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, June 22, 2015

SOMETIMES WRONG…NEVER IN DOUBT


Judges rarely change their minds. They often feel they can’t. When they put on their robes, they wrap themselves in a mythos of authority and certainty. They’re supposed to be distant, neutral and wise. They’re supposed to have all the answers. “Lawyers and litigants project infallibility onto judges,” (NOT THIS LAWYER says Rumpole ) says Jeremy Fogel, a federal judge in Northern California who directs the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, which provides training for every new federal judge that addresses the formidable social expectations that come with the job.

The NY Times article, which is a lengthy and thoughtful examination on judges and judging, sent to us by an alert reader, is here.

A Picture speaks a thousand words: 
These pictures and this tweet went viral over the weekend:

This is how you arrest a black man for selling loose cigarettes.

This is how you arrest a white man accused of killing nine black people in cold blood. 

Sort of makes you think.

South Carolina, where this troubled young man was raised, has the confederate flag, or some iteration thereof, flying about its capital.

Lets put an end to this nonsense right now.
The confederate flag celebrates a time in our country when white people enslaved and sold black people. Pure and simple. That is what the flag stands for. Yes, there were issues of what people call "states rights" (although metaphysically and  epistemologically speaking, States cannot have rights, only people can have rights). And if the South seceded because it didn't want federal (read  "northern") control over how it ran its business, then that's just removing by one step the issue that the South didn't want to give up its slaves.

People can celebrate how brave southern soldiers fought. But they bravely fought for the wrong cause. They fought to preserve slavery, pure and simple. It was the only issue that could not be resolved.

To to celebrate this  

because the south's soldiers fought bravely for the confederacy, we might as well celebrate this


because German soldiers fought bravely for their Fuhrer in the second world war. 

You can remember the soldiers and remember their sacrifice. But it does not require displaying the flag they fought under, for the country that advanced a repugnant idea antithetical to a country that has a bill of rights and celebrates and protects the freedom and and sanctity of the individual.  And you can use the confederate flag or the nazi flag interchangeably in that last sentence. The idea applies equally.

Make no mistake. A defense of displaying the confederate flag is nothing more than a cheap, rank, thinly disguised defense of racism.

Enough is enough. It's 2015. Take down the damned confederate flag from government buildings. If racist yahoos want to fly it from their home, so be it. Nazi sympathizers won the right to march in Illinois in the 1970's. But we are sick and tired of this ridiculous defense of the confederate flag as celebrating some noble effort. The South's effort was not noble. They fought to defend and preserve slavery. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's sophistry and blatant lies.

See Y'all in court. 







36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now you understand why your women readers want you to censor misogynist linguistic symbols in the comments. These symbols stand for and feed hate. Of course, context matters: "The Producers" displays the swastika and dancing nazi soldiers, but in a way that weakens the force of the symbolism. Casual unironic misogyny in your male readers' comments fortifies the symbolism and damages women. You don't want Dylann Roofs finding validation in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Now you understand why your women readers want you to censor misogynist linguistic symbols in the comments. These symbols stand for and feed hate. Of course, context matters: "The Producers" displays the swastika and dancing nazi soldiers, but in a way that weakens the force of the symbolism. Casual unironic misogyny in your male readers' comments fortifies the symbolism and damages women. You don't want Dylann Roofs finding validation in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post

Anonymous said...

The problem here is not the flag, the problem is that right wing politicians and their propaganda arm have been sending clear messages to their followers that minorities, particularly African-American, are stealing their country,their wealth and their women. African-Americans have been effectively dehumanized to the point that some believe that they can be exterminated without consequences or conscience. We've witnessed the increase of problematic police killings of black men and boys and the corresponding traffic of emails and other social media information containing disturbing racist bigotry. The blood is not only on the hands of the killer but on those
men, women and organisations that have brainwashed these idiots into believing that black Americans are their subhuman enemy.

Rumpole said...

459 am did you not read the part of the post about the right of nazis to march and the right of racists to display the confederate flag?

Just Another Intern said...

4:59 confuses State action and citizen action.

Anonymous said...

long live Dixie.

earl rogers said...

Great post. I think that the most positive thing that can be said about the pro-flag element is that they see the Confederate battle flag as a way of connecting themselves with American history, albeit an extremely unsavory aspect of that history, while America has morphed into something that their ancestors could not have ever imagined and that frightens them. My ancestors fought on both sides of this war and my g-g-g-grandfather (and several other family members) actually died in service of the rebel cause, but I feel absolutely no connection with it and have no problem with the flag being removed from all public areas, excluding public parks on the Civil War battlefield sites, where I think it does have a place.

