Inmate was fatally beaten - Killer of Guard in 1987
Inmate was fatally beaten
Frank Valdez had broken ribs and boot prints on his body, a state attorney says.
By LUCY MORGAN, SYDNEY P. FREEDBERG and JO BECKER
Valdez, who died Saturday, had been sentenced to death for killing a corrections officer.
A death row inmate whose suspicious death has prompted a criminal investigation suffered broken ribs and boot marks on his upper body after a weekend confrontation with corrections officers at Florida State Prison, a prosecutor said Monday.
Gainesville area State Attorney Rod Smith said he also is looking into a reported delay of several hours between the time of the fight and the time prison authorities sought medical attention for inmate Frank Valdez.
"At first blush it appears that the cause of death had to do with the actions of one or more people in charge of the custody of this individual," Smith said Monday night.
"I'm told the crap was beat out of him," Smith said. "He died from blunt trauma -- a beating in all likelihood."
Nine prison guards have been placed on paid administrative leave by the Department of Corrections. Smith said the guards, whose names were not disclosed, have hired lawyers and are refusing to talk.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation into the death. Smith said he has notified federal authorities and advised them that he will take the lead in handling the investigation.
The FDLE briefed Gov. Jeb Bush about the investigation Monday. State Corrections Secretary Michael Moore, whom Bush hired from the South Carolina prison system this year, also was present at Monday's meeting with the governor.
"This is being taken very, very seriously," said Bush spokesman Cory Tilley.
An attorney for the guards said Monday night that the incident occurred when officers tried to subdue Valdez after he threatened to kill a guard. "All of what was done was done in compliance with department rules and regulations," said Gloria W. Fletcher, one of the officers' lawyers.
Valdez, 36, was sentenced to death for killing corrections officer Fred Griffis in Palm Beach County in 1987. Valdez, 5 feet 8, 180 pounds, was an unruly inmate who frequently caused trouble with his guards, according to his lawyer and his ex-wife.
Ed O'Hara, the South Florida lawyer who represented Valdez, said his client had told him he was being "dogged" by guards because he killed a corrections officer.
"They would put him in areas they deemed punitive," O'Hara said.
The lawyer quoted Valdez: "Whatever I do, they make things more difficult for me because they know I've been convicted of killing Griffis."
A gap in time
The episode began late Saturday morning on X-Wing, the solitary confinement unit that houses the most disruptive inmates at Florida State Prison
Fletcher, the officers' attorney, said the prison dispatched a five-member "extraction team" to Valdez's cell because he had threatened an officer. They went to search his cell for contraband, but Valdez objected.
According to Fletcher, the officers sprayed a chemical agent at Valdez to get him out of his cell. He was taken to another cell. Officers filed what Bradford County Sheriff Bob Milner called a "use of force" report on the incident.
"When an officer did a routine check, he determined Mr. Valdez was in medical distress and he was taken immediately to the clinic," Fletcher said.
Paramedics were called to Florida State Prison at 3:25 p.m. Valdez was pronounced dead at Shands Hospital in Starke about 4:18 p.m., according to State Attorney Smith.
Smith said he is trying to determine if there was a lapse between the time the altercation occurred and the time prison authorities sought medical attention for him.
"It is unclear," Smith said. "But there was force used and reports of it were filed, minor injuries were reported and he was returned to his cell. I don't know how much time elapsed, but when he was found for the last time around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, he was likely dead or dying."
Bradford County authorities said two paramedics responded to a call of an inmate with a "respiratory problem." The medics found Valdez in the prison clinic suffering from "a traumatic injury," said Nelson Green, director of the Bradford County Department of Emergency Services.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was notified at 4:35 p.m., according to an agency spokeswoman. Bush's office was not alerted until the next morning.
An agreement between the FDLE and the state Department of Corrections mandates that the FDLE be notified any time a homicide, suicide, shooting death or any other suspicious death occurs in Florida's prisons. The FDLE is also supposed to be notified of any life-threatening injuries in which "death is imminent."
A long rap sheet
Valdez, who had a long rap sheet for burglary, drug trafficking and assault on a police officer, was sent to death row for gunning down corrections officer Fred Griffis, 40, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, in 1987. Griffis had just retired from the Army two months before becoming an officer at the Glades Correctional Institution in Palm Beach County
Officers Griffis and Steve Turner were transporting a manacled prisoner, James O'Brien, to a doctor's office when Valdez and an ex-prison pal, William Van Poyck, decided to spring O'Brien.
