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

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Spring is here.

Easter has come and gone. The Jewish holiday of Passover approaches.

Children are on spring break; flowers are blooming; love is in the air.

The Pope is using this season of joy and renewal to visit the United States.

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court approved the use of lethal injections as a means of executing anyone Dick Cheney doesn't agree with.

With alacrity not seen in Florida Government since the race to sue the tobacco companies, the Florida Attorney General barely finished reading the opinion from the Supreme Court when he began to schedule executions.

NPR reported this week that the top 5 countries who execute people are:

China: About 600 have been verified for last year, but Amnesty International believes the number could approach 5,000.

Iran.
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia.

And Texas (with the rest of the United States tagging along.)

Ahhh.... the company we as a nation keep. Nothing like having our legal system right up there with China and Saudi Arabia's. The pride the Department Of Justice and prosecutors all over the nation must feel now they they have the green light to do their level best to compete with China.

After all trade and energy should not be the only areas we compete with the Chinese.

To paraphrase Justice Thomas's concurring opinion: "kill em all, let the good lord sort em out."

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Me and many of my defense lawyer boys-mostly white boys-play the race card every single chance we get IF we think it helps our clients walk out the door. PERIOD. Trial is war. Any and all trickery and deceit goes, as long as it doesnt get you into bar trouble. Fuck morality when the biggest gang of em all-the State-is trying to put your charge away for 30!

Anonymous said...

How bout Gisselle?

amazed said...

first to blog. whoa, maybe i should play the lotto saturday. Rump, please keep the blog going. It keeps me informed about the going-ons around the courthouse which I surely will miss, since when I'm not over there, I'd rather be at home kicking back a few.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Interesting article appearing in the Orlando Sentinel on "Plea Bargaining" written by an ASA.

The article by Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton, states:

"Regarding Monday's article "Let's Make a Deal": I write to you as a prosecutor of 27 years experience to comment on what was, in general, a fine article on the much maligned but absolutely essential process known as 'plea bargaining.' . . . . Good prosecutors must always concern themselves with the objective fairness of their decisions. We must consider of the facts what crime they indicate was committed, as well as their strength and persuasiveness. We must consider, while the facts might technically fit a sentencing statute, whether this is the type of circumstance to which the Legislature intended the statute apply. While the facts and law -- the market, if you will -- might support a high price be paid by the defendant, that does not always mean that justice requires that price be paid."

Very timely, in light of our recent discsssions.

Captain Out ...

CAPTAIN said...

... and reposting an earlier post, in light of the death penalty issue:

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 .....

Jerry Lee Lewis said...

Killing people is wrong. That is why we kill, to let people know that killing is wrong.

Anonymous said...

captain

you remind me of cliff from cheers

Anonymous said...

Captain your re-post is why no one on this blog likes you. Go away! We read it the first time no need to get your panties in a bunch.

Anonymous said...

Roughly one in every five U.S. troops who have survived the bombs and other dangers of Iraq and Afghanistan now suffers from major depression or post-traumatic stress, an independent study said Thursday. It estimated the toll at 300,000 or more.

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As many or more report possible brain injuries from explosions or other head wounds, said the study, the first major survey from outside the government.

Only about half of those with mental health problems have sought treatment. Even fewer of those with head injuries have seen doctors.

Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker said the report, from the Rand Corp., was welcome.

Read the remainder here:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/troops_mental_health

Sam I Am said...

I value life SOOOOO much that I think we should kill people who've been captured, convicted and safely locked away for life.

Anonymous said...

What if a defendant or a defense attorney refuses to even try and negotiate a FAIR plea considerig all of the facts/law/min man's/Guidelines etc..at all? This is the "I will only take a Credit Time Served" attitude. In this scenario assume the hypothetical case is clearly proveable to a neutral jury from our community and the ASA in fact wants to negotiate. What does the ASA do in that scenario? My opinion is that the ASA is being forced to try a case that should be resolved but for the unreasonable attiutde of the other side... please try and respond without getting nasty...

Anonymous said...

Breaking News in the John "Jack" Thompson case. Judge Tunis asked for extension of time and Clerk of Supreme Court returned his recent filings refusing to docket.

April 8, 2008, letter:

"TO RESPONDENT: As you know, the Court issued an opinion which directed me "to reject for filing any future pleadings, petitions, motions, documents, or other filings submitted by [you], unless signed by a member in good standing of The Florida Bar other than [you]." The court denied rehearing in an order dated April 3, 2008. I am returning to you three documents received by my office on April 4, 2008, and April 7, 2008. These will not be docketed in your case, although we have retained copies. In the future, any documents filed in this case not signed by a member in good standing of The Florida Bar other than you, will be filed in a miscellaneous file we maintain in the Clerk's office. They will not be docketed in your case nor acknowledged by us."

April 11, 2008, filing by Judge Tunis:

MOTION-EXT OF TIME
(REFEREE'S REPORT)
Hon. Dava J. Tunis, Judge 559271 BY: Hon. Dava J. Tunis, Judge.

Question; are party ballons returnable after inflating?

Anonymous said...

"Yesterday the United States Supreme Court approved the use of lethal injections as a means of executing anyone Dick Cheney doesn't agree with."

Does that include you, Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

This is the third Rumpole voice I have detected on this blog. A while back there was a self-deprecating, Chateau Miami River-drinking, married to she-who-must-not-be-named Rumpole (the best.) Then for about the last year there had been a arrogant, "I run ten miles a day" braggart. Now there's the new angst-ridden Rumpole.

