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

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

JIM DEMILES RESPONDS

I received this comment. I have no way of knowing who wrote it, but I sincerely hope it was Mr. DeMiles, who I have never had the pleasure of meeting to the best of my knowledge. If I have been taken advantage of, I just might leap off a bridge, as lately no matter what I do I seem to screw this blog up.

While I am wallowing in self pity, let me make one other remark: There are plenty of comments about what happened in that courtroom on the blog. Somehow, when an anonymous person comments that “so and so is a jerk” it somehow gets translated to “Did you hear that Rumpole called someone a jerk on his blog?” One of the things that is really getting to me is that while this blog tries to provide an area or outlet if you will for discussion about our courthouse, I get tagged with every obnoxious comment, and maybe I’m thin skinned but it bothers me because I try (but as we have seen, I do not always succeed) to be fair in my comments.

Without further ado:

Dear Rump,
Jim DeMiles here. Please allow me to introduce myself and explain my background and what really happened in Court. These words are mine, not those of the SAO, and are not approved by the SAO, so please don't attack anyone else for these words except me. At first I was called "stupid" and an "idiot." Soon afterwards, the names were elevated to "racist" and "bigot." Those terms are words of hatred, and they do not define me; I feel compelled to set the record straight, so please allow me to set the record straight. I am not a racist, and I am not a bigot, because I too know how harsh the repercussions of bigotry can be. Although I am "white" as I have been labeled based on my physical appearance, I am actually an Italian-American, the son of a mother who moved here from Italy as an 11 year-old girl. When she first moved to Boston, she lived in a single house with her parents and 9 brothers and sisters. In the early 70's a rash of immigrants moved here from Italy. As a result, many of them came "with out papers." My mother, her brothers and sisters, all 9 of them, packed into a single house, were unfairly picked on by bigots as children. They were called "WOPS," a terrible and derogatory word meaning "with out papers," used to degrade and humiliate the Italians who relocated to America and who weren't as affluent as some of those people who picked on and abused them.

I am not a racist, or a bigot, because I have learned from my relatives first-hand how terrible the actions of bigots and racists can be.

With that said, I turn to the trial, which occurred last week. The courtroom is completely empty, save two ASAs, two PDs, the Court, and courtroom personnel. We are not yet on the record, and I am preparing to do my closing argument. In walks an APD and his beautiful son. Intentionally or not, and I have no reason to believe intentional, they sit right behind the defendant (second row, as required by DOC, because the defendant was in custody). At this point, I object, literally inquiring who is this child and why he is sitting directly behind the defendant. Ask the APDs, they’ll tell you.

Soon thereafter, the court reporter informed us that we were not yet on the record. We immediately went on the record and I stated (as quoted word-for-word from the transcript) "If it's the defendant's child I have no objection." I never made a motion to exclude any child from the courtroom. I never said another word for the remainder of the short-lived hearing, but it was my objection that started it all.

Others have spun the incident differently, or simply reacted without knowing all of the facts, please, check the transcript, I have a copy already.

I have tried around twenty cases in the Circuit Courts, I've had family of the defendant present in court for past cases; however, I had never before been presented with this situation, empty courtroom, young child who sits behind the defendant. If the child was black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or purple, I would have made the same objection and made the same inquiry: who is this child and why is he sitting behind the defendant.

Please check the transcript if you feel that you need to, because it will show that I go on to say that "If it's the defendant's child I have no objection." If it is not the defendant's child, then a jury may be mislead into thinking that it is. The deception is not deception caused by the color of the child’s skin, i.e. that the defendant and the child were both African-American, but by the mere presence of a child seated near the defendant.

Some have speculated that the objection was in response to the APD’s conduct in past cases, this is not true either. The APD in trial is an excellent attorney and a good man. However, innocent and unintentional conduct can also be misleading and deceiving to the jury, because it too conveys a message to them that isn’t true. This is why I stated "If it's the defendant's child I have no objection." If it was the defendant’s child there was nothing for the jury to be mislead about.

In the robbery trial last week, neither the APD in trial nor the APD who brought his son into the courtroom and sat near the defendant did anything improper. I didn’t think that the APD brought his son to mislead the jury, but, that doesn’t mean that the jury cannot be innocently but mistakenly be mislead by them being seated there, so close to the defendant.

Many attorneys have approached me since the posts began, one friend, a defense attorney, told me about a homicide trial where a number of women sat weeping in the front row of the gallery throughout the trial. The attorney informed me that she made a motion to move the women to another spot in the courtroom because she was afraid that the women may prejudice her client.

