Monday, September 23, 2013


Prognosis Negative! That can be the only conclusion when evaluating the chances of REGJB Judge Will Thomas's chances of ever getting a confirmation vote on his nomination as a United States Court District Court Judge after reading the DBR's summary of a statement from Senator Marco Rubio (Pluto-R) on why he has withheld permission from the senate to vote on Thomas's nomination:

"The nomination of Judge Thomas has also been thoroughly reviewed, and Senator Rubio has determined that Thomas's record on the state court raises serious concerns about his fitness for a lifetime federal appointment... Those concerns include questions about his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences, particularly in the two high-profile cases."

Rubio's office mentioned the case of Michele Traverso, who killed a cyclist in a hit-and-run accident on the Rickenbacker Causeway while driving on a suspended license. Thomas sentenced Traverso in January to less than a year in jail. 

Also noted was the death sentence imposed in January on Joel Lebron for the notorious 2002 gang rape and murder of 18-year-old Ana Maria Angel, who was kidnapped along with her boyfriend while walking on Miami Beach. Thomas wept as he recalled the brutality of the crime before handing down the sentence.

Senator Rubio is upset with a judge who....judges? Who is human and who has feelings and who issues sentences he believes are appropriate where his definition of appropriate is not always the maximum? 
Apparently so. 
H/T to South Florida Lawyers who speculated on Friday whether other, "extraneous" factors might have something to do with the hold on Thomas's nomination. 
This much appears to be certain: unless the White House is willing to go to battle for Thomas and expend political capital and make his nomination a small part of a larger political deal (something that is normally almost unheard of in district court nominations) Thomas's dream nomination appears on life support at best. Prognosis: Negative!

Football picks: If you followed our picks on Sunday, you were able to impress your friends with picking the Cleveland Browns over the Minnesota Vikings- which just might be the upset of the season so far, as well as the JETS over the Bills and the Colts over the 49'ers. 


DS said...

Will Thomas is a tough No Nonsense Judge . One of The Best we have.
We all Know this is Tea Bagger BS.
He weighs al sides and comes to a fair result.e
Why not be honest and say He aint gonna get the nod it cause he is Black &/0r Gay

MC Waste Services, Inc said...

Judges are judged on their judgment. He doesnt deserve a lifetime appointment. Mistakes were made, elections will be held and the electorate can decide if Thomas deserves to stand in judgment.

Anonymous said...

Rubio wants to be president and can't buck the Tea party or ultra conservative drive to take America back to the good ole days...those days are gone and the cultural divide continues...how long..to long..consistent with repeal Obamacare, voter suppression and the anti gun control wing...we are in the throes of gridlock, hate and homophobia and mass killings...methinks his race takes back seat to his sexuality...time will change these things..we march on! sorry for Judge Thomas..

Anonymous said...

ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA. The most mean-spirited, unpleasant, rude, and obnoxious judge to ever sit on any court in Florida is finally being banished. Alan Schwartz is "retiring" next Monday

Judge Alan R. Schwartz
It is with equal parts gratitude and regret that the Court announces the
retirement of Alan R. Schwartz as a senior judge of the Third District Court of
Appeal when his current term of senior service ends on September 30, 2013.
Judge Schwartz has served ably and with great distinction on this Court for
more than thirty-five years, twenty-three of them as the Chief Judge of this Court.
During his tenure on the court, he has authored more than 2000 opinions.
After his retirement as an active judge in 2004, Judge Schwartz continued to
serve as a senior judge, both at the Third District Court of Appeal and on the
Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County. He has
served as a visiting judge in every District Court of Appeal in Florida. Judge
Schwartz’ devotion to this Court, to the rule of law, and to the highest principles of
the judicial branch, cannot be questioned.
The Judges at the Third District Court of Appeal will dearly miss the daily

Anonymous said...

Rubio sorta has a point. What caused Thomas to cry when he followed the death recommendation of Joel LeBron. His semen was found in her anus while she was found dead in the praying hands position. Before that he suppressed Lebrons confession which was error. If ever there was a case where men deserved to die for their actions this was the case.

Anonymous said...

You gotta hand it to the Republicans. Even after getting trounced in the last two presidential elections, they still keep the racist homophobia going.

Best thing to happen to Democrats since Sarah Palin.

It's a shame about Thomas, but this thing looks dead. Too bad, because he would make a great addition to the bench.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think his being Black and gay has anything to do with this?

Anonymous said...

They're probably more pissed because he initially suppressed Lebron's confessions, showing that he had more balls and commitment to the law than most judges in the building.

He's a good judge. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

"The most mean-spirited, unpleasant, rude, and obnoxious jusdge to ever sit on any court in Florida is finally being banished."

Victoria Brennan was banished?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can replace Marco Rubio and replace him with a person with a brain.

As for Alan Schwartz... smart man, total asshole. Glad to see him really retire this time.

Anonymous said...


Follow that link and email Senator Rubio. If his primary concern is the suppressions in the Lebron case, it's our obligation to make sure our Senator understands why suppressing questionable evidence is in the interest of justice. This is all the more true in a case that will, in all likelihood, end up with a death sentence.

Give Senator Rubio the benefit of the doubt that this isn't about demographic issues, but is instead about his concern for Thomas's legal abilities --- and address those issues.

No one who has ever appeared in front of Thomas, as an ASA / PD or private should fail to take the five minutes to email Rubio and ask their friends and family to do so as well.

Anonymous said...

Will Thomas to the 3rd DCA!!!

Anonymous said...

William Thomas is a fantastic judge but that is what happens in that filthy political arena

Anonymous said...

@ 8:55 am - maybe the facts as you describe them, caused him to cry, thinking about her anguish.


