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 28, 2007

PADILLA COMPETENT

Although we're stepping on the toes of everyone's favourite federal blogger, David O Markus, we think the ruling of Judge Cooke is significant enough so that we reprint part of the NY Times article here.

MIAMI, Feb. 28 — A federal judge found Jose Padilla competent to stand trial on terrorism conspiracy charges Wednesday, granting a significant victory to the government in the high-profile criminal case of a United States citizen who was initially designated an “enemy combatant” and held without charges.

After three and a half days of an intensely argued hearing, Judge Marcia G. Cooke of Federal District Court rejected the defense lawyers’ request that Mr. Padilla be sent to a hospital for psychiatric treatment so that he could be “healed” from what they said was post-traumatic stress disorder caused during his three years and eight months in military detention.

“This defendant clearly has the capacity to assist his attorneys,” Judge Cooke said, adding that Mr. Padilla’s case was “unique” and that “he understands that.”

Judge Cooke, who allowed limited testimony from brig officials during the competency hearing, said that her ruling should not be construed as a finding on Mr. Padilla’s claims of mistreatment during his detention and interrogations at a military brig in South Carolina.
“Those claims are for another day,” she said, referring to another pending motion by Mr. Padilla that the charges against him be dismissed because of “outrageous government conduct.”

...

Throughout the competency hearing, Mr. Padilla, wearing a tan prison jumpsuit and wire-rimmed glasses, appeared alert. When the brig officials testified Monday, he dropped his head and “hunkered down,” as one of his lawyers described it, but at all others times he sat erectly and calmly, without displaying the tics and grimaces that his lawyers described as manifestations of his disorder.
Judge Cooke remarked on Mr. Padilla’s attentiveness in court and noted that “everyone discussed that Mr. Padilla is polite almost to a fault.”

...
The defense lawyers also said that Mr. Padilla opposed their efforts to have him found incompetent to stand trial, which they said was further evidence of his irrationality. He would rather spend his life in prison than spend a few months in a psychiatric hospital, they said.
With a trial scheduled for mid-April, Mr. Padilla and two other defendants are accused of participating in a “North American support cell” that provided money, goods and recruits abroad to assist “global jihad.”


Rumpole opines:

The government took this man Padilla into custody and systemically set out to crush him-mind, body, and soul. From the looks of things, they may accomplished what they set out to do.

We live in difficult and dangerous times. Some of you may feel that it's better to have the government apply whatever pressure is necessary to prevent a terrorist act. Others may feel that trading liberty for security sacrifices one without gaining the other.

Without jumping into this sticky wicket, we simply note that when our government lies to us- as this government surely has- they forfeit the right to also tell us to trust them in knowing what is best for all of us.

See You In Court.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

in the past few years, W, Rummy, Dick, and others at Bush and Co, LLC, have asked us to "trust them". what have they done to betray that blind trust they asked us to give....

Anonymous said...

Good couple of weeks for the defense attorneys at the White
Building.

First, last week Dave Pettus and
Chris Dunham got 2 Not Guilty's on
charges of Abusing a Mental Health
Patient and Tampering with a Witness in State Court before Judge
Thomas.

Second, Richard Moore got a Not Guilty on a Felon in Possession of
a Firearm case against the federales.

Lastly, Jay White and Olivia Griffin got 3 Not Guilty's today on charges of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Fleeing and Eluding, and Escape.

White Building 3 - Government 0

Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Amen brotha!

Anonymous said...

The murder case: Tammy Forest was the prosecutor. Her two eyewitnesses took the stand and recanted; one accused the police of telling her who to pick out of the lineup. That witness is now facing perjury and accessory after the fact charges. MDPD is now mad at the SAO because the SAO spokesman made a statement to the Herald that seemed to suggest that the SAO took the allegations of police misconduct seriously.

The contempt case: Herb Walker was held in contempt by Judge Ward for showing up over an hour late to a sentencing hearing. Also at issue was the fact that he had retained some sort of expert to evaluate the defendant without defense counsel and/or the court's permission.

Anonymous said...

Lots of issues regarding Mr. Walker.

Anonymous said...

Phil R, Renee Sotorrio, and Andy Rier were the defense attorneys in the murder case gone fowl.

Anonymous said...

I am responding to someone who attacked my 5:22 post on the previous thread.

The reference to the right to travel in the DUI context was actually, stoking the flames in terms of whether or not DUI laws are impeding on a Constitutional right.

"The use of the highway for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived."

"The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment." Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.

"The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right."

Extending this logic, no one should even need a driver's license. Because how can you force someone to surrender a constitutional right and turn it into a privilege?

Extending that one step further, how can you give implied consent of a fundamental right that the state cannot impede upon without due process?

And no, I didn't come up with those headlines all by myself. They were meant to show that this is an issue that hits everyone.

Rumpole Hunter said...

I may be close to Rumpole's identity. The formula I posted the other day was indeed the Drake formula used to determine the possibility of life on other planets. When I cracked that it took me to a website that was a mirror image of the dade clerk's website. The only thing I could do was click on the button that brings up the box for a case number. The obvious thing is that I have to type in a case number. But what number? I have to proceed carefully, as I have learned that just trying anything yields painful penalties.
The only clue on the fake website, hidden at the bottom in small print, was some asian printing, I determined to be Korean, which when translated, using an on line translation service, said "Rumpole at Appomattox?"

Any ideas now?

Anonymous said...

