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Monday, November 07, 2016

JANET RENO HAS PASSED AWAY

ELECTION UPDATE: At 10:00 PM EST The NY Times is estimating a 73% chance that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States with 280 electoral votes. 
What we are seeing is clearly a "Brexit" vote with rural counties and voters previously uncounted in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and possibly Pennsylvania turning out in numbers not previously predicted and allowing Trump to be competitive and win states that no one thought Trump had a chance to win. 
Clinton will NOT win Florida. 

JANET RENO, Former Dade State Attorney and Former Attorney General Of the United States, has passed away at age 78. 

She was born and raised on the edge of the Everglades into a Miami that no longer exists. She was- in the simplest and non-racial sense of the word- a Florida Cracker. Raised by parents who were  muck-racking journalists, she returned to Miami with a Harvard law degree and expressed surprise when then State Attorney Richard Gerstein offered her a job because she and her parents had been so critical of him. 

She replaced a legend and became an even greater legend. 

As State Attorney in Miami she presided over the crime explosion from the Mariel Boat expatriation; the explosion of crack-cocaine and the influx of drug money that led to multiple corruption scandals in the police department and the judiciary. 

Through it all, as Miami rioted and burned, she sent her prosecutors to court with one simple directive- Go where the evidence takes you. 

This simple philosophy would in turn make her the moral compass of a nation during her eight years as Attorney General (the longest term in 150 years) as the nation reeled from sexual and financial scandals that marred the Clinton administration.  

We chuckled to ourselves as Janet settled into Washington, DC. "They have no idea what they've gotten themselves into."

Not one ever to be influenced by "old-boy" blackslapping politics and backroom deals, she befriended Justice Department janitors who accompanied her to church, and she spurned the trappings of power, flying regular coach when spending the tax-payers money on government business. 

When she made a mistake or things went wrong she went Harry Truman and told the congress that the buck stopped with her on the decision to send the FBI to raid a compound in Waco, Texas.  When things went right she stood in the background and let the line prosecutors have their moment in the sun. 

She was the most honest and ethical person we have ever met. She was intelligent, hardworking (bringing a sleeping bag into the State Attorneys Office to work on weekends), a true Floridian and a great American and someone we were proud to call friend. 

Rest in Peace Janet. You made us all proud. 

56 comments:

Steve Bustamante said...

She was a great State Attorney and a great boss. Nobody is perfect but she was something special.

She actually chewed me out once, as a very young prosecutor, because I didn't pay close enough attention, in her opinion, to the defense theory. Astonishing!

I am proud to have worked in her Office.

David E. Troyer said...

Today we lost a truly great American in Janet Reno, our former Attorney General. Janet was my first boss. She was a great boss and a phenomenal human being. She was a 44-year-old State Attorney (D.A.) in Miami, Florida when, in 1982, just a few years into that job, she hired this 24-year-old kid from Philly as an Assistant State Attorney. She is in that elite category of people I refer to as “scary-smart,” someone who was always just a bit sharper than the rest of us. She had the highest sense of ethics you could imagine, something she instilled in each and every one of us. Her message to us was clear: Our first duty as prosecutors was to ensure that innocent people were not charged with a crime, and our second duty was to prosecute and convict the guilty. I have never forgotten those principles. She lived in a house in Miami that her mother built with her own hands. It had no air conditioning and no ceiling fans. As State Attorney, she was no fan of either the death penalty or the tough drug minimum mandatories; however, she had the integrity to recognize her duty to enforce the law, and she ensured that her prosecutors did so with vigor. Just a few months after appointing me as her 29-year-old Narcotics Division Chief, I was at a picnic at her house when she approached me and said, deadpanned, “David, I am hearing from the judges how utterly inflexible you have been about waiving the minimum mandatories.” To say this made me nervous was an understatement, and I just froze and stared at her. She then broke into a big smile and said, “I think that’s great.” She was an innovator.
Janet was also one of the warmest and most caring people you could ever know. When you worked for Janet, in any capacity, she knew you, she appreciated you, and she truly cared about you. She not only knew your name, she knew your spouse’s name, your children’s names, where you grew up, and where you went to school. On a few occasions, I saw some prosecutors mess up cases really badly, and get called into her office. When they apologized, she always forgave them. But if they lied to her or tried to blame others, she would fire them on the spot. Now that’s a boss. After she became Attorney General, I went to D.C. to accept a Director’s Award for a case I prosecuted as a Miami AUSA. She insisted that I come see her. She also heard that my mother was coming down to D.C. from Philly, and insisted on meeting her. My Mom was awestruck, not only at meeting the AG, but in how “warm” she was. Janet also had one heck of a sense of humor. Her smile could melt you, and her laugh could shake the room. She very much appreciated a practical joke (thank goodness for me), and would engage in some herself. And when she got you, she really got you. She had picnics at her house, and took the time to talk to everyone, and play with all the kids. And when Will Ferrell made fun of her on Saturday Night Live with the “Janet Reno Dance Party,” she went on the show and danced with him. She was one of a kind. She was easily one of the most influential people in my career, and in my life. And I will miss her terribly.

