NO MORE SHACKLES FOR JUVENILES
ROC Court last Thursday (like any other day)
IS BROWARD'S ROC COURT RACIST?
This & That - Tony Loe, crime victim. Apparently ASA In Charge Tony Loe had his car stolen by a juvenile offender not too long ago. Judge Feren was having difficulty finding probable cause to detain the suspect, when Loe himself made an appearance. The lines got awful blurry according to observers, since Loe sounded more like a prosecutor than a victim during the ensuing legal debate. Ultimately, the suspect was detained ... Judge Bernie Bober suppressed State's evidence last week. The facts were mighty similar to the case handled by Gary Ostrow before Judge Murphy not too long ago. An informant, a pretextural stop based on an incredible infraction, and more warrantless fun and games into a residence courtesy of some of Satzland's finest. Attorney Sid Fleischman won the day, after providing photographic evidence of a stop sign that wasn't where it was supposed to be ... Civil lawyers have been able to schedule hearings in some divisions electronically for some time now, and criminal lawyers may also be able to do so soon. Judge Holmes told the PSCC last week that she's implementing a pilot program, after the Supreme Court gives its blessing. Starting with her division, blocks of time will be allotted for lawyers with cases before any criminal judge to set motions via the world wide web, whether bond, plea, or whatnot. If it works, it will be tried in busier divisions later ... At least one, and possibly two more sitting county judges should have opposition soon. We're sworn to secrecy, so stay tuned to see if the lawyers put up or shut up ... Level 6 for an adolescent murderer? That's the word. It's that old Bogie magic, ladies and gentlemen (remember when he said "I hope (Satz) is state attorney forever"?) ... And don't forget about all the Adderley fallout in the Sun Sentinel and The Daily Pulp (with links to Adderley's preposterous statements to The Herald). We've been mostly leaving this one alone since the pictures broke, although it's important to note Mayor Seiler's statement to the Sentinel: "Seiler ... said a judge commented to him this week on Adderley's behalf. Seiler said the judge, whom he declined to identify, said he had known Adderley for years and added: "Don't believe everything you read. He's a good guy.'' For the record, Jack, another judge, whom we'll also decline to identify, told us last week that alleged free meals and the like are only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to Adderley. Wherever the truth may lie, let's hope this whole mess gets investigated for real, if only for Danielle Filler's sake ... Our PSCC update will follow soon, including the answer to the following age old question: "why do a small number of defendants still get stuck in the jail all weekend waiting for a monitor, even though Pretrial is there on both Saturday and Sunday?" ...
SD FL BLOG: Innocent people pleading guilty
It's one of the criminal justice system's dirty little secrets -- innocent people plead guilty because the risk if you lose at trial is too high. The Wall Street Journal covers this phenomenon ...
There's a lot we can do to fix this, and much of it already has been discussed ... For starters, juries -- not probation officers -- should recommend sentences to the Court.
Chief Justice Quince
Florida Supreme Court says in some neighborhoods fleeing police is resisting arrest
"Fleeing from authorities after being ordered to stop in a high-crime area is against the law, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
Troubled that the opinion will adversely affect poor and minority neighborhoods, Chief Justice Peggy Quince, the sole dissenter, and several members of the majority urged the Legislature to clear up the potential double standard.
The justices were bothered that a person living in an area known for criminal activity could be arrested for fleeing at the sight of police, while residents of safer neighborhoods could run without consequence.
"I cannot believe that we as a society have come to the point where we are willing to make criminals of people, especially our young people, based on where they live," Quince wrote."
C.E.L. vs State of Florida
RICH KIDS RUN, POOR KIDS FLEE
Florida takes a step out of the dark ages today courtesy of the Supreme Court's ruling IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA RULES OF JUVENILE PROCEDURE.
Here's the relevant lingo:
"We find the indiscriminate shackling of children in Florida courtrooms as described in the NJDC's Assessment repugnant, degrading, humiliating, and contrary to the stated primary purposes of the juvenile justice system and to the principles of therapeutic justice, a concept which this Court has previously acknowledged. See In re Report of Family Court Steering Committee, 794 So. 2d 518, 523 (Fla. 2001) (approving guiding principles for family court, including that "therapeutic justice" should be a key part of the family court process). We also recognize, without deciding, that indiscriminate use of restraints on children in the courtroom in juvenile delinquency proceedings may violate the children's due process rights and infringe on their right to counsel. We agree with the proponents of this amendment that the presumption should be that children are not restrained when appearing in court and that restraints may be used only upon an individualized determination that such restraint is necessary. Accordingly, we amend rule 8.100 as proposed by the Committee." (p.9)
BRADYGATE Update - Channel Seven is working on a story featuring some 7-11 video of an off-duty Ft. Lauderdale Police Officer losing it on a hapless victim. Back-up was called, official guns were allegedly used in an uncalled for and threatening manner, and, of course, the SAO was asked to file charges (they were declined today). The most interesting thing? At least one of the cops may have been involved in an "accidental shooting", and another shooting case which may be going before the Grand Jury. We'll let you know when the story airs, and we'll try to post any closeout memos we find and the video too.
ONE STEP AT A TIME