YOU MAKE THE CALL!

He’s gone and nothin’s gonna bring him back …

Does an inaccurate scoresheet make a difference prior to sentencing?

Do cases get scrutinized by lawyers and judges in the run-up to trial in part based on the sentencing points?

Do Defendants make decisions as to whether to accept a plea, plea open, or go to trial, based on what the State or judge or their lawyer tells them they’re facing?

From the recent Sun Sentinel article about John Longo, “72-year-old convict’s lawyer tried to warn a judge his health couldn’t handle jail. The defendant was dead in less than a day“:

It was not Longo’s first brush with the law. In 1987 he was convicted of 18 counts of grand theft. Records show other convictions for burglary and fraud, the most recent in 2004. All those convictions factored into his criminal history to determine a sentencing recommendation known as a “score.” The higher a defendant’s score, the more time he could be expected to serve in prison for a crime. (emphasis added)

Longo’s score, factoring in his prior convictions, would have resulted in a minimum sentence of 62 months, or a little over five years. Sentencing had not been scheduled, but would likely have taken place in late March or early April.

The problem, of course, is the ailing Longo didn’t seem to score anywhere near the 62.8 months at the bottom of the guidelines as alleged by the SAO in this scoresheet, filed the day before Longo died in custody after the jury found him guilty of an offense that carried 21 months at the bottom.

His priors on the scoresheet appear to be too old to score, meaning Longo could have approached resolving his case in much different fashion over the forty-two months he was in the community when he was healthier, after initially posting bond in July of 2018.

Did Longo’s inaccurate scoresheet make a difference?

Could it be a factor in his unexpected death?

YOU MAKE THE CALL!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Friday, March 4, 2022 – Email:

JAABLOG:

(C)an I please have a clean version of the attached scoresheet in the John Longo case? The attached, filed version is hard to read as far as the last few entries as to the dates and case numbers.

My questions: did Mr. Longo have any interaction with the criminal justice system within ten years of his 2018 case? If not, is the filed scoresheet inaccurate, as all the listed priors would not have been scoreable?

An admittedly cursory view of the scoresheet filed on the case does not seem to indicate the priors were scoreable, although as I stated, the last couple of entries are hard to read.

Monday, March 7th, 2022 – Emails:

SAO PIO:

Checked with the prosecutor who said the certified dispositions showed there had been contact with the criminal justice system in the prior 10 years but, as you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision on whether or not to remand upon guilty verdict is a different process. With the jury finding him guilty of a first-degree felony, he scored mandatory prison regardless of the prior criminal record. Let me know if you still want the scoresheet.

JAABLOG:

Please advise specifically what contact there was that would bring in the old priors to the scoresheet.

Please advise as to the contacts within 10 years.

SAO PIO:

Checked with the prosecutor who said the certified dispositions showed he was sentenced to five years of probation in 2006 for the insurance fraud case but, as you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision to remand upon guilty verdict is a different processThe jury found him guilty of a first-degree felony and he scored prison regardless of the prior criminal record. She recalculated the scoresheet without all the prior convictions and bottom of the guidelines was 21 months. Again, he had not been sentenced – he was taken into custody after jury found him guilty of grand theft of $50,000 or more from a person aged 65 or older (victims were in their 80s at time of trial).

JAABLOG:

Ok, what is the 2006 insurance fraud case number, please?

I see a supervision that Judge Holmes terminated in Dec 2006 on 04013063CF10A.

Please advise which case you are referring to that would have brought all the priors in.

SAO PIO:

You are saying it would have brought in all the priors, he had not been sentenced yet. There was discussion of his record in preparation for whether he would testify, the prosecutor said. Checked with the prosecutor who said the certified dispositions showed he was sentenced to five years of probation in 2006 for the 2004 insurance fraud case but, as you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision to remand upon guilty verdict is a different process. The jury found him guilty of a first-degree felony and he scored prison regardless of the prior criminal record. She recalculated the scoresheet without all the prior convictions and bottom of the guidelines was 21 months. Again, he had not been sentenced – he was taken into custody after jury found him guilty of grand theft of $50,000 or more from a person aged 65 or older (victims were in their 80s at time of trial).

JAABLOG: (emphasis added)

I’m confused … the 04-013063-CF10A … if that’s what we’re talking about, it says probation terminated in December 2006, twelve (12) years before the 2018 incident.

Am I incorrect?

If there’s another case that he got five (5) years probation on, please advise. The problem is Odyssey says “File Order Granting Def Motion To Terminate Probation” on 12/20/06.

Is there another case, or was he clearly done with the system before the 2018 case on December 20, 2006?

