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

Saturday, October 06, 2012

OF MICE, MEN, AND SENTENCING.

UPDATE: Nice win for Dolphins on the road in Cincy

This gem tweet from the Economist:


The best time to come before a judge is never. But courtroom lore suggests that after lunch is better than before: 

The article  is entitled Law and Psychology:

Some more findings: 
A study of Israeli parole hearings shows that just before a meal the chances of success are slim. But other biases abound too. A study of 181 American trial judges this summer in Sciencea journal, showed that explaining the biology of psychopathy brought lighter sentences, by an average of one year. When the defence simply told the judges that the convict was a psychopath, the average sentence was 14 years.

Judges—flawed decision makers, like all humans—find sentencing the hardest bit of their job. Paul Chernoff, a retired American judge, says determining guilt or innocence is easier. Biases are visible across countries and cultures: for the same offence, male culprits get harsher sentences than women. Black criminals serve longer sentences than white ones. Attractive women and baby-faced men get shorter sentences.  

Rumpole says: 

States and the Federal Government responded to disparity in sentences for similarly situated defendants (same crime, same back ground) by enacting sentencing guidelines. But interestingly, it was the perception that lower sentences by liberal judges needed to be corrected. And correct it they did. Many federal judges now openly complain at the harshness of sentences they are forced to hand out.   See our post here on Judge Weinstein in Brooklyn, NY, for example. 

We often say to judges who brag about their propensity to sentence defendants to the maximum that any robot or high school graduate can calculate numbers in a matrix to arrive at the highest possible sentence. 

But it takes a Judge- a man or woman tempered by experience in life and law- to properly judge another human being's transgressions. Having worked without guidelines for part of our career and with guidelines for the last 27 years or so, we'll take sentencing without guidelines. The vagaries and personal prejudices of any particular judge are well worth risking in exchange for a real hearing, where the defense has a real chance, based on the particulars of the case, to influence the judge. 


Give us a chance as an attorney to explain why Lennie Small killed the puppy, rather than just calculate the guidelines and minimum mandatory sentence. (For the less literate of y'all, the reference is to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, which for you robed readers, is a rather short story.) Yes, there will be excesses on both sides, that's why appellate courts exist (besides writing "per curium affirmed"). 

What do you think?

Better yet, ponder your decision and enjoy our beautiful weather this weekend. You have better things to do. 

Namaste. 

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lebron deserves deathfor what he did to that girl - and trying to kill a witness and a prosecutor c'mon

Anonymous said...

Our favorite herald reporter wrote another gripping article. "Internet Cancer Scam Unveiled". I have two teen girls and it made me sick to read. Thank you to the family and prosecutors that exposed this sicko female pedaphile. Great reminder for all of us.

Anonymous said...

So unawesomness. Totally not awesome like the other blogs Sigh.

Anonymous said...

are u a fool 1:10 PM get a freakin life u loser!

Anonymous said...

then go to the other blogs u ignorant fool!

Anonymous said...

Why are u here then u loser???

Anonymous said...

Hey fool, go to another blog...u have nothing to contribute here - we are way beyond your intelligence level. Get a life reject.

Anonymous said...

hey loser at !:10 what exactly do you toto contribute to society. Create your own blog instead or criticizing this one! You morsn!

Anonymous said...

Now that this article confirmed who you are for me, I truly have more respect for you than ever.

Anonymous said...

Its just that rumpole deals in gossip and other people's unhappiness which is .... Its a big word for me .... Like totally snickerdoodle or something. Double sigh.

Anonymous said...

1:10-- Does this blog somehow contribute to mental illness? So many different personalities come to the surface.

Anonymous said...

The comment has been also posted on two other legal blogs who is trying to get a rise from us because we keep on feeding into him. I think if Freud were alive he'd say, "the patient cannot get his penis to rise in the bedroom so he goes into a forum where he can get a rise in some other way."

DS said...

