Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Rumpole handicaps the 3rd DCA race:

An anonymous post yesterday said these lawyers/Judges were the front runners for a seat on the bench at the 3rd DCA that will open when Judge Fletcher retires.

The front runner you never heard of. Civil lawyer. Class Action specialist. Made a ton of dough from some class action cases. Appears to be a big Republican donor.

Former Judge. Also big in Republican circles. Very successful civil lawyer.

The Judges:

Seemed to have the connections in the last administration. Really wants this spot.

What have you done for me lately?


Dark horse. Loves his appellate appointments. Works hard at it. Not a political candidate, but if the Governor is looking to make an appointment strictly on merits, he could get it.

Rumpole says she's the favorite among the Judicial candidates. Has both the political connections and the smarts to wow the governor. Wow'ed the last administration in her interview for her circuit slot.

Rumpole sez: Hanzman or Shuminer.

Note: We have no idea if these people have been nominated. But if they have been, this is how we see the "race".


Everyone's favourite federal blogger- David O Markus- whose blog can be viewed by clicking on the link on this page- got himself and his blog into a spot of hot water the other day, by publishing the well researched rumor that Federal Judge Highsmith was retiring. Julie Kay from the Daily Business Review jumped on the bandwagon and wrote an article and before you can say "contempt" Chief Judge Zloch was issuing denials.

Actually, everyone apparently had a good laugh about the whole episode, and the mere fact Mr. Markus was seen sweeping the floor of Judge Zloch's courtroom the other day had nothing to do with Mr. Markus's ill advised venture into the land of rumor and innuendo.

Leave that stuff to us we say. As Muhammad Ali used to say- "Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see" and last we checked there was no known address for US Marshalls to appear at to take us into custody.

Mr. Markus writes a great blog. But we think he is better off writing about the legislative histories of Federal Statutes and cheering on Judge Cooke in the Padilla case. In either event, it was nice to see that Rumpole isn't the only Florida legal blogger who needs counsel every now and then.

See You In Court.

PS. A little clerk whispered in our ear that this blog is all the rage among certain Judges at the 3rd DCA. Said they get a big chuckle out of it.

PSS. Speaking of Mr. Markus, we hear that he has welcomed former State and Federal PD hot-shot Bill Barzee into his office. Mr. Barzee's sister is the renowned Judge Mary Barzee who was kind enough to email us an invitation to Bill's going away party- which we also hear was well attended by Judges from State court and a few high powered members of the Federal College Of Cardinals. Mr. Markus appears to be building quite a little legal empire. This bears watching.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

hey Rump, how 'bout Judges Bailey, Pineiro and Seagel?

Anonymous said...

Judge Silverman sucks. He would make a terrible appellate judge.

This message paid for by the committee to retain Judge Silverman as an 11th Circuit colleague and to hell with the 3DCA

Rumpole said...

Of the three Judges mentioned by 9:46, I would choose Judge Pinero. I would hate to lose him from the trial bench, but he's a great Judge and deserves the promotion.

Note that while I also think highly of Judges Shuminer, Reyes, and Silverman, my pick was based not on merit, but who I think has the best shot. Shuminer and Hanzman have the best chance in my opinion. We would be well served if Shuminer, Pinero, Silverman or Reyes got the spot. Unless the Governor wants to tap me. Long time and careful readers of the blog will well remember that I have always said I would reveal my identity with an appointment to the third DCA. I would go right on blogging if (heaven forbid) I was appointed to the circuit or county bench.

Anonymous said...

Only the lawyers on this blog, secluded at 1351 would not know who Michael Hanzman is. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Who cares who he is...just another rich guy?

I should be on the 3d. My opinions would be brief, I would be nice, and I would not yell at poor St. Thomas Law Students and turn my back to attorneys mid-argument.

Anonymous said...

Please, do not forget Judge Mark King Leban who has got to be up there merit-wise. Of all the cnadidates or possible candidates who do you all think are the top three in terms of MERIT?

Anonymous said...

uh, hey rump, what is the 3rd DCA?
dope de dope de dope

Anonymous said...

