Late last year, outgoing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist initiated pardon proceedings — granted in December — excusing now-deceased singer Jim Morrison of The Doors for his 1969 indecent-exposure conviction in Miami Beach.
However, Crist has ignored petitions from still-living, still-incarcerated convicts who almost certainly suffered unfair prosecutions.
Orlando Sentinel crusader Scott Maxwell has reported on several dozen people convicted in part by trainer Bill Preston’s dogs, who supposedly tracked crime-scene scents through water and other obstacles, sometimes months later and despite much site contamination, directly to the defendant on trial. Judge after judge permitted Preston’s “expert” testimony until one demanded a live courtroom test, which Preston’s dog utterly failed.
In 2009 two convicts were released after DNA tests proved the dog’s sniffs were erroneous, but as many as 60 similar convictions still stand.
The good news for investigators covering the shooting of a 53-year-old man in Fort Bend County, Texas, is that there were several witnesses who helped an artist sketch the shooter’s face.
The bad news was that the shooter was wearing a full-face “Halloween” mask the whole time.
Nonetheless, the sketch of a man’s head, with the face fully covered by the indistinct mask, was distributed to the media by the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)