WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, April 29, 2011

3RD DCA LUNCHEON


Third District Court of Appeal
Historical Society, Inc.

cordially invites you to attend its
Biennial Luncheon With The Judges
A “Members Only” Event with the Judges of
The Third District Court of Appeal
Featuring “Reflections on Serving as Chief Judge”
by The Honorable Juan Ramirez

May 13, 2011 at 12:00 noon

Hyatt Regency Coral Gables at The Alhambra,
50 Alhambra Plaza

There will be no on-site registration. Registration Closes May 4. (Rumpole notes: If you are late you may be asked to explain yourself in lieu of sanctions!)
Please access the Historical Society’s Membership Enrollment Form here

Please access the Historical Society’s Luncheon Registration Form here.


Rumpole notes: Always happy to help our friends at the 3rd DCA.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE DREADED "P" WORD

"P" as in Parole.

Parole- what Hollywood and the local news tells us is the organization that repeatedly scours the dregs of the prison system so that liberal bureaucrats can return the most violent of all prisoners to society so that they can prey upon the innocent again and again.

But lets ignore Hollywood and Fox News for a moment.

A NY Editorial Thursday takes a rational (non-Fox News) look at parole and the results are not surprising.

Of all States in the union, Oregon had the lowest rate of recidivism from prisoners released from state custody (22.8%) versus 57.8% for California and a national average of 39.9%.
Why?

In the 1990s, the Oregon Legislature created a rating system that allows parole officers to employ a range of sanctions — short of a return to prison — for offenders whose infractions were minor and did not present a danger. A parolee who fails a drug test can be sent to residential drug treatment or sentenced to house arrest or community service. In 2003, the state passed a law requiring all state-financed correctional treatment programs to use methods that have been shown to improve client compliance and to reduce recidivism.

As Florida struggles with an expanding prison population and a shrinking budget with neither the funds for prosecution or defense, reducing prison related costs seems a good alternative.

Plus Hollywood could then start churning out movies about Florida parolees who are released to "finish the job they started". etc.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WE'VE STRUCK GOLD

All of the sudden today got very interesting. Read the whole post por favor.

You've been asking for it since Monday.

You've been nervously checking the blog to see when it was available.

Courtesy of South Florida Lawyers, we present to you.....the complaint.

Marc "another lap dance" Gold
vs.
Gold Rush.

Who said "Liquor and beautiful women don't mix?"

Not us.

QUERY: What's the Difference between Bertie Soto (Dade Chief Criminal Court Judge) and Ilona Homes (Broward Chief Criminal Court Judge)?

Answer: Judge Soto didn't almost shoot it out with the police. Broweird being Broweird, Ilona Holmes (a former Dade ASA and So. Fl AUSA) did. Check out the video here and the JAA Blog coverage here. Wild. But then, it's Browierd. Here's the deal in Browierd: If you're an African American, the police in Browierd want to arrest you, even if you're doing the dishes in your own home, as Judge Holme's sister found out on Easter Sunday. That wasn't a big bunny pointing a gun at her sister. It was a BSO Officer.

DOM: reports on more big NGs in Federal Court. Congrats to Fed PDs Michael Caruso, D'Arsey Houlihan and Vanessa Chen, and former Fed PD and current legal bigwig Hector Flores (husband of our own Circuit Judge Mary Barzee-Flores). The Feds went down hard on a huge Securities Case.


See You In Court.

Oh yeah- Obama released his long form birth certificate today. Game set and match against the "birthers." Or maybe not. Lots of nitpicking questions will emerge such as why was the document registered two days after the birth and why did the doctor sign it three days after the birth and why didn't the doctor and the mother sign it at the same time. Just watch. These lunatics will never shut up.

IZZY REYES TO RETIRE NEXT MONTH

But we already said that, and you already knew it.

What are the ramifications of a good, honest, dedicated jurist leaving the bench because Governor Scott's attempt to balance the budget on the backs of public servants?
Well, in this instance, we lose an excellent and experienced judge.
Who will replace him?

DOM posted a link to a wild federal order out of Texas that starts "Progress May have been alright once, but it has gone on too long." The wacky opinion is here.

