A Brief List Regarding Felix Garcia’s Innocence

By Pat Bliss

It has come to my attention that there are many who have commented on the story of deaf inmate Felix Garcia seeking more concrete evidence of his innocence.  I have not finished with the series on the Felix Garcia criminal case. I plan on presenting all the evidence showing innocence. But because it has been asked for now, I will briefly list this evidence that was presented at trial and will be forthcoming:

1. 1983 Trial testimony placing Felix at another location.
2. 1983 Trial testimony devoid of physical proof Felix was there (13 fingerprints of Frank Garcia were.)
3. A 1989 Statement/Affidavit by co-defendant Frank Garcia admitting he killed the victim and Felix is innocent of any knowledge of the crime.

4. Two 1996 Affidavits, one by Frank and one by his sister, Tina (a participant), stating Felix had nothing to do with the planning and committing of the crime.

5. From 2001 – 2005 seven inmates, former friends of Frank at different institutions, sent me their affidavits where Frank confessed to them he was responsible for his innocent brother Felix being in prison.
6. 2006 Evidentiary Hearing, a confession by Frank that Felix was innocent and had nothing to do with the crime.
I’d like to add that if I – as a volunteer paralegal, who has used personal finances and much of my free time – thought for one moment, Felix was guilty, I would not have spent almost 17 years on this case. I am as convinced today as I was at the beginning. In fact, all who have met him while I have been on this case, including his current pro bono clemency attorney, have come away believing he is absolutely innocent. I wish everyone with doubts could have the opportunity to meet Felix.
After the verdict chapter, I will highlight the appeals and post-conviction actions that will introduce these actual court documents.Then this should bring you up to the present where we are now in a clemency action. Pardons are a form of clemency. The Petition with all its signatures will be quite helpful when our action gets the attention of the Florida Governor and his Clemency Board. For this, I am grateful to you all for signing.
Sincerely, Pat Bliss
[Editor’s Note: We only have a little over 400 signatures left to go! Please! Please! Go to
Thank you for all your support,
BitcoDavid]

Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events.

The Theft of Dignity by Pastor Mark Ehrlichmann

By BitcoDavid

Pastor Ehrlichmann is a member of HEARD, and a supporter of the #JusticeForFelix project. Below is a letter he wrote for use in his Ministry, regarding Felix and the plight of all Deaf prisoners. It’s a heartfelt and profound read, and we are grateful to the Pastor for sharing it with us – and for all the work he does for the inmates.

If the text of this document is too small for you to read, you can zoom it in by clicking the magnifying glass icons on the bottom of the embed. You can also view it in full size, by clicking the link directly beneath 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.

Remember We Are Picture People

By Pat Bliss

Image: Pat Bliss

Image: Pat Bliss

I just came back from my third trip to Florida in 4 1/2 months. Each trip had a purpose as a step further to show the innocence of Felix Garcia and towards his freedom. Felix may not be fully cognizant of what all these meetings/interviews      mean to him but he certainly participates with all his might, and answers questions to the best of his ability.

This trip involved Felix being interviewed by a reporter for a major Florida newspaper. Our scheduled appointment began at 9 A.M. But, there are procedures one must go through up front. Before being allowed into the prison, we gave the staff at the outside window, our IDs. They checked these IDs with their computer roster. When it was Okayed, and because we were going in as media, we all got special badges. The heavy metal gates clinked open and we went on inside – first, to be searched; all rings, bracelets, watches, eyeglasses accounted for. Oh yes, cannot forget the car key. The reporter had a pen and pad and of course, the camera equipment for taking pictures. Staff led us into the visiting area for the interview. The visiting area at Tomoka comprises of one enclosed large room with a canteen. From this room, you can go through double doors to a fairly large semi-enclosed room with barred windows. this room opens to the outside area, where there are concrete picnic tables. Everything is enclosed in barbwire. We settled for the middle room with its large picnic type tables.

