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  1. #1

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    Andrew Michael Gosciminski - Florida Death Row


    Joan Loughman




    Summary of Offense:

    A judge in Fort Pierce said that the former nursing home administrator, convicted by a jury of killing Joan Loughman, should pay the ultimate penalty for the 2002 murder. "It's such a heinous crime, and he deserved the death penalty," said Loughman's daughter, Karen Stillman of Danbury. It's the second time Gosciminski was found guilty of the murder and the second time a judge sentenced him to die. Another jury convicted him of killing Loughman in 2005, but the Florida Supreme Court later ruled that prosecutors had improperly introduced evidence and ordered a new trial. "It was bittersweet," said Stillman, who lives in Danbury. "Six of the jurors from the trial were at the sentencing. They said they came back to support the family."

    Loughman, who worked for a Brookfield chiropractor and was a longtime volunteer with the Girl Scouts of America, was beaten and stabbed to death in her father's Fort Pierce condominium in September 2002. The mother of two adult daughters, and the wife of Danbury resident Thomas Loughman, she had gone to Florida several weeks earlier to help her ailing father move into an assisted living facility. Her father died the day after Loughman was beaten and stabbed to death.

    Gosciminski was the community outreach director at the facility Loughman eventually selected, and prosecutors said he killed her so he could steal $40,000 worth of jewelry, including the two-carat diamond ring she inherited from her mother. Judge Robert Belanger also sentenced Gosciminksi to life in prison for burglary and robbery charges stemming from the same crime. Under Florida law, the case will automatically be reviewed by the state's high court. "Because he gets another appeal, this time we're just taking it one day at a time," Stillman said.

    Gosciminski was re-sentenced to death in St. Lucie County on November 6, 2009.

  2. #2
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    On December 7, 2009, Gosciminski filed direct appeal (resentencing).

    On January 3, 2011, initial brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court.

  3. #3
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    Oral arguments were held on the 2nd of November. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/p.../oa11-11.shtml
    You can find the briefs here. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/p...234/index.html

  4. #4
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    Former Fort Pierce inmate calls death row 'hotel hell'

    Michael Andrew Gosciminski's home is a 6-foot by 9-foot cell he calls "hotel hell."

    His toilet is inches away from his smaller-than-twin-size bed. There is no air-conditioning, no cell mate. When he lies down, Gosciminski's feet almost touch the metal bars that have separated him from the outside world for seven years.

    Since 2005, the former Fort Pierce resident has been on Florida's death row or "the row" as he refers to it at Union Correctional Institution in Starke for killing a Connecticut woman who was visiting her Fort Pierce father in September 2002.

    Gosciminski, 59, shared details about life on death row during a monitored interview with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspaper earlier this year at Florida State Prison in Starke, which houses Florida's death chamber.

    The condemned man vividly remembers the first time officers escorted him through the seven security gates into the P-dorm, or death row.

    "I can recall ... a particular sergeant looked at me and said, 'Why are you shaking?' " Gosciminski said. "I didn't even realize I was (shaking). My whole body was shaking. I had never been in prison before or in any real trouble before, so I was just it wasn't real."

    SENTENCED TO DIE

    Gosciminski once was a Cub Scout and choir boy who did well in school. He served in the Air Force after separating from his wife. When his mother became ill, Gosciminski moved into her home to care for her.

    So in 2002 when he was accused of bludgeoning and stabbing to death 55-year-old Joan Loughman, Gosciminski's family and friends were confused. Shocked.

    Prosecutors said Gosciminski targeted Loughman to steal $40,000 worth of her jewelry, particularly a 2-carat diamond ring that has never been recovered. Gosciminski had met the woman while he worked as the marketing director at Lyford Cove, an assisted-living facility Loughman had chosen to care for her ailing father.

    Gosciminski maintained his innocence in his 2005 trial. He did so again during a 2009 re-trail, in which, just like the first time, a jury voted 9-3 to recommend the death penalty.

