DNA testing, many wrongfully incarcerated individuals are being proven innocent and being released from federal incarceration. The Innocence Project alone on April 23, 2007 exonerated its 200th inmate who was wrongfully convicted based on eyewitness identification through misidentification. Mr. Jerry Miller was exonerated through DNA testing and DNA evidence. He had always maintained his innocence but to no avail. Fortunately, he was released after serving 24 years in federal prison. Jerry Miller lost nearly his entire adult life because of a wrongful conviction. He didn't go to the death chamber, he didn't lose his life. Yet how many innocent individuals have gone to the death chamber before DNA testing could prove them innocent? We will never know, but even one is too many.
In cases where the accused admits guilt to the crime and there can be no possible mistake as evidenced by DNA testing, the death penalty may be warranted. But until that happens, we cannot say that several layers of careful and exhaustive reviews have taken place.
Mr. Ortenzo also stated, "Studies show that all prisoners, including those on death row, typically receive a far better level of medical care from taxpayers than they would otherwise have provided for themselves outside the prison walls." I have no idea what studies you have been reading Mr. Ortenzo, but I can certainly tell you they are not accurate, correct, or truthful. Mr. Ortenzo, your statement is just not correct. I doubt that you have ever been incarcerated in a federal prison. I have. You apparently believe what people tell you. I have been there, I experienced it, and I know the truth!
After nearly 36 months in both a Federal Prison Camp and Federal Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida, I can assure you that the medical care in the Bureau of Prisons is pathetic, appalling and inexcusable. There are many federal prisoners serving sentences far less than death row inmates. Many have been convicted of crimes much less severe than those of Death Row inmates. I had far better medical care before my imprisonment and after my imprisonment as did many of the other white-collar inmates who were there during my incarceration. Studies can be made to say anything the author directs or distorts them to say. Although this is unfortunate, it is true.
The federal government recently spent billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out the banks, auto manufacturers, investment firms, and Wall Street companies in a matter of weeks if not days. The executives of these companies are not even in federal prison for their egregious mismanagement and crimes. Yet, the federal government and the Bureau of Prisons cannot see to it that individuals incarcerated in federal prison, regardless if they are on death row or not, are provided even minimal standards of healthcare. Mr. Ortenzo, instead of reading reports, go see for yourself!
For more information on the current state of medical care in prison go to the website www.jailtimeconsulting.com and also go to the following article Michael Frantz has written: http://www.jailtimeconsulting.com/shop/medical-care-prison-pathetic-appalling-inexcusable-p-51.html.
Michael Frantz is a leading Federal Prison Consultant and Director of Jail Time Consulting (JTC) located in South Florida. The staff of JTC provides sentence reduction strategies, Bureau of Prisons’ programs, research, and many pre- and post-sentencing services for their clients. Michael has authored the bestselling book on federal prison titled, “Jail Time, What you need to know…Before you go to federal prison!” He has also authored over thirty-five JT Special Reports© on various federal prison issues affecting both the inmate and his/her family. They are available on the website. He writes a daily blog on the JTC website http://www.jailtimeconsulting.com answering readers’ questions and comments. He is a nationally recognized authority on federal prison and has published over 40 articles nationwide. He is on face book at Jail Time Consulting. He has been contacted as an expert resource by ABC’s 20/20, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the Fox News Network, as well as many national radio and TV stations throughout the United States. He can be reached at 954-522-2254, 800-382-0868, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.