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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

THERE IS GAMBLING GOING ON AT THIS ESTABLISHMENT

Our take-away from the Michael Cohen testimony on the Hill on Wednesday is simply this:

Any time the Republicans wish to legalize their moral outrage about a convicted felon who has admitted to lying and pass a law that states that no criminal prosecution will be based in any part on the testimony of any individual who has a prior record and who has lied....sign us up as the first to support that bill. 

How about a jury instruction? 
"The government has unfortunately sought to impugn the integrity of these court proceedings and the dignity of the court by calling as a witness an individual who has a prior felony conviction. You should not under any but the most rare and exceptional circumstances give any credence to the testimony of the witness and the mere fact the government has relied upon this witness is sufficient for you to find reasonable doubt and acquit the defendant"

Those words accurately reflect the outrage of the Republicans yesterday and we give fair warning to all prosecutors that all Rumpole juries for the next several months will hear references to the outrage expressed yesterday over the testimony of Michael Cohen. 

We thank the Republicans for finally acknowledging what we have been saying all along: criminal convictions should not involve the use of snitches. Rats. Convicted felons. (lawyers and politicians fall squarely within those pejorative terms). 

For those judges and other millennial readers whose legal career began after the era of five  dollar lattes at Starbucks, we explain our reference to the title of this superb post:





Humphrey Bogart. Ingrid Bergman. Do your self a favor and stop tweeting for 90 minutes and watch it. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Permission to share? I stick my neck out for nobody.

Gary H. Bass, Attorney at Law said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That jury instruction would never make it. First, 75% of the crime victims and witnesses in certain parts of this county would be disbelieved. Think about the implications of such an instruction in those circumstances. The problem, and you are correct, is when the government calls a witness who is a crook and is looking for a reduced sentence based on what he says. Too many years ago, we called that "dirty pool." The solution is to disallow witnesses who cooperate from testifying at all.

Rumpole said...

11:59 I am going to respond to your perspicacious comment with a technical legal term:

NO SHIT that jury instruction wouldn't make it.
I was being facetious but based on the comments of the Republicans on the committee Wednesday that jury instruction accurately reflects their thoughts on how SHOCKED SHOCKED they were at having to receive testimony from a witness who had a felony conviction.

Anonymous said...

Sir Kenny strikes again with a big clearance by SAO.

Anonymous said...

If a snitch is being used to convict a black or brown person republicans are fine with it. When a snitch is being used against a white person, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Lololol. Former ASA here. I see your proposed jury instruction, which is designed to cast doubt on the testimony of a State witness based on his or her prior bad acts, and I raise you a jury instruction that does the same thing for defendants. No more Williams Rule. It all comes in now. You're not as keen on that jury instruction as you are on your own, are you, Rumpole? Criminals attract like-minded friends. Someone at the hearing should've reminded everyone that Trump chose the witness, not the committee. And the same goes for immoral State's witnesses and their relationships with defendants.

Rumpole said...

I am going to try very hard and not disparage you former ASA for what is an apparent lack of insight, understanding, and intelligence.

The jury instruction I proffered was based on the numerous statements of the Republicans questioning Cohen. It was a "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" argument. If they are truly shocked beyond all that anyone would ever consider for one moment anything to come out of the mouth of anyone with a prior conviction, then they should put their money where their mouths are and agree to that jury instruction which would remove forever the very powerful opening and closing arguments of prosecutors that the state/government takes their witnesses where they find them.
If that is true (and it is) then Congress should take their witnesses where they find them, especially if the convicted felon was a long-time intimate associate of a President who campaigned on his ability to surround himself with only the best advisors.


Do you not see the hypocrisy of law and order republicans using for one moment the tried and true tactic of legions of criminal defense attorneys?