    He now is waiting to hear from his attorney, hoping the Florida Supreme Court will grant him a third trial.

    Until then, Gosciminski will continue to live his mostly solitary existence in a wing where privileges are few and inmate activity is more tightly regulated than in any other general prison wing.

    "This is not just normal prison," Gosciminski said. "This is not (a) compound where you might have a job and a life, or somewhat of a life, and have contact with people on a regular basis. This is death row. It's dark. It's empty. It's shallow and it's I don't even know how to explain it."

    LIFE ON 'THE ROW'

    At 5 a.m. every day, a prison officer rolls an insulated food cart down the death row catwalk. It's breakfast time, or as officers call it, "feeding time."

    The officer slides a plastic spork a cross between a fork and a spoon and the food through a small flap on the cell bars. The food is prepared by prison staff and served on a compartment food tray.

    The same procedure is followed for lunch at 10:30 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. for each of Florida's 402 death row inmates of which 14 were former Treasure Coast residents.

    "The greatest bulk of prisoner attack on staff happens during that time, during feeding," said Randall Polk, assistant warden at Florida State Prison. "The inmates throw body material feces, urine at the officers through the feeding flap. It's the most common assault we have here."

    If they have money, death row inmates once a week can order non-prison food, such as sandwiches and potato chips, from the prison commissary. Gosciminski sometimes can afford the canteen food with the money he occasionally receives from his longtime pen pal, Marilyn Welcome. She is one of the only people with whom Gosciminski corresponds. He said he has not heard from family or friends since he has been incarcerated.

    Welcome, an 83-year-old former Catholic nun from Iowa, also sends Gosciminski reading material. She sent him the money to buy the 13-inch flat-screen Magnavox television in Gosciminski's cell. Death row inmates are allowed a television and radio in their cells, but those privileges can be suspended for bad behavior.

    "Television and radio helps the inmates on death row connect with the outside world. People who are in total isolation and have sensory deprivation are more likely to be stressed and develop mental health type of problems," said Dr. Michael Riordan, a Fort Pierce psychologist who in 2009 examined Goscimisnki and told jurors the inmate lacked emotional support from his parents as a child.

    Gosciminski said he never was one to watch much television before incarceration, but he now frequently watches the Florida channel, dramas about criminal law and nature, or whatever else is shown on the television's basic channels.

    Every other day, officers use handcuffs to escort death row inmates to the prison showers, where they have 10 minutes to bathe. They'll use the hotel-sized bar of soap they are given every Monday, along with the small tube of toothpaste they get once a month. Every 10 days, they get toilet paper.

    The general prison population has daily extended hours outside and the opportunity for prison jobs, along with library visits. Death row inmates, on the other hand, have their own recreational space where they go for three hours twice a week. A cart of books is where they get their reading material.

    In the exercise yard, the prisoners "walk around in circles or play basketball, talking with other men," Gosciminski said. "In the row you can talk to each other (from cell to cell), but it's hard. I don't hear very well anymore, so everything echoes."

    The inmates are allowed regular visiting hours each month. Gosciminski said he hasn't gotten any visits while he's been incarcerated. The only people from the outside he sees are those who have signed up to get a tour of the institution.

    "When you're in a cage and they bring tours by to see you, you're an animal," he said. "That's one of the things that irks me. You're laying there and all of a sudden, here come people looking down at you. It's like, where are the peanuts? That's all that's missing."

    That's why most of the time, the condemned man just sits on his bed ignoring his surroundings, reading law books. Or watching television. Or looking out the window across his cell "that you can barely see out of because it's so filthy," he said.

    Every so often, though, if he looks hard enough through that window, Gosciminski can see more than just a building and barbed wire.

    "There have been 11 executions since I've been on the row, and ... in the cell I'm in I can actually see the hearse come in and out," he said. "The vans come in and out by the death chamber. It bothers me. I've known some of those men."

