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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

FREE SPEECH, NORTH OF THE BORDER



BREAKING: EX MIAMI BEACH POLICE OFFICER "FUNNY FACE" DERICK KUILAN, HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS FSP.  MIAMI HERALD STORY IS HERE

BREAKING: KEN KUKEC ARRESTED IN KEYS FOR POSSESSION OF COCAINE. KEY'S NET HAS THE STORY HERE. 

BREAKING MIRANDA RE-SENTENCES ALEX MICHAELS-
In a hearing that appeared to many observers to be more contentious than the outcome, Judge Miranda sentenced Alex Michaels to an adjudication, six months probation, 50 community service hours, and 2 hours of CLE in an ethics course. 

Query: The case was on remand from the 3rd DCA. One of two counts of contempt were vacated, as was the original sentence of two days. Did Miranda have authority to increase the sentence, and was this an increased sentence? Take our new poll. 

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

FREE SPEECHNORTH OF THE BORDER  .................

My Mother's Day Facebook post:

"Happy Mothers day to all the crack hoes out there.  It's never too late to tie your tubes, clean up your life and make (a) difference to someone out there that deserves a better mother."

My Facebook post after reading about a 19 year old home invasion suspect who was met with brut force by the residents of the home:

"They should have shot him in the head, anyone that invades another home, in a violent manner should be executed on the spot."

My Facebook post made in the midst of the Donald Sterling controversy:

"Join me in supporting free speech and the right to have your own private opinions kept that way (regardless if you agree with them). Join me in changing your FaceBook profile photo to one of DONALD STERLING!!!."

And finally, my "fast food" Facebook post showing a photo of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonya Sotomayor:

"Reason enough why no country should ever engage in the practice of Affirmative Action again.  This could be the result.  Where would she be if she didn't hit the quota lottery?  Here's a hint. "Would you like to supersize that sir?"

Those four posts are not mine.  They are the posts from Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth Lewis, one of the top prosecutor's in the Orange County (Orlando) State Attorney's Office.

Elected State Attorney Jeff Ashton, (Ashton was the lead prosecutor in the 2011 Casey Anthony trial), in response to the backlash that the posts created has stated: "I am not going to punish someone for what is clearly political speech." 

WFTV's coverage can be found here.

Contrast that to what has been going on in Broweird County recently.  No, it's not what you think - there were no citing's of a Broward County Judge getting arrested this week.

Instead, this time the focus is on the Public Defender's Office; specifically on two Assistant Public Defenders' and one elected PD named "Help Me Howard" Finklestein.

In case you missed it last week, three Israeli teenagers were murdered and in the coverage that followed it was reported that Palestinians were celebrating about the kidnapping and murder of the three teen-age boys.  Someone posted on their FB page about the celebrations. 

APD  Gary Sheres and APD Bruce Raticoff both commented on the article about the Palestinian's celebration.  The comments stated that Palestinians are "filthy swine'' and "cockroaches.''

Sheres wrote: "They are filthy swine they don't eat. Their ignorance to the world bewilders the dumbest people I have ever met."

Raticoff added: "That's why the Palestinian people are considered the cockroaches of the world. Reprehensible and despicable with utter disregard for civility and humanity. Burn them to the ground." 

The Sun Sentinel's coverage can be found here.

Today, after meeting with both attorneys, Finklestein's response was swift and strong.  In the words of Donald Trump, "YOU'RE FIRED".

New Times coverage of the firings can be found here.

So, who was right?

CAPTAIN OUT ........
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is America. Free speech and the First Amendment are right. Political correctness should never trump free speech even when the speech may be tasteless but does not otherwise create a clear and present danger like the proverbial crying fire in a crowded theater. Finkelstein may be politically correct but he is out of line, specially being a lawyer who ought to know the constitution. I think Ashton made the right call even if what his ASA said was tasteless and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Does the Constitution protect us from being fired from our job no matter what we say? The standard is clear and present danger? I missed that day in law school.

Claude Erskine- Brown said...

Is that why the Third Contributor was removed from the list of Contributors on this blog ?

Anonymous said...

1:13 you are missing the point completely. Its not about free speech. Its about a Public Defender's duties to represent all people zealously no matter what. How can any Muslim, Arab or Palestinian client ever feel they are getting represented to the fullest with these idiots defending them? They were justly terminated.

ScottAfrica

Anonymous said...

@1:13: so you're saying I can start a person Facebook page and post a bunch of racist (or non-politically correct) stuff and when the huge law firm I work for gets pissed off and publically embarrassed they shouldn't fire me?

Anonymous said...

So let me ask this, those of us who have done actual criminal defense work (PD, Former PD's), if we make a distasteful comment about a burglar, a thief, a rapist, a murderer, etc (which we have), does that mean that we cannot zealously represent them? bullshit!!! A true criminal defense attorney doesn't have to like his or her client, nor approve or be fond of the alleged crime committed...we represent our client zealously no matter what. I don't think any criminal defense attorney is a fan of burglars, thieves, etc, and we have made disparaging comments, yet we still strive to provide quality and zealous representation because that is what we chose to do; because that is what a true believer does. Enough with being politically correct...that is just bullshit...freedom of speech is more valuable. Please let me know if you are a fan of the alleged crimes committed by the people you represent, of course you are not! Does that hinder your ability to provide zealous representation? If it does, go practice something else, and don't you ever call yourself a criminal defense attorney...chances are you were an ASA and/or you were never a PD...

