Petition In Brown Truck and Heading South

By BitcoDavid

English: Mabel Capper and Suffragettes with a ...

Mabel Capper and Suffragettes with a petition 1911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is not without a certain amount of sadness, that I report to you that we have closed down the petition, printed up all 35 pages of it, and sent a copy to each of the four members of the Clemency Board. I’m actually quite happy about this, and about Felix’s extra shot at freedom, but I have nursed this petition along for almost 3 years, now. I’ve checked it once a day, intervened when it went dark, or got mistakenly closed. I’ve posted about it, maybe 100 times on here, and at least that many, on the other social networks. I’ve e-mailed about it, telephoned about it, and snail mailed about it. In short, I feel like a parent whose child is gone off to college. Sniff! [Tear] My son, the petition! Sniff!

Pat Bliss has informed me that if you are writing letters to the Clemency Board, she asks that you do not refer specifically to December, but rather just make the case for clemency. Apparently, it is viewed as an arrogance, for us to cite the date. This is of course, political and legal mumbo-jumbo, but we have to play the game as visitors, and Florida is the home team.

Here’s a copy of the petition as it appears in hard-copy form. This and my personal letter is exactly what the Board will receive on Wednesday of next week.

Here’s a copy of my enclosed letter.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who signed, and all of you who have supported Felix – and us – during this long uphill slog. It is my sincerest hope that all this work does not go unrewarded.

I would also like to thank Care2 for all their hard work and cooperation on this project. We couldn’t have completed this petition without them, and on numerous occasions, their technical support staff. Wonderful job guys, thanks for all you do.

Well, that’s about it. Remember, we’re not done yet. Keep writing those letters. And don’t forget to leave December out of it, and please keep the language family friendly. We don’t want to rub these people the wrong way.

But, Pam Bondi, if you’re reading this – and I suspect you are – please, free Felix. You know it’s the right thing to do.

#JusticeForFelix, #FreeFelix.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Some Great News

By BitcoDavid

Pat Bliss has informed me that the option for clemency for Felix Garcia is not dead, after all. She states that the possibility exists for a new clemency hearing, in December. What’s more, she tells me that there’s been a renewed interest in the case, amongst members of Florida’s justice system.  She has asked me to reach out one more time, to our readers, asking for your support. The pro bono attorney handling the case, Reginald Garcia has asked that we mail in our petition on Monday. He wants it sent to all 4 members of the Clemency Board.

I am glad to do so, and will be sending them via registered mail to each of the 4 members. I will be accompanying that packet with a letter of my own, imploring them to reexamine the case, and grant Felix the clemency he deserves.

Here’s where you can help. We are still 120 signatures shy of our goal of 1000. I will be sending the petition out regardless on Monday, the 14th. But I honestly believe that with one last push, we can reach our goal before then. Please, go sign our petition. While I’m sure the Board will be impressed with 880 signatures, 1000 would mean so much more.

If you feel like going that extra mile, for Felix, Ms. Bliss has also requested that as many of you as are able, write and send your own letters to the Board. Unfortunately, in cases such as this, e-mail and other electronic methods of communication hold little weight. These letters must be sent via U.S. Mail, in hard copy. They need something they can wave around in their hands, while pleading his case. I realize that to most of us, nowadays, those men in the little blue shorts who drive around in those funny little Jeeps, are somewhat of an enigma, but unfortunately nothing else will work.

As Dickens pointed out, the law is an ass. Furthermore, nobody ever accused the Government – state or Federal – of being overly hip. So, it’s U.S. mail or nothing.

Here are the addresses you can send your letters to:

 

Office of Governor Rick Scott

Thomas Winokur, Clemency Aide

400 S. Monroe St.

Rm 209, The Capitol

Tallahassee, FL 32399

Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi

Gwen Thomas, Clemency Assistant

366 M. Collins Bldg.

Tallahassee, FL 32301

Office of Chief Financial Officer

Jeff Atwater

Robert Tornillo, Clemency Aide

LL26, The Capitol

Tallahassee, FL 32301

Office of Commission of Agriculture

Adam Putnam

Reagan Russell, Clemency Aide

407 Calhoun St., Suite 520

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0810 

Pat also sent me a draft you can use:

Dear Governor Scott and Florida Clemency Cabinet.
Felix is innocent;  he was framed by his siblings and they have recanted; he has a 7 hour alibi; has served 33 years in prison; paralegal Pat Bliss has been on his case 17+ years and is his “mom”  where he will go home to in Virginia.

Personally, I would prefer it if you used your own words, but please – remember that we’re writing to plead with these people. Try to avoid pejoratives and off color language. Keep in mind, you catch more flies with honey.

You will need to send all 4 members – listed above – copies of your letters. I realize this is an inconvenience, not to mention a small personal expense. We thank you in advance for your efforts, and Felix – who’s made far greater sacrifices – will thank you as well.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Jack’s Annual Independence Day Plea

Jack byline

By Supporter Contributor and Internet Rock Star, Jack

 

Happy and safe 4th to everybody.

Happy and safe 4th to everybody.

It’s coming! I can feel it in my bones, and I’m not a happy Lab-Chow. Fourth of July! The worst day to be a dog, of all the days to be a dog. BitcoDavid lets me write a post once a year, imploring you to take caution when enjoying this holiday, as it is often an unsafe and very scary time for your bestest – us.

