Monday, October 09, 2006



History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

People seem to want to discuss Third District Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Rothenberg.

Have at it.
In the interest of equal time, we include the link to her Bio on the 3rd DCA’s website. BIO

Judge Rothenberg: Runner, black belt, supporter of Israel, signer of the Christian Family Coalition’s pledge to use the powers of her office to oppose gay marriage, abortion, and support religious displays on public property. Former Prosecutor; ran for State Attorney; former Circuit Court Judge. We think it behooves everyone to remember people are much more than their public persona. There are two sides to every story, and for every complaint about Judge Rothenberg being too State oriented, there are her positions that she advocated during her run for State Attorney about revamping the Juvenile Justice Courts, and not wasting resources on simple drug possession cases.

See the New Times Article

Here is part of what the New Times has to say when Judge Rothenberg was running for State Attorney in 2004:

This past August, during the Republican primary for Miami-Dade State Attorney, the Christian Family Coalition asked candidates to sign a form pledging that, if elected, they would use their powers as public officials to oppose gay marriage and support a religious agenda. "Running for a quasi-judicial office, I did not think it was appropriate," says one of those candidates, Al Milian, who declined to sign.

His Republican opponent, Leslie Rothenberg, enthusiastically put pen to paper. She vowed to oppose providing abortion coverage as part of local government's health-care package as well as any zoning laws restricting religious meetings. She supported religious displays on public property. And she promised to oppose gay marriage and domestic partnerships "with my votes, powers, and privileges of public office."

[Rumpole thinks this is a good place for another quote from Thomas Jefferson:
"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800. ]

Rothenberg's career as a jurist was baptized in controversy. In 1992 she quit after six years as a prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office to run for judge in the Eleventh Circuit here in Miami-Dade. She trumpeted her experience as a "tough prosecutor" and "crime fighter" so vociferously that local defense attorneys were convinced she was blatantly anti-defendant.

When she won, Robert Scola Jr., chairman of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (now a circuit court judge himself), sent a letter to Leonard Rivkind, the Eleventh Circuit's chief judge, asking him to assign Rothenberg to the civil, not criminal, division: "Our directors unanimously expressed grave concerns about her ability to sit fairly and impartially as a criminal court judge," Scola wrote in the September 17, 1992, missive. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. More than twenty prosecutors had become judges before Rothenberg, and the lawyers association had never deemed it necessary to send a letter of concern.

What can we say?

We elected Holly-Go-Lightly as our Governor, and he and his brother are bound and determined to turn this country into the gay hating, cross worshiping, Christian Nation that their supporters so ferverently believe we are.

You guys on the comment board can have at it with Judge Rothenberg, but as Hyman Roth said of Frank ("Frankie Five Angels") Pentangeli in the Godfather,

“[s]he’s small potatoes.”

The larger issue is the election, appointment, and promotion of politicians and their minions who support the belief this is a Christian nation.

It is a nation where any and all beliefs about religion or against religion are welcome. But do not confuse a country that is a haven for any and all religious beliefs, as a religious country. That is the difference between America and Iran. Yet the CFC and other religious zealots want us to be Iran, just a Christian Iran not a Muslim one. Substitute priests and preachers for Mullahs, and you have the type of country the brothers Bush and their followers want.

“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

We could rail on about Judge Rothenberg’s pledge to the CFC.

But who are we as compared to Thomas Jefferson? So we will let him speak for us:

"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like (the purchase of a book) can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens?

Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched?

Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? ...

Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:127

What Jefferson was saying (if we may be so bold, but it is our blog after all) is that once you let the Camel’s nose under the tent- Once you let religion become the standard of what is appropriate or legal conduct, then who is to judge what religion allows and disallows?

Who tells us what God wants? Who decides what religion says the law may allow and prohibit?

Over 230 years ago we choose to be a country of laws not religion.

We are governed by our laws and have chosen Judges to interpret those laws.

The irony is that when Judges surrender to the supremacy of religion; when they pledge to use the powers of their office to advance the goals of a particular religion, or religion in general as is the case with the CFC pledge, they are surrendering the power that we have entrusted in them.

Can anyone be that desperate to win an election?


Anonymous said...