Anonymous said...

talking about free speech.... how about Free Romanian speech... in court as we speak and in sentencing in front of Miranda... as we speak. Jeez...

Anonymous said...

Just cuz I don't like your views doesn't mean if you were my client I wouldn't represent you.

How can a child molester or murderer or even a bank robber feel they are getting represented to the fullest if I think what they did is reprehensible?

Anonymous said...


Help me Howard was way put of line with his decision. Or to put it more bluntly, he f'ing decision is BS.

I am much more outraged and concerned about the ASA in Orlando and his views. I am shocked by them and am even more schooled by the way his boss responded to him. That Chief Prosecutor has a totally different role than does Raticoff or Sheres. There is no way that ASA can be trusted to do justice in his decision making when he has such strong feelings like the ones he posted.

Raticoff is the most seasoned trial attorney in the Broward PD office having tried well over 300 jury trials. He has tried 40 homicide cases. He currently has ten homicide cases he is working on.

Fnklestein could have docked him a weeks pay, reduced his salary, suspended him for a month, etc. too many other lesser alternatives than firing him.

Anonymous said...

@9:40--I see your point, which you make well. However, these two guys publically embarrassed the Broward Public Defender's office by making racist comments which were made public in the media. They're not solo practitioners. They answer to employers who made a management decision to terminate them. Whether they can properly represent certain ethnicities of clients doesn't seem like a factor here. They pissed off their employer and suffered the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Comparing comments about those we may represent being disparaged by the bad act (murder, rape, burglary) with ethnicity is not an equivalent position. More equivalent is substituting Jew or Black in the sentence and see how it will be received. The comments reflect on the pubic office of the agency designated to defend all. Having said that sensitivity training, exposure to the Muslim and Palestinian community would be of value. Firing is of no value other than furthering the ignorant views espoused.

Anonymous said...

You're never more helpless than you are when you are assigned a PD. Your life is in the balance, sometimes literally, and a computer spat out the name of the only person between you and sentencing day. Usually, in Miami at least, you are black or Spanish and the PD isnt. They don't look like you, they don't talk like you. They don't dress like you and they are seldom seen in the neighborhood where you grew up. You have precious few minutes to talk with these strangers, share your story, and either defend your innocence or give important mitigating information. You see these PDs laughing and joking with the prosecutors. With the judge. The bailiffs. And you have to just trust, against every instinct you have, that they are on your side and on your side alone.

Now imagine you find out this same PD has posted that people of your religion or ethnicity are "cockroaches" or should be "burned".

Moral of the story: the PDs should be fired, as there are Floridians who rightfully cannot trust them.

Good news for the PDs, though: Life is soooo much better after you leave the PDO.

Anonymous said...

Finki is right - those comments are indefensible, and frankly, do far more damage to Jews than Palestinians.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

WE ARE THE RODNEY DANGERFIELDS OF THE MIAMI-DADE LEGAL SYSTEM:

A BRAND NEW COURTHOUSE FOR US; COST $550 MILLION DOLLARS ....

NOT EXACTLY!!!!!

The DBR's Julie Kay breaks a story about the Miami-Dade Commission discussing a Bond issue for the November ballot that would fund a new CIVIL COURTHOUSE to replace the dilapidated 73 West Flagler Street.

No mention in her story about us little guys dredging through the pits at 1351 NW 12 Street.

What about our dilapidated Justice Building? I know it's not nearly as old as the Civil Courthouse and not as nearly in bad shape as the Civil Courthouse, but have you been inside the GJB recently?

In Broward County, the criminal courthouse facilities are being built as we speak. They will be the finest in the tri county area - excluding of course the facilities for criminal court in Palm Beach County. Those facilities are amazing. Heck, the branch courthouse in South County Palm Beach, the Delray Courthouse, is called the "marble palace". They have free covered parking at that facility and the structure itself is ridiculous; marble from floor to ceiling inside. The inside of that building should be on the cover of Architectural Digest!

We who labor here in the criminal justice system deserve respect. We get "no respect".

Kay's story can be found here:

http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/home/id=1202662479202?kw=Bond%20Issue%20In%20Play%20For%20New%20Miami-DadeCourthouse&et=editorial&bu=Daily%20Business%20Review&cn=20140709&src=EMC-Email&pt=Breaking%20News&slreturn=20140609143224


Cap Out
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

OK but, I am still waiting to hear what happened to Ray, Judge Miranda's bailiff.

Also, what was that about Gail Levine and a threat on an elevator.

Inquiring minds want to know....

Anonymous said...