Look. Fireworks scare us. I mean they really scare us. I’ve heard about dogs running out of the house and getting lost, kidnapped or even hit by cars. I’ve heard of dogs getting sick – heart problems, digestive tract issues, shock – all from fear. I’ve even heard of dogs breaking bones or suffering other injury by trying to hide under furniture, behind refrigerators and stuff like that.

No to cake, but yes, please to Greenies.

No to cake, but yes, please to Greenies.

But it’s not just the fireworks. We really shouldn’t be out back with you, during the Barbecue. We can inhale smoke, get burned by charcoal or knock the whole thing over, by accident. Sometimes your friends give us beer, or feed us chocolate or onions. It might even look like we’re having fun, but we’re not. Those things are bad for us, and in some cases can even kill us.

Some people take their fur-children and fur-friends with them to other people’s parties, and leave us in the car. Can you believe that? It happens all the time. Do you know that the inside of a car can get up to 140 degrees? We have fur coats, and we don’t sweat the way you do. The only way we can cool off is through our tongues and our feet. You could be inside in the AC, partying and having the time of your life – but meanwhile, the guy who’s trusted you with his life, is dying.

This is me, after a bath. Sheesh.

This is me, after a bath. Sheesh.

So please, give some thought to what I’ve said. You can enjoy this holiday. Far be it from me, a little black dog, to ruin your fun. Just know that this is an unsafe and very scary time for us. And who do you care more about than your dog? Huh? I ask you?

Be safe, have fun and follow state and local laws. If you want to learn more about this, visit my close friend RumpyDog. He’s a Malamute, but that doesn’t mean he can’t write well.

Jack is a Lab-Chow. He was born into a Georgia dog fighting ring, but abandoned due to his size. He rescued BitcoDavid, and Mrs. BitcoDavid and now lives happily in Massachusetts. He enjoys barking at the dog in the mirror, and Greenies. As you can see, he’s an accomplished writer.

Since Arpanet, There Have Been Trolls

By BitcoDavid

Justice (Dike, on the left) and Divine Vengean...

Justice (Dike, on the left) and Divine Vengeance (Nemesis, right) are pursuing the criminal murderer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the subjects we’ve covered is the Boren-Thomas murders – the tragic death and dismemberment of a young woman and her infant child, by an estranged husband. This crime is a double ended disaster, because while we feel the pain and loss to the victim, we also suffer for the perpetrator, a man adjudicated as criminally insane. Knowing that he wasn’t firing on all 8 – or perhaps he was, but his throttle valve was stuck – we can’t hold him completely responsible for his actions.

Later on, I received a very moving comment from the victim’s father. It was a brilliant insight into the other side of the story. When one becomes involved in Criminal Justice – on the side of the inmates, as we are – one may often lose sight of the agony and grief their crimes can cause. I am not pro-criminal, nor am I pro-law enforcement. I am pro-justice. That is to say, that I view the law as a social contract, and I believe that our part in that contract is to treat offenders fairly and with compassion. Should they be punished for their crimes? Of course, they should. But we need to temper that punishment with humanity, and we need to be sure that we don’t confuse criminality with insanity.

Symbolic representation of the Arpanet as of S...

Symbolic representation of the Arpanet as of September 1974 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I responded to the above comment with condolence and respect.

A few months passed, and I did a post, seeking – as I have so often – rebuttals to DeafInPrison.com’s stated point of view. One of the comments that article appears to have inspired, came from an individual who tells me that the man who wrote the original comment is not Laura’s father. The latter individual is a frequent commenter on DeafInPrison.com, and I would tend to believe him. But here’s what makes his claim even more believable. I sent an e-mail to the original commenter – again, markedly tactful, condolent and respectful – asking him if he would be willing to grant us a supporter contribution post, giving his side of the story. He never responded. I could easily attribute that alone, to a father’s grief and unwillingness to further exploit his daughter’s memory. But upon rechecking his e-mail address – something I failed to do at first communication – I find it to be a bogus address.

CRIME Suicidal Tendencies by Yaia

CRIME Suicidal Tendencies by Yaia (Photo credit: YAIAGIFT™)

It is my fault for not checking. I’m the editor of this site, and I have the tools and expertise required to detect phony comments. The blame falls on me, for failing to perform my due diligence. To tell you the truth, it never occurred to me. I mean who on Earth would do such a thing? A troll, that’s who. Somebody who sits alone, naked, in their parents’ basement, with a bottle of personal lubricant. Trolls exist just to watch the Internet burn. These are the people who start arguments on social network threads just to distract the other users. They’re rude, offensive, insulting and illogical. They argue just to hear themselves type.

I have chosen to leave the original comment intact, rather than editing or removing it. This is only to maintain continuity in the thread. Be aware, that as you’re reading it, you’re reading lies and falsifications as dreamed up in the twisted mind of a troll. I apologize to my readers for allowing this error to occur, but I also see it as a reminder, that none of us are fully immune to Internet miscreants – and since Arpanet, there have been trolls.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

 

 

 

HEARD’s #DeafInPrison Campaign – Day 2

By BitcoDavid

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HEARD turned on the link to the Al Jazeera America video yesterday. Numerous people have screened it either through FaceBook, Organizations and private parties, or from my links, here. I have received several comments and messages on it already, and I’m sure Talila Lewis is very happy – as am I – to see the response to her efforts.

