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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

HAITI HELP- Several people have confirmed this is a legitimate donation and way to immediately help in Haiti: Text the word: HAITI To Number: 90999 This will charge a $10 donation to assist the victims of Haiti.

Good work capt.


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

NORTH OF THE BORDER ..... (thanks to JAABLOG for the hard work; visit JAABLOG to read the entire letter)

"We have received more Brady notices in twelve weeks than we have in the past thirty years. "


In case you have not already read the letter that Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein sent to State Attorney Michael Satz yesterday, here are a few of the highlights:

"Recent events have caused me great concern about the Broward State
Attorney's Office's compliance with its discovery obligations. As you are
aware, the Public Defender's Office has filed several public records requests with your office. These requests were prompted by a partial Brady disclosure followed by a disclosure of close-out memoranda received from the State Attorney's Office. Those disclosures have led me to the inescapable conclusion that the State Attorney's Office, either through neglect or by design, has been non-compliant with its obligation to disclose favorable evidence to criminal defendants in Broward County."

"On September 6,2009, Assistant State Attorney Sheila Alu forwarded an email to an assistant public defender as a partial Brady Disclosure which identified several law enforcement officers under investigation by your office or some other law enforcement agency. The email stated the following:

"PD office: I am supplying you with a list of officers
where Brady needs to be supplied. I am forwarding this
list to you to expedite this information to your office. As
you all know, I am in this division alone. If you require
more than the list I am forwarding please let me know
and I will do my best to supply it to you."

"In response to this disclosure, the Public Defender's Office filed several
Motions for Disclosure of Exculpatory and Impeachment Information in open cases wherein these officers were listed as witnesses. My chief assistants pulled hundreds of closed cases listing these officers as witnesses and manually reviewed those files looking for Brady notices; however, none were found. We checked with the clerk to ascertain what entry the clerk's office uses to denote Brady disclosures and then checked each fie against Docketrac to ensure that we were not jumping to an unfair conclusion - that in fact the Broward State Attorney's Office systemically failed to comply with its Brady obligation. There were no notations in Docketrac."

"In response to one pretrial motion, an attorney received three "close-out
memos" which prompted us to fie public records requests for the names of all law enforcement officers investigated by the State Attorney's Office since 2006, as well as the ensuing close-out memoranda. Again, we checked for Brady notices with respect to these cases and none were found. After reviewing the close-out memoranda, we determined that the State Attorney's Office had information favorable to the defense exclusively within its possession which was not disclosed. The state's failure to disclose this information to defense counsel resulted in the resolution of numerous cases where my clients did not have essential information that should have been provided to them prior to the conclusion of their cases."

"The close-out memoranda included numerous examples of false reports and false statements by police officers. Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Daniel Zavadil and Lauderhil Police Officer John Lafontant both admitted to forging names and falsifying police reports, yet they were not prosecuted and no Brady notices were filed. Margate Police Officer Joseph Devito was determined to have filed a false police report after hitting a pole with his assigned police car. Four BSO deputiƩs and the Margate Chief of Police were involved in the investigation, yet no Brady notice was filed. Broward Sheriff Deputy James Bridgeman was referred by Broward County Sheriffs Office's Department of Internal Affairs for filing a false police report regarding his neighbor. He was also investigated by Internal Affairs for insurance fraud. The Special Prosecutions Unit did not prosecute, and no Brady notices were filed with respect to any of this critical information. The State Attorney's Office's decision not to prosecute these matters does not remove the favorable quality of the underlying evidence to the defense, although that apparently has been the modus operandi of the state's decision making process. BSO's Department of Internal Affairs also referred Deputy Robert Aspuru to the State Attorney's Office to investigate whether he stole $100 in confiscated funds. The Special Prosecutions Unit concluded, despite information from an independent witness, that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction, and failed to file charges against him and failed to provide Brady notices. Hollywood Police Officer Matthew Goodnow was accused of misappropriating funds obtained in undercover drug operations; again Special Prosecutions did not prosecute, despite independent witnesses, and no Brady notices were filed. These are just a few examples of the information exclusively in the possession of the State Attorney's Office that was never turned over to defendants."

"Moreover, it appears that the Broward State Attorney's Office gives great
deference to law enforcement; it would clearly have filed charges if the same allegations were made against a civilian. "

"After hundreds of man hours expended by my chief assistants, I have been forced into reaching two conclusions. First, there was a systemic
nondisclosure of favorable evidence to the defense by the Broward State
Attorney's Office."

"My second conclusion is that there are two systems of justice at work in State Attorney's Office. Although the office espouses a filing standard of
"likelihood of conviction," that standard has two distinct meanings. For
everyday citizens, the "likelihood of conviction" filing standard means nothing more than probable cause. For police officers or other influential or wealthy citizens, "likelihood of conviction" means the State Attorney's Office cannot possibly lose the case, and any doubt about its success at prosecution benefits the potential defendant. The everyday citizen does not get the benefit of the doubt from the Broward State Attorney's Office, nor do they receive that which is statutorily, procedurally and constitutionally guaranteed - favorable information that may be used for impeachment purposes or that may exonerate a person accused of a crime."

"Finally, it is imperative that the Broward State Attorney's Office treat all
persons it considers for criminal prosecution equally. The two systems of
justice in Broward County must end."

Do we have a similar problem here in Miami-Dade County? Has the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office ever performed such a thorough investigation? Has the criminal defense bar through FACDL or any other group done their homework?

