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

Saturday, February 24, 2018

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Where should the prosecution and the defense sit in a courtroom? 
Does it matter?

In a small courtroom on the third floor of the REGJB, it recently came to pass that the prosecution's table and podium was next to the jury box which holds the defendants that are in custody.  The courtroom is one of the smallest in the courthouse. If a realtor was showing it they would call it "charming", "comfy" and "a good starter". 
In reality, the third floor is where the judges with the least seniority are sent to adjudicate the miasma of the REGJB.
One day our intrepid CJ of the criminal courts division covered the calendar. Sensing a possible security issue, she had the prosecution and the PDs switch tables and podiums. No offense to the PDs, but most in-custody defendants would like to take a poke at a prosecutor. 
And then Judge Blumstein returned to court, and exercising judicial wisdom and discretion, finely honed after hours of sitting in his third floor bantam-sized fiefdom, said "switch back" because the judge controls the positioning of the lawyers. See, Commonwealth v. Boyd, 246 Pa. 529 (Pa. 1914) "While in every criminal trial, the accused has a common law right to counsel, and this right may not be abridged by any rule or regulation which would operate to hinder and obstruct free consultation between the accused and his counsel, the refusal of the trial judge, in a murder case to permit the defendant to sit by his counsel, so that the defendant was compelled to occupy a, small enclosed place, about six or eight feet away from the counsel table, was harmless error where no defense on the merits was made..."

Although traditionally, the litigants with the burden of proof sit next to the jury. 
See also, "Does the Placement of the accused undermine the presumption of innocence?"

But the SAO said NO! "We will not move to the back of the bus". Woops, wrong famous civil disobedience statement. The SAO actually said "No, we will not move to the other side of the courtroom." 

And there we sit. So to speak 
For now.....
From Occupied America, sit where you want and fight the power. The SAO did. Good for them!


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blumstein is the worst! Try calling one case up on a sounding calendar and see if your not still there past noon. Ridiculous

Anonymous said...

RUMPOLE - do you have a “fairness” or “appearance of the lack of impartiality” for JUDGES who go out of their way to befriend the POLICE (PBA) and continuously attend their meetings, board meetings, celebrations, etc?

Then, to stage photographs with the Judges and their PBA leader friends on Facebook - arms around one another or posing together.

Does that make a criminal defendant feel that this Judge wants to be re-elected and needs his Police Union with 6,000 police members to endorse and vote for him - and will go out of their way to rule “toward” the police?

How about in a trial involving “excess police force” issues?

I think it is not the right situation for a State court ELECTED Judge. The UNIONS have a great deal of unsaid power over elected jurists.

What do you think RUMPOLE? Captain? Others?

Anonymous said...

Is it a surprise that the parkland killer is a Trump supporter who wore MAGA hats and enjoyed white supremacy websites. Vegas, a Texas church and now Lauderdale. Is America great again enough for you yet?

Anonymous said...

Barrack H. Obama: 2009-2015 (in 7th year) 162 mass murders
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 18

Anonymous said...

In every other REG courtroom the PD's are stationed near the jury box so they can confer with their in-custody clients.

Anonymous said...

11:57 makes an excellent point. No criminal defense lawyer would want a juror who boasts of social contacts with cops. Imagine litigating a motion to suppress before such a juror.

Anonymous said...

7:23
Your sentiments are a big part of what's wrong with this country. Examine your thinking. Reflect. Try a little empathy towards those who disagree with you. Try saying, "I respectfully disagree." See how that feels. Let go of hate, no matter how justified you think it is. Change. We all need to find common ground with each other. If the average citizen thinks the opposing political party is responsible for murder in situations like this, then our politicians certainly won't compromise on anything.

If your urge in reading this is to call me an idiot or some other childish name, resist that urge.

Anonymous said...

He needs opposition if he does not get into form. He needs to sit down with a regular and ask for help.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think the powers that be haven't sat down with him already? Do you think a guy like that listens to others? He reversed Sayfie. SAYFIE! He applied to be a federal judge with less than 2 yrs of experience and being disliked by all sides. His arrogance is boundless.......

Anonymous said...