This important video focuses in part, on Felix Garcia. Many of you first heard of Felix and his plight here on DeafInPrison.com. We’ve been involved in the case for over 2 years, and one of our contributing author’s, Pat Bliss, has been personally working it for 17 years.

We have posted numerous articles on the legal issues regarding Felix, and have even been fortunate enough to have received – and posted – a rebuttal, written by an attorney who shows us some of the prosecutorial  perspectives in the case.

Now, Ms. Bliss informs me that clemency is no longer an option. She states that there are a limited number of ways a convicted man can be released, and that the only avenue left open to Felix is parole. I take exception with the idea of parole. For one thing, that isn’t something granted to the wrongfully incarcerated – the innocent. It’s a privilege offered to all inmates, and is essentially an admittance of guilt. Furthermore, parole isn’t freedom. Sure, it beats the hell out of prison. What doesn’t? But parole chains the inmate to the state in which he lives, employment assigned by an indifferent agency, urine tests and weekly reporting. Felix would end up washing cars, and pissing into a cup. That’s not the life he deserves, nor is it the life Florida owes him.

Attorney General Pam Bondi

Attorney General Pam Bondi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps I’m wrong. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t even understand the law. In fact, I’m somewhat bitter and resentful toward it. But I believe that Pat may be erroneous in her assessment. I think there is one other option. Let’s call it the Come Down From on High option. Gubernatorial or even Presidential pardon. I don’t know if this is true, but it seems to me that either Governor Scott – or if it had to come down to it, President Obama – could just call down from Olympus, and order Felix freed. No pomp. No circumstance. No legal wrangling. Just a simple – “Because I’m the mommy. that’s why.”

I realize that Governor Scott is no Santa Clause. And that his AG, Pam Bondi is no Florence Nightingale. I also realize that President Obama’s record for Presidential pardons is outright abysmal. Worse by an order of magnitude, than even George W. Bush’s.  In other words, I get that we’re not dealing with nice guys, here.

Official photo of Florida Governor Rick Scott

Official photo of Florida Governor Rick Scott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So let this particular post stand as my request – no strike that – as my challenge to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and President of the United States Barack Obama. Please! Please! If for nothing other than a paean to whatever humanity you may have once had, please. Free Felix Garcia.

If you – my readers – after having viewed the Al Jazeera America documentary, agree with me on this, please help us finish our petition. Felix has been in prison for 33 years, for a crime he did not commit. I get that lawyers may disagree.

I get that every story has 2 sides. I get that Felix may not have filled out all the forms properly, or had the right representation, or that representation’s hands were tied by a system that hobbled them at every turn. None of that matters. Felix is innocent and has spent his adult life behind bars. That is the only issue in this case.

English: King of the Gods, Zeus, at the Getty ...

King of the Gods, Zeus, at the Getty Villa. Roman, Italy, A.D. 1 – 100. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since Sachs Media Group started their petition, I’ve been somewhat at a loss as to what to do with ours, upon its completion. Their petition was highly successful, in that it reached its goal of 500 signatures, all of which were sent directly to the authorities whom it targeted. I believe that petition is now closed. Here’s my promise to you. Help me get that last 125 signatures that I need to reach our goal of 1,000 – and I will send it in hard copy, via Registered mail, to both Rick Scott and Pam Bondi. I will include a letter of my own, imploring them to look at this case, not from a legal perspective, but from a moral one – and from the standpoint of authority. I will ask them for a Deus Ex Machina.  I will ask them to reach down from Stratus and cast their lightning bolts.And if their lightning bolts aren’t powerful enough, I’ll send a copy to the White House.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

 

My Ship, Out on the Horizon

By BitcoDavid

English: MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal ...

MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean International’s Sovereign class cruise ships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me tell you a story. Years ago, when I had a business, building and repairing audio equipment for musicians and recording studios, I received a call.

[Ring, ring.]

“Thank you for calling Bitco Electronics. May I help you?”

“Yes, this is John Smith from Norwegian Cruise Lines…”

“No thanks. We’re all set.” [Click]

[Ring, ring]

“Thank you for calling Bitco Electronics. May I help you?”

“Don’t hang up.”

“Look pal, I’m not interested in any stupid free cruises or whatever pie-in-the-sky you’re selling.”

“No, you don’t understand. I’m calling in regards to one of our ships. We have a unit called a Mackie 8 bus that’s in need of repair.”

English: Studio A control room at SugarHill Re...

Studio A control room at SugarHill Recording Studios, Houston Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus the adventure began. You see, cruise ships can’t bring equipment to repair shops, due to Customs issues. Repair shops must go to the cruise ships. I had managed somehow, to land Norwegian Cruise Lines as a client, and would now spend a significant amount of my time on a ship. The Norwegian Majesty to be precise. Well, it was one of the most educational experiences I’ve ever had. Everything you know about anything is the exact opposite of how it is on a ship.

English: a view of the Black Falcon Cruise Ter...

View of the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal at the Port of Boston taken from the Norwegian Majesty cruise ship leaving port. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example. I’m standing literally right next to the thing, as it’s docked in Black Falcon Pier in Boston. I mean, I can hit it with a rock. But, in order to get on board, I needed to call an escort. Well, that meant that I had to call the Bahamas. They in turn, would contact a Ship to Shore Service who would relay my message to the boat. A 50 foot call, cost me 30 dollars, and took 15 minutes to place.

