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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WHEN PIGS FLY

The NY Times here described Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr's., speech to the ABA this week where he announced that the DOJ will no longer include drug amounts in indictments for low level drug dealers so as  to circumvent the triggering of minimum mandatory sentences, as a "transformational moment.". 

They doth gush too much-eth. 

On closer examination we see the following:

1) Nothing in the speech about making the policy retroactive or giving any inmates serving "bone crushing" sentences a chance to benefit from this United States's new found enlightenment when it comes to incarceration on minor drug offenses. 

2) The Attorney General's desire is just that: a desire. Individual charging decisions will still be left to local prosecutors who have discretion to include drug amounts in indictments, thus triggering the minimum mandatory sentences. 

So here is what will happen:

AUSA: "Hey counsel, I didn't include the drug amounts in the indictment. Your guy can plead to the charges and get those easy 84 months."

Defense Attorney: "No, my client says he's innocent. He wants a trial."

AUSA: "Pardon me a moment while I call my secretary to schedule time before the grand jury. I will be re-indicting your client and including so many minimum mandatory sentences that he will still be in when the sun goes super nova in a few billion years. 

From Holder's speech: too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason."

Rumpole's riposte:  You've been attorney general for six fricking years and you just figured that out? You might want to look into getting rid of your beeper and buying a cell phone Mr. AG. 


NOTICEABLY SILENT: The legislators from the State of Florida who never saw a minimum mandatory they  didn't like, or a Miami Dade Judge they didn't trust.  There is nothing stopping the DEA from trudging down to the SAO's pre-file unit and dumping a bunch of fifteen year min-man cases in state court . 


MARSHALL LEE GORE: Execution date set for September 10, 2013. 

Here's what you get from reading the latest opinion denying Gore relief: the one attorney who has not quit fighting for his client is Todd Scher. As the opinion shows, he has fought the good fight in state court, federal court, in the governors office and generally done what you expect from a superior and dedicated death penalty defense attorney. Well done Mr. Scher- you have our admiration. 


See You In Court. 


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

T/F? The county court prosecutors all line up and whistle the theme from the Bridge over the River Kwai every morning while walking to court as a way of protesting low salaries? This is the same song British POWs whistled while being forced to work on building a bridge over the river Kwai for the Japanese in WWII.

Anonymous said...

agreed

Anonymous said...

I heard that longtime Criminal Court Judicial Assistant Terry Sullivan, who worked for many years as a dedicated J.A. to Judge Stan Blake and to
Judge Jonathan Colby, died yesterday. She was a joy to deal with and was always willing to help all litigants and counsel. May she rest in peace ....

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

don't be such a buzz kill. It is a start. The recognition by AG Holder is a step in the right direction. True, there is nothing to stop these detectives from dropping the cases in State court instead. But I like my chances in State court much better anyway.

Rumpole said...

Buzz kill? A few years ago he made a similar speech about changing federal discovery. Mention that to an AUSA and lead agent these days and they laugh in your face.

Let someone turn down a plea offer and not get threatened with minimum mandatories and then I will be convinced. Of course, that won't happen (prosecutors not punishing people for going to trial, that is.)

The only way we will be safe from the national disgrace of minimum mandatory sentences is when congress repeals them. Until then, they are they law and can be used lawfully (morality is another subject altogether).

Anonymous said...

South Miami police chief fired last night.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand.


Despicable Me.

Anonymous said...

Can't be, none of them are old enough to have ever heard of the movie

Anonymous said...

... And Shumie as Deforrest Kelly.

Anonymous said...

Rump,

the GOP lead House will never go along with eliminating minimun/mandatory sentences. In Southern States controlled by the GOP, minimum/mandatory sentences are the norm because it is good for all the buddies in the private prison business. Of course, any real conservative would be on the side of drug legalization and the elimination of these draconian laws.

the trialmaster said...

very sorry to hear "Judge Terry" passed away. Before she served Stan and Colby she Judge Eugene Williams assistant. When Williams had a hard decision to make he called on Terry to decide. Those in the know, would ex-parte terry and she would do the right thing. Many attorneys would give Terry pigs fugurines at christmas and on other occasions as a gift. She was one of a kind and treated all attorneys with digny and respect, unlike some of the JA's today. She was a joy and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Anonymous said...

Terry was my friend too.

I am so sorry to hear she is gone.

I don't remember her making any close calls for Jon Colby or Stan Blake but, I do remember her being nice and helpful and never giving anyone a hard time.

We will miss her.

Anonymous said...

Hurricanes Superfan finally puts the rumors to rest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yurU4YieBq4#at=92

Anonymous said...

here here trial master. she was so darn sweet.

cysco kid

Anonymous said...

Terry Sullivan was a great person. Before he was indicted, Terry was Judge Sepe's JA. He was so nasty to her that he would sometimes make her cry. I never forgave him for that.

from MH said...



In 1913 Leo M. Frank, an Atlanta factory manager, was accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, a thirteen-year-old girl in his employ. The evidence against Frank was all but non-existent; but Frank was Jewish, and the Atlanta newspapers created an atmosphere of mob hysteria that carried judge and jury along and resulted in conviction.


Frank’s lawyers pursued every appellate remedy. On April 12, 1915, however, the United States Supreme Court held – over a dissent authored by Oliver Wendell Holmes and joined by Charles Evans Hughes – that there was no basis for federal habeas relief. Frank v. Mangum, 237 U.S. 309 (1915). It would be eight years before the Court, with Holmes this time writing for the majority, held that “mob justice” was a deprivation of that due process which the Constitution guarantees and which the federal courts are bound to protect. Moore v. Dempsey, 261 U.S. 86 (1923).


The Moore opinion came too late to help Leo Frank. On August 16, 1915, shortly after nightfall, twenty-five of Atlanta’s and Marietta’s leading citizens kidnapped Frank from the state prison in Milledgeville, drove him through the night to a farm adjoining Mary Phagan’s birthplace, and hanged him from a tall oak tree. Three thousand people came to see the body before it was cut down. The hanging rope was cut into pieces and sold for souvenirs. One of the leaders of the lynch mob, a local judge, arranged for Frank’s corpse to be removed to prevent its desecration

Jim D said...

I completely agree.