Michael Hanzman and former Judge Jonathan Colby are BEST FRIENDS. Both have made tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Both are very close friends with the Governor and gave countless contributions. They both have the same circle of political powerhouses as close friends (Bob Martinez, Manny Kadre, etc.). If they are both nominated, you could be sure that the other will withdraw. Judge Shuminer is not going to apply for this one. I still think that she would be an excellent 3rd DCA Judge. What about Judge Ellen Venzer?

Anonymous said...

They would both be great on the Third DCA. We need smart lawyers that know how to try a case on the appeals court. Hanzman, Colby or Ellen Venzer would be awesome. Ellen has great experience in both civil and criminal and is very well respected at both court houses.

Anonymous said...

Governor Crist is going to pick a civil lawyer for this spot and not a criminal judge.

Anonymous said...

Batman says;

To 11:12 unless the personnel or the attitudes of the people on the JNC change drastically, merit will have little to do with the names getting out of committee or the ultimate appointment. Despite my belief that Schuminer (the appointee apparent) will do an adequate job at the DCA, there are far more qualified people who will not even apply. Many of us wish that qualifications had anything to do with who gets appointed or elected, but........

Anonymous said...

OMG - Ellen Venzer on the 3rd DCA. Well at least we will have a new Alan Schwartz (in attitude only, certainly not legal acumen). Talk about arrogant. No legal giant. Let's fill up the DCA with judges who don't work and like to stay at home, a la Barbara Lagoa. This gets worse by the day.

Anonymous said...

i will take venzer, hanzman,colby or shuminer. all smart and great temperments to lawyers.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

1:46 in the words of Henny Youngman: "take Venzer and Colby, PLEASE." Who gives a damn about temperment. Alan Schwartz was an asshole, but who cared. He was brilliant. I want brains not personality making appellate decisions and writing opinions. I want legal scholars not those with political connections. Geez remember these guys are "merit retention." Venzer (nasty and far from a legal genius) and Colby (smooth, but weak between the ears)are not DCA material.

Anonymous said...

A-hole and smart = screwing you good if he doesn't like you. That is really what we want in a judge. Give me a dumb, fair judge any time. The lawyer with the better legal basis for the argument will win every time.

old guy. said...

Great, the choice comes down to the usual criteria for judges: 1. Who do you know?
2. How much money have you contributed?

Not quite the British system of being elevated from a 'silk' to the bench, eh, Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

The most qualified Judge has got to be Kevin Emas. Unfortunately for all of us, he does not have a shot.

Anonymous said...

Qualifications. I seem to remember that word meaning something.

Rumpole said...

To 3:14- I have always been, and always will be just a junior hack. No silk for me. But I do win my cases.

Rumpole said...

Judge Emas would be a fine choice as well. If you think about it- we really have several circuit judges who would do just fine on the 3rd DCA.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks HANZMAN is just a rich political donor has obviously never seen his c.v. This guy is an academic stud. Highest score on the bar exam, moot court and law review, authored countless articles on a variety of legal topics, served as special master in Dupont Benlate and tobacco cases, as well as an arbitrator and private judge and has handled some of the biggest and most complicated cases in Florida and around the country. If he applies, and merit means anything, it will be no race.

Anonymous said...

Reality check. One can be a rich political donor AND deserving of appointment to the Third DCA. Hanzman is both.

Anonymous said...

rich lawyers like Hanzman and Colby best friends? How about their king maker other best friend Manny Kadre (closest advisor to Crist)? Those 3 would always help the other!

Anonymous said...

Hanzman is a close friend of Bill Clinton's (he was invited to the White House many times.) No shot.

Anonymous said...

there are lawyers who dont practice in the justice building? Really?

Anonymous said...

Few think higher of Judge Leban than Judge Leban. He is a good judge - like many, many others with the court.

Anonymous said...

Rump, You screwed up. The deadline to file is not upon us yet.

Mark King Leban will be in the hunt. He was a very good appellate lawyer.

There are other very good Circuit judges that will be in this hunt.

Anonymous said...

We would all do with with Rob Piniero, Mark Leban or Christina Shuminer on the 3rd. They are also nice people who are well respected by all parties.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Venzer is crazy. We are all tired of her temper tantrums and her irrational behavior.