I merely inquired to see whether things were a fair representation of what was really going on, an empty courtroom filled with a few spectators, one of which was a young child. I made the objection and made the inquiry, and since then, the Herald has got the story wrong, and the blog has seemingly turned into an avalanche of hatred.

I did apologize to the APD who brought his child into the courtroom, not because I believe I intentionally did anything wrong, but because my objection and inquiry began the process that ended with his son being removed. For that and that alone, although I thought my objection proper, I was truly sorry. I hope that I have shed some light on this situation. So please, I am not a racist, and I am not a bigot. It puts knots in my stomach that I even have to type those words. I’m a human being, who loves his job, takes it very seriously, and tries to be fair and honest in his position every day.

Bless you Mr. DeMiles, you have our confidence in your performance, and our sympathy for the way it has been misconstrued. (A little trivia- what late great Justice Building Judge used to respond to objections with "bless your soul"?)

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why the kid had to leave the courtroom.

old guy said...

I know Jim. I have had cases against Jim.

I believe Jim.

He is a very decent man + thoughtful lawyer.

Not evil, not racist.

Dione Trawick said...

Words hurt. As lawyers we should know and understand first hand how just a few words can enlighten or wound.

I met Mr. Demiles when he was a new hire in court when I was an assistant chief almost 3 years ago. I thought that Mr. Demiles was an charming and exceptional person as well as a bright lawyer.

With that being said, when it comes to race , I think that we in this country( hell, this county )still have a long way to go to achieve harmony and mutual understanding.People jump to conclusions because the topic is still so very raw . Some people like to feed off of the misery of others.

When I read the blog from North of the Border and saw the comments, I was saddened. James, I am sorry that you had to endure the taunts that followed this incident. I am equally sorry that this incident showed how truly intolerant we as a community still are in 2008.

James, I am proud that you spoke out on this subject. Not that my opinion of the Miami Dade State Attorney's Office means anything , but that office for all of it's faults and politics is better for having you in it. May you have more peaceful days ahead... Now, go home and get some sleep!!!! : )

Sincerely,

Dione Trawick - one person not afraid to voice an opinion and sign my name!

Anonymous said...

Jim Demiles comment, while very well-written, fails to address the most fundamental question of the day --- assuming everything that he said is true, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

If he said "if it is the defendant's child, I have no objection", WHAT FOLLOWED? Did the judge just exclude the 9 year old without further ado? Did she request, and receive, an explanation of who the child was? Did she offer an option to being kicked out of the courtroom, like moving to another section?

Seems to me - absent additional information that we have not been provided with - that the more sympathetic Mr. Demiles becomes in this, the more inexcusable the judge's conduct was.

But that's just me ...

CAPTAIN said...

Mr. Demiles:

Thank you for the eloquent letter and let me be the second to apologize for anything I said or wrote to portray you in a light of bigotry or racism.

If I could ask you to please shed some light on why Judge Butchko did end up asking the boy to leave the court? I do not want to put you in an even more difficult position than you already may have put yourself into.

You have, to some degree, come out with a position that conflicts with your PIO Terry Chavez and her statement that said "the courtroom is no place for a young child". I applaud you for your stance and your courage. I think that Ms. Rundle will recognize what a valuable ASA she has and not come down on you for speaking the way you feel.

I can appreciate that you appear before Judge Butchko regularly. So if you don't feel comfortable responding to this, no problem.

If you can, please give us a little more insight into how and why Judge Butchko ended up asking the child be removed from the court -as opposed to just moving him to another seat. Did the judge say, to quote Mr. Jones, "the kid has to go"?

Thanks. And again, my apologies.

Captain Out .....

Anonymous said...

I am not only a friend of Jim's, I also supervised him. He is a very bright and talented attorney. Jim is a very fair and open-minded person. I have never seen him treat a person differently b/c of their race. I hope that u don't believe everything you hear or read. Many things are taken out of context and people suffer as a result. Jim I am glad u spoke up and I hope others that know him will do the same.

Anonymous said...

The explanation makes some sense, and you can't really fault the guy for making a dumb move during a trial. Lord knows I've made mine. Not all that convinced by his, "no, really, I would have said that about any child" argument, but he shouldn't be hung out to dry even if his subconscious motivation was race based. I'm willing to cut the man a break, and let any blame for what happened lie in its rightful place...on the lap of Judge Butchko.

Anonymous said...

Why is this prosecutor getting kudos for this letter?

"Congrats, you're not a racist." Sorry that's not something to be praised, but instead to be EXPECTED.

