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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MORE ON ROBERT CARNEY

UPDATE ON CARNEY:

Thanks to the Broward Blog for doing all the heavy lifting here. 

Here is the link to the 1999 11th Circuit Opinion detailing more of former Broward prosecutor Robert Carney's malfeasance;

And here is a pertinent part of the decision copied from the Broward Blog: :

Purvis v. Satz (Warning: Highly Offensive Content) - 

"In May of 1985, shortly after sentencing, and while Purvis's direct appeal was pending, the State Attorney's office (and all of the defendants named here) received information indicating that Robert Beckett, Sr., a close associate of the victim's ex-husband, had committed the murders. Michael Satz, the State Attorney, and Barbara Barton, his investigator, conducted some additional investigation and learned that Robert Beckett, Jr.'s girlfriend had told Colorado authorities that Robert Beckett, Jr. had implicated his father in the murder of Susan Hamwi. Notwithstanding this information, Robert Carney, a prosecutor in the State Attorney's office, instructed Barton to close the investigation.  (Rumpole opines: In English, that is what's known as both a cover-up and in my book guilty knowledge of keeping an innocent man in prison to avoid the embarrassment of your own mistakes.At that time, none of this exculpatory information was disclosed to Purvis, his guardian or his attorney.

Purvis remained imprisoned for approximately nine years. Ultimately this exculpatory information was discovered and a subsequent investigation established that Purvis was innocent. On joint motion of the State and Purvis, a circuit judge set aside Purvis's conviction in 1993, and Purvis was freed."


Rumpole notes: Shameful. Just Shameful. How is this man still a Judge? 

From Bob Norman's column, "The Daily Pulp" comes this blistering article on former Broward ASA (and Broward Circuit Judge) Robert Carney and his involvement on prosecuting three innocent men: (the title links to the article which is a must read)

JAABlog quotes Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein on Carney:

"If I was Judge Carney," Finkelstein said, "I would spend every day of my retirement for the rest of my life in church praying for forgiveness for the innocent lives I destroyed as a prosecutor."


and


So DNA tests seem to have exonerated another man wrongfully convicted by the State Attorney's Office for murder in Broward County. That makes at least seven of them.

Anthony Caravella, 41, has been locked up for the 1983 murder of Ada Cox Jankowski since he was 15. There never was any good evidence in the case against him, just a jumbled series of confessions he gave in response to police pressure.

The prosecutor in the case was Robert Carney, the same man who also had at least a hand in prosecuting three other men wrongfully imprisoned on murder convictions: Frank Lee Smith, John Purvis, and Christopher Clugston.

and finally this summary:

Hopefully Caravella will escape Frank Lee Smith's fate -- death in prison -- and will soon see freedom. For any hope of that, he can thank Broward County Chief Public Defender Diane Cuddihy, who fought hard for the DNA tests. Sun-Sentinelreporter Paula McMahon gives her newspaper some of the credit too by pointing out that the Sentinel referred Caravella's brother to the Public Defender's Office back in 2001.

Actually, McMahan and former Sentinel reporter Ardy Friedberg both did fine work reporting on those cases. Everyone involved deserves to be commended.

Carney, though, might want to start following Finkelstein's advice right about now.

Great article. Imagine having not one, not two, but three innocent men that were wrongfully convicted on your conscience because of your incompetence. There must be something in the water North of the Border. I have never seen a courthouse more infected by an atmosphere of fear and incompetence. What a horrible place to practice law.


See you in court.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would rather work at burger king than practice in Broward. It's a scary place for lawyers, clients, family members, etc. I hate Broward like poison.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Did he hide DNA evidence? Did he lie? Did he falsify something? Throwinging it all on the former prosecutor is excessive. Clearly he had a good faith basis to proceed since a jury ultimately convicted. The system got it wrong, if you want to blame him, blame everyone. Why couldn't the defense attorney win a case with an innocent victim? Blame the jury? At the end of the day, the system is better than it was back then and technology is to thank.

Anonymous said...

