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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

THE RISE OF JUDGE THORNTON

Before we begin, check out the previous post and our humble expanded explanation of the future of this blog.

Very quietly Judge John Thornton has made a swift and sure rise in his comparatively brief time on the bench, becoming first an administrative Judge in criminal court, and now, as our favourite federal blogger reports- being vetted for a spot on the Federal Bench!

With two new openings looming in the Southern District (Judge Gold taking senior status? and Judge Jordan's nomination to the 11th circuit) DOM broke the news that Judge Thornton and Magistrate Robin Rosenbaum were being vetted by white house lawyers for nominations to those seats.


PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT:

The Broward JAA Blog had this nice write up on the reversal in Hendrix v. State- where a shockingly raw display of prosecutorial rage over a witnesses' anticipated testimony resulted in the Defendant receiving a new trial.


From the Opinion:

In the present case, the prosecutor not only implied but clearly stated that he intended to charge the witness if he testified at trial consistent with the witness’s sworn testimony at the pretrial deposition. Significantly, the state already had the sworn pretrial deposition in which Small admitted to his complicity in the delivery of the hydrocodone. The state could have charged Small regardless of whether he testified at appellant’s trial. Yet, the state only announced its intent to charge appellant’s witness if the witness testified at the trial consistent with his prior testimony at deposition, and that testimony exculpated appellant ...

We find that the prosecutor’s conduct in this case was an infringement of appellant’s due process rights ...

We also find the prosecutor’s statement in closing that if the detective “is a liar, acquit. If he’s not a liar, convict” to be improper. The prosecutor may not argue that the jury can convict for any reason “other than his guilt of the crimes charged.” ...

As Justice George Sutherland aptly stated:

[The goal of a prosecutor] in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor-indeed, he should do so.But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one. (emphasis added)

And just what was the charge the prosecutor threatened the witness with? Another twenty-five year min/man, of course, for his role in the same transaction involving fifty-seven pain pills the Defendant was on trial for. It doesn't get any worse than this, and there's no clearer illustration of why pill case min/mans have gotten such a bad name. By placing all discretion in the hands of unreasonable and irresponsible State Attorneys interested in convictions at all costs, justice has effectively been thrown out with the bathwater.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

on a lighter note
DS

Cross-dressing drag queen bandits accused of stealing boas and bras.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/20/2415976/cross-dressing-drag-queen-bandits.html#ixzz1YUpz2KrC

Anonymous said...

Thornton is a great choice, but the Obama administration is looking for minorities.

Anonymous said...

TO THE SORDID CHARACTERS WHO COLLECTIVELY POST AS RUMPOLE: Speaking of ethics, - as a conflict office employee who does not think Joe George is as bad as you portray him let me ask you this: under rule 4 - 8.4 of the
Florida BAR RULES OF MISCONDUCT IS IT violation for you to attack a constitutional officer of the STATE and " knowingly or through callous indifference... humilitate... someone, including another member of the bar,... because of their disablility, sexual orientation, physical characateristics, race, etc. No wonder you are all anonymous because half the attacks on this blog would subject one to bar discipline. I am reffering to the hilarious protrayal of the mind of Joe George and alleged paranoia, a mental illness. would you attack the pd, state attorney, or judge the same way you attack george. he did build up the office from nothing when you all were firing lawsuits because you would make less money on court appointments. 2. Regarding the firings at the counsel's office, the Florida bar has posted the Miami Herald articles in the DAily News Summary section of the bar's webcite. They therefore are on notice of the underlying behavior which caused George to fire Zenobi so it will be interesting to see how trivial the bar and jqc considers drinking alcohol in a government building. Who complained to George about it, how many witnesses, was it a harmless toast about a birthday or was it the high paid death penalty lawyers thumbing their noses at and ignoring the rules that the other attorneys complied with? Personally I think it was an unjustified firing but this mess may have cancelled out them both for the job and a career prosecutor now has the inside track to run a criminal defense office. TRUTH CAN BE STRANGER THAN FICTION, RIGHT RUMPOLE.

The Green Hornet said...

Get your facts straight:
1) It was a private building. 2) Joe George didn't witness it because he rarely works and was never at his office at the building in question. A henchman of his saw it as a way to strike at zenobi who represented a big threat to Joe George.Gene Zenobi worked twice as many hours as Joe George, but then again Gene Zenobi helped ten times as many clients as Joe George ever did. Gene ran the felony division, handled a full workload, and did it all part time. Not a bad value for the buck.