No, the point that nearly everyone misses is that this prosecutor and the judge are ignorant of the Sixth Amendment. That's what they should both be apologizing for, their lack of respect for the right to a public hearing. And that apology should not have just been made to the child and his father, but to the DEFENDANT. Whether the kid's his or not, whether there's two people or two hundred in the gallery, it is HIS right for those people to be present.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Not to change the subject, but on Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will tackle the death penalty issue once again.

Only this time, the defendant has been convicted of Capital Sexual Battery and he sits on death row in the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana is one of six states with a death penalty law on the books for this crime. The others are: Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and ----- FLORIDA.

There are 3,300 inmates on death row in America. Patrick Kennedy is the only one convicted of rape. He was accused of raping his eight year old stepdaughter. He denies the accusation.

The constitutional question before the justices is whether the death penalty for violent crimes other than homicide constitutes "cruel and unusual" punishment.

The authorities initially focused on two teenage boys. The young girl claimed that they had done it and she stuck to this story for 18 months. The girl later changed her story and began accusing her stepfather.

At first, one of the teenage boys was arrested for the crime. Charges were eventually dropped and the focus moved to Kennedy.

Kennedy was arrested, tried and convicted in 2003and sentenced to death.

In 1976, the Supreme Court banned capital punishment for rape. The state plans to argue that the 1976 case only pertained to adult victims.

Should be an interesting day at SCOTUS tomorrow.

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, because you have been intimidated by that State while being unknown speaks volumes as to the original point you made. If you can be driven into self pitty, just imagine the PD's who have to show up everyday.

Anonymous said...

captain - is there any way that you can add a photograph of gemma? i think that i remember her and i did not know that she passed away. if someof us saw an image of her, it would refresh our recollection of a wonderful person and attorney. thank you captain.

Celebrity Tax Problems said...

It is tax time. Rumpole a local celebrity did you send in the tax returns? Other celebrities have had issues:

1. Marc Anthony - In 2007, Mr. Jennifer Lopez was ordered to pay about $2.5 million in back taxes. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Anthony failed to file returns from 2000 - 2004, a period when he earned $15.5 million. Anthony was never charged with a crime, but two of his associates pleaded guilty to tax felonies.

2. Wesley Snipes - Earlier this year, the 'Blade' actor was acquitted of federal tax fraud and conspiracy, but was found guilty on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return. He had faced up to 16 years in prison. According to the Prosecutor, from 1999 - 2004, he had signed two contracts for more than $10 million that he failed to file for.

3. Willie Nelson - In 1990, the IRS billed Nelson for $16.7 million in back taxes. He wrote and recorded albums and sold his assets to pay them back. He was caught up by 1993, but he will not shake this on his epitaph, as this was big news at the time.

4. Joe Francis - In April 2007, Joe Francis and his companies were indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of tax evasion. The 35-year-old Francis has built a soft porn empire filming and marketing videos of young women exposing their breasts and being shown in other sexually provocative situations. Federal prosecutors allege the companies claimed more than $20 million in phony deductions in those years, and that Francis used offshore accounts to conceal income.

5. Richard Hatch - - For someone who was so smart at the game of 'Survivor', its first winner made what is arguably a stupid move. Richard Hatch failed to report his $1 million publicly won prize in 2000 to the IRS. He is currently incarcerated for this crime and is set to be released in October 2009.

6. Rumpole are you the next celebrity to have tax issues?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, bless your soul Judge, was that Judge Cowart?

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mr. Demiles. Well stated. Don't concern yourself with the fools on this blog who question your integrity.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. I'm not an attorney and I don't understand Mr. Demiles' explanation. If the child was that of the defendant that was OK. But if he was not and the Jury thought he was, that's a no no? I don't get it. What if it was a little old lady who sat down there. It would be OK if is was his old Grandmother but not OK if she was not and the Jury thought it was?

Anonymous said...

Dear Rumps,
Did you read Joan's article today. Abbe Rifkind has volunteered to become part the license plate prosecutor for the DMV. Abbe does not get any pay increase, nor does Abbe get any credit towards her pension.

What Abbe gets is to attack a Veteran who served our country and was trying to honor his Marine Corps group that served in Afghanistan.

This is the problem with the SAO, not only is it KFR, but it is the selfish and unreasonable people KFR has placed in power positions or allowed to stay so long that they accumulate power.

Abbe might have handled many high profile cases, many of which my five year old niece and three year old nephew could win. Abbe runs around prosecuting BS cases (i.e. OJ) and wasting our tax payers money.