The Professor said...

Another empty day at SCOTUS, unless you own a 20 year old patent. One would almost think the justices, especially Chief Justice Robert, are trying to make sure they are on vacation (incognito) in order to avoid the harsh reaction (from both sides) over King v. Burwell (Affordable Care Act) and Obergfell v. Hodges (marriage equality).

Ginsburg came up empty today, as did Scalia and Kennedy (Roberts wrote on a minor opinion). Unless there is a release on Thursday, next Monday, June 28th, may be one of the biggest days in the history of the court.

Anonymous said...

Advocate for your liberal causes as strongly as you want to, but do not be disingenuous. The picture of Garner was taken during an arrest which Mr. Garner was resisting. The picture of Roof was taking as he was being walked out of a police station into a police car, long after his actual arrest, a process throughout which Roof was cooperating even to the point of confessing to a capital crime. But of course, as a criminal defense attorney, you already knew this.

Mr. Garner would likely have faced a small fine had he submitted to arrest. Mr. Roof, who did submit, will likely be executed. To suggest that Mr. Roof is receiving favorable treatment to Mr. Garner, because of his skin color, is factually false and sinks to the level of propaganda - especially for people who don't know how arrests are effectuated, what happens afterwards, etc.

Own your biases, advocate for your causes. But be honest.

Anonymous said...

1:11 couldn't have said it better. Rumpole tends to lose his credibility when he goes on a rant pontificating about race or gun control.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the Nazis , fuck the Germans and fuck the confederate flag. Absolute, no boundaries, free speech is preposterous. The civil war was about slavery, that flag represents negativism , offends many and it's due time for it's demise. Things are obviously broken here in the US so the less symbols of hate the better.

Enuff said

Anonymous said...

No man, black, brown, white, green, yellow, red, orange, or purple should be choked to death for resisting arrest for selling a cigarette. No propaganda or liberal cause, just the truth.

Anonymous said...

1:11 is exactly right, Rump.

There are plenty of legitimate examples to use, lots of reasonable comparisons to make, to illustrate disparate treatment in the criminal justice system. Those pictures of Garner and Roof are neither.

You can do better.

Anonymous said...

Being from the South, it always amazed me how history was picked over and certain things were told/believed/cherished. For example the Confederate flag itself. The version that is widely flown/cherished as "The South's Heritage" is actually the Confederate Naval Jack, a longer version of the Battle Flag of Virginia (not the Confederate Battle Flag) used on land. The Naval Jack is the longer rectangular flag, while the Battle Field Flag is the shorter square version of the same flag. So everyone who sports the most common rectangular flag is actually supporting the Confederate Navy as their heritage, and not the Confederate Army. But the one constant is that certain people don't let facts interfere with their truths.
http://www.usflag.org/confederate.stars.and.bars.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America

On a side note, some southern state flags are derivatives of or were inspired by Confederate flags. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi (which still has the Confederate Flag as part of its state flag), and the previous Georgia State Flag (until 2001 it like Mississippi also had the confederate flag) are cousins of the confederate flag. The New Georgia Flag is actually an old confederate flag with a twist. Can't believe that in 2001 it still got approval for the new (old) flag to represent the state. While all the state flags do not evoke the same sentiment or share the same history they all bear the "bars" of the "Stars and Bars/Southern Cross." Even Miami-Dade County Flag has a cross, albeit green and not red.

Except for Mississippi's (and possibly Georgia's) flag do not misinterpret this as an argument that all of the flags need to be changed. Just something to think about during a discussion of how the past is still present today.

Literati said...

What does epistemology have to do with state rights?

Anonymous said...

Rationalize it anyway you want but I am still pissed off over the senseless murder of Garner. Fuck! right wingers should be first in line screaming about this. Aren't they always bitching about the government exercising too much power over the individual? Guess the power to kill over bullshit isn't that important when it's a black guy getting snuffed by the government. 7:05 is right, it's not a coincidence that Root said he had to kill because blacks were taking everything from whites. Wonder where he got that info?

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a top rated attorney for a defamation case. I don't want just a big name but someone who really knows his/her stuff.

Anonymous said...

http://m.dailybusinessreview.com/module/alm/app/dbr.do#!/article/1747279851

Anonymous said...

No, it is Rumpole who confuses state and citizen action. As a citizen, he should not permit symbols of misogyny in his blog comments.

Anonymous said...

I say we should proudly fly the confederate battle flag high atop the justice building. Maybe it will make the defendants who enter the REG building behave when inside.

Anonymous said...

The white kid who killed innocent people did not fight with the police when they arrested him.

