Retired FBI Agent John Connolly’s Dilemma: Let’s Work To Stop Him From Dying in Prison

2009 11 19_1002I wrote earlier today about the injustice of John Connolly being in prison. After doing that I had a conversation with an associate who read the blog and I recognized that my post was a little confusing. Let me cut to the chase: what makes the Florida Appeals Court decision so wrong is that if Martorano was unarmed and had poisoned Callahan while sitting outside a McDonald’s or if he strangled him while both were sitting in their bathing suits on a Fort Lauderdale beach then Connolly could still have been convicted of murder by gun.  Does that make sense? The decision is really an abomination of the law. It is so grossly and inconceivably wrong running up against everything the Florida legislature intended by enacting the murder by gun statute which was to take guns away from the scenes of crimes.

For those unfamiliar with the facts John Martorano admitted he was hired by John Callahan to murder Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma which he did by shooting him in the head and then when he learned Callahan was being looked at by the FBI he invited Callahan to Florida and shot him in the head in the airport parking lot. He implicated Connolly by saying that Steve Flemmi told him that John Connolly told him they would all go to prison unless Callahan was taken out or something to that effect.

The federal appeals court in Florida upheld the conviction because about three weeks before the murder John Connolly met with Flemmi and was wearing his FBI gun.John Martorano would never do any prison time for the murder of John Callahan or Roger Wheeler. Connolly is coming up on 15 years in prison.

Two persons commented to my post earlier today go into the matter in greater detail. I agree with some of what is in the comments but disagree with other aspects. I suggest that these people who believe they are helping Connolly are hurting him. He is not going to get out of prison by trying to rewrite history, challenging factual findings, or attacking judges. For instance, I think the suggestion by Baker of the appeals judge being involved in some sort of affair with the prosecutor has no bearing on the matter even if it were true which I am hard pressed to believe. It is things like that which will guarantee that Connolly never sees the light of day since you cannot attack judges in that manner and expect other judges to give you a fair hearing.

I disagree that Connolly’s sentence in federal court in Boston was far beyond the pale. I have written that it was harsh. Judge Tauro sentenced him to ten years in prison. As I recall it was at the upper end of the guidelines that were presented to Judge Tauro by the probation department. Further, going back to that sentence accomplishes little since Connolly has already served it.  The emphasis must be on doing what one can do at this point to help Connolly get out of prison in Florida.

Where I mostly disagree with Bill is that he seems to argue that Connolly’s conviction in Florida of murder with a gun was wrong. He points to the use of evil persons who have murdered and lied in the past and gained great benefits for their testimony or who have never met Connolly who testified against him suggesting they should not have been believed or used. He tells about how preposterous their story is about Connolly’s involvement. He argues that Connolly was acquitted of conspiracy. That’s all fine and good but it is water over the dam. That did happen and a jury did believe these people that Connolly was involved in being an accessory before to the murder by gun of John Callahan.

I accept the jury’s decision because the jury had to determine the facts and it determined them against Connolly. What I do not accept is that Connolly could have been convicted of the gun charge. It is important that “the gun” charge be maintained for Connolly to come within the statute of limitations. The appeals court decision upholding his conviction is preposterous. If you can slip poison into someone’s cup and kill a person but earlier in that morning while mixing the poison you picked up your shotgun and locked it away in a gun cabinet and that changes the crime then as Dickens said the law is an ass.

I often wonder how these prosecutors and judges can sleep at night perpetuating this total injustice.Time to recognize this and set Connolly free.

3 thoughts on “Retired FBI Agent John Connolly’s Dilemma: Let’s Work To Stop Him From Dying in Prison

  1. I have read so much interesting information by the author and in the comments section of this blog over the years. At a younger point in my life I had great respect for the FBI.Now I realize that just like any other big organization they seem to want to spin things their way and John Connolly seems to have been thrown to the wolves. The authors articles, the recent pre election behavior and most of all the pick and choose type of so called justice pursued by the FBI over the years and decades is enough to make your average American think twice over anything they read regarding the so called top of federal law enforcement.

  2. You don’t need a judicial decision to set him free. A hearing before an honest Federal judge in Florida might work. His Due Process rights were violated with the Statue of Limitations expiring. His Double Jeopardy rights were also violated because he was acquitted in Boston on the same charges. A pardon from the Florida Governor could free him. If an honest person is appointed U S Attorney in Miami he could put Connolly in the witness protection program to testify against Martorano, Overturning the Clinton-Obama Justice Department approach to this matter may have some appeal to Trump’s appointees. Maybe the Russians hacked the FBi and that is why he was framed. Undoing the fake media reports may also be enticing to the upcoming Administration.

  3. Matt: I prefer Dick Baker’s analysis and mine. And I’ll stick to my guns about the corrupt prosecution, both in Boston and Miami. Remember, the jury in Boston disbelieved every word of Martorano and only one fragment of Weeks’ story, yet Wyshak dragged them to Miami to repeat and embellish ad nauseum their sordid tales.
    I’ll add this, too, without refreshing my memory. I recall ten years ago reading a Florida case where the man charged with Murder by Gun was several miles from the scene of the murder, and the Florida court scoffed at charging him under that statute.

    To this day, I believe that something else, besides the precedents, laws and facts, caused Judge Leslie R. to go on her jihad against John. I often wondered if she had read the Boston Globe or listened to Howie Carr or Allen Dershowitz and was moved by their blatant biases. It was not only her dissent in the 2-1 decision, but its length and its intense zeal that made me wonder. Her dissent sounded more like a screech, a scream, a diatribe, than a dispassionate discourse.
    2. I don’t know anything about Judge Leslie R.’s extrajudicial conduct or contacts, but if she were married to the chief prosecutor (an appealing party), she’d have to recuse herself. If she was having an affair with him, the same. Of course it’s relevant. The chief prosecutor’s reputation and career are on the line! If she recused herself, the court is deadlocked, and the lower courts’ 2-1 decision freeing John stands.
    3. I think it all matters, and it’s not just a matter of the gross misconstruction and gross misapplication of a statute. It’s corruption beyond that. Shine a light on all the corruption!
    4. My opinion is that the more that is revealed about this entire sordid prosecution, the better John’s chances for freedom.

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