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

Friday, April 11, 2008

JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS

What would have happened if the prosecution was successful in the drug trafficking trial of Joaquin Decantor? Would the prosecutor have gone home and celebrated his victory of putting a man in prison for 25 years on those facts?

We have withdrawn our previous post on this subject and herewith substitute the following:

A man' s life was at stake. He was prosecuted for a crime that carried a 25 year mandatory prison sentence if convicted.

The SAO's response to this case is that since the legislature wrote a law that can be applied to this factual scenario, that's good enough for them. No analysis of justice, or fairness, or proportionality. No clear thought given to what was at stake. No recognition that a drug trafficking law is clearly meant to apply to individuals who traffic in drugs, meaning that they possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute them at some later time.

Just because a law CAN be applied, does that mean it should be applied? That is the question the SAO will not address.

Does the SAO really believe the Florida Legislature wanted the police to hunt down every individual who transports a prescribed controlled substance when the person transporting the drug is not the person who was proscribed the drug?

What needs to be addressed here is WHAT IF THE PROSECUTION WON? Would anyone in their right mind believe justice in the form of a 25 year mandatory prison sentence was appropriate?

We can accept and debate with those who argue "yes".

What we cannot accept are the apologists who aver that answering that question is not their job, especially when the apologist in question is the prosecutor.

A prosecutor has a DUTY to seek justice, not to stretch every law to its conceivable limit. That is what this case is about, and that is what troubles us so much.

Apparently the SAO has recruited a class of prosecutors who are perfectly happy not to think for themselves and to send people to prison who don't belong in prison, so long as they have been ordered to do so.

In case you have ever wondered, this is why we have defense attorneys in this country.

See You In Court, thoroughly disgusted with the Dade SAO.

PS. We edited this post because while the "just following orders" explanation is very troubling, and obviously brings to mind Nazi Germany, our previous post was demeaning to the Holocaust, and beyond the bounds of propriety for arguing this issue, and that was wrong. We apologize to the prosecutors involved in this case and to anyone and everyone affected by the Holocaust.

Readers put trust in us to run this thing right. Every now and then we really get something wrong. This was one of those times.



56 comments:

Anonymous said...

David Kahn's getting a free pass on all of this - anyone who has had a case with him knows his disdain for defense lawyers and their clients

Anonymous said...

Breaking Blog News:

Ruvin and McGillis are in for a tough race as Clerk of the Circuit Court Candidate John Babun an Active Republican raised $23,500.05

Worth noting that $16,000.00 was a loan to his Campaign.

McGillis account has him at about $1,300.00 all but $75 he loaned the Campaign.

Ruvin has not yet submitted his March 31, statement. Ruvin still stands at $11,000.00 with most being from attorneys who work for lobbyist.

Anonymous said...

This just in: Raul Cantero RESIGNS from the Florida Supreme Court effective in September.

MadHatter said...

I think that there's more to the story than the sympathetic portait painted by the Herald.

The guy was walking traffic in SoBe basically acting like he was "on something." Then, when officers pat him down, they discover an assortment of pills (4 different meds were mentioned in the Herald article), some of which are popular among the "club crowd."

Let's assume that they guy was legit and his car broke down. Before reaching any conclusions, we'd need to know where his girlfriend was living at the time? Was it in the SoBe area? She's terminally ill, so she probably needs those pills on a regular basis. Why, then, were they in the center console of the guy's car and not with her at home? If he was rational enough to get his "valuables" out of the car, and he wanted to get home quickly so that his girlfriend could get her meds, why did he end up impaired in SoBe?

I think it's a bit premature to jump all over the SAO on this one, there's enough there to merit a trial and submit it to a jury. That the guy was found not guilty on the trafficking charge doesn't mean that the SAO was unreasonable in pursuing that charge.

Your crucifixion of the SAO is unreasonable and comparing the SAO to Nazis is beyond the pale.

As my kids say, Rump, "take a chill."

Anonymous said...

Laughing so hard I am crying at:

Anonymous said...
Great, I have to go pick up my 2 kids' prescriptions today. I'm gonna make sure to drive the speed limit the whole way back. Maybe I'll hide the prescription bottles in my big sack of weed right under my sawed off shotgun under my car-seat.

