In our only case this week Judge Nushin Sayfie catches a reversal in a downward departure case.
In State v. Ford the Defendant pled to grand theft of a vehicle. Based on his prior record, his guidelines were 21. 055 months (what's .055 months btw?). However, because in the words of the Judge "the defendant has a job" she granted a motion for downward departure based on the victim's need for restitution and sentenced the defendant to 2 years probation. But the state's prison lust was not satiated in this case and they appealed.
Held: A downward departure under Section 921.0026(2)(e) (Victim's need for restitution) must be based on the court's specific findings that the victim's need for restitution outweighs the need for imprisonment. Since the court in this case based the downward departure on the defendant having employment, it fails the 3rd DCA's scratch and sniff test.
Lesson learned: The road to hell (and reversal) is paved with good intentions Judge Sayfie. Nice try though.
SUPER BOWL WEEKEND:
Guaranteed coin-flip lock coming up this weekend, plus a host of other super bowl props. In order to get away from the Super Bowl crowds, (can't get a decent seat at Joes or Mortons or the S&S) we have repaired to a small resort outside of Las Vegas that has the unique ability to allow wagering on each and every play of the game. They give you this little hand held machine; you load up your account with money....and off you go.
Our picks this weekend and a moving farewell letter on Monday (not from us. Much to the chagrin of local judges and prosecutors, we're not going anywhere for a while.)
IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY:
On Wednesday February 3 (our last post) we commented on Judge Lebow's actions in tossing the murder case when the ASA refused to make an opening statement or call witnesses. We suggested that Lebow overreacted; we posited that Lebow had other remedies like holding the ASA in contempt; we closed with the long standing principle that the law favors decisions on the merits.
Check out Sun Sentinel's Mike Mayo's blog entry about the case on February 4. Coincidence? Flattery? You decide.