O'Brien had served previous stretches in Florida prisons with Valdez and Van Poyck.
Griffis was shot three times in the head after he refused to give Valdez and Van Poyck the keys to the van O'Brien was locked in and threw the keys in the bushes.
After arriving on death row in 1990, Valdez and Van Poyck had a series of run-ins with officers, which repeatedly landed both men in the toughest disciplinary units of Florida State Prison. The prison, in rural north central Florida, is home of the electric chair and widely regarded as the most maximum security prison in Florida.
In 1993, Van Poyck challenged what he called overly harsh conditions in solitary confinement, suing the Department of Corrections, said his former lawyer, Randall Berg, executive director of the Florida Justice Institute in Miami.
"The conditions were atrocious," said Berg, adding that Valdez planned to be a witness at Van Poyck's court showdown.
Berg said neither man had to testify because the Corrections Department, rather than risk a court battle, agreed to settle with Van Poyck for what the lawyer said was about $45,000 to $50,000.
"The entire way Van Poyck was treated was based on who he allegedly murdered," Berg contended.
Little information released
Susan Cary, a Gainesville attorney for death row inmates, said that in the past year she has received complaints from inmates of beatings on X-Wing, the solitary confinement unit where prison officials send the hardest disciplinary cases, including Valdez
About a year ago, she said, she turned over some complaint letters to federal authorities, but she's not sure what happened. "It's really a no man's land," she said of the prison.
On Monday, corrections officials refused to talk about the wing, Valdez or the prison. They said they did not want to jeopardize an ongoing investigation.
"Until the investigation is completed, we cannot comment further on this matter," corrections spokesman C.J. Drake said in a news release.
Department officials would not say whether any of the suspended guards had been disciplined previously. They also refused to make public the initial report filed after the incident, even though an assistant attorney general said the report should be public.
Pat Gleason, an assistant for Attorney General Bob Butterworth who specializes in Florida's public record law, said police agencies must release copies of initial incident reports even when a criminal investigation is ongoing.
She pointed to a 1996 opinion written for St. Petersburg police Chief Darrel Stephens. In that opinion, Butterworth said initial incident reports are generally considered to be open to public inspection and are not considered criminal intelligence.
-- Times researchers Connie Humburg and Kitty Bennett contributed to this report.
Prisoner Beaten to Death by Guards
Friday, February 18, 2000
Prisoner Beaten to Death by Guards
The original of this file is at the Gainesville Sun website: http://gainesvillesun.com/news/articles/02-18-00b.shtml
By LISE FISHER
Sun staff writer
Hundreds of pages of interviews and autopsy results, released by the State Attorney's Office on Thursday, offer graphic information about prison inmate Frank Valdes' fatal injuries and a beating he received from a prison officer the day before he died.
Prosecutors made public the more than 240 pages as part of discovery information collected for former prison officer Montrez Lucas' upcoming trial, which could start as early as May.
The reports say a nervous Florida State Prison officer told investigators last year that Valdes was handcuffed when Lucas repeatedly struck him the day before the inmate's death.
The day after that unreported use-of-force incident, Valdes died after he was again beaten by several officers, two inmates in nearby cells said. Two autopsies,0 one performed by Gainesville's medical examiner and another requested by hisValdes' family, detail a brutal beating.
Valdes' body was riddled with bruises from his scalp to his ankles, both autopsies show. His breastbone was fractured, and 22 out of 24 ribs had been broken on both halves of his rib cage. His jaw, collarbone, shoulder, spine and nose also were fractured and his heart and diaphragm were bruised. Visible boot marks were imprinted into the skin of his neck and chest.
The number and gravity of Valdes' injuries shows he didn't injure himself, as correctional officers first originally reported, but was assaulted by several attackers, said Dr. Robert Kirschner, hired by Valdes' family to do an independent autopsy.
Officers' report differs
A grand jury indicted Lucas, 30, last year for aggravated battery, battery on an inmate and coercion to influence a report. The charges stem from an alleged attack by Lucas the day before Valdes died.
