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Tallahassee, FL—There is a legislative effort here in removing the taint of criminal accusations from people who were arrested but not convicted in self-defense cases.
We all know some cops and prosecutors are quick to force people to trial that have lawfully and justifiably used deadly force. The all time Poster Boy for such cases is George Zimmerman.
There are cases far less toxic than Zimmerman where people used deadly force in the greatest extreme in self-defense. These people are arrested, photographed, fingerprinted and they are later cleared by Grand Juries that refuse to indict or trial juries.
The records of these cases are public and currently accessible by potential employers, financial institutions, the public or the media. The damage can result in lost opportunities, home or business loans and sometime derogatory news stories.
The only fair answer is to remove, erase or expunge the records. Why would we want to make a public pariah of someone that has committed no crime?
Twenty-five years ago, a drunken white collar criminal, James Robert "Bob" Lyne, Jr. pistol-whipped me with a .45 semi-automatic handgun after I served an eviction summons. He lacerated my head in two places and I lost my balance dropping to one knee while bleeding profusely. Lyne circled around me in the darkness pointing the gun at me.
I pulled my own five-shot .38 special quickly emptying it into my assailant and ran for my life. Lyne was critically injured but he in fact survived.
Lyne’s son James Robert "Rob" Lyne, III came out of the house with a shotgun and one neighbor Joseph Hynes came out with a .38 revolver. Thankfully I was gone before they could kill me.
A police detective, Brian Douglass McFarland arrested me, falsified evidence, destroyed physical evidence and perjured himself before a Grand Jury and during my trial. Lyne and his family redundantly lied attempting to cover up their crimes.
After a six-week trial a jury took only four-minutes to acquit me. The jury also took the unusual step of demanding my attacker James Robert Lyne, Jr. and his then 19 year-old daughter, Kathleen Lyne, now known as Kathleen Lyne Franklin be charged with Perjury, Evidence Tampering and Witness Tampering.
Afterwards the jury members approached me in court. Every woman gave me a hug and each man shook my hand. They all wanted my business card in case they ever found themselves in trouble.
Soon the Lynes were arrested, indicted and charged with those felony crimes. They later pled guilty in court.
There was a conspiracy that involved the later disbarred prosecutor, Kenneth J. Peasley, Judge Rebecca Albrecht, the cop and the Lynes. Prosecutors targeted me because of my high-profile advocacy of gun rights in the Arizona Legislature and media.
Initially I asked to have the record expunged but the judge denied my request! Later because of the passage of time and my being free from any kind of criminal conduct I could have succeeded in obtaining the expungment. However, ecause I specialize in criminal defense investigation I’ve used my arrest and acquittal like a sword rather than a liability. Frankly it was good for business!
As for the currently proposed Florida legislation the media and gun-rights haters are crying foul. They want to victimize those that chose not to be victims of deadly assaults.
Punishing innocent people with criminal records they don’t deserve is both wrong and un-American. I salute the members of the Florida Legislature for their efforts here.