The NFL Lockout was ended by Judicial Fiat, but for how long?
Send us your guess for who the Dolphins pick in the first two rounds this year. Winner gets something.

FACDL Banquet coming up. Who's going? Not us. Too many lawyers in a small space makes us nervous.

Here's what we don't get about the Libya thing: We can drop bombs on soldiers and their generals all day long, but if one American per chance has Qadiffi in his or her gun sights, they cannot legally pull the trigger.

Also this: If Qadaffi buys it, what other words are there that start with a Q but don't have a U?

Some reporter from the DBR is sniffing around the lot 26 story. He wants a lawyer to get beat up....we mean arrested, and then interview them. Any volunteers?

Really, we got nothing today.

See you in court.


Monday, April 25, 2011

EXODUS CHAPTER III

MORE BREAKING NEWS: It has been rumored for a few months now that the first casualty of the new plan that would cut judges salaries by 30% would be the resignation of Judge Izzy Reyes. We now believe that is official. Judge Reyes will be leaving for a job in the private sector shortly.

We lose an experienced and dedicated jurist today because we get the quality of judges that we pay for.


Oh What A Night! All Judges leaving the bench for the lucrative private sector would be well advised to avoid the night had by one Marc Gold, Esq., who according to South Florida Lawyers, has sued the Gentlemen's Establishment Gold Rush for a night that cost him over 18 grand on his credit card. And the worst part is, according to the complaint, he is doesn't remember most of it!

Rumpole says, if you're going to rack up 18 grand in the champagne room, you should at least get a few memories out of the deal.

BREAKING NEWS: A ROY T GELBER UPDATE! :

Long time denizens of the REGJB remember former Judge Roy T. Gelber. He was indicted in the Courtbroom scandal and ended up testifying for the government against fellow Judges Sepe, Schenberg, Goodhart, et. al. Gelber served a lengthy prison sentence and was released back to our community. Apparently to offend again.

Now comes word from a Miami Herald article that the former Judge who once tried to use bankruptcy to get out of his law school loans is implicated in an airplane parts ponzi scheme.

And to think that an ASA a long time ago once got a conviction reversed when she told a jury that a Tiger doesn't change his stripes. (Bonus points if you get the name of the former ASA correct.)

Like a bad penny, Roy T Gelber keeps turning up at the scenes of crimes in South Florida.


LOT 26 Monday, April 25, 2011. 9:00 am ish:






"Rumpole went to the Pharoah Brown and said 'LET THE ATTORNEYS PARK.'.
But the Pharoah's heart was hardened and even now, after two blog posts, he did not let the attorneys park."


A VERY WORTHY CAUSE

With the news that Boot Camp has closed for lack of funding, and with the Governor actively trying to shut down the State (Governor Scott's Motto: "Florida: We're closed. Please check back shortly." *) comes this email from Judge Deborah White-Labora:

Dear Rump,

A few months ago I was siting in on a Friends of Drug Court board meeting. We were discussing whether we would be able to continue our long tradition of serving lunch at graduations given the budget situation.

Phill Reizenstein suggested that members of the defense bar might be interested in sponsoring the luncheon. Well a message went out over the list serve and our colleagues immediately stepped in to help. This month our graduation luncheon is being sponsored by Maria and Ed Shohat and we are booked with sponsorships through the summer! (If I may I will keep you up to date on the sponsors each month.)

We have an amazing group of talented, caring lawyers at the REGJB!

Best regards,

DWL.

Rumpole says: Kudos to Judge White, Phil Reizenstein, Maria and Ed Shohat and the board of Friends of Drug Court. This program along with Court Care are the two programs at the REGJB that we care about the most.

If you missed it, over the weekend Dolphin's wide receiver Brandon Marshall was shut down again- this time by his wife. Marshall couldn't shake the coverage and she stabbed him, but thankfully he is ok.

Another Monday. Another parking nightmare? Let us know.

Violence begets violence, and stupidity begets....well, you fill in the rest after reading that the Florida Legislature is rolling back Florida's Bright Futures scholarship program. The Herald article is here.

Fire Station dedicated to Hero Firefighter: Robert "Casey" Lamme is being honored for his heroism when thirty years ago he was killed when he stopped, while off duty, to rescue a woman in a burning car on the Palmetto.