David E. Troyer
Assistant State Attorney, 1982-1990
Miami, Dade County, Florida

Anonymous said...

When I was a young ASA, she walked into my tiny office, closed the door and sat down to ask ME what I thought we could do better. I really respected her. No bullshit, no politics and honesty/integrity was more important than a guilty verdict. Class act. Thank you Ms. Reno for hiring me.

ABE LAESER said...

Janet Reno was a true believer in truth.
With her guidance hundreds of young lawyers followed a basic creed of always trying to do right, and ignoring every instinct that told you to venture into the 'wrong'.

Her motto was: Strength and Courage. We learned and listened -- then tried to apply her guidance.

She studied her craft and worked, literally day and night, to make the world a more just place. She was a unique lighthouse in a dark and hazy world.

I will miss her. Watching recent political battles in this nation -- we will miss her. I wish that we see those like her in public service, again.

Phil R said...

Well said David. It was a pleasure working for Janet and you in the 1980's.

I recall two incidents with Ms. Reno (as we all called her) that illustrate what kind of boss she was. The first was when she called me into her office about a complaint she received from the ACLU (or he had written to the ACLU from prison and they forwarded the complaint to her) about a defendant I had prosecuted for drug trafficking. She asked me detailed questions about the case and whether it was possible he was innocent. After she finished I pulled out the second case he had been arrested on while out on bond. It was another drug trafficking case. I told her that after the first trial when he wouldn't plead to concurrent time we had a trial on the second case and he was sentenced to concurrent time. She quickly asked me why I hadn't sought additional punishment for a new case and crime. I agreed that I could have done so and after a few seconds of thought I blurted out that I just didn't think anyone should be punished for making a stupid choice in court and that fifteen years was sufficient for both cases and anything more would have been unnecessarily punitive. She let me twist in the wind for a moment before smiling and telling me I had made her and the office proud. A few months later I was promoted to division chief.

Janet's home phone number was listed and she would often call people in to run down complaints she received from phone calls. I received an assignment to research why an elderly woman who was a victim of burglary hadn't received a new window in restitution which was part of the plea. The file was five years old and it was quickly apparent I would never be able to get the defendant to pay for a new window. I visited the woman who was elderly and clearly on a fixed income. I had brought a handyman with me and I asked her permission to fix the window now with apologies for the delay. The woman happily agreed and for about $150 bucks the issue happily concluded. However I decided not to update Janet on my end run around the system but sure enough the woman called Janet to thank her and once again I found myself called to her office on a late Friday afternoon to explain myself.

As David Troyer said, she had a wicked sense of humor was not beyond letting a prosecutor twist in the wind a bit. She asked what I had done and why I hadn't let the court system handle the issue which was my job. I responded that it would have cost more to pull the transcript of the sentencing and in the end nothing would have been done and I began to mumble my apology when she started to laugh out loud and handed me a personal check for the money I had spent. I declined the check and we negotiated a bit and settled on us splitting the costs.

She was the best and most influential boss I have ever had and I know I am merely one of hundreds and hundreds of young lawyers who were influenced through the rest of their career by her simple rules to do the right thing, always first make sure an innocent person wasn't prosecuted and to always remember the special role a prosecutor has to not just win, but to seek justice.

James H. Woodard said...

It is ironic that the death of a public servant of unblemished integrity should occur the day before we are to choose between two of the least respected people to ever run for public office. Janet Reno rose to the highest levels of her profession without even a hint of scandal. A native of Miami, she was more at home in the Everglades than with the superficial trappings of power. While others counted their importance by the size of their mansions and the extent of their possessions, Janet was most comfortable, surrounded by peacocks, in her simple wood frame home built by her parents. She embodied all that can be right about politics and public office, but seldom is.

