The Roundup published a letter from Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores commenting on Governor Brewer’s refusal to follow the Clemency Board’s recommendation of the sentence for Robert Flibotte from 90 years to five years. Flores said that she and a prosecutors’ lobbying group believe the governor’s action is “correct” and should be “applauded.”
It is interesting and worth noting that Flores first offered Flibotte a plea deal of 10 years. Yes, the very same county attorney who now thinks 90 years is correct, once thought 10 years was the right sentence.
In her letter Flores decries the psychological evaluation of Flibotte offered by the defense. It “lacked critical information.” The psychologist failed in Flores’ view to conduct an “empirically validated” study including a polygraph (which Arizona courts will not accept because of their unreliability). Yet, following that very same psychological evaluation, Flores reduced the Flibotte plea offer from 10 years to five years. Yes, five years — that is what the Gila County attorney offered Flibotte. Flibotte refused and went to trial and lost.
The Clemency Board did nothing more than recommend to the governor what Daisy Flores thought was the right sentence in May of 2011 before that trial. What is the difference in the facts between then and now? Nothing.
Edward F. Novak