Breaking news:

Associated Press (10/09/2006, 8:30 PM EST)

Miami (FL)—Miami Dolphins football practice was delayed nearly two
hours today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery
substance on the practice field. Head coach Nick Saban immediately suspended
practice and called the police and federal investigators. After a complete
analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown
to Dolphin players was the GOAL LINE. Practice resumed after special agents decided
the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Anonymous said...

that was amusing.


On behalf of the Frankie Pentangeli fan club- thanks.

1) Thanks for spelling his name right and using his not well known nickname.

2) thanks for the reference.

abe laeser said...

Ridiculous premise. I may hate Leslie's politics, but why not rail against Scalia's mean spirited advocacy, or Clarence Thomas's lack of intellect, or even Donald Rumsfeld's distortions of truth which have led to the deaths of thousands? What purpose is served? RUMPOLE, perhaps we can share a pint of stout and agree on these issues -- then the blog can get back to enlightening, informing, and bringing some humor into our profession.

Anonymous said...

Will god ever finally die in this country? Why can't we be like the Europeans and bury him?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at you.
Not a ridiculous premise at all. The governor has made his appellate appointments subject to his ultra-conservative litmus test; the electorate can use its own ideological viewpoint in choosing to retain or not his appointee, but this can only be done by a rational discussion of the particular candidate's political leanings. As such, Rumpole is to be congratulated for his erudite exposition of the facts as he sees them and placed them in his public forum for our consideration. Thus, his statement serves a very important purpose in our democracy--a free give and take on the issues of the day, which, we must "use it or lose it."
"Why not rail against all the others?", you ask.
But of course rail against them--DO NOT go gently into that good night.
A Robed One

Fair Blogger said...

Columbus day, back from the beach.

Rumpole, your words left me speechless. You covered the issued from head to toe. Links that left me reading for the past 30 minutes.

This post will go down as one of your best. Fair, provided links to bio and new times for fact checking.

Take a bow for being fair.

Anonymous said...

He is back . . .Click Link or copy and paste into URL browser:


Rumpole what have you started?

Anonymous said...

several people on a previous post wrote the following:

Anonymous said...

1. CFC of Miami


3. Ku Klux Klan (KKK)




Friday, October 06, 2006 10:02:15 PM
Anonymous said...

Friday, October 06, 2006 10:03:32 PM


In response a few days later someone wrote:

Anonymous said...
Hey 10:03:32 PM
How dare you include Radical Muslims. The liberal, commies at CNN tell us they are freedom fighters! Maybe you should be on that list?

Sunday, October 08, 2006 8:53:02 AM


I just thought it was funny and deserved attention.

Anonymous said...

nice web site

Marisa Tinkler Mendez site


Anonymous said...

I just about fell out of my chair:

"People in the legal community tell me it is rare for judges even once to be forced to recuse themselves for displaying bias in a case. To have to do it as many times as Rothenberg has is a phenomenon, and shows repeated bad judgment on her part. And let's face it -- quality of judgment is the crux of being a judge.

What's disturbing about her insatiable desire for public office right now is that it looks like a political payoff -- that Rothenberg is being rewarded for running on the Republican ticket against Milian, whose maverick ways were not palatable to the GOP. When she quit her judgeship to run for State Attorney, she was hired by Joe Klock, managing partner for Steel Hector & Davis and a Republican operative who represented former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris during the disputed 2000 presidential election.

Rothenberg has shown she's willing to play politics at the expense of her judicial impartiality, so maybe Steel Hector is where she should stay"

Miami News Times Dec 2004

Anonymous said...

Miami News Times. The paragon of fair and objective journalism if there ever was any. Right.

Anonymous said...

Which begs the question...what's the story with Joe Klock? Why is he representing all these juvenile defendants?

Anonymous said...

rumors are abound about Mr. Klock.

Fake Robin Williams said...

Whats all the hullabaloo about same sex marriage? Anybody who has been married for any amount of time knows its the same sex all the time!

Anonymous said...

Now that I think Scott Fingerhutt is Rumpole, I read every Rumpole post with an image of Scott in my mind. It's actually rather disturbing.

abe laeser said...