As a native of Miami, I am more than a little bothered by the fact that my hometown seems more than willing to memorialize sports figures, politicians, and others, some of whom could not find Miami on a map and others of questionable honesty, while, to the best of my knowledge never creating a suitable recognition for a person whose values we would all do well to emulate. I will miss her honest and straightforward approach to life.
James H. Woodard
ASA 1969-1982

Anonymous said...

Janet Reno's only mistake was getting mixed up with the Clintons at the end of her stellar career.

Scott Saul said...

I was so honored to have been selected to work in her office, the experiences made me who I am today , Ms Reno was such an approachable and righteous person, she had an intetelect and candor that was fantastic, she really paid attention to the familial aspects of her employees and, for all her accolades , she was the most down to earth person around. I still have my inter-office correspondence with her saved.

For a while my office was adjacent to hers on the 6th floor and she would always yell at me and pound on the walls because I was playing my music too loud. I'm sure really important governmental business was interrupted ( or prrhsps benefitted ) from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Bothers and Led Zeppelin rattling the walls.

R.I.P. Ms Reno, you touched so many lives

By the way , that court house should be named after her, not Gerstein

Anonymous said...

I hear around the courthouse that there are many angry judges. They are upset at Chief Judge Soto.

How did she pick complex business division judges without considering applicants so worthy, with a wealth of experience, like Judge Alan Fine (genius), Judge Jose Rodriguez ((20 plus years of impeccable Judging) or Judge Martin Zelber ( made millions of dollars in law practice and business and is fearless in his rulings).

Even Judge Hanzman ( juvenile court) might have been a decent choice? I know Federal Judge Moreno was pulling for Judge Thomas, , but still there were some other choices.

Oh well. At least the choices are decent and the new judges will work hard and be a credit to the bench. They are both superstars.

Anonymous said...

So saddened to hear of her passing. I always viewed her as a female Abraham Lincoln and I mean that as the highest of compliments. I understood from an article I once read in the Miami Herald, that her mother smoked a corncob pipe and that they had dirt floors in at least part of their Everglades home. Don't know if that is true.

But what a wonderful role model she was for Katherine Rundle Fernandez who has continued in her footsteps by making the Miami Dade County State Attorneys Office one of the very best in Florida.

James H. Woodard said...

To suggest that Janet was in bed with the Clintons is a real stretch. She did Bill no favors.
James H. Woodard

Anonymous said...

Between Judge Butchko and Judge Hanzman? Judge Butchko is a pro at complex litigation. She is brilliant. Her orders read like a academic. She has never been reversed. The bar is thrilled with her. Thank you Chief

Anonymous said...

I heard it was between Judge Hanzman and Judge Thomas, but the commercial bar really pushed for Judge Thomas. So much experience to be able to deal with complex cases. Harley Tropin and Aaron Podhurst are big Judge Thomas fans.

John S. Kastrenakes said...

As I sit here in my office I cannot help but recognize a simple truth about Janet Reno; she was, next to my dad, the most influential person in my life. The greatest boss I ever had, the person who instilled in me a sense of duty and ethics, a great friend and mentor. Yes, Scott they should name the building after her. I had the privilege and honor of working closely with Janet both as an ASA and as an AUSA. For all of us who "grew up" under her in the 80's we forged lifetime friendships built on a premise and understanding that we were empowered to "do the right thing" in all cases and in all situations. I am sure I am but one of hundreds of Assistants that can feel, even to this day, the power of her personality, sense of ethics, duty and unwavering integrity. She will be greatly missed. The world needs more Janet Renos, but sadly, I am afraid the mold was broken with her. Janet, may you rest in Peace always.

John S. Kastrenakes
ASA, 1981-95.
AUSA, 1995-2009

Jonathan Blecher said...

We lost a great one. An original.

There are hundreds, thousands of us who were impacted by her character, her ethics, her dedication and her compassion. As a young prosecutor what I admired the most about her was that she backed you up and that she trusted you to make the right call.

The "big lady" knew that the greatest challenge was stemming the tide of crime by working with young offenders, children and their families. That was her personal mission. She expanded the DOJ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

I'm proud to have her appointment hanging on my wall, as it has for nearly 35 years.

Anonymous said...

Janet Reno was a hero and an inspiration. May she rest in peace.

william said...