In fact, the work of working on a ship is more work than the work you’re doing on the ship. It requires an act of Congress just to go to the bathroom.

Mackie 8 bus with Meter Bridge attachment. Image credit: Gearslutz.com

Mackie 8 bus with Meter Bridge attachment. Image credit: Gearslutz.com

The theater where the Mackie was located was absolutely gorgeous. Quite possibly the best professional sound system I’d ever worked on. And when I was done, the whole system howled like a hurricane and growled like a grizzly bear.

But in the midst of all this revelry – as I was doing my final calibrations – some guy in an overly starched white uniform came and told me I had to disembark, as the ship was about to turn around. “So, turn around. I’m almost done.”

“No, you don’t understand. You can’t be here when we turn the ship. Only crew are allowed on board when she turns. You need to wait on the pier.”

[Civilian sigh of frustration] “OK. I’ll wait.”

Here's an idea of the size of structure, we're talking about. Image courtesy: ShipCruise.org

Here’s an idea of the size of structure, we’re talking about. Image courtesy: ShipCruise.org

Well, here’s what I didn’t know. I’m thinking they’ll turn the thing around. I turn my car around all the time. Jack, when he’s getting ready for bed, turns around. Hell, I’ve even turned around a few trucks. What’s the big deal?

Neither my car, Jack nor even the trucks, were one and a half times the length of a football field – that’s what. In order for non-American cruise ships to turn around, they have to go out past the 12 mile limit. Do you know, I waited from 3:00 in the afternoon, ’till 1:00 in the morning. How am I going to bill these guys for 10 hours of standing around an abandoned pier?

Wow! Fascinating story BitcoDavid. And you write so well. But, what the hell does any of this have to do with DeafInPrison.com?

At one point, I happened to espy the ship – 12 miles out to sea. It looked so tiny. So helpless. A forlorn little dot, bobbing around like a cork, in the vastness of the Atlantic. That image never left me, and I recall it every time I hear the phrase, when my ship comes in.

Well dear readers, DeafInPrison.com’s ship is about to come in. We today, celebrate our 75,000th view. Since our launch, just over 2 years ago, 75,000 of you have seen our work. Well an unknown number of you have seen our work 75,000 times – anyway. We’ve been viewed at least once in 134 different countries. We’ve generated over 5000 click-throughs to other sites. We’ve posted 515 articles. And through all sources, we have over 1100 followers.

Our next milestone will be 100,000 views. That’s very important, because that’s the magic number that Google needs to see us as a real  Web site. When we get to 100K, we’ll be barking in the tall grass with the big dogs.

There are 2 other ways you can help us to achieve World domination. “Like” our page on FaceBook. We have 320 Likes so far, and we need 500. And of course, help us finish, and finally close the longest lived petition to free Felix Garcia – in Internet history. We are almost around the bend. Our ship is out at the 12 mile limit. A mere 125 more signatures would get us there.

But all these things are about ambition. I’m thrilled that we’ve had what limited success we’ve had. 75,000 views! Who’d a thunk it?

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

DeafInPrison.com and Copyright

By BitcoDavid

I know you think there’s a huge underground facility, buried under Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain, and called DeafInPrison.com Plaza – but in truth, it’s just me in my underwear, hammering away on a coffee stained keyboard.

There is however, a lot going on in the background. Not everything you see on DeafInPrison.com is actually on DeafInPrison.com. When an article is posted on here, WordPress converts it into HTML code. Many pictures, files and widgets are actually hosted on other sites, and presented to you with the appearance of being local. We call this, embedding.

Back in 2013, I did a piece on the 3 pathological types of mass murderers. For clarification, those 3 types are Serial killers, Spree killers and Thrill killers. The differences in the pathology are significant and important. I could provide no better illustration of the point, than did the DOJ, when they put together the original report that I used for research. So, I chose instead, to embed their version.

Here’s how this works, and forgive me for revealing the man behind the curtain. I find a Web version of the document I wish to post. I convert that from it’s original HTML format, into a PDF. The PDF is then uploaded to Scribd.com, where it is hosted. Although our publisher pays WordPress for the ability to embed files directly, such as video and audio files, WordPress demands that PDFs and other document type files be handled this way.

Technically, WordPress isn’t our hosting site. ImageWorks LLC is. And if we chose to, we could have a private version of WordPress installed, and would have far less limitations on what we publish, and how we publish it. I prefer having the support of a blogging community behind us, so I’ve gone with the option of having WordPress.com serve as a co-hosting site, so to speak.

If you click on the link above – to our story on mass murderers – you will see an error notification informing you that the document has been taken down due to copyright infringement. I have contacted Scribd.com and am in the process of getting this fixed. But I thought I could take this opportunity to explain our policy regarding copyright.

DeafInPrison.com takes intellectual property issues very seriously. We never publish graphics or other content without both citing and linking to our sources. Same with all supporter contributions. All submissions are cited and linked. I also do a whois search on the author’s I.P. address, so I know the legitimacy of our contributors. We don’t pay authors for their submissions, so linking is the only incentive we can offer.

Embedded files that we expressly create, such as Felix’s music video, are published without citation, and are free to our readers to copy, share, embed – do whatever they want with. I would only hope that those individuals link back to DeafInPrison.com and give us the credit due. All other files are cited and linked to their original source. We take these files directly from the Internet, so it can’t be said that the producers of this data don’t want it seen. If ownership was an issue, they wouldn’t have made it openly available to anybody with a Google machine.

