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, November 21, 2007

MIKE MAYO'S CHEAP SHOT

Judge William Dimitrouleas (Judge D as he is known to those of us who practice on the rocket docket) sentenced former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne to a year and a day last Friday. The initial guidelines were 18-24 months but the Judge accepted the arguments of the defense and the calculations of the Probation department and lowered the guidelines to 12-18 months. As a side note, when is the last time any federal practitioner remembers Probation calculating the guidelines lower than expected? It happens as often as Judge D or Judge Huck grant a second continuance- meaning rarely if at all.

Sun Sentinel Columnist Mike Mayo weighed in the day after Jenne’s sentence with a column full of invective tripe criticizing Judge D for his lenient treatment of a rich and powerful politician.


Mayo’s column pandering to the ignorant and baseless of Broward is HERE

Here is part of what Mayo wrote:
It was stunning and sad, seeing Broward County's former top cop led away Friday.But it was also a little enraging to see the way justice plays out for the powerful and connected. Sitting through the show that was Jenne's sentencing hearing, with its parade of power brokers testifying on his behalf, I had the distinct impression that if this were you or I, we might not have gotten the same courtesies.

Not only is Mr. Mayo dead wrong, but it is that kind of ‘the justice system is fixed for the powerful” crap that causes the problems we now have today in criminal law.

First as to Ken Jenne: Judge D did just what we want a Judge to do in a sentencing hearing: he weighed the defendant’s entire life against his admitted crimes. Judge D saw beyond the public’s cry for blood lust and vengeance and he fashioned a sentence that punished Mr. Jenne but was proportionate to his crime. Mr. Jenne served the public for over 30 years, and for the most part he served the public well. He left a lucrative law practice for public service, and along the way he made mistakes and lapses of judgment that became crimes. Jenne damn well should have known better, and for that reason the former Sheriff of Broward County sits in jail cell as you are reading this. That along with the public humiliation, probable disbarment, possible loss of pension, and financial burdens now thrust upon Mr. Jenne’s 60 year old wife are sufficient punishment for this man.

But Mr. Mayo cannot (or more likely ,chooses not) to see that the justice system does not exist merely for the judge to be a human calculator in which he or she totals the high possible sentence and then imposes that sentence. We have had (and currently have) our share of those Judges in Miami State court, and none of those Judges are especially admired for their acumen, insight and legal decisions.

In Mayo’s world, every time a judge does not arrive at the maximum sentence, especially for a public figure, it means the justice system is broken and served by a bunch of liberal “turn em loose” Judges who with a wink and a nod let their politician pals loose. That type of column catches the eye of the public, not to mention Hollywood, but it does a disservice to the readers of the Sun Sentinel and the citizens of Broward.

Mr. Mayo wonders about whether the average citizen gets a sentencing hearing like Mr. Jenne has had before Judge D. The answer is an emphatic yes! Just how many sentencing hearings conducted by Judge D has Mr. Mayo sat through, before he decided to cry out in public that another rich and powerful politician had gotten off again? We’d venture to guess that the answer is none. The truth is that the practice in the Southern District is that the counsel for the defendant informs the chambers of the Judge how long the sentencing hearing will take, and in every instance we have been involved in, the Judge’s staff accommodates the defense and schedules sufficient time on the calendar for the Judge to carefully listen to what the defendant and his supporters have to say.

Apparently Mayo's ideal Judge would have said "I've read the newspaper coverage of Mr. Jenne's activities and that's all I need to hear. There will be no witnesses at this sentencing hearing, and I will be imposing the very highest sentence allowable by law." Maybe Mr. Mayo and Dick Cheney want a justice system that does that, but speaking for the rest of the civilized world, we'll take the current system where a Federal Judge is immune from politics and pressure in arriving at a fair and just sentence.

If the powerful get off, Mr. Jenne would be home right now carving a Turkey and toasting his defense attorney. What bothers us is that what Mayo has done is pander to the public’s ignorance of the justice system and their appetite to hear that another powerful figure “got off”.

The BBC has an article

HERE that reports about a study that has determined that an 8 fold increase in the US prison population since 1970 has done little to end recidivism and crime in the US, while taxpayers spend more than 27 billion dollars a year warehousing people with little positive effect.

Here’s a headline for Mayo’s paper: “The Prison System in US is a Failure.” But that doesn’t inspire the populist outrage that Mayo is looking for. Easier to write tripe about lenient Judges and powerful politicians , then a thoughtful examination of the real issues at hand.

