WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, June 27, 2016

MCDONNELL CONVICTION OVERTURNED

The United States Supreme Court (motto: "eight is enough") unanimously overturned the conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell.

This conviction always troubled us. We had some very tangential contact with the defense- and the defense lawyers did a great job protecting the record for appeal. If you have a chance, read the opinion here. 

As DOM said on his blog, hopefully the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had to first reverse the decisions of the District Court and Appellate Court in denying McDonnell an appellate bond will catch the attention of the lower courts. 

Getting an appellate bond in federal court these days is about as easy as finding a parking spot at the REGJB at 9:30 on a Monday morning. 

See you in court. Long weekend coming up. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

BREXIT


Analysis: The Brexit vote is entirely the reason why we hinted in a previous post that the 45th President of the United States' middle initial very well might be J. 

The Brexit vote was split between older, lower middle class members of the UK, who have suffered under the economic downturns and were slower than most to experience the fruits of the recovery, and younger, more educated and financially successful Britons. While there was a nationalist split as well, which we will get to in a moment, this vote is the result of irresponsible politicians manipulating the fears of unchecked immigration, xenophobia and nativism.

The record shows that a little over 330,000 people immigrated from the EU to the UK last year and a detailed economic analysis shows beyond any doubt that the immigrants' economic impact was a large net positive for the UK. This means that immigrants to the UK brought way more value in taxes and income than they took in social services. But with Turkey's application to the EU pending, and the warnings from nationalistic politicians that upwards of 21 million Muslims would be eligible to immigrate to the UK, this was a vote based on an irrational fear and anger. 

Irrational fear and anger- sounds like a Donald J Trump rally. 

Which is why this vote by our British cousins is a warning sign that should not be ignored in this country. 

Meanwhile. Scotland voted  62%-38% to remain in the EU, thus sparking renewed interest in another Scottish vote to secede from the UK. The Scots, whose economy is doing very well thank you, and who aren't afraid of losing their national identity, voted to remain a member in the largest collective defense-free market union in this world. Smart move. 

England, still suffering from the lingering effects of an economic crisis, has voted to withdraw from the largest free market in the world.  Not smart. 

Final thought: while listening to the BBC this morning, exit polls are showing that many of those who voted for Brexit are in shock. Their comments include statements like "I never thought this would happen" and the sentiment that they didn't really want to win, but just wanted to register a protest vote. 

England will long regret the vote on June 23, 2016. 

Lets hope that the United States of America will not similarly regret the results of the election on November 8, 2016. 

See you in court, clearing up yesterday's messes. 




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

COURAGE

BREAKING #2 THURSDAY JUNE 23
REGJB MIAMI CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE CLOSED

Sort of 

All morning cases are canceled. There is chatter- confirmed with police officers- that there is "a legitimate threat" about two pipe bombs. 

However, Afternoon Bond hearings are not canceled. 

Which means, someone doesn't care very much about the safety of the afternoon bond hearing judge, staff, lawyers, and the public attending those hearings. 

This doesn't make any sense.  Unless there is NOT a credible bond threat and the chief judges just decided to pull the plug on court this morning  


BREAKING BOMB THREAT AT REGJB
COURTHOUSE EVACUATED 




UPDATE: Thursday is all about voting...

In our dear England, today is the day we vote on whether to remain in the European Union. Rumpole says vote to remain. 

In the House Of Representatives, Democrats are staging a good, old fashioned sit-in, refusing to let the House come to order until they are guaranteed a vote on the firearm's bill. 

"All we are saying, 
is let us have a vote"

Meanwhile in the REGJB, there are several important Possession of Marijuana cases being litigated. Throw in some disorderly conduct and loitering and prowling cases, and you have some serious legal stuff being done. 


Courage is doing what you think is right despite popular opinion to the contrary. 
As President Kennedy was fond of saying, the hottest places  in hell are reserved for those, who in times of moral crises, do nothing and preserve their neutrality. 

So all praise is due for the group of senators, who in the face of 90 percent of the American public approving of a ban on the sale of firearms to those people on a terrorist watch list, have held their ground, and refused to let the law pass. 

Yup, they are doing the lord's work. 

Either that or they are the most morally bankrupt, stupid group of politicians who so fear the NRA, that they are willing to let terrorists buy weapons at good-ol USA gun shows. Even when those weapons shoot up a night club or a school. 

Disgusting. 

See You In Court.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THE SKY IS FALLING

The sky is falling. Terry stop suppression motions are dead. Oh my!
The Supreme Court's decision in Utah v. Streiff spells the end of the fourth amendment. 
Oh no Mr. Bill!

Query: When's the last time a court granted a Terry Stop motion or otherwise granted a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal stop or search or seizure? 
Federal Court practitioners? Do you even get an evidentiary hearing on these motions? 
Inevitable discovery anyone? 

The death of the exclusionary rule...

None of you saw this coming? Really? 

