When all hope is lost and the jury has returned a verdict of guilty and the 3rd DCA has said PCA, all that is left is a 3.850.
Thus was the scene this week when a familiar face was led into a courtroom on the second floor to have his 3.850 motion heard by Judge Milton Hirsch.
It must have been difficult for Judge Hirsch to sit and listen as one of his former colleagues from the defense bar and one of his former colleagues from the bench, one Phil Davis, sat in a red jumpsuit, looking haggard and gray and all but beaten by a system that once he tried to game.
His history is all too familiar to the regular denizens of the REGJB. Electoral victor over _______(name the opponent Davis beat for super duper REGJB BLOG extra credit), Davis took a seat on the circuit court bench in the REGJB and immediately began to exhibit bizarre courtroom behavior - berating prosecutors for filing informations, and hitting up lawyers in his chambers for loans. Eventually Davis became ensnared in the infamous Courtbroom scandal. His chambers was wired and he appeared headed for a downfall until (we can't make this stuff up) Davis was defended by one Alcee Hastings- himself an impeached federal judge before being elected to congress (only in Miami does this crap happen, right?).
While his brethren from the bench all went down and went to prison- Judges Goodhart, Gelber, Sepe and Shenberg- Davis beat the rap. An astounding acquittal based in no large part by a spellbinding closing argument from Hastings who hadn't even sat through the entire trial.
Turned loose into the world, and unfortunately himself- Davis, who beat the feds couldn't beat his own demons and found himself in State court facing a serious charge of using a charity to defraud the government. Defended by, inter alia, Don Cohn, who himself was about to be elected to the county court bench, Davis turned down a plea offer of minimal jail time only to have Judge Butchko- she of late of the Dade Business Court- sentence him to twenty plus years or so.
We've written about Davis before, notably here.
And now it's down to this. A hail mary rule 3.850. Win big and go home or lose, and do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, and be returned to a hellish fate in prison.
There's nothing pretty about the fall when it's this big.
See you in court.
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