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, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, November 25, 2019

TRIAL UPDATE! Don't look now, but the "Trial of the Century" County Court style, scheduled for Monday morning in the misdemeanor division of County Court, with a bevy of heavy hitters on all sides, including everyone's favourite federal blogger, has washed out with a "conditional nolle prose" whatever that is. Maybe it's an "IF...THEN" scenario. "IF you eat Turkey AND stuffing, on Thursday, THEN we will dismiss the case." 
Either way it's a win. When you and your client walk out of court with no return date, it's a win (unless you pled to CTS, then it's  loss). 

Judge Hirsch's Constitutional Calendar for Thanksgiving is a repeat, but one worth repeating. And while we are at it, let's give a shout out to Probate's newest Judge, and his latest novel, available here on Amazon . A Judge. Criminal Court. Civil Court. A Museum Theft. What more could a reader ask for?

Well, perhaps the answer to this question: What does the 6th Amendment right to counsel, the decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, some Coca Cola and Whiskey, and Henry Fonda all have to do with the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure? The answer is below.



     It was August, 1963, and readers of the Panama City News or the Panama City Herald could scarcely help but feel a sense of civic pride.  The front pages told of a local construction boom: A Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge on West U.S. 98, Gainer Funeral Home’s building on North Cove Boulevard, and the Florida State Employment Office’s new quarters on Ninth and Magnolia.  In the advertising supplements the Cook Motor Company trumpeted the sporty new Ford Falcon for $1,795.  And on the sports pages, big things were foretold for the Bay High School Tornadoes and junior halfback Joe Wayne Walker.

It was August, 1963, and Panama City, Florida, was small-town Dixie, an unlikely epicenter for a constitutional earthquake.

That same month, while the Tornadoes ran their two-a-day drills, Clarence Earl Gideon was tried for the second time – this time with the assistance of counsel – for the theft of 12 bottles of Coca-Cola, 12 cans of beer, four fifths of whiskey and about $65 in change from the cigarette machine and jukebox of the Bay Harbor Pool Hall.  Neither the trial nor Gideon’s acquittal received any particular notice in the Panama City News or the Panama City Herald.

But in the highest echelons of Florida government, notice was taken.  In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright and Gideon’s ensuing acquittal on retrial it was expected that hundreds, perhaps thousands of Florida prisoners would be filing habeas corpus petitions claiming that their judgments and sentences were unconstitutional because uncounseled.  The respondent in each such petition would be Louie Wainwright, the warden of the state penitentiary at Raiford.  Jurisdiction would lie in the circuit court of what was then Bradford County, a rural spot in the middle of the state that in 1963 had but one circuit judge; one judge, and hundreds, perhaps thousands of petitions.  Chaos would ensue.

Thus it was that as a result of Gideon v. Wainwright the State of Florida got what it had never had before: a rule of criminal procedure, aptly entitled Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 1.  The rule provided that habeas petitions were to be filed in the circuit court in which the convictions under attack had been had. The expected flood of petitions would be fairly and evenly distributed throughout the state.  Chaos would be neatly averted.

Joe Wayne Walker and the 1963 Bay High Tornadoes never really got the chance to live up to expectations.  The big game against the Rutherford High Rams was played on the evening of Friday, November 22, and ended in a scoreless tie.  But President Kennedy had been assassinated earlier that day, and the football game didn’t seem so important.

The answer to the trivia question is mostly self explanatory based on Judge Hirsch's Constitutional Calendar, except for Henry Fonda, who played Clarence Gideon in the made for TV Drama about Gideon v. Wainwright. 


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Secretary Roc Perry is correct that Donald Trump is " The Chosen One by Gid" dies that mean he is the Messiah?

Anonymous said...

Ric is hearing voices again. Maybe he can get next weeks powerball.

Anonymous said...

Roc Perry- that's the commissioner of Roc court...he he he..

Anonymous said...

The SAo needs a conviction integrity unit:

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-exonerations-in-georgetown-jacket-killing-20191125-5ea5smhvpzenfpyqkismdgla74-story.html

Anonymous said...

Is Wednesday a shumie day? No court and stay home and drink while the girls cook?

Anonymous said...

Markus & Decoste seemed ready for a month long trial. Boxes, binders, and a whole team of people. There were 5 prosecutors running around like crazy trying to prepare. But they folded. Would have been a fun trial to watch. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

It's traditional for chief judge and Gene at RC3 to give employees an early exit at noon on day before T-Day, Xmas, 4th, and of course Tisha B'av.
Don't think grinches Carlos and KFR go along. "Work until you drop!" they bellow.

Anonymous said...

Everyone at the SAO gets a coupon for a two wing deal at KFC for Thanksgiving. Just Kathy's way of saying "thanks"

Anonymous said...

Grab a couple of those coupons off a secretary's desk and all of the sudden you got yourself a pretty downright decent meal- love the KFC gravy.

Anonymous said...

What was the trial of the century about?