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

Monday, October 06, 2014

FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER

Today is the first Monday in October. You know what that means? 
Pumpkins for sale, along with your favourite pumpkin ale. 
The weather was a bit cooler and drier this weekend. 
And oh yeah, the Supreme Court is back in session after a well deserved summer break. 

The cases to be heard before the court this year span the gamut of the First Amendment, Religious Freedom for Prisoners, the Status of Jerusalem (Zivotofsky v. Kerry, No. 13-628- whether Congress can force the State Department to consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel),  the right to same-sex marriage (otherwise known as the right to be as miserable as the rest of society) Affordable Care redux, Voting rights kerfuffles, and in perhaps our favourite case so far, whether White Collar Laws apply to ......fisherman. 

 Whether a grouper is like a email is at the  crux of Yates v. United States, No. 13-7451, in which the application of the Sarbanes-Oxley act's prohibition against the destruction of evidence applies to a fisherman who tossed a couple of allegedly undersized red grouper overboard before federal agents could seize the piscatorial evidence. 

There's a case about the interpretation of rap music, a form of entertainment known to make Justice Scalia swoon with delight, and there is a case about the size of a prisoner's beard. 

All in all, it is shaping up to be a very interesting term. 

See you in court, just not that court. Red grouper cases are so below us. 

7 comments:

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

From the NYTimes .....

Supreme Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in 5 States

The Supreme Court on Monday denied review in all five pending same-sex marriage cases, clearing the way for such marriages to proceed in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The move was a major surprise and suggests that the justices are not going to intercede in the wave of decisions in favor of same-sex marriage at least until a federal appeals court upholds a state ban.

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

BREAKING. From the Miami Herald.

Life in prison for teen in fatal Miami Gardens carjacking
BY DAVID OVALLE

Eric Ellington, the teen who shot and killed a man during a carjacking “because he didn’t look scared enough,” will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

“You have forfeited the right to ever be free,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O told Ellington on Monday during a sentencing hearing.

Eric Ellington, 19, had been facing up to life in prison for the murder of Julian Soler, 23, during the robbery at a Miami Gardens Mobil gas station in July 2011.

Soler had his hands up when Ellington unleashed a flurry of gunshots at Soler — a murder captured on video surveillance and shown at trial.

“You shot a man in cold blood and you shot him eight times and you kept shooting him,” de la O said. “You wanted him to die.”

During the carjacking, one of Ellington’s cohorts also shot and killed Soler’s friend, Kennia Duran, 24.

Jurors in March convicted Ellington of two counts of first-degree murder and a slew of other counts. Co-defendants Wayne Williams and Dylan McFarlane are awaiting trial.

Adults in Florida convicted of first-degree murder face mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 banned such automatic sentences for juveniles in murder cases. Judges can still mete out life in prison, but must consider evidence of a defendant’s youth.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article2530613.html#storylink=cpy

Anonymous said...

How many times does the Supreme Court have to say no to life for kids with murder cases before judge listen?

Anonymous said...

No life without considering the defendant's age at the time of the offense. Judge De La O considered it and still felt that Eric Ellington was a piece of shit who deserved nothing less than life.

If there is one case that should terrify us all, it is that one. The victims were chosen at random. Could have been any one of us. With trash like Ellington on the streets nobody is safe.

Anonymous said...

Probably once, but since they've never said that it's hard to guess.

Anonymous said...

Life in prison for teen in fatal Miami Gardens carjacking
BY DAVID OVALLEDOVALLE@MIAMIHERALD.COM
10/06/2014 7:14 AM 10/06/2014 8:49 PM


The decision to sentence a teenager to a lengthy prison term clearly weighed on Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O.

“I know you are in pain,” the judge told Eric Ellington’s mother, his voice cracking. “Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our children go astray.”

But the nature of the crime was just too brutal to be lenient, even if Ellington was just 16 when he shot and killed Julian Soler after the victim “wasn’t scared at all” during a Miami Gardens carjacking in July 2011.

Soler, 23, had his hands up when Ellington unleashed a flurry of gunshots at Soler — a murder captured on video surveillance and shown at trial.

“You shot a man in cold blood and you shot him eight times and you kept shooting him,” de la O told Ellington on Monday. “You wanted him to die.”

And with that, he sentenced Ellington, now 19, to life in prison in a state where there is no current parole system. Said the judge: “You have forfeited the right to ever be free.”

Monday’s sentencing was an emotional finale in the case against Ellington, whose murder of Soler shocked South Florida. During the carjacking, one of Ellington’s cohorts also shot and killed Soler’s friend, Kennia Duran, 24.

In March, jurors convicted Ellington of two counts of first-degree murder and a slew of other counts. Co-defendants Wayne Williams and Dylan McFarlane are awaiting trial.

“I thought he was going to get the minimum. I didn’t think they were going to give him life,” said Janine Diaz, Soler’s mother. “I’m very satisfied. I think it’s fair.”

Miami Gardens police say that Ellington, Williams and McFarlane tried to carjack Soler and Duran’s Ford Mustang at a gas station.

Finger and palm prints on the Mustang door matched Ellington, who gave a detailed audio- and video-recorded confession played to jurors during the trial. His mother, who urged him to come clean to police detectives, also identified him on gas station surveillance video that depicted his shooting of Soler in excruciating detail.

Ellington had rejected a 40-year plea offer before going to trial.

Because Ellington was a minor when he shot and killed Soler, Judge de la O had thorny issues to wrestle with. Adults in Florida convicted of first-degree murder face mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 banned such automatic sentences for juveniles in murder cases. Judges can still mete out life in prison, but must consider evidence of a defendant’s youth.

Legislators earlier this year tweaked the law to allow for judicial “review” after 25 years for juveniles convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, a quasi-parole system. But the change in the law does not apply to cases from before July 1, and that includes Ellington’s case.

Last month, de la O heard evidence that Ellington’s youth was marked by a broken home: his father was in prison and he frequently clashed with his mother’s boyfriend. But the court also heard that his mother worked hard to provide for Ellington, who was also cared for by extended family.

“You didn’t shoot him because your mother worked too much,” de la O said. “You didn’t shoot him because your father wasn’t around.”

The judge himself, in a 15-page order, could not speculate as to Ellington’s motives.

“It is natural to seek explanations in the wake of unspeakable tragedy,” the judge wrote. “But there is no satisfactory explanation as to why Ellington decided to murder Mr. Soler. There will never be; none would any ever suffice.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article2530613.html

Sandy Yates said...

I am just curious how a fisherman can be charged with a document shredding crime by NOAA's Law Enforcement, when the head of NOAA's law enforcement, Dale Jones, was in front of Congress at the same time for shredding 80% of his files during a federal investigation by the Inspector General's Office because of complaints of fishermen. He was not charged with violation of Sarbanes-Oxley. He was not even fired. He still has his 6 figure salary and just a lateral move in his position.