Friday, October 05, 2012



UPDATE: ASA Reid Ruben quotes Julius Caesar to jury: "The fault (dear Brutus) lies not in our stars, but in ourselves." 
He stole that from us. 
And we stole it from Felix Unger on an Odd Couple episode. The benefits of a classical education. 

The evidence has been presented by both sides. Closing arguments in the penalty phase of State v. Lebron  today at 10:00 am on the fourth floor before Judge Will Thomas. 

Who shall live and who shall die?

Our prediction, which is nothing shocking, is that the jury will overwhelmingly recommend a death sentence and Judge Thomas will in fact sentence the defendant to die by lethal injection. Then Judge Thomas will warmly wish that the lord have mercy on his soul before Lebron is hauled off to an 8 X10 foot cell at Starke, at which point "The Machinery of death" that Justice Blackmun so aptly described in Callins v. Collins  510 U.S. 1141 (1994) will slowly crank into motion.  

Justice Blackmun's words, so prophetic, are worth another read:

"Bruce Edwin Callins will be executed [tomorrow] by the state of Texas. Intravenous tubes attached to his arms will carry the instrument of death, a toxic fluid designed specifically for the purpose of killing human beings... Within days, or perhaps hours, the memory of Callins will begin to fade. The wheels of justice will churn again, and somewhere, another jury or another judge will have the...task of determining whether some human being is to live or die. (Rumpole notes: that "someday" is today on the fourth floor of the REGJB).

We hope...that the defendant whose life is at risk will be represented by...someone who is inspired by the awareness that a less-than-vigorous defense...could have fatal consequences for the defendant. We hope that the attorney will investigate all aspects of the case, follow all evidentiary and procedural rules, and appear before a judge...committed to the protection of defendants' rights...
Rather than continue to coddle the court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved...I feel...obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed. It is virtually self-evident to me now that no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies.. ... Perhaps one day this court will develop procedural rules or verbal formulas that actually will provide consistency, fairness and reliability in a capital-sentencing scheme. I am not optimistic that such a day will come. I am more optimistic, though, that this court eventually will conclude that the effort to eliminate arbitrariness while preserving fairness 'in the infliction of [death] is so plainly doomed to failure that it and the death penalty must be abandoned altogether. I may not live to see that day, but I have faith that eventually it will arrive. The path the court has chosen lessen us all."

Wise words indeed. 


Anonymous said...

It is indeed overwhelming to represent a client where the end result is your client dies. I believe lebron has appointed counsel tasked with the greatest responsibility any attorney can have. Arguing for life against overwhelming odds and the most horrific acts committed by his client. He is being paid 110 dollars an hour. Less than a third of what a run of the mill divorce lawyer charges to fight over the fine china.

Anonymous said...

Raiford, Rump, unless he's a security risk, he will be housed at the row in UCI in Raiford.

FSP in Starke is saved for the security risks and the ones about to be executed. They are across the road from each other, but the city line is drawn between them.

I highly suggest that that any serious reader of this blog and student of the death penalty read David Von Drehle's, Among the Lowest of the Dead.

Anonymous said...


do you think Thomas will sentence Lebron immediately after the verdict or set sentencing for a later date?

Anonymous said...

We buried our brother Gabriel Martin yesterday. Still hard to believe. Definitely makes you appreciate every day and every second. Those of us in the crew will always have that special bond because of your courage, leadership and personality. And for that you will never be forgotten. We will do our best to continue your legacy. Rest in peace!!!

Christian Dunham

Rumpole said...

Very nice words Christian.

In an answer to a question, Thomas will not immediately sentence Lebron. He needs to do his own weighing of the aggravators and mitigators and make specific findigs and then consider an over ride and listen to arguments from both sides and read their sentencing memorandum. He is a very smart judge and will do a very good job. We do not agree with the death penalty but if ever there was a case for it.... This is it.

Anonymous said...

Thomas has a lot on his plate. I don't doubt he will be as "impartial" as a person can possibly be, but my prayers are that he draws on some deep reserves and saves this horrible, broken guy's life.

Anonymous said...

Why did it take 10 years for the Lebron case to go to trial? There is diligence and then there is just delay.

Anonymous said...

Former ASA here:

The death penalty serves virtually no purpose, other than revenge.

Which is fine with me.

Rumpole said...

11:01- first there were multiple co-defendants and each had a separate trial and the state chose the order of trials. Second- the judge initial suppressed Lebron's confession so the prosecution took an appeal to the 3rd DCA and that took the better part of a year. Third- between the time Will Thomas first had this case and then left criminal and then returned, another judge was in the division who was not very trial active. It takes on average 5 years for a murder case in Dade to go from arrest to trial. And with multiple defendants here and one appeal, ten years is not surprising.

Fake Josh Gradinger said...

In response to 7:15 AM...

Lebron's life is definitely worth less than the fine china you refer to.

To bad we cant put him in a kiln just the same.





Florida is the only State with the death penalty that permits a death sentence with less than a unanimous vote. The 9-3 split, in any other State, would mean a Life sentence for the defendant.

I did not hear the presentation by J. Rod, but he must have done one hell of a job to get 25% of that jury panel to vote to spare the Life of that defendant.

