Innocent Man in Prison
This petition had 611 supporters
Free Dustin Heathman!
In November 2015, former deputy Cody Hoppel pled guilty in federal court to "aiding and abetting others under color of law" in the deprivation of Dustin's Constitutional rights. He admitted to lying under oath and falsifying reports. He also alleged that other officers did as well. ALL OFFICERS SWORE TO THE SAME VERSION OF EVENTS.
May 20th, then-sheriff Chris Blair is indicted by grand jury for 2 counts of perjury and 1 count of official misconduct. All 3 counts are exclusive to Dustin's case. Please consider: It must be serious; it's not every day that a sheriff is booked into his own county jail for ethics violations in a man's case. Governor Scott himself had to issue an executive order relieving Blair of his duty and appointing an interim sheriff.
Dustin went to trial. He didn't seek a plea bargain or try to play "insane."
There was no way to know the depth of deception then, but now everyone KNOWS Dustin didn't get a fair trial. And if a man doesn't get a fair trial, he hasn't had a trial AT ALL. Not a valid one. You can not make an honest, ethical prosecution out of a dishonest, unethical investigation. It is fundamental Constitutional due process we are talking about. Without a valid trial one's conviction and sentence are also invalidated. In fact, in State v. Glosson, 462 So2d 1082 @ 1085 (Fla 1985), law enforcement misconduct REQUIRES dismissal of criminal charges.
This is because, regardless of what anyone thinks, we are innocent until PROVEN guilty. Nothing has been honestly or ethically proven against Dustin. This was pled guilty to by a police officer, alleged by a police officer against other police officers, charged by grand jury against the highest cop in the county, and at the very least suspected of a high-ranking investigator.
Meanwhile Dustin is serving a life sentence. Not a single officer suffered a scratch. And the charge that triggered everything, misdemeanor 1st time driving on a suspended license, was dropped... That's right, they were going to KILL Dustin over a misdemeanor from another county that has since been dropped... Just as Dustin has said since the beginning.
Please also consider the following:
1. Investigators doctored the scene to produce prejudice against Dustin. They took before and after pictures. In the after pictures, a swastika is hanging where none had been. This is in the pictures which is public record for you to check.
2. Also in the pictures, spent shotgun shells outside Dustin's home. Dustin was never alleged to have fired any shots from outside. Officers admit to showing up with their shotguns out and going straight to the back door, where the shells were found. They were never easeled for evidence. Why? Who fired these shots? Were these shots that law enforcement didn't want reported? Were these the shots that convinced Dustin that he was going to die? After all, who sends a sniper team, grenadiers, an armored vehicle, and the bomb squad over a traffic infraction? Would YOU have feared for your life?
Many of you would say that you would've just surrendered.
Dustin was not going to surrender at gun point for something he never did. Dustin is highly patriotic and this was about principle. It's STILL about principle.
3. All of this hardware, all of these specialized units and there's no video of ANY of this. This is a midsized county of approx. 370,000 people. They have mobile command centers, numerous drones, helicopters, and armored vehicles. They video every traffic stop. Yet there's no video of a 6 hour standoff? What are they hiding?
4. 2 1/2 hours of telephonic negotiations... No recording. Again, what are they trying to hide? Their threats? Dustin's repeated pleas that he did not want to hurt anyone, but that the Constitution REQUIRES him to hold fast against tyranny? This is what the negotiator testified to in trial, that Dustin was defending the Constitution, his liberty, and himself.
Doctored scenes, missing and/or cherry picked evidence, lying investigators and a State's Attorney, Susan Simmons, who tried to structure the charges so as to exclude wrongdoing by officers... They changed Dustin's charges 3 TIMES, the last of which being just 4 days before trial.
It's obvious that Dustin didn't get a fair trial and so any conviction and sentence is illegal and unconstitutional. It's obvious that law enforcement conducted themselves outrageously with no regard for law, the constitution, or justice. This requires dismissal of charges.
Either way, nothing has been honestly or ethically proven against Dustin. Please sign and share this petition to have him released. He's not a criminal, he's a hero.
For more information, please check out the following:
"Under the due process provision of Florida Constitutional Article 1 Section 9, governmental misconduct which violates the constitutional due process right of a defendant, regardless of that defendant's predisposition, requires the dismissal of criminal charges." -State v. Glosson, 462 So2d 1082 (Fla 1985).
"Due process is a general principle of law that prohibits the government from obtaining convictions brought about by methods that offend a sense of justice." -State v. Williams, 623 So2d 462 (Fla 1993).
"Although...we are not unmindful of the problems faced by law enforcement agents in combating crime, we emphasize that certain conduct would not be tolerated in light of the due process considerations mandated by our constitution. While we must not tie law enforcement hands in combating crime, there are instances where law enforcement's conduct cannot be countenanced and the court will not permit the government to invoke the judicial process to obtain a conviction." -Munoz v. State, 629 So2d 90 (Fla 1993), quoting Williams above.
"Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face. Thus, the only appropriate remedy to deter this outrageous law enforcement conduct is to bar the defendant's prosecution." Justice Brandeis in Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 438, 485, quoted by Williams above.
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