Fired this month by the Department of Corrections, Lucas was the first of five officers to be charged in connection with the Valdes incident last July. The other men, Timothy A. Thornton, Charles A. Brown, Jason P. Griffis and Robert W. Sauls, also all fired from their jobs, face a second-degree murder charge.
The pages of documents summarize the state's case against Lucas.
A DOC employee for nine years, Lucas had been an officer of the month at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach and taught a training class for recruits. DOC records also report he was suspended for 60 days in May 1995 for "inappropriate use of force" while stopping an inmate disturbance at New River Correctional Institution near Starke. No action was taken in seven other accusations of physical abuse made by inmates against Lucas.
When asked about the newly released information, Chief Assistant Public Defender John Kearns, Lucas' attorney, said his client maintains he is not guilty of any of the charges filed against him.
Officers' reports from the day of Valdes' death say he was involved in a struggle with staff who tried to remove him from his cell to search it. Later that day Valdes threw himself around his cell, hitting his bunk bed, the cell bars and the floor before officers discovered him not breathing, the officers' reports said. The day before, the reports said, Valdes had threatened to kill Lucas.
Witnesses break silence
Valdes was on Death Row for the 1987 murder of an unarmed correctional officer in Palm Beach County.
But when Lucas confronted Valdes in his cell on July 16, it was the officer who physically attacked the inmate, another staff member said.
In his fourth interview with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in October, Correctional Officer Charlie R. Griffis Jr., his face flushed and resting in his hands, admitted to agents that he had been afraid to cooperate. The 30-year old married father said he would be labeled a snitch and his DOC career would be ruined.
After asking for guarantees for his safety, Griffis said he had given a false report about events that day, and then he spoke about what he saw when he went with Lucas into Valdes' cell.
Griffis said Lucas slapped Valdes four or five times and then hit him in the face with his fist. He said Lucas then declined to write a use-of-force report. The two came to the cell because Valdes had been hollering down the row, and Griffis thought they were going to do a routine cell search. Instead, Valdes and Lucas started yelling at each other. Lucas had Griffis handcuff Valdes. Then, with Valdes' hands behind his back, Lucas slapped Valdes "open-handedly going forward and then he would slap him back-handed coming back" four or five times as the inmate swore at him.
"The last time Sarge slapped Valdes, Valdes just stood and looked at Sarge and then he kind of just stood there and kind of like slumped over like he was kind of dizzy and Sgt. Lucas hit him with a clenched fist to the facial area," Griffis said.
The pair left Valdes slumped on his bunk. Griffis said when he asked Lucas if he was going to write a use-of-force report, Lucas said, "Why would you do a use-of-force report? The door was never opened."
Crying during his October interview with State Attorney Rod Smith, Correctional Officer Kevin Porter, 32, said he was frightened, mostly of the people and the place where he worked.
"Because all these people that I work with, and anything get back, I could be hurt. And that's why I'm nervous right now, and scared in the past. But I believe in God, and I'm telling the truth sitting here right now. And I have to answer to God, that's who I'm answering to, and whatever happens to me happens," Porter told Smith.
Porter, who was subpoenaed to appear, said he never recalled Valdes trying to injure himself. Porter has been a DOC employee for nine years.
Porter was the "key officer" the day Lucas and Griffis went to Valdes' cell. He let the two into the wing, he said.
After seeing the men leave the cell, Porter said he heard Lucas telephone Capt. Timothy Thornton, who he said was the officer in charge, or the OIC.
Describing Lucas' conversation, Porter said, "He was talking, he talked on the phone. He said he was calling the OIC, and he said that the OIC said, 'His number will come up.' "
Inmates Dallas Price, 32, and Mark Defriest, 39, in cells near Valdes' tell similar stories.
Listed as state witnesses, the two said Valdes believed his jaw was broken from Lucas' blows and he couldn't eat his hamburger that night, giving it to Defriest. Price and Defriest even got aspirin from an officer for Valdes because he was acting odd and seemed like he needed it to "get going."
On July 17, other officers came to Valdes' cell. Valdes was sprayed with chemicals and beaten, two inmates said. They could hear the sounds and some of what was being said in the cell.
Inmate Dallas Price, 32, said he heard something hit the floor outside his cell. When he looked under his door, he saw Valdes' bloody face.