    The experience makes him think of the life he led before being sentenced to death.

    "I had a nice life before this," Gosciminski said. "I was a workaholic. I had a nice home, nice cars. ... I scuba dived. I've flown planes. I used to love driving down to West Palm Beach and go to the Kravis Center."

    One day, Gosciminski said, he hopes to be able to do all those things again.

    "Absolutely. I have a lot of hope."

    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/oct/...ath-row-hotel/
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  5. #5
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    Cable TV show episode to feature 2002 Fort Pierce murder

    In 2002, Fort Pierce resident Andrew Michael Gosciminski bludgeoned and stabbed to death a visiting Connecticut woman a scene that was recreated by local actors for the Dec. 2 season opener of "Fatal Encounters" on the Investigation Discovery cable network.

    On Saturday and Jan. 6, the network will again air the episode that recounts the intertwining paths of Gosciminski, then the 49-year-old marketing director of Lyford Cove Assisted Living Facility in Fort Pierce, and Joan Loughman, 55, who was visiting from Connecticut to move her aging father into the retirement community.

    Loughman wore $40,000 worth of jewelry, including a $20,000 two-carat diamond ring. A jury in 2005 decided it was that ring that led Gosciminski to kill Loughman at her father's Fort Pierce home. The court tossed out the conviction and ordered a new trial, in which he was again convicted of first-degree murder in 2009. Gosciminski today sits on death row.

    Producers of "Fatal Encounters" earlier this year reached out to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, as well as Loughman's family and local detectives and attorneys, to help them retell the murder story in the episode, titled "The Ring."

    Retired Fort Pierce Police Department detective Thomas Hickox, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers reporter Melissa Holsman, and Loughman's daughters and husband appear in the episode. Because Gosciminski's case is on appeal, attorneys turned down producers.

    "The reason I decided to be a part of the show was there was a lot of evidence against Michael that wasn't allowed in trial," said Thomas Loughman, Joan's husband. "Those were the things I said in front of the camera. We're tired of hearing him say how innocent he is."

    Camera crews filmed the re-enactment at a house near the crime scene, and featured shots of Hutchinson Island throughout the episode. They also filmed parts in Danbury, Conn., where Thomas Loughman and his daughters were recorded talking about Joan's and Gosciminski's characters and encounter.

    Thomas Loughman said he found out much about Gosciminski's life through a private investigator the family hired.

    Although he says he wasn't hesitant to cooperate with producers of the show, Thomas Loughman said he still doesn't feel relieved to have had the opportunity to say his "side of the story." He also won't watch the episode.

    "I haven't watched it, and I won't. I already have to deal with this thing why would I watch it on TV?" he said. "Am I relieved? No. This doesn't bring her back, and that's always the bottom line."

    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/dec/...ure-2002-fort/
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  6. #6
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    ANDREW MICHAEL GOSCIMINSKI v STATE OF FLORIDA

    In today's opinions, the Florida Supreme Court AFFIRMED Gosciminski's conviction and sentence of death on direct appeal.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #7
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    And the article

    Fla. Supreme Court upholds penalty 2nd time around

    The Florida Supreme Court is upholding the death sentence of a former assisted living center employee convicted of murdering a resident's daughter.

    It marks the 2nd time that the high court has considered the conviction and sentence of Andrew Michael Gosciminski.

    Gosciminski met Joan Loughman through an assisted-living facility where he worked and her father was a patient. Prosecutors say Gosciminski had planned to steal $40,000 worth of jewelry.

    Prosecutors say he attacked the Connecticut woman in September 2002 at her father's Fort Pierce home where he beat her, stabbed her and cut her throat.

    The high court ruled in 2008 that some evidence during his 2005 trial had been improperly admitted. The Supreme Court ordered a new trial and Gosciminski was convicted and sentenced to death a 2nd time.

    (source: Associated Press)
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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