Send HER to the 3rd.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a shit about what bottom feeding criminal lawyers think about who the 3rd dca nominees will be? For sure it will be someone who will assure that your clients get locked up good and tight and for a very long time and that maybe they should also serve on a chain gang and not some bleeding heart liberal like the one that let Couey out on the street to rape and murder Jessica Lunsford !

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Here's another name: Judge Bob Scola. Great guy, great judge, great mind (Go Brown University Bruins!). A judge with brains and temperment; what a novel idea!

Rumpole said...

5:07- please return to college and take a remedial reading course.

This is part of what we wrote:

Note: We have no idea if these people have been nominated. But if they have been, this is how we see the "race".

On the other hand- if you are one of our robed readers- just keep doing just what you're doing. reading the blog keeps you out of harms way.

abe laeser said...

Miami-Dade jury recommends Death for Couey, by vote of 10-2. Probably surprised the 5th Circuit prosecutors, who are used to 12-0 recommendations.

Guess the crayons and coloring book were good for two votes.

Even people who think that the death penalty is immoral probably have to spend time to convince themselves (again) on a case like this one.

Is there a facility that is proper for a man who could kidnap, rape, and then bury this child while she was still alive? What is the right punishment for someone capable of this?

In ancient days the family of this innocent child would have had the right to carry out the death sentences. Maybe they were not all that uncivilized back then.

Anonymous said...

Mary Barzee for the 3rd! The hottest and smartest by far!!!

Anonymous said...

Josie Veliz is DA CHOIZ for the 3 DCA!!! Charlie Crist will offer her the job before anyone has the chance to apply so that she can quickly devote her abundant judicial talents to this community.

Anonymous said...

Miami Loves Migna
Migna Loves Miami
Ohhh Governor Crist can't you see?

Miami Loves Migna
Migna Loves Miami
She'll be on the Third by August 3.

Anonymous said...

Bill Barzee is going to against Migna for Miami.

Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

how about we send Judge Will Thomas up to the 3rd? at least we'd be rid of his black robe chip on his shoulder attitude

Anonymous said...

Israel Reyes was meant for the 3rd just may not be his time yet!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Laeser,

Contrary to your assertion, the State of Florida v. John Couey is an easy case for opponents of the death penalty. Think about it. Is there really any doubt that these men who continually sexually molest little children do so because of a sexual impulsion that they cannot control? And from whence do you think this sexual impulsion comes? It's pretty obvious that this sexual impulsion is chemical--and therefore genetic--in origin.

And therein lies the rub. Because as I'm sure even you would agree, if criminal behavior occurs because of a chemical imbalance due to a person's particular genetic makeup, then that person's ability to possess the necessary mens rea for the crime is vitiated.

There is no question that John Couey and his ilk need to be locked away for a long time, possibly forever if treatment is not feasible, but executed? Never. That would be simply barbaric.

No, the case of the 30 year old (with multiple prior violent felony convictions) who barges into a 7-11 and executes the cashier for $100 is a much tougher one for opponents of the death penalty. But even here, my hunch is that one day, science will eviscerate the notion of free will that underpins our system of criminal justice. There is already evidence suggesting a genetic component to violent behavior. And as science digs ever deeper into who we are and why we behave the way we do, I suspect that we may someday have to abandon the system that "serves" us today.

--Not a criminal defense attorney

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

GINA MENDEZ LOCKE N'LOAD FOR 3rd????who knows what, but definately not the DCA..................

Rumpole said...

I'm laughing out loud at 7:57. Let me say this- it was only a matter of time before this issue broke out on the blog. We already have tomorrow's post written- more woe for our favourite federal blogger. But this is the issue for Friday, the weekend and beyond. Right now its Mr. Laeser's post with the excellent reply.

even steven said...

Just wondering what prominent judicial candidate has a foot problem? Well not a foot problem but a toe problem. Well, not really a toe problem, but what's another cute name for a toe? problem.

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:50

When Couey buried a child alive to cover up his crime, the whole chemical imbalance argument went out ofr te window. Could he have just raped her? Could he just rape her and then kill her immediately? No, he raped her then buried her alive . Imagine that child gasping for her last breath... then talk to us Mr. Civil attorney about not imposing the death penalty

Signed a criminal defense attorney

Anonymous said...