It's always the worst judges who go to this things and kiss the ring because they hope the PBA will protect that at election time. Just look at the faces in those pictures...they scream MOMMY TRACK...and Zilber. The. Worst. Judges.

Anonymous said...

18:00. Absolutely not my urge or my intention. Your post is thoughtful and positive and I assure you that I don’t hate people but I do despise hateful actions and words and I stand by my comment. Do you have an answer to my question? Am I wrong? Are you asking me to empathize with the Nazis in Charlottesville?

Anonymous said...

Obama wasn’t in favor of selling war machines to to kids and lunatics. At least he tried to strengthen controls.

Anonymous said...

@3:18 - well said.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


11:57 pm. Please email me at Captain4Justice@gmail.com with the information about this sitting judge. Thanks

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

3:18, I respectfully disagree with you.
Our elected officials are considered our leaders. We always talk about leading by example.
If a leader of a political party continually ridicules others, makes disgusting comments about the good people at a Nazi rally, and refuses to condemn those who are hateful, what kind of example is that/ His (or her) followers are going to take those actions (or inactions) as approval that they can be justified in their hateful words and actions.

Anonymous said...

10:53

Your post disparages a group of people, Trump supporters, based on the actions of one apparent Trump supporter: the parkland murderer.

Think of it this way. What if after the reporting on the sexual abuse of Harvey weinstein, I said, "is it any surprise this serial woman- abuser is a Jew?" That wouldn't be okay. It's very close to what you said.

So I guess I'm asking you to empathize with Trump supporters.

Sounds crazy? Probably just as crazy as asking hard line Trump supporters to sympathize with HRC supporters.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think any Jew is advocating in favor of sexual assault so your example is inappropriate. You cannot dispute that Trump has given comfort to hateful and violent white supremacists. The constant demonization of minorities is always followed by violent murder. Unlike Weinstein, the vicious, heavily armed racist has a friend in the White House. I am a republican and what Trump espouses is not republican. Therefore my conscience will not allow me to empathize with the immoral underpinnings of parkland or Charlottesville. I don’t abide national socialist.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is showing what's wrong with modern political debate. 7:09am/7:23am is not "wrong," but he's reaching for the worst of people in a group and painting 62 million Americans with an unfair broad brush. I have friends who voted for Trump, and they are not hate filled, bigots, or fascists. My friends who voted for Trump decry Parkland and Charlottesville just as forcefully as anyone else. But they have their own reasons for voting for Trump/against Clinton. And you will never understand them if you remain rigid and extremist in your denunciation of Trump and those who voted for him.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are some nice folks who voted Trump. Many of the Trump voters are not hate filled, bigots, or fascists. However, all the hate filled, bigots, or fascists voted Trump. All of them.

Anonymous said...

How is Blumstein even allowed in REG? He is unequivocally the worst judge I have ever witnessed.

I watched in horror as he turned what was supposed to be a quick "agreed order to transfer a defendant for drug treatment" into a 30 minute Q & A with the Defendant's attorney, and the State, asking them what they thought would be accomplished by sending the defendant to drug treatment. He went on to tell the sides he thought this was useless and intimated he wouldn't sign the agreed order, only to end up signing it after 30 excruciating minutes. I then watched as he grilled a defense attorney about continuing a case (which the state didn't object to), where the attorney was scheduled to be in a multi-week trial in federal court. He then set the case for trial on Tuesday of trial week, telling the attorney that if his trial starts on Monday, he'll obviously be available on Tuesday morning. And this was just the tip of the iceberg. You can't have a simple hearing with agreement between the parties without planning to be in his courtroom until noon. Where is Judge Murphy when you need him?

Judge Soto and Judge Sayfie, if you're listening, I hope you're able to get him out of the REG. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by both sides of the aisle come election time if you can accomplish this.

BTDT said...

12:44...........actually, there's hate filled bigots who voted for HRC as well. The unfortunate truth is that there's way too much hate in this country and it's coming from both sides of the political spectrum.

BTDT

PS---there are also plenty of good people. Unfortunately, their (our) voices are being drowned out courtesy of media that prefer clicks and viewership to truth and rationale discussion.