Off and running
Gene Pettis and Howard Finkelstein are pulling together as a team.  As previously reported, the President of the Florida Bar requested something in writing from Broward’s Public Defender concerning the wildly disproportionate rates of minority occupancy in the State’s jails and prisons due to non-violent crimes, and boy did he get it.  Finkelstein’s letter, found here,** went out on March 4th, as first reported by Buddy Nevins

Pettis, who was traveling last week, caught up with us today.  He’s already spoken to Miami’s David Rothman, Chair-elect of the Bar’s Criminal Law Section, who Gene says immediately agreed “there’s a problem“.  Finkelstein’s letter will shortly be in all the Section members’ hands, with the goal of raising the issues together with informed suggestions to the Board of Governors.

Here’s what else Gene had to say:

We’re looking for a solution, or at a minimum, improvement in the system.  It’s obviously an issue, there’s no question, not a lot of debate.  Look at the demographics, the types of infractions getting people into jail.  Attorney General Holder’s position is enlightening, and I am looking forward to those that are experts in that arena to give us some guidance on the problems at hand.  This is what needs to be done.

So there you have it.  As Gene says, this isn’t rocket science.  The Drug War is a dismal failure even to casual observers, while a tremendous human price is still being exacted on a daily basis in our most vulnerable communities.  Certainly most prosecutors and judges are sick of it too, but until an official body like the legislature or the Bar supports them, they will unfortunately almost always enforce the status quo.  And that’s why this is such a big deal.  A blue ribbon panel of prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges making up the Bar’s Criminal Law Section is being asked by their president to take notice of the sick elephant in the room, with the chance to make a real difference on a statewide basis, and perhaps nationally as well.  Quite simply, it’s unprecedented, and with Republicans finally joining the call for reform, the future is brighter than it’s ever been. 

Definitely a wait, see, and pray the mainstream media takes notice …

** The Public Defender also sent Chief Frank Adderley on the Broward Clerk’s website, nearly two months later …

Whose job is it anyway? – calculating time served has traditionally been the Clerk’s job.  They are the keepers of the record, after all, and have been doing a great job of it for as long as anyone can remember.  Still, in David Haimes’ division, it’s up to the lawyers to figure out.  Accordingly, after a recent trip to 7900, we naturally got to wondering, just whose job is it anyway?  Howard Forman promised yesterday to give us an answer soon, so stay tuned …

Breaking Bigclick here for Slate’s interview with Pittsburgh attorney Daniel Muessig, the man behind the Thanks Dan! videoDid I mention I’m Jewish?

Coming Soon Joel Lazarus to weekend First Appearances?; More RRA attorneys going down, and soon?

SS: Russell Williams hands Lynn Rosenthal an election year hot potato

Bob Norman: update on “Perry’s Law”

Bob Norman: Surprise, Trump gets special treatment at Broward Courthouse

SS: Streitfeld channels Larry Seidlin

SS: BSO Crime Lab Scandal

SS: Man pleads guilty to Satz threat on JAABLOG

“Rant-sites”, JAABLOG, and you …

Gainesville Sun: Man urinated on strangers near UF campus

Tampa Tribune: Something Happened To Me Yesterday …

Law 360: Courts Wade Through Murky World Of Online Defamation

USA Today: $3.5 million in Colorado pot revenue for January

Herald: Despite false trial testimony, judge upholds 24-year sentence

SS: Broward Drug Court Judge Towbin-Singer honors highway hero

132 thoughts on “TUESDAY NOTES”

  1. 0


    As long as inforcement of the law is applied disproportionately without true justice being applied to the equation, public confidence in out legal system shall continue to be eroded until it is seen for exactly what it is; an attack on minority and ethnic communities to keep our jails filled and the perpetuation of a cast system of applied injustices and predatory practice where public officials skate and the poor are unjustly persecuted.
    This new development is a hallmark in addressing this problem. I applaud those advocating a change in this official predatory practice.

  2. 0


    All I can say is it’s about time they look at this problem. What took them so long anyway? It’s not like this problem hasn’t been out there for a very long time. South Florida is one of the worst places for this. What I can’t understand is with so many black public figures occupying positions of public trust in this place, why aren’t they doing more?

  3. 0


    Black public officials will run screaming in the other direction from this cause and they will be eating the fleet footed NAACPs dust.

  4. 0


    I heard a verdict is in on Trump matter. Betcha it comes back. Must feel warm to be a plaintiff and see Streitfeld kissing Trump’s butt. Classy,classy. At least Streitfeld didn’t wow the viewing audience at home by quoting from the Talmud in open court like last time. Oy retire already.

  5. 0


    So Genie Pettis, why don’t you just push and arrange for more white people to arrested and convicted and imprisoned to make the balance–then all the prison profiteers who have been greasing judicial pockets all these years can double their profits while statistically reducing the REAL problem–a totally fraudulent money-based system–black OR white.

  6. 0


    Ha ha ha if white people got the same treatment no one would be left to be judges and persecuters.

  7. 0


    “As Gene says, this isn’t rocket science”

    if you really want change…disclose who gains financially

  8. 0


    What judge really GAF about the law–they can give out any sentence they want–even illegal ones, and on appeal, the 4th will just PCA denial of correction without any opinion even as to why the law as written is not equally applied because they know that this not only allows illegal sentences to complete, but that the illegal decision is final and not appealable because they have not “expressed” any opinion about its illegality and NOBODY, particularly the JQC will do anything about violating Canons 2 & 3 because Canon 1 is worthless.

  9. 0


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