On Thanksgiving Mr. Mayo will enjoy his Turkey with his loved ones while Ken Jenne sits in a federal jail cell pondering his wrecked life. And that's the way it should be. Ken Jenne needed to be punished for his crimes. But nobody should get away with calling Mr. Jenne's sentence a gift. It wasn't. It was proper punishment meted out by a good Judge to a good man who made some tragically poor decisions while otherwise serving the public.

49 comments:

fake Pannunzio said...

Dude, you roasted that newspaper dude.

Anonymous Liberal said...

Rumpilicious,

I read in the Herald today that Jesus Navidad Rodriguez was convicted in Judge Jimenez's courtroom yesterday. The article says there is no trace of the missing wife/victim. I don't understand. What happened to the corpus delecti rule? Doesn't the State have to produce SOME evidence of foul play? I thought I learned in law school that the mere disappearance of the person is not enough. Of course, I'm a civil lawyer, what do I know.

Anonymous said...

You are the opposite of right. I've had clients who have had horrific lives, stolen less money, and received substantially more time than Jenne. In my opinion, Jenne engaged in a pattern of abuse and criminal wrongdoing for many years while he was the chief criminal law enforcement officer for Broward County. He abused the public trust for his own personal gain.

Your argument that Jenne's humiliation and the other collateral consequences of his plea should be factored into his sentence is exactly why the public correctly perceives that he received a lenient sentence because of his stature in the community. Why should the rich and powerful receive mitigation because their spouses will not be able to live in the lifestyle that they have been accustomed to? Or because he will hear whispers around the country club after he is released? Or that he will lose his bar license? Why should he receive mitigation because he “could have been governor” one day?

The year and a day sentence handed down by the judge is unconscionable. At the very least, the man should have been required to serve the full year in prison.

Anonymous said...

Broward has a few of these guys. Mayo...Bob Norman from the New TImes. The worst that journalism has to offer.

Norman Kent said...

Judge Jordan says "Buh-Bye Jack Thompson."

Anonymous said...

Mayo still hasn't figured it out......

If you're rich, powerful and/or connected, you get a break because of your good deeds or stature.

If you're poor and disenfranchised, you get a break because "you never had a chance."

Only the average are screwed. And, I've never seen an "average" person with no mitigators charged with a crime.

Jenne should've been maxed. He abused the public trust and undermined everyone's credibility. Period.

Anonymous said...

Well - go to the leon county clerk of court site:
http://www.clerk.leon.fl.us/

and link to high profile cases to read the joint response by the state to the quo warranto. They want us all to ignore that - what was it $51 million - pound gorilla in the corner since they really only called regional counsel public defenders so the county would have to share the bill.

Anonymous said...

dude, who are those alleged prosecutors in blooms division. did they even go to law school?

if you want to see the dumbest attorneys in the building, check em out.

Anonymous said...

Judge Larry Schwartz will be out b/c he's undergoing back surgery. I was in court when he said it.

Isnt this the kind of stuff Captain is around for?

SPIRIT OF THE SEASON said...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!

Anonymous said...

GOV CRIST APPOINTS TWO NEW BROWARD JUDGES

BY AMY SHERMAN
asherman@MiamiHerald.com
Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday appointed Matthew Destry and Carlos Rebollo to serve on the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County.

Destry, 49, is an assistant statewide prosecutor for the Florida attorney general and a former assistant state attorney. Crist was the attorney general before he won the governor's seat last year.

Rebollo, 48, has a solo practice and is a former assistant state attorney.

Destry will replace Judge Larry Seidlin, who gained national notoriety for his weepy performance while presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith trial. Seidlin resigned in June.

Rebollo will replace Judge Lawrence Korda, who resigned in July after being arrested for smoking pot in a Hollywood park. The misdemeanor drug charge against Korda was recently dropped after he completed an intervention program.

the trialmaster said...

i am thankful that i am the trialmaster, and you are not!!!

old guy said...

I give thanks every day that I am not BOZO enough to call myself 'trialmaster'.

I now have yet another reason to enjoy the holiday.

fake lombada said...

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, you beging to hear thw whisper in the backrooms of Tallahasse and Miami. Up and down both coasts, the whisper becomes conversation, which becomes a roar and turns into a chant:

SARUDY FOR CIRCUIT COURT
SARDUY FOR CIRCUIT COURT
SARDUY FOR CIRCUIT COURT

the trialmaster said...

to "old guy" at 3:57. my collegs and the judge's i have tried cases in front of, local and federal and numerous out of state cases have hung my nickname of "trialmaster" upon me. this is the mantle i bear and do my best to uphold it. the trialmaster

Anonymous said...

