BAD NEWS: The Florida Supreme Court held here that Padilla is NOT retroactive.
The long awaited decision in Hernandez v. State was issued the day before Thanksgiving, bringing holiday cheer to ICE agents everywhere in Florida, but devastating the hopes of thousands of foreign national Floridians struggling to remain in the U.S.
It continually astounds us how appellate courts twist themselves to avoid making major criminal procedure decisions retroactive. It's as if they have no concern for the the tens of thousands of defendants sitting in prison or having convictions that under todays rules would never stand.
And that brings us to the dissent, first published on DOM's blog last week, that should be required reading for all new appellate judges. The dissent by Judge Hill in Rozier v. U.S. is so powerful, that we just couldn't help ourselves from repeating the excerpt that DOM first blogged:
This is especially true where the petitioner is in federal custody, not state custody. We safeguard finality for state court convictions out of respect for the dual principles of comity and federalism. Neither of these considerations is due the erroneously sentenced federal prisoner. It seems to me that the majority has striven mightily to avoid granting the writ to someone currently deprived of liberty in violation of law. I am weary of our court’s relentless effort to put more and more procedural angels on the head of the habeas pin. At some point, we must concede, as the Seventh Circuit did recently, that common sense and basic fairness require that we correct these unlawfully enhanced sentences. See Narvaez v. United States, 674 F.3d 621 (7th Cir. 2011).
You tell em Judge Hill. You wrote so eloquently what many of us in the field of criminal defense have felt for so long. Well done
Judge Hill, well done indeed.
What the hell makes this a fun size? It's small and all it does is make you want to eat three or four more. Nothing fun about that.
See you in court.