One in a hundred americans is in prison or jail, and here's why Broward is helping to keep that number high:
The Broward Blog contains the welcome news that Broward Attorney Valerie Small-Williams was acquitted of the misdemeanor charge of failure to obey a police officer.
The disturbing facts of the case are that Ms. Small-Williams was stopped for speeding and then ordered out of her vehicle (a Jaguar) while her small child was in the back because the officer thought he saw a second drivers license in her wallet. She was arrested, cuffed, and initially charged with a slew of crimes, although the “second license” was never located.
This “serious” misdemeanor was prosecuted for two days North Of the Border, and Ms. Small-Williams was acquitted Thursday evening. Rightfully so.
Just how many ridiculous cases will the prosecutors North Of the Border continue to bring? Just when will someone stand up to these prosecutors and start filing bar complaints after they continue to ignore the sacred responsibility they have to screen cases and not prosecute innocent people? Who among us as defense attorneys has not had a Broward Prosecutor tell us that while they believe the defendant is innocent, it is their office’s policy to prosecute everyone and let the jury acquit them?
There isn’t a civil verdict enough to compensate Ms. Small –Williams for the emotional pain and suffering those poor excuses for prosecutors, not to mention police officers, put her through.
The Broward Blog and the Sun Sentinel also report that Judge Aleman is asking “for leniency” and to have the Florida Supreme Court not issue a public reprimand. Here’s hoping the court dispenses to her all the leniency she gave while a judge. Lets not forget this is the Judge who was TWICE reversed by the 4th DCA after she terminated parental rights after a parent showed up to court late, explaining that they had to take the bus. Yes, this is a woman who would take the extraordinarily severe step of ending the parent-child relationship, because a poor litigant relied on public transportation and was late.
Oh there isn’t enough leniency in the universe for her to receive what we perceive as “justice” in her case. Here’s hoping her judicial days are confined to probate, where no matter how petty and vindictive she is, at least she is only doing it to dead people.
The prevailing view is that the Florida Supreme Court had no sympathy for the arguments advanced by the FACDL against the ROC system of public defenders. Welcome to the era of criminal justice ROC-n-roll.
And finally, the minimum mandatory sentences have come home to roost, as the NY Times reports that “More than 1 in 100 Adult Americans are now in prison.
The Times article is
And with over 2.3 million Americans in jail or prison, it should come as no surprise that Texas (motto: "Welcome to our state. Please place your hands behind your back…you have the right to remain silent…”) leads the nation with 172,000 of its citizens in prison.
While we can think of one more prominent Texan who should be locked up, has anyone decided to look at just what makes a person born in Texas so pre-disposed to break the law? Perhaps it’s the six shooter the state gives everyone who turns 13?
In any event, with 1 in 100 of our fellow Americans in jail or prison, lets not stop there. Lets just lock everyone up, and then give everyone the chance to prove they don’t belong there. Lets just make living in the US and being over the age of 18 a crime punishable by a mandatory 60 year prison sentence, and then hold parole hearings to see who among us deserves not to spend their life behind bars.
We’d better stop being so facetious before some republican legislator decides it’s a good idea and runs for the Senate.
See You In Court, where we are doing our part to lower that outrageous number.