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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YOU'RE GO ON THAT 1202 ALARM

If you're a space nerd, like we are, then you are very familiar with the 1201 and 1202 alarms that Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Pilot Dr. Buzz Aldrin encountered about 5200 feet above the Lunar surface on July 20, 1969. 

Apollo is what makes America great. We are the only country to make Humankind's greatest leap from our planet to the stars. And if we can do that, then there isn't anything- pollution, global warming, disease, hunger, poverty, traffic on U.S 1 in the mornings- that we cannot solve. America doesn't need to be great again. We've always been great. 

5200 feet above the moon, Neil Armstrong, seeing only large boulders and enormous craters in his landing path, took controls of The Eagle. A team of American scientists and engineers had his back. Thousands of hours of simulations and planning for everything that could go wrong came into play. Loss of signal from Houston? Back up-plans in place. Loss of landing engine- abort button firing ascent engine was ready to go. Every possible contingency had been planned for and simulated. 

Except a 1202 alarm. And of course, that's what occurred. 

Here's how it all went down 48 years ago this past week in July, and why two American heroes- one whose name is known to all of humanity, and one whose name is not, saved the day and allowed us to land on the moon. 

The Dramatis Personae  are Astronaut Charlie Duke-  Cap-Com at Houston- the astronaut who was communicating with the Eagle. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the Eagle with Michael Collins orbiting above the moon in Colombia. And a twenty-four year old unknown engineer named Jack Garman. Times are in mission elapsed time. Much of the discussion is the loss of communications between Houston and the Eagle, with Houston telling Collins on Colombia how to move various antennae to help Houston acquire the Eagle. So at 04 06 28 22 (read 4 days, 6 hours, 28 min and 22 seconds into the mission) Houston tells Colombia that the Eagle is "GO FOR PDI" and that they've lost communication with the Eagle. PDI is Powered Descent Initiation- the command for Armstrong to fire his descent engine and drop the Eagle out of Lunar orbit. Collins tells the Eagle they are go for PDI. 

04 06 34 24 Eagle: descent looks good. 

04 06 36 18- Eagle:  Our position checks downrage shows us to be a little long. (Armstrong is noticing that their computer is taking them on a descent path that will be beyond their anticipated landing area. At this moment he is just monitoring the situation.) 

04 06 37 18 Houston: Eagle, Houston, you are GO to continue powered descent. 

Now, the first problem occurs...

04 06 38 26 Eagle: PROGRAM ALARM...it's a 1202

Twenty two seconds later, an eternity as the Eagle is plummeting towards the lunar surface-  totally unfamiliar with that alarm and having never trained for it or seen it or handled it in a simulation, Armstrong and Aldrin  ask Houston for a status report on the alarm: 
04 06 38 48 Eagle: Give us a reading on the 1202 Program Alarm. 

04 06 38 53 Houston: We got...We're GO on that Alarm. 

What happened in those twenty-two seconds that saved the moon landing? Everything. 

Enter Jack Garman, a twenty-four year old engineer who saved Apollo 11.  Garman was hired at age 21 by NASA and worked with the MIT team that built the guidance systems.  Legendary Flight Director Gene Kranz, famous for his "failure is not an option" credo, had instructed Garman during training to write down every possible error code with the computer guidance systems, which Garman did. 
A complicated set of facts explains why the alarm occurred. Basically the on-board radar and the on-board guidance computer were powered at the same moment and didn't go into an aligned phase which caused the computer to divert about 15% of its resources dealing with about 12,800 interrupt requests per second- which in turn caused the guidance computer to run behind on its other tasks. When the backup exceeded limits, the computer issued an alarm which essentially said it was running behind. 

Garman recognized the problem and told Steve Bales, who was Guidance Officer that the computer could be relied upon if the alarms weren't continuous. Bales now had to decide if he could trust Garman, which he did and gave the GO to Krantz. As Flight Director, Gene Krantz then had to decide if he could trust Bales- his guidance officer- which he did. And twenty-two seconds after the 1202 alarm Krantz gave the GO to continue which Charlie Duke communicated to Armstrong and Aldrin. 

