Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 29 • August 5, 2011

Manuel Valle is currently on death row for the 1978 murder of a Coral Gables Police Officer. The Governor signed the death warrant, and now this execution is being delayed in the appellate process. Valle's execution is long overdue. The fact is that pentobarbitol has been used in lethal injections in many other states and has already been upheld in three federal district courts.

This week my office defended the use of pentobarbital in lethal injections, and we prevailed. We argued that the use of pentobarbital in lethal injections does not present substantial risk of serious harm and is, therefore, constitutional. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court ruled in our favor by denying defendant Valle's motion to vacate death penalty because of the defendant's failure to show that the use of pentobarbital is in violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Federal Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola found that the "usage of pentobarbital does not create an objectively unreasonable risk of suffering."

The Capital Appeals Bureau within my office represents the State of Florida in all criminal appeals in state and federal courts, including capital murder cases. They did a great job representing the state in this case.

In the News
Ft. Myers News Press - Execution drug OK, but date unknown
Florida Today - From Tampa to Tallahassee, this is Pam Bondi's life
The Daytona Beach News Journal - Bondi: Pill mill crackdown could hike crime

Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Pam Bondi Sends Letter to U.S. Attorney General Holder Requesting to Participate in Independent Audit into Gulf Coast Claims Facility Claims Process

This week, Attorney General Bondi sent a letter to United States Attorney General Eric Holder applauding the independent audit agreement the Department of Justice reached with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and requesting full access to the data found in the audit. By requesting full access to the data, Attorney General Bondi can monitor implementation of a fair claims process, allowing people from the Gulf Coast states to obtain compensation for their economic losses. This is a long overdue step toward transparency of the claims process for those individuals and businesses that have suffered damages as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The independent audit will answer important questions about the fairness and efficiency of the claims process.

Attorney General Bondi’s Office Prosecutes Man for Defrauding 20 Elderly Victims out of $1.3 Million

Attorney General Bondi’s Office successfully prosecuted a man for defrauding 20 elderly victims, ranging in age from 62 to 96, out of more than $1.3 million. The victims, mostly based in the Sarasota area, gave between $10,000 and $150,000 each under the belief that they were purchasing an interest in a New Jersey insurance company. In reality, the companies that they gave their money to, BBG Investments and BBG Risk Management, were writing checks to individuals, disbursing the money to other companies, and engaging in offshore real estate ventures. The investigation was a collaborative effort among the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center.

Attorney General Bondi Announces Million Dollar Settlement with Encore Marketing Company

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a settlement this week with Encore Marketing International that includes $1 million in restitution for consumers who submit appropriate c without authorization. Encore, a Maryland-based company, is one of many companies that market club memberships in connection with the sale of goods and services. After consumers make online or telephone purchases of such goods and services, they are offered discounts or other incentives for becoming club members with companies such as Encore, a practice known as post-transaction marketing. The failure to clearly disclose recurring fees associated with club memberships is a violation of Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Act.

Florida Sheriffs Association Meeting

On Monday, Attorney General Bondi spoke at the Florida Sheriffs Association meeting and thanked them for their dedication to the safety of Floridians. From shaping public policy to providing boots on the ground to protect people, they play an integral role in improving the quality of life enjoyed by all Floridians.

Appreciation Lunch

On Wednesday, Attorney General Bondi provided lunch for the Citizen Services department of the Attorney General’s Office in appreciation of their hard work. The Citizens Services department is responsible for handling all calls and emails that the agency receives from the public, including complaints, records requests, and any other inquiries.

Attorney General Bondi Speaks to the Florida Gang Investigators Association

Attorney General Bondi spoke to members of the Florida Gang Investigators Association Friday morning. She not only expressed her appreciation for their hard work, but also stressed the importance of local, state, and federal leaders working together to eliminate gang activity in Florida’s neighborhoods and communities. Florida must have zero tolerance for gangs.

Special Visitor to Attorney General’s Office

This week Maxie, the Capitol’s certified explosives detection dog, stopped by the Attorney General’s Office to visit. Her primary duties consist of conducting security sweeps to locate explosives, hazardous devices, firearms, ammunitions, shell casings and explosive evidence. Maxie is a sweet dog and does a great job patrolling our hallways. The Attorney General always has a treat ready for her.