The best thing about matthew destry's appointment is that eileen oconnor will no longer get the rap for being the most unfair, mean, intolerant, anti defense judge.

Buckle up folks.

FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!! said...

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, will there be discussion on the blog about the infamous Thanksgiving day brawl at the Dadeland Marriott Thanksgiving Buffet where a dispute over two patrons and a turkey leg led to an enourmous food fight that spilled out on to US 1? As mashed potatos and gravy and stuffing and peas and carrots were being flung everywhere, there was Shumie wrestling for that disputed turkey leg. Or was it a wing?

an enquiring mind said...

AGAIN? Just how many restaurants has Shumie been removed from????

Rumpole said...

Rumpole announces that he will be available to answer your last minute thanksgiving dinner queries.

Rumpole said...

The Federal Blog has the coverage of Judge Jordan's dismissal of Jack Thompson's lawsuit against the BAr, clearing the way for Monday's hearing against Mr. Thompson. I probably agree with less than 1% of everything Mr. Thompson believes in, and yet I cannot help feeling sorry for him. His wife is ill and this is all crashing down upon him now.

don cohn fan said...

I'm a big fan of Judge Don Cohn.
You should be too.
No DUI Judge he
Civil law
is where he be
writin and rulin
and doing what's right
settling cases without a big fight
someday I hope the Governor will work it
and decide he's the one to be appointed to circuit.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Cristina Shuminer and the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club on their big dinner Saturday night.

Cristina was awarded the Person of the Year award. Alan showed up and did not throw any food. Judge Blake was hilarious with his intro of Judge Shuminer. And Rick Freedman got Rush Limbaugh to donate another $100,000.

Also seen there: Judge Venzer, Judge Tunis, Judge Pineiro, Judge Rosinek, H. Lombana, former Judge Mastos, and about 300 other guests.

Anonymous said...

Open letter to Judge Reyes:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make some of the other judges in the REG building sit next to you on the bench for one week and show them how to tun an efficient morning calendar.

And to the other judges in the building: When you have a line of 10-15 attorneys waiting over 20 minutes for their case to be called, YOU ARE NOT DOING A GOOD JOB OF RUNNING YOUR CALENDAR.

To Judges Slom and Blake: We know that most of the judges on the bench are your old friends, but some of them are just flat out slow and inconsiderate to private attorneys. Whether it is sauntering on the bench 20 minutes late or taking another recess or whatever, it is taxpayer money down the drain.

Bring back Pineiro immediately.

old guy said...

Trialmaster -- I enjoyed your 4:58 response.

Your use of grammar and the English language is unique and creative.

I can only hope that your puffing yourself up as a lawyer did not cause you to lose the mastery of the language.

I am sorry that we are on the same 'side', as giving you a lesson in life would be a treat.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole you are totally wrong on this one. Jenne exemplifies all that is criminal: power-hungry, greedy money hog who doesn't give a damn about the people who put their trust in him. But for the fact that he had powerful white friends in his corner, he'd be given at least a guidelines sentence. How many defendants have NONE of the benefits given to this man, that get the BOOK thrown at them. But this guy sucks on the government teat for the sheer power of it (oh cry me a river that he wasn't making more money, that's not his passion... power is) and he gets a mere slap on the wrist. Disgusting.

thetruth said...

Cook the stuffing in or out of the turkey?

Anonymous said...

"Trialmaster"

You are no Jack Denaro.

Taxpayer said...

Ken Jenne is a thief, he should lose his pension and do the max. He knew the rules, he betrayed the oath and the public's trust. For this he should be tarred, feathered, and hang his head for life. He is a sad, little, pathetic man who knew exactly what he was doing.

This is not about Michael Mayo, it is about Ken Jenne and justice.

There was no justice in Ken's sentencing. NONE!!!

Rumpole said...

8:22- the classical conundrum. A stuffed bird takes longer to cook, and the issue with a turkey is that the breast meat and dark meat cook finish at different times, how do you avoid drying out the breast meat while cooking the dark meat?

First: cook the Turkey upside down. Keep the breast meat on the bottom of the pan for most of the roasting, turning the turkey on to each side for part of the roasting period.

