Monday update: We're going to leave the Davis post up today so those of you who contribute at work (or from the bench) can weigh in. 3-2 on football picks- 2-2 on games and 1-0 on the over.
PLAYOFF SUNDAY: Won on the Jets yesterday, should have picked the money line. Lost on the Cowpokes, but mitigated that with a win on the over.
Today: Ravens at Cheaters: Ravens, like the Jets, are built to win in January. Ravens -3 +500.
Pack at Cardinals. Line is all over the place here from Cardinals -2 t0 Cardinals +2. The money line is -110 for both (meaning you have to bet 110 to win 100) so lets call is even and put 500 brats on the Pack.
PHIL DAVIS : Requiem for a fallen man:
The sad and sordid saga of the life and legal career of former Dade Circuit Judge Phil Davis came to an inglorious end on Friday in a fourth floor courtroom in the Justice Building. A courtroom that was two floors above the second floor courtroom where Davis used to preside over twenty years ago.
On Friday Judge Butchko sentenced Phil Davis to 20 years in prison for stealing over $86,000 in County money ear marked for poor and underprivileged residents.
The title links to the Herald story.
We have no sympathy for Davis. He skated on a bribery and corruption case in federal court in which he was clearly guilty. His mish-mash defense then of cocaine abuse and entrapment was ridiculous considering his position, and only a lawyer as talented as ex-federal Judge Alcee Hastings could have pulled it off.
Having escaped the clutches of federal prison that ended up capturing co-conspirators former Judges Harvey Shenberg, Roy T. Gelber, Alfonso Sepe, David Goodhart, and others, Davis got a more than a one in a million chance.
And then he did it again.
And not only did Davis steal, he stole from the poor of this community and he committed his theft using what Judge Butchko labeled his "gifts" that he had "been blessed with."
All that being said, and with the firm belief Davis needs to go to prison if for no other reason than to punish him for acting like he was above the law for the last 20 years, the sentence is excessive.
The sentence is excessive because under our system we punish people based on the extent of the fraud and the monetary amount of the crime.
Disgraced NY Lawyer Marc Drier ran a Ponzi scheme, stole 700 MILLION dollars and received 20 years in prison.
The sentence is excessive because 20 years is anywhere from a third to a quarter of an individuals average life span and that is way too much to take away from someone who has not physically injured another.
The sentence is excessive because not only is it not proportionate with what federal courts in general have been giving across the country for this type of crime, but it is also excessive based on prior Miami Dade cases.
Within the last few years Circuit Judge John Schlessinger sentenced attorney and former prosecutor Knovack Jones to five years in prison for stealing over $300,000.00 in inheritance money from a client whom she befriended at her church. No coincidence that prior to becoming a Circuit Judge, Schlessinger spent many years in a distinguished career as a federal prosecutor.
We don't as a habit give the feds much credit, but this much is clear- they seem to realize the devastating impact prison has on an individual and most sentences come out between the 5 and 15 year range. It takes a lot to get into the 30-life category. Justifiably so.
The sentence is excessive because ten years is more than sufficient in this case. Davis would have spent behind bars ten birthdays, ten of his daughters birthdays, ten holiday seasons, and missed for a decade all of the small little things that make our lives memorable and enjoyable. He would have gotten out of prison in ten years as an old man with no conceivable way of making a decent living.
20 years amounts to a life sentence, and that is too much, even for the despicable crimes Davis committed in this case.
The sentence is excessive because the minimum sentence under the guidelines was 4 years and the maximum was 30. 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation and 5000 community service hours to be performed at the rate of 500 hours per year would have accomplished the same goal.
Having witnesses Davis in court as a judge and watched as this reprobate sold his robes and sullied the reputation of our humble courthouse and all who worked here, we take no joy in defending him. Indeed, we are not defending him. We are just saying that in general the system for punishment and the terms of incarceration that Judges issue, especially in the state courts of Florida, are out of line, and are excessive to the point of being cruel and unusual.
Our legal system is supposed to issue punishment based on the crime in a fair, moderate, and humane way, devoid of vengeance based on emotion, and not cruel either in the manner or the length.
FOOTBALL: Our Saturday football playoff picks in the comments section today before noon.