3) Assuming it is true- is it worth the careers of three people? The enourmous severity of the punishment vis a vis the small violation of the rules by three top people at the office with stellar reputations, stellar work habits and who were extraordinarily effective for the office's clients show that Joe George is not fit to command an overnight shift at Burger King, much less a state agency. Ws there any other "punishment" other than firing these three people that could have been instituted?

You should get your facts straight and consider what was behind what Joe George did. And finally Einstein, answer me this: if this horriffic offense occurred on July 13,2011, why were they fired on September 7, 2011? Why did Joe George allow them to continue their work? Why did Joe George send out emails praising Gene Zenobi's work in geting two death penalty's waived at the end of August? Why did Joe George go to the funeral of Rene Palomino's mother two weeks before Joe decided Rene was unfit to remain as an attorney. Remember Rene was covering cases IN TWO COUNTIES without being paid for mileage or expenses.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE TWO MONTH DELAY? How about this: Joe cannot run an office and had no money to pay for the Escobar case and was embarassed to admit it. By firing Gene and Kellie he kiils in his twisted little mind two birds with one stone- 1- He tries to besmirch his main competition; 2_ with one stroke he balances his budget?

The problem is that Joe George never expected the backlash he got and now realizes this all blew up in his face. He is out next Monday afternoon. Six days and counting.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Thortnton is a tremendous pick.

Anonymous said...

Obama is looking for minorities? Really?

Fake Blecher. said...

Can the discussion return to important matters and back off this arrant nonsense? Specifcally, I would like an intelligent discussion about Ken Weisman's impending breakfast/dinner date with Angry Gurl at the Ham and Eggery? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The rise of zionist hostility to the righteous jews ......... ELENA KAGAN and other judges have sworn allegiance to the Likud racist legacy in Israel and the jew only water / jew only roads version of imperialism .

Anonymous said...

Fake Blecher / Belcher,

The word is "errant" not arrant. The definition of errant is:

er·rant
   /ˈɛrənt/ Show Spelled[er-uhnt] Show IPA
adjective
1.
deviating from the regular or proper course; erring; straying.
2.
journeying or traveling, as a medieval knight in quest of adventure; roving adventurously.
3.
moving in an aimless or lightly changing manner: an errant breeze.

The definition of arrant is: 1.
downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious: an arrant fool.

Arrant is a possible variant of errant and therefore it is easy to confuse the two words.

Finally, nobody gives a rat's _ss about Angry Gurl and his anal warts.

Anonymous said...

In my completely uninformed and unsolicited opinion, the First Amendment would trump rule 8.4.

Mr. George is a public figure if there ever was one, and commentary and or parody would be protected speech.

It is not fear of the Florida Bar (motto: dues are due) that makes people draft anonymously on the blog. It is that occasionally, things need to be said, but no one wants to be the messenger, whose practice suffers for it.

Word of the day guyz said...

Stand aside Rumpole, we'll handle this one. Game, set, match to Fake Blecher for his correct use of the word "arrant" . Arrant means downright, thorough, notorious, or unmitigated. It is most commonly ( for an uncommon word) used in the phrase "arrant fool" as in "joe p george is an arrant fool" or " arrant nonsense" as in " angry gurl writes arrant nonsense."

Kudos to FB for using a B+ word.

The Green Hornet said...

Lest we forget, Let Em Go Joe P George fired Judge Bruce Levy without whom Let Em Go Joe would have no criminal office. Levy not Let Em Go Joe is the one who created that criminal office from nothing.

Food for thought for pea brains supporting Let Em Go Joe

Anonymous said...

Judge Thornton is REALLY being pushed by Judge Moreno and Harley Tropin. They are lobbying hard for this appointment.

Anonymous said...

To Word of the Day Guy:

I prostate myself before you and your superior knowledge of the English language. I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

After an implosion such as this, there is only one step to take.

When is the Comedy Central roast of Joseph George?

Huh? said...

Does anyone have any clue what 12:37 is foaming at the mouth about?

Anonymous said...

Whoever has never had liquor in the Justice Building or another government building, please cast the first stone.

Anonymous said...

thorton is a great guy. i hope emas is next.

