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Thursday, November 05, 2015

BLACK IS BLACK

Mexico's Supreme Court- the criminal section- ruled on Wednesday that Mexicans have the right to grow marijuana for personal use. It's the first step in legalizing marijuana in Mexico. 

Ohio (motto: "We all want to live in Florida") meanwhile, voted down a proposal yesterday to decriminalize marijuana. 

FACEBOOK MURDER TRIAL- The defendant accused of murdering his wife and posting it on Facebook- the trial has started. In voire dire. Openings next week. 

BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK.
How in the world did we miss this? 
The Florida Supreme Court adopted amendments to the Rules Of Judicial Administration (motto: "The rules no one reads")  in which they held, ruled, wrote, said, etc.,  that Judges must now only wear black robes. "Black is black, I want my baby back..." (Los Bravos, 1957). 

Our Code of Judicial Conduct recognizes that as the “arbiter of facts and law for the resolution of disputes,” Florida’s judges are the face of the judicial branch of government. And, as such, judges must conduct themselves accordingly, both in their actions and their appearance. .. When a litigant appears in court, it is the presiding judge who sets the tone of the proceedings, puts those in attendance at ease, and maintains order and decorum throughout the proceedings, all of which establishes confidence in the legal process...
Presiding judges wearing different colored robes or robes with varying embellishments could result in uncertainty for those coming before our courts and serve to counter the efforts the branch has employed to gain the public’s trust. For example, one could question whether there is a “status” attributed to the varying colors or embellishments worn by different judges, e.g., whether the color or embellishment denotes a rank of judge based on tenure, ability, or some other factor—is this judge more or less qualified or maybe the chief judge? Depending on the color or pattern of the robe or the type of embellishment worn, some may wonder whether the presiding judge is a “real judge” or whether the judge will take the proceedings seriously. Robe color also could be seen as a reflection of a judge’s mood or attitude that day. (Rumpole says- how 1970's of them. They remember mood rings!!) 
Should a defendant facing the death penalty feel trepidation when the presiding judge appears in a red robe or feel more at ease when the robe is green? (Rumpole says, no, the defendant should feel trepidation if s/he's being prosecuted in Broward) 
The possibility that the unique attire of the judge assigned to one’s case could raise these concerns and thereby diminish public trust and confidence in the proceedings is not acceptable. The public should not have to guess as to the meaning of different colored, patterned, or embellished robes. Promoting uniformity in judicial attire, by requiring all judges to wear unembellished, solid black robes, will no doubt avoid these concerns and promote public trust and confidence. The people of Florida have a right to expect equal justice every day, in every court in this state, and should not have to question whether equal justice is being dispensed based on the color of a judge’s robe

(this is the part we like)

It is also reasonable for the people of Florida to expect the members of their judiciary to conduct themselves as professionals consistent with the rules and guidelines adopted by this Court. We have no doubt that the clear majority of judges conduct themselves in the most exemplary manner and hold themselves to the highest of standards, and would do so without any rules governing their conduct or attire. Unfortunately, that is not the case with all judges. One need only read the myriad opinions from this Court disciplining judges after a finding of misconduct by the Judicial Qualifications Commission to agree that this Court must provide guidance when it identifies an area of potential concern. Adopting new rule 2.340 is but another step this Court takes in furtherance of its oversight and leadership role in identifying and implementing strategies to enhance the public trust and confidence in the third branch of government. 

Where have you gone Judge Alfred Nesbitt? Our courthouse turns its lonely heads to your blue robes. 

See you in court. 

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will the Supreme Court justices buy black robes for those judges who have bought robes in other colors that they can no longer wear?

Anonymous said...

Loved Fred 's blue robe. Rip.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, black robes are going to make Ed Newman's court run like a courtroom and not a circus, Victoria Brennan's court run by a person with some respect and compassion a single person, Robert Luck's court run by a guy who would give his mother a break, Dava Tunis' courtroom run by a nice person, Steve Leifman's courtroom run by someone who isn't obsessed with making money for the county, Fred Saraphin's courtroom run by a normal person, Milton Hirsh's courtroom run by someone other than William Shakespeare and so on and so on.

Anonymous said...

"Will the Supreme Court justices buy black robes for those judges who have bought robes in other colors that they can no longer wear?" F that! Those bastards already get paid too much for their cush job. Buy your own costume.

Anonymous said...

Federal Osha estimates are that by banning ecru as a color-and it's really a shade- would save the us economy over 918 million dollars a year in productivity. Ban ecru.!! Dot com.

Anonymous said...

My first appearance before Rodney Judge Rodney Smith put me in front of a judge wearing a black robe with an ornate African tribal brocade running down each side of the front. It was quite snappy. Did that mean that Africans were going to do better in that courtroom that non-Africans? I don't know, but Billy Bob and Juan might think twice that they were not getting a fair shot. Good ruling.

Seth Sklarey said...

Now Supremes, what about the bowties and remember Shelly Schwartz's colorful ties. And can the judges still wear shorts under their robes and still pack a .38 or .357 Magnum?
So many unanswered questions!
.

Anonymous said...

To 6:37:00 PM

Same comments could be made for judges and/or hearing officers wearing yarmulkes.

Anonymous said...

6:37pm. I do know, and no it didn't mean that Non-Africans fared worse than Africans. Billy Bob or Juan could have thought they were not going to get a fair shot as soon as they saw a Black judge instead of a Caucasian or Hispanic Judge (respectively). Or perhaps they saw a Black Judge and said to themselves "Finally someone who will listen to me and not treat me like just another defendant, because he knows how screwed up the justice system is."

I do know that many Black people, unfortunately the majority of people walking into the building as defendants, know that they don't get a fair shot. For many of them the crap that brought them into the building wasn't fair or just, rather just-us. Do you think Black females walking into the building think they will get a fair shot knowing that NOT A SINGLE BLACK FEMALE IS ON THE CIRCUIT BENCH, and only two Black females are on the County Bench. Wait, did anyone notice that THERE ARE NO BLACK CIRCUIT JUDGES IN THE REG ANYMORE? Seraphin is the only dark skinned Judge IN THE BUILDING, and he is the only Haitian Judge in the County! And EVERYONE knows they don't stand a chance in his courtroom, even the attorneys.

So while you feel comforted in the ruling, and there will be no "snappy" "ornate African tribal brocade" on a Judges robe, some are sad they won't see a blue or purple robe, the band still plays on the sinking Titanic.