The Robes of Justice
Who says the electric chair should stand in the way of your dream job? Not Michael Lambrix. Sure, the 48-year-old is on death row for fatally bludgeoning and strangling two people outside Fort Myers in 1983. But that hasn't stopped the articulate, overachieving inmate from applying to be Florida's newest supreme court justice.
This past January 16, Lambrix penned a letter to the Judicial Nominating Commission asking it to consider him for the open position. "In all fairness," he writes, "I ask that you not so quickly discount my genuine desire."
Lambrix — a fit, balding history buff — goes on to explain himself: "Let's be honest... These appointments are about perpetuating the corruption of politics. Me, I'm already a convicted felon, so at least the public will know what they are actually getting, rather than a wolf in sheep's clothing."
death row inmate
After citing employment qualifications, he argues that choosing him isn't as risky as it looks. If he doesn't perform well, he writes, his co-workers can just sign his death warrant. ("Can you legally kill any other justice?")
Although he makes light of his situation, Lambrix has long argued his innocence. He keeps a blog, deathrowjournals.blogspot.com, in which he contends he was a victim of a politically ambitious prosecutor. The night of the murder, he says, he beat a drug dealer with a jack handle in self-defense after trying to save a woman the dealer was strangling. "My biggest qualification," he writes, "Is that I'm the only applicant that has been totally screwed by the justice system."
Not surprisingly, though, the commission isn't taking him seriously. For one, you have to be a member of the Florida Bar to be considered. Says Fort Lauderdale-based Chairman Robert Hackleman: "I got a good laugh at it."
But our man in the orange jumpsuit does have one thing going for him. This past October, Gov. Charlie Crist sent the commission back to the drawing board because its recommendations were not "diverse" enough. So... problem solved?
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