This is the Honorable Mark Walker, a federal judge for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division. On August 11th, 2017, I stood before him in a pending case. For the first time in my life, I was a party in a trial proceeding, and I was not the defendant. I was the prosecutor. So many find this impossible to believe because they think you have to have passed the Bar in order to litigate a case in open court. What made this case even harder to believe is that the defendants were high ranking officers within the Florida Department of Corrections.
Never in American history…. no, never in World history, has a former inmate ever personally prosecuted his old masters. It was the greatest experience of my life. It was a three-day jury trial, and I clearly demonstrated how the everyday man can hold officials accountable for corruption.
This was a result of the law that was published about me from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The case was remanded for trial and I proceeded to cross-examine these officers under oath, expose their worst secrets, and make them put on their Sunday’s finest. I learned so much more about litigation that I practically had to add another volume to my writings in Tango. And most importantly, I learned some troubling things about the American jury selection process.
The trial was electric, emotional, and dramatic. I summoned prisoners from their institutions to verify some incidents, only to learn that they were too afraid to testify truthfully, their memories had failed them, and that they were in a devastating state of mind I thought was normal once upon a time. At one point, I cross-examined officer Cliff Yaney. In cross, I exposed how he was implicated in a rape attempt along with officer Chase Tipton. They were on their way home from work when they stumbled upon a vulnerable under-aged girl. A knife was pulled, sex was demanded, and the girl managed to escape with her life. Upon mention of this in cross, his girlfriend got extremely emotional, and during recess, she did not want him to come near her. Apparently, she had heard the rumors, but did not get the truth.
It was something never covered in the press, and history was made in secret. Regardless, it was an honor to stand before Judge Walker. His intelligence was frightening, and impossible to gauge. A fairer judge cannot exist in my opinion, and the case was totally up to the jury. I implored them to remember the name of Randall Jordan-Aparro, who was murdered by guards just like the defendants with chemical agents as he clutched his bible, trying to breathe through a crack in the floor of his cell. What was their verdict? Did they forgive the predatory accusations against Cliff Yaney and spare him further shame? Or did he get the justice he deserved? Did all of the inmates who died at the hands of prison guards get any justice? If you don’t have the resources to investigate, you’ll have to wait for the next book…