A generic visiting room, not the one at Tomoka.http://bahlool.deviantart.com/art/Prison-visiting-room-99587324

A generic visiting room, not the one at Tomoka.
http://bahlool.deviantart.com/art/Prison-visiting-room-99587324

As per past interviews we’ve had, it was a very emotional time. Felix is so open and expressive. In my title, I said picture people, meaning that the deaf relate to pictures – not words – in general. Felix told me the reason for this, is the Deaf dictionary and the hearing world’s dictionaries are inches apart (he showed me the difference with his fingers). So, Felix tells much of his story to the reporter by demonstration. He is so precise, as to exactly what took place, that no one could misunderstand what he was saying.  Sign interpreter, Cheryl Santana from Interpreter Source in St. Augustine, was the conduit between us hearing people and Felix in understanding one another.

[Editor’s note: ASL interpreters view their clients with the same level of confidentiality as do doctors and lawyers. Generally, they ask that we don’t print their names. To facilitate those seeking interpreter services, in the Florida area, I have left the company name intact. –BitcoDavid]

Felix can read lips and speak pretty well but he’s not wise in formal settings for legal visits or media interviews – room for misinterpretation comes into play. During the interview, the camera operator was clicking away. She must have taken at least a hundred pictures. We were limited as to where the cameras would be shooting so not to include any wire fences or other inmates in the background. The interview should be in print in about 2-3 months. I will definitely let DeafInPrison.com know when it comes out, so it can have a link available to you readers.

I stayed over the weekend with a friend in Daytona Beach Shores and visited with Felix. The procedure as a visitor is the same for access inside the prison except there is a hand scan machine to put my right hand in to identify me electronically.  Once Felix arrived and we found seats, we talked about what is going on with his supporters, his prison life and anything else we could think of. The acoustics are very bad in these rooms. The noise (people talking loudly) around me was unbelievable to the degree that I was “deaf” in understanding much of what he was saying. There is also the fact our communication is not perfect and misunderstandings do occur. So Felix was thinking ahead. He had a pen handy, grabbed a few white napkins, and what I could not understand, he printed in brief sentences to get his point across. Or, if there was something I needed to remember, I would write it down and show him to be sure I understood what he said.  Nevertheless, one thing stood out. The phrase he repeatedly said many times. “Remember, we are picture people.” I took note of that and was quite aware then, as to why he drew diagrams a lot – it was in order for me to better understand what he was trying to convey.

On my way home, I was thinking about the phrase “we are picture people” and realized over the years, that Felix was in the habit of drawing – he would draw for clarity. Strangely, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I fully understood this was a Deaf trait in communication. I have come to appreciate the pictures in a new light.

Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events.

Eighth and Final Chapter in the Felix Garcia Video Series

By BitcoDavid

Here, at long last is chapter 8 in our video interview series with innocent Deaf inmate, Felix Garcia. Those of you who have followed us on this journey know that Felix has served 30 years – so far – for a crime he didn’t commit. DeafInPrison.com is one among many who have worked to try to gain Felix his freedom.

This video is owned and copyrighted by James Ridgeway of SolitaryWatch.com. It can’t be copied, reproduced or embedded, but you are of course welcome to share the link to this page.

Tomorrow, I will put up a post containing links to all 8 chapters in sequence. That way, those of you who haven’t seen them all, will be able to do so.

As you know, there is a petition available where you can help deliver this vital message to the Governor of Florida, the Attorney General and 2 influential cabinet members. Here’s that link.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/453/783/026/felix-garcia-should-be-granted-a-full-pardon/

If you’d like to make a financial contribution to the court case, you can send a check or MO to

Reginald R. Garcia P.A.

PO Box 11069

Tallahassee, FL 32302

Write “For Felix Garcia” on the memo line.

This is a trust fund established to pay for incidental expenses necessary for the case. The attorney is working pro bono, and neither DeafInPrison.com, BitcoDavid BlogSites nor any of our contributors will receive any of the funds.

