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From: Katherine Norgard <k.norgard@...>
Date: Wed Apr 3 05:48:52 2002

Subject: invite your pro-death penalty friends to watch a Frontline
television program april 11 on innocence and the death penalty

----------------------------------------------------------------------
----------On Thursday, April 11, 2002, Frontline will
broadcast the documentary,
"Requiem for Frank Lee Smith." This film
investigates the case of a man
who spent fourteen years on Florida's death row,
but died of cancer just
months before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

The program will air at 9 p.m. on PBS. For more
information on the
program, visit Frontline's Web site.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/smith/


This program investigates the case of a man who
spent 14 years on Florida's death row, but died of
cancer just months
before being exonerated by DNA evidence. The
program will air at 9 p.m.
EDT on PBS. The following is from Frontline's
website:

In December 2000, after spending 14 years on
Florida's Death
Row, Frank Lee Smith was finally cleared of the
rape and murder of
8-year-old Shandra Whitehead.

Like nearly 100 prisoners before him, Smith's
exoneration came as a
result of sophisticated DNA testing unavailable
when he was first
convicted. But for Frank Lee Smith, the good news
came too late: Ten
months before he was proven innocent, Smith died
of cancer in prison,
just steps away from Florida's electric chair.

How did Frank Lee Smith end up on Death Row for a
crime he didn't
commit? And why was he allowed to die there
despite possible evidence of
his innocence? Award-winning producer Ofra Bikel
explores these and
other questions in FRONTLINE's "Requiem for Frank
Lee Smith," airing
Thursday, April 11, at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local
listings).

"I can understand how innocent people can end up
in prison for
something they did not do," says Bikel, whose
documentary "A Case for
Innocence" led to the exoneration and release of
three longtime
inmates
as a result of DNA testing. "What I cannot
understand--and what drives
me crazy--is how people in prison, sometimes on
Death Row, cannot get
out even when they are innocent."

Bikel was recently credited with winning freedom
and a new trial for
21-year-old Terence Garner, when her FRONTLINE
film "An Ordinary Crime"
presented strong evidence of Garner's innocence in
a 1997 shooting and
robbery for which he'd been sentenced to more than
thirty years in
prison. "I'm thrilled about Terence," she says,
"but I can't help
thinking of all the other Terences out there about
whom I didn't make
documentaries."

In the case of Frank Lee Smith, there were no
eyewitnesses to the
murder of Shandra Whitehead--just her mother's
glimpse of a man's
shoulders as he fled the family's Fort Lauderdale
home that night in
April 1985. What's more, there was no physical
evidence to tie Frank
LeeSmith to the crime.

What prosecutors did have were reports from two
people--Chiquita
Lowe and Gerald Davis, both 19--each of whom
reported spotting a
scraggly-haired, delirious black man with a droopy
eye in the
neighborhood at the time of the crime. Not long
after the two teens
helped police develop a composite sketch of the
man they saw, Lowe's
family excitedly told her that the man in the
sketch was standing
outside their home, trying to sell them a
television set. They urged
herto call the police.

The man outside Lowe's house was Frank Lee Smith,
38, a former
convict out on parole after serving fifteen years
in jail for
manslaughter and a murder committed while he was a
teenager. Based upon
Lowe's identification, Smith was arrested and
charged with Whitehead's
murder.

Lowe was to be the star witness at Smith's trial,
but she began to
have doubts. "When I went into the courtroom and
seen [Smith], he was
too skinny, too tall, and he did not have the
droopy eye," she tells
FRONTLINE.

Despite her misgivings, Lowe confirmed her
identification of Smith
at the trial. "I was pressured by my family,
people that's in my
neighborhood, and the police officer," she says.
"They kept telling me
that I'm the only one that seen that man that
night."

Based mainly upon Lowe's testimony, Smith was
convicted and
sentenced to death.

But shortly after the state scheduled Smith's
execution in 1989,
defense team investigator Jeff Walsh came across
the name of Eddie Lee
Mosley, a suspect in a number of rapes and murders
of young black women
that had occurred in Shandra Whitehead's
neighborhood.