I am astounded at the failure of bloggers to be 'responsible' for their thoughts, by claiming authorship. Sure, some insults can be hurled with impunity while anonymous. However, many serious issues would gain clout if the gravitas of the author could be appreciated. While Lenny Glick and Roberto Piniero from the Bench, and I, and David Markus and Brian Tannenbaum for the defense may be willing to sign our work, I would love to actually know which of our peers cares enough about the issues to chime in - with their signature.

Just on my mind during a late lunch at the desk.

Rumpole said...

Dear Mr. Laeser, let me give you some insight:

1) I am rapidly running out of things to say.
2) A bunch of people were talking about Judge Rothenberg and the upcoming retention election in the comments section, so I figured I might as well do a post.
3) After doing some research, I realized that like or dislike Judge Rothenberg (and personally I like her) the real issue was her signing the CFC pledge and the whole issue of religion in politics.
4) So using Judge Rothenberg's signing the CFC pledge (of which I think she is much better than that and made a big mistake) I decided to use the platform to raise the larger issue of the Brothers Bush and their pandering to right wing religious nuts that gives them the electoral majority they have been able to achieve.

What I didn't say, but know to be true, is that their father hates the religious right, and is aghast at how they have splintered this country. I can't say how I know it, but I know it.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

abe laeser said...

RUMPOLE, I appreciate the position that you are in -- and I enjoy your thoughts. If you are truly looking for 'things to say', wander the halls in the REG, stop into the courts, and listen to the non-legal citizenry. It will make you want to pull out the cat-o-nine-tails and flog most members of our noble craft until they learn what a fair application of the law might be.

I wish you strength and courage in your endeavors.

P.S. - Yes, I truly understood the Leslie/pledge issue - and the revulsion I feel that any person would even consider signing it is nearly overpowering.

Rumpole said...

My Football picks were 3-0-1 (KC pushed with Arizona) Giants and the under and Denver on MNF.
Just for fun.

Rumpole said...

If You read the early Blog, November/December 2005, Jason Grey, Bobbie Reiff, and a few others were members of the original "not afraid to sign my name club". Bobby Reiff for sure caught a ton of grief (no rhyme intended). Eventually Jason Grey got so upset that he decided not to blog anymore (although we are glad he is back). Phil Reizenstein, Judge Barzee, and Brian T have also caught their share of mean comments.

There is a place for anonymous posts: Judge so and so is alwways late and does not take lawyers out of turn.

We encourage people to sign their names, and have never ever removed a post that was signed. We apply a much stricter standard to removing posts that are anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Who is the Hottie following around Sy?

Anonymous said...

the rothenberg bio does not mention where she obtained her undergraduate and law degree. does anyone have that information?

Rumpole said...

Anonymous said...
Now that I think Scott Fingerhutt is Rumpole, I read every Rumpole post with an image of Scott in my mind. It's actually rather disturbing.

Now don't you think that's a bit mean (to Scott not to us).
It's not like anyone said Rumpole sits at home naked eating potato chips and blogging.
For one thing, the crumbs get in the keyboard and the dog starts licking the computer keyboard, and on and on and on.


Sad to report that Dade has joined Broward and is now suspending drivers licenses for two count em TWO YEARS for any drug possession conviction (read adjudication).


Anonymous said...

The hottie following Sy around is Herald reporter and blog favorite susanah nesmith. She is going to be doing a Sy-extravangant article for Sy's 75th Birthday in November.

Fake Blecher said...

Blame Andy Kotzin for getting the clerks to enforce the law on suspending driver licenses that has been on the books for almost ten years now. Broward started doing it on day 1 - no surprise there.

Anonymous said...

"For one thing, the crumbs get in the keyboard and the dog starts licking the computer keyboard, and on and on and on."

Rumpole is not rated G.

Anonymous said...

Hate University is Rothenberg got her degree. Or Just find out were Rush got his, bet its the same place

Anonymous said...

I think L. Rothenberg is a graduate of Bob Jones university, and is the founding and only member of their on campus Hillel group.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous said...
"For one thing, the crumbs get in the keyboard and the dog starts licking the computer keyboard, and on and on and on."

Rumpole is not rated G.


Real Fake said...

