Tuesday, August 12, 2014


First some good-local-REGJB news: Marie Mato has been named Prosecutor of The Year by the League of Prosecutors. Mato has tried some of the biggest cases of the year, including convictions in one of the men who killed Sean Taylor, and the recent case before Judge Pooler where the defendant was convicted of killing his wife decades ago and throwing her body into the ocean where it was never recovered. 
Mato is considered by the defense bar as a straight shooter and very good lawyer and this is an honor richly deserved. 
The League of Prosecutors is having an awards dinner in September at, we kid you not, Jungle Island. Go figure. 

When George W Bush was considering the invasion of Iraq in an illogical response to the Afghanistan based Al Queda's attack on NYC, secretary of State Collin Powell, who had been down this road before with Bush's father- George H W Bush, the 41st President of the U.S.  Powell told Bush 43 to be careful- "You break it, you own it."

We broke Iraq. We left the country after more than a decade of war in the hands of  Shia Prime Minister Maliki  who set out to punish Iraq's Sunni minority that held power for so long under Saddam Hussein.  Maliki ignored US entreaties to form a unity government, and the result is that ISIS has been able to unify Sunni arabs in Syria and Iraq  in trying to form a Muslim Caliphate state in the region. ISIS is employing brutal tactics, executing all non-sunni muslims and christians that it finds in its path- including beheading children. 

What is the US's responsibility in this civil war, a war we arguably created? Do we just stand by while innocent ethic minorities are slaughtered in a planned genocide? Would we tolerate a re-newed attempt to wipe out Jews in Europe, or white christians in Africa? 

We are not fooled by the news out of Iraq earlier this week.  Can the ISIS offensive against the Kurds in Northern Iraq really have been stalled because a few F-18's took out the equivalent of a machine gun on a Toyota Tundra? No. This is a long, dirty war, and the genocide against innocent civilians mandates that the civilized world and the United Nations put "boots on the ground" and stop this slaughter. 

We broke Iraq. And we didn't fix it when we left. There is the blood of children on our collective hands. 

Meanwhile, Nato confirms that over 40,000 Russian troops have massed on the Ukraine boarder. Russia will invade Ukraine. Guaranteed. Putin is waiting for an incident, one which he will manufacture if necessary. It is a play taken straight from Hitler's playbook when he invaded Poland and later Russia. And Putin will act when the world's attention is sufficiently riveted on the events in Iraq or the Ebola problem in Africa or re-newed fighting in Gaza. Sell your stocks, and short the market. 

See you in court. 


Anonymous said...

Very deserving. She is a consummate professional

Anonymous said...

Smart Diplomacy

MC Waste Services, Inc said...


Anonymous said...

Best trial lawyers ever ? Add Gino Negretti to my list.


"O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells. Rise up, for you the flag is flung, for you the bugle trills.

Robin Williams. Rest in peace.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

My prosecutor of the year is Maggie Gerson. She really cares about her cases and is not interested one bit in prosecuting innocent people. She wouldn't last a week in Broward SAO.

Bonnie Riley said...

Congratulations to Marie. She was my ASA for a long time and always was professional, honest, trustworthy and polite. She did her job well and she is very deserving of some recognition for all of her hard work.

I'm very happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Very sad about Robin Williams. Wish there would be a sensible discussion about mental Illness/suicide one day. I've sincerely tried it twice and fear that it is the way I'll go. With all the stigma and judgment that goes with it. Silence = death.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Bush and the U.S. are responsible for the fact that Muslims follow their precepts to behead children.

The blood of all the people whose heads Muslims saw off is most certainly on the hands of the United States and Europe.

If only we had been more welcoming of Muslims, not so... Islamophobic.

Islamophobic -- what a great word. After all, how hateful it is to be AFRAID of a culture that beheads children.

Anonymous said...


Ukraine Iraq Ebola are baked into the market. Or do you think you are the only person who reads the ny times?

Anonymous said...

Kudos Marie! Well deserved recognition!

Anonymous said...

Prosecutor of the year? Clearly Victoria Brennan.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Marie. She is most deserving. She is an excellent example of what a true prosecutor is: honest, fair, hard-working, compassionate, and appropriately aggressive/tough.


Anonymous said...

I agree that we never should have invaded Iraq for a host of reasons. Still, I don't think it's fair to blame the US and Bush entirely for the quagmire in Iraq. Iraq (like most of the Middle East) was "broken" (to use your word) long before we got there. Let's not forget that (1) Iraq was hardly a united country to start with; (2) Hussein was a despicable human being (WMD's or not); and (3)Iraq is not the only country falling apart in the Middle East.