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’s Story Serialized Pt. 1

By Pat Bliss

As many of you know, I have been publishing a series on arrest and subsequent trial of Felix Garcia on DeafInPrison.com. It has been available in standard HTML format on my pages, Bliss-1 and Bliss-2 – with future pages yet to be posted. However, our editor, BitcoDavid has recently devised a way that PDF media can be viewed on the site without having to click through. He is making many upgrades to this site, and among them will be the phasing out of these back pages. We have decided that this story belongs on the main scroll, and with his help, I’ve been able to post this first 15 page section of the series.

Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events. 

A Brief Update on Felix

Image courtesy of Pat Bliss

I, among others, receive a lot of letters from the prison population that generally contain adverse circumstances and their need to tell someone on the outside what is really going on – on the inside. That is good. We need to know in order to alert those who can help.

But, there are still good things going on inside the prisons, even if it only involves one prisoner at a time. Let me give you an example of what I mean. As you know, I am serializing the criminal case of deaf inmate Felix Garcia.  In addition, you have seen the videos of an interview that Washington Correspondent, James Ridgeway and I had with Felix in 2011. Felix writes me weekly, and tells me his days’ activities and the bad stuff that goes on, but every once in awhile he writes about something good in his life. Here is one particular accomplishment, which I wish to share with you.

Here in his own words Felix wrote:

On a good note I went and made my speech. Because of my nervousness I stoped and prayed. When I opened my eyes all I saw was all my friends. Mr. H., J., S., V. and you right up front. God knows how to help me and in my prayers I said Lord you lead I’ll follow. I went in stomping said my testimony as I held the microphone and walked among the crowd touching some in silent prayer. At the end everyone was on there feet shouting, clapping, crying. As tears ran down my face all I could do was point up and give him the glory. I did not know how much it affected the people untill I went to the yard and many of them said “awsome,” “blessed,” “thank you,” wow! How can I tell them it was not me but God. It’s never us but through me he did a wonderful thing and I believe lives have been touched and will be changed.

Felix and Pat Bliss, Christmas 2011 Image courtesy Pat Bliss

I was certainly moved at Felix seeing this reality. For so many months now, since his story first came out end of December 2011 on MotherJones.com, it has touched peoples’ hearts and has generated a large group of advocates to help him attain his freedom. However, being locked up in prison one knows nothing of what is going on out in the world unless they see it on TV, receive outside information or are told. Well, I have told him – over and over – how his life story has impacted other deaf in prison and on the outside, and the hearing world as well. But when you yourself don’t believe it, it means nothing. Now that he believes it in his heart, his life has purpose and meaning for others. That is something that happened in a cold prison room, where oppression abounds. But the spirit of hope is still alive and that cannot be taken away from any prisoner, as shown by the responses Felix got from his fellow prisoners.

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

I mentioned this particular event in Felix’s life because it is a turning point. What happened to Felix should never have happened to anyone – being falsely blamed and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Instead of getting bitter, he has chosen to look back and see the positive changes in his character as a gift from God, and has come to the conclusion that his life story is meant to heal others. What greater gift can one give to oneself than that?

[Editor’s Note: Pat has informed me that attorneys are working on Felix’s case, and should be ready take things to the next level very soon. In the meantime, DeafInPrison.com is working on getting signatures for a petition that will be sent to – among others – the Governor of Florida, seeking a full pardon for Felix.

Any help we can get will be greatly appreciated by both DeafInPrison.com and by Felix himself. Please sign our petition at:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/453/783/026/felix-garcia-should-be-granted-a-full-pardon/

Please, share this link on FaceBook or Tweet with hashtag #JusticeForFelix.

Thank you for all you do,

BitcoDavid]

Mini-post: Update #JusticeForFelix

161 Signers so far. Don’t drop the ball. Felix still needs you. Sign @ http://www.thepetitionsite.com/453/783/026/felix-garcia-should-be-granted-a-full-pardon/ Tweet #JusticeForFelix

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