OH, ILONA!

Peter Avsenew is getting off death row, due to an egregious error by now retired judge Ilona Holmes. The Supreme Court ordered a new trial today. The original case took roughly thirty days to try.

Holmes is ironically currently listed as the Chair of The National Judicial College. Long time practitioners will also remember her haughtiness and absolute, frequently espoused belief that she was an expert in the rules and caselaw. Yet despite numerous reminders from defense counsel here, she refused to follow a very clear, simple rule regarding remote perpetuation of testimony of a key witness, causing a momentous, expensive, and unanimous reversal of the most serious type of case in existence.

Rule 3.190(i)(3) provides:

(3) If the deposition is taken on the application of the state, the defendant and the defendant’s attorney shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place set for the deposition. The officer having custody of the defendant shall be notified of the time and place and shall produce the defendant at the examination and keep the defendant in the presence of the witness during the examination. (emphasis added)

From the opinion:

However, proceeding with the testimony—despite Ms. Avsenew’s inability to see Avsenew—violated rule 3.190(i)(3). The failure to ensure that Avsenew was kept in the presence of Ms. Avsenew during her testimony (in this case, her “virtual” presence) constituted a clear violation of rule 3.190(i)(3). Thus, the testimony of Ms. Avsenew was not properly admitted against Avsenew at trial. Importantly, we note that the error here appears to have stemmed from sheer indifference to Ms. Avsenew’s inability to see Avsenew. (emphasis added)

Read the entire opinion here.

A job well done by Gabe Ermine, Phyllis Cook, and Bob Wills, three lawyers protecting all of our constitutional rights. As far as Holmes is concerned, we hope Jack Tuter will strongly consider the “sheer indifference” tag by Florida’s highest court, as well as other instances from the past, if Holmes ever decides to request to return as a senior judge …

80 thoughts on “OH, ILONA!”

    1. 4

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      Let’s not forget how Gordon WeAkes solicited her support during his campaign. And let’s not forget how Hairy Pryor also associated himself with her during his transition.

      Those were clear warning signs.

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      Troo. One of the more vile humans to grace the halls of the Broward courthouse in decades. Truly a hideous creature in every facet.

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      And here I thought that after an illustrious career on the Broward Bench, Ilona was now thinking about a second career at a local BBQ joint …

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      I liked the act she portrayed at the Sunrise Flea Market much better than the one she gave from the bench
      Always thought she had a number of loose wires

  1. 20

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    She was close with Ken Felon Jenne and Anna Disbarred Gardiner. Her judgment was always questionable in my mind.

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      She sure didn’t last long on the Civil bench. They bounced that idiot like a hot potato! Then there was that incident involving her designer robe where she was told to toss it or lose it ! Lol
      She’s never been an expert at anything accept running that oversized mouth of hers.
      She set a terrible example, even for a Broward Judge.

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    Fucking lame ass prosecutor on case should have fixed the error at the trial level as it was happening.

    Instead, ASA says “no, nothing Judge”

    Victims families should direct their ire towards the stupid prosecutor(s) on case who sat there picking their noses – rather than fix the problem as it was occurring

    1. 5

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      “Victims families should direct their ire towards the stupid prosecutor(s) on case who sat there picking their noses – rather than fix the problem as it was occurring”

      This’s the problem when there’s an out of control Judge that prosecutor’s are afraid of.

    1. 5

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      She had no business being on the bench in the first place. It’s beyond the pale she’s allowed to ruin other judges by teaching them her obnoxious self-serving nonsense.

    1. 13

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      She is a pea-brain alright. One of the worst judges to ever sit in Broward County. And that’s really saying something with the incompetent jokers around here.

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        Her brain’s probably the regular size but there’s nothing worse than a regular sized brain person who think’s she’s the smartest person in the world especially when they’re given a lot of power.

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          I couldn’t stand having to even walk into Iloina’s courtroom for anything. She was an unmitigated mess and an embarrassment to our profession. She couldn’t stop talking about herself long enough to get anything done.

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    We’re not taking another second to reposition the camera…….I’ve got a manicure appointment at 4:00

  4. 14

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    Let me tell everyone a funny story about how I misunderstood the saying ‘Death is Different’ to mean ‘Death Is Indifferent’

    1. 16

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      FLORIDIANS PAY BUREAUCRATS LIKE HER FOR LIFE

      DRAIN THE SWAMP

      SHE SHOULD PAY FOR THE NEW TRIAL

      TERM LIMITS FOR ALL

      NO PENSIONS

    1. 16

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      Yayyy! Elect more people based solely on their skin color! Been working out great if you akse me

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      I remember when she was told in no uncertain terms to ditch her designer robe or else. She was re-assigned to Civil where she flopped real quick. They didn’t fall for her drum beating self-important tirades and she was put back in Criminal. She apparently held a grudge over that for a long time. Probably still does.
      You reap what u sow. She’s always been a problem from an administrative standpoint for the Chief Judge.
      What to do about a loudmouth self-absorbed twit like Ilona Holmes. This recent development just proves she’s never known what she’s doing.

