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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Rumpole's Trial Lessons: #12: Always have a good quote memorized. 

A good trial lawyer has a bag of quotes ready to go at a moment's notice. 
For example:
"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." 
Dr. MLK. 
Today's topic is "Mercy". 

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Portia's Mercy Speech, The Merchant of Venice. 

We are in the position we are in today- in the area of criminal justice- because of the publicity driven and ill-advised political movement of the 1980's to abolish parole and remove sentencing discretion from judges. 
Shouldn't a 20 year old sentenced to life have the ability to have his sentence reviewed in 10, or 20, or 30 years? Some people can change. Prisoner's need some hope and some incentive to behave and rehabilitate. 

#Bringparoleback

From Occupied America, where the president is next considering pardoning* Ted Bundy and Stalin next, Fight the Power. 


* When asked about his pardon of the sadist Joe Arpaio, the current president referenced the "pardon of Chelsea Manning" by Obama and the unfair prosecution of Arpaio by the Obama administration and that Arpaio was innocent. 
Wrong. Wrong. And constitutionally wrong.
Obama "commuted" the sentence of Manning. She -like Scooter Libby who President Bush gave a commutation to- remains convicted of her crimes. 
The prosecutors who obtained the conviction of Arpaio were in the Justice Department under Jeff "Don't Fire Me" Sessions. 
According to the Supreme Court, a pardon requires the receiver of the pardon to admit guilt. 
 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pope Francis said the same thing a few days ago:

http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/imprisonment-without-hope-for-the-future-is-torture-pope-says.cfm

Rumpole said...

I'm pretty sure I said it first. Guy's been stealing from me ever since he was a simple priest in Argentina. But you know, forgive and forget. Turn the other cheek. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And all that. On the other hand, the president doesn't like the Pope....

Anonymous said...

Question:
Do you recall how shrewdly Portia won her case?

Answer:
The contract Shylock made was for "an ounce of flesh" . Nowhere did it mention ONE DROP OF BLOOD!

Clever those female attorneys EVEN in back in the 1500's.
P.S.
I have used that quote during sentencing in Federal Court before Judge Lawrence King.

Anonymous said...

Pardon doesn't require admission of guilt. Fake news.

Anonymous said...


"We ask that you immediately resign from your executive appointment with the Trump Administration," reads the letter, signed by 47 FIU law grads. "Further, we ask that you make every effort to distance yourself from that administration's view of the future of our nation, as that digressive view is opposite of the future envisioned by the FIU [law school]."


https://images1.miaminewtimes.com/imager/u/745xauto/9627221/screen_shot_2017-08-29_at_2.27.37_am.png

Anonymous said...

Lol, you still write as if we don't see your pom-poms.

You're Team Blue. Every pardon Trump will do is bad, especially when it's a known Team Red member like Arpaio, and you will pull your ASA hat back out from the closet and talk to us about "justice". Every time someone released from their punishment under Obama is mentioned (like Manning or like the guy who went on to kill his family), you will pretend again to be a defense attorney and argue it was a commutation not a pardon, or that Obama was only technically in charge, etc.

Your arguments, like the rest of Team Blue arguments, are not arguments at all; they are polemics. They may serve as pep talks to your team members, but nothing else. You think the Red President is both insane and brilliantly evil, comparable to Adolf Hitler. Once we know this about you, your strident "team" membership, why would we evaluate anything else you write politically? For the next 3.5 years (at least) I already know the conclusion of each of your political posts -- Trump is an idiot and evil and racist and dumb and a Nazi and a Klansman and not smart and, really, so is the GOP (except those who occasionally vote with my team).

For crissakes, we know which cheerleading uniform you wear.

Anonymous said...

7:03 - Try reading Burdick v. US.

Anonymous said...

I read this #FAKENEWS website now for pure schadenfreude. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

5:19 What a creative comment. However I think this is a commentary on criminals and not anews flash.. Maybe you should read a book and get back to the blog when you have a little more knowledge.

Anonymous said...

11:40 a.m.,

Chelsea Manning served 7 years before being pardoned. And she had broken the law as a whistleblower about significant misconduct. Not sure what guy Obama pardoned that went on to kill his family, but certainly open to hearing and evaluating that point without prejudgment.

Arpaio was a sheriff who deliberately and repeatedly violated a federal judge's order. He is a proud, unrepentant racist, who, according to his own words, felt "honored" by comparison with the KKK. His hallmark as sheriff was intentional physical and psychological abuse of inmates, something every reader of this blog should deplore. He hadn't yet been sentenced let alone experienced a day in prison or even on probation.

There is no question that, at this point, this blog is blue. I'm not sure I would have called it that before Trump's candidacy and presidency. My view of Rumpole is that he treats both prosecutors and defense lawyers with equal respect, which is somewhat unusual for criminal defense lawyers. We all defend the rule of law, although of course we view the rule differently, based on our practice, which is what the sixth amendment was meant to accomplish.

I can't speak for Rumpole, but my principle problem with Trump -- once you ignore inexperience and style -- is his preening disregard for the rule of law. Much of the country is concerned about that, because we've never before experienced that, except for Nixon's view that, when the President acts, it can't be illegal, a view considered highly-idiosyncratic and widely rejected. We have been raised on the rule of law, it orders our thinking, moderates our expectations, provides the security that comes from predictability. I say this as a white person aware that the "rule of law" is honored more in the breach with respect to people of color. But we don't expect our President to bestow honors for prideful violation of a national aspiration.

What, for me, is most concerning about Trump is that he is generally valorizing contempt for the rule of law. And, given its timing during pendency of the Mueller investigation (which your party supports), the Arpaio pardon can reasonably be interpreted as a harbinger of self-dealing pardons to come. That said, it could be that the pardon was nothing more than a sympathetic gesture towards an elderly man with a sick wife.





Anonymous said...

3:06

How condescending. Apparently my comment went over your head.

Perhaps you are the one that needs to pick up a book and read some Shakespeare. The Post referenced Portia's speech for mercy in the Merchant of Venice. It was a breach of contract suit and Shylock wanted to collect his stipulated contract damages - a pound of flesh.

Anonymous said...

11:52
Pardon is not admission of guilt. Do more research. When you realize post the results to educate this blog. You seem smart and decent enough to admit when your wrong.

Anonymous said...

If "Occupied America" is so fucking bad, then get the hell out! LEAVE!

Anonymous said...

4:49 you are completely correct. My comment at 3:06 was referring to the idiot at 7:03. Maybe I need to read a few books before my next comment.