Friday, April 11, 2008 9:31:00 AM "

Anonymous said...

This is what we have become?

KFR - in just under 45 days:

Fruit stand lady shot 4 times, robbed, beaten.

Walgreens assistant manager robbed, and dragged out at gun point while the police have the place surrounded. Robber could care less. BRAZEN crimes on the rise.

A 14yr old boy joy rides, gets into accident, driver of other car runs him down and shot dead.

Officer chases robber suddenly robber turns towards cop shot him 4 times.

Alomost every one of the gun violent crimes listed above are criminals with prior gun violence convictions.

Stop with the prescription drug cases and start putting the gun violent criminals in jail for 25 years before someone kills me.

Anonymous said...

Question: Did the PD file a Sworn Motion to Dismiss prior to trial?

I understand that it would require an admission to possessing the drugs, but was that really at issue?

The saddest part of this whole fiasco is that Jackie Scola could have done something about the matter before it went to trial. She could have asserted her "influence" over the state and attempted to reach an appropriate resolution. (Maybe she tried and if she did I apologize in advance for these comments.)

However if Judge J Scola could get her head out of her prosecutorial minded ass she might have seen this disaster coming down the pike. She so readily asserts her self-righteous opinions on so many subjects both on and off the bench that she could have done something here.

Let's see what happens at sentencing. That will shed some real light on all of this.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, you are a two faced jerk. Why no blame on the Judge for the half million bond. Yes the State asked for the high bond but her honor is the one who makes the rules at the end of the day.

In that Court room the Judge will decide who gets out of jail. The guy has been in jail since Oct on a $500,000.00 bond.

If this was Rothenberg you would be calling for her head on a platter. Do you like Scola?

Rumpole said...

On these facts as I understand them, the 500,000 bond is OUTRAGEOUS. If I was his lawyer I would have been in the 3rd DCA on a Habeus writ within a week.

Right now however, the bigger issue to me is why the state would prosecute this case and how would they have felt if they had won. How could they have slept at night putting this man in prison for 25 years? That is the question that interests me the most.

I expect little from Judges...and usually receive even less.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

As many of you have heard, Florida SC Justice Cantero is resigning in September.

The Herald has the full story here:

http://www.miamiherald.
com/775/story/492170.html

This means Gov. Crist will have an opportunity to make his first appointment to the highest court.

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

Rumpole at Friday, April 11, 2008 6:28:00 PM

The judge is elected and speaks for the people. If her JA was making the rules I would fire her but it is the Judge. Just like KFR should fire then prosecutors or face problems in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Why won't anyone oppose Jacqueline Scola in the election? Everyone complains, but noone takes action. WHY? Someone get off your *!%& and get moving.

Anonymous said...

The six Jurors on this case that were selected from the community at random must be members of the SS... this blog is shameful and is a disgrace... using pictures of Nazi's is a new low even among all of the trash that is found on this website

CAPTAIN said...

On this day in history:

April 11, 1947 .....

Jackie Robinson broke the "color" barrier in Major League Baseball.

Today, his number 42 is retired for all major league ball clubs.

A great day in history ...

Cap Out .....

abe laeser said...

...and the day I was born.

On a more important note -- Rumpole, you have fallen off of the edge of the flat Earth.

NAZIS. I alone survive from my extended family. I had the dubious honor of being born on Jackie's big day -- but in a Displaced Person's camp in Duetschland. Now you express your wit by comparing my colleagues to NAZIS. Shame on you !!

To compare Jodl and Keitel to a junior prosecutor who is hired to enforce the laws is horrific. You shame yourself with the wide brush of generalization. Perhaps he chooses to enforce the laws which we have all agreed to follow because it is his sworn duty. We have a legislature, and executive, and a judiciary - and laws that we may not like, but respect.

