By Pat Bliss
In mid-December 2012, the Requests for Clemency were filed. This is the first step. The actual hearings may be quite some time from now. We are now engaged in informational meetings, like the one I mention below, with the Governor’s legal counsel. As we progress in this action, I will keep you posted. Thank you all sincerely for your interest in Felix Garcia’s freedom. He so much appreciates knowing he isn’t forgotten and that people really do care.
I got back late Wednesday afternoon – the day after Christmas. I had driven for 10 hours. We had a great productive trip, but one highlight was on the 19th when I had an appointment to meet with the Governor’s legal advisor and Reggie Garcia, Felix’s new clemency attorney. I drove up that morning from Clearwater, Florida. We had our meeting at the Capital and I got a tour of the Governor’s office, too.
The other highlight was Christmas day with Felix. He was discouraged because he could not contact me – having heard no news. After I filled him in on the latest about his case, in Tallahassee, he lit up, and his face was all smiles. I saw hope written in his eyes. That is how Felix survives. It is the continual hope for something better.
However, there was one profound moment that really touched me. We were standing in line to buy ice cream at the commissary. The windows were open, no screens but bars. We were standing next to a window and while learning of his case, he asked me, “Do you feel freedom?” I asked him what he meant. He motioned his head towards the window (Inmates are no permitted to reach out) and said, “That is freedom right there, I want that so bad.” Oh my, it broke my heart. Just beyond those bars, was the parking lot where I would be leaving from, and all I could say was, “You’ll be out there someday – as soon as possible.”
Fortunately, we were at the commissary window right then, and we got Snickers Ice Cream bars. Felix sure enjoyed his. I stayed as long as I was allowed. He gave me a big hug upon departure. I started heading north and spent the night just inside the Georgia border. Looking back – what a year this has been. Thank you, DeafInPrison.com and all our readers, fellow contributors and supporters, for being a part of it.
Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events.
- Update on the #JusticeForFelix Project (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Eighth and Final Chapter in the Felix Garcia Video Series (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- 2012 at DeafInPrison.com (deafinprison.wordpress.com)