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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NIXON RESIGNS! DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN!


From the JAA Broward Blog yesterday:

Imperato to resign? – a bailiff was caught scurrying away earlier this morning with what looks to be some of Cindy Imperato’s personal belongings in an archive box, including an FSU football.  When asked a few minutes later whether Imperato was indeed calling it quits, her JA said she was “undecided“.  We’ll be following up with the chief judge and Tallahassee shortly

Rumpole says: Good riddance.  This judge was a nasty, sarcastic, impatient jurist who pandered to police officers. We had a memorable motion to suppress in front of her, during which she spent the entire time chatting with her clerk, snickering and passing notes to the clerk, and rolling her eyes and playing to the other police officers who were in the courtroom for another case. Our client said "I can't believe this is happening to me in a courtroom in the United States." So, no great loss to the bench or the cause of justice. Karma. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

Just think about this: if ten months ago we told you Bernie sanders, a 74 year old, cranky socialist and former mayor of Burlington, Vermont would WIN the democratic primary in New Hampshire, you would have called us crazy. 

If we further told you that a reality TV crass buffoon named Donald Trump would win the Republican primary, you would have called us nuts. 

If we told you Sanders and Trump would both win their respective primaries, you would have told us to call you when we sober up. 

Truth is stranger than fiction.

See You In Court. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY TODAY

The irascible, grouchy, unpredictable, "live free or die" citizens of New Hampshire go to the polls today and vote in the nation's first political primary (as opposed to the Iowa caucuses) in this presidential season. 

We can't help but be reminded of Emerson's thoughts about the citizens of the granite state:

"The God who made New Hampshire taunted the lofty land with little men." 

 THE MACHINE OF DEATH 

The criminal justice committee of the  Florida Senate (motto "Yes, Florida has a senate") voted to require- steady yourself here- a unanimous jury vote in death penalty cases. 

After weeks of posturing about not letting the Supreme Court push us around, some lawmakers in Tallahassee have decided to actually read some case law and have begun to reach the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, unanimity is needed in death penalty cases. 

Florida prosecutors have pushed back by suggesting that if the law is going to go completely crazy by requiring unanimity, then the least the legislature can do is expand the types of cases where the death penalty can be imposed. 

Coming soon: how to death qualify a jury in a first DUI. 

See You In Court. 


Monday, February 08, 2016

Bern Your Enthusiasm

The Super Bowl is over. We called most of it right, including the dead-lock coin toss prediction, and advising you to take Denver and the money line, although we didn't watch one lick of it.

REGJB wise last week, we saw the man labeled as the facebook killer for posting pictures of his wife's body on facebook get life in prison. As the late Judge Morphonious once said, "and may he serve every day of it." 

And last week the tragic case of Michael Hernandez was back in court. Hernandez, a juvenile at the time of the offense,  had his new sentencing hearing last week as the Supreme Court said the law now requires. Any juvenile must be sentenced with a meaningful opportunity for release. Judge Schlessinger made a quick return to the REGJB for the hearing before skedaddling back to civil. 

It's Monday and time to get crackin, but as our favourite federal blogger does from time to time, we leave you with a Monday morning moment of Zen: Bern Your Enthusiasm. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

SUPER BOWL 50 AND....yeah.....DONALD TRUMP

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday!
As we wrote in our last post, we will not be watching the game. But we have some sights for you. First, don't under estimate the importance of good coaching. Bad coaching can cause errors that can turn the game around. See the video below as to what happens when you have bad coaching:  


Now on to the game. 

Right now, the best coach in the playoffs was one of the worst head coaches in the last ten years: Denver's defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.  While Denver got lucky that a third string running back fumbled in their first playoff game, their defense was superb against the New England Cheaters. 

We will take a good defense almost any year in a super bowl game. The hesitation is that the Broncos couldn't stop an injured Ben Roethlisberger,  and but for that fumble, they probably wouldn't have won the game. And Panthers QB Newton is a bigger, younger, faster Roethliberger. BUT....Roethlisberger performed poorly in his first super bowl experience, winning because of a good defense, a great running game, and a trick play (WR Randle El throwing a TD pass to WR MVP Hines Ward). 