Or perhaps he truly believes that someone who had filled five drug prescriptions just three hours earlier - but only had less than the prescribed number of pills left in two of the five pill boxes had every reason to believe that the defendant in the middle of the road on Ocean Drive was selling drugs. I personally believe that the prosecutor was right in trying to punish this defendant. Oxycodone and Vicodin still kill people, and the laws prevent their random distribution. Perhaps the criminal needed a lawyer who saw the possibility of a very serious sentence and was willing to discuss a more reasonable resolution.

Prosecutors have NO CHOICE when the defense sees no middle ground. The law was broken, but now you want it ignored?

I assume that you are still against robbery or rape -- or should some other prosecutor decide that rapes are so hard to prove, so he/she refuses to put the case on, in spite of the victim's wishes. Perhaps you would analogize that person to Himmler, or some lesser criminal like Von Runstedt.

By the way, Mr. Kahn is a Jew. Many lawyers are. Many defense lawyers - some former prosecutors, are Jews. If you want to insult people, you may -- it is your Blog. But please do not be so santimonious about your high ideals and standards.

Next time, pick on someone your own size -- you bully.

Race hatred is how I read it. If you differ, you know how to reach me + where I work.

Rumpole said...

Mr. Laeser- as you were writing your comment, I was editing my post. And actually, knowing your history that you have revealed on these pages, I was thinking about you. And I realized I was wrong. On many levels. We can debate the propriety of the prosecution in this case; and we can debate the "just following orders" explanation. But I was wrong to draw a comparison to the Holocaust. I have removed the post and apologized. I apologize to people like yourself who lost family members in the Holocaust, and I apologize to the prosecutors in your office. I STRONGLY disagree with the prosecution in this case. But my original my comments were wrong and out of bounds, and I hope my new comments more fairly frame the issue.

HR.

Rumpole said...

The more I think about this the worse I feel. How dumb could I be? It was really stupid of me. Words can hurt- they can open wounds. That is the lesson here and I pledge to never forget it.

Mr. Laeser is of course correct- wit and legal argument and something as tragic and serious as the holocaust have no business being on the same page.

Anonymous said...

The problem with your post, Rump, goes far beyond your hysterical nazi-analogizing. Your post is, quite simply, the height of hypocrisy. You and your defense brethren go on and on, as well you should, about the presumption of innocence. How many times have you told a jury that the presumption of innocence is the very foundation of our justice system? How many times have you told a jury that they may not judge your clients until they have heard ALL the evidence?

And then what do you go and do on this blog? You turn around and do exactly the opposite. From my understanding, you did not watch ANY of the case in question, no less ALL of it. You did not hear ALL the evidence, and yet you went ahead and judged. You went ahead and presumed the prosecutors involved and the entire SAO guilty of a gross miscarriage of justice. You relied on rumor and the wildly incomplete reporting in the Miami Herald.

Did you know that almost 40 of the pills that were supposed to be present in these just-filled prescriptions were missing? Did you know that the defendant could provide no explanation to the police as to where his "girlfriend" in whose name the prescriptions were filled even was that night? Did you know that the State had subpoenaed the "girlfriend" multiple times prior to trial and that she ignored service? Did you know that the defendant is in fact a three time convicted felon, NOT as was reported in the Herald a man with no priors?

Rump, spare us the hypocrisy, spare us the hysteria, and spare us the lectures.

Anonymous said...

Where do legislators get the ideas to pass these draconian laws? Defense lawyers?

Rumpole said...

YOU WROTE:"You and your defense brethren go on and on, as well you should, about the presumption of innocence."= NO I'DONT.
" How many times have you told a jury that the presumption of innocence is the very foundation of our justice system?" NEVER

"How many times have you told a jury that they may not judge your clients until they have heard ALL the evidence?" ALL THE TIME

"Did you know that the defendant is in fact a three time convicted felon"- AND THAT MEANS WHAT TO YOU?

YOU MISS THE POINT- What I am upset about is the DRACONIAN nature of the punishment in this case. It's the 25 years that has me upset. Many prosecutors in the SAO are about 25 years of age. What bothers me is that prosecutors and judges throw around these numbers like they don't mean anything - and they do. These are people's lives we're playing with- and I respect life enough to not toss a potential sentence like that around lightly.

Anonymous said...

