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Thursday, March 21, 2013
A WARNING TO A PROSECUTOR
A LAWYER SHALL NOT.....
(d) engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic; FL ST BAR Rule 4-8.4
This is a warning. It probably doesn't apply to you, so you can click on over to Amazon or DOM, or "court reporters gone wild" or whatever.
About two weeks ago a jury returned a not guilty verdict in a murder trial before Judge Rodriguez-Chomat, The trial was hard fought and lasted two weeks.
As the jurors were being discharged by the judge and filing out, the prosecutor loudly stated his intention to try the defendant on a separate, pending felony charge, the existence of which the jury was unaware. The prosecutor said this as a way of expressing his anger with the jurors and to try and let them know they had made a bad decision.
The prosecutor's conduct was beyond outrageous. It affects the administration of justice. Those jurors are tainted from ever serving again.
A state attorney's office supervisor needs to speak to this prosecutor. If this is how he handles a loss, one can only wonder what he would do when confronted- as another prosecutor was recently- with turning over exculpatory evidence during a high profile murder trial. That prosecutor acted in the finest traditions and obligations of a prosecutor.
This prosecutor- sniveling about his loss, decided to try and publicly humiliate and blame jurors who were just making a decision based on the evidence he provided, or failed to provide.
This prosecutor should take a lesson from the responsible prosecutor who told the jury this during his closing in the penalty phase of the recently concluded Lebron trial:
"The fault dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."
Mindful of our obligations as a blogger, we have not published this prosecutor's name. But it doesn't mean we won't if this matter is not addressed. So for the moment, don't try and post his name in the comments section. But we warn him and his office, because other rules are at play here and the judge and the defense attorneys might not be as patient as we are:
(a) Reporting Misconduct of Other Lawyers. A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.