Two news stories were faithfully reported by the Miami Herald (Motto: "Not failing; not fake") recently.
The first was that State Attorney and Public Defender salaries are seeing a well-needed raise to a starting salary of $50,000.00. Both offices are raising corresponding salaries so that new employees are not earning more than veteran prosecutors. Both offices, but the SAO in particular, have seen a flight to civil as well over a hundred prosecutors have left within the past year to accept offers in the world of summary judgment, interrogatories, five minute motion calendars, and defending those most vulnerable amongst us- the poor, weak, helpless insurance companies who without the dedicated work of thousands of lawyers, would see their financial throats ripped out by the wolves of the plaintiffs bar.
We rarely agree with our learned prosecutorial friends (see below), but we strongly support their public service and their receiving a more than simply adequate salary.
The current intrepid leader of the Dade SAO saw fit for a recent bit of braggadocio in announcing that her office will be scaling back on its prosecution of possession of marijuana cases. Apparently the dark maze of cannabis oil legislation has made it more difficult to determine from scent alone whether a substance is legal or not. So forthwith, county court prosecutors will need (gasp!) an actual lab report before proceeding down the prosecutorial mary-jane-lane. (Sometimes our ability to turn a phrase even makes us smile).
To quote from Godfather two: "And the rent stays the same!"
This is not enough. This is not nearly enough. It's almost 2020. President Trump's enlightened second term is seemingly months away. We are still prosecuting marijuana cases? Does the State Attorney have ANY idea what a simple "w/h, cc" does to a young person when they go out into the digital world where background checks occur on apps on phones and try to 1- get a job; 2- rent an apartment; 3- get credit; etc, etc?
Misdemeanor records make life very hard.
Ahh, but the esteemed State Attorney says "But Rumpole, it's the law."
So were laws against interracial dating, replies Rumpole. So were laws banning homosexuality.
We need leaders Madam State Attorney. Get in front of the curve. Hold a press conference, Force Tallahassee. Refuse to have your office follow laws from the 19th century anymore.
And well done with the raises.
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Oh yes, you're reading his words as we speak.
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