It's getting excruciating.

Anonymous said...

I want to know why Jack Thompson, who had a "wonderful practice" as he stated, is now working from home?

The delusion came to light when the rent bill came Jacky?

Anonymous said...

FREE MARY JANE

Anonymous said...

I believe in the death penalty even though I am a defense attorney.

Anonymous said...

If brokers can raise 250k, imagine how much the Rumpole Boxing Federation could raise..... Or even better, bail bondsmen. Those guys REALLY hate each other.

See Sunpost article here.

Faux Fakey Fakerstein, Esq. said...

Where's the real Rumpole?

The writing style is so clearly different.

I still think the blog hijacking was real, the new guy is still posting, and he now has Rumpy hostage in the bottom of a well dug into the guy's basement.

"It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again......"

Won't someone start a search party?

Anyone....anyone...Buehler, Buehler.


FFF, Esq.

Miguel M. de la O said...

I have a suggestion regarding these prosecutions for trafficking based on possession of prescription drugs without evidence of an actual sale. Why doesn't the SAO take the case to the Grand Jury to see if a group of citizens believes the case warrants prosecution for trafficking? Never having served as an ASA, there may be obvious problems with this idea. However, if it is workable, it satisfies several concerns. The statute allows for these prosecutions, and until the Legislature amends the statute there will be more of these cases. I assume the State Attorney does not want to be accused of ignoring the law. However, if a Grand Jury refuses to indict after being told the potential penalty, then the State Attorney's Office has done its job. If they do indict, the SAO still has the ability to plea bargain the case down ... or not, if it feels the Defendant deserves the mandatory minimum.

The implicit assumption I make is that everyone agrees that the penalty is unduly harsh given the Defendant's lack of actual (as opposed to presumed) intent to sell. In reading through the comments on this Blog, no one seemed to defend the 25 year mandatory minimum. However, the statute was lawfully adopted by the Legislature, so the Judges have to follow it. No doubt some cases deserve a trafficking charge based on the surrounding facts. By using the Grand Jury, the SAO employs a legitimate gatekeeper to weed the deserving cases from the underserving. With this proposal, the people's will, as expressed by the Legislature is honored; as is the people's will, as expressed by the Grand Jury. The only tweak necessary is to advise the Grand Jury of the mandatory minimum. There's no point in going to the GJ otherwise because, without this knowledge, there is no basis upon which the GJ can exercise discretion -- the statute is clear as written.

As the ladies on SNL used to say, discuss amongst yourselves.

Jerry Lee Lewis said...

"I believe in the death penalty even though I am a defense attorney." Well, duh, they will be killing them like flies, why wouldn't you believe in it.

I believe the world is round and men landed on the moon, does that make me some kind of genius?

Anonymous said...

The blog hijacker could have kept quiet and continued the blog as if nothing had happened and he was the original Rumpole. Then, the real Rumpole (or Rumpoles) would have had to either shut up and let things be, identify himself to reclaim his blog, or star another blog.

Anonymous said...

Rump, settle this once and for all:

Shumie do?

Anonymous said...

Are there any old Narcotics Unit ASA's from the 90's out there that remember the "swallower/mule" cases that would come to the State from the airport when the Feds refused to take jurisdiction?

The "mules" would swallow packets of heroin and subject themselves to the 25 year min man when they were searched or x-ray'd. Most of the "mules" were used by a small syndicate to get drugs into Miami. They were usually extremely poor dupes who had know idea of the penalty they faced.

The Narcotics Unit would waive the min man and offer 7 years. If other circumstances were presented by the defense, offers would sometimes come down from the 7. Why? Because David Weinstein and Reid Rubin were prosecutors (chiefs) that applied the min mans to those that warranted its use.

Gee, using discretion in applying the law. What a concept!

ION SHUMIE said...

Rump. Please let your ignorant reader know most certainly

Shumie don't!!!!

Anonymous said...

The problem with the "trafficking by possession" statute is that it creates an un-rebuttable presumption that possession of a certain amount of a substance means that the possessor was trafficking in the substance without any evidence of distribution or commercialization, thus, making the possessor liable for the draconian min mans that were meant to apply to actual traffickers.

This situation presents more of a problem with prescription medications that have common lawful uses and are widely available legally in quantities that the statute defines as "trafficking" amounts than with cocaine, marijuana or heroin.

The role of the wise, conscientious and common-sensical prosecutor is to be able to look at the totality of the circumstances and facts, not just to the amount of the substance involved, and make a charging decision based on justice and logic. That would mean charging simple possession or no-actioning a case involving prescription drugs as opposed to a case involving a marijuana grow house or brick of cocaine where possession with intent or trafficking would be more appropriate charges.

When it comes to prescription drugs, discretion should involve making a distinction between drugs such as benzodiazepines (which have more recreational use) and narcotic painkillers (which are used for the medical treatment of excruciating pain that does not respond to non-narcotic drugs).

David S Markus said...

In the olden days, juries were instructed on the minimum mandatories and it was reversible error not to so instruct. Lots of jury pardons caused the Florida Prosecuting Attorney's Association to lobby the Legislature to change the law. So here we are..........

Anonymous said...

"I have a suggestion regarding these prosecutions for trafficking based on possession of prescription drugs without evidence of an actual sale. Why doesn't the SAO take the case to the Grand Jury to see if a group of citizens believes the case warrants prosecution for trafficking?"

ASA said: You can do that?

Anonymous said...

Giz rocks.