I would appreciate it if fake alan and chris, and fake blecher stop posting, as I am the real-fake alan and chris, and the real-fake blecher, and you are just confusing matters.

Jason Grey said...

Eating potato chips is Better than web surfing eating cheese doodles. First orange fingers than an orange…

Anonymous said...

Boy did Janet Reno look not so good in the Paper today. I hope she's feeling ok- maybe it was just a bad picture, but she looked too thin and a bit wan.

A Former ASA.

Real Fake Rumpole said...

Can I still be fake Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

Andy Cotsin had nothing to do with the clerks enforcing the DL suspension. Get off him already.

fake bobby reif said...

What do you call a fake bobby reif?

...insert drumroll here...

An artificial reif.

Anonymous said...

I'm an ASA and I would love to sign my posts, but I don't quite have the job security that Mr. Laeser does, and I'm not so sure that KFR wants her ASAs blogging away (even after hours).

Anonymous said...

that was the single worst post EVER on this blog. an artifical reif? damn.....

Anonymous said...

Rumps, a bit of legal advice for me if you please. The Miami Dolphins. Who do I sue?
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; fraud; impersonating a professional football team. I can't take it anymore.

Please help.

1:32 said...

I didn't mean to insult Scott. I just meant that the image of any man constantly in my brain is disturbing. The fact that you, "Rumpole", found offense in the statement confirms my suspicion that you're Scott. It's the typical type of Scott Fingerhut insecurity.

Bewildered said...

Jason said, "First orange fingers than an orange..."

What's with you men? Why are you always playing with yourselves, even in court? Do you think we don't see you? Do you think we can't tell what's happening? Some of you don't even try to mask it, you just go in for the kill. Have some decency guys! I'm sure you can make it through 5 minutes in public without adjusting or scratching.

Anonymous said...

rump glad you clarified that crumbs issue.

for a minute there I thought you might just be an ASA

Rumpole said...

We didn't mean to confirm or deny our identity. Careful readers of the blog know that we never do. we never comment on where we are or when we will be in trial (although for some reason next week is shaping up to be a bear).

Please don't take any hint about our identity. Hints are out there. Just not on THIS blog site.

Anonymous said...

does rumpole mean to suggest that he is marcus running both blogs?

thetruth said...

We are not adjsuting or scratching-we are actually masturbating.

Rumpole said...

That was enough of a hint for one day. Run with it if you can.

Rumpole said...


Some advice.

Only on the Justice Building Blog.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about desperate and I have a sincere question to all you DUI attorneys......if you have the guts to answer ! Is anyone aware that Officer Mark Slimak of MDPD DUI Task Force makes over $100,000.00 per year in overtime only with his lovely b.s. court appearances and A forms. If you read his A forms they are all the same b.s., the same lies, the same events, the same orchestrated wording. He is even so brazen that he brags about his awards for winning over 300 prosecutions with his lies, deceit in August 2006 only and not to mention his 250 arrests in July, 2006 that the great Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners even honored him.....so all of you high wired DUI attorneys .....How come no one has ever asked for an investigation with FDLE ? He is screwing not only your clients but mine as well. Sure, he is a con man during jury trials and is good as hell at his lies but yesterday, he was bragging about his 53 DUI Prosecutions in one day.....something is very very wrong with this picture and I blame the SAO's office who put this scum on a pedastal cuz he is a great money maker for the county destroying lives with SAO's blessings everyday.......God bless you Rundell....did he ever arrest any of your sons ? if he did I bet they walked free.......Mark Slimak needs an IA investigation and FDLE kick in the butt............ he is a looser liar scum bag !!!!!!!!!!!!! So someone, alot of someones who ever dealt with him should answer unless your scared of him.....

Anonymous said...

if you have the burden of a package between your legs, it needs to be adjusted at times.

Jason Grey said...