People are upset about the trafficking case last week, hey remember the OJ case and the ridiculous charge Abbe went forward with? This is just a sample of the crap that ASAs (and this former ASA) had to go through. You and the rest of my brethren of the defense bar just do not understand the SAO of the 2000s.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, why don't you get a copy of the transcript and post it word for word so we all can see what really went on? Let the record speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

Mr Demiles is extremely gracious in his comments. But maybe a little too gracious when he writes: "In walks an APD and his beautiful son. INTENTIONALLY OR NOT, and I have no reason to believe intentional..." (emphasis mine). It wouldn't surprise me if the defendant's lawyers planned it that way. But when it backfires, the defense attorneys scream racist or bigot or whatever.

How many times have we seen the PDs office assign an attractive and/or young female lawyer to second chair a rape case or a case involving violence towards women. The female lawyer sits real close and cozy to the defendant all through the trial to give the impression that the defendant is not a violent person. I've seen it and been told that it is part of the defense strategy. So, again, maybe Mr. Demiles is being extremely gracious.

Anonymous said...

As I said the other day, it is stupid to have young children in a courtroom regardless of who they are and why they are present. They grow up too soon seeing the wrong things. That being said, I had occasion to be in the courtroom one day during the trial of TED BUNDY (I'll bet some of your posters have no idea who TB was as they think Gerstein and Gersten are synonymous). Anyway, TB didn't have the kids, but he had several women, watching him with adoring eyes as he conducted his own defense. They weren't family, just court house groupies and they did him about as much good as that nine year old child would...but at least they were old enough to witness the proceedings...Regards, Della Street

Anonymous said...

Captain:
Doubt not, the Post was from Jim Demiles. And, bravo to him for being a big enough human being to set the record straight. Now maybe others who were quick to judge should do as you have done, and apologize to a decent young man who has been too harshly critized.

Anonymous said...

Rifkin needs to get a life. Spelling 'twat' on your license plate is akin to hanging fake balls off a trailer hitch...pretty crude but hardly worth the effort to do anything. You're a prosecutor, not the moral police.

Anonymous said...

Kathy'll still throw him under the bus...if there's still room down there.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy and Melissa,

Can you figure out who posted this one too, with your all knowing psychic powers?

Anonymous said...

I still take exception to Mr. Demiles inquiring who the boy was. It's a public courtroom. The child and his dad should have been permitted to sit where they chose to sit without having to answer inquiries from ANYONE!!! So, while I appreciate your explanation, I take exception to you starting the inquiry. If your case is so weak that you truly believe the outcome will be adversely affected merely by who is seated in the courtroom, then perhaps you should have offered a better plea and/or not gone forward.

Anonymous said...

USSUpreme Court affrims lethal injections.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Demiles:

Thank you for responding so well to the comments against you. From the beginning, I supported you and could not believe that those who say "my client is innocent until proven guilty" had already adjudged you guilty. The Herald, via Susannah Nesmith and others, has rarely reported a story accurately and I can't believe such irresponsible journalism. I am a defense attorney and I fully support your actions. I wish I knew who these anonymous accusers were. Maybe the next time the accusers request discovery from you, you should tell them that the arresting officer wishes to remain anonymous although he states that your client did some awful things.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it ... how would a young boy sitting in a nearly empty courtroom behind an only slightly older young man on trial prejudice the prosecution? I think that much like many other prosecutors in the office, you objected without giving it any thought. Racist no; inexperienced and a little rash in your objections, yes.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

welcome to the world of the SAO. Instead of the SAO issuing a press release supporting you (maybe one by Don Horn since he is a member of the minority in question) and clarifying the facts, the SAO has let you stand alone and be torn apart by this horrific community!

Anonymous said...

Who was the APD?
Luc?

the anonymouse said...

I know that you do not have an editor - and that this is not the Boston Globe or Washington Post -- but Rumpole has hit Demiles and Kahn awfully hard this week - without remembering that there are three sides to every story (not including the Herald's).

Just seems unfair to us little mice...

Anonymous said...

How many times have we seen the PDs office assign an attractive and/or young female lawyer to second chair a rape case or a case involving violence towards women. The female lawyer sits real close and cozy to the defendant all through the trial to give the impression that the defendant is not a violent person. I've seen it and been told that it is part of the defense strategy. So, again, maybe Mr. Demiles is being extremely gracious.

IN RESPONSE: Isn't that just good lawyering. How many times has an ASA tried a racially charged case with a black lawyer sitting in the second chair...like always.

Anonymous said...

Here here to "old guy." Jim is a good guy. I have had cases with him back in the day. In fact, I pretty much hate everyone- and yet I like this guy. It just went down badly. The kid should never been removed by the judge- sorry to say, that's on her.

Rumpole said...