Boy have I missed the Migna song. I thinl my favorite time was when she visited a school and a class of 5th graders all got together and sung the Migna song. Those were the days. Of course the guys in the longshoreman's union were pretty funny too.

Anonymous said...

Dear not a criminal defense attorney:

How bout pure retribution?

Please visualize-the little girl clutching her stuffed animal and poking her fingers through the bag only to find dirt as she suffocates-before you respond.

Anonymous said...

Venzer can't go to the third she likes to be a talk show host in Court she couldn't be dignified enough to stay quiet on the 3rd

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I went to the 3rd today and did not see a Judge Fletcher, are you sure he is not on the 4th or in that long hallway on the 1st?

Anonymous said...

Barzee is running for judge but not against Minga.

abe laeser said...

To 'not a criminal defense attoryney, we are comrades - I am not one, either.

One response, and then no more. I do not believe that the death penalty issue is capable of rational debate. You may see me as being irrational, just as easily as I may see you.

However, that being said, people kill for a variety of reasons. Some do so for their personal pleasure. Couey may have had certain sexual desires. They are NOT genetic. They are NOT caused by chemical imbalance or brain damage. The boy who grows up on the farm and become involved in bestiality is not brain damaged. The child who is enticed into bizarre sexual acts, and eventually becomes the victimizer himself, is not chemically imbalanced. Even if the world wanted to concede that the sexual deviant cannot control his desires [every crime has an equal and opposite excuse], why did he have to kill his victim? He chose to do that to: (a) avoid discovery, (b) cause pain to the victim, (c) satisfy his own psychic pleasures, ad nauseum...

Now you want to blame some amorphous chemical imbalance for the fact that truly evil people inhabit this planet. If I follow your "LOGIC", perhaps we can do genetic testing and incarcerate children at birth to prevent future acts of horrible violence. Does that concept bother you? As a German Jew whose parents were in concentration camp, it sure as hell frightens me.

Maybe I am actually right, a few people become 'broken' in some fashion. Was it an abusive parent, their own victimization, crystal meth, the brain damaging car accident, the wicked step-sister --- somehow they are broken, unfit to live amongst us. They have become capable of a monstrous depravity and every form of evil.

Now what?

Do we say: hormonal imbalance, damage to the frontal lobe, depraved because you were deprived? Or do we say: You have commited a vile crime and taken human life in a cruel manner. We must punish you for your criminal acts.

The first man who I prosecuted who actually was executed has always been my best example of why I believe that I must be correct (although you have very right to differ). White, male, college degree, a ruggedly handsome and wealthy businessman in his late 20's -- and one day he discovers that selling drugs is far more lucrative. One night he and his gang wounded and gruesomely tortured [over nearly eight hours] four kidnapped rivals in the drug trade, in order to extort and rob them. After the torture had brought them to near-death conditions, they are the placed into the trunk of a car and set on fire. They were burned to death.

He had no brain damage, no bad childhood, loving parents and friends, no mental defect -- just rampant greed that had excalated to absolute inhumanity.

You suggest: "Locked away for a long time"? "Treatment"? I cannot treat evil, and neither can anyone else.

Purely as a matter of retributive punishment for crimes already committed, both my example (Bernard Bolender) and Couey deserve to be put to death.

After 34 years of studying these criminals from a vantage point on the 'inside', I am certain that each had the capacity for free will. Perhaps their narcissism and anti-social traits made it easier to murder, but it was always their individual choice. They had the capacity, even at that last moment to either take a life, or not. They chose to kill.

If that were not true, how could we ever punish the burglar, car thief, robber, or rapist? Does your 'fiction' about a lack of free will apply to all crimes? Or just the ones that are so evil that the rare use of the death penalty may be justified?

Come and see my case files, and try not to hurt for the victims. Talk to their parents, spouses, children -- the truly innocent whose lives are destroyed, along with the deceased, and try not to cry. Perhaps I have become juandiced or hardened. Or, perhaps my position does make sense.

I know that this issue is about a personal decision, but like all decisions, you need to have the facts, not just a knee-jerk reaction, to help you decide correctly.

...and to all a good night!

Anonymous said...

Does that sound like a reductio ad absurdum?

PREMISE: People should not be put to death because all of the actions of humans are the product of genetics and chemical imbalances.