Breaking: LeBron James Leaning Toward Joining Al-Qaeda
SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF • Sports • NBA Basketball • ISSUE 50•27 • Jul 8, 2014

85.2K
4.5K
411

MIAMI—After viewing its latest pitch highlighting all he could accomplish with its organization, NBA power forward LeBron James confirmed Tuesday that he is currently leaning toward joining the militant Islamic group Al-Qaeda. “I’ve been doing my due diligence, and right now I’m really interested in [Al-Qaeda leader] Ayman al-Zawahiri’s vision and what he has already built over there,” said James, adding that while he has also considered offers from terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram and the Taliban, he believes heading to Al-Qaeda remains his best opportunity to defeat the West in the immediate future. “It seems like they’re open to doing a max deal, but I’d be willing to take a pay cut if that’s what it’ll take for them to bring in a big-time cell leader to work alongside me. Of course, I also can’t ignore their storied history and the fact that they have such a loyal following. I’m certain they have the personnel to take out both L.A. and San Antonio. Overall, I think moving to the Arabian Peninsula is the best option for me right now, and it will help take me to the next level.” At press time, James confirmed that his agent Rich Paul, who has been overseas negotiating with the group, has not been heard from in six days.

Anonymous said...

All of us know Alex could possibly be thought of as a walking time bomb. He files Speedies in multiple courts; shows up hours late; we have all heard his ramblings as we wait in the defense line behind the podium. Judge Miranda did the right thing. She could have slammed him and did not. His attorneys' waived his right to appeal and agreed to the probation because the judge could have found him in contempt for additional violations in the past few weeks. All said, Alex has smart lawyers, is in front of a smart judge who held it together and didn't go overboard, and needs help to learn to chill.

el Doctor said...

If you work for an Elected Public Official your actions , comments and writings reflects on your Boss, the Elected XYZ. Who then HAS to answer the Media & Electors/ Public.

If you embarrass them , by what you do, say or write - on the job or off the clock or could embarrass them you Very Likely Will LOSE your Job.
If you don't get fired you will have a talking to, maybe ethics/ sensitivity classes, demotion.
But, in theory you understand and except this when you go to work for an Elected Public Official.
Learn the lesson , don't post , keep your mouth shut at work, always smile at work and don't bad mouth your supervisors. Do Not write any thing on your FB page about clients nor the office.
If asked say : I Adore working here.

Anonymous said...

5:10 if youre going to name Alex and allege that he committed "additional violations" youre going to have to provide some substance.

Anonymous said...

I saw the whole hearing. Phil handled Miranda perfectly. At one point he tricked her and he got to cross examine her for a few minutes before she got flustered. And alex walked out with admin prob so he checks in once - and once he does his 50 csh and cle he should be done.

Anonymous said...

To 9:30. Doubt you were really there. Alex get regular probation . With the specifically conditions. His attys-ON THE RECORD-agreed to waive his appellate rights because Miranda had another R to shoe C waiting fir him in his ridiculously absence in any ct at REG.

DS said...

Probation, even 6 months , is always less a severe sentence than incarnation, even 2 days

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as administrative probation anymore.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the people that think they should have been fired support right-to-work/fire laws?

Anonymous said...

These postings weren't on a PD page. They were on the personal pages of people who happen to work at the PD's office.
I think it's a stretch to think that 'the public' won't trust their PD because of these comments.

Now people might gain a better understanding of why so many people post anonymously on blogs like this.
Look at the repercussions for stating what you think.
Just because something is not 'politically correct' doesn't mean that your feelings aren't valid.

And even if you substituted the word 'Blacks' or 'Jews' as Howard says, they shouldn't have been fired unless it affects their ability to do their job that they were hired for.

Anonymous said...

Which candidates have received which endorsements?

Anonymous said...

So, tell me if the conversation goes something like this:
So your response to an article about the celebration of the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Palestinians was that you think that Palestinians are "cockroaches;" and you think they should all be "burned"? Does this in any way affect the way you would represent a Palestinian (or any other ethnicity you have yet to publicly launder your feelings about) accused of murder in Broweird County?
Heavens forbid, no I would zealously advocate for them; Ditto what he said.
Ok, great, get back to work. Oh and please don't burn the cockroach(es) that work(s) in the office.
One thing lawyers (and the general public) often forget when we claim free speech is that yes you can say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean that it will be free of consequences; and when your speech is considered "Hate speech" there will likely be consequences regardless of who the hate is directed at. Especially when it is directed at a race/ethnicity instead of the radical cowards who committed the atrocity.
Lawyers always have to be careful about "the appearance of an impropriety," especially when you work in a state that has at will employment.

Anonymous said...

State learns the hard way that jailhouse snitches are full of shit. Good job Peter Heller.

Anonymous said...

I'm a defense lawyer and yes, I have said many times that my client should get a second chance but, with Alex Michaels I give up.

Go to the Bar web site and look up his previous reprimand. It said there that he made significant progress with his anger issues, was taking all kinds of meds and was a single parent.

I watch Alex show up super late if he shows up at all. I watch him show disrespect to judges, prosecutors and staff all the time.

I wonder, how much more of his crap the system can take?

When will the Bar finally suspend him and tell him "no mas?"

Anonymous said...

I read the comment about Alex Michaels having a "prior" with the Bar so, I read it.

Wow, what a croc of shit. He hasn't learned a damn thing in the 5 years since the Bar slapped him on the wrist.