Michael Griffin, who is on death row for the 1993 murder of Dr. David Gunn, an abortion doctor in Pensacola, Fla., now claims he was framed in a conspiracy involving other anti-abortion activists, the police, and his own lawyer.
Griffin contends there was another assailant with a gun, although witnesses testified that Griffin acted alone, and the murder weapon was linked to him. He claims that police went back and planted a bullet at the crime scene after witnesses claimed they heard more shots than Griffin fired. The case number immediately before Griffin’s is missing from police records, which Griffin claims is proof that the police are covering up the arrest of another assailant.
Others say Griffin, who is seeking a new trial, is grasping at straws. He “talks like he’s not playing with a full deck,” said anti-abortion leader John Burt. Griffin’s mother said he had been “used and abused” by fundamentalist ministers and the Pentecostal church. She said that the church was responsible for whipping her formerly calm son into a murderous frenzy, with practices like “barking like dogs, shrieking and vomiting.” His ex-wife said Griffin was “brainwashed by John Burt. Mike was disturbed and Burt played on that.”