I am down between ending this blog or making it a MEMBERS ONLY BLOG but you would not get the "members only" jacket by joining.

You would have to join, you could join under a nom de plume like the Captain, but I could BAN you from posting if you posted something inappropriate.

Here is what that would do- it would allow for the anonymous comments that I do think serve a purpose- "Judge So and SO is always late to court", etc. and greatly reduce the anonymous sniping "so and so is an asshole with no ethics" that I think demean our whole endeavor here.

I want to leave Mr. DeMiles post up a bit longer as he deserves front page play here, but then I will do a post on it.

HR

Anonymous said...

Can we still do Shumie do and the Q too posts?

Anonymous said...

I see that Mr. DeMiles doesn't think he did anything wrong, but it speaks to a larger problem. The courts are open to ALL people, including kids. Plus, this case had nothing to do with kids (not an L&L or something), so why does he think it's so objectionable that a child sit near the defendant? Sympathy? That's a weak argument. What if I a child sat behind the ASA? Does that give the PD the right to jump up and holler about the jury becoming too sympathetic towards the state? No because that's stupid. I think this is just an example of something that happens every day with ASA's - overzealousness. Jim just happened to get caught.

blonde pd intern said...

OMG- I have to like join? Like can I post my picture and like OMG can I use a really cute one of me on South Beach at Mansion with my friends?

Juan Mourin said...

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of dealing with Jimmy knows that he is nothing short of fair, kind and professional. I have absolutely no doubt that every word he authored is accurate. I wish every prosecutor had his attitude and demeanor.

Rumpole said...

4:21 - Jim didn't happen to get caught. I believe he explained himself very well and he states he has the transcript to prove it.

I do not see his actions as depriving anyone with access to the courts. There are felony bailiffs every day who refuse to let people who are not on the calendar in to the courtroom and that is a clear violation of the law. We should start by clearing up that problem, which creeped (yes I meant to use that word just the way I spelled it) down here from North of the Border.

bigPHATbitch said...

Dude. You can't end the blog. How the hell would I ever have a smile on my face? Life is tough... everyone needs to get a helmut!

Seriously, for a sociologocal perspective, if people couldn't bitch n' moan about there pathetic existence (mine included) on the blog, we would have a much more hostile Justice Building. Most of us can smile when we are in court because this forum can get all the anger out or laughter in. Let people take it out on the blog, so people aren't fighting over crap in the court, where lawyering should be done! In any event, don't babysit. Let people do what they will. The got to live with themselves...

Rumpole said...

4:33 - here is the problem- somebody writes that Defense attorney X just got his ass kicked in a trial. Based on the popularity of the blog that information pops up in a Goole search of that attorneys name.

I am sick over the fact that things that are being written here are truely hurting people and I want to figure out a way to end it.

Anonymous said...

END THE BLOG!!!! Otherwise, you will be found out. Have you ever considered this Rumpy...You are not a young man. There is a real chance that you may have a heart attack and die, or get in a terrible car accident, or have some other tragedy befall you. When that happens, the blog will cease immediately, and we will all know who you were. Instead of celebrating your memory, all of the Judges and lawyers and other people you have talked about while hiding behind a mask of anonymity will grow to hate you instead of remembering your name. Go out now while still on top.

Anonymous said...

"Goole" search?????????? is that where you look for other creatures of the night??????????

Anonymous said...

Jimmy D is one of the good guys; he did not do anything wrong or Improper,leave him alone. Judge Butchko over-reacted and made a mistake. She realized the mistake and apologized; won't happen again. (Ultimately we are talking about a child’s feelings being hurt, a mere flea bite on the scale of possible justice building blunders) Judge Butchko is young, and she is learning. Case closed. Time to move on to something important. this topic has been beaten to death.
Jason Grey

Anonymous said...

Rump,

If you pull the plug on the blog then all you will be doing is allowing another jerk to swoon in and re-start this same blog with the same acrimony and hostility. I think you should take full credit for the blog and not let some jerk steal your thunder...

Anonymous said...

You know Rump, The last week of this blog has been interesting. When you started this blog, you said it was to be about rumour, humor and the going on about the justice building. I think shutting down the blog will do a disservice to those in the legal community.

Like the TV show " the Real World" this blog is mostly the true story about a bunch of lawyers and judges all forced to work together in the justice building. In this blog, we find out what happens when people stop being polite... and start getting real. We question things openly that may not have been questioned before. We say what we really feel. Honest discussion is not always pretty and polite. I think I would rather have this than some over done comment about the Q or Shummie. Besides, these are the people you work with day in and day out. I would rather know what is being said than what is being said behind my back.

