Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CRASH THE SYSTEM

BREAKING: MIAMI HEAT LOSE AGAIN. 
"In response to the loss, Miami Heat stars didn't discount the possibility of joining the Indiana Pacers next year. 'If they beat us, then we should play there because we don't like losing' said a Heat player requesting anonymity."

CRASH THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. 
What if everyone rejected a plea and demanded a trial? That was the premise of this op-ed piece in the NY Times this past Sunday:
“The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used,” said Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the libertarian Cato Institute. In other words: the system is rigged.

In the race to incarcerate, politicians champion stiff sentences for nearly all crimes, including harsh mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes laws; the result is a dramatic power shift, from judges to prosecutors...
(Rumpole notes: we've been screaming about this for years. The implementation of  minimum mandatory takes the sentencing decision away from the (supposed) fairest and wisest person in a courtroom (the judge) and places it in the hands of a prosecutor- some younger than 25- who are merely players advancing their own cause and institutional interests in an adversarial system. )
Take the case of Erma Faye Stewart, a single African-American mother of two who was arrested at age 30 in a drug sweep in Hearne, Tex., in 2000. In jail, with no one to care for her two young children, she began to panic. Though she maintained her innocence, her court-appointed lawyer told her to plead guilty, since the prosecutor offered probation. Ms. Stewart spent a month in jail, and then relented to a plea. She was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Then her real punishment began: upon her release, Ms. Stewart was saddled with a felony record; she was destitute, barred from food stamps and evicted from public housing. Once they were homeless, Ms. Stewart’s children were taken away and placed in foster care. In the end, she lost everything even though she took the deal.
Rumpole notes: these repercussions happen every day in a justice system geared to use  the weight of the government and fear of life altering sentences to coerce pleas. Any person who spends any time in any criminal court can hardly say that pleas are mostly fair deals that are in the best interests of the client. It's a broken system that is now only good at breaking people. 
See You In Court. 











21 comments:

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

Rumpole,

I've been following Michelle Alexander for sometime I met her in Coral Gables, ironcally her husband is a Federal Prosecutor.

Have you read Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow. She came down in 2011 to do a signing and Q&A with Leonard Pitts at Books & Books on Aragon Ave. To my surprise one of our Local Federal Judges was there of whom which I had quite an interesting conversation with.

I was surprised to hear his points of view on the book and he seemed very genuine and passionate about them as well. First time I saw a judge at leisure in a baseball cap, shorts, tee, and flip flops at a book store, speaking his mind.

Anyhow if everyone only had the cohesion to do this and what emergency amend or eviscerate The Constitution. But hey I say go for it, it would send a strong message in regards to the many b.s. non violent frivolous cases.

Anonymous said...

The truth is the defense bar shares responsibility for the demise of the system of justice. Many defense attorneys capitulate when faced with a three day trial; tell them it’s a couple of weeks, and they will accept home detention for themselves. Fact, there are not sufficient resources to try all the cases on the trial calendar within the speedy trial period. Force only six divisions to trial during the same trial period and the system grinds to a snail’s pace. The domino effect of the latter will collapse the system. Consider the fact that while these six divisions are in trial, other cases are pending, with the speedy clock ticking. The treadmill effect and havoc are evident. The Sate and County do not have the budget to confront the demand for the additional resources to handle the situation. The budgetary impact on the entire system is unavoidable. It affects the judiciary, clerk, police, SAO, PD, etc. The trial time will translate to over-time or comp-time, which means higher personnel costs or less personnel working, which means demands for additional personnel. I think you all get the point.

It is disgusting to see misdemeanor defendants taking un counseled, or seeing the State announce “no jail” and move to discharge the Public Defender. I have to wonder the ethical implications of a member of the bar forcing a lawyer off the case so they can take unfair advantage of an unrepresented individual.

The words of Martin Luther King resound “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Oftentimes, we lack the courage or conviction to challenge the status quo or “authority,” or simple give in to complacency, opting for the comfort which avoids conflict and falling into disfavor with the “authoritarians.”

Phil Hubbart made a mark on the Public Defenders Office, as did Bennett Brummer. Carlos Martinez has a golden opportunity make a mark now that the Florida Supreme Court has backed the notion that effective assistance of counsel means counsel who can dedicate time to the defendant’s case.

Fake Jay Kolsky said...

Fight the power!

Rumpole said...

Where are al my loyal heat fans this wonderful morning? Mourning.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole is the new spokesperson for Pacers "Clodhopper Nation." How many minutes would you watch a Spurs/Pacers final game before falling asleep of boredom?

Anonymous said...

We are waiting to whip Indiana's ass on our home court. If you think the Heat are not going to the Finals, you are delusional!

Anonymous said...

I think the NBA is rigged.

Each game generates so much revenue, the league doesnt want 4 game sweep. Ridiculous highs and lows in play by each team in this series. At this point in season, at their level, no way that should happen.

Watch the NHL playoffs and you'll see real competition by fierce competitors. No ticky tacky foul nonsense.

The Real Fake Cueto said...

It is I His Royal Magistracy


Rumpole, what is this that thou publisheth upon thou blog. I would most certainly hold you in contempt of my court, which jurisdiction covers this blog, but I do not know who you are.

If this supposed blitz of the judicial system were to be nefariously implemented I would DENY all demands for speedy trial. Hell I do that every day.

I shall watch you.

My rulings are sovereign

Audios Amigos

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/29/3422519/lawyer-zimmerman-prosecutor-withheld.html

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

Hey BTDT,

Your so weird and qwerky your like a science experiment, your my go to when I want a bias, weird, and qwerky point of view.

