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

Monday, May 07, 2012

DON'T MESS WITH MIAMI DADE

On Thursday in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, the court hears Shelton v. Dept of Corrections, and the challenge to the constitutionality of Florida's drug laws. 


On Tuesday an FACDL team  (Ben Waxman and Maggie Arias) argue for the retroactive application of Padilla before the Florida Supreme Court in Diaz v. State. 


The Herald's Fred Grimm on the expense of the death penalty in Florida. 


JUDGE D TAKES A SHOT AT MIAMI-DADE
Federal Judge William Dimitrouleas, sentenced a man to life in prison on Monday for running a brothel with under aged girls in Broward county. And then- commenting on the defendant's extensive priors and the absence of any state prison time, Judge D took a shot at us: 
From the Sun Sentinel:

Dimitrouleas also criticized the Miami-Dade criminal justice system for its lax sentencing of Mozie for prior crimes, including armed robbery, possession of a gun by a felon, and drug charges, after serving short jail terms.
"I think Mr. Mozie's criminal history is an indictment of the Miami-Dade criminal justice system … he has never been in state prison," Dimitrouleas said, adding that the system is "overburdened and has not been working for a long time."

Really? The system hasn't been working for a long time? Why doesn't he come down here and tell that to the thirty plus judges who work in our humble courthouse, along with the hundreds of prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks, cops and witnesses who show up every day and do their job? 

True, in Miami Dade we don't punish black people 100 times  more for possessing crack cocaine than their white counterparts who possess powder cocaine. We don't have specific enhancements for testifying in court and then losing. We don't have prosecutors who threaten defense attorneys when they file motions to suppress- and then file additional charges when the threat doesn't work. We don't have judges over turning jury verdicts when it is revealed the government suppressed exculpatory evidence, like occurred in the prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens. 

Seems to us that Judges who work in glass courthouses shouldn't throw stones. 

See You In Court. 


34 comments:

Anonymous ASA said...

Pretty sure I overheard Bill and Al talking how they are going to claim it wasn't Adam Kaufman, but in fact, a one armed man.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

ON JUDGE BILLY D .....

Rumpole, great job. I think he was comparing his former Circuit Court job in Broward State Court to ours in Miami-Dade.

So, you could have thrown in that in his Broward County they have the distinction of having more first degree murder cases overturned than in any other jurisdiction, thanks to the BSO and Mike Satz' team.

Or maybe you could remind him as to the fact that the Broward edition of the State Attorney's office manages to have a much lower conviction rate than their neighbors to the North, PB County, and to the South, good ole Miama Dade County (ht: Ben Kuehne).

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Judge D, will only take open pleas in his courtroom. He's got his own way of doing things not always Constitutional or fair. Not my fave.

Anonymous said...

Come on Rump. You know our system is a mess. I give lots of credit to the hard working public servants who are doing their best, but, let's face it, the system is badly overburdened and underfunded cases are slipping through. His comment, though inartful, isn't devoid of reason.

On the flip side, I find it amusing in light of the over the top attacks on Miami prosecutors (vindictive, difficult to work with, etc.). As I've repeatedly said, Miami is the best place to practice criminal defense in the state. Those who pound KFR and her team for being unreasonable haven't been around enough or gon to enough other places to know better.

BTDT

Scott Saul said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

c'mon, miami is the place to commit a crime and get busted...u know that!

Anonymous said...

Rump shouldn't people who commit armed robbery go to jail in the state system? At least a little? Judge D has a point.

Anonymous said...

We also don't have judges texting prosecutors hundreds of times during a death penalty case and then try to hide that fact when the bar comes sniffing around. Broward needs to look at itself in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Will Thomas would be the best addition to our federal bench.

"American Minority" said...

Bravo Rump, Well said. Tip of the hat to you and the Capt.

Anonymous said...

The dude arguing the third Padilla case just answered the justices -- "I don't know, I am a criminal defense lawyer, not an immigration lawyer..." CLASSIC!!!

CAPTAIN said...

Ms. Arias should have walked up to the speaking lecturn and stated, I am an immigration attorney, I used to handle nothing but criminal defense work, and generally speaking, the criminal defense bar has no clue as to what crimes are deportable and which are not.

I think its time for FACDL to circulate the list of those crimes.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:58 am, you're kidding, right?

This is a tough area of the law. Circulating a list of crimes that subjects a criminal defendant to deportation is only half of the battle. The criminal defense bar needs to be repeatedly lectured by someone who has experience in this area of the law. The criminal defense bar needs to take CLEs on this subject, and join the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Buy their books. Buy the Kurzban book on immigration. Have a good smart immigration attorney (one who is seasoned in deportation matters) on speed dial.