Look at the Broward blog and what a few well publicized events did to take down some of the corrupt people there. Before that blog no one ever tried really to run against a sitting judge. In Broward, you were elected for life , now there is opposition and people openely questioning policies taken for granted.

I think those mentioned on the blog will survive.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole said:

"I am down between ending this blog or making it a MEMBERS ONLY BLOG but you would not get the "members only" jacket by joining.

You would have to join, you could join under a nom de plume like the Captain, but I could BAN you from posting if you posted something inappropriate."

Long over due! My question is what about the nasty libel said in the past? Can I email you the places of nasty comments about me and will you remove them? If the answer is a flat no, I would request you shut this shit down!

Anonymous said...

David S. Markus said...
The blog has not been pleasant reading in the past few days.
As to the kid in the Courtroom:I would not know Mr. DeMille if i fell over him. I was pleased to read his letter. I think it is outrageous to call him a racist based on what occurred. I think he would have done the same thing if it was a white defendant/white kid. As a defense atty, I certainly do not want the victim's family crying in the front row. A courtroom is public, but the judge can certainly direct where people sit.Judge Butchko made a mistake in throwing the kid out instead of having him sit somewhere else. That doesn't make her a racist; every mistake a judge makes is not racially motivated. The public defenders accusation of racism seems more like a cheap shot to a judge he doesn't like than a legitimate accusation of racism. Spurious accusations like that demean the seriousness of real racist actions and raise the spectre of "the little boy who cried wolf" when there is a real basis to cry racism(Hopefully, he won't say that I am racist because I used an analogy with the word "boy" in it).
As to the pill case: Lost in the hyperbole of Nazis is the real question posed by HR. What if the state won? I assume that the guy was eating his girlfriend's pills or even selling them, although there didn't seem to be any evidence of the latter. Is 25 the right number? The "it's the law and we have no choice" argument reminds me of a question I was asked at my SAO interview. I was asked if police arrested a couple for fornication, a crime on the books, would I prosecute? This led to a discussion of prosecutorial discretion. I guess my answer of No was correct because I got hired. What is the correct answer today? Yes? Prosecutors exercise a considerable amount of discretion in every case they handle. But when it comes to a trafficking case, common sense goes out the window. If the prosecutor said, I feel 25 is the right number because of xyz reasons, I could disagree, think him a fool, but still respect him for making a decision that he thought out even if i thought he was dead wrong. I do not know if the min mand was sought because he thought it appropriate, or because he felt he had to. If he felt it was wrong, did he go to KFR? If not, he has himself to live with. If he thought 25 was the right number, we can loudly diagree, but calling him a nazi is moronic. I am tired of hearing "my hands are tied" from prosecutors who would rather not make waves than fight for what they think is right. Of course, I worked for Janet Reno, so I have a different perpective on life in the SAO. It was a different world back then. Ms. Reno had an open door policy and I went over the head of many supervisors when I thought they were wrong. She is a brilliant woman who was always willing to listen. She asked tough questions and expected me to know the answers. At the end of the discusssion, I felt as if she considered the individual case and decided based on the case, not policy. She considered what the victim and police wanted, but did not let her judgement be controlled by them. Office policy is never an answer. Policy is what cowards who are afraid to think for themselves and/or make waves hide behind. I regret that today's prosecutor's did not get to work for a person the caliber of Janet Reno. I am proud of the time I spent as an ASA. I only had to worry about doing the right thing as dictated by my conscience. I knew that the boss had my back if I had a good reason for a particular decision.

Thanks for listening

David S. Markus

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 3:42:00 PM

Alexandra Rengel said...

First, let me just say that in my dealings with James Demiles or Judge Butchko I have never detected any racial bias on their part against anyone. In fact, James Demiles is a prosecutor who is always fair and professional about his cases; and say what you might against Judge Butchko--most of whihc is unfounded--she strikes me as someone trying to do her best at imparting justice.

With regards to Judge Butchko's decision to exclude the child from the courtroom, she is in fact legally permitted to do so. The right to a public trial is not an absulute right; particularly, when we are not talking about the complete closure of a courtroom. I have done cursory search on the issue and have found that "generally, the court has discretion to determine whether certain persons related to a litigant may be present in the courtroom during trial, and where the only object of their presence is to excite the sympathy of the jury, such practice should be discouraged." 88 C.J.S. § 94, on Trial proceedings. See also, People v. Cash, 52 Cal. 2d 841, 345 P.2d 462 (1959); State v. Dillon, 93 Idaho 698, 471 P.2d 553(1970); Matter of Ulster County Dept. of Social Services on Behalf of Jane, 621 N.Y.S.2d 428, and many others.