Everyone on this blog is so bold in their vitupritive denunciations of the other side. Why doen't anyone have the balls to sign their name to their posts and step out from behind the cloak of anonymity?

Rumpole said...

Anytime you write a comment that attacks me and mentions who you think I am (and you are wrong as usual) I will not post it because it is patently unfair to that person. So try again.

Anonymous said...

Kudos 9:50pm.

Anonymous said...

Captain said he had no priors? Last time I rely on Captain for investigative reports.

Someone wrote:

"Did you know that the defendant is in fact a three time convicted felon, NOT as was reported in the Herald a man with no priors?"

Provide links or web address to site for proof because Captain and Herald say no priors - Someone is not telling the truth.

I agree with prosecutor if he had prior felony convictions and refused a lesser plea and went to trial he deserved what he got.

If he has no priors as the Captain and Herald report, I would disagree with the over charge, it should have been prosession and plea offer made at that point.

KFR, is one of the greatest prosecutors in this State. She is fair, honest and lets the chips fall in line with truth and justice. If she personally gets involved you can bet justice will be served.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Texas, a young lady with the face of a goddess and the body of a seductress has won Ms. USA pageant.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious rumpole is not jewish. It is hard to imagine that someone jewish would ever have compared Mr. Kahn's prosecution to those "just following orders". The apology is noted, but the damage is done. Abe's comments are to be commended.

Anonymous said...

Don't know anything about this case other than what I have read on this blog. I agree with your amended post about just because trafficking laws can be applied does not mean they should be. Have you ever thought about posing the same question to the defense attorney though? Like I said, I don't know anything about this case other than what I have read here, but when I was an ASA and I had this kind of case, I would have waived the 25 year minimum mandatory and pled the case to something else, assuming I didn't think a nolle prosse was appropriate for one reason or another. Do you know if that kind of a plea offer was ever offered? Do you know if the defense attorney rejected the offer and just wanted to go to trial because he thought he was holier than thou and thought this was a ridiculous case without thinking that it was in fact illegal conduct? I don't know the answers to these questions. But I do know Viera and I had a number of cases against him and wouldn't be surprised if that is something he did in this situation. I'm not saying he did, because I just don't know. But I am saying I wouldn't be surprised. It's not always fair to blame the SAO for the nonsense that happens in the the justice buidling.

Anonymous said...

DO NOT CHANGE YOUR ARGUMENT MIDSTREAM. You WERE upset by the prosecution of this case, not just the 25 year min/man. If you were just upset by the 25 year min/man, you would have been railing against the legislature, NOT the SAO and the ASAs involved in prosecuting this case; you would not have written that Ms. Reno would never have allowed the case to even be filed.

Did it ever occur to you that the SAO waived the min/man on this case and offered a plea WAY below? And that the defendant refused the plea? Then what's the State supposed to do, nolle prosse the case?! Give me a break.

Oh, and by the way, being a convicted felon is one of the ways the laws of the State of Florida suggest that jurors evaluate the credibility of witnesses. The fact that the defendant in this case was a three time convicted felon as opposed to a man with no record means his testimony may be judged as less than believable, a point apparently lost on you and Ms. Nesmith in your rush to judgment.

Really, Rump, you're argumentation on this one is completely facile.

Rumpole said...

What was the state to do?
How about file attempted trafficking? Or possession with intent to sell. Or possession. Is three years in prison enough? How about 5? How about ten.

A prosecutor has the duty to seek justice, even if the defendant or his attorney are too stupid to accept it. They had no business prosecuting this as a trafficking case even if they offered a reasonable plea and even if the defendant or his attorneys were too dumb to accept it.

Again, answer my question: WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THE STATE WON? That was my original question and thus, the 25 year min man has ALWAYS been my main concern in this case. Read what I wrote before you attack me. Lord knows I've written enough dumb stuff on this topic already. My concen has always been consistent and the same- Justice would not have been done and there would have been a tragedy if the state had won.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

to 10:50 PM ...

I wrote that he had no priors in Miami Dade County. I do not know whether he had any outside of this jurisdiction.

