Florida Commission on Offender Review


Advocates for a deaf inmate currently serving a life sentence for murder say they believe he’s innocent and are optimistic he’ll be released in the next several years. But, the victim’s family is hoping for a much different outcome.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Wednesday was the latest parole hearing for a deaf man currently serving a life sentence for a 1981 murder he says he did not commit. The parole board agreed to keep his presumptive parole release date the same.

Florida Channel

Attorney General Pam Bondi and the head of Florida’s Juvenile Justice system are just some of the speakers at this year’s annual conference focusing on preventing crime in the black community.

A man known for escaping from Florida prisons may finally be freed, and this time, he won’t have to trick the system.

Supporters of Mark DeFriest scored a significant victory Wednesday after the Florida Parole Commission changed DeFriest’s parole date.

LHatter / WFSU News

The high-profile case of a deaf inmate was the subject of lengthy debate Wednesday before the Florida Commission on Offender review. The panel heard perplexing, and at times emotionally-charged testimony before deciding whether to move up parole dates for two brothers convicted for a 1980’s murder.

Pat Bliss / deafinprison.wordpress.com

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.

LHatter / WFSU News

Florida prison inmate Mark DeFriest, the subject of a documentary, will get a hearing before the full group formerly known as the Florida Parole Commission in December.

DeFriest’s supporters say he has a mental illness and most of his time behind bars has been because of behaviors caused by that illness. At a meeting Wednesday, DeFriest’s step-sister Barbie Hingle says she is pleased the Florida Commission on Offender review has decided to further consider the case.