Garman was later given an award by NASA. Bales, his boss recalled: "Jack had memorized these things (alarm codes) and said 'that's okay' even before I could even remember which group it was in. His quick reactions and in-depth knowledge led others on his team to nickname him 'Gar-Flash' ". 

Jack Garman, a true American Hero, worked at NASA until 2000 and died in 2016. His name is not often mentioned in the history of the Moon Landing, but there would never have been a landing on the moon in July, 1969 without Jack Garman. 

Having received a GO on the 1202 and subsequent 1201 alarms, Armstrong takes control of the Eagle and now, running low on fuel, looks for a place to land. 

04 06 42 10 Houston: Eagle, Houston, you're GO for landing. 

04 06 42 17 Eagle: Understand. GO for landing. 3000 feet. PROGRAM ALARM ...1201

They get a similar alarm  but Houston is now ready  and eight seconds later gives the Eagle the GO on that alarm:
04 06 42 25 Houston: Roger. 1201 Alarm. We're GO. Same type. We're GO. 

Fast forward about a minute and half, and now the second emergency is beginning to occur, and only the skill of the greatest pilot in the world at that moment- Neil Armstrong- could save the space program. 100 feet off the lunar surface, and still hunting for a clean landing spot, Houston tells Armstrong he has only 60 seconds of fuel left:

04 06 44 45 Eagle: 100 feet, 3 1/2 down, 9 forward. 

04 06 45 02 Houston: 60 seconds. (This is Charlie Duke telling The Eagle they have only a minute of fuel left and if they don't land it they have to abort).

04 06 45 21 Eagle:  (this is Aldrin calling out the altitude and movement while Armstrong concentrates on landing the Eagle)  30 Feet, 2 1/2 down, faint shadow. 

04 06 45 31 Houston: 30 seconds

Thirty feet off the ground- 30 seconds of fuel. One problem never before faced in the history of humanity:  trying to land on another planet and running out of fuel (relax- we know that the moon is technically not a planet, but you get the idea). 

One Problem. One American Hero. Nine seconds later- Problem solved. 

04 06 45 34 Eagle:  CONTACT LIGHT...Okay. ENGINE STOP. .. ACA out of DESCENT...MODE CONTROL both to AUTO. DESCENT ENGINE COMMAND OVERRIDE OFF. ENGINE ARM- OFF. 

Armstrong and Aldrin had a check list to run through to power down their craft so that they didn't mistakenly take off before they were ready to. Charlie Duke in Houston is anxious...

04 06 45 57 Houston: We copy you down, Eagle. 

And now, perhaps, the greatest words in the history of humanity, announcing our greatest achievement as a human race: 

04 06 45 59 Eagle: Houston, Tranquility Base here...

04 06 46 04 Eagle: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!

If you've ever wondered about Charlie Duke's strange reply to Armstrong and Aldrin in which he congratulates them and tells them that they had "a bunch of guys about to turn blue down here" it's Duke's reference to the drama of the landing, the Eagle only having thirty seconds of fuel, and everyone holding their breath. 

It's a uniquely American comment during  A uniquely American moment.  A combination of training, expertise, camaraderie and humor all wrapped up in arguably the moment of the greatest achievement of humanity (excepting of course the current launch of Pokemon Go 2.0).  

It's why America was and is great and doesn't need some bloated, ignorant buffoon to tell us we need to be great again.  

From Occupied America, which was great and is great and will soon be great again once we expel this virus of incompetence and deceit in our midst, Fight The Power!





Thursday, July 20, 2017

THE JUICE IS LOOSE!

Orenthal James Simpson was granted parole today in his nine to thirty-three year prison sentence for the contretemps in a Las Vegas hotel wherein he participated in a poorly conceived and poorly executed plan to "rob" the individuals who had some of his sports memorabilia. 

Longtime and careful readers of the blog will remember that OJ was also prosecuted in the REGJB. 
While his lawyer in that case-Yale Galenter- won it, he lost the case in Nevada in what was a widely criticized performance of abjectly poor lawyering. Having watched the Nevada case, we join in that view. 

It's hard to have sympathy for Mr. Simpson. While acquitted of the cold-blooded knife murder of two innocent people including his ex-wife, our view of the evidence is that he was clearly and undoubtedly the killer. 