Mosley was well-known to local law enforcement. In
fact, two local
police officers had begun to detect a pattern
between local murders and
Mosley's release from prison or mental hospitals.
"When [Mosley is]
incarcerated there are no unsolved rape/murders of
black females in
northwest Fort Lauderdale," police officer Kevin
Allen tells
FRONTLINE."Immediately upon his release or within
30 days, we find a black
female [murdered] at the rate of one a month until
he is incarcerated
again. And that history...repeated itself
consistently...."

At the time of Shandra Whitehead's murder, Walsh
learned, Mosley was
back on the streets. He was also acquainted with
the victim: Shandra's
mother was his cousin. But even more striking was
his mug shot: Mosley
bore an uncanny resemblance to the police sketch
of the suspect--droopy
eye and all.

When Walsh showed Mosley's photo to Chiquita Lowe,
she says she
immediately recognized the man she saw the night
of the murder.

"I seen the man like I seen him yesterday," she
tells FRONTLINE. "I
seen the droopy eye, I see the look on his face
and it just shook me
up."

She was also stricken with remorse for implicating
Frank Lee Smith.
"This is an innocent person that been to jail,"
she says. "This man did
not do this, and I feel so bad, so guilty, so
ashamed."

Armed with Lowe's sworn affidavit attesting to her
incorrect
identification, Smith's defense attorneys were
optimistic as they went
into an evidentiary hearing before the Florida
Supreme Court. But the
optimism was short lived. In "Frank Lee Smith,"
FRONTLINE explores
allegations that the Florida authorities attempted
to discredit Lowe's
new testimony by claiming to have shown her
Mosley's photo at the time
of the murder.

Despite having previously testified that Lowe had
been shown two
lineups, lead Detective Richard Scheff--who was
nominated for Deputy of
the Month for solving the Whitehead case--now
testified that there had
been a third lineup that included Mosley. Lowe did
not identify Mosley
at that time, Scheff testified.

Based on Det. Scheff's testimony regarding the
third lineup--and
Lowe's somewhat halting testimony--the court
denied Smith's motion for a
new trial. Smith would wait seven years for
another hearing.

FRONTLINE follows Smith's story through several
motions requesting
DNA testing, all of which were ultimately denied
by the state. The
authorities would eventually test Smith's DNA
posthumously after Eddie
Lee Mosley was linked through DNA tests to two
other murders for which
an innocent man had been convicted.

The results of the belated DNA tests--which
confirmed that Shandra
Whitehead had been raped and murdered by Eddie Lee
Mosley--were of
little comfort to Chiquita Lowe. "I didn't get a
chance to even ask him
is he upset with me, and that's something that's
really just inside of
me, just tearing me apart," she tells FRONTLINE.
"If it wasn't for me,
he wouldn't have to go through all that torture
and torment...I feel
that it's my fault."

Defense investigator Walsh tells FRONTLINE that
the last time he
visited Smith in prison, his client was
essentially naked and chained to
a hospital gurney. Smith was dehydrated, Walsh
says, and looked as
though he were starving. "It just goes back to the
truth of the matter,"
Walsh says. "[The authorities] just didn't care
about him as a human
being at all."

Following the broadcast, visit FRONTLINE's Web
site at
http://www.pbs.org/frontline for more on this report,
including:
An interview with producer Ofra Bikel on the
background to her
investigation of this case; Excerpts from a recent
landmark 2002 study on
America's death penalty
system, including a section of this national
report which cites the
Frank Lee Smith case;
More details on Frank Lee Smith's life prior to
being falsely
convictedof Shandra Whitehead's murder; Ofra
Bikel's interviews with some
of the key people involved in thisstory.

"Requiem for Frank Lee Smith" is a FRONTLINE
co-production with Ofra
Bikel Productions. The producer is Ofra Bikel. The
editor is Karen
Sim.

The associate producer is Ross Tuttle.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is
broadcast nationwide on
PBS.


-------------------------------
Katherine Norgard, Ph.D.
520-325-2727

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that
ever does." Margaret
Mead