If I find out, I will, of course, report it immediately.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Kathy, Don, or whomever's running the SAO - FIRE TERRY CHAVEZ, MONDAY AT 9AM.

This woman says in today's Herald that "The courtroom is no place for a young child."

Really Terry?

First, this woman was a mental health pimp prior to becoming one of the various "spokespersons" that the SAO feels it needs. What's her qualification?

Doesn't Ed Griffith do a capable job carrying the water for the incompetence over there?

Terry, if "the courtroom is no place for a young child," what should all of us do on take your kid to work day? Tell our young kids that Terry Chavez doesn't think you should see what mommy or daddy does?

Terry, Judge Butchko apologized and tried to resolve the situation and you feel you need to defend what your prosecutor did?

YOU ARE A COMPLETE IDIOT. SHUT UP, STOP TALKING. YOU HAVENT SAID ONE INTELLIGENT THING SINCE YOU WERE GIVEN THAT JOB.

GO GO GO GO AWAY, NOW!

Anonymous said...

The State did want to offer a plea, Marc Morris who was the PD refused to discuss anything at all. That quote by Dave Kahn in the paper was bullshit. Anyone who has dealt with Morris know he has an anger issue, and constantly talks crap. He was trying to goad Kahn by he usual mix of insults and shit talking. Kahn wouldn't talk to him about it, and said he shouldn't take it personally, the legislature created the 25 y min/man not him. Nesmith was sitting in the gallery and wrote what she wrote. I may not agree with 25 years for this guy, but Nesmith misquoted the ASA and didn't put the fact that has multiple priors. I also didn't see anywhere that explained this defendant was offered a much lower plea, but Morris refused to entertain anything on principal, at the expense of his client. Again, I'm glad the guy didn't get 25, but printing an article so one sided and factually incrrect in the middle of trial screams jury taint. That's some bush league reporting there Nesmith, check your facts.

Anonymous said...

Breaking Rumor: Judge Butchko issued apology to PD who was asked to leave the courtroom while watching a trial with his young son. Rumor has it that Butchko asked them to leave b/c she didn't want the jury to think that the child was the defendant's son. The PD and the child were not in any way involved in the case; they were mere spectators at the trial...

Anonymous said...

This is more nonsense by the State, which exemplifies the lack of guidance in the office. The presiding judge greatly contributes to the fiasco by letting the nonsense go on. The waste of resources speaks volumes to the qualities of both the State and some on the bench. Consider the same facts, a guy in possession of prescription drugs with a reasonable or even plausible explanation for the possions, before the likes of Blake, Ward, Reyes, Rodriguez, or Mendez, I doubt any of these jurists would have allowed it to get beyond a C4 motion or even the stage of acquittal. We certainly have more significant offenses to prosecute in this County. Offenses with real victims and the likelihood of serious injury and death, but we focus on possession of prescription drugs with a reasonable explanation! How about KFR transfers/assigns David Paulus to Kiddie Porn, Child and Elderly Abuse/Exploitation, and let him and his goose step entourage ply their draconian craft in those areas, perhaps they would gain some professional and community respect! I suggest that prosecuting someone for having possession of prescription drugs where the person can show a legitimate reason for having the prescription drugs in their possession, whether these were prescribed to them or to someone else for whom they picked these up from the pharmacist, is a waste of time and denigrate both the SAO and bench before which the case unfolds!

Anonymous said...

As a Jew, I did not find the holocaust analogy the least bit inappropriate, and am upset with you for backing off it.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole makes a good case for someone with a law and order background to run for SAO who is willing to hire folks who will exercise some judgment in cases like the 25 year mandatory minimum case discussed here. I wonder if the low pay contributes to the lack of thinking going on in that office. Its a legitimate question. Its law and order combined with good judgment combined with hiring the best and brightest.

Regards,
Non-Litigation Attorney
Miami

Rumpole said...

No matter how misguided the thoughts behind the comment were, I did not publish a comment attacking Mr. Laeser and supporting me. Two reasons: 1) I was wrong not because Abe Laeser said it, but because of WHAT i wrote. 2) You called him a bad name. There is no reason for that.

Rumpole said...

