Florida Judge Points Out How Repeated Prosecution of Innocent Man Shows That System Is Flawed
No state in the U.S. has had more death-penalty convictions overturned than Florida; most of them involving convictions where defendants arguably did not have the financial resources to properly defend themselves.
One particular death penalty case here in Florida has drawn significant coverage this month (October) because of the arguably abhorrent levels of injustice that are involved. The case involves the prosecution of one undocumented immigrant—Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin—for two homicides that someone else has already confessed to. This week (October 16), prosecutors are attempting to convict and execute someone for the crimes, for a second time, even with an iron-clad confession from someone else.
Judge Who Previously Convicted Defendant Believes He Is Innocent
Now, the judge who originally convicted Aguirre-Jarquin—before there was a confession—has now come forward to point out the fatal flaws in the prosecution of this defendant here in Florida. Specifically, retired Circuit Court Judge O.H. Eaten Jr. has pointed out that not only is there not enough evidence for an execution, but there isn’t even enough for a conviction. Eaten has described this case as the “poster child” for why the death penalty is so significantly flawed.
Florida Supreme Court Takes Issue with Prosecutor’s Logic
The state’s position is that the individual who has confessed to the murders is unreliable due to mental health issues. However, this same individual was instrumental as the state’s witness in obtaining the first conviction against Aguirre-Jarquin in 2016. Therefore, the state’s position is that her confessions shouldn’t be believed, even though her testimony previously put him on death row.
The Florida Supreme Court also agreed that this logic was flawed. The court overturned Aguirre-Jarquin’s 2016 conviction, indicating that there was clearly reasonable doubt as to his guilt, and instead noted that he was arguably being treated more like a “scapegoat” for the crimes committed by someone else.
Still, Prosecutors Move On With Bogus Case
Still, the investigation into these murders has remained focused on Aguirre-Jarquin since day one, and prosecutors are moving forward in the case against him, arguably because their suspect of choice is an easy, unsympathetic target for many; in spite of a federal judge and state supreme court pointing out the many flaws with this theory.
Do Not Trust In the Justice of the System—Contact Our Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys
When it comes to being prosecuted for homicide, you cannot always trust in what the evidence indicates and in the assumption that the state prosecutors will do the right thing if their primary suspect isn’t actually the one who committed the crimes. If you have been accused of a serious crime here in Florida, contact our Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today for the very best in skilled courtroom defense.