Thursday, April 21, 2011

GOOD FRIDAY

UPDATED: It's not Good Friday for everyone: Hank Adorno suspended for three years. The Supreme Court decision is here. Rumpole tip: it never bodes well for you when the decision of the Florida Supreme Court uses the word "egregious" over ten times to describe your conduct.
(Hat tip: South Florida Lawyers).

Friday is Good Friday and state courts are closed. (Plenty of Parking in Lot 26!)

Who knew?

Oy vey.


DOM has the news on some NGs in a mortgage fraud case and on former Southern District Assistant Federal Public Defender- and the current Federal Public Defender for San Diego (talk about winning the lottery!) Reuben Cahn arguing before the Supremes.

The JAABlog has Browierd sinking to a new low and prosecuting a 90 year old man for domestic violence.

Senator Ensign (R-Adulterer) Nevada will resign on Friday.

Good Friday means Satisfying Saturday and Easter Sunday. Enjoy.

Watch our Twitter this weekend for any developments.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EXODUS CHAPTER II

(In our first chapter of Exodus, Rumpole, upon seeing the parking problems at lot 26 this past Monday approached the Pharaoh Brown and said "LET MY PEOPLE PARK!" But Pharaoh Brown's heart was hardened and he did not let the people park.)

Chapter II:

The Pharaoh's heart was hardened but he was not unmoved. He pondered his situation as the lawyers complained.

Pharaoh Brown (PB): Hmm, the people are restless. The attorneys are angry. Something must be done. Get me Sam Slom.

Court Jester: GET THE PHARAOH SAM SLOM. So it is written, so let it be done!

Sam Slom: You called Pharaoh?

PB: Yes. Put down that enormous beverage cup you are always carrying and have a seat.
The lawyers are restless. This is not good.

SS: This is not good.

PB: I have an idea!

SS: You have an idea??!!

PB: We will let some of the lawyers park. Go now, move some of the legions to the other lot. Lets see hmm...

SS: I will move some of the legions to the other lot.

PB: Say 40 of the legion.

SS: 40 of the legion.

PB: I just said that.

SS: But you said for me to say it.

PB: Who do I look like? Bud Abbott? I am the Pharaoh Brown. Stick to the right century please.

SS: Sticking to the right century.

PB: Move 40 of the legion to the other lot. But tell them this- the production of bricks shall not fall one brick. They shall show up on time and they shall praise the Pharaoh.

Court Jester: The productions of bricks shall not fall one brick! The lawyers shall be on time. So it is written, so it shall be done!



From: "Slom, Samuel"
Date: Apr 20, 2011 7:11 AM
Subject: Parking on lot 26
To: "Sabrina Puglisi" "Jude M. Faccidomo"
Cc: "Soto, Bertila" , "Garcia, Amy"

Thank you for your recent e-mails on the parking situation in lot 26.

Yesterday, Judge Soto the AOC, Court liaison and I met with the City of Miami at which time a plan was put into place that would involve the movement of 40 law enforcement officers from lot 26 to lot 18.

It may take a short period of time to implement this transition but it is hoped that this will free up spots in lot 26 for the paying customers.

Thanks for your patience as the court is attempting to facilitate a resolution to the problem. The City of Miami is committed to solving this situation as well .

Sam Slom

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

EXODUS

THUS SAYETH THE LAWYERS TO THE EVIL PHARAOH BROWN:

LET MY PEOPLE PARK!

Judging by the emails flying on the FACDL list-serv and the emails we received, Monday was one of the worst days yet for attorneys trying to park in the lot where they have already paid to secure parking:

Not to beat a dead horse, but would someone please remind me why I am subsidizing parking for police officers to my own detriment?

...

Not only that but they park in tail first then exit facing the wrong direction. They park on the swales on top of the curbs and in general are inconsiderate and believe it’s a police lot.