The area was cleaned of blood, said inmate Mark Defriest, 39, and Valdes was moved to another cell, where he later died.
What in the world is going on down there in Florida?!?!?!
Guard charged in death freed on bail
Florida State Attorney William Cervone Announces Another Correctional Officer Arrest in the July 17, 1999 Beating Death Of Florida State Prison Death Row Inmate Frank Valdes
April 10, 2001
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Tim Moore and State Attorney William Cervone of the Eighth Judicial Circuit announced the arrest of Correctional Officer Dewey Marce Beck (53) at his residence in Gainesville, Florida. Beck was arrested without incident and booked into the Alachua County Jail on charges of Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence, Official Misconduct, Accessory After the Fact to Murder and Perjury. Beck is being held on a $20,000 bond.
The charges were issued in connection with an ongoing investigation by FDLE and the State Attorney's office into the July 17, 1999 beating death of Florida State Prison death row inmate Frank Valdes. Beck was assigned to "X" wing on the day of Valdes' death.
Florida State Prison Correction Officers Captain Timothy Thornton, Sergeant Jason Griffis, Sergeant Robert Sauls and Sergeant Charles Brown are currently awaiting trial on charges stemming from Valdes' death.
For more information, contact:
Public Information Officer
FDLE - Jacksonville
An Associated Press report
The original of this file is at Le Comité Norvégien du Prix Nobel website: http://www.oranous.com/florida/frank...isconduct.html
Guard charged in death freed on bail
Apr 12, 2001
GAINESVILLE - A prison guard has been freed on $20,000 bail after being charged with lying, falsifying records and failing to get medical care for a death row inmate who allegedly was beaten to death.
Dewey Marce Beck, 53, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Gainesville. He is charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence, accessory after the fact to murder, official misconduct and perjury, all relating to the 1999 death of inmate Frank Valdes at Florida State Prison.
Beck, who was released from Alachua County Jail on Tuesday evening, said he had no comment on the charges against him.
Beck was one of nine correctional officers originally suspended from work after the 1999 death of the death row inmate at the prison outside Starke in Bradford County. Beck was never arrested and had returned to work, this time as a guard at New River Correctional Institution.
``It has been a fluid investigation,'' Spencer Mann, an investigator with the state attorney's office in Gainesville, said Wednesday. ``As we develop more evidence and conduct more interviews, additional charges may be filed.''
Beck, who was assigned to the prison wing housing Valdes, 36, filed a report that he checked on the inmate every 15 minutes in his cell and saw Valdes throwing himself against the cell door and bunk, said Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg McMahon.
But Beck's testimony about what happened the day Valdes died doesn't match information collected by prosecutors, including medical evidence, according to McMahon.
McMahon said Beck will be tried separately from the other guards charged in Valdes' death.
If convicted, Beck could face up to 40 years in prison.
Four other prison guards await trial on charges of second-degree murder in Valdes' death. Prosecutors say the inmate was fatally beaten in his cell on X-wing at Florida State Prison July 17, 1999.
Former guards Timothy Alvin Thornton, Charles Austin Brown, Robert William Sauls and Jason Patrick Griffis go on trial July 16.
Additional charges of official misconduct were added to their charges this week.
Another accused guard, Montrez Lucas, 31, was acquitted in October on charges of assault and coercion.
Autopsy results report numerous injuries to Valdes' body, including 22 broken ribs and a fractured collarbone, jaw, nose, shoulder and spine. Boot imprints also were found on his body.
Valdes was sentenced to death in 1987 for killing Glades Correctional Institution Correctional Officer Fred Griffis in West Palm Beach. He shot the guard during a botched escape attempt of an inmate the officer was escorting to see a doctor.
Not guilty on all charges
"Not guilty." Those two words brought cheers and tears of joy to the Bradford County courthouse Friday evening as a six member jury found Timothy Thornton, Jason Griffis and Charles Brown innocent of all charges. The five-man and one-woman jury returned their verdict after 3 ½ hours of deliberation.
"The officers were innocent. The officers were just doing their job," said Thornton’s defense attorney, Gloria Fletcher. "That was what we said from day one."
