Monday, December 03, 2012

"THEY'VE BEEN THROUGH HELL"

We all have had clients who have been through a long journey in the criminal justice system. By the time they reach the trial or sentencing stage, the lawyer, having seen the toll the prosecution has taken, often tells the court that their client has suffered enough. In REGJB lingo "You can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride." 

"They've suffered enough" is not a cognizable defense. Judges might nod sympathetically, but prosecutors normally scoff at such a pronouncement and respond with "they shouldn't have committed the crime" or some other pearl of wisdom they teach in prosecutor college. 

It therefore was more than a bit surprising when attorneys for disgraced federal prosecutors Sean Cronin and Andrea Hoffman told US District Court Judge Jose Martinez  last week that their clients "had been through hell.

Hardly. 

Cronin and Hoffman were part of the prosecutorial team that wrongfully prosecuted Dr. Ali Shaygan. Here is our initial post on the case in April. 2009.  Cronin was the lead prosecutor who threatened attorney David Markus that there would be a "seismic shift" in the criminal prosecution if Markus filed a motion to suppress Dr. Shaygan's statement. Markus filed the motion, Cronin filed a hundred or so new counts in retaliation. The magistrate granted the motion, which caused the US attorneys office to pull out all the stops and throw out the constitution in order to win. 

In preparation for trial, the US Attorneys office authorized the taping of phone calls by a government informant to the defense team. The prosecutors sent their informant to try and get the defense attorneys to agree to do something improper. Then, the prosecutors never disclosed their little illicit ruse until Markus discovered it on cross examination. 

Dr. Shaygan was acquitted by a jury.  Judge Gold, who presided at the trial, wrote a blistering order detailing the improper if not illegal actions of the government's prosecutors. The prosecutors appealed. When the 11th circuit returned the case, Judge Gold recused himself and Judge Martinez held a hearing last week. Hence the curdled mewling from the prosecutors' lawyers  that they "had suffered enough" and "been through hell."  

Poor babies. Of course they never were wrongfully arrested, spent time in jail, lost their job, were threatened by the DEA and their hired thugs (the AUSAs),  and had to sit through a jury trial where the other side used the power of the government to lie, cheat and steal a guilty verdict that would have sent them to prison for decades. 

No, prosecutors Cronin and Hoffman didn't have to suffer the same treatment from the legal system that they doled out. But.....they've apparently been a bit worried. That's what happens when you get caught doing bad  things. 

Judge Martinez, apparently reluctantly, closed the case against the two prosecutors.  But there still is a bar complaint pending against both prosecutors, courtesy of Judge Gold who, based on the conduct he saw, referred the issue to the Florida Bar. 

As we say in the REGJB, "You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride."

See You In Court. 

36 comments:

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

Rumpole, You said it so well. But isnt this why we became Defense Attorneys, to fight these Injustices, by the Authorities?

"wrongfully arrested, spent time in jail, lost their job, were threatened by the DEA and their hired thugs (the AUSAs), and had to sit through a jury trial where the other side used the power of the government to lie, cheat and steal a guilty verdict that would have sent them to prison for decades

Anonymous said...

After Jay Weaver's incomprehensible drivel in the Herald, its refreshing to have a coherent article to read.

Someone needs to get Jay some pom-poms and a little "GO US Attorney!" cheerleader outfit.

Anonymous said...

Here here! Well said Ol' Chap. You write what we all think.

Rumpole said...

Let's also give DOM some well earned credit here. First-he stared down that thug Cronin and refused to be intimidated- which, considering the arena, is not an easy thing to do.

And then as this mess unfolded, he has remained above the fray and not blogged about it- which while I think would be proper- shows that he is more of a gentleman and has more ethics than the poor excuse for government lawyers who opposed him.

Anonymous said...

Judge martinez didn't reluctantly do anything...the case was remanded for due process and he cut the process off by having no hearing. Now, the ausas know that they are free from punishment for even the worst wrongs. Maybe they threw a party at finnigans on river...or perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

Judge Gold has always been a good guy. Love him.