DeafInPrison.com costs our publisher to produce, but we do not monetize this site, and we do not operate as a for profit organization. Our goal is to educate, entertain, enlighten and actualize our readership. We provide this service for free. Therefore, we don’t seek license to publish data already available on the Web, but we do recognize the rights of content creators to receive credit, and we do insist on link-sharing and citation.

We also have a commitment to publishing original content. We may use a file or a graphic to enhance an article, but the bulk of our articles are original, and written by our contributors and authors.

No citation required. That's me.

No citation required. That’s me.

Sometimes, the law gets caught up, forgetting it’s spirit and dwelling too much in its letter. When I was at my old gym, I shot a few rounds between my Coach and me, and posted them on YouTube. The gym had a radio station playing as background music for all the clientele – those who didn’t have their own iPods. Although you could barely make out this music over the sound of me getting beat like a rented mule, Sony made me take down the video. Stealing illegible copies of top-40 dance tunes wasn’t my intent. Showing an audience some great amateur boxing was. But Sony, and for that matter YouTube, didn’t care.

I sincerely hope that Scribd can understand the situation and rectify it, so that you – our readers – can continue to enjoy embedded documents as rightfully cited and linked enhancements to our original content.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

 

Had to Share

By BitcoDavid

God’ll get me for this, but I had to share it with you. This appeared on FaceBook, yesterday.

But that’s not the funny part. The first comment was…

“Governor Scott!”

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Event: HEARD launches #DeafInPrison Campaign

#DeafInPrison Campaign

HEARD created the #DeafInPrison Campaign to raise awareness about abuse of, and discrimination against, deaf prisoners across the nation. The Campaign, which officially launches on June 27th, aims to start a national conversation about these concerns, and to compel corrective and preventive action.

We are asking that you watch the film “Deaf In Prison,” then share your reactions, your stories, or any information you have, on social media, using the Hashtag, “#DeafInPrison.” The link for “Deaf In Prison” (the video) will be available for 48 hours beginning at 12:00am (EST) on Friday, June 27. Viewings will be hosted in numerous locations across the nation & we encourage organizations and individuals to host viewings if possible.

Many thanks to our dear friends at Facundo Element for their support with this Campaign and for their continued support of HEARD initiatives. Please visit our Campaign Event Page for more information and to find a viewing near you.

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hea...

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Note: HEARD’s campaign hashtag is #DeafInPrison, whereas our Web site’s name and principle identifier is DeafInPrison.com. We are affiliated with this campaign, in that we are allies of, and co-supporters of, HEARD.  We are separate entities, but some of our authors and contributors are HEARD members.

We have screened this film, and published a review. I would strongly suggest you join this campaign, watch the film – it is excellent – and follow through with the Hashtag posting.

If possible, we will be embedding the clip here, on DeafInPrison.com, as a convenience to our readers, and to help HEARD in the cause. If however, we can’t embed it for copyright reasons, I will republish this post or another post, reminding people, later on in June.

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Get Off Your Bicycle and Throw Something

By BitcoDavid

Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Ahh. It’s June at last. Summer – or Spring – or something other than an Arctic freeze – is finally here. Of course Felix Garcia still rots in prison, and the War on Drugs still rages. False confession still abounds, and Waitstaff still hand Braille menus to Deaf patrons.

As most of you know, when I’m not creating awesome Internet content, flawless videos and heart rending prose – and when I’m not creating tons of free product for FaceBook – I enjoy climbing into a ring, with nail-eating fire-breathers, and taking a beating.

BDavLogo1Same holds true with DeafInPrison.com. I like a good, verbal three-rounder here, as well. So, as I have done so often in the past, I’m asking for a bitch-slap. I want someone to step up. A lawyer, a Corrections officer or even a cop. Tell me how wrong I am. How wrong we all are. We want to hear from you. We want the other side to our story.

On February 26, 2013, I published a post entitled, On the Boren-Thomas Case. I invite you to click on the link, and pay particular attention to the last comment. It’s a heart-stopper and an eye-opener.

That guy - lying on the floor? That'd be me.

That guy – lying on the floor? That’d be me.

That’s the type of thing I’m looking for. Only instead of doing it as a comment, why not do it as a Supporter Contribution? Submit it and I’ll publish it. I’ll edit it, add graphics and give it the full respect it deserves.

So come on. The gauntlet has been thrown. Give me your written rebuttals, and I’ll put them up. If you prefer, you can remain anonymous. Many professionals in law enforcement don’t want to write about what they do, for fear of alienation in their workplace. I’ve also been told that some Justice system professionals will only discuss these issues with other professionals. How are we, the public, expected to learn, if you won’t share your point of view?

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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“Felix Garcia” Music Video

By BitcoDavid

VLC wmv

VLC wmv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been working my – two baseballs in a sock – skinny, White butt off, on this video. As promised to you, back in January, we took Heather Hardy’s song and created this video.

I even had to drive all the way to East Overshoe, Maine - one of those, ya can’t get theyah from heah places, for some of the footage.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of my efforts, and those of Ms. Hardy, without whom, none of this would have been possible. And moreover, I hope this helps reignite your passions in the case of Felix Garcia, an innocent Deaf man, who’s wrongfully served 32 years, thus far, of a life sentence.