I tried several cases in front of Judge L. Rothenberg. I cannot say she was in any way unfair, or biased against the defense. Judge Rothenberg gave me good trials each time. By the way She has the patience of Job and is great with difficult Defendants. The Judge treated all my Defendants with Dignity.
In one case A Defendant who was charged with Kidnapping, att murder 1, and sex batt, complained about stomach problems due to diet and lack of care at the jail. In the middle of trial Judge Rothenberg conducted a full hearing, brought in and questioned the doctor, reviewed the Defendant’s medical records, and ultimately tried to hold the medical staff of DCJ in contempt. The Judge then on her own purchased Insure supplement and brought it to court for the Defendant each day.
The cases I lost the defendants got nuked, but they were all murders, att murders, armed robberies etc. I know this post will be unpopular with the defense bar, But that was my experience

Anonymous said...

how did we go from rothenberg to ball-sacks?

Anonymous said...

9:02, let me guess, you have all this knowledge about Slimak, and your balls end at the point where you beg someone else to do something about it. I trust your intention is to do nothing but bitch on this blog. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Sy's only 75?

thetruth said...

hey 9:02, did you blow or refuse?

Anonymous said...

I was an ASA in Rothenberg. It was like having a second division chief.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of drunks on the road. Are you suggesting he is framing non-impaired drivers?

Anonymous said...

Joel Denaro: pleasantries to all. thank gosh that hideous man no longer stalks me.

Anonymous said...

My thought is that Judge Rothenberg "went the extra mile" for defendants as Jason is describing because she was confident of a conviction and felt a little short term indulgence was worth the long prison sentence she was going to give. Jason- did you ever have a full NG and see her read the verdict and then toss it in an angry manner to clerk and just fume at the jury? I have. You could read her like a cheap poker player- when she was angry the defendant won or was winning. When she was kind and patient it was a setup because she was about to launch the Defendant. Her cheap act didn't get very far with me.

Anonymous said...

Mah BLOGGAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous said...

Criminal Center for the Performing Arts

What does $461 million buy? A top-of-the-line performing arts center? Yes! Parking? No. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your stroll to the concert hall through one of Miami’s choicest neighborhoods, where street drama rivals the action onstage. This season's highlights include 44 stolen cars, 71 robberies, 134 assaults, and a slew of stars.




1. Pay a year in advance! Hell, pay ten! Your options won't be expanding any time soon. And paying in advance means less cash to hand over to "extortion artist," right?

2. Consider wearing a sign like those at cash registers: "ARTS PATRON CARRIES LESS THAN $20."

3. Remember in Florida it's legal to carry a conceled weapon. GET A GLOCK!

4. Learn street slang. Maybe "Yo, is that five-oh?" Or maybe "Here come the po po."

5. Stay home and blog with Rumpole.

Self-Parking $15.00
Valet Parking $20.00
Armed Escort $100.00
Blogging with Rumpole FREE

Anonymous said...

Mister know it all...WE plan on doing something about Slimak.....you seemed to be a chicken ass about it........dont be so defensive..........a comment is a comment and you, whoever you are cant handle the heat about him for some reason ?????

Anonymous said...

RUMPOle This whole Rothenberg thing has nothing to do with lofty principles like combatting the christian right and you know it.
what really ticks off most defense attorneys is nor her views on gay marriage, (an issue that she will never have to decide) but the fact that she was the one judge who had no time for all the defense attorney bullshit that passes for lawyering in this town.
Funny, i never hear you or any of the other defense attorney whiners on this blog complain about judges who sua sponte exclude evidence, sua sponte object for the brain dead defense attorney. Never heard you whining like a little bitch when a judge cries on the bench when sentencing a five time armed robber to prison. never heard you complain about the judges who hated trafficking cases so much that he answered a deliberating juries question about the potential sentence by telling them it was a 25 year min man.

i could go on and on but why bother. funny none of those over the top pro-defense judicial antics have ever gotten any play on this blog. and they all happened but i wont name names because i could get a bar complaint from some irate judge and i, unlike you rump, won't apologize to some judge for my opinions like you did when you sucked up to judge thomas after you trashed him on this blog.

Rump you are nothing but a nauseating hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Klock is an attorney for Baypoint school a DJJ semi prison for juveniles....who Bush gave over millions of dollars to.....and Roy Black and His lovely obnoxious wife Lea give a fundraiser to every year. The school has countless lawsuits against them but Black and Klock play the politico game real well and keep it out of sight....so Klock takes these young men under his wing, purchaes them clothes and gets them jobs.......what a joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason Grey said...