The three former correctional officers were acquitted of murdering death row inmate Frank Valdes after five weeks of trial. Valdes, a convicted murderer, died in July 1999 after a cell extraction from X-wing at Florida State Prison where the three officers were employed.
Officers said that the day before he died, Valdes, who was already sentenced for the murder of a Glades Correctional officer, had threatened another correctional officer. Thornton, Brown and Griffis along with other officers were sent to remove Valdes from his cell so it could be searched for hidden weapons. Prosecutors claimed the extraction got violently out of hand and Valdes was beaten, and then fatally beaten again when he was returned from the prison clinic.
The state had charged the officers with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, felony battery on an inmate and official misconduct. In addition, Thornton was charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact.
Medical experts testified that Valdes died from trauma from a brutal beating and prosecutors alleged Valdes was beaten to keep him from talking to reporters about mistreatment of inmates.
But no one testified that they saw officers beat Valdes and as closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning, defense attorneys again attacked the credibility of testimony presented by the state.
Prosecutors built their case on testimony from inmate witnesses and former guard Raymon Hanson, who traded his testimony for immunity from charges. Two years ago Hanson gave a taped interview without cross-examination from any defense attorneys and claimed Valdes was beaten. However, he testified in court that he saw officers do nothing wrong as they removed Valdes from his cell.
Hanson testified for more than two hours as lead prosecutor Greg McMahon led him through his account of how officers removed Valdes from his cell. Unlike in his taped statement where he said officers repeatedly kicked and punched Valdes, Hanson said the officers did not use unnecessary force.
His brother, George Hanson, also an officer at FSP, said he had checked on Valdes about the time inmate’s claimed hearing a beating and found Valdes fine and in his cell.
To back up conspiracy claims, the state relied on testimony from other convicted inmates. They called as witnesses inmates from a group nicknamed "The Hamilton Five" for their involvement in a riot situation at Hamilton Correction Institution two weeks before Valdes died. They were responsible for severely injuring a pregnant guard during that disturbance causing her to have a miscarriage and lose her baby.
Several jurors said it was hard to believe the inmates who testified. They said that the inmate’s testimony was inconsistent and believed they received special treatment for cooperating with the prosecution. "The state just lacked indisputable evidence of guilt," said jury foreman Dan Roberts.
The defense argued the three defendants had nothing to do with Valdes’ death. "There’s no evidence these gentlemen did anything but do their jobs," said attorney Fletcher. The defense argued some of Valdes’ injuries were caused by his climbing the bars in his cell and throwing himself onto the concrete floor and bunk. They also told jurors that some of his ribs may have been broken when officers performed CPR.
McMahon noted he had been concerned about trying the case in Bradford County, but said, "These are jurors we were satisfied with and they made a decision and we cannot challenge them." He would not speculate on whether the verdict of this case would impact the remaining charges against five other officers Montrez Lucas, Dewey Beck, Donald Stanford, Robert Sauls and Andrew Lewis still slated to go to trial in connection with Valdes’ death.
State Attorney Bill Cervone has said they will not decide until March how to handle the other cases.
Friday's acquittals mark the second prosecution defeat in connection with Valdes’ death. In October 2000, Montrez Lucas was cleared of aggravated battery, malicious battery on an inmate and coercion to falsify reports. Lucas had been accused of beating Valdes the day before he died.
Outside the courtroom, Griffis said the charges were politically motivated. "It happened on the eve of a political election. Certain individuals took this thing and ran with it," said Griffis. "They knew there wasn’t any justice to this, but they did it. They wasted the taxpayers’ dollars."
Rod Smith, now a state senator, was the area’s state attorney at the time of Valdes’ death, says his decision to go forward with the case was based on evidence.
Brown’s attorney, Ted Curtis of Gainesville, said, "I think that the evidence that the state produced did not satisfy this jury beyond a reasonable doubt that these guys committed a crime, and the bottom line is these guys didn’t."
Not all of the tears after the verdict were tears of joy. Wanda Valdes, the inmate’s former wife who lives in West Palm Beach has been very vocal both in South Florida newspapers and on inmate and prisoner websites bashing the Florida Department of Corrections.
A reformed felon herself, who was charged with possession of stolen property, Ms. Valdes married Frank Valdes while he was in FSP. She has claimed that Frank Valdes was threatened before even getting to FSP and that officers were beating inmate witnesses "three times a day."