Some tech details:

6 video tracks, 4 overlay tracks, 11 stereo audio tracks. Edited on Serif MoviePlus X-6, and Audacity. Mixed in 1080p / 196KB / 16bit / 44.1Khz, mastered in 720p and presented here for Internet delivery at 512p / 64Kb, .wmv file format.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Famous Web Site Posts Exaggerated April Fools Story

By BitcoDavid

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

But you already knew that, huh? What gave it away, the NY Yankees bit?

Anyway, I just want to say that I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you! That DeafInPrison.com – the blog of record - would stoop to such antics!

All I can say in my defense is, “I have no recollection of that event, Mr. Senator.” ” It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.” And of course, “the check is in the mail.”

Happy April Fools, everybody.

 

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Boston Red Sox to Begin Training in ASL

By BitcoDavid

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

The 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox will begin a program of ASL training for all players, according to principal owner, John Henry. Henry said, “This has nothing to do with communication. It occurred to me and to [team manager] John Farrell, that ASL would be a good way for our players to improve coordination skills and arm strength.”

An intensive program of ASL in conjunction with Ballet and needlepoint is scheduled to begin as early as May 1st. Participation is mandatory, and the association is currently investigating the contractual and legal issues.

“After all, we won the Series last year,” added noted pitcher Jon Lester, “so this year’s kind of a throw-away. I mean, what have we got to lose?”

Not to get caught behind the eight-ball on this, the N.Y. Yankees issued a statement that all players will now train with dark glasses, earmuffs and a cork in their mouths, while music from The Who’s Tommy will be blasted from the P.A.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Your Thoughts on the Felix Garcia Case

By BitcoDavid

Felix Garcia celebrating his GED in 1984 Courtesy Pat Bliss. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/deaf-prisoners-felix-garcia

Felix Garcia celebrating his GED in 1984 Courtesy Pat Bliss.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/deaf-prisoners-felix-garcia

Although we have entered into an arrangement with Sachs Media to bring their considerable skills to bear on Felix Garcia’s pending clemency, we are still getting signatures on our petition as well. I’m fine with that, but I hope people are also signing their petition – which goes directly into the inboxes of the officials who have influence on the case.

In the meantime, as I have perused the, now, 765 signatures, several of your comments have struck me. I have collected a few here, for you all to see. These comments are your words, not mine. In other words, this is how the Public feels about Felix.

My boyfriend has done time with him and was a translator for him while at polk ci. He had discussed this with him in detail and was very surprise to heat that it finally made he courts. After listen to him and then reading up on Felix I felt that I should support him. Must be bad to be in there for being guilty but being innocent that must must be really bad.

***

I am a certified sign language interpreter with 25 years of experience. I also have Deaf parents and a Deaf sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I take this case very personally because it could have been one of my family members being unjustly jailed. This is a complete failure of our justice system that should have been so blatantly obvious at the time, but somehow it wasn’t. Mr. Garcia should be freed immediately based upon this new evidence and more importantly, due to the lack of him being afforded the opportunity and ability to defend himself against these false charges. I stand with all those who support that persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing should never be tried without the clear ability to communicate and defend themselves against any and all claims made against them. To do otherwise is complete madness and unconstitutional.

***

This would be heartbreaking if it was merely a case of one man being framed for murder by his own brother and wasting more than thirty years in a prison cell. It is infuriating once you understand that Frank Garcia openly confessed to framing his brother Felix in writing and in court, and yet Felix is STILL in prison seven years later. But what makes it truly, egregiously, outrageously horrific, is that Felix is functionally Deaf, and like other such men and women in prison, his Deafness has been denied – when not outright exploited – by our glorious justice system from the day he was arrested. He has been denied interpreters and even batteries for his hearing aids, laughed at when attempting to communicate, frightened into a desperate suicide attempt by guards, and raped. This. Is. Not. Acceptable.
***
Keep up the outstanding work, Pat Bliss and team!
***
As a former law enforcement agent, I feel sad and guilty for the unjustified incarceration of Felix Garcia. Please, do not let this tragedy continue, release this poor soul who was betrayed by his own brother.
***
New evidence requires a review of this case; and not giving a Deaf man access to his own hearing aids is Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

This is just a sample of the many comments I have received on the petition, but they convey the emotions and thinking of the general public as they become increasingly aware of Felix’s plight. Please take a moment to sign the Sachs Media petition here, and Like their FaceBook page, here. Even if you have already signed our petition. I know that’s a lot to ask, and I apologize for it, but this way, you can be assured that your voice will be heard.

At the same time, I’d like to thank everybody who has already signed ours, and to let you know that our petition is still active, and still holds the record for longest lived petition since this case was first made public. We had the record for the most signatures, and although we have gained a significant number since Sachs Media’s petition was launched, I honestly hope we no longer have that honor. When our 765 signatures become the second runner-up, that means that so many more will have already been brought to Florida’s attention.
You can tweet about Felix using the hashtags, #JusticeForFelix or #FreeFelix.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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The Struggle of the Deaf in Prison

By BitcoDavid

Image: Wikipedia

Image: Wikipedia

Deep beneath Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain – recently renamed Mt. BitcoDavid – lies the DeafInPrison.com complex. Here, thousands of worker bees  – wearing black suits, dark sunglasses and coiled thingies in their ears – drive around in blacked-out Chevy Suburbans, and labor tirelessly to bring you the best in Internet content.