For those of you interested in the Padilla case, don't loose hope. The ruling by Judge Cooke sets the stage for the real issue on everybody's mind: Should the government be sanctioned for essentially kidnapping and mentally torturing one of its citizens? And, if so, what is the appropriate sanction.

Look for some real fireworks and high stakes litigation as the judge takes up that issue.

Anonymous said...

RUmpis leave this federal stuff to federal egomaniac blogger david markus.

Eglarsh and Markus ought to have a cage match in a battle of the media hounds egomaniacs

Anonymous said...

waaa waaa waaa

Anonymous said...

Here are the topics I wish to see discussed:

1) Herb Walker. What is his major malfunction and what kind of office allows someone like him to continue working.

2) The murder case gone bad. Who lied. Who was alleged to have lied? Didn't anyone see this coming?

3) That hottie colombian security guard. I always make sure to keep my phone in my pocket so she can wand me down.

Anonymous said...

why does every discussion always turn to who at the REG is hot? i think we all know by now.

Anonymous said...

Here's why murder cases often go bad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/nyregion/01witness.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin

Anonymous said...

because having to deal with clients that are sometimes just as ugly outside as they are inside, you have to check something out.....

abe laeser said...

Re: Padilla.

Today's editorial in the NY Times hit it right on the head. It described the prosecutor's arguments as "ridiculous and shameful". Quite a legacy in their scrapbooks.

Perhaps one day they will understand that while they may be employed by the government, they mustwork for JUSTICE.

I know that only a few may believe this, but there is NO other reason to become a prosecutor. It is not about learning skills, or running for public office, or resume building, or the headlines. If you cannot go home very night and say out loud that you tried your best to do JUSTICE on that day - RESIGN. As Hippocrates said about a different profession: "First, do no harm."

There is a lot more money in private practice. Take your training and put it to use elsewhere.

It is the 'true believer' in JUSTICE who is the one I am proud to call my colleague and peer.

Anonymous said...

well abe, i sugest you give your pit asas more discretion to implement that "justice". the sao is so afraid to allow the lawyers they hire to make their own judgment calls.

btw herb walker is a weird duck for sure. i mean, who, other than guralnick and shelly wears a pocket scarf?

Anonymous said...

I have watched this for a few years, so I think that i am right.

Abe is a foot soldier, even if a high paid one. It has been a real long time since KFR listened to his advice about how to run the SAo.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:50. A big thank you to BHB for keeping eye candy in the courtroom for us.

Setting the Record Straight said...

Dan Courtney tried the case with Richard Moore and is credited with 50.2% of the not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Gee Abe, I hope you are not applying for a job at the US Attorney's Office. I love you comment and agree whole heartedly.

double standards said...

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay."

Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?

After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued, claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo High violated their daughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering a phrase "which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," according to court documents.


Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: "That's so stupid, that's so silly, that's so dumb."

But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

"The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment," the district's lawyers argued in a legal brief. "In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase 'That's so gay' ... was a reasonable regulation."

Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing plans to issue a ruling in the non-jury trial after final written arguments are submitted in April. Her gag order prevents the two sides from discussing the case.

A confusing set of terms
Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like "queer," "ghetto" and the n-word.

In recent years, gay rights advocates and educators have tried teaching students that it is hurtful to use the word "gay" as an all-purpose term for something disagreeable. At Berkeley High School, a gay student club passed out buttons with the words "That's so gay" crossed out to get their classmates to stop using them.

Rick Ayers, a retired teacher who helped compile and publish the "Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary," a compendium of trendy teen talk circa 2001, said educating students about offensive language is preferable to policing their speech.


Jordan Lorence, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization, agreed "That's so gay" carries a negative meaning and said he would not want his children to say it. But he said formal discipline is not the answer.

"Reasonable people should say, `Let's put a stop to this kind of search-and-destroy mission by school officials for everything that is politically incorrect,'" he said.

Anonymous said...

"That's so gay"

That has certainly been a popular expression for something "dumb" for years. Perhaps now we can see it may be, or is, offensive to many people.

As for the girl, and all of us, a little education on the subject is on order, not federal lawsuits. There is a difference between youthful stupidity and hate speech. Let's grow up.

Anonymous said...

as to double standards post...

kinda like when Eminem kept using gay insults but Elton John comes out and says something like, "I know he doesn't really mean to slam gays..."

Anonymous said...

INTERESTING ARTICLE IN THE SUN SENTINEL TODAY:

The administrative judge of the criminal division of the Palm Beach County Circuit Court told police chiefs on Thursday their departments' quickness to make felony arrests have wasted court time and put people in jail for the night who didn't need to be there.

Judge Edward Garrison said police should use discretion in arrests and file charges with the state attorney first to see if the non-violent offense will stand up in felony court.

"We're clogging up the jail processing system," Garrison said. "We have so many trivial cases being charged with a felony that it is no big deal. In the old days when you were charged with a felony offense there was a good possibility of going to jail."

"You don't have to make every arrest you can," he said. "There may be a better alternative."

Garrison said he felt this way for years as more and more minor felonies appeared before him. Even though judges often complain behind closed doors, he said, he spoke up now publicly because it is his last term in office.

SEE SUN SENTINEL FOR THE REST OF THE STORY.

double standards said...

btw, my apologies to the associated press from who i reprinted the article without express written consent and which is expressly prohibited.

Anonymous said...

major league baseball may also come after you. they are big on express written permission