None of these questions should automatically lead one to assume that KFR's office has not been compliant with Brady. But, the questions should be asked!

Our prayers go out to the citizens of Haiti.

Cap Out .....

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strong

Anonymous said...

Captain

Nice work. The PD in Broward is obviously a trial lawyer... We can not say the same in Dade. Finklestien is a leader.

Anonymous said...

Miami SAO frequently forwards Brady Notices of police involved in shootings, etc. Please DO NOT compare Miami-Dade to Broward. The same county that left eh 78 year old woman in custody for 2 weeks on a DWLS charge. The water, air and attitude are different north of the border.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Broward PD's are so busy trashing the SAO they don't have time to get old ladies out of jail like the poor woman who was arrested and sat in jail for 2 weeks on a DWLS bench warrant.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have issues with civilian eyewitnesses being summoned to pre-file, interviewed by ASA/officers, and - when their recollection of events contradicts officers - dismissed without being disclosed as Brady? Have only caught this once in Miami-Dade.

Anonymous said...

If you make a public records request in Miami, they comply and do so rather quickly.

If you do the same in Broward, teh SAO ignores you until you make a threat to sue. Then, they claim they don't have stuff even when they do.

They have no respect for the law at the Browad SAO.


They also simply refuse to investigate crooked cops. They wait for the IA people to bring them the case and they they rarely file.

Broward is a back woods civilization.

Anonymous said...

After reading a decade of relentless PBA attacks on the SAO do you really think KFR applies a different standard to cops? PLEASE. She can be criticized for a lot of things, but that's not one of them.

And, as 11:16 indicated, the MD SAO has a long history of providing appropriate Brady notices.

BTDT

PS------And Janet was the paragon of integrity. She was a liberal a SA as we'll ever see. Any old timer can tell you the lengths she went through to ensure that justice was done and that no one could even think that she did anything wrong. We all have our favorites. The bottom line is that the quickest way to get fired (yes, fired) from the SAO is to get caught doing something unethical and inappropriate. That tradition remains today. Don Horn and Lorna Saloman have REPEATEDLY nailed prosecutors for simple lying, let alone a pattern of misconduct.

Anonymous said...

WHO IS GOING TO RUN AGAINST WILLIAM JOHNSON????????

Anonymous said...

"This will charge a $10 donation to the victims of Haiti"

Why are we charging $10 to the victims? Have they not suffered enough?

I'd prefer that I get charged $10 to help the victims of Haiti.

bob said...

I Agree that North of the border there may be different issues, however, we should NEVER, be complacent.
My Prayers to the people of Haiti.
My Son Manny was just deployed fron Jacksonville, with a small carrier group. May the have strenght and success in what could be the worst disaster in our lifetime.
Bob

Fake Sen Harry Reid said...

4:46 NO- screw em. Do you have any idea how much this earthquake will cost? And who do you think will pick up the tag? The US of course. Meaning you and I- Mr. US Taxpayer. So these people need to carry their own weight. Ten bucks is not too much considering all the money that will soon be rolling in.

Michael Grieco said...

HAITI RELIEF EFFORT--> Large truck that will be on the corner of 1st & Alton Rd. South Beach, FL 33139 --beginning at 6:00 pm today and will be there 24/7 until it is filled. Items most needed: blankets, tents, batteries, candles, clo...thing, medicine and canned food.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

TV in Federal Court; say it ain't so .....

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed or halted plans to transmit the video and audio of the high-profile federal trial on California's ban on same-sex marriage to other courthouses around the country.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who is presiding over the trial on the validity of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California in 2008, had planned to post the video on the court's web site and on YouTube

The process probably violated the law on how rules changes must be considered and promulgated, the Court said. By launching the plan without considered rules and guidelines, the Court said, the district court "could compromise the orderly, decorous, rational traditions that courts rely upon to ensure the integrity of their own judgments."

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor. Breyer wrote that the district court had given ample notice of its proposed rules, and received more than 130,000 comments in recent weeks favoring the plan to televise the trial. Breyer said it was "inappropriate as well as unnecessary" to interfere with local judicial administration. He also dismissed the Court's claim of irreparable harm to witnesses, noting that 42 states and two federal trial courts have allowed broadcast of trials without empirical evidence of substantial harm.

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/
blt/2010/01/breaking-supreme
-court-continues-stay-that
-blocked-televising-prop-8-trial.html

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

I did a PRR to FDLE/ATP for the emails between FDLE/ATP Dept. Inspector Don Suereth and PCSO Agency Inspector Cheryl Peacock and low and behold I found a email where AI Peacock informed Dept. Inspector Suereth that while Intoxilyzer 80-000888 was at Enforcement Electronics it was discovered by repair tech Jay Logue that it had be flooded at some point and had water spots covering the inside of the sample chamber and the micron filters. AI Peacock did email Inspector Suereth of this exculpatory evidence but AI Peacock did not tell her PCSO supervisor, Inspector Suereth did not inform the ATP Program Manager and this evidence was discovered to the SAO before trial. To date the state has not contacted any of the 66 people that tested on Intoxilyzer 80-000888 who plead guilty or were found guilty in trial. I believe my client was the only one who found NOT GUILTY...
CMI,Inc + SAO Brady Violations + LEO lying on the stand or falsifying arrest reports = RICO