Anonymous said...

10:29 am

Wake up.

It has everything to do with "this"...

Anonymous said...

Rubio is a rascist.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that Rubio is way out of bounds here, and I think that some of the comments are unfounded.

The charge that Rubio is blocking Thomas because he is black is obviously false. Obama has nominated at least one African American woman to the Middle District, and she was later confirmed and appointed. Presumably, Rubio returned the blue slip for her. More recently, i.e., last week, Rubio agreed to return a blue slip for Judge Brian Davis. The racist thing just doesn't hold water.

I have no idea whether any other Florida district-court judges who were nominated by Obama and who Rubio returned a blue slip for are gay. But the JNC has just put forth Darrin Gayles, who is openly gay. If Obama nominates him and if Rubio returns a blue slip for him, charges about homophobia will also be proven false (or significantly undercut).

As for Rubio's stated reasons, is there really no merit to them? Obviously, a lot of people were very upset about the lenient sentence in the Traverso case. As for crying on the bench (as a possible "judicial disposition" issue), I that that is weaker, and I am not faulting Judge Thomas for having done so. But it is unusual, nonetheless.

I like and support Judge Thomas and hope Rubio returns the blue slip (which appears to be unlikely). But I can't say, objectively speaking, that Rubio is way out of line here, either.

Anonymous said...

When Thomas cried during the sentencing of Lebron I never got the idea that it was Lebron he was crying about. It was clear to me at the time that his tears were over the brutality of the act and for the family of the poor girl who was senselessly murdered.

Anonymous said...

8:23 - your description is Echarte to a "T", not Schwartz.

Anonymous said...

Does it help Judge Thomas that DS post his nonsensical "support"?

Anonymous said...

Thomas was not crying about what happened to that poor girl. He was crying because he sold his soul to impose the death penalty (hoping for political favor) when he clearly does not believe in it. Lebron DID deserve the penalty, but he should have been sentenced by someone who had the balls to impose it with conviction.
Thomas has reaped what he has sewn.

Anonymous said...

3:37 has to be vicki brennan

she is the only one with the balls to write something so dumb.

no wait. maybe its butchko.


what a stupid thing to write.

Anonymous said...

I second chaired the Caraballo case along with Gary Rosenberg. Caraballo was Lebron's co-defendant - Thomas sentenced him to death also. He did not cry when he did it. My guy was less culpable then LeBron and had better mitigation and Judge Thomas still sentenced him to death. He ain't that liberal. But he is fair. Rubio should let him thru.

Joel Denaro

DS said...

He cried because of all that poor girl suffered.

No my support likely does not help , but what I said is True.
That is why you likely didn't you respond to What I posted.

If you guys are so right, why don't you post your names and stand behind what you post?

Anonymous said...

This takes the conversation to a different place, but I wondered at the time if it ought to be a consideration for the Lebron defense attorneys to take the sentencing component to a different judge. I am a huge Thomas supporter and have no doubt that his judgment was unaffected by his participation in the nomination process, but if I were on death row Im not sure I would want to have been sent there by a judge who was facing his dream job, dependent on his not appearing "soft on crime" during the very year I was sentenced. If nothing else, it raises questions about appearances.

Let's say Thomas were a weaker man, with less integrity. And let's say he felt a life sentence was the right sentence, but knew nonetheless that as a black gay man his candidacy was already somewhat vulnerable. Could we expect such a man to effectively throw away his life's ambition and dream job on someone like Joel Lebron?

Its a tough question, probably impossible to answer.

Anonymous said...

6:28 Joel Denaro: news reports indicate Thomas ran off the bench in tears after sentencing your client to death. Is that true?

Paul Calli said...

What Joel Denaro writes at 6:28 pm, puts an end to all the anonymous back and forth.

And, Will is not in fact all that liberal.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:11 - strike one

from the broward rag - no tears mentioned punk

"The kidnapping, gang rape and murder of South Miami High School senior Ana Maria Angel was so "merciless" and "torturous" that one of the participants must pay with his life, a Miami-Dade County judge ruled Thursday.

Agreeing with a jury, Circuit Judge William Thomas sentenced Orlando laborer Victor Caraballo, 39, to die. Thomas cited several factors in his ruling, including that the killing was particularly "heinous, atrocious or cruel" under state law. The jury that convicted Caraballo in April voted 9-3 for the death penalty."

Anonymous said...

Judge orders Orlando man put to death

June 8, 2007|By Madeline Baro Diaz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

MIAMI -- The kidnapping, gang rape and murder of South Miami high-school senior Ana Maria Angel was so "merciless" and "torturous" that one of the men who took part in the crime must pay with his life, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Thursday.

Agreeing with a jury, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas sentenced Victor Caraballo, 39, of Orlando to death. The jury that convicted Caraballo in April voted 9-3 for the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

Will Thomas is the hardest working judges in the building.

Anonymous said...

Was the sentencing at 1 in the morning or is that just trials

Anonymous said...

Brennan is WITHOUT A DOUBT the nastiest judge on the bench at the MJB right now. She could use the advice of a more experienced judge about how to treat the lawyers who appear before her if she has any hopes of winning a second term. As for Thomas, he is a smart and fair judge. I don't always agree with his decisions and he can be impossible if he is a bad mood, but both sides get it equally when that happens. Rubio is a right wing MORON!!

Fake Josh Gradinger said...

I do not think that Will Thomas would make a good federal court judge because he likes to work past 5pm.

Anonymous said...

Thomas is one of the greatest judges in REGJB who has the balls to do the right thing and use logic. It is a shame that Rubio and the other politicians get to decide this one.