Second: because I use the "flip the bird method" I recommend not stuffing the turkey. Put some apples and orange slices in the bird and it will give you a nice aromatic turkey. Cook the stuffing outside the bird but use some of the pan juices as liquid for the stuffing to give the stuffing that Turkey flavor.

Glad I could help.

Remember- basting is your friend. Do it frequently. Also, I reccomend 20 minutes at high heat before reducing the heat to 325.

Anonymous said...

rumpole

brine the bird my friend, brine the bird.

witness to history said...

I was at the Marriott on that fateful Thanksgiving day. That Turkey leg was squarely on Shumie's plate when some old battle-axe tried to snatch it off his plate telling him "you don't need another turkey leg sonny boy."

She started the whole bruhaha.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is that if you have money you are much more likely to get treated better in the American criminal justice system.

Bottom line is that if you are white you are much more likely to get treated better in the American
criminal justice system.

This is just the obvious truth.
Get over yourself Rumpole. You have great principles and ideals, but we live in the real world where institutionalized racism and
classism exist.

ScottAfrica

Anonymous said...

Jenne definitely got a sweetheart deal. Just look at the IRS statistics for these types of cases: the average sentence in tax cases involving public corruption was 36 months in 2006 and has consistently been around 3 years imprisonment. Jenn's sentence was far less than that and far less than he agreed to in his gift of a plea agreement. There's definitely a different standard for the poor than for the rich and formerly powerful. How many lawyers in this town can recall when the PSI came out lower than the plea agreement, followed by the judge going even lower?

Anonymous said...

whoop-dee-frikkin-doo!!

rumpole pluueese stop with the BS!

Anonymous said...

OMG I was just reading the emergency stay appeal, and JT has actually gone insane. A few prime excerpts:

[i]The Bar will not in the least be prejudiced by the entry of such an order staying the trial, as The Bar has managed, by its 40-month-long harassment of Thompson, to utterly destroy his practice of law, so Thompson is not in a position to harm “the public,” none of whom, by the way, has ever complained about Thompson’s ethics. Indeed, the only people who have complained are two corrupt judges and two companies that criminally distribute pornography to children.

WHEREFORE, Thompson moves this court for the emergency stay of the state “disciplinary” trial scheduled to commence this coming Monday before Referee Dava Tunis, who denied Thompson hearings on all constitutional issues and denied Thompson all meaningful discovery in the disciplinary case, even to the point of refusing to issue subpoenas. Jesus had a similar “trial” before Pilate.[/i]

Apparently, JBT is the second coming, and his persecuation shall bring about armegeddon and judgment. Therefore repent all ye sinners!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I recall the Thanksgiving food meelee quite clearly. I was seated next to my two sons when Shumie became hostile with a Long Island octenagarian. A tussle erupted as both sides became locked in battle over Shumie's "Star Wars Figurine" gravy boat. My sons pointed out that Shumie had the entire "Holiday Star Wars Dinner Set". His coveted Yoda Cup was also a source of contention. After his missive "pass the gravy you will" fell on deaf ears....well the rest his history.

Rumpole said...

In the words of Kramer, Brining is the biggest fraud perperated upon the american public since one hour martinizing.

The promise of brining is a juicy plump bird. The reality of brining is a salty mess. Unless you are an expert I highly recommend avoiding brining.

Anonymous said...

Has this blog come to this.........turkey cooking instructions......I thought I was on the Butterball blog.

My suggestions, go out to eat.

Rumpole said...

FROM WIKIPEDIA
A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, "having learned much") is a person with encyclopedic, broad, or varied knowledge or learning.

The dictionary definition is consistent with informal use, whereby someone very knowledgeable is described as a polymath when the term is used as a noun, or polymath or polymathic when used as adjectives. It especially means that the person's knowledge is not restricted to one subject area. The term is used rarely enough to be included in dictionaries of obscure words.

Renaissance Man and Homo Universalis are related terms to describe a person who is well educated, or who excels, in a wide variety of subjects or fields.

I can cross examine a lying witness off the stand; tell you what teams to parlay on Sunday, and explain to you the intricacies of baking a souffle. It just depends on what day it is, and it means a dedication to enjoying life beyond reading the FLW's. In otherwords 10:00 am- get a life- it's fun.

Anonymous said...