I worked for the office and helped in her re election campaign . ..we went to Black churches to turn out the vote,..as we rose to sing the hymns I reached for the song book...Janet to my surprise knew every hymn sung by heart.,,I was amazed at her grace and integrity.,,thought she would have been 1st female prexy..but Parkinson . ,great person..

Anonymous said...

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Anonymous said...

Janet dies right before the election where it is likely that the person she took the fall for in the botched Waco raid will be elected president of the United States.

TALES FROM VOTING IN FLORIDA said...

TALES FROM FLORIDA VOTING
Date Line: HIALEAH, FLORIDA The City Of Progress
9:06 am.
Poll workers come barging out of the polling place holding signs and shouting in bull horns to form two lines: "TRUMP AND RUBIO VOTERS TO THE RIGHT; Clinton Johnson and others to the left "

There are 30 machines for the areas set aside for Trump, six for Clinton and I note they are not even mentioning Murphy as the senate candidate.

I walk over to a police officer and inform him its not legal for workers to make people declare who they are voting for before they vote. The cop shrugs, and then says its legal because no one is following them into the voting booth and people could vote for who they want. As if on cue a poll worker shouts into a bull horn "MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN THE CORRECT LINE. IF YOU VOTE FOR CLINTON ON A TRUMP MACHINE YOUR VOTE WILL BE DISALLOWED AND WE WILL BE CHECKING ALL VOTES FOR ACCURACY"

I ask the cop "now what" and he laughs and tells me to call the FBI.

Welcome to rigged Florida voting

Anonymous said...

Fine is too new. Rodriguez is a moron. Zilber is toonew AND a moron.

Anonymous said...

oH YEAH, Try this one- I went to my polling place and a woman at the desk looked at my voter id card and started screaming at me in SPanish and shaking her head and finger NO NO NO and finally someone behind me interpreted and told me she was saying this was a Republican Voting Poll place and I was a registered democrat and I couldn't vote because all they had were republican ballots. I told them it was ridiculous and then a large beefy man in a mustache came over and growled at me in Spanish and pointed to the parking lot. I looked around for the official poll workers and couldn't find anyway so I left and I haven't voted. I'm going back after work.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me in Homestead. Big signs directing Trump voters to the right and "Trump machines" and Clinton voters to a smaller room to the left and workers telling people to go to the correct room because ballots would be checked for accuracy and when I voted they took my ballot and looked at it before scanning it. They also made a note in some book with my name and who I voted for. But I allowed it because I didn't know it was illegal

earl rogers said...

All these previous posts look fake (probably submitted by the same alt right prankster with the 8:31 post, trying to provoke anti-Hispanic hysteria), but, even if they are true, it is pathetic that all these voters would see fit to take their protests to this blog instead of someone who can actually take action to stop it.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


1:18 AM.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Earl:

I can assure you they are all fake. Someone with too much time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

Janet Reno was brilliant and ethical. One has to wonder how she survived in politics so long.

I worked for her and found her to be a first class ethical and decent person.

If not for Parkinson's, she would have been Governor.

Anonymous said...

Democrats hold 90,000 ballot lead out of 6.5M

As polls opened across the state Tuesday, Florida was tearing up the voter turnout record books on the way to setting an all-time high for participation in a statewide election. More than 6.5 million voters had voted, a majority of the state's electorate of 12.9 million, and far more than any other state. Democrats had cast more ballots than Republicans -- but not by much -- and the level of interest in the election suggests anything could happen on Tuesday. Democrats held a 90,000 advantage in ballots cast over Republicans (about 2.6 million to 2.5 million) with unaffiliated and minor party voters making up the rest

Anonymous said...

A great lady, the "big lady" used to kid me that I was "one of the few people who could see eye-to-eye with her" due to my height. I am truly among the fortunate ones to have been chosen to work for her. Her initial words to us, "you are here to do the right thing, always" still rings in my ears. I often wonder where my life would have taken me if my now-wife didn't convince me to reconsider turning her job offer down and moving to Florida.

R.I.P. Janet. You will always be a giant presence in my life.

B.R.

Anonymous said...

11:01 a.m. WTF?! Really?!

Anonymous said...

Who did Judge Bob Scola support for the complex business division? He is so close to Chief Soto and with Judge Thomas. Scola will be pushing for Thomas to be the next federal judge and this way Thomas has all the support of big time civil lawyers.

TALES FROM VOTING IN FLORIDA said...