Scalia would have piled on. 

See you in court, where motion practice is dead.  You wanna win a case? Put on your trial suit. 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

PROSECUTOR SUSPENDED

Relax....not in Miami. Surprisingly, not in Broweird, but we could give you a list....

Nope. This ASA said this about the community he helps protect:

"a melting pot of third-world miscreants and ghetto thugs" and a "national embarrassment."

And was promptly suspended from his office. 
Drum roll please...

It's ASA Kenneth Lewis of Orlando and the Orange County SAO
A Nova Law grad. In the Bar since 1992. May we suggest a change of venue? And perhaps a year off somewhere clearing his head. 

Nice. 

Not. 

The story is here.  And all over twitter. 

Query: Where are his First Amendment Rights to say what he feels about an issue? 

See You In Court. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

HAVE ANOTHER CUP OF JOE

Good news for those young ASA's we see trudging every morning from their county court headquarters-lair, via an easement appurtenant behind a row of houses/offices (and they know what that is since they have all recently studied for the Bar) and through our Lot 26, bleary-eyed, lugging strollers laden with boxes filled with cases of driving while not wearing corrective lenses, and possession of undersized Snook. These new eager lawyers are caffeine fueled, snapchatting their double espressos and extra-large caramel cafe latte's. Drink-up we say, and now says the World Health Organization- as reported by the Lancet Oncology magazine that we often peruse. 

COFFEE IS NOT A CARCINOGEN. Hurray! 
This study reverses a twenty-five year old study which seemed to indicate that coffee caused bladder cancer. 

But, don't drink it too hot. Anything about 175 degrees is a danger zone. Consuming hot beverages could cause esophageal cancer.   So make that double-caramel-cafe-latte iced, and have one on Rumpole. And Snapchat it.

BROWARD SENTENCING

Check out the JAA Blog. 

They have a portion of a sentencing transcript where a defendant of color asked for leniency saying that he had learned his lesson after being incarcerated after what appears to be a burglary. The defendant said he didn't want to be judged on the color of his skin. The judge, who appears to be a person of color (no one is identified in the transcript except) replies that s/he has been judges by the color of their skin their whole life, and even worse, the actions of the defendant will make the victim in the case judge everyone of the same race of the defendant they encounter worse, based on the actions of the defendant. 

Good sentence? Bad Sentence? Would a Miami Judge say that? Would Ovalle's finger's explode as he tried to tweet that while covering a sentencing? 

See You In Court. 

Another approximately 100 deaths by handguns yesterday that didn't make any headlines because they weren't the results of a mass shooting. 




Monday, June 13, 2016

WHERE IS OUR BOBBY

Before we begin, a footnote- 87 people died by handgun violence on Monday, June 13, 2016. About an average day in the United States. About 32,500 people will die in 2016 from handgun violence. 
There are 88 guns for every 100 people in the United States. We have two variables here- deranged people and a proliferation of handguns. And because of the cowardice of politicians, we only want to discuss one of the two problems- and it's not the handguns. For shame.  "The hottest places hell are reserved for those, in times of moral crises, preserve their neutrality." 
President John F. Kennedy, misquoting Dante.  

WHERE IS OUR BOBBY?

In the "long, hot summer of 1967, snipers in Newark and Detroit fired upon police and firefighters. Cities burned.  In 1968, the Tet offensive showed that the war in Vietnam could not be won. Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. President Johnson sent tanks and troops into America's inner cites, and Southeast Asia. The times cried out for a leader who could speak to people of color who rioted in ghettos, and were lynched and murdered in the deep south for just trying to vote; students on protest lines, and white, blue-collar workers who feared them both. 

President Johnson wouldn't run for re-election. Always politically astute, Johnson knew he couldn't win and would probably not even be his party's nominee. 

Who could lead the county out of Vietnam, start the long and agonizing process of racial acceptance, and bring some peace and faith to a  white America bewildered at the anger and rage?  Could one man do this? Could any politician speak to everyone and speak the truth and not just say what people wanted to hear?  

Enter Bobby Kennedy. 

Today we  have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and there is a humanitarian tragedy in Syria calling out for American leadership. The planet is overheating, threatening the survival of the next generation. School children are gunned down in mass murder, as are young gay people dancing at a nightclub, and every-day workers at their job. Radical Islamist terrorists are shooting people in France and trying to strike the United States again. Families are working two and three part and full time jobs just to pay their rent or mortgage. 

The country and the world are in crisis. It is a time for leadership. 

Where is our Bobby Kennedy? 

CHAOS IN BROWARD? 

According to the JAA Broward Blog here, judges running for re-election are out, as are the judges who are supposed to be covering for the judges running for re-election. Morale is at an all time low (What do you expect? It's Broweird.).  And the chief judge won't return anyone's phone calls and spends his time planning lunches for visiting 4th DCA judges. 
What to do? 
As if we care.  It's Broweird. 

See you in court.