- If that's the case, then no one should be punished for any criminal actions.

- If no one can be punished, then the implied societal contract is broken, and we return to the chaotic state of man as described by Hobbes.

CONCLUSION: Therefore, retribution is necessary to the people to have faith in an organized state. Thus as Kant put it, "he who has committed murder, must die."

Anonymous said...

please stop this, the Migna people are very upset.

Anonymous said...

Jessica Lunsford's Dad was spotted at the Forge late last night....interesting way to end the day.

Anonymous said...

why is that strange? he was happy and wanted to party... and maybe find another daughter. after all, wed night is father daughter night at the forge

Anonymous said...

where is today's post?

Anonymous said...

Abe Laesser:

First, let me establish some base assumptions... Couey may be dumb but is not retarded. He is a killer in the most vile sense. He killed with "free-will." Were I the victims father, I would seek to flay him alive and salt his wounds. With that said, you asked:

Is there a facility that is proper for a man who could kidnap, rape, and then bury this child while she was still alive?

1)What is the argument? Is anyone concerned Couey might get free and kill again? Hogwash. What percentage of near-retarded killers escape each year from maximum security prisons? What percentage of near-retarded killers manage to kill inside maximum security prisons?

2)Perhaps you are saying that there is no facility that can inflict sufficient retributive pain upon Couey. Hogwash. 23 hours of solitary should suffice. Or you can go Gitmo on him.

3)Compared to a lifetime of 23 hour solitary confinement in a Maximum facility, how does the institutional killing of a person benefit society?
-a) Is it cheaper? No.
-b) Is it a deterrent? No.

4) How does state sponsored killing reflect the societal value of life? Which of the following more strongly embraces the sanctity of life...
----a) Life is so valuable that taking it allows the state to respond by taking the life the completely secured prisoner.
----b) Life is so valuable that the state will not even take the life of a killer once securely imprisoned.


To get down to brass tacks...
Should our actions toward the convicted be guided by retribution or maximizing the benefit and cost to society?

I say he is a killer in the most vile sense. I understand the retributive desires of those close to the victim. But the justice system is far more important than any victim or perpetrator. And quite frankly, the cost of the death penalty, fiscally and perhaps morally, isn't worth the retributive benefit to victims and society.

Anonymous said...

Note on 3b.

Some joker will probably point out that the death penalty "deters" that person from killing again.

The real question is whether killing Couey will deter others from killing. The answer to that is no.

Whatever reason for supporting the death penalty, its deternt effect on others is not one of them.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Batman says:

One need only look to the pronouncments of former Chief Justice Gerald Kogan to see the real arguments against the death penalty. In short Justice Kogan said "the death penalty does not work" in any of its supposed purposes.

It provides no closure. It clogs our Supreme Courts docket (according to Justice Kogan 90% of that court's time is spent on death cases.) We spend inordinant amounts of money training judges to deal with death cases because "death is different". The cost in real dollars to deal with all of the appeals and motions and finally reach the end result of an execution is more than the cost of housing the convicted person for 50 years. Life without parole is a more onerous penalty than death. All you are really doing is putting the killer out of his misery.

It is time we recognize what almost all other western cultures have, death is unnnecessary and barbaric.

Anonymous said...

Rosa Figuerola for the DCA? You have to be smoking something. Pass it on over. She can't even get out of committee for Circuit. Besides has-been Sergio Mendez is not on any JNC to help her anymore.

Anonymous said...


Re: Couey

You may hate him. You may consider him evil. But, at this point, killing Couey is neither necessary nor justified. He doesn't pose an imminent threat to anyone. Admit it, it's all about revenge He's never going to be free. He's never going to terrorize the public. Life in prison will protect the public just as well as killing him, and it is much cheaper.

Did he kill with free-will? Probably. But with all due respect, Abe, you too are a killer. Justify it however you like, but you too use your free-will to kill and to advocate further killing.


You claim to be a religious man. We probably share many of the same religious beliefs. You think our God likes that you devote your life to trying to kill people? Protecting the public is one thing. Revenge killing in the name of protecting the public is another thing entirely.

Abe, you too are a killer. How many people have you helped to kill? Probably more than all of your victims combined.