"But Pharaoh Brown's heart was hardened and he refused to let the lawyers park:"

We received this email on Monday:

"Rumpole-- I don't know if you are in court today, but the most harrowing thing yet happened to me in lot 26. There were no spaces and cars were circling. I saw a space open up on the next aisle and as I got to the end of the aisle I was on and made the turn, a police car came racing up two aisles over and also turned but I was first. Clearly the officer wanted the same spot I did. I drove to the spot and as I started to pull in the officer turned on his emergency lights and ordered me out of my car. I knew what was going to happen so I called my office on my new I-Phone 4 and set up a video chat with my secretary and had another lawyer in my office watch so we had witnesses. I then got out of my car. The officer was incensed. He asked if I was videoing this and I said yes. He demanded that I turn it off and i refused. I then told him at least two people were watching this and asked him to explain on video why he activated his emergency lights and ordered me out of the car. The officer was furious. He said he was going to arrest me for reckless driving and now for refusing the lawful order of an officer. I told him to do whatever he needed to do, that I was not going to resist and that I was sure he was angry because I had arrived first at a parking space he wanted. I then filmed the parking spot my car was half in and his vehicle. Another officer arrived and spoke with the officer who was obviously losing control. To make a longer story short, the second officer calmed the first one down and they both drove away. Rumpole, I am convinced that I was not arrested only because I remained calm and had the presence of mind to film the encounter. Please help. This situation is getting out of hand."


"And so among the lawyers only one- a rumpled figure, beseeched the Evil Pharaoh Brown and said "Lo I have been a stranger in a strange land (Broward) but now on behalf of the lawyers, I say to you: LET THE LAWYERS PARK!"
But the Evil Pharaoh Brown's heart was hardened and he did not let the lawyers park....."

To be continued....

April 19,2011:

According to one popular movie, this was a very bad day. Find out why, tomorrow, on your favourite local legal blog. We'll be back.


Monday, April 18, 2011

GOODLUCK

Longtime and careful readers of this blog know our affinity for Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan who was appointed president last year after the death of the well known late prsident Umaru Yar'Adua.

We are pleased to report that Mr. Jonathan has been elected president in his own right in Nigeria's election this past week. Goodluck Jonathan thus becomes his country's Johnson and not Ford.

SUGAR KILLS! You read it here first (although we twittered the link yesterday.) Here is the NY Times Magazine Article on Sugar. And we highly recommend you go on you-tube and watch Dr. Lustig's lecture: Sugar-The Bitter Truth."

Put down that Coke. Don't pick up that Gatorade. Go pour yourself a nice pure glass of cold water with lemon and read the article and save your life.

ANOTHER MONDAY- ANOTHER DIFFICULT DAY OF PARKING....courtesy of the City of Miami and some obnoxious officers who do not even come close to following the rules they are paid by us to enforce.

A quiet week with Passover today and tomorrow. Throw out the bread, get some matzos and we will see you in court.

Friday, April 15, 2011

CAASRADA

Concerned
Attorneys
Against
Stupid
Repetitive
And
Dumb
Acronyms.

Case in point: WPNG- anyone and everyone who practices criminal law knows that PNG means "Plea of not guilty." Indeed at least half the Judges in the REGJB know that as well, but we digress.

There are two ways you can enter a plea of not guilty: you can go to court and during the arraignment say the words "the defendant pleads not guilty" or you can file a written plea and thus obviate the need for your client to attend the proceeding (in State Court. Don't make that mistake in Federal Court!)

When someone in the comments section writes that they "filed a WPNG" it is a redundancy. If you've been paying attention you know there are two ways to enter a plea of not guilty- say it or file a written plea. It is, to the best of our knowledge, impossible to file an oral plea.

Therefore, it is a redundancy to say that one "filed" a written plea- there is no other way to do it.

CAASRADA will meet the third Tuesday of every month at AEETBNL:
an exclusive eatery to be named later.


GET A ROOM...ON SECOND THOUGHT....

The JAABlog reports on the rumor of the day- that two amorous ASA's were caught In Flagrante Delicto in the Broward County parking garage.

We'd be tempted to tell the over-heated crime fighters to go get a room. But with all Governor Scott is doing to state employees, our sympathies are with them. Perhaps they cannot afford a room. Now if they were going at it on county time....well that would be a different kettle of fish all together.

Speaking of Sex :
We are loathe to even dignify this conversation, but we shall, just this once.

