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Thursday, April 19, 2018
CONSTITUTION REVISIONS COMMISSION a/k/a "CRC" .....
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
MARCY’S LAW - THE CRC HAS SPOKEN .....
While most of our loyal readers have been focusing on the really important issues of the day - Trump, North Korea, Comey and his new book, and Attorney/Client Privilege via the Michael Cohen case, many of you may have missed the latest on the venerable CRC - a/k/a Florida’s CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION.
For those not in the know, the CRC is reborn once every 20 years in the State of Florida. Its mandate is to review the Florida Constitution and propose changes for voters to consider. For the past year, at dozens of public meetings held around the State, the 37 members have been listening to the voters of Florida. The membership of the CRC is overwhelmingly chosen by only three elected leaders, all Republican; 34 of the 37 members were selected by Governor Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and Senate President Joe Negron.
After spending the past year listening to proposed amendments to our state constitution, the members whittled down the list of ideas to 23 workable proposals for final consideration. Those 23 proposals were reduced to 11 proposed final drafts for consideration by the CRC. And on Monday, after nine hours of debate between the members of the CRC, they voted to approve eight amendments to go before the voters in November, while rejecting three others.
You can read the Title and Content of each of the eight amendments by going here:
The Amendments range in subject from: Crime victims; judges; first responders and the military; public colleges & universities; school boards; offshore drilling; vaping; property rights; lobbying; and the oh so important industry of dog racing.
Today, we focus on just one amendment, P6001: "RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS; JUDGES". The proposed amendment/s would create a new constitutional right for crime victims to receive information and provide input during criminal cases. Known as "Marcy’s Law", the measure would, among other things, establish a right for the safety of victims and their family members to be considered when bail is set in criminal cases. The package of amendments also includes expanding the mandatory retirement age for judges (from the current age 70) to age 75, while also eliminating the provision permitting judges to serve out their term if they had served more than half their term by the time they reached retirement age.
Here is just some of the language:
(b) To preserve and protect the right of crime victims to achieve justice, ensure a meaningful role throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems for crime victims, and ensure that crime victims’ rights and interests are respected and protected by law in a manner no less vigorous than
protections afforded to criminal defendants and juvenile delinquents, every victim is entitled to the following rights, beginning at the time of his or her victimization ...
(10) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay, and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related postjudgment proceedings.
a. The state attorney may file a good faith demand for a speedy trial and the trial court shall hold a calendar call, with notice, within fifteen days of the filing demand, to schedule a trial to commence at a date at least five days but no more than sixty days after the date of the calendar call unless the trial judge enters an order with specific findings of fact justifying a trial date more than sixty days after the calendar call.
b. All state-level appeals and collateral attacks on any judgment must be complete within two years from the date of appeal in non-capital cases and five years in capital cases, unless a court enters an order with specific findings as to why the court was unable to comply with this subparagraph and the circumstances causing the delay. Each year, the chief judge of any district court of appeal or the chief justice of the supreme court shall report on a case-by-case basis to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate all cases where the court entered an order regarding inability to comply with this subparagraph. The legislature may enact legislation to implement this subparagraph.
The entire proposed amendment P6001 can be read by going here.
For any of the amendments to become law, they must win the support of 60% of the voters.
JUDICIAL ELECTIONS .... UPDATE ......
As alluded to in the Comments section last week, veteran Judge David Miller has drawn opposition, again. This time it is from Elisabeth Espinosa, a ten year member of The Florida Bar. According to her bio, she is a partner at Cole, Scott’s Miami office and she defends insurance cases. She was an ASA in Orange County for six years, and also spent time as a criminal defense attorney. She states that she has tried over 70 jury trials.
CAPTAIN OUT .......