Can someone post or email me the link to this Chavez/Butchko child in the courtroom story? Thanks.

Bored of The Captain said...

Hey Captain:

Get your nose out of Rump's rump and pour yourself a steaming cup of shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

Just why is it that to analogize certain governmental behavior to that of other oppressive regimes is not proper?

As a Jew myself, I am disgusted by the idea that comparisons, analogies, and references to the acts of the Third Reich are, or should be, pardon the expression, verbotten.

What ever happened to "Never Again?" If the ever-quickening slide of this country into a Fascist state is to be stopped, or at least slowed, pointing out state conduct that is of a Fascistic bent, by analogy to Nazism, is TOTALLY appropriate.

Abe, what gives more homage and respect to your family and those millions of others: running from the comparisons, or pointing out that the devolution of a free society into fascist thuggery is a slow, at times nearly invisible, process?

I've heard it argued that it "minimizes" or "marginalizes" the tragedy of the Holocaust to compare minor events with it. I agree totally with that, if we, for example, call a triple-homicide a "mini-Holocaust" or other such inane references are made. Every loss of life is by no means a "Holocaust," to be sure.

But when governmental conduct is oppressive, unreasonable, wrongly-motivated, counter to freedom and the rationale behind the founding of this country, and is akin to, or an omen of, the acts and philosophies of some of the worst governments to have existed, comparisons are not only proper, they should be REQUIRED in discourse, so that we might prevent the evil and monumental disasters of history from recurring.

Any time a government employee claims they "were only following orders" it is absolutely appropriate to point out where that thinking can lead, and the kinds of things it has been used to justify or excuse. It does not minimize the horrors of the Holocaust to do so--on the contrary, it helps to reduce the likelihood they will be repeated.

None of this should be taken to mean that I personally believe that the SAO has conducted itself in such a manner in this case, but is only directed to the nature and content of the follow-up discussion.

Rump, sometimes "Godwin's Law" should be broken.

Anonymous said...

today's Herald has the Butchko article. Typical Butchko, opens her mouth without thinking and then later uses that sickening fake sweet voice to apologize. She's a wolf in a robe

Anonymous said...

I just read the story in the Herald about Judge Butchko, but it is nowhere to be found on the Miami Herald website, although EVERY other story, no matter how meaningless or trivial, is posted.
Hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Morris and Viera should be ashamed for not asking for a fair plea offer in this case... They used their client to try and make a poliitcal statement. I was told that the legal defense in court was that their client did not know of the illicit nature of the substances he posessed. Morris and Viera also knew that there is a presumtion of knowlege when one is in exclusive posession. Instaed of acting like lawyers they raised a non legal defense. The "Susannah Nesmith Defense" publishing slanted and factually inacuurate articles in a heavily circulated newspaper. Spalshing 25years in prison all over the place so a juror could see. Making legally improper arguments over and over to influence the jury and having the Miami Hearld print defense arguments that were all struck from the record of the legal trial. Unfortnaley for their client, he is now again a convicted felon facing a sentence on 2 more felonies. Morris and Viera picked the wrong case to make into a public spectacle at their clients peril. ALL of the REAL FACTS of this case were prenented to a JURY from the COMMUNITY. They listened, deliberated and convicted. If the facts of this case were truly as "Susannah Nesmith" reported them the jury could and would have completley pardoned the defendant.

Anonymous said...

That's not the judge blogging at 12:52......is it......??????

Anonymous said...

Terry Chavez believes that it is "inappropriate" to have children in a criminal courtroom observing the proceedings. Exactly what gives her the authority to tell us about children and raising children? As far as I know, she does not have any children and never will.

Mark Morris is trying to make a "political statement" by turning down all pleas and going to trial in the case? Sounds like sour grapes to me. I guess Mark talked his client into rejecting all plea offers and risking a 25 year min man sentence by going to trial. You can tell that whoever made that stupid comment is a prosecutor who knows nothing about attorney/client relationships.

Forget about re-assigning David Paulas to Kiddie Porn cases--let him go back to the position where he first made his nut in the SAO: prosecuting animal cruelty cases.