Recently they received a communique from the Silent Grapevine, requesting a supporter contribution. Here is BitcoDavid’s response to that request:

The Struggle of the Deaf in Prison

By
BitcoDavid

All three elements of interaction with the Justice system, directly affect the Deaf in far different ways than they do the Hearing.

1) Arrest: The goal of police during an arrest is to take physical custody of a suspect. Their only concern is discovering hidden weapons, and preventing escape. There is little opportunity for communication during this phase, and an ability of the suspect to follow orders is essential. When a cop holding his gun, yells “get down or I’ll shoot,” you need to get down. If you can’t understand that command, you’re in immediate danger. Many Deaf sacrifice their Constitutional rights, due to lack of understanding the Miranda warning. A written card containing the Miranda rights is useless, because many Deaf have limited reading ability.

The interrogation phase of arrest is equally fraught with communicational failings. Many Deaf, in order to fit in, or to expedite an uncomfortable situation, will respond to questioning by smile and nod. This leads Hearing to believe that the Deaf understand what is going on, even when they don’t. Finally, out of fear and exhaustion, the suspects will often confess to things they didn’t do. After 12, 24, possibly even 48 hours of grueling questions – none of which they can hear or understand – they confess.

2) Court proceedings and trial: Here, an interpreter is essential, but is often denied. An example is the now 33-year-old case of Felix Garcia, the man that DeafInPrison.com is working to pardon. On numerous occasions, the judge would ask Felix if he could hear. For reasons that he himself isn’t completely clear on, he would answer in the affirmative. In the end, all they did was turn the speakers all the way up, causing Felix great pain, but not aiding at all in his ability to hear the accusations and evidence against him.

If a Deaf defendant is at all likely to have the benefit of a qualified ASL interpreter, it is during the trial phase. However, interpreters cost money that states are loath to spend. They will invariably try to find cost cutting methods of getting things done. Why add to an already expensive trial if you can prove that no interpreter is required?

3) Incarceration: It is here that the Deaf suffer most. It is here as well, that competent interpreters are most necessary, and least often made available. There have been cases reported of Deaf inmates not reporting for Count, because the order is verbal. Failure to report for Count can result in serious punishment such as Solitary Confinement. The same situation exists with Mess. Often, Deaf inmates go without being fed, because they are unaware that it’s time to eat.

The biggest problem for the Deaf in America’s prisons is violence and rape. Deaf people cannot hear whispers and muttering. They can’t hear people coming up behind them, and they have difficulty in reporting such activities. They struggle receiving medical care, because they can’t hear the doctors and nurses, therefore may not be as able to take part in their therapy, or in filling prescriptions, as can their Hearing counterparts. Conversely, they are less able to describe symptoms or to otherwise aid in their diagnoses.

The number of prisons and jails that offer onsite interpreters for these situations is relatively small – even in these days of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, even if interpreters are available, the inmate must request one before the appointment.

Guards often see Deaf inmates as troublemakers. Nothing gets under a Corrections Officer’s skin, as much as a special request or need. When you’re in charge of 1000 or more individuals, the last thing you want to hear is inmate XYZ needs an interpreter.

We can address and eliminate these issues with a small amount of effort.

Every police cruiser in this country is equipped with onboard computers and WiFi. Police should learn how to use video relay via the Internet. Deaf suspects can be brought to the cruiser, where they would be able to offer a defense against arrest, and at the same time, be informed as to why they’re being arrested and what is expected of them.

Detectives need to conduct interrogations with interpreters present. If costs and availability were an issue, again, Internet interpreters and video relay would do the trick.

The responsibility for determining a defendant’s ability to aid in his own defense should no longer be the purview of judges and attorneys. The court should consult with an audiologist if there is any question as to a defendant’s competency.

Prisons and jails would need to make three significant changes. First, interpreters should be full-time on all shifts, and available. Inmates shouldn’t have to go through official channels to request an interpreter. Secondly, institutions need to house Deaf inmates in separate dorms, fully equipped to meet their needs. Finally, Deaf and bilingual (English/ASL) guards would be greatly beneficial.

Lastly, of course, if ASL were offered in all public schools, colleges and trade schools, individuals – law enforcement and otherwise – would be able to communicate with the Deaf, and would be able to reap the many advantages of learning Sign.

Image: Wikipedia

Image: Wikipedia

My gratitude and appreciation to Silent Grapevine for this opportunity.

Also, don’t forget that the #KeepASLinSchools video is done and can be seen here and here. Felix’s case is garnering much needed attention, thanks to the efforts of Sachs Media Group who is still maintaining their petition, here. Please take a minute to sign – even if you’ve already signed ours. It is critically important. And thank you all, for your continued support.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Press Release on Felix Garcia Case

By BitcoDavid

Photo: Hundreds rallied at the Florida Capitol today! Help Felix Garcia by signing the Change.org petition. http://bit.ly/FreeFelix

Rally at Florida State Capitol for SB1304 and HB1125 – and for Clemency for Felix. Image: Sachs Media Group

Below, you can see a copy of the press release that Sachs Media Group sent out to all the major players in both the national and local media. DeafInPrison.com is not only proud of our efforts to free Felix Garcia, but we are also quite flattered that Sachs Media included us in that distribution. New York Times – we take our place at your table. Pass the biscuits, please.