We will take the experience of Denver's D over the Panthers and Cam Newton. When they were routed in the Super Bowl two years ago, Broncos GM John Elway, who knows a thing or two about losing and winning super bowls, went about building a defense to carry Peyton Manning to one last super bowl. It's worked so far. 

The smart money: 
Our Man 52nd Street Irwin has been monitoring the money flow in Vegas all week. He sets the line for a series of smaller sports books in Nevada. And all week the books were searching for Denver money as the Panther money flowed, starting at Carolina -3 5. By the time it got to Carolina -6 the Denver money showed up, big time, by the pros. 

Our Pick: Our head still says Carolina, but we would like to see Manning win one for the Gipper and go out a winner. If we were betting this game, and we are not, we would eschew the spread and take take the money line Denver + a juicy 195. Lay a hundred and get almost 2-1 on Peyton Manning in a super bowl. We'll do that all the time. 

Over 44.5

Tails for the coin flip. 

Take Adventure Of  a Lifetime as the first song ColdPlay plays during halftime. Odds are 2-1. 

BTW there has NEVER been a punt returned for a TD in 50 super bowls. In general it's 20-1 for a punt to be returned for a TD, so it's pretty long odds against it never occurring in 50 games, so put us down for a punt returned for a TD in this one. 

JUSTICE BUILDING PROPS. 
A proposition bet is a fun bet, like will Kobe Bryant score more than the total in the game?, etc.  So we've put together some REGJB themed prop bets: 

Double the final score OR the sum of Judges De La O and Glick's calendar pages on Monday. (Lets say the final score it 27-20, that number is 94 or the total of the two judges' calendar pages on Monday). 

The final Nielson rating for the game versus the total number of pages of Judge Ward's calendar?

Total points scored in first half versus the total number of pages of Judge De la O's calendar or Judge Richard Hersch's calendar (Pick one)? 

Which will be the higher number? The longest field goal made in the game or the total number of pages of Judge Murphy's calendar? 

Which will be the higher number? The total number of yards rushed by the Panthers, or the total number of calendar pages of the sum of Judges De la O, Murphy, and Glick? 

Which will be the highest number? The total number of receiving yards of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas,  or the total calendar pages of Judges De la O, Murphy, Glick, Tinkler-Mendez, and Richard Hersch? 

Longest touchdown scored from scrimmage or the total number of calendar pages of Judges Hersch and Hirsch? 

SPORTS/POLITICS/REGJB

What will be higher? Total percentage of the vote Donald Trump gets in the New Hampshire Primary, the number of points scored by Carolina, or the number of pages of judge Milt Hirsch's calendar on Monday? 

Have fun and if you are watching the game, enjoy it and let us know who wins.  We'll be attending a lecture at the Met later this morning  entitled "When Belief Meets Art."  And if you've never seen "The Curious Incident of the Dog At Night" (and most of you haven't) you're missing Broadway at its most ingenious and finest. 

See You In Court. 







Saturday, February 06, 2016

WHY WE ARE NOT GOING TO WATCH THE SUPER BOWL

This Sunday a hundred million people (or more) will gather world-wide to watch something that is a mixture of religion, US jingoism, and a sporting event that usually falls way short of the hype. 

Here is why we're not going to watch the super bowl:

Because with the understanding of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) , the sport is no longer building character, but destroying minds. 

Because more Americans know who Tom Brady is, than Iago, or Doctor Alexander Manette.

Because more Americans know the story line of any particular super bowl than the story line of Hamlet, or a Tale of Two Cities (Doctor Manette is a character in the story.)

Because the game has assumed a religious fervor. 

Because Cities and States spend more money on building new football stadiums, than on building new schools. 

Because the Super Bowl becomes a festival of gluttony in a country where children still go to bed hungry at night and go to school hungry in the morning. 

Because the average fan can't afford a ticket to the game. 

Because the average fan can quote the forty-yard dash time of their favourite superstar, but can't run forty yards themselves. 

Because the NFL makes heroes out of people who kill (OJ Simpson and Rae Carruth), people who traffic drugs and plan to kill judges (Darryl Henley), players who beat their girlfriends and spouses (pick a team, every team has at least one), players who sexually harass staff (Brett Favre) and players who beat helpless children (Adrian Peterson).  You can't find a group of people less worthy of admiration. 

