Let's see… in no particular order of importance….
Today is NFL Championship Sunday. Four teams will vie for the right to go to the Super Bowl which has become a holiday of almost religious reverence in the United States. It's just a football game.
The oceans are collapsing at an alarming rate and ocean life is approaching a point of collapse from which there is no return. The NY Times has the article here.
And David Young is running for Judge.
The announcement of Mr. Young's candidacy drew a multitude of comments in the last post. But it's our blog so we get the last word. (Although actually Mr. Young would have the last word should he care to write in.).
First as to the Airline Pilots trial several years back. The pilots were charged with attempting to take command of a commercial airline filled with passengers while they were intoxicated from a night of drinking. It is an absolute rule of flying taught on the first day of flight school: "Twenty-four hours from bottle to throttle" and the pilots charged with a violating that rule were about twenty hours short of compliance.
It has been alleged that Mr. Young in his capacity as a Judge rejected plea offers in the case because he wanted to try the case and use the publicity and notoriety of the televised trial for his own personal aggrandizement. It is not disputed that after the conclusion of the trial that Mr. Young was offered- and accepted- a job as a "television judge" ala "The People's Court" (also headed by a former Dade County Judge- the Honorable Marilyn Milian.).
To accuse Mr. Young of turning down the pleas because of his desire to land a job on television, is akin to accusing Barak Obama's mother of faking the place of her son's birth because she knew that someday he was destined to be President of the United States. A far-fetched accusation, but one in which small-minded people are apt to believe. The same goes with Judge Young, and the logic is just as tenuous.
Judges accept pleas all day long to a familiar litany of crimes- possession, robbery, assault, battery, DUI. But as we enter our third decade labouring in the hallowed halls of the REGJB, this is the first case we can recall with these type of charges. At times DUI practitioners would see a private pilot charged with flying while impaired, but we have never seen commercial pilots charged with such a crime. The magnitude of a disaster that could have come about if the pilot's impairment caused error which resulted in a crash is almost unimaginable. Besides the unfortunate souls on the aircraft, Miami is a crowded urban center. The plane could have crashed into a school, or hospital, or the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant or even the Dade State Attorneys Office!!!
If in the course of a career a judge rejects a plea or two, this is one of those cases ripe for such action. We see no nefarious plans behind Judge Young's actions. He had the authority, indeed the duty, to accept only a plea that he deemed acceptable in light of the nature of the crime.
In all other aspects we welcome Mr. Young's return to the bench. The qualities we seek in a judge are foremost the courage to do the right thing. Time and time again Judge Young spoke out for defendants he saw being mistreated. Defense attorneys applauded him for this, rightfully so. Shame on us for turning on Judge Young for his courage to reject a plea in a case where he thought the crime merited a more serious punishment. We should not criticize philosophical consistency; we should applaud the courage it takes to make a decision consistent with one's belief in the face of the criticism of the vox populi.
Seattle over Green Bay by ten, although we are rooting for the Packers. The Colts stun the Cheaters 34-31 when Luck leads his team on a last minute drive and game winning field goal.
Enjoy the long weekend. No court Monday.
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