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    Good people. I’m a long-time death penalty defense attorney and support when a death sentence is reversed for good cause, but regardless of the merits, or Judge Holmes’ overall conduct on the bench, a number of these comments seem to me to be a bit (or more) unfairly racist. Take a look again before you say no. C’mon folks, we’re better than that !! Aren’t we ?

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        “Dipshit”? I can’t even go there with you, but if you want to avoid OTHERS thinking of you as an “ignorant asshole”, at least know enough that Judge Holmes was not “elected” to the bench, but appointed by the Governor, and in 2006 was “unopposed”, i.e., nobody ran against her. And, for her other term, in Broward, less than 25% of registered voters were Black. If you want to let your racist flag fly, at least fact check your divisive nonsense … And have a great weekend !!

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        Apologies for my typo above, but Judge Holmes was also unopposed in 2012, so you can’t blame voting for people based on their skin color … Sorry ;(

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          Yep, can blame the racist voters. These tools were voted in solely because of their skin color:

          1. Miriam Oliphant (Spvsr Elections)
          2. Harold Pryor
          3. Madame Brenda Forman
          4. BSO’s Tony
          5. Brenda Snipes
          6. The new Spvsr of Elections

          They tried making Gillum into a Gov.,
          but Fla dodged a bullet there!

          1. 6

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            Oh and PD, too (Weekes)
            Oh, and Broward Mayor, too (Holness)

            Thanks for playing, but looks like you done been schooled

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              Gotta call I’m done here … exposed for the ignorant racist that you are, accusing Judge Holmes’ career as resulting from folks voting based on skin color (when in truth she was appointed and then unopposed), you now try to switch the narrative to other folks of color. It’s people like you that make me sad for where we’re headed as a country, and you should get a life and try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. But, in my experience, you will never consider that, because it’s just not in your DNA. I won’t lower myself with further back and forth, so if you need to think you’ve won the debate, go with that. G’night

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      I don’t know what the pork sausage combo reference is about, but I’d have to say they’re a lot more similar than I thought before the Courtroom was named after him. All her dang trophies in the courtroom and now him going along with a manipulation of the County laws to get his name on something speaks volumes about them both.

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      I can’t believe she didn’t resign after she was home invaded by the police. That was so offensive. She should have quit the bench and become a community leader. what a powerful statement that would have made. What she could have accomplished and she totally would have effectuated real change. She would have become a national leader. I guess it wasn’t something she was interested in. To each her own I guess.

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        She should have. She wasn’t going anywhere higher after the police punked her. Another Circuit dead-ender of a career.

    2. 9

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      I Don’t Understand A Word They’re Saying So I’ll Make A Reckless Ruling And Cut Them Off Sharply To Make It Seem Like I Know What I’m Doing Mug.

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          Hide behind the robe. Hide behind the flag and scream racism if anybody complains. She probably picked up most of the junk she had stacked all over the bench at the flea market to add to her overinflated opinion of herself.
          Nobody was impressed. Going into her courtroom was like a bad rerun of Beavis and Butthead.

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        Hope Ilona will just let it go now and disappear now that she’s been made a complete fool of. Its not bad enough we had to put up with her nasty mug while she was on the bench for years. These suckers can’t just seem to get on with their lives after they leave the bench in Broward. Look at former judges Lynch and Backman. Still trying to suck off the public tit until voters made it clear that they were done for good. Its kind of pathetic that they want to remain relevant in a system that’s left them behind. Time Ilona gets a life. She sure made everybody else’s miserable. Personally I thought she made a very bad example to anybody wanting to pursue a career on the bench. She wasn’t very smart, was ignorant of the law and had a personality disorder that bordered on the absurd.

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    I’LL GIVE YOU INDIFFERENCE AND INCOMPETENCE PUT TOGETHER – LOL

    BROWARD JUDGES – A BREED ALL THEIR OWN

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    Let me get this straight. The expense of a lengthy trial is wasted. The entire thing has to be redone. The once convicted killer may walk free now. Plus if he’s convicted again the entire expensive appeals process starts over. He sits on Death Row for countless additional expensive years. All of it dumped on the taxpayers and the already logjammed system and jurors from then who got nothing but taken advantage of and the ones who will be tied up for weeks at the new trial. Meanwhile Judge Holmes and her bonehead purposeful move that caused the mess gets away with a mere few words of criticism from the Supreme Court. Is this just?

  8. 9

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    Judge Holmes was alright until she opened her pie hole. Never met anybody who was so impressed with themselves. For what, I still don’t know. She was a mediocre judge at best.

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