Glad that science doesnt interfere w/ this Doctor/Congressman's understanding of the world:

"Congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said last week that evolution and the big bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of Hell."

"God's word is true. I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell," said Broun, who is an MD. "It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."

He continued:

"You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I've found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don't believe that the earth's but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That's what the Bible says."

According to NBC News, Broun's comments were part of a larger speech given at the 2012 Sportsman's Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia on September 27th. A clip of the video was distributed by the The Bridge Project, a liberal watchdog group.

Broun is a high-ranking member of the House Science Committee, of which Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is also a member.

Akin made headlines last month for suggesting that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate rape" because their bodies have "ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
"

DS said...

10:23
I agree but :

1. First I believe a split equals Life. A Jury vote for Death must be to me Unanimous.

2. How, based on just the facts` at trial could the Jury not be Unanimous for Death. If anyone deserves the hotshot its Lebron.

3. The Defense did a hell of a job. Hats off to the Attys. First for a vigorous defense, and second for convincing 3 Jurors to vote for life.

4. Congrats to the ASAs, good job representing the People of the State of Florida.

I dont think a die hard liberal defense Atty like myself would have voted for anything but execution of the Defendant in this case.

DS said...

One other thing, to those who dont like my postings. Notice on the front page I am listed as a contibutor. Basicly Rumpole has enlisted the Captain & myself to be columists on his blog. I try to write interesting, if not provocutive items to boast the readership.
I dont take myself too seriously, you shouldnt either.
David

Anonymous said...

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in G-D?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is G-D good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is G-D all powerful?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to G-D to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But G-D didn’t. How is this G-D good then? Hmm?
(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fella. Is G-D good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is Satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does Satan come from?

Student : From … G-D …

Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And G-D did make everything. Correct?

Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ?
(Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen G-D?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your G-D?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your G-D, smelt your G-D? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your G-D doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.
Student : No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student: What about darkness
Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Anonymous said...

(cont)

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good G-D and a bad G-D. You are viewing the concept of G-D as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter. )

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & G-D is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

"American Minority" said...

Rump lets have a dialogue on the question of the retention of the justices The 3rd DCA has quite a few on the ballot I see as I'm reviewing my ballot.

I am researching,

Barbara J. Pariente
Angel A. Cortinas
Kevin Emas
Ivan F. Fernandez
Leslie B. Rothenberg
Richard J. Saurez

Peggy Quince and Fred Lewis are no brainers, I shall vote to have them retained.

Let's discourse.
~AM~

Anonymous said...

We need to get back to bigger & more imporant things.

What will happen to Big Bird? Will Oscar be evicted from his trash can? What about Mr. Mr. Snuffleupagus, Grover, Bert and Ernie?
I like PBS ... the concerts ... Antique Road show ... and I donate ... I buy a lot of the Cd's from the concerts they sell ... I'd like to see them stay on the air ...

Bottom line Romney is a serial predator and a compulsive bully.
Keep off serial predator Romney the reach of our Big Bird.

"American Minority" said...

Rump,

I have also observed that most judges, and many in the judiciary are biased towards, and misinterpret an intelligent Afro American Minority.

That's why I don't respond to people like BTDT, because I understand the psychology of Anglo Americans. Judges generally have a dismissive attitude towards minority defendants and Attorney's, that's why I study harder than ever and know more than my opponent. I find it's insurmountable to trump intelligence by any appropriate means. In short, I like the study and it is very true, however I use it to my advantage when you are biased towards someone it creates an opening for error and counter production. I anticipate that bias and use it against you sort of like, kung fu.

You guys are so smart and bias until you are inane. Take for example the President, throughout his term and the debate he has exhibited a perfect temperament; correct? The reason for this is that the Commander in Chief from the most prestigious Law School in America, has to be mindful of his assertion level, most times when a minority gets assertive he is interpreted as being angry. However the President is very cognizant of this factor, better yet he has mastered the psychology of this fallacy. He lets Joe Biden get as assertive as he can be, and when the time comes as it always does, he eloquently and effectively annihilates his opponent, just as he did the lovely Hillary, and Sen. McCain.
~AM~

Anonymous said...