SAO PIO:

As you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision to remand upon guilty verdict is a different process to sentencing – though the state did not request or oppose his remand. The jury found him guilty of a first-degree felony and he scored prison regardless of the prior criminal record. In response to your theoretical question today about the sentencing that had not yet taken place, the prosecutor said she calculated the score without the 30 prior certified convictions and bottom of the guidelines was 21 months. Again, he had not been sentenced – he was taken into custody after jury found him guilty of grand theft of $50,000 or more from a person aged 65 or older (victims were in their 80s at time of trial). The state attorney’s office can’t speak for the defense attorney or the judge.

JAABLOG: (emphasis added)

Again, when did she do a new scoresheet, since it now seems abundantly clear that the scoresheet filed in Odyssey is incorrect.

Did she do it today, or some time after his death? Or did she do it prior to his death?

SAO PIO:

(I)f you read the response it contains the answers to your questions. Please quote the entire paragraph if you write something. Your public records request for the scoresheet that is filed on the clerk’s office website will be filled as soon as our public records staff can respond:

As you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision to remand upon guilty verdict is a different process to sentencing – though the state did not request or oppose his remand. The jury found him guilty of a first-degree felony and he scored prison regardless of the prior criminal record. In response to your theoretical question today about the sentencing that had not yet taken place, the prosecutor said she calculated the score without the 30 prior certified convictions and bottom of the guidelines was 21 months. Again, he had not been sentenced – he was taken into custody after jury found him guilty of grand theft of $50,000 or more from a person aged 65 or older (victims were in their 80s at time of trial). The state attorney’s office can’t speak for the defense attorney or the judge.

JAABLOG: (emphasis added)

OK, so to be clear, the way I read it, she did the new scoresheet in response to my theoretical question today, which means Judge Bailey and defense counsel believe to this day he scored 62.85 months at the bottom, and that the scoresheet filed with the Clerk and the Court is incorrect because his accurate score is 21 months at the bottom.

If I am incorrect on any of this, please let me know immediately.

SAO PIO:

Just please quote precisely what was written to you and don’t paraphrase what the prosecutor’s response is. You are of course free to write your opinion or theories but please don’t paraphrase the response from the prosecutor or state attorney’s office.

Please quote the entire paragraph if you write something. Your public records request for the scoresheet that is filed on the clerk’s office website will be filled as soon as our public records staff can respond:

As you know, the sentencing had not taken place yet and the decision to remand upon guilty verdict is a different process to sentencing – though the state did not request or oppose his remand. The jury found him guilty of a first-degree felony and he scored prison regardless of the prior criminal record. In response to your theoretical question today about the sentencing that had not yet taken place, the prosecutor said she calculated the score without the 30 prior certified convictions and bottom of the guidelines was 21 months. Again, he had not been sentenced – he was taken into custody after the jury found him guilty of grand theft of $50,000 or more from a person aged 65 or older (victims were in their 80s at time of trial). The state attorney’s office can’t speak for the defense attorney or the judge.

JAABLOG: (emphasis added)

The concern at this point: why can’t you just answer the questions directly?

I know the SAO’s position, I know he still scored out. But obviously a judge and defense counsel and Defendant (now deceased), would have possibly looked at everything a little differently if they’d known the bottom was literally one third of the score put forth by the SAO.

Therefore, one last time: did the Defendant, the judge, and defense counsel believe he scored 62.85 at the bottom, and why was he scored inaccurately, or is it the SAO’s position that he was accurately scored, despite not being able to point to a specific case or sentence that would have implicated Mr. Longo in the criminal justice system within ten years of the 2018 incident?

SAO PIO:

The scoresheet is irrelevant to the issue of remand. The law on post-trial release states that in no case shall bail be granted if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony – he was not legally entitled to release because he had just been found guilty of a first-degree felony and the judge was aware of his numerous prior felony convictions (in excess of the 30 cited below) because they were discussed in court regarding the correct number if he planned to testify.

JAABLOG: (emphasis added)

Again, I am not asking about the remand issue.

I am only asking about the scoresheet.

SAO PIO:

This is the quote from our office:

The scoresheet is irrelevant to the issue of remand. The law on post-trial release states that in no case shall bail be granted if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony – he was not legally entitled to release because he had just been found guilty of a first-degree felony and the judge was aware of his numerous prior felony convictions (in excess of the 30 cited below) because they were discussed in court regarding the correct number if he planned to testify.

_________________________________________________________________________

139 thoughts on “YOU MAKE THE CALL!”