There are many reasons why OJ Simpson was acquitted, race being at the top of the list. But there was also poor police work and very good defense lawyering.  Lee Bailey's cross of Mark Furman-the lead detective-criticized at the time- was in fact well done, having gotten Furman to continually deny having used the "N" racial epithet, when in fact the defense had lots of evidence that Furman continually used the word. The cross was a great example in how a defense case is prepared and presented. Sometimes you pass up the opportunity for the "wow!" moment to bring the chickens home to roost at the end of the case. 

But another reason was that the defense used a jury expert and conducted mock trials and learned the type of juror who would be sympathetic to their client-African American females. The prosecution didn't use a consultant, and one could argue that the case was pretty much over after jury selection in which there were ten women, nine of whom were African American. 

Should parole have been denied based on Mr. Simpson's prior murder case for which he was acquitted?

Probably not. An acquittal is an acquittal (except in Federal court, where it is not: see, Dowling v. United States, 110 S.Ct 668 (1990)). 

OJ will be released October 1, 2017 and we will give you one guess where he wants to live? 
Yup- Florida- our fair state.

From Occupied America, where the President doesn't like his attorney general- and neither do we- Fight the Power!















Tuesday, July 18, 2017

JUDGE MURPHY LEAVES FOR CIVIL

UPDATE#2 GOOD BYE COFFEE AND PASTERIES for Judge Murphy and his wonderful staff Ralph (bailiff) and Joette.  The reason why Judge Murphy is considered one of the best in the building is in no small part because his staff is hands down the best as well. The soiree is being thrown by Judge Sayfie (well done) and will be Friday July 21, @ 2pm. 

UPDATE: Lourdes Simon was appointed to the circuit court Tuesday by Governor Scott. 
Congrats to Judge Simon. See you in court. 

There's a really worthy charity - School Uniform Drive, that we highly recommend. The FACDL is running a fundraiser at Fado's Irish Pub at Mary Brickell Village on August 3, 2017. See the flyer below.

JUDGE MURPHY TO CIVIL
It's not the end of the world. 
It's not like withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. 
It's not like a giant iceberg has broken off of the shelf of Antarctica. 
It's not like Trump has been elected president. 
It's not like repealing Obama-care without a replacement.

It's just a great judge going to civil for a while. 
He'll get bored and hate it and come back. Until then, Keep Calm and Carry On.

From Occupied America, where we have withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and all the other bad stuff has happened, Fight the Power. 

SCHOOL UNIFORM DRIVE 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

KRIS MAHARAJA CASE

UPDATE: TRIVIA ANSWERS BELOW as most of the correct answers have been published in our popular comments section. 
We think this was the  case Judge Sepe  Judge Gross was presiding over this trial (according to many alert readers) when he was arrested in a bribery case before the Court Broom. Don't know what Court Broom was? See below. 
Anyone have any info on this?

Trivia: Judge Gross's nickname?
THE MOUSE  because he loved all things Mickey Mouse. 

Bonus Trivia: Lawyer who was arrested with Judge Gross?
Harvey Swickle- also acquitted.

Double Bonus Trivia: Who were the defense counsel for Gross and his co-defendant?
Michael Tarre who was phenomenal and never got or gets the credit for being one of the top-notch trial lawyer-defenders of his time.

Tom Scalifini represented Swickle as per an alert reader (who thought his first name was Tim, but is actually Tom. Once we saw the last name we remembered and Mr. Scalifini was and is also a top-notch litigator in his own right . No idea who represented Swickle but Swickle and his son pulled some sort of stunt when the jury returned with a verdict as a way of creating an appellate issue which was never needed.

Triple-I Know as Much as Rumpole Trivia: Who was the Judge and from what county was he from?
Judge Daniel Futch from Broward who pretty much hated Dade, hated Dade lawyers, was a mean and ornery son-of-a gun and who once said to us "how high can you count?" when we inquired what bond he was going to set. 

On the day of the verdict Futch brought a contingent of BSO officers because-as he told the prosecutors- "I brought my own boys because I don't trust them guys from Dade to hold em when I take em in."

Quadruple I'm an REG Nerd Trivia: Name the prosecutor and where was the case tried?