There is a damn good reason why an individual's sexual orientation is not allowed to be discussed on the blog. It's nobody's damn business. Now WHERE they seek fulfillment might be someone's business, if they do it on county property and government time ( see above.) But otherwise there is more of chance that we would offer to take the entire Dade Judiciary to lunch at Joes and wash their cars while they ate then we would allow anyone discuss this subject on the blog.

Look at it another way. Nobody looks at Judge A and says identifies the Judge as a heterosexual judge. Just like most police descriptions used to not mention the individual's race if they were white. But for reasons similar to why african-american males are routinely singled out as "black males" in police report while white males are just "males", gay judges would be routinely referred to as "a gay judge", while we have never heard anyone refer to a heterosexual judge as a "straight judge."

Nobody deserves to be labeled and identified simply on their sexual preference. It's as irrelevant as identifying an individual by the sport team they support (although there is a damn good reason to make an exception for people who support the cheater-Patriots.)

So just stop it already. It will never make this blog.


There you have it. We got two things that were bothering us off our chests.

As we said, spring is in the air, and a young ASA's thoughts quickly turn away from min-mans and to love. Just be careful. You never know who's watching or what security cam is recording the most embarrassing moment of your life.

See You In Court.


SPEAKING OF PERJURY

With the Federal Government spending millions of dollars to secure a conviction of Barry Bonds because he lied about using steroids to play A GAME, the Daily Pulp is calling for the perjury prosecution of former circuit judge Ana Gardiner for lying about her improprieties with a prosecutor during A DEATH PENALTY PROSECUTION.

Perjury-baseball....by a player
or
Perjury- death penalty trial....by a judge.

Whom do you think the government should spend money prosecuting?

It's another beautiful spring weekend.
Enjoy.






Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A WELL FED JUDICIARY

We seem to remember a part of the Constitution that goes something like "A Well Fed Judiciary being necessary for the security of a free state...."

Careful and savvy social media readers saw our Twitter earlier in the week on the article entitled

We did an informal survey this week and judging (no pun intended) from the groaning of the judicial benches we observed in our fair building, it appears the answer to the article must be big fat (pun intended) "no", as our judges appear to be exceedingly well fed. Thus, passing no opinion on the collective merits of the sentences handed out in Miami, we feel obliged to point out that at least in the Magic City, hunger cannot be the cause of an unduly harsh sentence. Black robes hide more than arrogance.


Barry Bonds was found guilty on one count Wednesday afternoon, breaking the hearts of Giant Fans and one Miami Blogger.

Judge Leebow's pooch in court gets a defendant an evidentiary hearing. (Hat tip Jaablog)

Rumpole says: While we don't have a dog in that fight, reading the merits of the defendant's allegations, well, that dog won't hunt.

And finally, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

But for one unfortunately named defendant, the name sadly says it all.

See You In Court, handing out Dr. Atkins books to our robed readers.



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

LOTS OF NEW JUDGES
, and more on the way .......

Congratulations to Judge Lisa Walsh. On Monday, Governor Rick Scott elevated her to the Circuit Court to fill the seat left vacant with the death of Judge Pineiro. Judge Walsh has big shoes to fill, but those that know Lisa have all the confidence in the world that she will get the job done and do it fairly and with respect, to the litigants and the attorneys, from both sides, just like Rob would have wanted and expected!!!

Judge Walsh joins Judge Victoria Brennan who last week was appointed by the Governor to replace Judge Kevin Emas. If you were keeping score, the six names that the Governor was choosing from included: Judges Brennan, Figarola, Hague, Walsh and White-Labora, and attorney Michael Hanzman.

Meanwhile, with the passing of Judge Gross, the JNC recently sent up six more names. Those names are: Judges Brennan, Walsh and White-Labora, along with private attorneys Miguel de la O, Michael Hanzman, and Richard Hersch. Keep your scorecards out as that means two of the six names before the Governor have now been eliminated from the short list. So, your next Circuit Court Judge will be either Judge White Labora or one of the three attorneys, de la O, Hanzman or Hersch.

County Court
.....

Last week Governor Scott appointed ASA Fleur Lobree to the open seat of Judge Bloom. On the same date that Lobree was being named a Judge, the JNC sent five more names up to the Governor to replace Judge Gayles’ open County Court seat. Those names are: Tanya Brinkley, Dawn Denaro, John Goran, Steven Lieberman, and Gordon Murray.

