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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

3rd DCA ROUNDUP-SHOUT OUT EDITION

It's that time again.

And just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, and that it's not all dollars and cents, we give a personal WELL DONE to assistant public defenders Robert Kalter and Jessica Zagier Wallace who in Pittman v. State obtained a reversal and DISCHARGE FROM CUSTODY for their client. Pittman was charged with sexual battery and kidnapping. At the start of the trial the prosecutor, apparently somewhat pompously announced that the state would be seeking the lesser included charges of L&L Battery, although she declined the court's invitation to amend the information. Poor decision. The court 2-1 found that the information did not support the facts necessary for the lesser included charge that the jury had returned a verdict on and discharged the defendant.


Judge Schwartz was somewhat upset in dissent:
"I cannot believe, much less agree, that the meaningless, super-technical

“mistake” in this case – the failure of the information to allege specifically what

everyone knew to be true, that the victim was under sixteen – should result in the

outright acquittal of the defendant for a crime not only fully established by the

evidence, but essentially uncontradicted."



And while we're at it, a shout out to veteran appellate lawyer John Lipinsky for his reversal

and win in Mestral v. State, in which the police, after taking the defendant into custody in his front yard, searched his house in a "protective sweep", without any basis whatsoever.

Doesn't Judge Reemberto Diaz know by now that the 3rd is very very protective when it comes to a person's home? Apparently not.




HALL OF SHAME
Welcomes Judge Stacy Glick in Sinclair v. State for not attaching portions of the record conclusively refuting the Defendant's claims.


8 comments:

Rumpole said...

For reasons beyond my control, I did not dine at my normal Tuesday night restaurant, but instead had a wonderful meal at Salt.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rumpole let's all breathe a sigh of relief that a man who without question had sex with a minor is discharged from prosecution for a B level prosecutor's mistake. OK, so the defendant beat the charge on a technicality. Hardly cause for a celebration or a high-five (or fist-pump).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me an opportunity to respond. Our state attorneys and public defenders -- and their support staffs -- do tremendous work for very little money. I understand your frustration.

I made a decision – more than a year ago – to adjust the salaries of a select few members of my senior staff to ensure pay equity with other government employees with comparable responsibilities. As a longtime county employee who worked his way up through the ranks, I can tell you that there are rare occasions where you find a particular salary is out of proportion. Such was the case with a very few members of my staff who took on additional responsibilities as we transitioned to a new form of government. The salary adjustments were personnel decisions, not personal ones, and I have nothing to gain. The decisions also came way before I was forced to propose a budget with unprecedented service cuts and workforce reductions. I took no joy in making budget recommendations that are universally unpopular, and none of my budget proposals is final. The Board of County Commissioners will adopt a final budget on September 17, 2009.

More important, the total budget and number of employees in the County Executive Office has been decreasing. The proposed budget is nearly $2 million dollars and 20 employees leaner than it was five years ago when I first entered public office. There are fewer people doing more with less.

Again, thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond.

Sincerely,
Carlos Alvarez
Mayor

Anonymous said...

Im glad i voted for that guy

Anonymous said...

Part 1

Mr. Mayor, how about getting rid of George Burgess and overpaid assistant county managers? That's what we expected from you when we voted to make you a strong mayor responsible for running the county. Having a county manager is duplicitous, costs more than a U.S. president and provides a convenient non-elected lightning rod to protect the political butts of the elected officials. If you fought so hard for the strong mayor's powers, why don't you use them? Why keep leftovers from the nefarious Penelas administration. People elected you because they were sick and tired of how the county was being run by the insiders and wanted an outsider, a career cop, to clean the county government house. Imagine the people's disappointment when commissioners like Bruno Barreiro, Pepe Diaz, etc. supported and endorsed you for reelection last year.

Why do we have the budget crisis now? Because, during the bubble years, the board of county commissioners chose to keep the millage rate high instead of lowering so that the revenue stream could remain evenly constant from year to year. You could have vetoed those budgets. The result is that, now, after getting used to wastefully spending the windfall tax money from the bubble years, you and the commissioners find yourselves in a bind trying to squeeze money out of taxpayers to keep up the same level of spending and the same inflated budget as in the bubble years even though the economy is in recession and Dade Countians simply do not have the income to afford the unrealistic property taxes that the budget calls for.

Why waste taxpayer money on a stadium for a private professional sports franchise team in a deal that will end up costing at least $2.4 billion when all is said and done but that will only provide new jobs for the next three years and then provide only minimum-wage service jobs. Undoubtedly, George Burgess did such an excellent job negotiating the stadium deal in such a one sided way in favor of the Marlins and against the taxpayers that a casual observer could reasonably believe that he was a Loria employee instead of the county manager. Why did you support this one-sided deal? Why didn't you insist in a deal that would have actually benefited the taxpayers? Can you build us an office building and parking garage next to the Justice Building for us attorneys who work here? We would bring lots of jobs to the area hiring associates, secretaries, paralegals, investigators and contribute to the county budget and economy more than what Jeffrey Loria will under the deal worked out by Burgess and the commissioners.

(Continued in part 2)

Anonymous said...

Part 2

Why didn't you insist in using the tourism bed tax money for something that would actually contribute to the local economy in an expansive way such as remodeling and updating the Miami Beach Convention Center which is one of the main economic engines in Dade County along with the airport and the seaport?

Why waste at least $450 million of taxpayer money on an unnecessary port tunnel when a couple of downtown streets can be dedicated to truck traffic for the cost of the traffic signs or when a much cheaper truckway ramp can be built from SR 836 to the entrance to the port's bridge?

It is not right to find taxpayer money to these megaprojects while at the same time cutting off, or threatening to cut off, the meals and social services for senior citizens. It's a time honored tradition in this county to manipulate senior citizens and their votes with these threats in order to justify tax increases just like when county government uses scare tactics such as cuts in police and fire protection for the same purposes.

People are sick and tired of the demagoguery coming out of the 111 building. People got shamelessly conned into voting for the transportation half-penny but when it came the time to do the right things and put it before the voters for a possible repeal, you and the commissioners opposed this option, because, again, the county counted on that money to be used for purposes not contemplated in the plan that taxpayers were lyingly sold on.

Dade Countians are sick and tired of political corruption, scams, mendaciousness, special interests, sweetheart deals, refusals to let the voters decide important things like the stadium deal, outright lies to the voters, etc. and that is why they elected you as mayor. People are understandably disappointed because all they see is more of the same.

You have three years left in your term, Mr. Mayor. That's more than enough time to exercise the strong mayor powers that we gave you and clean house. Make Dade County a good place to live again and fulfill the promises for which we elected you.

Anonymous said...

12:38: ouch!! Mr. Mayor, I would suggest you just slither away because that comment is a lucid, intelligent, well thought out objection to your management of the county. sustained.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole ,
How dare you suggest that tax money be used to improve the convention center. It doesnt have any box seats, politians dont get to throw out the first ball, it has NO LOBBISTS to donate to campaigns and it serves a public purpose ; as well as generating lots of tourist dollars & taxes. We Cann't use public tax dollars for something like THAT.
Laughing instead of crying, We get the Gov't we deserve, unforetunately.
D. Sisselman