I agree with Romney: PBS - like many others items in the Federal budget - is not something we should be borrowing money from China to pay for.

If PBS is so worthwhile, and I believe it is, then it should be easily able to survive with corporate and foundation support, viewer contributions, and maybe - horror of all horrors - the occasional paid advertisement. Let them make their way like everyone else.

I guess that too makes me "a serial predator and compulsive bully". But I'm heartened by the fact that ridiculous name-calling is the only bullet in your pistol.

Anonymous said...

AM......get over yourself. Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn't mean they're biased or can't understand anybody. You're one guy and, unless I missed something, don't speak for an any group of people.

Further, and I know it's hard to keep the people who disagree with something you've said over the last year separate, I've disagreed you with you on very few things (ie. the PDO and DS).

You've already apologized to me once before (after you blamed me for something someone else posted). You're biggest problem is that you think, based on your incredibly limited experienced, that you know everything. We all thought the same thing when we were young lawyers, but eventually learned we were wrong. The faster you get over yourself, the faster you can make a real contribution.

BTDT

PS---the great irony is that you probably are the most racist poster on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Throw Rothenberg, Cortinas and Suarez out!

Anonymous said...

There is no god

Anonymous said...

Rothenberg is the worst judge the 3d DCA has ever seen. Let's throw her out before Tricky Ricky Scott tries to appoint her to our Supreme Court, to further his right-wing nut job agenda!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:23 p.m.

Anonymous said...

JBB #Unawesomness. Totally un-awesome. (sigh)

Secret Judge said...

Judge Leslie Rothenberg has left a trail of corpses back to her days as a semi-incompetent prosecutor. She clearly allows her political agenda to guide her decisions as a DCA judge. What ever happened to the days when Judges called balls and strikes and let the chips fall as they may? We now have a partisan media so a partisan Judiciary could not be far behind. Even more disturbing is the fact that she has parlayed this approach into a very successful career.

CAPTAIN said...


7:23

How much of our 16 Trillon dollar debt is China holding?

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

Need to move to recuse judge t while his name is up for dist ct...really, think senate would confirm with life sent? Nope.

"American Minority" said...

Let's continue the discussion about the ballot there are a substantial amount of Justices. Let's keep the info circulating so that we can make accurate decisions on these many justices.

If you are familiar with these justices what are they're political affiliations and whether they have radical positions, or are activist from the bench.

So many judges have an agenda and cover under the color of the Law.
~AM~

Anonymous said...

Has Leslie "Rottenberg" ever given a defendant a break?

I tried 2 jury trials with her. She was fair in both but, we never would have gone to trial if she would stepped in with a reasonable plea. The convictions to misdemeanors stopped her from launching the clients.

I will vote no on her and Emas. She's just evil and He pushed me around way too much.

"American Minority" said...

9:49,9:03,
Mm Mm Mm say it aint so this is a very nasty woman.

Rothenberg's career as a jurist was baptized in controversy. In 1992 she quit after six years as a prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office to run for judge in the Eleventh Circuit here in Miami-Dade. She trumpeted her experience as a "tough prosecutor" and "crime fighter" so vociferously that local defense attorneys were convinced she was blatantly anti-defendant.

When she won, Robert Scola Jr., chairman of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (now a circuit court judge himself), sent a letter to Leonard Rivkind, the Eleventh Circuit's chief judge, asking him to assign Rothenberg to the civil, not criminal, division: "Our directors unanimously expressed grave concerns about her ability to sit fairly and impartially as a criminal court judge," Scola wrote in the September 17, 1992, missive. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. More than twenty prosecutors had become judges before Rothenberg, and the lawyers association had never deemed it necessary to send a letter of concern.