I did see her Fume, as you say after an NG. But what do I care how she felt? I care only how she ruled, and treated my defendant and me.

Anonymous said...

god bless you jason for actually speaking from experience. It has always amazed me how many people who never tried a case or appeared in front of rothenberg hated her just because joyce brenner or ray tassef said she was unfair.

Anonymous said...

Blow or not blow ?...I made a simple comment Mr. Psychologist who analyzes everything...paranoid a bit ????.......like I said a comment is a comment and yes, I believe he does set up non impaired drivers to meet his goals and numbers and his over $ 100,000.00 per year overtime bill....got a problem with a comment ? I have seen him hundreds of times bs'ing the system...any normal thoughts or just your typical wacky paranoid defensive comments ??????

Anonymous said...

Balls ? obviously their bigger than you will ever have..I said the truth and you went hysterical....I sense a problem here with defensive tactics...maybe he did a favor for you and let you off ????? lol

Anonymous said...

"i, unlike you rump, won't apologize to some judge for my opinions like you did when you sucked up to judge thomas after you trashed him on this blog.

Rump you are nothing but a nauseating hypocrite"

hey prick type your name next time. Rothenberg is the biggest bitch around. Why is Judge Suarez getting only 9% no Vote in the DCBA 2006 Poll but Rothenberg get over 31% say no?

Hey pee brain next time you have a thought "Just Let It Go". Its always an ASA stating B.S. News Flash KFR does NOT like Rothenberg for good reason. That hateful bitch libeled KFR in 2004.

Ohhh Now Rothenberg cant stand the heat? Rumpole was fair and reported that facts as he found them. Rumpole even (and I would never have) posted a bias link to her 3rd DCA bio.


Leslie B. (Bigot) Rothenberg will be the first appeals Judge in Florida to be removed from office.

November 7, JUST SAY NO!!

Anonymous said...

Ps. You attack Rumpole after he has gone to bed knowing it will stay up all night without a response from the great Rumpole.

You are a piece of work.

Anonymous said...

What should Judge P. do on this case that Herald scribe Sussanna wrote:

Lawyer: Vulnerable client was 'tricked' by policeBY SUSANNAH A. NESMITH
When Terric Jeffery told police he punched a 13-month-old baby in the stomach, the officers charged him with first-degree murder.

The baby, Leon Leonard III, died of blunt trauma injuries.

But Jeffery's defense attorney says she has turned up evidence that Jeffrey, who is mildly mentally retarded, couldn't have caused the baby's death and was tricked into confessing by a police sergeant.

Boosting the defense argument of Assistant Public Defender Liesbeth Boots are two other issues: Detectives have offered conflicting testimony about who got Jeffery's confession, and the county Medical Examiner's Office lost some physical evidence.

Police and prosecutors say Boots is manipulating the physical evidence, and they claim that a defense investigator tricked Jeffery's girlfriend -- the baby's mother -- into changing her story.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Roberto Pineiro is set to hold another in a series of hearings today on whether to throw out Jeffrey's confession.

The charges against Jeffery date back to the morning of June 14, 2003, when the baby's mother, Monique Johnson, called 911. She reported the baby having trouble breathing at 4:42 a.m.

He died at 5:37 a.m.

Detectives found bruises on the baby's body and interviewed Johnson and Jeffery. They told police the baby had spent the afternoon and evening of June 13 with his father before being dropped off by his grandmother at his mother's house around 12:30 a.m. on June 14. They also said the baby was fussy and sick.

The baby's grandparents, Miami Police Officer Leon Leonard and his wife, Francine, told police and The Miami Herald that the baby was fine when they left him.


A doctor hired by the defense concluded that the fatal injuries were caused around noon on June 13 -- 18 hours before the baby died. The baby was then with his mother, who has testified that Jeffery was never alone with the baby on June 13, according to court pleadings filed by Boots.

''This eliminates the defendant as a possible perpetrator,'' Boots wrote.

A state expert agreed about the injury but also found a newer injury inflicted around 12:30 a.m. Friday -- just five hours before the baby's death.