On a personal note, not long ago, my partner and I were involved in a serious trial where our client was hispanic looking. Our daughter (also hispanic looking) happened to be in the Courthouse at a late hour due to a lack of childcare and poor planning on our part. Considering the possibility that our daughter's presence in the empty courtroom might appear that we were trying to unduly influence the jury, in favor of our client, we decided to have her sit in the hallway in the company of the nice lead detective in the case (who made us promise to take her to McDonalds afterwards). Please don't report us to DCF, but take this comment as a small indication that we defense lawyers as well as prosecutors must do our utmost to try our cases on their merits and avoid even the appearance of seeking an improper advantage. Was the PD in the case at hand trying to seek an advantage? Probably not, but nevertheless, we can't fault James Demiles or the Judge for trying to avoid it.

Now, you can all go ahead and anonymously write that I am a racist, I frankly could not care less.

All the best.

atticus finch said...

Since when is "Italian American" not white? Better yet, what box did you check on the EEOC forms that you filled out when you applied to law school and the SAO? For your information, the term "Italian" denotes your ethnicity. White denotes your race. There are only THREE anthropologically recognized races: Caucasoid(white), Negroid(black), and Mongoloid(Asian). This may be a newsflash, but you, Mr. DeMiles, are White.

Anonymous said...

way to go jimmy! about damn time you decided to speak up because the SAO sure as hell wasn't going to.

Rumpole said...

I invite anyone at anytime to email me a complaint about a comment- about them or someone else. I have always been open to reevaluating the decision to post a comment, and many times I am in court clearing comments on my phone and that is not always a great way to do it because I cannot read the entire comment and I miss something and something gets published that should not.

Rumpole said...

Of course, certain unnamed individuals have picked fights and then complained when someone has fought back against them. I have no sympathy for those few individuals. That being said, I would never allow a false comment to be published. An opinion? Usually. But something that is a flat out lie? Never.

And to the person who was concerned that I should reveal myself lest I die and with the blog no longer publishing people would figure out who I am, I respond as follows: I am quite quite certain I shall outlive you.

fake pannunzio said...

Dude? Am I going to need like a credit card to join?

Anonymous said...

When is goodbye party for Mills-Francis?

Anonymous said...

And-stop apologising for the things you've never done,
Cos time is short and life is cruel
but it's up to us to change
This town called malice

Anonymous said...

Where's the real Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

I can't be racist b/c I'm an Italian?? OK..........

Anonymous said...

.....Wait....Wait, I said Wait ....LMAO....Wait for it...LMAO..

Ohhh, so, so, funny,...

http://www.precinctfind.com/pdf_fl_dade/rpt_589_178.pdf

Ruvin has $104,000.00 in contributions to the Captain Pro Se$1,300.00

Anonymous said...

Thank you David S. Markus and Alexandra Rengel. Finally some intelligent posts...

The anti-Christ said...

This is absolutely incredible. It seems like certain people want to make this a racial issue. I hope this is not the works of certain people who think that the African American community is being persecuted in the Court house.

Jim did not do anything wrong. Butchko erred, but quickly corrected it. This is not the next Holocaust or the Killing Fields. This is not the Kurds being slaughtered by Hussein. This is not the days of MLK. This is not Rosa Parks not sitting in the back of the bus stop.

What Jim did would have been done by almost any ASA who has common sense and cares about his cases. I know some very hardcore former ASAs, who were black, who would have inquired the exact same way and would have insisted that the child be moved to another location in the courtroom.

I also know there are black APDs who would place a child in the courtroom in certain situations to gain this sympathy. I recall guys like Chris Baisden who would play the race card at any moment he had the opportunity.

Race, Religion and Sexual orientation should never be played by either side of the aisle, defense or prosecution. We all should work to destroy the discrimination, but we also should be cognizant of starting crap when it is not warranted.

In neither situation is this warranted. Jim and Butchko move on with your lives, neither are racist and neither did anything with any discriminatory intent!

Anonymous said...

Rump,

I've criticized you and this blog before. But, I've always believed that you're a well-intentioned guy trying to make a difference (which is why I even bothered to post what I thought)....you deserve a hell of a lot of credit.

One thing that you can't overcome no matter what you do is the anonymous nastiness that many posters express, even on legitimate issues.