And, with the appointments of Brennan and Walsh, the JNC will open the application process one more time. They will conduct interviews and then send up still more names to the Governor and he will need to name two more County Court judges.

Of course, if by chance the Governor chooses Judge White-Labora for that last open Circuit Court seat, that will give Scott still one more County Court judge to name.

Has any Governor in the past ever had as many as eight (three Circuit and five County) judicial appointments in their first six months of office?

CAPTAIN OUT
.......

Monday, April 11, 2011

US SUPREME COURT DECISION LETS CRIMINALS GO FREE

By John Thompson.

Published by the NY Times on April 9 , 2011.


I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row. I’ve been free since 2003, exonerated after evidence covered up by prosecutors surfaced just weeks before my execution date. Those prosecutors were never punished. Last month, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to overturn a case I’d won against them and the district attorney who oversaw my case, ruling that they were not liable for the failure to turn over that evidence — which included proof that blood at the robbery scene wasn’t mine.

Because of that, prosecutors are free to do the same thing to someone else today.

I was arrested in January 1985 in New Orleans. I remember the police coming to my grandmother’s house — we all knew it was the cops because of how hard they banged on the door before kicking it in. My grandmother and my mom were there, along with my little brother and sister, my two sons — John Jr., 4, and Dedric, 6 — my girlfriend and me. The officers had guns drawn and were yelling. I guess they thought they were coming for a murderer. All the children were scared and crying. I was 22.

They took me to the homicide division, and played a cassette tape on which a man I knew named Kevin Freeman accused me of shooting a man. He had also been arrested as a suspect in the murder. A few weeks earlier he had sold me a ring and a gun; it turned out that the ring belonged to the victim and the gun was the murder weapon.

My picture was on the news, and a man called in to report that I looked like someone who had recently tried to rob his children. Suddenly I was accused of that crime, too. I was tried for the robbery first. My lawyers never knew there was blood evidence at the scene, and I was convicted based on the victims’ identification.

After that, my lawyers thought it was best if I didn’t testify at the murder trial. So I never defended myself, or got to explain that I got the ring and the gun from Kevin Freeman. And now that I officially had a history of violent crime because of the robbery conviction, the prosecutors used it to get the death penalty.

I remember the judge telling the courtroom the number of volts of electricity they would put into my body. If the first attempt didn’t kill me, he said, they’d put more volts in.

On Sept. 1, 1987, I arrived on death row in the Louisiana State Penitentiary — the infamous Angola prison. I was put in a dead man’s cell. His things were still there; he had been executed only a few days before. That past summer they had executed eight men at Angola. I received my first execution date right before I arrived. I would end up knowing 12 men who were executed there.

Over the years, I was given six execution dates, but all of them were delayed until finally my appeals were exhausted. The seventh — and last — date was set for May 20, 1999. My lawyers had been with me for 11 years by then; they flew in from Philadelphia to give me the news. They didn’t want me to hear it from the prison officials. They said it would take a miracle to avoid this execution. I told them it was fine — I was innocent, but it was time to give up.

But then I remembered something about May 20. I had just finished reading a letter from my younger son about how he wanted to go on his senior class trip. I’d been thinking about how I could find a way to pay for it by selling my typewriter and radio. “Oh, no, hold on,” I said, “that’s the day before John Jr. is graduating from high school.” I begged them to get it delayed; I knew it would hurt him.

To make things worse, the next day, when John Jr. was at school, his teacher read the whole class an article from the newspaper about my execution. She didn’t know I was John Jr.’s dad; she was just trying to teach them a lesson about making bad choices. So he learned that his father was going to be killed from his teacher, reading the newspaper aloud. I panicked. I needed to talk to him, reassure him.

Amazingly, I got a miracle. The same day that my lawyers visited, an investigator they had hired to look through the evidence one last time found, on some forgotten microfiche, a report sent to the prosecutors on the blood type of the perpetrator of the armed robbery. It didn’t match mine; the report, hidden for 15 years, had never been turned over to my lawyers. The investigator later found the names of witnesses and police reports from the murder case that hadn’t been turned over either.

