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

Friday, January 15, 2016

THE NEW DEATH STAR

In early 2016 the rebel alliance scored it's biggest victory yet, knocking out the death star of the evil Sith Lord Darth Scott (R-Florida). 

Darth Scott has re-convened the Galatic Senate to rebuild his machinery of death.
"There is no civility. Only Politics." Palpatine. *

Here's what we know about the status of the death penalty in Florida: Legislators in Tallahassee are rushing...rushing to re-enact the death penalty. They want to do it in less than a month. 

It's taken six months for the remodeling to begin on the El Chapo Cafe in the Justice Building. But law makers in Florida are going to rebuild a death penalty statute in less than 30 days, excluding work not done on Sunday, the Sabbath,  and on days legislators are hung over from too much wine provided by lobbyists during  assignations with their mistresses. 

In Florida we take more care with building the Cafes that serve us cafe con leche, than we do with creating laws to kill people. 

Today, as you  read this blog, children in Florida are waking up hungry. They and their families don't have health insurance. On their way to school, children are ducking stray bullets as gun violence continues its assault on our world (sad fact- more Americans are killed every year by a gun than died in the entire Vietnam war; more Americans are killed by guns in 45 days than died on D-Day). Children are attending under-funded schools while their parents work two and three minimum wage jobs to pay the bills. 

But the legislature is going to make damn sure that if anyone in this family struggling for daily survival is killed by someone with a gun, well then "dam gummit- we are going to spend the next thirty years and several million dollars to execute that son-of-a-bitch and let that family know we care about them." (poignant pause while the legislator shifts the bible from one hand to the other, scratches themselves under their overalls, and uses a spittoon.) 

This is madness.  "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results."  Boba Fett.  Or maybe it was Sy Gaer. 

If we have a limited and fixed sum of money to devote to a problem in society like murder. And we know that most murders are committed with firearms. We have two choices to spend that money: 1) on removing the instrumentality that is causing the murder or 2) punishing the person who committed the crime after the fact. 

Wait! "Guns don't kill people. Liberal, Muslim ISIS members invited into this county by Obama kill people." We almost forgot. 

We don't stop murder. As a god fearing christian society built on following the commandments of the bible we are going punish those that offend the lord and the laws of decent society. 
("Vengeance is mine and I will repay sayeth the lord" Romans 12:19). Well, ignore that part of the bible and focus on the part that commands a society to spend several million dollars to strap a person to a gurney and stick a needle in their arm so long as they have intelligence equal to or above mildly impaired.  Put another more crude way- using outdated language- we will execute the retarded so long as they are just mildly retarded. 

And so, as myriads of inspectors parade through the El Chapo cafe (move that chair away from the window- (fire code) move that freezer another six inches away from the wall and the mouse droppings (health code) ) our representatives are quickly pecking away at their typewriters writing laws so as to make sure not one person in Florida evades the new death star. Not one.  

This is madness. 
See You In Court. 


*Sheev Palpatine was either the senator from Naboo and secretly a Dark Lord of the Sith, or a republican state legislator from Two Egg Florida dedicated to the proposition than any decent god fearing society must have the death penalty. 

18 comments:

Fake Senator Jessie Helms said...

A Brilliant and reasoned and often funny commentary on the death penalty. Bravo.

Fake Sayfie said...

As smart and funny and well reasoned as this post is, I predict that the lasting result of this post will be nothing more the fact that everyone in the courthouse will now call the new restaurant El Chapo Cafe.

Thanks Rump. You've ruined it before it opens.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. El Gordo is tostada before it abiertos. (opens).

El Chapo it is and ever shall be.


Judge: Where is Mr. Smith?
Bailiff: He went down to El Chapo to get a coffee. He said he'd be back in a minute.

Well done Rumpole. Well done.




Not JAI much longer said...

Henceforth and forevermore...

The Professor said...

I am not quite seeing this the same as you are, Rump.