Again, this is a press release. So, no pictures. That’s why I embedded it, rather than pasting it into this article. But it is the first press release we’ve ever received. In the words of Faith Hill, “I still like to wear my old ball cap – ride my kids around piggy-back.”

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Deaf Bill of Rights act in Georgia

By Supporter Contributor Frank James John Lala, Jr., Ph.D.

 

Here’s the linked Ruling via embedded PDF.

 

For more reading by Frank James John Lala Jr. Ph.D. see the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Counseling-Substance-Abuser-Frank-James/dp/0966375300

Keynote Speaker at the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf on Mental Health Issues (1999), and author of, “Counseling the Deaf Substance Abuser”. Dr. Frank Lala, recipient of Gallaudet University’s prestigious Laurent Clerc Award by Dr. I. King Jordan in recognition for the work in mental health and substance abuse. Author has both School Smarts (Education/Degrees) and Street Smarts (Experience/Harsh Childhood that gives him Survival Skills, Character, and Perspectives on Life)

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#KeepASLInSchools Video Finally Done!

By BitcoDavid

It was like the 7 labors of Hercules!

All kidding aside, it was a great project and I am proud and happy to have been a part of it. So, without further ado…

As I am working more and more with Sign now, I’m learning some of the significant differences between ASL and English. In video, the most significant difference is speed. I have learned that even Native Signers cannot communicate at the same speed as oral speakers. Most videos have a video track and an audio track. In some cases you will also have a narration track and perhaps a musical soundtrack. In the case of this particular video, we had a video track, a narration track, a musical soundtrack and a captioned overlay track.

Chipmunk

Chipmunk (Photo credit: ogwen)

now you can generally speed-up or slow-down the video tracks, but the audio tracks have to maintain the speed they were recorded in, or they will change pitch. Radically, in fact. Preteen girls sound like grizzled old men, and grizzled old men sound like Alvin’s Chipmunks. (In fact, that’s the secret behind those chipmunk voices.) Oh, and don’t think you can rely on things like Pitch Shifters or Autotune to fix these problems, either. They won’t work.

English: David R Ferguson Audio Engineer

David R Ferguson Audio Engineer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the point is, when putting together a video, you start with the audio tracks and build around them, not the other way round. Great, but the audio tracks in this case are naturally 1 and 1/2 to 2 times the speed of the signed video tracks. Soooo, it was a lot of fun at the ol’ BitcoDavid audiovisual research lab.

Anyway, it’s all done and I sincerely hope you like it – and perhaps learn a little something from it.

My heartfelt thanks go out to Monica Hood of DeafInsight and all those who contributed to the project.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Wind in My Sails

By BitcoDavid

Grant Executive Clemency to Felix Garcia

Where Felix Garcia is concerned, the go-to is and has always been Pat Bliss. Ms. Bliss has put forth a herculean 17 year effort to free Felix. As a result, he calls her “Mom.” The most recent turn of events in the case, is the ongoing Clemency hearing in which Pat is being assisted in this struggle by Reggie Garcia – Felix’s pro bono attorney.

Image courtesy of Pat Bliss

Image courtesy of Pat Bliss

These two individuals have enlisted the aid of Sachs Media Group, Florida’s #1 Public Relations firm. DeafInPrison.com has opted to be of aid where ever possible to Sachs Media. They have a lot of boots on the ground, where we do not. One area where we can assist them, as they take on this final leg of a struggle we have been solely involved in for almost 2 years now, is the transfer of signatures from our petition to theirs.

I have done this, but unfortunately, Change.org will not accept signatures from a Care2 petition. It’s simply a tech issue, having to do with login requirements. It is due to this situation, that I am asking the following.

If you are one of the 745 individuals who were gracious enough to sign our petition, could you please see your way clear to sign theirs as well? I fully realize that this seems like a bothersome request. You would be well justified in thinking that since you’ve signed one petition, you shouldn’t be asked to re-sign yet another.

Image courtesy of Pat Bliss

Image courtesy of Pat Bliss

But here’s the thing. Their petition is directly linked to the e-mails of all the individuals in Florida who we were targeting. The difference being, these people will receive these signatures right away – in their inboxes, not in the U.S. mail. Rather than being an envelope they can simply stick in a desk drawer somewhere, these signatures will be right in their faces – right away. I can’t stress how important that will be.

Some have asked me what happened – did the wind get knocked out of my sails? The answer is a most definite no. The wind is most assuredly still in my sails, but now I’ve got an armada rather than just one little boat. With our help – all of us – Sachs Media can finally free Felix.

Please visit their Petition page, here. Sign the petition – even if you’ve already signed mine. Like their FaceBook page, here. I will be posting on that page regularly. We’re not selling out, we’re trading up. After 32 years, Felix needs to be freed. It’s a moral issue, a legal issue and a justice issue. Every day that Felix spends in prison is another day we all suffer, another day the whole world suffers.

Here’s the unformatted link to the Sachs Media petition:
https://www.change.org/petitions/rick-scott-grant-executive-clemency-to-felix-garcia

Here’s the unformatted FaceBook link:https://www.facebook.com/championsforjusticeforfelixgarcia

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Is the U.S. Becoming a Police State?

By BitcoDavid

police_state

The above infographic was made by SecurityHub.com, and sent to me via e-mail. the full sized original can be viewed, Here. Please comment. I would be interested to know if our readers agree or disagree.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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