It didn't work. Rothenberg donned her black robes and took a seat in the Richard E. Gerstein Criminal Justice Building. Contention and strife followed. In 1993 two private attorneys forced Rothenberg to recuse herself from their respective cases, claiming she made statements revealing her prejudice against their clients. She denied one of the motions to disqualify her, only to have it overturned by the Third District Court of Appeal -- the very court she now seeks to join.

"American Minority" said...

Okay so I just bubbled no on Rothenberg, Suarez, Cortinas, Ivan Fernandez, and now I'm reviewing Kevin Emas who was appointed by Charlie Christ who is a rational guy and the one of the most reasonable, intelligent and fair governors that ever Governed the State of Florida.

Lets keep the dialogue going because from the research and reports Ive concluded that the 3rd DCA is a rubber stamp for the Prosecution.

I read the Procedure Publication published by Justice Emas and in my opinion someone who takes the time to publish a document like that is a fair and intelligent individual.

"American Minority" said...

*Their* I meant to type in my 12:54 post.

fake jay White said...

Go Dolphins

Anonymous said...

Dear Ignorant Minority, Judge Rothenberg does not seek to join the Third District. She was appointed to the Court in 2005 and has been seated there since then. She is up for retention. Perhaps the next time you wish to have a discussion, you should have some clue about what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

DS
I'm suprised that you would share that story. Show a little class dude.

Anonymous said...

Dear am please please please stop using words that you do not know the meaning and correct usage of

Anonymous said...

@2:02- Jesus 'effing Christ Almighty-- what in the hell is wrong with you sharing that comment?

Anonymous said...

Lay off DS.

I like people who have no filter and cannot think well. Makes what they say much more interesting.

Rumpole said...

I took that comment down. Sorry DS but that was waaayyyy to personal a comment to allow. True or not, it has no place here unless she wants to share it herself.

Rumpole said...

The darkest place is under a lamp.

Rumpole said...

FYI AM- Bob Scola is now a United States Federal District Court Judge.

Anonymous said...

AM- for the 16th time- plural of attorney is attorneys and not attorney's.

Anonymous said...

I keep expecting someone to jump out and admit that they've been posing as AM for the past year to punk all of the real lawyers posting on this blog........

BTDT

Fake jay White said...

DOLPHINS WIN....DOLLLLLLPHINS WIN!

Anonymous said...

Another great afternoon of football and cigars at Shumie's Ye Olde Cigar Shoppe and Grille

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/Bfrugal1

Now I lay me down to sleep. I give Obama my vote to keep. If I should die b4 I wake tell Romney no for America's sake. Amen! #Ohio #Florida

Anonymous said...

Here's what I like about Shumie's cigar shoppe. Just show up and place yourself in an experts hands. He will devise a flight of cigars. Today he started me off with a nice and mild shad grown Claro Robusto. Then we had some steaks and I had a glass of red wine and Shumie suggested a Romeo Y Julieta Reserva Real Toro. What a beauty! Later, after the second game. I took a tumbler of scotch and mad a rob roy and Shumie put out an amazing Avo Signature Double Corona. Heaven. What a day.

"American Minority" said...

2:03
I stated I bubbled no you ignoramus. I know that the broad has been there and the question is as to her retention. Why would you even post that comment you asshole. (Typical Caucasian Behavior. I've come to know you people. BTW asshole you did not read the comment and the article I posted. Before you open your toilet lid, you should think and then read, then respond.
You know the rules, have merit when you make an accusation now read my post again and sit your inane behind in timeout.(*Biased remedial Dunce).
~AM~

"American Minority" said...

2:03pm
What type of dimwit lazy attorney are you. Evidently a bad one you were to stupid to realize the article I posted was obviously a 2005 article Einstein. Geesh, what a goof ball counselor you must be.

DS said...