Prosecutor Tammy Forrest argues that Jeffrey was alone with the baby for a few minutes right after the child was dropped off, while Johnson went to get medicine for him.


But Johnson recently signed an affidavit changing her story. She said she and Jeffery actually got home around 1:30 a.m. after watching a movie and going to get pizza. If true, that would mean the baby was injured before he was dropped off.

Forrest counters that Johnson, in a more recent statement, said she couldn't remember the exact time she and Jeffrey got home or exactly when the baby was dropped off at her house.

Forrest charges that a defense investigator, Sharon Pritchett, filled out the times in the affidavit and that Johnson didn't know what she was signing. She called the new affidavit ''a desperate ploy'' to exonerate Jeffery.

Johnson pleaded no contest early last year to charges of manslaughter and child neglect in connection with the case and was sentenced to probation.

Making things more difficult for both sides in tracing the chain of events leading to the baby's death: The Medical Examiner's office lost some evidence and failed to take samples of the baby's spleen and liver.

Boots' most compelling argument is that Jeffery, who had been deemed mentally retarded and was receiving Social Security benefits, was easily manipulated by police. They convinced him he would be allowed to go home if he would just say he accidentally killed the baby, she said.

It's hard to know what officers told Jeffery during the first nine hours of questioning because those discussions weren't taped. But in Jeffery's videotaped confession, before an audio tape was turned on, Jeffery asks Miami Detective Olga Rome a question.

The exchange is not clear on the videotape, prompting Judge Pineiro to play it over and over again in court.

What Jeffery asks sounds like: ''Soon as I'm finished with this . . . I get out, right?'' Rome's response is almost inaudible. Whatever she says, Jeffery seems satisfied and says, ``All right.''

Rome testified last week that Jeffery had asked if he could see Johnson after he was finished with the interview. She said she told him not to talk until she finished setting up the audio tape recorder.


With the audio tape on, Jeffery explained how he punched the baby in the stomach by accident and had meant to hit the bed. He said he was frustrated because the baby was fussy.

At the end of the videotape, Jeffery clearly asks, ``Did I do that right?''

Detective Louis Valdes tells him, ``Yes. Come on.''

Jeffery testified that Sgt. Confesor Gonzalez told him to say he hit the baby by accident.

His interview with Gonzalez, a veteran homicide investigator, was not taped.

Various officers disagree about who first got Jeffery to confess. Gonzalez testified that he persuaded Jeffery to come clean by telling him that the physical evidence showed he was lying when he said the baby fell on the floor.

But Rome and Valdes said Jeffery first confessed to them.


All three officers have testified that they never promised Jeffery he could go home.

The allegation against Gonzalez is ironic because he risked his career five years ago when he pushed to have murder charges dropped against a retarded man.

The case involved Jerry Frank Townsend, who was serving life in prison for several murders in Broward and Miami but who was exonerated in Broward by DNA evidence.

Gonzalez and another Miami officer worked to get Townsend's Miami case thrown out, as well, after they concluded he didn't understand what he was saying and had said he did things that conflicted with the physical evidence.

Gonzalez declined to comment on the Jeffery case, but his supervisor, Lt. John Burhmaster, said Gonzalez is the last detective he'd ever suspect of tricking a suspect. ''He's as straight as they come,'' he said.

Judge Pineiro has asked for transcripts of the testimony of each of the detectives before he rules on the case.

Anonymous said...

to all you people who support that CFC group:


Anonymous said...

Jury awards $11.3M over defamatory Internet posts

By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."
Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla. — first reported Friday by the Daily Business Review — represents the largest such judgment over postings on an Internet blog or message board. Lyrissa Lidsky, a University of Florida law professor who specializes in free-speech issues, calls the award "astonishing."

Lidsky says the case could represent a coming trend in court fights over online messages because the woman who won the damage award, Sue Scheff of Weston, Fla., pursued the case even though she knew the defendant, Carey Bock of Mandeville, La., has no hope of paying such an award. Bock, who had to leave her home for several months because of Hurricane Katrina, couldn't afford an attorney and didn't show up for the trial.

Scheff says she wanted to make a point to those who unfairly criticize others on the Internet. "I'm sure (Bock) doesn't have $1 million, let alone $11 million, but the message is strong and clear," Scheff says. "People are using the Internet to destroy people they don't like, and you can't do that."