Many of the really good criminal lawyers in town would have their lunch handed to them in immigration court. Luckily, there are many very good and understanding immigration judges who look to do the write thing.

You guys who take these cases have to get it right the first time because the Board of Immigration Appeals is virulently anti immigrant, and the 11th circuit is almost just as bad.

Anonymous said...

Why is Hector Lombana sitting in on the Kaufman trial watching his buddy Al Millian today? Hmmmmm.... could it be that Hector helped Brownyn Miller get appointed to the County and Circuit bench, helped her win relection when in Kounty Kourt, and spoke at her investiture???? You gotta figure Hector's presence is worth a few rulings for the defense. I hate elected judges.

Anonymous said...

Didn't get to see the arguments... What are the thoughts from the people that did? What direction were judges leaning towards?

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

This is from last weeks Herald but I saw No comments here on Lucky Gainor.

Coconut Grove man, once accused in slaying of teacher, beats felonies again
By DAVID OVALLE The Miami Herald
After a series of mistrials, Alphonso Gainer was acquitted in 2003 of the slaying of school teacher Lisa Scuddy.


Alphonso Gainer Photo By DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com
A Coconut Grove man who beat five separate murder trials — four of them for the 1996 robbery-slaying of a Miami school teacher — prevailed again at trial on Wednesday.
Then he went on the lam.
Alphonso Gainer, accused of leading police on a dangerous high-speed car chase through Coconut Grove in December 2010, was acquitted of felonies charges. He was, however, convicted of one misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence.
But Gainer never heard the verdict. As jurors deliberated, Gainer — who was free on bail —left the courthouse and vanished.
After the verdict was read, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Lisa Walsh issued a warrant for his arrest.
“This is not his first time in the courthouse. He should know better,” said Miami-Dade prosecutor Sally Weintraub, who tried Gainer this week and in the earlier trials.
Gainer, a felon with a long rap sheet, faces up to 364 days in jail on the misdemeanor conviction. He was also convicted on a slew of traffic infractions and also faces a charge of driving with a suspended license.
He could have gone to prison for up over a decade had he been convicted of felony fleeing and eluding, plus felony tampering with evidence.
“The bottom line is that the jury heard the evidence, weighed it and they came up with a verdict that was just and fair,” said Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defender Madeline Acosta, who tried the case with Antonio F. Valiente.
Gainer’s ability to beat jury trials has long vexed prosecutors and Miami police.
In May 2003, a jury acquitted Gainer of murdering teacher Lisa Scuddy at a Coconut Grove Miami Subs. Scuddy, a 28-year-old bride-to-be, was shot through the heart as she waited in the drive-through lane.
Gainer’s three earlier trials in the Scuddy slaying ended in mistrials when jurors could not come to a unanimous decision.
Also in 2003, a jury acquitted him of the 1992 slaying of a Coconut Grove drug dealer.-grove-once-accused-in.html#storylink=cpy

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

Part Two:


In both cases, prosecutors relied on testimony of a co-defendant who wound up being convicted of manslaughter in the Scuddy slaying. Weintraub and her son, Assistant State Attorney Joshua Weintraub, tried Gainer in those cases as well.
Gainer also had two mistrials for the 1993 shooting death on a man in a botched drug deal. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served three years in prison.
Since his acquittal in the Scuddy case, Gainer has been in and out jail on minor charges, racking up convictions for possession of marijuana and fleeing and eluding police, which earned him 274 days in jail.
When he was arrested in December 2010, Gainer faced over a decade in prison had he been sentenced as a habitual offender.
Miami police officers said they saw Gainer, a well-known drug dealer, in a van off Grand Avenue. When he spotted them, Gainer took off “like a jackrabbit,” Joshua Weintraub told jurors.
“This is a public safety case. This defendant created a potentially dangerous situation because he absolutely refused to stop for police officers,” Joshua Weintraub told jurors. “He placed the entire neighborhood in jeopardy.”
After a chase, Gainer pulled up in front of his apartment, ran inside and was suspected of flushing drugs down the toilet, Weintraub said. A police dog, Onyx, alerted handlers to the scent of drugs at the toilet, police said.
At trial, officers said Gainer told them he initially thought they were the FBI. “If I knew you all were MPD, I wouldn’t have run,” he allegedly told officers.
But Valiente, the defense attorney, picked apart inconsistencies in the testimony of the officers, saying they “trumped up” their testimony to justify picking on a man who was found with no drugs. He pointed out that Gainer drove a beat-up 1992 van.
“That it can even get up to 50 miles an hour on the street is questionable,” Valiente said.

