Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tommy Zeigler: Florida. Death row. Will Florida Supreme Court decision propel him one step closer to death in case tarnished by allegations of shoddy evidence gathering and judicial interference?

STORY: "Tommy Zeigler: Death on hold," by reporter Keith Cate, published by WFLA on March 31, 2013.

GIST: "Tommy's original defense attorney Vernon Davids believes much of the evidence, like Tommy's trial was mishandled. He has never been more convinced than he is today that Tommy Ziegler is innocent.  He says, he "knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was railroaded by unethical conduct, deceit and manipulation......... Ed Williams testimony was more damaging. He claims when he got to the store to help Tommy that night he almost lost his life.  He says, Tommy tried to shoot him, but the gun failed to fire. Williams, who passed away several years ago, said Tommy pretended he made a mistake and even tried to hug him. Then he said; Tommy gave him the gun. Williams took it, ran away and gave it to investigators after learning about the murders. Tommy's lawyers found it strange that the man found with a murder weapon was never looked at as a potential suspect. They tried to poke holes in Ed Williams story. For example if Tommy had already killed four people as the state argued he should have been covered in blood. Why didn't Williams mention that to police? Tommy says if he hugged Williams and begged him not to leave then why is there no blood on Williams clothes? During the investigation detectives linked six guns to the killings at Ziegler's furniture store. They believe more than two dozen shots were fired inside.  And yet Tommy says, no gunshot residue was ever found on him and wants someone to explain "how I fired 28 gunshots and didn't get any gunshot residue on me. It is impossible." We will never know who fired the guns because all of the weapons had been wiped clean of fingerprints........So what's next? Well, if the Supreme Court rules against Tommy in the coming days by upholding a lower court decision that Robert Foster's testimony wouldn't change anything then Tommy may be right about  "... justice system decisions being set in concrete." ..  even if those decisions take 37 years to cure and seal. According to Ashton, Tommy will die on death row one way or the other. "Whether that's by natural causes or by the hands of the state, I don't know." Neither does Tommy. But, he vows to keep fighting and looking for ways to clear his name until his last breath. He asks the question "Is there any other way that I can prove my innocence? Please tell me something else and I'll do it.""

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.