PS: Please don't track me down and try to kill me.

Anonymous said...

Batman and 11:41 am,
How would you feel if Couey raped and killed your child. Would it still unnecessary and barbaric to kill Couey? I know that if my child was raped and killed in similar circumstances. I would use all the means at my disposal to see Couey die. Happily, the State steps in and saves Mr. Lunsford the trouble. No the death penalty is not as much about punishing the defendant as it is about maintaining an orderly society. On a lighter note, Batman, does Freddy M. remind you of the Penguin?

Anonymous said...

Eye for an eye works for me.

Fred is Count Chockula.

Anonymous said...

To 12:15pm...

Yes, the killing would be no less barbaric.

By your logic, why not have the State step in and kill any convicted criminal when the victim is really really upset? And why draw the line at child rape/murder? Why not execute all rapists if the victim is sufficiently upset? Or all burglars if the homeowners are sufficiently upset? Then we can all burn in hell together along with Couey and Dick Cheney.

Anonymous said...

I fully understand 10:44's argument that the death penalty is ineffective. I'd have to do more study of the numbers to decide whether that point convinces me. But then 10:44 makes the same error that others here seem to make: they go on to make a moral objection to it ("it's barbaric").

Arguing that it is morally wrong gets you nowhere. I'll call your moral objection with a moral response: s/he who so hates life that s/he denies others the right to life without so much as basic due process deserves to lose his/her own life as penalty. My moral response is about as effective and helpful as your moral objection. But I'm betting that I haven't convinced you. Hence why moral outrage isn't terribly useful.

I don't know if I would go as far as Mr. Laeser though. Jaded or not, Mr. Laeser has an obligation to seek justice, not vengence or pure retribution. I can fully appreciate the pain of the victims and the callousness of the perpetrators, but even the devil deserves the law's protections. If it means death, then I support that decision, because that may be what the law and facts require. But no amount of victim pain or defendant viciousness should ever justify the ultimate penalty if the law and facts otherwise do not support it. But that's just my two cents.

Keep the debate going though. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Judge Rob Pineiro said...

I am not going to opine on the on the morality of having a death penalty. Luckily, being a Judge I can claim cannonical constraints compel my silence. Being an elected official and not being stupid enough to touch this "hot button" issue has nothing to do with it. Nor does my silence "speak", notwithstanding Robert Bolt or Thomas More.

Some simple ideas to mull over:
a. There is evil in the world. Why should we live along side it? Why should bereaved victims who have lost their loved ones to true "evil" not be allowed legal retribution and have to contemplate taking the law into their own hands?
b. In 1600's England hangings were public occasions. Amongst the condemmed "dancing" their last on Tyburn's gallows were pickpockets--it being a capital offense. While their colleagues choked to death, other pickpockets would ply their trade at this vey highly attended public amusement.

As a further and still non-judgemental observation, a large number of death sentence appeals would be aborted if the law required a unanimous (as in Fed land) or at least super-majority jury vote (say 9-3)to recommend the imposition of the death penalty. Less people sentenced to death=only the most egregious cases are so sanctioned=less appeals=less judicially required time to fully litigate all issues=surer and more immediate execution of the execution.

old guy said...

I know that it prevents recidivism.

abe laeser said...

Yes, I said only one comment, but I could not resist.

As a man on the gallows once said: "This will sure be a lesson to me."

Anonymous said...

Batman says:

To 12:57

My use of the word "barbaric" was not my moral statement. It was based on the fact that if you believe that death serves no legitimate deterant or penal purpose, then it is barbaric in the historical sense.

To 12:15

The vengence argument for the death penalty is precisely why we must examine the death penalty more objectively. Emotion should have little to do with it.

On the subject of the Penguin - I never considered it but Freddy does have all the necessary physical attributes. However I will say that despite his greater resemblance to Yoda, if you look carefully at George Yoss, he does appear to have some Danny (the Penguin) DeVito DNA.

I am open to suggestions as to nominees for those who most resemble The Joker and Catwoman.

****No, David, you may not nominate yourself for Catwoman.

fake ernest hemingway said...