Anonymous said...

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting gay and lesbian employees from discrimination. Only five states also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Many municipalities across the country have also adopted civil rights ordinances to cover lesbians and gay men in areas such as employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, union practices and education

Anonymous said...

Rump your up shit creek without a paddle based on that USA Today post by Judge Leslie Rothenberg fan.

Anonymous said...

there is federal case law protecting this blog. just because some loser of a lawyer lost a case in minnieville is no reason to hide.

its that little thing called free speech, oh thats right you did not take that part of the bar examine

Anonymous said...

Derek Henkle

After Derek Henkle came out on public-access television when he was 14, his life in the Reno, Nevada, school system was a nightmare. “I was spit on, I was punched and I was kicked” he remembers. School administrators and teachers stood by while other students harassed, threatened and beat Derek. One assistant principal actually laughed after students tried to tie Derek to a truck and drag him down the street. Rather than addressing the antigay harassment and violence, school administrators transferred Derek to other schools — as if he were the problem. At 16, Derek, who had been in a program for “gifted and talented” students since the fourth grade, was forced to resort to adult-education classes, where it was impossible to obtain a high school diploma. Derek fought back. He contacted Lambda Legal and with our help secured a $450,000 settlement and a letter in his academic file explaining why his education was cut short. In addition, the Washoe County School District agreed to initiate extensive changes in school board policy and actions, including training staff members and educating students about issues related to sexual harassment.

Aaron Fricke

Aaron Fricke asked Paul Guilbert to the prom — and Paul said yes. But Aaron’s principal said no. Aaron knew he should be able to go to the prom like everyone else, and he filed a lawsuit. Not only did Aaron win the right to take Paul to the prom, but his school also had to provide enough security so that he and Paul would be safe. Aaron helped show that unless a school has reason to believe someone’s date will cause a “serious disruption,” students must be allowed to go to the prom with the date of their choice. That was in 1980. Today the law is still in effect, thanks to Aaron.

Anonymous said...

that last post reminds me of the hate towards blacks in alabama during the 50's & 60's and the feds had to escort the black students to school.

Hate is Hate you can sugar coat it any way you want to and it will still be HATE!!.

Always the religious radicals and red neck white trash that want to tie people to trucks and drag them because of HATE!!.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

this is the funniest new times story on Bush and Rothenberg ever (click link):


Anonymous said...

I was extremely concerned about Judge Rothenberg's appointment to the Third DCA because of everything that I had heard about her. I have now argued numerous appeals in front of her and can truly say she is a pleasure. She is always prepared, works hard at the job and on her opinions and asks excellent questions. And if she does not know the answer to a question, she asks. I would sign my name but don't want anyone to think I am kowtowing to a judge that I have come to respect despite the fact that we are seldom in agreement.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of judicial integrity, I've taken it upon myself to help Rothenberg keep her seat when such cases come before her. Here, then, is the new and improved Rothenberg Pledge, which you can clip and send to her, along with encouragement to sign it:

I, Leslie B. Rothenberg, being duly sworn as a justice serving the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, Florida, do hereby solemnly swear that I will not use the power and privilege of my office for anything other than rendering fair and impartial decisions based on the facts before me and the law on the books. No matter what I may think of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the insidious SpongeBob SquarePants, or those annoying drag queens who parade around Lincoln Road like they own the place, I will attempt to purge any preconceived notions I may have about two people of the same sex who want to spend their lives together — when such an issue comes before me as a judge. Signed, Leslie B. Rothenberg Date:

Send to: Hon. Leslie B. Rothenberg, Third District Court of Appeal, 2001 SW 117 Ave., Miami, FL 33175. Or fax: 305-229-3232.



Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mark Slimak...yes, he sure does make massive over time money and yes his A forms are basically all the same (with a few twists) but hey all the DUI Attorneys love him because he helps them get great huge fees and the State kisses his ass as he brings in so much money in fines and court costs, Advocate program costs etc.....it is what it is....a money making scam and my hat off to him for receiving his award for his hundreds of DUI's.n(80% fraudulent).....karma karma karma