Crime

90-Year-Old Poet in California Makes a Plea to Charlie Crist

For the past two years, Doris Sutton, a 90-year-old poet living in California, has dedicated herself to getting a father out of a Florida prison.

In 2004, Antonio Balta, then 27, left his 9-month-old daughter alone in the car outside the Gulfstream racetrack in Hallandale Beach. The baby died, and Balta got 20 years -- the longest sentence in the nation for this type of crime.

Sutton has personally written to every state representative in Florida, to the attorney general, to the governor, and to various media outlets (including this one). Now, with Gov. Crist nearing the end of his term and looking to earn some political goodwill, Sutton is hoping to persuade him to commute Balta's sentence.

Because Balta pleaded guilty, he has no chance of appeal. And because he is an immigrant, he will be deported as soon as he gets out of prison.

Here's Sutton's video plea to Gov. Crist:

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Michael J. Mooney