To begin with, I am a little reluctant to contribute to this blog, since Rumpole has already said that he hates my writing and prefers the works of C.S. Forester and Ayn Rand to my contributions to English-language literature (everybody who won a Nobel Prize in this group please raise your hand).
At any rate, at the risk of being deleted, I would like to note an interesting analogy that I have always noticed between death penalty cases in the criminal courts and bullfighting in sporting arenas. Each is highly ritualistic with orderly formulas and each has as its desired conclusion the mandated execution of a living thing. Much like the crowd at a bullfight signifies its approval for the bullfighters, highly skilled matadors such as Abe Laeser seek the votes of jurors during the death phase portion of a capital case. I will leave it others to make a comparison between the alleged barbarity of killing a bull and the morality of doing the same to a human being, since I have always enjoyed the bullfight and also like watching brave defendants such as John Couey fighting for their life in the legal arena. The ritual of death in the afternoon makes it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Personally attacking Abe is crazy. He has a position you disagree with, go change the law. Dont accuse him of anything inappropriate for enforcing the law and agreeing with it. You could attack him if he were a hippocrit, but he is not, and you know that is true.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people... have done some very bad things... just by enforcing laws with which they agree.

Rumpole said...

I do like Old Man in the Sea, but I just can't see what everyone raves about in the rest of the Hemingway dreck. So he wrote in short sentences. I can to. So what? Old man in the Sea is good. For Whom the Bell Tolls bores me.

spongebob said...

i decided to quit being a prosecutor, partly because i came to believe that the war on drugs was a ridiculous waste of time and resources, and partly because i could never truly convince myself that execution was a just and necessary result, even for the most heinous of crimes. maybe i'm just a big pussy, but i don't want someone's killing on my conscience. i have enough trouble sleeping already.

Anonymous said...

No one is 'just following orders.' Abe believes he is morally and legally correct. You do not agree. Super.

Now can we go on to something more important, like who would make the worst judge?

fake R2D2 said...

Associated Press

In response to the upcoming dis-belting of attorneys at the Richard Gerstein Justice Building, one lawyer has come up with a unique idea- and may make money to boot.

A joint venture between Attorney (and Broadway newcomer) Kenneth Weisman and men's clothier Ermenegildo Zegna will bring a belt kiosk to the lobby at the REGJB. A cross-marketing campaign with the MIA-FACDL will encourage lawyers to NOT wear belts into the building. They can rent-a-Zegna for a nominal fee, on a daily weekly or monthly basis.

No word yet on if the Ferragamo or Bally shoe concerns will enter the fray.

Anonymous said...

Favorites for 3rdDCA:

Judge Venzer
Judge Piniero
Judge Farina
Judge King Leban
Judge Faber

In case you want Judge Judy on the 3rdDCA lets include her twin Judge J.B. Cohen (i'm kidding).

Anonymous said...

The death penalty is a reflection of our society. It allows us to manifest our own base and murderous instincts "legally" and "morally". It is an "acceptable" killing for which we can "feel good" without our consciences bothering us. However, the death penalty is not necessary. We can simply lock the perp away and throw away the key, as most civilized Western societies do to protect their societies. With respect to the death penalty we are in the same league as the "evil" countries we so often criticize: China, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, etc. An innocent person in prison for life can be freed and compensated but an innocent person can't be brought back to life after execution. We have enough conviction mistakes as it is and only God knows how many innocent people have been executed . We need to become more civilized and stop this needless State-sanctioned murder. It only serves pure vengeance and no other legitimate societal interest.

Anonymous said...

Now if this guy in prison forever kills a guard, we just put him back in his cell each time, right? If there is no punishment we can mete out, why would he not do whatever he wanted? We cannot torture him or cut him off from all human contact -- because that we be cruel and unusual, right?

So go back to your cell and be a good boy - and remember that killing is a No-No.

A reader said...

In "My Little Chickadee", the lynch mob was putting the noose around W.C. Fields' character's neck.
He was asked "Any last words?".
"Yes, I'd like to see Paris before I die ... Philadelphia will do".

Anonymous said...

Bored by Hemingway? Guess the earth did not move for you.

Anonymous said...

Hanzman is too close for comfort to Alex Penelas via Korge. With all the investigations going on at Miami-Dade Housing Agency and the County, I don't know if he has a shot.