Anonymous said...

there is something I notice about DOM everytime I see him. Despite all the accolades he gets, despite his reputation for being arguably the best lawyer in town, every time I see him or talk to him he seems so humble and so grateful just to be in court doing his job. There is no arrogance, no $10K suits, no gucci shoes, none of that. Just a real honest man doing an honest job.

The Straw Buyer said...

Well said.

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

And those two scumbags still get to practice there crooked version of the law. "Licensed thugs and coward judges.

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

Rmoplole , I don't care how much you're mesmerized by Ana Gardiner, Jazzy Belle is going down.

Rumpole said...

What are you talking about? I really dislike Judge Gardiner. Having had to sit through one of her self centered trials, and having suffered the mistreatment that she doled out to all Miami lawyers, no one could be more satisfied that she is getting her due than me. Plus I won my trial which made her sick.

Anonymous said...

Cat update: put him on a diet. Now he's out for blood. He bit my toe while I was sleeping so I kicked him so he spent the rest of the night behind my headboard making noise so I could not sleep, and yet, protected so I could not easily get at him.
Now it's open war.
Here I come furball.

Anonymous said...

Judge Martinez should have held a contempt hearing with ample time for the prosecutors to prepare any defenses they might have had, so that they had the due process the 11th Circuit said they were due. Those two prosecutors have not suffered nearly 1/1000000000 of what defendants have suffered by their misconduct, unethical win-convictions-at-all-costs attitudes and denial of due process to defendants.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking over the last few weeks, and it continues to be confirmed on this blog with more and more frequency, just how well the thinking of the majority of AUSA's and the majority of the Eleventh Circuit, for that matter (see, e.g., Rozier and Judge Hill's dissent), would fit into almost any totalitarian regime in history or around the world presently. The kind of mental gymanistics to which we have a front row because of what we do,I have to imagine were and are the very same ones that have been employed by some of the most oppressive minds in our world's history. Very sad.

Rumpole said...

Well said. I agree.

CAPTAIN said...


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Anonymous said...

Wasn't Cronin the guy who was accused of willy wanking at Finnigans? Then he ran from the cops?

Reader's Cat said...

Listen up fatso- you put me on a diet and scarf down pints of Ben and Jerrys all weekend? The whole reason you have a cat is because you're such a loser you can't get a date for the weekend. So I have to eat this food that tastes like stale cardboard mice and you can swizzle beer, eat chicken wings and Ben and Jerrys? Dosen't seem quite fair. So until my diet is restored, good luck sleeping.

PS- I pee in the closet on your un-used running shoes about twice a week. Just for fun.
Your Cat.

Anonymous said...

How does Willie allow for these prosecutors to continue to prosecute? Why does Judge Martinez put the prosecutors above Judge Gold? Rumor is that Judge Martinez didn't read any of the pleadings/transcripts and said so at the hearing. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

My dear Mr. Fluffy:
I regret the day I rescued your flea bitten hide from the animal shelter. If you stop, there will be no retaliation for peeing in my closet. I will be home a bit late today. Publix and Winn Dixie are apparently all out of cat food until Friday. However, there are some bugs in the kitchen you might want to chase down and snack on until then.

Anonymous said...

Can any of you dopes quote anything from Gold's order showing Andi Hoffman's transgressions? I bet you can't. Why am I so sure? Because I read Gold's Order and her only "crime" was to second chair the case with Sean. Riddle me this, how did Sean's seismic shift comment expose the good "doctor" to more time? Answer: it didn't expose Dr. Shaygan to more time under the Guidelines. The superseding indictment captured evidence - more unnecessary and illegal prescriptions for oxycontin - obtained and analyzed after Shaygan's arrest. In other words, Sean did what prosecutors do every day. They try to make their cases better not necessarily increasing a defendant's potential sentence. Do prosecutors supersede to enhance potential sentence? of course. was that done here? No.This blog is such an echo chamber for defense attorneys' government conspiracy theories it's laughable. You demonize the prosecutors and champion Marcus as this brilliant Don Quixote in such black and white terms that it diminishes what happened. Is the 11th Circuit prosecution friendly? Of course. Is it prosecutor friendly? Unlikely especially in the post Ted Stevens era. Are there prosecutors who have terrible judgment and shouldn't be allowed to prosecute illegal re-entry cases? Of course. Sean and especially Andi are not the ones to be worried about. This case involved a failure to follow procedures. This breakdown made everyone involved look very bad. While Dr. Shaygan claims his career was destroyed, he was the true beneficiary of Gold's reaction to what he perceived as prosecutorial misconduct. While most who read this will disagree, I guarantee that Dr. Shaygan would be a guest at Club Fed pending the outcome of his appeal. Did Marcus and Seitles do a good job? Yes, but Gold did a better one.