Either that or there were three jurors on that panel that did not give totally honest answers in Voir Dire regarding their ability to sentence someone to death.

Thoughts anyone?

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

If you voted against death on this one, you were never going to vote death at all.

This kidnap, rape and execution was about as bad as it gets. To put a bullet in a young girl's head as she begged for her life is unforgiveable. I don't care how many times he was dropped on his head as a baby.

Thomas is gonna give him the needle.

Anonymous said...

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."

Anonymous said...

This blog is just not as awesome as the other blogs which are the epitome of awesomeness and don't allow people to trash and hurt each other and all sorts of stuff.

Anonymous said...

He will live 20 years if he gets death cause he will have a private room. If he gets life the other inmates will kill him within a year. Jason grey

Rumpole said...

THe Master. A way overrated file, Big disappointment.

Anonymous said...

This case has challenged my opposition to the death penalty as much as any I have ever followed.

Anonymous said...

Realistically, the death penalty doesn't achieve a societal purpose. Realistically, Lebron was a wolf, roaming the streets looking to kill, and needs to die. The adequacies of the death penalty are wasted when applying it to this piece of shit who should have been torn limb by limb.

Wrong battle on this one!

Anonymous said...

I would ,!if so ordered by lawful authority , shoot him thru the head. But that's not how it's done . 15 years from now if the death penalty still exists is when this one is decided.

Fake Alex Michaels said...

If Lebron in Romania, ve take him to de jail, geeve him cheeeep whiskeeeeeey, shmear him vith peeeeeeanut butter and give him to 1000 lb. Romanian black bears.

Deeeeeeeees eeeeeees justice!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some of you would have no problem in applying Sharia law to young Lebron.

Michael Feiler said...

OK, this guy, like a Ted Bundy, or an Arthur Frederick Goode, or many others, is a piece of shit on an epic level. And on a visceral level, it's hard to think other than fuck him -- take him out back and shoot him in the face.

BUT - innocent people have been executed. Innocent people are almost surely on the Row.

For that simple reason...draw your own conclusions. Big picture.

Will is going to Kevork him. But it's not right.

Anonymous said...

odd couple trivia rump

1 name the racing dog oscar owned

2. what was the name of the fighter that oscar and his doctor GF talked about seeing?

3. what did felix get arrested?

4. what future miami cultural figure had a cameo on the OC?

Rumpole said...

I swear on my oath as an anonymous Blogger I did not google this:

1) remember the episode- don't remember the dog's name

2) Al "Bummy" Davis. The best. Also Gus Lesnivitch was mentioned a lot- once in singing the blues. Funny line.

3) Felix got arrested for selling a ticket to an opera. He was selling it for face value, the woman "assumed" he wanted more money- the cop saw the dealings and "assumed" he was scalping- which led of course to the very best courtroom scene in the history of the world WOMAN: I assumed you wanted more money. FU: AHA! When you "assume" madam- you man an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

Felix was also in court once and had to cross examine Oscar and ended with "get of the stand you make me sick" which is a line I have been waiting to use all my career.

4. Edward Vallella. Let me put it this way- All I know about Opera, Ballet, and a lot of shakespeare was taught to me by Felix Unger.

Great trivia. I guess I could google the dog's bane, but tell me. I can almost hear it...but not quite.

Anonymous said...

Today the Herald reported that the state filed a pre trial motion containing evidence that Lebron tried to have a witness killed from jail and threatened to attack one of the prosecutors (from what I know he was to strangle one of the females while in court) so how can life in prison ever assure our community that they will be protected from this cold, calculated killer. Even though the jury was not permitted to hear evidence of either, the jury did the right thing.

DS said...

Hats off to the Defense for getting 3 jurors to vote for life. I believe in all the jurors having to vote for death, any split should mean life in prison.
But, for the life of me, I have No idea why they would not vote for death. This is a Death case if any case is. I would vote for DEATH as a juror in this case.

DS said...

Hats off to the Defense for getting 3 jurors to vote for life. I believe in all the jurors having to vote for death, any split should mean life in prison.
But, for the life of me, I have No idea why they would not vote for death. This is a Death case if any case is. I would vote for DEATH as a juror in this case.

Anonymous said...

David perhaps if the jury was permitted to hear the attempt to hire a hit on the surviving victim and the threat to strangle Ms. Zahralban so that he would be able to feigh mental illness and escape from the hospital ( as consiousness of guilt) the three others would have voted death. I was there and saw each of those three ASA's gracefully and professionally compliment Mr. Fink and J. Rod for a job well done. Please do not minimize either sides work and dedication to this case.

Anonymous said...

....and David I do not believe that ws your intention...

DS said...

I said 3 seperate things in the previous post:

1. First I believe a split equals Life. A Jury vote for Death must be to me Unanimous.

2. How, based on just the facts` at trial could the Jury not be Unanimous for Death. If anyone deserves the hotshot its Lebron.

3. The Defense did a hell of a job. Hats off to the Attys. First for a vigorous defense, and second for convincing 3 Jurors to vote for life.

I dont think a die hard liberal defense Atty like myself would have voted for anything but execution of the Defendant in this case.

Anonymous said...

Golden Earrings was the dog's name. Love the Odd Couple.