Rump I agree about Carney, thank God he has been out of the criminal division for more than 10 years. He is a disgrace as a jurist and more importantly a disgrace as a human being.

In the last 12-18 months Broward has improved as a place to practice criminal law. Gome are O'Connor, Gardiner, Alemon and a couple of others. They have been replaced by judges who are moderate to liberal. Overall I would much rather practice in Dade than Broward but at least Broward is improving.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine having not one, not two, but three innocent men that were wrongfully convicted on your conscience because of your incompetence." Rumpy, a person who allows this, has no conscience, because not only have they done a disservice to the innocent person sitting in jail, but also to the victim's family, who must now realize the real killer is out on the streets. Injustice to all, and no Conscience whatsoever.

Rumpole said...

Yes 9:02 you did miss something. Read Norman's article and you can see tragically what Carney missed as well.

Rumpole said...

Actually 9:02 this is on the Broward Blog today, regarding whether you missed something:
If you go on their website their is a link to this opinion:


Purvis v. Satz (Warning: Highly Offensive Content) - The Eleventh Circuit on Prosecutorial Immunity, including the following:

"In May of 1985, shortly after sentencing, and while Purvis's direct appeal was pending, the State Attorney's office (and all of the defendants named here) received information indicating that Robert Beckett, Sr., a close associate of the victim's ex-husband, had committed the murders. Michael Satz, the State Attorney, and Barbara Barton, his investigator, conducted some additional investigation and learned that Robert Beckett, Jr.'s girlfriend had told Colorado authorities that Robert Beckett, Jr. had implicated his father in the murder of Susan Hamwi. Notwithstanding this information, Robert Carney, a prosecutor in the State Attorney's office, instructed Barton to close the investigation. At that time, none of this exculpatory information was disclosed to Purvis, his guardian or his attorney.

Purvis remained imprisoned for approximately nine years. Ultimately this exculpatory information was discovered and a subsequent investigation established that Purvis was innocent. On joint motion of the State and Purvis, a circuit judge set aside Purvis's conviction in 1993, and Purvis was freed."

Anonymous said...

FYI: Judge Carney has retired recently as his DROP date has arrived. The JNC is already interviewing for his replacement.

Anonymous said...

L&L Associate hot today-made my day.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORT:

Rump, as I reported earlier, he isn't. Or, I should say, he has notified the Governor of his intention to resign and the 17th JNc is taking applications and will be conducting interviews for his replacement.

Cap Out .....

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Anonymous said...

I work at Burger King and would rather be an attorney in Broward-stop bitching. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

send them all to prison and let god sort them out

Anonymous said...

I drive the speed limit when passing (never stopping) threw broward county on my way to west palm beach court house!

Anonymous said...

I thought a capital conviction wrongly sought placed the prosecutor in line for a felony charge! or is that only if the death penalty was imposed at sentencing?

Anonymous said...

5:47 -

Send you to prison and let them butt fuck you every night for a
year.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that a high level DC at the SAO just got canned over some juicy stuff....

Anonymous said...

Broward SAO motto:

Convict them all. There's a good chance we'll be right on three out of four.

Anonymous said...

Rump: How did you miss this comment from an ASA in Broward. Right along the lines of their motto:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/sfl-hospice-chaplain-sex-b082609,0,6359421.story

from the article:A Broward County jury found a hospice chaplain not guilty Wednesday of performing a sex act on a dying 70-year-old woman at University Hospital in Tamarac. Even the prosecutor who lost the case agreed with the verdict.
...The six-person jury took less than 15 minutes to acquit Julio Arce, 54. If convicted, the married father of five from Plantation would have faced a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.
...After the trial, prosecutor Justin Griffis said that though the hospital employee was "so certain about what she thought she saw" and never wavered, he believed the jury returned a "just and right verdict" based upon the evidence.

This send chills down my spine.

Anonymous said...

If the verdict was "just and right", the prosecution wasn't, and the case should have been nolle prossed but for Mike Satz's office police to let the jury sort out the case regardless of the evidence.

Anonymous said...

This article details all that is wrong in Broward.