Because we are contrarians by nature and when everyone likes something and wants to do it, we want no part of it. 

Because it is in the end, a meaningless game in which men spend hundreds of hours devoted to the minutiae of the game. Spend that time and care and consideration on removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, we say. 

Because in the end, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference to anyone but a few dozen players and coaches who wins this game. And those people mean nothing to us. 


So we will not be watching the game. We will be going to a fascinating lecture on Ayurvedic  health and yoga.

But fear not, we will have our picks, including the deadlock winner coin toss, and a special feature available only on your favoritie blog: the REGJB-Super Bowl special prop bets. 
For example, will Judge De La O's Monday calendar have more pages than Broncos TE Owen Daniels has receiving yards? 

Stay tuned, and enjoying super bowl weekend doesn't mean you have to watch the game. 


Friday, February 05, 2016

YOUR NEW COUNTY COURT JUDGE


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

YOUR NEW COUNTY COURT JUDGE IS .....

GINA BEOVIDES

Congratulations to Ms. Beovides; she is 34 years old and has been a member of The Florida Bar for ten years.  She began her career working for the law office of Leon Brunet.  After one year, she joined Miami Dade Legal Aid and she has been an attorney working for them for the past nine years.  Ms. Beovides has been a Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer since 2011.  She is also a member of the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee and also the Vice-Chair of the Family Law Domestic Violence Committee of The Florida Bar.  You can read Ms. Beovides' bio from the Dade Legal Aid web page by going here.

She received both her bachelor's and law degree from UM.  She fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Charlie Johnson to the Circuit Court.

The other five names that went up to the Governor included:  Ramiro Areces, Alexander Spicola Bokor, Karl S.H. Brown, Joe Mansfield, and Julie Nelson.

NORTH OF THE BORDER .......

No changes in the line-up of candidates that have filed to run for Circuit and County Court Judge in Miami-Dade County, but there was a big change in Broweird.

Popular sitting Judge Matthew Destry drew an opponent this week when attorney Brian Greenwald filed to run against him.  Greenwald served in the Broward County PD's office for eight years.  He has been in private practice as a criminal defense attorney for the past three years. Destry is the third sitting Circuit Judge in Broward to draw opposition; (also drawing opponents - Judge Stacy Ross and Judge Barbara McCarthy).

Also in Broward, they have two new Circuit Court Judges.  This week, Governor Scott announced that Ernest Kollra, age 62, and Alberto Rivas, age 48, have earned appointments to the Circuit Court.

Kollra replaces Judge Lynn Rosenthal, who resigned, (in lieu of pending action by The Florida Supreme Court).  He is in private practice in the areas of mobile home law, landlord/tenant, criminal defense, and business law.

Rivas replaces Judge Laura Watson, who was removed from the bench by The Florida Supreme Court.  Rivas has been a member of The Florida Bar for 20 years and has been an ASA in Broward for the past nine years.

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Thursday, February 04, 2016

WE'RE NUMBER 1

 149 people were found to be falsely convicted and their convictions vacated in 2015. 40% of those were in murder cases. The average prison sentence for these innocent people was fourteen years. 

Again we say, lets go behind the numbers. 

These were cases of people in prison actively investigated. How about people who weren't imprisoned or who were released?  The number will be much higher. 

It is our assumption here that most of those cases involved wrongful identifications, because as we who are in the business all know, personal identifications are some of the worst, most unreliable evidence there is. 

How many more innocent people have to suffer until we fix a broken system? 

Here is the NY Times article. 


In the REGJB Thursday morning, convicted killer Michael Hernandez, who as a juvenile killed a classmate, was back for re-sentencing under the new Supreme Court rules that most juveniles should not be sentenced to life, and all of them should have a meaningful opportunity for release. 

For the first time Hernandez took the stand in his own defense. 
ASA Gail Levine, who moaned about having to listen to weeks and weeks of his phone calls, conducted a soft-spoken and sensitive cross examination. 

You can follow the proceedings on TV and on David Ovalle's twitter at DavidOvalle305.  
No truth to the rumor there is a Gail Levine fan club twitter account. 

See You In Court.