  1. 6

    0

    In my last experience representing criminal court defendants, almost every state proposed sentencing scoresheet, for those close to the cut off for a non-state prison sanction and a prison sentence were wrong by enough points to make it appear that the defendant would have to be sentenced to prison. The state simply did not know how to accurately prepare a scoresheet. Those prepared by probation officers were even worse. You have to understand the process and carefully evaluate every point that is included. In many cases I found enough points wrongfully included to make a difference and the client did not go to prison. In one case the client got time already served.

    1. 2

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      This was the defense atty in Longo case:

      Levenstein, Marla
      Bar ID: 818010
      317 Franklin Club Dr.
      UNIT 6106
      Delray Beach, FL 33483-4612
      Status: Removed 02/14/2020

      1. 3

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        About Prosecutors in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935)-

        He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.

  2. 4

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    Why can’t the Sao PIO just answer the question? Did the ASA give the judge an incorrect score sheet? We’ll Paula just say yes and stop lying and trying to manipulate the truth! His blood is on the SAOs hands

    1. 0

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      Paula M doesn’t have help like Ishoy did. The smart ones directing the traffic and navigating the minefields all retired. Don’t blame her.

  3. 20

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    What kind of shit defense attorney accepts whatever BS scoresheet the ASA puts in front of them? Anyone working in this county longer than a couple days knows that your average ASA knows dick about how to prepare a scoresheet correctly.

    You mean to tell me this guy took Longo all the way to trial without looking at the damn scoresheet? And you want to blame some PIO who had no contacts with the case. Wow!

    Grow up Bill. Why not write an article how the defense lawyer’s actions fell below an acceptable standard of professionalism. Maybe the family should think about a malpractice action.

    1. 9

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      That’s a good point. Bill’s a moron and even HE was able to see the scoresheet issue after his “cursory review”!

        1. 7

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          Ummmm, all of them?! They literally click a few buttons on their computer as the judge is waiting to take the plea. Have you ever practiced in Broward?

    2. 3

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      Let me get this straight. The lawyer is liable for so called malpractice but the Asa wouldn’t be?

      1. 0

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        Yeah man it’s called qualified immunity.

        They will say they acted in “good faith”. Try to convince a judge otherwise, good luck!

        1. 0

          1

          “Yeah man it’s called qualified immunity.

          They will say they acted in “good faith”. Try to convince a judge otherwise, good luck!”

          Hence the racist Mass Incarceration reality.

  4. 5

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    FAST TRACKED TO DEATH IN BROWARD WHERE NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING – OR CARES UNLESS ITS TO COVER THEIR OWN AZZ
    THAT INCLUDES LYING

    1. 4

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      He’ll never finish Cruz. Literally no reason to for him because paycheck. And literally no reason it hasn’t gone forward yet. Easiest case in history. And all that’s left is the sentencing phase. Come on.

      1. 3

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        GLADIATORS TO THE RING

        FREE CHEESE TO THE WINNER

        CHEESERS FIGHT HARD NOW FOR A JOB TO DO AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE LATER

      2. 3

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        Oh yes being in private practice hoping the phone rings, paying rent, office expenses and no benefits sounds a lot better than great hours. easy job and a full benefit package including a pension.

    1. 6

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      Lorena Grana is a racist piece of shit.

      When she interviewed the judicial candidates as part of her role in Spanish Bar Assoc., she ALWAYS ended up endorsing ONLY the non white candidates.

      FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW THIS LORENA CHICK, SHE IS A RACIST.
      MAKE HER STAY STUCK AT THE PDs office!

      1. 3

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        They all fell for the Fink Dink choice of affirmative action and look what that did to the PDs office. Now Lorena wants to escape the situation. Only problem is, she’s as dumb as a stump and no voter will fall for her supercilious BS. She’s stuck in the mud that she helped create and isn’t going anywhere. She’ll get her fat azz handed to her by voters. It will take more than the Hispanic Bar to pull her out of the mud ! Lol.
        Good luck Lorena. Keep trying to dodge a caseload. That’s what you have to look forward to. You are destined to stay a Gordo lackey with no hope of advancement to the bench.

  5. 3

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    I have taken over cases from the PD in PB county, and often the PD would accept what the score sheet and mandatory minimum sentences are for a client , when in fact they are way off.

  6. 8

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    If he couldn’t handle jail maybe he should have not been a criminal!!! Being 72 does not give you a free pass to break the law. If he died the first day, he was a dead man walking anyway, you can’t blame the justice system.

    1. 0

      4

      Ha! He wouldn’t be dead if BSO had been warned there was a verdict coming on a sick old geezer. Bet he was forced off the oxygen because they were caught unprepared. That would’ve killed him. I also want to know the ASA’s offer before trial. Was it based on the mistaken scoreout numbers?