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

My misinterpretation Rump.

Rumpole said...

Re Hoffman- I guess what you're saying is all she did was follow orders. Hmmm.. that seems like a good defense. Yeah, she just sat there while her fellow prosecutors subverted justice. Just following orders- should be a good defense...seems Its been used before How did it work for those fellows?

When Cronin increased the counts in the indictment it was in direct response to Markus not backing down. It was "punishment" to the defense for having the temerity of challenging evidence. And the thing is-- the motion was granted. So not only did Cronin want to punish the defense, he tried to threaten them from challenging inadmissible evidence. But somehow that doesn't bother you.
What flavor is the coolade this week at the US Attorneys Office?

Anonymous said...

What about the fact that Cronin tried to enlist a magistrate in his deception of the defense? That alone is sanctionable.

Fake Josh Gradinger said...

Rump-

It's very simple.

When a defense comes at me like a bulldog, I don't punish the client.

I punish the lawyer and challenge them to a knish eating contest.

My only loss is to Joey Chestnut on a disputed DQ for vomiting.

FJG - Reigning Suicide League Champ

Anonymous said...

I love the Gradinger/Granoff comments - by the way...where is Lisa, I remember her as being a very nice lady.

Anonymous said...

Liza, not "Lisa", is an AUSA in Arizona - it is a damn shame she is not one here. She could really show the SD Fla., how to behave with professionalism.

Anonymous said...

9:37, you proved my point from yesterday about how you all employ the very same mental gymnastics employed by some of the most despotic minds in our history. Case in point, as Rumpole points out: “just following orders.” Google it and see what kind of conduct comes up and where it has been used before. You all really think you’re white knights fighting the forces of evil, and whatever gets in the way, including the Constitution, be damned. And your behavior is coddled by Courts, which is why you continue to do it. You can flash little kids at bars, flee from the cops, and get the benefit of the doubt look the other way our clients would NEVER get.

That’s why you all can’t help yourselves when you get into private practice and get yourselves into all sorts of trouble – because you continue to operate under the delusion that your win-at-all-costs judgment translates over to this side. It doesn’t. We don’t enjoy the protection and immunity to violate the law and rules of ethics that you do, nor do we wish to have that kind of free pass because at the end of the day we don’t indulge these fantasies that we’re above the law, as you all do. Actually, I take the fantasy part back, because the courts have proven it’s not a fantasy. It’s just all shameful. Go back to figuring in your own deluded mind out how you can weasel out of providing Brady or some other prosecutorial endeavor . . .

Anonymous said...

9:37 is right on the money. Must be a new poster because it doesnt read like the usual drivel on here.

CAPTAIN said...


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Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Isn't the more interesting question why Judge Gold recused himself, when he was so angry with Hoffman and Cronin? Just gladly gave up his opportunity to hammer the AUSA's properly. Hmmmmm.. Take off your blinders, boys and girls. That glass house can be very fragile!!!

Anonymous said...

9:37 is right on the money. But be advised not only does this kind of thing happen in Federal Courts but also in State courts. MD SAO is one of the worst and no legal ramifications ever happen to the Prosecutors because of their immunity and coziness with the other fraternity members. This system is just wrong. Oridinary citizens must pay for any supposed transgressions by a jury of their peers--prosecutors hide behind prosecutorial immunity. What a joke. KFR and her crony RS along with his goon RF are under the microscope at this time. I hope they get what they deserve--the same thing they have given others with their underhandedness.

Anonymous said...

F-em--they deserve jail time!

Anonymous said...

6:59 - Michelle, shouldn't you be busy ripping off your constituents instead of writing on this blog?

Anonymous said...

DOM the best attorney in town? Boy, do you grade on the curve! Just another former federal P.D. trying to suck his ass.