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Thursday, April 15, 2010

3Rd DCA ROUNDUP -FLORIDA SUPREME COURT EDITION

BREAKING NEWS: Dolphins trade Ted Ginn to 49ers for a late round pick next year. We think this is a mistake because Ginn was a superb special teams player and could have been used this year while the Dolphins groomed another player to take his place. Goodbye Ted. We hardly knew ya.


You know it; you love it; you wait all week for it.

The 3rd DCA Roundup: Having found no cases that we deemed interesting or "blog worthy" in the last few weeks, we skipped over to the Florida Supreme Court's website and found an interesting opinion on intent and manslaughter.

But before we get to that, we were having dinner at our all time favourite restaurant this past weekend, Raos- in Manhattan- and don't even think about trying to get in- you can't. Anyway, the topic of discussion was "why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway" and "why do they call them apartments when in fact the units are all jammed in together?" There's a lot of drinking at Raos.


State v. Montgomery: Does the prosecution need to prove intent to prove manslaughter? The Florida Supreme Court says: NO.

This case arises out of a murder conviction and a challenge to the standard jury instructions in which manslaughter, as a necessary lesser included crime, contained language in which the jury was instructed that manslaughter required proof of the defendant's intent to specifically kill the deceased.

The court held that: Although in some cases of manslaughter by act it may be inferred from the facts that the defendant intended to kill the victim, to impose such a requirement on a finding of manslaughter by act would blur the distinction between first-degree murder and manslaughter. Moreover, it would impose a more stringent finding of intent upon manslaughter than upon second-degree murder, which, like manslaughter, does not require proof that the defendant intended to kill the victim. Thus, we conclude that under Florida law, the crime of manslaughter by act does not require proof that the defendant intended to kill the victim.

However, the jury instruction in question contained this language:

To prove the crime of Manslaughter, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Victim) is dead. 2. a. (Defendant) intentionally caused the death of (victim).


The court held that: we conclude that this language was insufficient to erode the import of the second element: that the jury must find that the defendant intended to cause the death of the victim. We agree with the district court‘s observation in Montgomery that a reasonable jury would believe that in order to convict Montgomery of manslaughter by act, it had to find that he intended to kill Ellis.


But was the error fundamental, necessitating a new trial for the appellant? Yup. Winner winner chicken dinner for the appellant!


Montgomery was entitled to an accurate instruction on the lesser included offense of manslaughter. The instruction in this case, requiring the jury to find that Montgomery intended to kill Ellis, erroneously explained Florida law on manslaughter by act. Moreover, it was ―pertinent or material to what the jury must consider in order to convict.‖ State v. Delva, 575 So. 2d 643, 645 (Fla. 1991) (quoting Stewart v. State, 420 So. 2d 862, 863 (Fla. 1982)). Thus, we conclude that fundamental error occurred in this case, where Montgomery was indicted and tried for first-degree murder and ultimately convicted of second-degree murder after the jury was erroneously instructed on the lesser included offense of manslaughter.


So there you have it. Dinner at Raos and a new jury instruction for Manslaughter.



See you in court.



18 comments:

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Sex Offenders & Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny & George Bush .....

The Florida House has passed a new law tonight that will prohibit all sex offenders from dressing up as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or George Bush. The language reads:


(b) A prohibition on distributing candy or other items to children on Halloween; wearing a Santa Claus costume, or other costume to appeal to children, on or preceding Christmas; wearing an Easter Bunny costume, or other costume to appeal to children, on or preceding Easter; entertaining at children's parties; or wearing a clown costume including any costume resembling former President George Walker Bush (number 43), without prior approval from the commission.

Cap Out .....

shumie ccrazy said...

They're going shumie crazy on the civil blog, including a rare "reverse shumie."

Anonymous said...

Hey- who's the super hottie who works for Regional Counsel?

Anonymous said...

whatever happened to that pd intern who was nailing the judge?

the trialmaster said...

did the 49ers also acquire the Ginn mother, father and other ginn family members in the trade? and, if so, what postions will they play?

Anonymous said...

If they are concerned about sex, I would say that a prohibition to dress in a William Jefferson Clinton (number 42) would be more specifically tailored to the legislative intent of the bill (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Phins "Breaking News" on Ted "don't hit me" Ginn but nothing on the biggest move since getting Ricky........um, ok

Anonymous said...

shumie comments should be banned.

fake mel keiper said...

It just doesn't seem like it was that many years ago when Richard Essen made a bold move in the second round of the DUI draft and traded up for a skinny kid from Florida and the SAO and grabbed him.

And that kid became the 007 of DUIs.....

Anonymous said...

Ginn was just another wasted Fins pick.

Anonymous said...

The calling for a ban on Shumie comments is a sad commentary on where this concept has gone.

It began as a modified call for the end of a long day. Now, it's called at 10:30, after lunch, and at random times that reflect a misunderstanding of what it really is.

I suggest we all take a step back and remember that calling the Shumie is best left for the latter hours of a business day, and earlier only on the beginning of long weekends, and other occasional days.

legal draftnik said...

Fake Mel- what most people dont remember is that Essen traded a second a third to Paul Pollock and Pollock used those picks to take Matters And Adelstein and a firm was born.

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

FYI ... Bay Of Pigs... 49 years ago today .....

On April 17, 1961, about 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

Anonymous said...

Pro se defendant Carl Leggett, Jr. (see this post http://justicebuilding.blogspot.com/2010/03/3rd-dca-roundup-murder-most-foul.html) wins a new trial under the Florida Supreme Court's affirmance of State v. Montgomery.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole...it is 2 weeks until the qualifying deadline...when will you and the captain give the comprehensive election analyis that you are known for?

List all judges that are up for reelection on here..disuss the ones that are being opposed already in detail discussing the merits of their opponents background...mention judges who deserve opposition....solicit solid feedback......we need more discussion on this!!!!!

Anonymous said...

odd couple trivia

what was oscar madison famous dish that he could make?

where was oscar stationed in the army?

what did a nagging felix cause oscar to miss once at a baseball game?

what current miami arts figure had a cameo on the odd couple?

Rumpole said...

I promise you I didn't Google this-

1) Goup melange;
2) not sure
3) A triple play and btw- the Pirates were the other team on the video of the play at Shea Stadium;
4) It's that ballet guy- I always forget his name. Edward Vallella or something like that.

I think the army was upstate NY, and I remember the episode but I can't remember the place.

Anonymous said...

also correct on edward villela and triple play