Prosecutors were Dade ASAs Larry LaVecchio and Michael Band. Case was tried in the civil courthouse at 73 Flagler street- possibly in the late Judge Sidney Shapiro's (what a great decent judge he was!) courtroom. 

Thanks for playing and allowing us to reminisce. 

So all we have left is the name of Swickle's attorney at trial. We're stumped. 


Marajahal by Rumpole21 on Scribd

From Rumpapedia ( (C) JBB Productions 2017, all rights reserved):  Court Broom was a judicial scandal in the REGJB where Judges asked unpaid interns to sweep their courtrooms without paying overtime.  Born after a Starbucks appeared on every corner? Ask any lawyer over the age of 40 and they will tell you all the shocking details. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

HANZMAN ON SYG

The Judge Hanzman fan club was out in full force this weekend, emailing the below order reflecting the Judge's own view on the new SYG motion. (Spoiler alert- he likes it).
We received about a dozen copies of this from the Judge Michael Hanzman Fan Club, hereinafter JMHFC, so you can stop sending them. Use Snapchat or something. 

"M...i...c..see you real soon...K...e..y,, why? Because we like you! MOUSE...." Woops, wrong fan club song. 

So now we have two very learned and skilled judges, both successful litigators in their own right before putting on the cursed black robes, who have different views of the new SYG law.

Have at it.


Thursday, July 06, 2017

STAND BY YOUR STAND YOUR GROUND LAW

Judge Hirsch celebrated our nation's independence by finding that the latest iteration of Florida's shoot to kill stand your ground law shoot first ask questions later  is Unconstitutional.

Here is the order:



Highlights from the order include the following: 

"When in due course of human events...
"Ask not what you can do to an intruder, ask what caliber ammunition should be in your firearm..."
"That's one small step for the Florida Legislature, and one giant leap for mankind..."
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...

And of course, the judge found succor in his favourite president- Abraham Lincoln: 

"A law divided against itself cannot stand..."






Monday, July 03, 2017

JULY 4



HAPPY FOURTH OF JUL


1) Try and name the three Presidents who died on 
July 4. 

2) How many hotdogs are consumed on the 4th of July? 
500 million; 250 million; 150 million; 75 million?

3) Who was the oldest signer of the declaration of independence? 
Ben Franklin; Thomas Jefferson; John Adams; Donald Trump:

4)  Independance Day was first celebrated where?
Washington DC; Philadelphia; NYC; Trump Tower; Newport Rhode Island; Boston?


5) Who first signed the Declaration of Independance?
George Washington; Donald Trump; John Hancock; Benji Franklin; Rupert Pupkin? 

6) Which state has apple pie as their state pie?
Utah; Vermont; Kansas; Alabama; North Dakota?

7) When did Congress declare July 4 as a national holiday?
2010; 1870; 1777; 1900?

8) What are the first words of the declaration of independance? 
"Donald Trump will someday..."; 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident..."; "When in due course of human events..."; "That's one small declaration for man, one giant declaration for man-kind..."?

9) How many people lived in America on July 4, 1776, not including indigenous native americans who refused to participate in the census. 
1 million; 2.5 million; 3.5 million; 5 million? 

10) From whom did the USA declare independance from?
China; England; NAFTA; Mexico; Canada; Russia; Microsoft? 

GRADE YOUR SCORE:

10/10 : A true patriot;
8-9/10: A history major you must be;
6-7/10: You went to college in the Northeast, didn't you?
1-6/10: Try again next year Judge. 


Answers:
1) John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe.
2) 150 million hot dogs are consumed today.
3) Benji Franklin was the oldest signer of the declaration of independance.
4) Philly first celebrated July 4.
5) John Hancock elbowed his way in front of Trump to be the first to put his John Hancock on the DOI.
6) Get your apple pie with a slice of Cabot cheddar in the green mountain state of Vermont. 
7) We got the day off starting in 1870.
8) "When in due course of human events..."
9) 2.5 million people lived in America on July 4, 1776, and McDonalds had already served ten million hamburgers.
10) Despite claims by the current white house that NAFTA and China were the entities from whom we declared independance, it was King "Vlad Putin" George of England that we declared our independence from.