Do the turkey Cuban-style. Baste it inside and out and under the skin with butter and sour orange juice. Then make holes in the meat and bury garlic cloves. Put it in a one of those big oblong covered cookers lined with aluminum foil. Put plenty of sliced onions on top of it and inside. Pour mojo on top, inside, and in the cooker. Place a whole yellow onion on the turkey's hole. Wrap wigtips and drumstick tips on aluminum foil. Cover it and cookit on the stove top adding mojo as it evaporates. Carve it and eat it.

Scott Saul said...

Judge Reyes is the model for a Circuit Court Judge.

Did you ever notice that good Judges creat a ripple effect? Reyes has good prosecutors, PDs, Clerks, Correctional Officers and staff. Kindness, professionalsim and efficiency breed the same.

It is puzzling how some Judges do not have the incentive to emulate the more successful judges. When you have long lines, fighting lawyers, and a heavy docket, it means that the Judge is ineffective.

Generally, as attorneys, we are competitive trying to outdo each other. Does that stop when you become a judge?

Anonymous said...

i brine i wine i dine i have a good time.

Anonymous said...

RUMP you have missed the boat entirely on this issue. when you write JEnne will face the public humiliation, disbarment 60 year old wife ETC ETC you just make Mayo's point even more valid.

there are many people who come before the bar of justice who suffer similar embarrassment shame financial harship and dont have a judge give them a reduction off the bottom of the guidelines. havent heard you talk about how we should go light on corrupt cops who takes bribes becuase they will face "humiliation, loss of pension, family hardship".

lets be honest if Jenne were some police chief of some little shit town like sweetwater or hialeah gardens, there would have been no power brokers shedding tears on his behalf and the judge would sentence that guy to the bottom of gl or more and you would be writing how great it was that cops face the music like everyone else.

the truth is unless we treat polticians like everyone else because of their shame, disbarment itt will always engender cynicism among the less fortunate.

in addition,pols who sell out their office need to be treatly harhsly becuase a harsh sentence may actually deter another dirty pol from being corrupt. we hear alot of windbags talk about why we need crack and coke min mans to deter but the truth is that most of the people who engage in these acts are idiots who dont exactly think rationally and wiegh the possible punishment when deciding to go on the corner and sell crack whereas a dirty might actually think you know what i saw what happened to this guy and he got hammered and better not do this. I would bet that execs at big companies thinking of fleecing people are thinking twice after seeing jeff skilling get a 30 year prison sentence for enron.

the trialmaster said...

to "old guy".. i would be glad to give u a triallesson.

Anonymous said...

Those who really know Federal District Court Judge William P. Dimtrouleas know him as Billy D and not Judge D. And we were trying a ridiculous amount of cases a year before him when as a state judge he was in repeat offender court. He never blinked when it came to sentencing some poor soul on his 3rd burglary to 30 years as an habitual offender. His sentencing in the Jenne matter was purely political, notwithstanding Billy D's federal lifetime appt. Ken Jenne, back when he was a state senator, helped Bily D get appointed a broward circuit court judge. Billy D returned the favor by giving him 1 yr 1 day in prison and 1 year supervised release. Mr Rumple, I don't know who you are or anything about the rocket in your pocket docket socket, but I do know you have no clue of what a dangerous man Ken Jenne is. Billy D on the other hand, coward that he is, knows fully well Mr. Jenne's abilities and corruption.

Rumpole said...

This blog exists just so comments like yours can be aired and discussed. You raise very valid points. I may do a seperate post on this. My point in my post was that we want Judges who don't always max everyone out. To the extent I choose the Jenne sentencing and there appears to be some many allegations about back room deals, I may have picked the wrong case to make my point. But I stand by my point in general, and I think this issue needs a seperate post to more completely address the Jenne issue.

Anonymous said...

how can a federal judge sit on a case that he received help from the defendant in a election?

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous liberal,

I agree with you 100%. It seems that all the SAO needs are a few jailhouse snitches, licky lackey witnesses, and your off to prison...for the rest of your life. We are in dire need of an overhaul!

The Mighty Harrison said...

A year and a day is enough for Jenne if he is put in the general population--in an unlocked cell-- in the state's highest-security prison, and all those in solitary and any separate areas are let back into the general polulation as well. I think he'd get the Jeffery Dahmer/Priest/Pedophile treatment n much less time.

This is a time-honored American tradition of refusing to hand out official death sentences but readily issuing death warrants by sticking high-profile prisoners in with the population and letting nature do its work.

As for the hardship to Jenne's wife, that is no defense for Jenne. Besides, she should be sold to MS-13 to pay the state's expenses. Can she still bear children?--they could be sold too.