Your criticism of Bush has merit. But, there's plenty of blame to go around. Let's not forget that Obama has been President for six years now. Don't you think he bears at least some responsibility? How come he couldn't convince Iraq's leadership to be more inclusive, develop a better domestic policy, and unite?

Obama's track record on foreign policy issues is worse than any President since Carter (who is as delusional today as he was while President). He started badly (emboldening the PA by putting pressure on Israel instead of them to make peace when he first was elected) and is finishing worse (which is really hard to believe). The situation you decry in the Ukraine? Which US President is screwing that up? As you've said, Putin is following Hitler's playbook. What are we (NATO) doing about that? Meanwhile, Afghanistan (you know, the war that Obama believed in) is a mess and we're doing next to nothing about the genocide in Africa.

I hold both parties accountable for our nation's ills and international failures and am amazed that so many bright people are so caught up in their ideology that they think only one side bears responsibility.


Anonymous said...

You don't need to be silent. Go. Get help now. Don't wait.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in speaking with the individual who posted at 7:41. I can help and separately recommend a number of programs or professionals. I'm not sure why none of the follow up comments has picked up on what you wrote. You can remain anonymous.

Raag Singhal

Rumpole said...

What a very kind offer Judge. I would ask 741 to email me and I cbs forward it to you.

Anonymous said...

Kudos Mato. Very well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Marie. Well deserved recognition.

Brian Kirlew

Anonymous said...

7:41 here. Thank you Judge, thank you Rump. Believe me, I have tons of help. A supportive family. A great psychiatrist, a good therapist. I've been to FLA. I've been Baker Acted. I've done it all. I also graduated magna cum laude, worked in state government and am now at a firm.
But the reality is that I am isolated. I cannot talk to the majority of my friends, and no one professionally about my mental illness. I would never tell anyone other than my spouse and parents about my prior suicide attempts. When the thought of suicide runs through my mind, I keep those thoughts entirely to myself. If it does happen again, no one will ever see it coming. As is usually the case because of the social stigma associated with mental illness and especially suicide.
Thankfully I am not in that place now. But I do feel sad for Robin Williams and I am thankful for the Captain acknowledging his untimely death. But the lack of response to his comment and my response is just the way that the world is. It is the reason why no one will ever suspect a thing should the dark days come again. Thanks again. Sorry for raining on your post Marie.

Rumpole said...

7:41- what troubles me is your seeming acceptance about a possible outcome of ending your life if the dark days return. This despite you saying you are seeing a wonderful therapist. I don't know what I can do, except to say that in my business- in your business- in our profession- we see wasted lives every day. Promising people who commit violent crimes and spend their lives in prison. Innocent people killed in crossfire. The fragility of life is never far from my mind or my day. Thus, every life- every single life is invaluable, precious and worth all the effort in the world to save and preserve it. All I can do is say of you ever need to speak, email me, and we can chat. I wish you well mi amigo, and keep in touch. I mean what I say.

Anonymous said...

7:41--I'm glad you wrote back. Isolation can be devastating. My main worry is what happens if your spouse and parents are unavailable, and you need to speak with them. You may not know me or Rumpole, but we're here.

Sometimes those who have experienced different forms of isolation are a good start as people with whom to commiserate. As criminal defense lawyers or former ones, we know isolation. In 1999, I handled a penalty phase and maybe four people in the world understood why. One day I left the courthouse to go home and all four of my tires were slashed. I got a life recommendation and those closest to me didn't understand why I was happy. Later, the judge entered an override and sentenced my client to death. The system only worked when the Florida Supreme Court commuted the sentence.

That example pales in comparison to what you must suffer. But, levels of isolation are common in our field. I like to run long distances. Not sure if it would help you but I would love to chat with you about it. I always found NACDL and FACDL meetings to be uplifting too. I've got some good ideas I would like to share with you.

It's important that you know there are people who can help you. I don't need to know who you are, but if you ever want to talk or write I'm around. My cell number is the same as it ever was.


Rumpole said...

7:41- lets take this off the blog. I won't harass you, but why not email me at howardroark21@gmail,com and we can chat. I have like seven year long chats going on, a few with judges. I can include Raag in the chat or not.

I will share this with you in the open- as a young man I cherished being alone. I am not over exaggerating when I say I spent more than a decade alone- just out of college through my first job in Miami- I went to work and then raced home, never going out or socializing, no friends beyond some people I would nod at at work, no life beyond the closed and insulated world I created. I've taken one therapist from middle age into retirement and now a second, five years out of residency, I will take into his middle age before I'm done. So I know the road you are on in some ways. So please, email me.