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ACTION #1 – Contact Your Florida Legislators! ACTION #2 –
Current Florida Execution Homicide Warrant:
(Click on the name for further details and letter writing actions)
Angel Nieves Diaz
Puerto Rican native Angel Nieves Diaz was convicted of murdering Joseph Nagy during the robbery of a Miami bar in December, 1979. Three men robbed the Velvet Swing Lounge. Nagy, the bar manager, surprised one of the thieves and was shot by him.
Although a thumbprint placed Diaz at the robbery, no evidence was presented in trial that Diaz was triggerman in the robbery gone bad. The only testimony to Diaz being the shooter came from a jailhouse snitch, who has now admitted he lied. In fact, far more credible testimony was presented that another thief was the killer. In a plea bargain deal, that thief received a life sentence. The third robber was never found.
Diaz claimed his first court-appointed lawyer was non-responsive. The new replacement defense counsel spoke no Spanish and Diaz spoke only very limited English. Diazs request to have his trial delayed 2 weeks in order to prepare a proper defense with his attorney was denied. Diaz was offered the option of representing himself. Through an interpreter, he struggled to act as his own attorney. He was forced to wear leg irons at all times in the courtroom.
The only testimony that fingered Diaz as the shooter came from a local jailhouse snitch who, although he spoke no Spanish, claimed that Diaz had inferred that he shot a man. The jailhouse snitch recently recanted his testimony, saying he lied at the trial because he hoped to get a reduced sentence for his own crimes. Further, the prosecutor stated at trial, There will be no evidence as to who the actual shooter of Joseph Nagy was. No intent to kill was proven, as stated in closing arguments from the prosecutor, I do not believe the evidence has shown that this defendant went in there with the intention of killing anyone. After only a 3 day trial, Diaz was convicted. Diazs history as a violent felon was presented to the jury as aggravating factors along with no mitigating factors. The jury voted 8 to 4 for a sentence of death (during jury selection, two prospective jurors had been dismissed because they opposed the death penalty).
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
- expressing sympathy for the family of Joseph Nagy, who was killed in 1979, and explaining that you are not seeking to downplay the seriousness of this crime or the suffering caused;
- opposing the execution of Angel Nieves Diaz, calling into question his competency to represent himself, he stated to the judge that he had no idea how a trial was conducted, no time to prepare his own defense and could not understand English;
- noting the disparity in sentencing in this case, with the other defendant receiving a life sentence despite compelling evidence that he was the shooter, no evidence that Angel Diaz intended to harm or harmed anyone that night, and expressing concern at the use of jailhouse informant testimony against Angel Diaz, a notoriously unreliable form of testimony which has now been recanted;
- noting that four of the jurors did not vote for the death penalty;
- noting that recent research has found serious problems with Floridas capital justice system, including geographic and racial disparities, the lack of a requirement for unanimity in jury sentencing decisions, the exoneration of over 20 people off Floridas Death Row and lack of resources for effective counsel;
- calling on the Governor to intervene to stop this execution
Contact information for the Governor’s office:
Governor Jeb Bush
PL 05 The Capitol
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY
PLEASE SEND COPY (OR A LETTER TO THE EDITOR) TO YOUR LOCAL PAPER.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
2603 NW 13th St (AKA Dr. MLK Jr. Hwy)
Gainesville, FL 32609
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