Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bondi confirms Dozier ruling is "adverse" to exhumation plans

Dozier School Cemetery
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) has confirmed that yesterday's court ruling denying a petition to dig up the Dozier School Cemetery in Marianna was "adverse"  (Please click here to read the story on the ruling).

In a prepared statement released last night from Tallahassee, Bondi indicated that her office would continue to look for another way forward in the matter:

I remain committed to assisting with the efforts to help resolve unanswered questions regarding deaths at the Dozier School for Boys. In light of today’s adverse ruling, we will be meeting with the interested parties and considering the next course of action to explore other avenues.

The Attorney General did not say when she would be meeting with "interested parties" nor did she indicate who those "interested parties" might be.  Her office did not meet with any "interested parties" in Marianna or Jackson County prior to filing the petition to dig up the graves on behalf of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Michael Hunter.

Nick Cox, a statewide prosecutor with Bondi's office, told representatives of Jackson County at a meeting after the Board of County Commissioners voted to intervene in the matter that unless a court order allowing the exhumations was issued, no exhumations would take place. 

Now, however, he appears to be hedging on that statement. When asked if he planned to honor his original commitment now that the order had been denied, he responded tersely: "Be glad to discuss with the community as we continue forward."

While Bondi's statement indicates that her office will "explore other avenues," her employee's statement clearly indicates a plan to "continue forward" despite the Judge's ruling.

The Attorney General's office has indicated in court filings that it has no evidence of wrongdoing in association with the graves at the known cemetery, which contains the remains of both students and employees who worked at the Florida Industrial School for Boys, now commonly known as Dozier School..

For a list of the students and employees known to be buried at the cemetery and their causes of death, please visit:

To read Judge Wright's entire order, please visit:$file/DozierMay24.pdf.

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