It is true that SCOTUS has indicated that verdicts do not require a unanimous finding by the jury. That was decided in Johnson v. Louisiana. In Johnson, the Court approved a 9 out of 12 majority as being sufficient to establish that there were meaningful deliberations and that “a heavy majority” can be respected. I am not sure they would feel the same of 7 out 12.

It is Constitutionally mandated that the standard is Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. “The Sixth Amendment provides: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury. . . .” This right, in con- junction with the Due Process Clause, requires that each element of a crime be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Alleyne v. United States, 570 U. S. ___, ___ (2013).

In Hurst the Court cited Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U. S. 466, 494 (2000) in which the Court held that “any fact that ‘expose[s] the defendant to a greater punishment than that authorized by the jury’s guilty verdict’ is an ‘element’ that must be submitted to a jury.”

In Hurst the court also referred to the fact finding necessary for the death penalty to be assessed as another element of the offense. Therefore I would argue to you, that although the Court did not address an issue not raised in Hurst, that if faced with the fact that Florida does require unanimity in the finding of guilt, and that death findings are “elements of the offense”, both proof beyond a reasonable doubt and unanimity are required in death findings as in findngs of guilt.

I believe SCOTUS will eschew a differing standard in the “death phase” than in the findings of the other elements of the offense. Bifurcation is acceptable, but bifurcation in proving differing elements of the same offense, most probably not.

If all the legislators do is pass a bill that gives all the power to the jury, and leaves it at a majority vote, I don’t think SCOTUS (or even the Florida Supreme Court) will find that it passes Constitutional muster.

Anonymous said...

I just became a fan! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure no one has done shit to advance the opening of El Chapo, much less exercise six months of care doing it.

The Professor said...

Today the Florida Supreme Court denied a stay to Michael Lambrix, who is scheduled to be executed on February 11th. However, in their order, they have agreed to hear argument on February 2nd as to whether and/or how SCOTUS' decision in Herst effects Lambrix's sentence.

That is one argument that will be worth streaming.

Anonymous said...

It was Einstein, not Fett or Sy.
This was not written by an Einstein, as it was a rambling silly rant about the concept that the world is not perfect. What a revelation!!

Anonymous said...

As the Prosecutor who convicted Pitts and Lee, I say Kill them All and let God sort them out

Fake Jay White said...

Rump I'm just sick. In the second quarter, watching both defenses in the Chiefs -cheaters, both teams run a zone read defense. You can see them constantly giving shifting looks in the A gap and the secondary. The Dolphins never do that, which is why teams audible so successfully against them.

Looking in the secondary its common to see the secondary shift from cover two to quarters and then cover three using a backer to shift in and out of the defense. In all of the defense snaps I have reviewed since the season ended, the dolphins did it three times in the first Jets game and they never had the personnel on the field to do it again all year.

What gives?

Why can't we play professional defense like everyone else?

Pass the bourbon.

The Professor said...

Disgusting thought process 8:33.

Anonymous said...

Professor,
its called Irony and Satire
8:33

Anonymous said...

Perhaps 8:33 has been involved in too much new year partying of a substance or they think any ASA doesn't follow the oath they took when they became a member of the Florida Bar or the oath they took as an ASA. I don't, believe in the comment and I believe that most ASA's throughout out the state don't. SAO5

Anonymous said...

That's Florduh's MO. It's what they did after Georgia v. Furman, rush to make sure the state did not exist one day without a death penalty statute.

It's par for the death penalty course.

Anonymous said...

SAO5
Do you even know who Pitts and Lee are and their saga?
8:33

Don Vito Corleone said...

They shot Sonny on the causeway.

Trilogy on HBO.

Huey Freeman said...

Just look on the bright side, after they find a "new way to legally kill people," they will finally have time to focus on minor issues like a functional education system that will keep people from committing crime, and raising the minimum wage to a liveable standard.