Our motto is well known: "Sometimes wrong, never in doubt."
The famed Broward blog, which brought down a Chief Judge and shook up a courthouse that needed shaking, is itself being shaken by rumours of dissension, strife, and editing of contributors' posts. We're not sure what in the Dale Ross is going on up there on the Blog, but we will be watching.
NACDL FILES JUDICIAL COMPLAINT
In a first for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the NACDL has filed a complaint against Texas Court Of Appeals Judge Sharon Keller, who blithely told attorneys for Death Row inmate Michael Richard that "the court closes at 5PM" when Richard's lawyers frantically called the court informing them that a computer problem was preventing them from filing their appeal on time. The Judge closed the courthouse, and the lawyers were unable to perfect their emergency appeal to the US Supreme Court,. Mr. Richard was executed by Texas (motto: "We like to Kill") that evening, amid a barbecue and fireworks party celebrating the State's ability to kill another one of its citizens while simultaneously blocking access to the courthouse.
In Texas, any Judge who is able to block an appeal and have a defendant executed (called "A Texas Two-fer") is automatically eligible for immediate promotion to the Texas Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, with 13,000 members nationwide, said it had just sent a complaint against Judge Keller to the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, the first judicial complaint the group had ever filed, said its president, Carmen D. Hernandez, of Washington.
As the NY TIMES ARTICLE reports, two days later the US Supreme Court issued a stay in an execution case that raised the same issues relating to lethal injection. Executions in the US have, to the bitter disappointment of Judges in Texas, been stayed ever since.
LIONEL TATE'S 30 YEAR SENTENCE UPHELD.
The 4th DCA upheld the 30 year sentence given to Lionel Tate for violating his probation by being arrested in a new robbery case. Lionel Tate previously held the distinction of being the youngest person in Florida (at age 14) sentenced to life in prison.
Is this the best we can do for this kid? Is it the soundest decision to put a teenager in prison until 2036 for an arrest in a case for which he has not been convicted? Let's assume Mr. Tate is guilty. Does any Judge recognize the changes and maturity a person can achieve from age 19 to age 30? How about until age 35? What made Judge Lazarus North of the Border decide that keeping this young man in prison until he is almost 50 is justice? And just what kind of individual will be getting out of prison in 2036? Anyone really think that Mr. Tate will emerge rehabilitated and mature and ready to fit in with society?
No other country in the world treats their children as harshly in the criminal justice system as we do.
And finally, the NFL is remaining mum on rumours that the Dolphin's visa to enter England as members "of a professional football team" for the game this Sunday against the NY Football Giants is on the verge of being rejected by Immigration authorities in London, because .......well you get it......
the Dolphins are having trouble meeting the definition of "a professional football team. "
See You In Court.