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Group Grants New Possible Release Date For Deaf Inmate

Pat Bliss

Advocates for a deaf man serving a life sentence for murder are pleased with a decision by the state parole commission to reduce his possible parole date by a year.

They claim Felix Garcia was framed by his brother and sister. But another brother--Mark Garcia--says he’s been told Felix is guilty.

“That’s what I heard over the years. I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you. It’s all hearsay. I know my brothers and that’s it. I know what happened in my heart. I know what the case is," Garcia said when asked whether he believes Felix is guilty.

"Felix can tell you whatever he wants. Frankie can tell you whatever they wants. It’s their decision."

Mark Garcia says he believes his other brother, Francisco Garcia, is the innocent one, but adds both brothers participated in the murder.  Francisco was also convicted of second-degree murder his part the crime. Mark and his sister appeared on Francisco’s behalf, but the Florida Commission on Offender review decided against changing Franciso’s possible release date. Once commissioner says she doesn't believe Francisco is credible.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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