The black guy was legitimately being arrested for a crime even though it was a stupid minor crime and he refused to be arrested.

That still does not justify a choke hold.

Anonymous said...

do you seriously think it's legitimate to arrest a man for selling loose cigarettes? try to imagine the arrest of a white man for selling loose cigarettes. isn't it far more likely he'd be cited not arrested, or simply ignored?

Anonymous said...

Are judges permitted to promote themselves on social media?

Willie the Groundskeeper said...

How 'bout those racist Scots, they have the same cross!

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

From David O'Valle and the Miami Herald ....

Judge Scott Silverman .....

The getaway driver in the robbery of retired Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Scott Silverman will serve 12 years in prison.

Marke Williams, 25, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to armed robbery. He also agreed to serve five years of probation. The gunman, Ryan Joseph, 19, is already doing seven years in prison.

Prosecutors say the pair — after trolling the streets looking for people to rob – mugged Silverman at gunpoint as the former judge was getting out of his car at his Miami Shores home in September. Stolen: his wallet, money and wedding ring.

Now working as a mediator, Silverman retired as a judge in 2012 after spending 22 years on the bench. He was also the official historian for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami.

The case against Williams was strong. A license plate-reader captured Williams’ rental car near the scene. Video surveillance also showed the two spending Silverman’s money at a Foot Locker store. Joseph pleaded guilty in May. He agreed to testify against Williams, whom Tuesday decided against going to trial.

“If the state loses, the prosecutors go home,” said his attorney, Aubrey Webb. “If Marke had lost, he would have gone to prison for life.”

And if that story doesn't interest you, there is always this one (see next Comment)

Cap Out .....

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Florida woman accused of having sex with dog taken back to jail .....

A woman who was charged with having a dog perform oral sex on her was released and then arrested again last week after violating the terms of her supervised release, according to jail records.

Detectives discovered Ashley Miller, 18, had explicit photos of her and a dog stored on her phone, according to the Bradenton Police Department. Miller confessed she had the canine perform oral sex on her up to 40 times, police reported.

Miller was arrested again Thursday on charges of violating her supervised release, which required her to stay away from animals and check in every Tuesday and Thursday, according to court records.

Miller asked the court if instead of reporting in person during her supervised release she could call in after being accepted into a Hillsborough County safe house, according to court documents. The nature of the safe house was not listed.

Her arraignment is scheduled for July 14.

Miller was originally arrested June 12 and charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual activities involving animals. She was released after posting bonds totaling $1,000.

During a sexual battery investigation that started May 31, detectives learned that Ashley L. Miller, 18, "had explicit photographs of her and a canine stored on her phone," according to police.

Police said the dog showed no signs of injury and was taken to a veterinarian for an exam.

Claude Erskine-Browne said...

Captain
So the get away driver gets 12 years and the actual gunman who stuck a gun in Silverman ' s face gets 7 ?

the trialmaster said...

The gunman who stuck a firearm in Scott's face should get at least 20 years. The sao gave this case away. If this ocured in Browierd Satz would have put this thug away for life.

Kissimmee Kid said...

"So the get away driver gets 12 years and the actual gunman who stuck a gun in Silverman ' s face gets 7?"

Do we know the prior criminal history of the two offenders?

Anonymous said...

Today I was in front of a female felony judge discussing when to set the case for plea.

I told her I was on vacation at a time she was thinking of setting it and she said, "I don't care about your vacation..."

What do we have to do to make judges human?

Anonymous said...

Monday, June 22, 2015 6:59:00 PM apparently gets his/her news from the left wing.

Plenty of rightwingers pointed out that the Bloomberg and DiBlasio administrations bore a huge responsibility for this poor man's demise. Anti-tobacco and pro-tax, NYC government needed to bring little annoying people like Garner to heel.

BTW, why doesn't the media ever point out that the on-scene supervisor of Garner's takedown squad was an African-American woman? And she apparently didn't have any problem with the takedown?

Anonymous said...

First to squeal/talk, gets the better deal! Was this plea deal approved by the victim(s)?

Anonymous said...

SUGGESTION FOR THE CLERKS' IT DEPARTMENT

With regard to re-designs of the CJIS website. After you kindly remove the "captcha", a feature that would actually be very helpful would be a box to check, when searching by defendant's name, if you only want results to include OPEN CASES.

Searching a name like Juan Perez in Miami Dade County is going to return hundreds of defendants, with cases dating back 50 years. A search result of only those Juan Perezes with open cases would save users a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

YANKEES go home. Leave Dixie-land to the natives.....

Anonymous said...

Now we know the real definition of "LAP_DOG."