The Barrister

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/02/2780093/coconut

the trialmaster said...

I have had serious cases [manslughter] before judge D when he was a state judge. they called him "fast bill" because he set trials 30 days after arrignment. but I took discovery before arrignment, had expert witnesses lined up and the state offered a plea to probation. In federal court he is the same if not more obnixious. I was trying a cocaine consp. case before him and ran into him and his staff at lunch. His staff all said hello while fast bill ignored me completely. he is a rude man and not very nice either on or off the bench. he goes out of his way to make things miserable for those who defend cases in front of him.

"American Minority" said...

Fast Bill sounds like a complete Asshole.

"American Minority" said...

Barrister I read that article it was good Antonio Valiente is pretty damn good.

"American Minority" said...

Jim Selman is the Attorney out of Tampa who will be doing the oral arguments in Shelton v. Dept of Corrections case in Atlanta. I called him and gave him my regards the Amicus portion of the case was done by Todd Foster out of Tampa as well but the ground work started none other than the Florida State Prison by Mr.Shelton himself. I have an Idea and desire in the future for an Office that would render legal rep for appeals.

Anonymous said...

Once an asshole Broward judge, always an asshole Broward judge ... they don't become lesser assholes judge because they move to Federal court.

Anonymous said...

There is only ONE REASON that HECTOR LOMBANA was in the Kaufman trial today ... and that was to exercise influence by his interest and presence. Judge Brownyn Miller has to be influenced by Hector PLUS the defendants Uncle Jerry Kaufman is financing the defense and he is one of the top developers in Aventura. He can influence elections. As a Judge, we are all scared to death of community power citizens who we desperately want to help us and like us. Watch Judge Miller's rulings here and let's analyze and comment upon it each day....

CAPTAIN said...

Trial Master - pompous fits the man perfectly.

CAPTAIN said...

Trial Master - pompous fits the man perfectly.

Anonymous ASA said...

American Minority makes me yearn for the shumie time comments. He is the least experienced attorney who reads this blog and posts his two cents on every topic. Mr. Shelton likely had nothing to do with his appeal, as the attorneys in the public sector rarely even contact the client with regards to the appeal. All too often the client didn't even want to appeal - especially at the county level when they may have served their sentence already.

Shelton will be denied. Padilla will not be retroactive.

Fake Steve Jobs said...

Steve Jobs: Siri, please translate American Minority's posts into English.

Siri: Holy shit, I can't.

Anonymous said...

Kaufman case is a political motivated prosecution.....the police screwed up the case and the investigation they charged the wrong man.Mathewman and Milian are great lawyers hope that they prevail and help this young man avoid conviction in this case.Pray for the family

"American Minority" said...

In most rooms that I have been in, I have a question, or questions on my mind. I find that when I raise the question others had wanted to know about the matter as well and were to bashful to inquire. With that being said with all like minds and years of experience that is on this blog, is anyone cognizant of the interlocutory appeals process. i.e. Appealing a motion to suppress in which I beleive the Judge did not conduct a proper hearing.

Specifically regarding Crim. P. 3.190(g)(3) "If the court hears the motion on its merits, the defendant shall present evidence supporting the defendant's positions and the state may offer rebuttal evidence."

Lets say the issue is whether or not a detective said or did not say, or witnessed A, or B, and the Detect. was not present at the hearing and the judge denies the motion without hearing the Detect. Is that an error on the Judges part?

Question still being asked is anyone cognizant in this area, or has had an issue similar?

Anonymous said...

HECTOR LOMBANA, oh my my, better behave BROWNYN. Patience, smiles, winks, and defense friendly ruling, and this too will pass. Otherwise, the man will come after you just like he is trying to remove Judge THOMAS.

Anonymous said...

state court is a corrupt sewer, and based on the above comments, everyone knows it.

"American Minority" said...

Who is Hector Lombana?

"American Minority" said...

Anonymous ASA, I can see how you might be a little envious of me, thank you, it's flattering.Let me debunk your argument as I assume most Attorney's against you have done.I spoke to Todd Foster who prepared the Amici Curiae portion of the brief and I also cordially spoke with Mr. James Felman, who will be conducting oral arguments in that case, this morning and gave him my regards and well wishes. He stated that "there are two very conservative justices he's concerned about, however he hopes that they follow the constitution." I rest my case and you loose again. Should I email his cell number to Rumpole so that he can verify what I just said is true indeed.Unlike yourself, he's a very modest man and maybe you can express how scared you are that all your bogus possession cases will be thrown out.

Anonymous said...

On the day of his daughters wedding, you may go and ask Don Lombana for a favor, and one favor only.

Now go and wait in line with all the rest.