So here it is... What do you think about the "honorable officer" who got canned for issuing a fake citation for trying to Cut former Prosc. Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville a break, only to get smacked in the face and bitten in the ass. lol

Personally I think if he was going to give the Lawmaker a break then don't write "shit' just let him go. So in the end the cop got canned for helping a venomous snake. That's a to-for.

I always like to hear your "Fox News" bias & unbalanced views. lol

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/29/3422298/fired-florida-trooper-fighting.html

Anonymous said...

Hey Rumpole, when are you going to write a blog post on Lewis & Tein's latest exploits? By the way, is that strike 2 or strike 3?

Rumpole said...

Indiana center Roy Hibbert game 4-23 points, 12 boards.
Miami's "3'd king" Chris Bosh 1-6.
Hahahhaha

Rumpole said...

Heard at an Indiana Mall : can the parents of the five kids on the playground please go get them? They're embarassing the Miami Heat.

Anonymous said...

McBurney sounds just like one my idiotic clients.
The officer's giving you a break.
Send in proof of insurance and 10 bucks and it's dismissed.
Do you really want a $269 moving violation, either paying it and getting points, or having to show up and embarrass yourself in court to challenge it?
As for the officer, he wants to look like he's been doing something so he writes up a $10 compliance ticket.
Don't get me wrong, I hate officers lying. I hate the fact that they were giving preferential treatment to stupid lawmakers. But for once, an officer's willing to give you a break on a speeding ticket and you don't want it?
If the Rep was so moral about it, he should've asked the officer to write him the speeding ticket instead of complaining about it later.

Anonymous said...

UAM...........it says a lot about you that you take so much joy in other people's suffering. I'm guessing you lead a miserable existence and, for that, I pity you.

Do you know anything about the officer you're so glad was fired? Do you know whether he regularly cuts people breaks? Do you know if he's respected in the community he serves? Do you know whether he has a family?

Yes, he did something stupid......but not malicious.
Many moons ago, before I was a lawyer, a cop wrote me ticket for not wearing a seatbelt after busting me for speeding. I thanked him a million times over and paid the ticket. Should I have filed an IA complaint because I was wearing my seatbelt? I think the FHP over-reacted here. I also think the Rep is an SOB. This case is a perfect example why cops and prosecutors can never give anyone a break (is that what you want to hear?).

BTDT

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/30/3424985/broward-prosecutor-appears-in.html

Anonymous said...

It's sad that we are represented by people like McBurney. He should blame himself and his legislative colleagues for the ridiculously low speed limits and trooper salaries and the ridiculously high fine and costs.

Claude Erskine - Browne said...

Horace ,
Did You see tis in the Herald ?Claude

Miami Gardens pre-dawn gun bust ends with 97 arrests.

By Gina Cherelus

gcherelus@Miamiherald.com

Federal agents fanned out across Miami Gardens before dawn Wednesday to arrest 97 people on guns and drug trafficking charges during Operation Smoking Gun III.

The agents served 16 search warrants and targeted suspects named in state and federal arrest warrants.

Among the fire power confiscated: 248 firearms including a sawed off shotgun and also five bullet-proof vests. Drugs were also rounded up: cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and thousands of Oxycodone, Percocet and morphine pills.

“As a result of this long-term concerted effort, 97 dangerous individuals, the vast majority of whom are previously convicted felons, their guns and their drugs, have been removed from the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said the round-up should help cut down on crime: “Guns plus drugs always equal violence and death,” she said.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/29/3423068/miami-gardens-pre-dawn-gun-bust.html#storylink=cpy


"Unabridged American Minority" said...

BTDT,

I'm not pleased that this officer was fired,I'm just analyzing the situation. Secondly, when cops whip people's ass unprovoked and kill them, do you think they give a rats ass about their family's ?

BTDT I'm going to share something with you I might have more cop friends and family in my family than you do 9 out of 10, they serve but they'll even tell you the majority may not be bad, but it's pretty god damn close to half. This "community of Miami-Dade is not Mayberry and these officers here are not "Andy Talyor" or Barney Phife.

When I was a young adult 20-25, I and a beautiful young lady were leaving a nice dinner in separate cars and these cops pulled her over, because she made an illegal U-turn, any how I stopped to make sure she was ok, and guess what happens next.

The cops illegally search my vehicle hold me there for an hour and one of the more playful fat rookies puts his service weapon in my back seat while I'm not looking, then plays as if he's found a weapon asks me all hype whats this whats this, meanwhile his partners are unstrapping their velcro holster straps.

Luckily his sergeant colleague had had enough, and firmly says "It's your service weapon and you need to put it away". He complied and said to me "Ok you can go now, by the way, get some toilet paper for your drawers." All the 4 or 5 officers standing there all chuckled. I got in my car and drove off with tears in my eyes, having been fearful and offended.
Thinking to my self what if I would have jumped, or freaked out and ran and gotten hurt, what then would those officers have told the media and their superiors. "Oh major we were dicking around and the gun went off." NO they would have manufactured the scene, but thank the God almighty I made it away unscathed.

I was humiliated, intimidated, and belittled, and that never left my mind. But BTDT I'm sure you have never experienced anything like that in your perfect world.

UAM

Anonymous said...

This round goes to UAM.

Anonymous said...

I have experienced this second-hand through the experience of very close friends. It is heartbreaking. No way to get a job or government help due to felony because of a plea deal. They are innocent, but poor. With no money for a decent defense and a totally disinterested public defender, they took a plea deal.