I AM NOT FAKE
I observed multiple polling places in Hialeah where the workers went up and down the line screamin Trump or Clinton ? and then moved people into lines for whom they were voting for and kept warning people their ballots would be checked for accuracy. The cops did nothing. I called the justice department and at one polling place people arrived with the FBI saw what I was saying and spoke to the supervisor who then screamed and called 911. The cops arrived and the FBI backed them down and a person with DOJ took over the polling, ripped down the signs that said Trump and Clinton for the lines and restored order and FBI agents stood at the end after people voted and physically stopped the polling workers who kept yelling that they had been told to check the ballot for accuracy before scanning it.

It was chaos to say the least and when I told them of three other places they made calls and told me they were wayyy under staffed and were calling for reinforcements. It happened. I saw it and I'm writing and posting pictures that I took on line.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

Election Results: (Vote By Mail Only)

GROUP 34 RUNOFF
Mark Blumstein 51% v. Luis Perez-Medina 49%

GROUP 52 RUNOFF
Carol "Jodie" Breece 49% v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts 51%

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

Election Results: (Vote By Mail Only AND Early Voting)

GROUP 34 RUNOFF
Mark Blumstein 51.6% v. Luis Perez-Medina 48.4%

GROUP 52 RUNOFF
Carol "Jodie" Breece 49.8% v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts 50.2%

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions

Yes for Approval
5,817,638
70.99%

No for Rejection
2,377,491
29.01%

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Not good news for Abbe Rifkin so far:

Barbara Roseann Duffy
269,977
59.45%

Abbe Sheila Rifkin
184,171
40.55%

Not good news either for another former Dade ASA

Dennis W. Ward
20,224
49.88%

Catherine Vogel
19,000
46.86%

Real Former Judge said...

Former Miami County Court Judge wins senate seat in Oklahoma!!!

Anonymous said...

Captain is WRONG I saw Oscar R Fonts (ORF) polling data showing he came out of the gate like gangbusters in the early vote -early voting and mail ins and that he has a pretty much insurmountable lead and that his election is being closely watched by the powers that be in Tallahassee because there is a tremendous upside there according to the back-room pols.

REAL FORMER JUDGR said...

Are you fucking kidding me???? Judge Hanzman is the clear choice for Complex Commercial Division. All this BS about Judge Scola is ridiculous. Judge Scola once said that Judge Hanzman was the smartest lawyer that ever appeared before him. Judge Hanzman will be a credit to federal court if he chooses to do so. I have been best friends with Judge Hanzman for more than 25 years and he is like a brother to me. Such integrity. So much dedication to perfection and excellence. Such a desire to be an academic Judge. Such compassion for the juveniles that he ruled over. Giant heart for the underdog. Fair. You can not ask for more than that. He would have been the consummate Complex Commercial Division Judge. Not that the others aren't good - he would be the BEST.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


to 8:47 PM

I should say "your" wrong, but I'll be polite and let you know that "you're" wrong. The numbers are what they are and the numbers I reported are accurate as reported by the MDC Elections Dept. Oscar is currently running 4,400 votes ahead and I would agree that he is looking very good to hold his lead. (50.3 - 49.7)

Anonymous said...

It's an ORF world and judiciary and we're all just living in it.

Real Fake Former Judge said...

Real former judge is a putz. Let's see you try a case, like even a disorderly theft or something.

Yawn for any judge you think is a good judge. Maybe president trump will appoint him to the county misdemeanor federal bench. Jajajajajajajaja.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


As the presidential race unfolds dramatically, the death penalty is quietly having a successful night. The AP has called the vote on the death penalty ballot initiative in Oklahoma; the voters there have adopted a state constitutional amendment strengthening the punishment there, guaranteeing the state the power to execute and the ability to choose the means of execution. And Nebraska results are coming in. With 12 percent reporting, “repeal” leads in the vote on Referendum 426, 52-48. If that result holds, capital punishment will be reintroduced in the state. The state’s legislature had eliminated it last year.

Anonymous said...

Weed and trump. All is good in the world.

Real Former Judge said...

Real Fake Former Judge ... you are getting under my skin.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana for me and Hillary in prison. Hell of a day to be a Floridian

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

Election Results:

GROUP 34 RUNOFF
Mark Blumstein 51.2% v. Luis Perez-Medina 48.8%
393,193................. 375,376

GROUP 52 RUNOFF
Carol "Jodie" Breece 49.7% v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts 50.3%
372,236....................... 376,401

Cap Out

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AP CALLS PENNSYLVANIA FOR TRUMP

At 1:36 AM, AP called PA for Trump, effectively putting him over the 270 magic number and making Donald J Trump the President-Elect of the US.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...



