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My name is Angel M. Nieves Diaz, I am on Death Row and I want to takeout all a the light public, because the state of Florida want to kill me, I put my case for inform the peoples of the nerve and injustice that the court want to commit with me, ok?
The 23rd of March of 1998 I wrote this letter to the Honourable Roselló governing of Puerto Rico.
Governing of Puerto Rico
San Juan Puerto Rico
My name is Angel M. Nieves and I write to you to respect fully request that you please intervene against the injustice that the state of Florida is committing against me.
Please, allow me first to share with you my experiences in some situations related to my case, during the years that I had been waiting for justice. I write to you sir, as a Christian, as a father, a member of a humble family and a fellow Puerto Rican.
Sir, at the end of the month of December 1985, I was judged ion the presence of a jury in a tribunal on the city of Miami, Florida, on charge of homicide and theft and sentenced as followed: 836 years on jail and-or to die in the electric chair.
But during the trial it became clear that the proceeding were not in compliance with those constitutional guarantees that the law assure to all citizens, but that instead was more like those proceedings that take place under those regimes and dictatorships that the US Government itself is constantly criticizing for violating human rights and dignity and are not in compliance with any requirement, fairness and justice.
Furthermore, there is also the fact that the authorities misused the media to create public hostility against myself, this, considering the fact that here judges are elected to their job by that same hostile public and because of it, no judge ever want to appear soft on crime, or he will loose his job. There is always the tendency of such judges to overlook procedural mistakes made if correcting them may bring about a result contrary to the public desire. This is a pervertion of justice.
On my case, two months prior to my trial, the police in conjunction with the offices of the States procecutor, engaged in a campaign where they use the media to present me as a dangerous terrorist. They accused me of being the leader of a group of Terrorists called Horizon and of being part of another group known by the Puerto Rican Macheros and also of planning a supposed attempt to escape from Miami jail.
It is known to everybody that the city of Miami Population is in their majority made by people that have left their own country for political reasons, about all, people who have left behind communist regimes and dictatorship, where they and their families were killed or abused. Accordingly, it is well known that to accuse a person, to march him as a terrorist on a city like Miami is guaranteed that the evil community is going to repudiate that person. This, without a doubt, affects his rights to a fair trial.
The government used the fact that they accused me of terrorism to obtain a trial closed to the public. During trial I was placed behind a wall of bullet proof glass, which gave the jury the impression that I was a very dangerous person. This was further aggravated by the fact that my legs where chained also. Even when my trial was closed to the public, a great number of law enforcement agents were allowed to come in and observe.
I was forced to defend myself PRO-SE, without a lawyer. I saw the lawyer assigned to me by the court to work on my case the first time, only 3 days before the start of the trial. By the day mark as the one for the First Court of the trial. I had only talked to this lawyer 2 times. The law of the US allowed me the right to have a meaningful participation on my own defense. Still, as these facts show, I was not allowed a reasonable opportunity to do so. On our first interview he informed me that the trial was to begin in 3 days, that interview lasted approximately 15 minutes, because there was not a translator available and I do not speak English, the second interview took place 1 day prior to the trial itself and was even shorter than the first one, once more there was no translator. This second visit was limited to inform me that that day the prosecutor was proposing a deal and that he, my lawyer wanted to discuss it with me the next day, prior to the start of my trial.
Under this unfair circumstances I requested to speak with the judge and asked or an extension of time of approximately 2 or 3 weeks, but the judge refused to do so. And, to aggravate my situation, the judge informed me that if I was not satisfied with the representation of the lawyer that I had been assigned, then I have the right to represent myself sine the trial was already to begin that morning. Since I cannot put not just my liberty, but also my life in the hands of someone that neither inspired nor trust, nor do anything to assure that he had my best interest in mind, someone that do nothing to protect me from unfair actions of the state when I had just meet, I had no other choice to give up the lawyer and defend myself.
The process of appealing my case is no different, I am reliving the same nightmare from my trial. From my initial conviction to this point I have 12 years of seeing how this system plays with not only my liberty, but also with my dignity and my life and with the suffering of my family.
I ask you, sir, as a Christian , a fellow human being and Puerto Rican, that you please intervene against this injustice. Me and my family will be eternally grateful for your help.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Angel M. Nieves Díaz.