We'll take this moment to remind US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald: "When you strike at the King, you must kill him." Ralph Waldo Emerson. (It was either Emerson who said that, or former Judge Howie "The Mouse" Gross.)
(Cathy Vogel retires. See Below.)
Speedy Trial Crisis?
Not really, although the title of the post links to the Herald article where outgoing Public Defender (and incoming special consultant?) Bennett Brummer bemoans the fact that defendants facing third degree felonies who are represented by his office will "have to wait much longer to face a judge."
Oh really? NO.
As long as the judges are not shut down by the budget crisis, they will still set cases for trial within the normal course, and all defendants will be in court on a regular schedule. And Mr. Brummer knows that. We all do.
There is a crisis, but we don't think Mr. Brummer is properly explaining it. We'll return to him in a moment- because right now the State Attorney is in our sights.
Her brilliant proposal, as quoted in the article was for Mr. Brummer's office to spend less resources on defending misdemeanor cases.
Bulletin to the State Attorney which she can ponder while on one of her many out of the office "trips": The Public Defender's office would not have to spend any resources on misdemeanor cases if your lawyers stopped asking for jail on ridiculous misdemeanor cases!!! Would you like us to ask our county court lawyers to write in on a daily basis with all the outrageous plea offers being made on petit theft cases, or possession of marijuana? Do you really want the statistics on PD domestic violence cases that are dismissed because the complaining witness has stated several times s/he lied and nothing really happened, and yet the prosecution continues the case for months and months?
Yes, there are minimum mandatory jail sentences on repeat DUI offenders who need representation in county court. But as to all the other cases, don't take our word for it.
Go speak to the County Court judges who see those other ridiculous cases prosecuted- they will tell you how out of touch the State Attorneys Office Supervisors really are. They will tell you how it takes three and four levels of supervisors who are all scared of their own shadow (remember last year's Christmas Eve Massacre at the SAO? Click here) before the prosecutor in court can do anything different than what some nameless -faceless supervisor wrote on a file six months before.
Madam State Attorney: You want the PDs to spend less time on misdemeanor cases? Straighten up your own house before you throw stones at the PDs.
Whew! We've been waiting a long time to say that.
OK Bennett, now get back to court. Wait. You're gone. Or are you? Is it Colorado or 14th Street? Or both? Lets us know.
CATHY VOGEL RETIRES!:
Long time REGJB regulars remember Ms. Vogel as a good and fair and decent (decent as in caring and concerned) prosecutor. Several years ago she traded in her shoes for flip flops and went to the SAO in Key West (Motto "eat a shrimp out of season and we will get you!"). Now she writes in the comments section yesterday that she has retired and hung out a shingle across the street from the Key West Courthouse. Well Done Ms. Vogel!. Thank you for 32 years of service to our state.
Here is her comment:
Catherine Vogel writes:
I would like to let all my friends and former colleagues at the MJB that I have finally retired from the SAO here in Key West. (Yes, I have 32 1/2 years in as a State employee, time flies when you are having so much fun.) I am staying here and am opening my own practice doing CRIMINAL DEFENSE. I'll be doing a little family and mediation on the side. Some of you have visited me, my new office is right across the street. You can reach me at 305-296-0203 or 305-849-8663 after January 5. I can't wait to start pestering young prosecutors! Miss you all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!