AP FINALLY CALLS IT AT 2:31 AM

"DONALD TRUMP IS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES"

Fox (254), CNN (257), NBC (248), ABC (245), CBS (245), not prepared to make it official.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


2:40 AM. Networks finally decide to call it just as Trump takes stage to speak. Historic, unprecedented, shocking, and clearly the biggest upset in American political history. Nobody could have ever seen this moment coming when Trump announced his run for President 17 months ago.

Now we get to see what a Trump presidency looks like. Will Chris Cristie be named AG? How many SCOTUS Justices will Trump get to appoint? Is the ACA (Obamacare) dead on arrival with Republicans controlling all three branches of government? Will Trump be able to shake up Washington and all those cronies who work inside the beltway? We've got the next four years to watch and see how it all unfolds.

Cap Out .....
captain4justice@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Christie will not be the AG, He will likely be in jail with Hilary. I'll smoke some medical mj to that

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. I thought the election was rigged and we weren't supposed to accept the result.

Anonymous said...

Trump a/k/a "the Chumpster" has named his first cabinet officers. Gulliani is the AG, Newt is the secretary of state and Chris Christy will be the wall between Mexico and the US,

Anonymous said...

To the earlier comment - Hanzman is not a great Black Judge. He is a great Judge period. Why do we need to label anyone these days.

Rae Shearn said...

At Rae's request, I am posting her thoughts about Janet on this blog in their entirety-Jonathan Blecher
____________________________________________________________________________________

From: Rae Shearn
To: Nancy Wear ; FACDL-Miami
Sent: Tue, Nov 8, 2016 3:39 pm
Subject: FACDL-Miami Janet Reno: Egregious loss results in unspeakable silence

Egregious loss results in unspeakable silence. We are stricken with grief.

Janet Reno paid sticker price for a car. She hired Attorneys who would tell her “no” and hired Attorneys who would tell a misguided leo “no” or tell a grieving family “no”.

She hired smart attorneys who knew how to control their case. She supported her attorney staff – she was physically present.

I will not bore anyone with the story when a very liberal Third DCA Judge was “covering” for the beloved late Circuit Court Judge Knight from Holland and Knight, when Circuit Court Judge Knight had personal issues in the Florida Keys. The Third District Court of Appeals Judge wanted to hold me, after I left narcotics in the 80’s and was moved to Division Chief, in the 80’s in contempt for having a King Pin Drug Trafficker re-arrested for new additional charges. She appeared with Chief of Legal, ASA Shiffron and ASA Mendelson and she argued with the Third DCA Judge. The defense attorney quietly withdrew his motion because he was wrong on the law. That was one of the rare occasions that I saw Miss Janet Reno lose her temper. She yelled at the Third District Judge. In retrospect the true argument was really way over my head, as was the move that the Third District Judge was making.

Many of us were prosecutors when the three OverTown riots occurred, the Court Broom Sweep cases occurred, and when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami. Janet Reno served the people of Dade County – always a servant of the people. The power she had “was on loan” from the people. She taught me that fact. It was not personal power. It belonged to the people. Janet Reno served the people of the USA.

She had the highest authority in law enforcement yet she advocated for Miranda not to be legislatively undone in the SCOTUS Dickerson case. She lectured on exploring the underlying investigative reasons we killed innocent men and convicted innocent people of murder. She encouraged all of us to discover why and how these cases were “investigated and charged” against the innocent. She properly anticipated that there would come a finite point in time when the DNA exonerations would cease and therefore, it was urgently important and essential to justice that we react and learn from these errors. I am afraid we haven’t done such a great job following that advice; Florida leads the nation in death row exonerations.

She taught so many of us to take responsibility for our decisions. When there was success, she credited the people who worked for her.

She did all of it knowing that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.

She was always available to everyone; had an established true “open door” policy. When she served in Dade County, she personally answered every call that came into her office whether it was from a defendants crying mother or a next of kin.

She was smart. Flat out the smartest person in any room but she didn’t need to show off or be the center of attention.

Rae Shearn, PA
1466 NW 13th Terrace
Miami, Florida 33125
Wells Fargo Tower
One East Broward Blvd
Suite 700
Fort Lauderdale Fl 33301
Office: 305.545.0014
Fax: 305.545.0097
RShearn@raeshearnlaw.com