When I started as a prosecutor (I no longer am one), I made many silly mistakes (including ones similar to DeMiles). Not because I was mean, but because I cared about what I was doing and wanted to cover all possible bases. The truth is that the vast majority of young prosecutors and defense attorneys have NO perspective (I think of all the fights I got involved in because I thought that was the way to do the job.......many were silly). The difference between then and now? Nothing except that today's blunders are posted on the web for all to see. Can you imagine if everything you did wrong in your first two or three years was posted here? Hell, I wouldn't want my mistakes as a much more senior attorney posted here (we all make them. Here we get crucified for them).

The reality is that many of these nasty SOBs forget (or don't care) that they're dealing with human beings (yes, even prosecutors are human beings) with feelings, families and friends (yes, I've posted on this before).

What's going to kill this blog is not the thoughtful criticism or discussion, but the selfish SOBs who can't have an intelligent conversation devoid of over-the-top rhetoric. A sad commentary on the community I love if there ever was.

Anonymous said...

Turn the lights on, and watch the roaches scatter away, you anonymous haters

Anonymous said...

An Air Force pilot once told me that war was not personal to him. He said he drops his bombs, watches buildings blow up and he never sees the face of any of the vicitms. That is the feeling of those who drop their personal attack bombs on others through this blog. The people whose lives they impact are not real. They never see the damage and frankly don't care.

So what if you call someone a racist. So what if you tell lies about their professional behavior or abilities. So what if you cause unnecessary hardship to that person's business or personal life or possibly the lives of the victim's loved ones. The attitude is: I am anonymous and so are you, so why should I worry. I am just dropping my bombs.

Most of this is coming from people who claim to have a higher purpose in life, are more social aware and concerned. Hmmm, one word comes to mind: Hypocrite.

the anonymouse said...

Tammy is still an ASA. She was out on leave, returned, then was hurt in an auto accident.

So we hear from the other little mice...

Anonymous said...

12:09 has a point. I notice the hate mongers have disappeared. Where are you? Cowards. Lowlifes. Subhumans.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I am emailing you because of posts you left up about me that are outright lies. You let someone post that I was fired from the PD's office. I wasn't, I resigned. But, I thought maybe, just maybe, something happened I wasn't aware of and asked David Weed for my personnel file and saw that it also stated I resigned. The comment was libel and I actually emailed you originally and asked you to remove it from the blog and left my email for you to respond to, neither of which happened. When you look my name up on google, for a while that is the first thing that came out, I spent a lot of money fixing it so it wouldn't affect my private business. The post that started everything was someone wrote I was working for regional counsel and planned on taking me down.The fact an anonymous person doesn't htink I am a good lawyer or tha tI am a "crackhead?": or a nightmare-you are correct-those are opinions-but stating Iw as fired from the pd's office..outright lie, and one where many people when I introduce myself recognize my name from the blog and that's the first question they ask me. So, Rumpole, if you "never post outright lies" please remove that former post and let meknow about it at my email at lindsay_glazer@yahoo.com. I will assume you won't post this comment on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Keep the blog going, it is entertaining. What I find unbelieveable is how so many lawyers, those who rely on research and proof and evidence, look to this as a source of information and commentary on real life. This is the internet; the comments are anonymous. Consider the source before you assume that internet rumor is going to ruin someone's reputation or life. Now, you can believe me, or you can check for yourself. At least 2 judges (Leban, Mendez) have signs on their courtroomdoors purporting to ban children. I agree with everyone who blames the judge for all this... prosecutors always hyperventilate and object to piffle and move for whatever.... it IS the judge's job to politely tell them NO based on the law and constitution.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading this blog a long time ago but when I heard about jimmy I had to say something. Jim was in my courtroom when I was a pd as an intern in Reyes. He was bright, well organized without an agenda against anyone or anything. I don't claim to know anything about Judge Butchko as
I only have one case in front of her and nothing significant on the case has happened yet;however, I do know Jimmy and know that he is well intentioned. He made a motion in the heat of trial, which we all do, and that everyone decided to turn into a racist statement. By the way, how can his comment be considered racist, but the entire selection of our voir dire process be allowed on assumptions of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status be considered just law. As my friend Bobby Aaron used to say: "It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback." Leave Jim alone. Lindsay Glazer

Anonymous said...

I am an ASA and I know James DeMiles very well. He is a loving, kind, caring, and sensitive individual. A significant number of you (defense attorneys), I do not know you and do not care to know you as you are petty, egocentric, deceptive, and will do anything to "get paid". You attack the SAO out of frustration stemming from your own shortcomings as human beings.

Some of you (defense attorneys)are wonderful individuals and very good attorneys. You shine like bright lights in the dark world of the criminal justice system. This post is not directed towards you.

To those of you that labeled Mr. DeMiles as a racist, I leave you with this over used cliche..."it takes one to know one."