The news broke this week. The state attorney of Broweird County, responsible for so many legal tragedies over the years, is retiring. His office and his legacy are the legions of prosecutors who told defense attorneys that their office policy was "to let a jury decide" in cases where the accused was most likely innocent.
In our humble opinion, there is nothing to celebrate in the career of a prosecutor who abandoned the highest calling of a prosecutor- to seek justice. All we can bring ourselves to write is "good riddance".
We cannot think of a good headline. So perhaps our readers can suggest a headline commensurate with the retirement of a man whose legacy is a blight on the criminal justice system.
(But tell us how you really feel Rumpole).
Here are some suggestions we abandoned.
"Ding dong, the witch is dead."
"The Revenge of the Jedi."
When you see something that is not right, not fair, find a way to get in the way and cause trouble. Congressman John Lewis
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Wednesday, June 05, 2019
mike satz TO RETIRE
Labels: Mike Satz
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Either "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" or "na na na na, na na na na,
hey hey hey, goodbye"
There are many ways a prosecutor can be a bad prosecutor, but the most common one is cowardice. Punting everything to the jury rather than making the tough call is a form of cowardice.
When a U.S. District Court Judge tells a Florida Bar President to read a particular section of the Bar disciplinary rules, you've got a problem.
BT for the defense.
Hello Rumpole. I have two questions:
1) In what year did Mike Satz first become State Attorney of Broward County?
2) After he graduated from law school, did he ever have a job in private practice?
I may not be as old some of y'all and yes after being a police officer in Dade County I realized that regardless of what we did on the street trying to do the right thing for victims all was lost if the ASA reviewing, filing, handling the case in the courtroom was not better prepared or a better advocate than the criminal defense lawyer. Thus, everything a law enforcement officer did was all for not. I went back to college and then got into law school and completed same while still working the street. Afterwards I chose to become an ASA in Broward as Mr. Satz had strong feelings about punishment for violators of our criminal statutes. Ms. Reno viewed things differently although she was as ethical and professional (although not all her ASA's were) as the day is long. In Broward we had office policies, but we could also request deviations should we feel such was justified and were able to articulate the reason(s). Unfortunately some ASA's in Broward were too lazy to do so as the easy way was to say,"it's office policy". Mr. Satz made it clear to the office," in all cases do the right thing for the right reason". I was fortunate to spend 20 years with him in Broward and am now in NCF. Mr. Satz has been and still is an active trial lawyer, NOT a coward. Some criminal defense lawyers understand that, others don't. Michael J Satz is a credit to our profession. Thanks SAO5
I respect you opinion and as you can see I always allow opinions I do not agree with assuming that they aren't personal vendettas.
I must disagree. I have become friends with some top level ASAs in Broward over the years. Over drinks, they would admit the "let the jury decide" ethos came from the top. Not one prosecutor I ever met from Broward told me that they were instilled and trained like the old time ASAs in Dade under Janet Reno were taught to do- the right thing and err on the side of the defendant.
You do not see the same wrongful convictions coming out of Dade in the 70's and 80's that came out of Broward. It is well known the office was infamous for not dismissing cases they could not prove where it was clear the defendant was innocent. I never - NOT ONCE- heard a Broward prosecutor even consider doing the right thing.
As for being a trial lawyer- Satz tried to bully his opponents in court. Nothing honorable about that.
Every prosecutor in Broward who worked for him is free to write in and tell me I am wrong. I will publish every comment.
But I'm not wrong.
Broward has led the NATION in death penalty convictions overturned due to actual innocence. That should answer any questions about the mentality of that office.
The next elected Broward State Attorney?
ASA Stacey Honowitz or Judge Jeffrey Levenson
THE CAPTAIN RESPONDS:
Hello 6:56 PM:
"Born in Philadelphia, Satz graduated from Temple University and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Miami. He passed the Bar exam in 1967 and got his first job as a lawyer with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. By 1972, he was running the homicide unit.
Four years later, when State Attorney Phil Shailer opted out of the 1976 campaign, Satz decided to run. Opposing him was Shailer’s chief assistant, David Bogenschutz, now one of the most prominent private defense lawyers in the county.
“Thank God I lost,” said Bogenschutz, who had never run for public office before and never ran again. “The right man won, and 44 years in public service proved it.” The 1976 campaign began shortly after Satz had secured the death penalty against two convicted cop killers, earning him the kind of publicity that Bogenschutz could not match, especially after one of the convicts called Satz a “bulldog.”
(credit Sun Sentinnel)
Cap Out .....
You wrote "all for not." All for not!?! The phrase is "all for naught." The word "naught" means "nothing." It was all for nothing. Here's an example, "prosecutors in Broward are naught but worthless fools."
His hopes for becoming a judge have come to naught; he worked as a prosecutor in Broward.
That 1976 death penalty case against the two alleged cop killers that led to Satz’s prominence resulted in one of them, Sonia Jacobs, later being exonerated with the help of Miami’s own Jose Quinon, Holly Skolnick and Richard Strafer. Quinon’s cross of Satz was a thing of beauty and Strafer/Skolnick’s brief positively brilliant. The other person convicted by Satz in that trial was executed in a botched electric chair mishap. His actual guilt is still in question...
Read the Federal Court’s opinion and decide for yourself:
The case that led to Satz’s rise. What the attached does not state was that the “star” witness, who later admitted that he had lied, was represented by the person who became Satz’s chief assistant after he was elected State Attorney.
u said you would post every comment, well, I posted week ago and im still waiting,, slow mail to dade I guess. dade was famous or was I told infamous for its extremely lenient plea policy, im broward the complete person ,,which means priors, etc was looked at , its much easier to be loved by the defense bar when you get easy pleas.. I spent over 30 years in broward and never was told I had to try a case, yes, policies existed to prevent one from merely dumping cases or giving them away. the greatest fear a defense lawyer has is a client who they believe is innocent, if they informed me of their belief , I did everything I could to do the right thing without a worry that the honchos would strike.
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