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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

JASON MITCHELL GUILTY OF MURDER OF SEAN TAYLOR

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: Just pondering who got beat worse last night? House Majority Leader Eric Cantor- 56%-44% or the Miami Heat? 
Cantor performed as well as Heat player Mario Chalmers, who had a staggering two points and three turnovers. 
Apparently, the Heat struggled because of concern over the situation in the Ukraine, while Cantor was pounded over his (supposed) position on immigration reform. 

As afternoon approached evening and day slipped into night, so did the life of Jason Mitchell fade into incarcerated oblivion as a Miami jury convicted him of the murder of football star Sean Taylor.  The first degree murder conviction triggers a mandatory life sentence, and Judge Murphy will presumably sentence Mitchell to life in prison either this evening or sometime thereafter.  sentenced Mitchell to life in prison before adjourning court for the day. 

ASAs Reid Ruben and Marie Mato for the prosecution. 

Bob Barrar, who we think may have been appointed as a limited registry attorney, for the defense. If Barrar was appointed as a limited registry attorney, that means he signed a contract in which he agreed to a minimal flat fee (perhaps as low as $2,000) to handle this case regardless of how complicated it was and how long it took to try the case. 
With all due respect to Mr. Barrar, he should not have accepted appointment on a case of this complexity and nature as a limited registry attorney. 


SECRET NOTE:
The jury returned a verdict along with a note to Judge Murphy. The judge cryptically stated that the note was unrelated to the verdict. As of yet, the contents of the note have not been disclosed. 
More information as we receive it. 

Jason Mitchell found  GUILTY of first degree murder of Sean Taylor, even though the evidence clearly indicated that while Mitchell planned the burglary, he did not pull the trigger on the firearm that fired the fatal bullet. 


27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right verdict....terrible tragedy. Hard to argue with the sentence.

Anonymous said...

Curiously, and for academic reasons only:

Is your statement above an opinion on "felony murder charges" ala 'he planned it, but did not pull the trigger' because you do not believe that the person who planned it, executed it, and knew someone could get dead could be guilty of murder? Note, I don't practice criminal defense, so I do not have the insight on such "felony" charges. Does the State have to prove he knew someone could get dead as an element of the charge?

Anonymous said...

Why did this go to trial? I heard closings and it wasn't even close.

Rumpole said...

7:08- I was merely commenting that he was convicted of felony murder a opposed to being the actual killer. In a felony murder prosecution the prosecution does not need to prove any intent to commit murder. The prosecution must only prove the defendant committed a felony during which someone was murdered. Intent is not an issue.

It is a tragedy that the penalty for felony murder and intentional murder in Florida is the same. There are hundreds of people serving life sentences who committed a felony and had no idea their co-defendant had a gun.

Anonymous said...

With all "due" respect Rumpole, you should not put Barrar down for taking this case. He did a great job for his client and honored the profession of defense attorneys. You, however, sound like a jerk for putting Bob down like that.

Rumpole said...

I think any lawyer who accepted limited registry cases was a sell out and I have no problem saying so. No lawyer can accept cases with such low fees an provide exceptional representation which this case required. Any lawyer who accepted limited registry cases was doing so with the thought that they would quickly plead out clients. Such thinking and such greed and avarice and such cheap valuation of the services we provide struck at the heart of the 6th amendment right to counsel. Any lawyer who signed limited registry agreements was a sell out to a legislature which worked to undermine effective criminal defense representation. I view such lawyers as the current, modern day legal equivalent of the Vichy French. Traitors and enemies to the cause of justice.

Just my opinion which I am entitled to. Mr. Barrar signed the limited registry agreement. That is public record. I haven't said anything which isn't true.

Anonymous said...

Isn't The Registry Issue Over? I Heard They Did Away With That And It Is Back To The Old System Where Lawyer Can Get Paid More If Complex.......

Anonymous said...

When they tried to take the conflict wheel away there was one lawyer who lead the the defense bar and raised money to lobby Tallahassee. This man would not cross the picket line and sell out for pennies to handle serious criminal cases. That man was was a modern day Moe Green. His name is Joel Denaro.

Anonymous said...

RUMPOLE …. please follow up on what "the note" said from the jurors!!! Captain?

Hyman Roth said...

And that kid's name is Joel Denaro. And there isn't even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town!

Fake Ted Mastos Roth. said...

Somebody put a bullet in his eye. Nobody knows who did it. Nobody knows who gave the order. And when I heard it. (Cough cough chomp smack) I said to myself (cough smack) this is the business (chomp. Cough) we have chosen. I didn't ask who gave the order. It was article business.

Anonymous said...

Obviously I meant strictly business.

Anonymous said...

Not calling a shumie on the Heat but it's worriesome.

Ted Roth. said...

The five million never made it on to the island. If the money arrives in the morning I'll know I have a partner. If it doesn't - I won't.

Anonymous said...

Joel Denaro? Please......

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

Thank you for answering my question on felony murder. The fact that the State does not have to prove as an element of the crime that the co-defendant was aware it may result in death or injury is concerning as you have pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday at 9:18, you responded to my post and said that the reason I believed the cop should go to prison was because I was relishing in the fact that we finally nabbed a cop. That could not be further from the truth. You don't know me so let me give some insight. I was a long time PD but never was a true believer. I won most of the cases I tried not because I thought they were all innocent and persecuted but because I worked to win to be the best lawyer I could and to build and maintain my professional integrity and reputation as a thorough, prepared and tenacious advocate.

I left the PD many years ago for private civil practice. I read your blog to keep up with the goings on at REG and, let's face it, civil practice sucks.

Having said that, if I won the lottery, I would have no problem with EITHER going back to the PDO OR becoming an ASA. I do not think all cops are good but I certainly do not think they are all bad and I count some as very good friends.

I believe that Kulian should go to prison for the max allowable time for the EXACT reasons that the poster listed on 6/10 at 9:26. He is held to a higher standard. He did not "make on emistake". He DRANK ON DUTY - A LOT OF DRINKS, not simply a sip. Kudos to Evan for getting him acquitted of DUI although I'm not sure what the jury was thinking there. But he thought he was cool, thought he was above the law, and clearly still does considering his most recent duck face photo. He is not remorseful, and, let's face it, it was not a mistake by a dumb college kid. It was a uniformed police officer who should know better, who could arrest you and ruin your life if he wanted to, who could shoot you and end your life if he wanted to.

I hope the judge does the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible he wasn't doing it for the money? - which isn't much anyway.
I've taken on some cases way below my usual fee- either for the experience or yes, for the publicity, and some even for the pennies because I really needed them at the moment and yes, long run might've been not worth it but that doesn't mean I did any less of a good job for my clients.

Anonymous said...

Yes

It was Denaro all along.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the players....blame the game!

DS said...

Barrar is a good lawyer. I have watched him try cases. He knows what he is doing

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget Brian Tannebaum who was leading the fight against the RCC with the FACDL before other people jumped into the ring. And he wasn't accepting court appointments either.

Anonymous said...

Tannenbaum has always had a place at the table. A smart man who deserves credit. But not a wartime counselor.

Anonymous said...

Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Rump,

Do the Rangers win three more in a row to beat the Kings?

Anonymous said...

Hey CAPTAIN … Tell us about the note that the jurors gave to the Judge?

Anonymous said...

Felony murder is an antiquated legal fiction that leads to injustice and should be changed by the legislature or scrapped by the courts as violative of due process.