"You can’t get a fair trial up there," she said speaking of Northeast Florida. "How on earth can you get a fair trial where everybody is a guard or is related to guards?"
If these CO's are found guilty....MaY they never see the light of day again either!!!!
Just my opinion!
:mad: :( :( :(
This is disgusting.. I can't believe they let these guys walk.. Could it be any clearer? I've been digging for about an hour now to see if I can find anything relating to the Feds picking up civil rights violations on these guys.. Anyone know anything else regarding this?
This stuff is actually "old" news but definitely worthy of not being forgotten. I did a search on the last guard killed in Florida and hit on the man killed by Valdez, and then his own murder at the hands of these C.O.'s..
You know what.... Sometime it just doesn't pay to be a whistle-blower!!!
That is just Bull$hit!!! I can't belive a juror could sit on a jury and say that! I know I don't even know all the facts, but when I hear about this guy who's willing to 'risk' everything to tell the truth...I have the up most respect for him and I say screw everyone else! He told the truth and I know I wasn't there, but it sure seems like I heard enough to figure it out without sitting on the jury!
It's crazy...I'd give live to those CO's that had a part in killing this man....and I'd give life + to those inmates who used a hammer and killer the CO- Darla in Florida...
Just a sad time all around for those in the working for and in the system in Florida....
May something be done to fix this mess!!!!!
This reminds me of what I saw on A & E the other nite on what happened in California with the "Corcoran 8." They were all found innocent too......
This shows the power they have....scarey to us, must be horrible for inmates....
This is discusting and sick. What I suppose he took his state boot off and broke his ribs with it. CPR my ass with what a sledge hammer? Show me one just one report where anyone did that much damage doing CPR. It doesn't happen. I hope they get whats coming to them be it in this life or the next.
WHEW! the stories get worse and worse. the blessing is, am i wrong, that this doesn't happen at every prison in the country because it could.
everytime i see another account of frank valdez' death, i get queasey...especially since i have a loved one at uci. there are about 7 or 8 correctional institutions in that otherwise desolate area of florida, and they keep these littles towns and their inhabitants going economically ~ they have the most important reasons of all to be skepical of inmates' testimony....money and their own well-being. it's awful ~ these men murdered frank valdez...brutally. ac
It saddens me to see what a farce this is......murder is murder no matter who does the killing. I wonder what has become of the imates who testified........will they be next?????
this is awful. I do not understand what the heck is going on. Did i read they were found innocent?
This is one reason why US prisons rank with third world countries as prisons go. It's also why those of us with loved ones in prison have to be careful about trying too hard to help-----messing with calling the prison and making waves can often bring the bad apples (and sometimes I think bad apples are a majority) down on them. I reserve bothering the prison for things like life and death neglect situations or something like that. The public chooses to believe the guards and prison representatives so it's real hard for the prisoners. And lots I've known don't even want to write in their letters or tell on the phone what they've seen in there for fear of repercussions.
What makes it even worse is that a lot of the guards follow the so-called "prison code of honor" and the guards who don't like the abuses are afraid of making reports for fear of losing their jobs or being retaliated against themselves.
I don't see how the members of that jury can live with themselves. Those COs are monsters.
Heck, they are probably related to them, Flowerchild.. Or their husbands work inside, etc.. etc..
fed-ex has a good point.....as i said earlier, these towns rely on the prisons there to support the economy and provide jobs...it's insidious.
and yes, lulu....they were all found innocent (with the exception, i suppose, of the guy in the mugshot fed-ex posted).
I served as a juror in a civil trial in Denton County, Texas where everyone but two in the jury were related to law enforcement. We had a parole officer, the bailiff's wife, a retired cop, civil servants, etc......... This was a law suit against the Road Commision for the wrongful deaths of twin baby boys that drown in a pothole while their mother lost control of the car during a storm. Many people complained about the road but the city never took care of the problem. Anyway, the only two peolpe that voted against the State of Texas was myself and an elderly Christian lady.
Here's a good website that talks about the atrocities that occur in the State of Florida:
They were found not guilty. I know it may sound picky, but they were not found innocent. As campy as it may sound, "vengence is mine sayeth the lord". While they may have escaped punishment here on earth, their day before god will come. :(
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