Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The US has 5% of the earth's population.

The US has 70& of the earth's lawyers (most of them waiting in line to get into the REGJB).

And the US has 25% of the earth's prisoners.

Those are the statistics in this startling article in the NY Times:

Here are some other highlights:
China- that bastion of godless communism with no respect for individual rights, has four times the population of the US, and one million less prisoners (2.6 million versus 1.6 million).

1 in 100 American adults are locked away in prison.

From the Times article:
It used to be that Europeans came to the United States to study its prison systems. They came away impressed.
“In no country is criminal justice administered with more mildness than in the United States,” Alexis de Tocqueville, who toured American penitentiaries in 1831, wrote in “Democracy in America.”
No more.
“Far from serving as a model for the world, contemporary America is viewed with horror,” James Q. Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale, wrote last year in Social Research. “Certainly there are no European governments sending delegations to learn from us about how to manage prisons.”

The nation’s relatively high violent crime rate, partly driven by the much easier availability of guns here, helps explain the number of people in American prisons.

Rumpole says: For shame. And lets make sure we keep spending money making sure everyone who wants a gun gets one.

Here at home the State Attorneys Office is doing its part by seeking more jail sentences in county court and imposing the "trial tax" for those imprudent enough to actually take depositions, file motions, go to trial, and do all the other reprehensible things that the constitution (but NOT Kathy Rundle) gives them the right to do.

See You In Court, doing our small part to keep those numbers low.

PS. County Court lawyers- I have received your emails by the dozens today and I am acting on them in an appropriate manner. Please give me a day or two to sort this out.


Anonymous said...

" County Court lawyers- I have received your emails by the dozens today and I am acting on them in an appropriate manner. Please give me a day or two to sort this out."

Whats this all about?

A concerned Robed reader!

Anonymous said...

Rumpole - I have to say that I don't take issue with the theme of your post. However, if you go to Human Rights Watch or any other NGO in the same field, you will find that China is listed as one of the countries with the worst criminal justice system. Why? Because they SHOOT their prisoners. NO appeal, NO trial, Nothing of substance. So of course they have less prisoners than us - they're killing them off! Plus, the ones currently incarcerated are probably just waiting for their execution date.

old PD said...

Rumpole, long time Justice Building regulars will remember that back in the heyday, the late 1970's, there were at one time or another 4 or 5 Jon or John Blechers working as lawyers. I am interested in one of them. He was John Blecher, and people used to call him H blecher or HB because he was John with an H not Jon. Anyway, he was in ther PDs office (with me) and then went into private practice and we lost touch. Then last week a beautiful Peruvian woman (and if you remember HB you will know that was right up his alley) came to see me. She was something like Miss Peru 1977 and around 1980 he did a will for her (and they were an item for a bit). Now she is married and wants to update the will and came to me and it just so happened Hblech and I used to work together. But I can't find him. Can your readers help?

Rumpole said...

Robed reader- this is the new and improved Rumpole and I am being careful before I unleash a tirade. Give me a day or so.

5:22- good point.

Old PD. Never heard of him.Or them for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I think this article misses the point somewhat. Europeans have no experience with the epidemic of criminality from which America suffers. Now we can spend decades debating what the root causes of this epidemic are, but as long as the epidemic persists, we have to do something with our violent criminals, as well as with our recidivists. Not only is most gun crime foreign to Europeans, but so is recidivism of epic proportions. A European probably can't even fathom the forty year old man with 87 arrests, 24 felony convictions, and 39 misdemeanor convictions to his name. And yet we see these guys in court every day. I can assure you that if European countries suffered from the level of violence crime and recidivism that we do, their prison systems would be every bit as tough as ours.

A Real Robed Reader said...

Rumpole when I said I was a "Robed Reader" thats what I meant.

In other words I get out of the shower and bam I am a "robed reader". Did you think I was someone else?

Immigrant Flak said...

Anon @ 5:22 PM, you took the words right out of my mouth!

And this is Time Mag, who stand to the extreme left of the extreme left we're talking about here...$10 says they omitted the part of China and their horrific human rights record.

Anonymous said...


Our inmate population is very concerning. Maybe the reason for the increase is that the entire criminal justice system, from the judges, to the attorneys to the cops to the probation officers, all the way down to the bail bondsmen, represent a multi-billion dollar a year industry in Florida alone. Maybe the increase in the prison population is due to more efficient police work and better technology that is used to detect crime and identify the offenders. Another thing to consider is the amount of inmates that are doing time for drug offenses. Now, while many argue that drug offenders are non-violent or that drug crimes are non-violent offenses, that assertion is not supported by the number of deaths that are directly attributable to the drug trade.

We all know for a fact, that the Miami SAO is an anomaly, when compared to other SAOs in the state, and I would imagine across the country. The defendants that are sent to prison are violent offenders or those with multiple convictions, who pose a threat to the community at large. With rare exceptions, including the the individual who faced 25 years for trafficking in prescription pills , the Miami SAO and the Dade County Judges simply do not imprison non-violent, non-repeat offenders. Accordingly, the Miami SAO is doing its share in trying to reduce the prison population, by offering PTI and until the budget cuts, Drug Court.

The question, however, that should be asked is what would would our community be like if we did not imprison repeat, violent offenders, who don't care and aren't afraid of prison? Those for who prison is not a deterrent? The best answer is keep them locked up because that is the only way to keep them from terrorizing our community.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not the predatory and violent offenders who are locked up in prisons, and rightly so to protect the rest of us. The problem is the non-violent offenders, the drug offenders and the misdemeanants who do not belong in prison or prison, yet we keep putting them there with well-intentioned but ill-conceived mandatory minimum sentencing schemmes that take away the judges' discretion to fashion just and appropriate sentences with an overriding enphasis on prison or jail time in order to make politicians look like they are doing something about crime.

Not the Captain said...

Elena C. Tauler filed against Migna Sanchez-Llorens today in Group 18.


Anonymous said...

We all need to complain about Drug Court! Drug Court needs to be reopened.

CAPTAIN said...


The JNC has met and voted on 6 names to send to Gov. Crist.

The following names are being sent Crist for his consideration for the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Karen Francis-Mills.

Tamara Gray (PD)
Bonnie Riley (PD)
David Peckins
Flora Seff (ASA)
Lourdes Simon (PD)
Rodney Smith (MB City Atty)

I must say, Bennett's office must be very proud. 50% of the names are presently working for his office.


CAPTAIN said...

you mean Jonathan Blecher?

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about running for Judge, but do not want to hire Bob Levy, Armando Gutierrez or Al Lorenzo. Can someone please provide a recommendation of a few consultants with a winning record as well as brains that I can talk to?

By the way, I heard about being ripped-off with outrageous prices, thus I want someone who is priced fairly and works. Thanks.

(I want to run for Circuit Court.)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Again, if Rodney Smith becomes a judge then I'm sending my bar card back.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that the Chinese have fewer prisoners because they execute most of their criminals.