Anonymous said...

Extra - I heard the SAO is prioritizing undersize lobster cases, these are being assigned to the Paulus Division, and no waiver of minimum sentences are approved!

Anonymous said...

David Khan and Forrest Andrews are very talented young prosecutors who deserve a lot of credit for keeping their eye on the ball during this circus. They are true professionals which is more than I can say for the hacks at the PD's Office.

Hopefully KFR will stand by her ASA's and not pay attention to all this noise.

Anonymous said...

The defense wanted to plea Decantor to straight up possession and were willing to take time (the amount I don't know) before the trial started. The State rejected the defense's offer. The State's position was because Morris filed a Motion to Suppress and argued it, all plea negotiations were done and they would proceed with the Trafficking charge.

I find it hard to believe that the Defense was not willing to plea this case. However, the threat by the State to not offer any pleas if the Defendant argued a motion sounds more like a David Paulus policy statement to me. I would rely on the record in this case and the past behavior of the narcotics unit as a guide here.

Anonymous said...

Hey Laeser.... were you in the courtroom or are you getting your facts from Khan?

Anonymous said...

I have known Marc Morris for several years. In court he is abrasive, confrontational and sometimes short and rude. There are a lot of ASA's, mostly young ones, that complain about him. He is not a likable guy. He makes ASA's work their cases. But, he works for his clients. There is a reason he has been assigned to Butchko's division and now Scola. (hows that for a one two punch?)

Outside the courtroom, he is a completely different person. Ask any ASA that has been in a division with him. They hate him until they move on and then end up calling him for advice and going out for beers.

I know for a fact that Morris was really worried about this case. He sought advice from very experienced attorneys like Milt Hirsch before this case went to trial. He did not want to try this case to verdict. Can you blame him? Scola was not going to do him any favors and he would be on the hook for a guilty verdict to Trafficking. At least a private defense attorney gets paid for that pressure. If his client had been convicted, he would essentially be the one who would have to take the blame and live with that.

Like him or hate him, would you want to be the attorney sitting next to this guy when the jury rendered its verdict? Its a little different than sitting next to a guy who killed someone or committed some awful violent crime. I think all the real lawyers on this blog would agree that this was not the case to try for "selfish political reasons."

Rumpole said...

Mr. Moris gets paid to represent clients, not just clients charged with disorderly conduct.

The real question is: Did he turn down any plea offers? If he did- then his client has guts (and might be stupid- depending on what the offer is) If there were no offers on the table, and see my new post on this subject Monday, then there was no bravery in what Morris did. He had no choice.

Here's an interesting question: at what point would you have advised your client to turn down a plea offer?

1 year is a no brainer.
3years? 5? 7? 10?

It's a tough call.

Anonymous said...

Marc Morris is an ass and as one who worked with him, I'd be hard pressed to find an ASA who would have a beer or go to him for advice.
As for bashing the ASAs for going forward on the case, do you honestly believe that a pit prosecutor has ANY discretion to waive a min. man.? They can't take a piss without a division chiefs approval. Ask any ASA in ROC court to tell you about the discretion that they're given. It doesn't exist.

Police State Guy said...

Oh, stop your whining. We live in a police state. Get over it and get used to it.

Anonymous said...

I have had cases with both Marc Morris (in Judge Miller's division) and both him and Jorge Viera recently in Judge Scola's Division. I have always found Marc to be an extremely intelligent and talented attorney. While moody at times, I have only seen that side of him when the State has been unreasonable or difficult to deal with. While I am not familiar with the particular circumstances of the case at hand, I would seriously doubt that Marc would try a case just for his own personal gain and/or to make a political statement. In my experience with him, Marc has always looked out for the best interest of his clients. Jorge is also a very reasonable straightforward competent
attorney. I have never found him to be out for himself. He does what is best for his clients and knows when a case needs to be tried or pled. Let's not criticize them because of the (alleged) poor decisions of their client. I am sure they did the best possible job for their client before and during the trial.

Anonymous said...

Then who called the Miami Hearld? The defendant?

Anonymous said...

Then who called the Miami Hearld? The Defendant?