Really 12 felony arrests on reverse sting in OVERTOWN

Miami police make 55 arrests in two-day sweep

By Carli Teproff

cteproff@MiamiHerald.com


Miami police made 55 arrests during a recent two-day operation in the city’s central district, which includes Overtown, Allapattah, downtown and Wynwood, according to city police reports.

The operation, dubbed Operation Resilience, put officers from various units including the motor, tactical and gang units out in a designated area to combat crime, said Miami police Maj. David Magnusson, commander of Miami police’s Tactical Operations Section.

“They have been pretty successful, especially when dealing with violent crime,” he said.

The recent operation, which took place Oct. 3 and Oct. 5, resulted in 26 felony, 24 misdemeanor and five traffic arrests. Twelve of the arrests came from a reverse drug sting at 438 NW Seventh St. Another five came from a prostitution detail.

One of the 55 arrested was a robbery fugitive out of Leon County northwest Florida.

Magnusson said the operations – which have been done periodically since December 2011 -- are catching on and will continue.

“They are coming to a neighborhood near you,” he said.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/

Anonymous said...

American Minority needs to call the shumie.

Anonymous said...

Man oh man has the blog jumped the shark, and it's not even Rump's fault. We have DS always complaining about about the police, saying how great everyone at his office is, and saying stupid shit. We then have American Minority setting back american minorities 100 years. Both need copies of Strunk & White. We have the constant "shumie time" crap.

Anonymous said...

Ignorant Minority, perhaps if you indicated that you were quoting from an article instead of plagiarising it, then there would be no misunderstanding.

"American Minority" said...

11:31,
Perhaps whatever I say you would have an issue with.

10:57pm,
Correction, it is the GOP that wants to set us back 100 years.Moreover you and btdt are use to the spineless minorities who hopelessly conformed there identity and manhood, and self respect to appease a peckerwood like you. Jim Crow is over and you need to change your mentality of minorities agreeing with you and cow towing to your every suggestion. So sincerely fuck you and all the people such as your self who have unrecognized bias and try to vent it towards me. I do not fear you all as my grand parents and parents did. Face it, you dislike me, because I am cognizant of the fact that Jim Crow has been replaced with James Crow Jr. Esq.
~AM~

"American Minority" said...

9:33pm,

You got it buddy, Shumie time!

Anonymous said...

AM........you are so clueless.....I also am a minority as are most other people who live in South Florida.

You spend half your time bashing white people and the rest calling people who disagree wtih you racist. Tell me how that is any different than any other type of stereotyping?

You don't even know who I am, you don't know DS, you don't know the vast majority of APDs, and you don't know any of the bloggers who post anonymously or with pseudonyms. Yet, you judge us all based on the limited exposure you have to us and your VERY limited knowledge of the law. You're no better than any of the other haters.

You do all of us minorities a disservice when you engage in unnecessary race baiting. Seriously, grow up.

BTDT

"American Minority" said...

BTDT,

You need to grow a pair, either testicles, or ovaries,seriously.
If you are a minority I'm sure your not of African,Egytian, or Indian,Decent,such as my self.
I'm still bellowing from your assumptive description of me.
Do me a favor and read "Miseducation of the Negro" by Dr. Carter G. Woodson and then you would have a clue... ;)
Until then keep your little soft spoken self along with the other rejects, retards, social anxiety disorder, and Peta people (away from me). Thanks in advance.
~AM~

Anonymous said...

BTDT:

Don't feed the troll. You were correct earlier when you surmised "AM" is a made-up character that someone invented just to get a rise out of people.

DS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Rump, you took DS' comment down. Don't let him hint about it. It was inappropriate and you, for once, did the right thing. Do it again and shut him down on this.

DS said...

But in defense, A comment by a candidate, actively running for office, at a political organization ( N. Dade Demo Club) , talking to a Director of the political organization as`she is handing that Member of the Board of Directors an endorsement card, is hardly something one expects to be treated as ' in confidence'