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Saturday, August 27, 2005

William Van Poyck,Virginia Death Row Inmate: Another View

After reading William Van Poyck two sites listed in the previous post, we decided to look at his case from another view. We read the conclusion of his circuit court appeal, we read news stories from Florida where he tried to free a prisoner and a guard was killed. And we read a ton of other things about him and his accomplice.

To begin, here is a part of the ruling on his appeal from the circuit court:

"Even more telling is the prosecutor's closing argument. Petitioner's being the triggerman played only a very minor role in the prosecutor's argument. As aggravating factors, the prosecutor advanced these things:

1) that Petitioner was on parole when the crime was committed;

2) that the crime was committed for the purposes of effectuating an escape from prison;

3) that Petitioner knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons.

4) that Petitioner had previously been convicted of a violent felony. The establishment of these elements did not require arguing that Petitioner was the triggerman. The prosecutor never argued that it had been established beyond a reasonable doubt that Petitioner was the triggerman."

Florida law at the time would still have the option of the death penalty even if he was not the shooter.

William Van Poyck had spent most of his life incarcerated, from juvenile hall to being an adult career criminal. Also found was that he was the planner of this crime. And, when Poyck and Valdes tried to free a prisoner who was in a locked prison van, the guard threw the keys in the bushes. This earned him three shots in the head. No matter who shot him, we understand why Poyck got the death sentence. The guard who was shot was a decorated war veteran.

Valdes, who was most likely the triggerman was later beat to death while handcuffed, by prison guards. Breaking nearly all his ribs and his breast plate. The guards were prosecuted. Can you imagine how you would react if one of your fellow prison guards was shot three times in the head?

William Van Poyck was transferred to Virginia after this incident. Florida considered Poyck at risk, and made that decision. William Van Poyck is now at Waverly prison in Virginia.

Poyck has been a master manipulator in jail. While in jail he had sued and had been awarded between 45,000 and 55,000 dollars claiming the conditions of his jail in Florida was too severe.
He has filed appeal after appeal, written books, short stories, and working on the appeals of others. His appellate lawyer described him as having "a sharp legal mind." He has attempted appeals on every basis imaginable, including insanity.

There is no doubt that Poyck is a very intelligent person and has crafted his approach to present a very heart throbbing appeal to the general public. This man is no angel, he would use any possible means to save his life, an option the prison guard did not have.

Some of the sources We read but not all inclusive:

find law, circuit court of appeals

Opinion Article

On Frank Valdes

A prison forum

St. Petersburg Times

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