As a result, the armed robbery conviction was thrown out in 1999, and I was taken off death row. Then, in 2002, my murder conviction was thrown out. At a retrial the following year, the jury took only 35 minutes to acquit me.

The prosecutors involved in my two cases, from the office of the Orleans Parish district attorney, Harry Connick Sr., helped to cover up 10 separate pieces of evidence. And most of them are still able to practice law today.

Why weren’t they punished for what they did? When the hidden evidence first surfaced, Mr. Connick announced that his office would hold a grand jury investigation. But once it became clear how many people had been involved, he called it off.

In 2005, I sued the prosecutors and the district attorney’s office for what they did to me. The jurors heard testimony from the special prosecutor who had been assigned by Mr. Connick’s office to the canceled investigation, who told them, “We should have indicted these guys, but they didn’t and it was wrong.” The jury awarded me $14 million in damages — $1 million for every year on death row — which would have been paid by the district attorney’s office. That jury verdict is what the Supreme Court has just overturned.

I don’t care about the money. I just want to know why the prosecutors who hid evidence, sent me to prison for something I didn’t do and nearly had me killed are not in jail themselves. There were no ethics charges against them, no criminal charges, no one was fired and now, according to the Supreme Court, no one can be sued.

Worst of all, I wasn’t the only person they played dirty with. Of the six men one of my prosecutors got sentenced to death, five eventually had their convictions reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct. Because we were sentenced to death, the courts had to appoint us lawyers to fight our appeals. I was lucky, and got lawyers who went to extraordinary lengths. But there are more than 4,000 people serving life without parole in Louisiana, almost none of whom have lawyers after their convictions are final. Someone needs to look at those cases to see how many others might be innocent.

If a private investigator hired by a generous law firm hadn’t found the blood evidence, I’d be dead today. No doubt about it.

A crime was definitely committed in this case, but not by me.


Friday, April 08, 2011

GUESS WHO FOLOWS US ON TWITTER?

(The answer is below)

DOM's fascination
with floozies continues. He provides close and continued coverage of the SOBE "B-Girl" scam which he implies/sniffs is beneath Federal Court Prosecution,
here.

The Herald has good coverage on Florida House Squeaker Dean Cannon's attempt to turn the Florida Supreme Court into two 5 Justice Courts (one for civil cases, one for B-Girl cases).
Florida Democrats are theorizing that the plan would give Governor Scott the chance to pack the court with three new justices, and that would improve the Republican Legislature's chances of getting approval by the new Supreme Court of the political redistricting plan scheduled to be passed in late 2012:

Cannon’s proposals include expanding the current seven-member Supreme Court into two five-justice divisions, one for civil cases and one for criminal. That change will require a constitutional amendment approved by 60 percent of Florida voters.

As written, HJR 7111 could go before voters as soon as Florida’s presidential primary, currently scheduled for Jan. 31, 2012.

New voting district lines — developed every 10 years — are scheduled to be drawn by lawmakers in early 2012, followed by a Supreme Court review of the proposals.

If voters approve Cannon’s measure in a primary election, Gov. Rick Scott would then have three appointees on a remade court that will play a definitive role in redistricting — a significant concern for Democrats.


"I DON'T TRUST YOUR KIND"

So said (allegedly) the mother of Lebron James when she was approached by Miami Beach Police Department Lt. Acosta, who attempted to speak with her at the police station. The slap-happy mother of the Miami Heat player also told Lt. Acosta that she did not trust the police officer who arrested her. See the TMZ coverage here.


Would but more of our clients have that attitude! Our job would be so much easier.


We guess there is a tendency of people to read Ms. James statement as a racist one, assuming that Lt. Acosta and the arresting officer are hispanic. But what if the "kind" she was referring to were police officers?


All you have to do is spend a few days with the PD intake attorneys and listen to the newly arrested defendants unending litany of tyranny, abuse, forced confessions and stolen money to not help but endorse the unfortunate sentiment of Ms. James if she was indeed referring to police officers as untrustworthy.



Not to brag but....


Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) is now following your tweets (@Justicebuilding) on Twitter.

Now lets get to work!

Enjoy the weekend.

See you in court.