Anonymous said...

@6:01-- My exact sentiments.

Mr. Obvious Punchline said...

I never had a drop of alcohol in the courthouse nor offices of the SAO.

The alcohol dulls the high from the crack.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone be surprised at Thornton's rise? He has a brilliant legal mind. He was a darn fine defense attorney, and not arrogant. On the bench, he has proven to be thoughtful and fair, and treats everyone with respect while showing that he is in charge. The only lament I would have if he were to go to the federal bench would be that the REGJB may be losing its best judge.

Mossad said...

Re: 12:37

Attention all Zionist sleeper cells.

They are on to us. Our plot to take over this blog is exposed. (one more piece of the media for us to control)

We control access to the world's rich stocks of smoked whitefish, and soon expect to corner the market on fresh circumcised matzoh balls.

With this exposure of the plot to control water and roads, time has come to begin Operation Moyle - trigger phrase: off with their heads.

Please respond via this blog in proper code.

Signing off,

Station Chief
Extremely West Bank

Anonymous said...

Bagley passed over again because of his awful judicial demeanor. Being a grump for the better part of two decades gets you nowhere.

Good luck to John Thornton. Couldnt happen to a better judge and a nicer guy.

Anonymous said...

To GOP: Banks Good Courts BAD
DS

Rick Scott, GOP to consider taking courts out of foreclosure process

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/21/2417050/rick-scott-gop-to-consider-taking.html#ixzz1YaOh8r2D

mikal said...

I think I have an idea of what 12:37 is talking about.

Anonymous said...

Thornton: nice man but lame judge.

Anonymous said...

"Ron" Jeremy Alters in deep doo doo.

mikal said...

12:37 could be:

1) a Jew hater (use of the words "Zionist"and "imperialist" are always a dead give aways.);

2) fussing about the schism between the people who founded the State of Israel, and the ultra religious Jews who think that Israel should have been founded by G-d, not man. It is a fight between the secular left and the ultra religious right.;

3) thinking that all Jews have a blind allegiance to Israel and Jewish causes, or;

4) believing that there is a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world,a la "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", or thinks that Israel should be destroyed in favor of another alternative.

I think choices 1,2, 1nd 4 make the most sense in my little brain.

Regardless, the poster should have had the guts to use his or her real name.

Anonymous said...

Thornton is as smart as Emas but, not all all a bully.

Fake mendy said...

Oy vey

Anonymous said...

Mikal-- enlighten us. What are they talking about.

I agree with your statement-- have the guts to post your name.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday 12:45: So we're clear on your philosphy about those who should become a federal judge: Jerald Bagley, a man who works hard, tries cases, knows the law, has a squeaky-clean reputation and expects professionalism from those before him should get screwed in order to reward the "nice guy" that "gets along" with everyone but has done nothing to distinguish himself in the legal community. Right? Please, if you ever were the victim of Bagley's temper, it was your own fault for not being prepared. All you have to do with Thornton is smile nicely and you get your way. That's not good judicial demeanor - that's a wimp in a robe.

Anonymous said...

11:32 - great post on the goings on at regional

On Thornton - what a quality judge and human being. Always fair and took the time to listen. I didn't always get my result, but that's why we have an adversarial system. He is an asset to all the citizens of miami dade.

A good judge isn't a liberal judge or one who gives you everything you want. A good judge interprets the law fairly and gives each side an opportunity to be heard. Then s/he thinks about both positIons and rules accordingly. Judge Thornton has always done that with me. And he has conducted very fair trials and vop's fort clients. That's all I can ask for.

Anonymous said...

I suggest we take up this matter at the next meeting of the International Jew Conspiracy. I'll bring latkas..
DS

Anonymous said...

The Broward ASA was also a top DTU (Drug Trafficking Unit). Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Re bagley

Read the gensler opinion. And then tell me that he knows the law. Seriously....

Anonymous said...

2:50 - Re. Bagley

Oh I've seen his wrath...when he insisted he knew what was best for the client -- So I was left with a client crying on the 9th floor & begging to go to the hospital, while Bagley wouldn't sign the transfer order until the client was brought to court. Client (on the 9th floor - hint hint) couldn't be brought to a.m. calendar b/c he was unpredictably violent. So his honor publicly rebuked me in open court for proposing the transfer my client was begging for. Now THERE'S real justice.