February, 2016, marks 41 years since Steve Bluffstone died after a late night shootout in South Tampa in 1975. I was cleared of any involvement in the crime by T.P.D. Homicide Detective George W. Griffith in September, 1975; however, in 1978, as part of a vendetta against me, corrupt Tampa vice detectives concocted a case against me after I reported to the FBI a murder contract against the ringleader, which very likely saved his life. It also brought attention to the vice detectives’ habit of ripping off drug dealers in Tampa. With the aid of corrupt prosecutors, the actual shooter and the mastermind were given “immunity from prosecution for first degree murder” in exchange for their false testimony that “Charlie told me he shot someone.” As everyone should know, only the guilty receive immunity. The innocent don’t need it.
After a sham trial of convicted felons botching their contrived, perjured testimonies, despite the lack of any physical or forensic evidence linking me to the crime, withheld evidence, and the only eyewitness’s testimony that I was not the shooter, in February, 1980, I was convicted of murder and sentenced to natural life with 25 years minimum. The 25 years minimum expired in 2003. Despite a witness recantation in which he admitted he was coerced to commit perjury, effective April 5, 2016, I have now served 38 years in some of Florida’s worst prisons for a crime I did not commit. The guilty ones never served a day.
That is why this February 24, 2016, forum sponsored by the University of South Florida Sarasota — Manatee Criminology Club, Duvall Family Services, and the Innocence Project of Florida is of such interest to me. I am one of those people they are talking about. If you are in the area, I hope you will attend, and tell me how it went.
Sometimes it seems like this time goes on forever, especially when guilty men who committed heinous crimes were released on parole years and years ago, and I keep getting passed over. The personal vendetta continues. Recently, a national report stated that Florida was #1 in public corruption and political corruption. And in Florida, it is well-known that Tampa is the most corrupt city in the state. So it was when I rode the rail to prison those decades ago. At one of my parole hearings, the prosecutor who opposed my release for his own political ambitions stated that Norman never confessed and has proclaimed his innocence from day one, so how could he show remorse? Read my article, “What Is Rehabilitation And How Is It Determined?” to find out how.
Righting The Wrong: A Conversation About Wrongful Convictions
February 24, 2016, 6 — 8 pm, at USF Sarasota-Manatee Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34243
The conference aims to discuss causes and consequences of wrongful convictions in Florida and the United States. Panel speakers will be James Bail and Derrick Williams, both exonerated after being wrongfully imprisoned. For more details, go to http://usfsm.edu/event/righting-the-wrong/ or contact Dr. Grosholz at 941-359-4324
If you attend, please give my friend and Innocence Project of Florida board member, Harriet Hendel, my best regards, and let me know how it went. Wrongful convictions are everyone’s business.