  7. 4

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    Plenty of deadbeats have danced their way into jail only to find they never make it out again alive. By the sounds of things, this crooked old codger went out the way he deserved, in a bedpan!

  8. 6

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    HP has the Satzian playbook memorized right down to never apologizing for anything. Or taking responsibility for mistakes.

    Satz’s name should be on the ballot next to HP’s next time around.

    What a sad disappointment HP is.

    Many had hope.

    1. 7

      4

      This blog is a blog about Broward County courts. Please put your pro Russia (I’m sure it’s the same Trump cultist that posts all the other nonsense) in another blog. Also- Zelensky is a bad ass fighting for his country- unlike bone spurs.

    1. 4

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      He will have a rough time in Cook County Jail as well he deserves what he gets. Next thing you know he will fake a suicide and blame inmates. I hope he ends up being Bubas love toy but he will most likely enjoy every minute of that.

    2. 3

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      Tried to hide behind being black, gay and jewish ?
      That’s Hollywood progressive pudding ! Look what they’ve done to California.

    1. 1

      3

      I mean when gas is “reasonable” people go & buy BIG trucks, SUVs & the like, then when times get a little tough cry like babies.

      1. 5

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        Since when is 5 to 6 bucks a gallon reasonable? Not everyone is driving a big truck or SUV, reasonable was a few weeks ago when it was 3.00 a gallon, the price increase is all about the government trying to force all of us to buy an electric vehicle. We are the second largest oil producing nation in the world there is no way this should be happening. Biden is going to destroy this country, he is incompetent and needs to be removed. How are all you Black Lives matter liking your leader these days?

        1. 1

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          It doesn’t change the fact she’s very brave and loyal to allow herself to risk being seen wirh them.

        1. 6

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          Judge Diaz should have been removed after he was suspended and fined for threatening a sitting Judge anonymously via email. What a terrible thing to do to another human being let alone a dedicated justice seeker who had also been a courageous prosecutor protecting Broward County for decades. In the current climate of today The Florida Supreme Court would have removed a man like Judge Diaz who had threatened anonymously a fellow Judge but because things were much different back then in relation to judicial misdeeds he was allowed to remain on the Bench sending a clear very bad message to other Broward Judges that Judges can basically do very bad things and remain in power. Undoubtedly this message was well received by the terribly many Broward Judges who subsequent to the Judge Diaz affair did very bad things and caused many problems for all of Florida’s reputation for Judges because they all got JQC’d too and subsequently caused The Supreme Court to crack down and have the much healthier zero tolerance approach that’s in place now to all misbehaving Judges that has finally caused things to become better in Florida and all of America. Judge Diaz being elevated after the suspension and fine by the JQC was never a possibility meaning at least something good came from the meager JQC action back then.

          1. 6

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            It’s probably why he likes awards and trophies so much. He must feel a need to make up for the embarrassment he caused himself.

            1. 2

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              He brought shame upon the 17th Circuit, so yeah, I can see how all the award chasing could be a salve.

        1. 1

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          Nina is looking good in that dress. Did she ever find a replacement? Maybe she will open her eyes?

    1. 3

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      Judge Seidman was one of the best Judges in the history of Broward. He was unfairly targeted by Judge Diaz. For some reason Judge Diaz was allowed to stay. Judge Seidman was retired after an election. There are plenty of jokes about the BACDL Award on Jaablaw, but Judge Seidman should receive it for his service and what he was unfairly put through.

      1. 8

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        Diaz may be an obvious untalented azzwhipe, but Seidman was a total psycho. Both rate right up there on a long list of really crappy judges in Broward.

  9. 7

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    Is carpenter toye up for re-election? She has t much of a docket lately so I’m guessing yes? Hoping everyone forgets how nasty she is??

    1. 0

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      None of them have had much of a docket. Judges in Broward are not known for their heavy work schedules.

  10. 7

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    Billy boy, what is the date again where you are going to get your ass beat in the election? I am trying to send out party invitations and order balloons.

    1. 2

      -1

      Ever been in an old bar in the daytime? Distinct pungent odor, especially back in the smoking allowed days. First floor of the old courthouse comes close. I can see J. Cail Lee heading to the elevators with a big stogie.

        1. 1

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          Lee was “discovered” in the parking lot of Pampys Lounge, now Il Mulinos, in the Gateway area. Much Ado About Zilch. He was even before my time, but had a good rep as a judge.

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        Are there any lawyers still in that rat trap? I can’t imagine seeing clients in a dump like that, how embarrassing.

    1. 1

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      A judge because every night can’t be Friday or Saturday meaning a server only gets 2-3 good nights a week.

    2. 1

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      Who has very short hours, a ton of vacation and paid holidays, paid health insurance and a very nice pension?

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