“…there currently exists no death penalty in the state of Florida…”
Since the Supreme Court struck down the procedure Florida used to impose the death penalty in the Hurst case, there is currently no legal method to proceed on a death penalty case at this time. A Pinellas judge said as much this week, merely stating the obvious, as he rejected a prosecutor’s notice of intent to seek the death penalty. The legislature has already indicated they are going to address the death penalty procedure. The bigger question will be whether the courts apply the Hurst ruling retroactively, which would effectively preclude imposing the death sentence to the current death row inmates.
Background on Crimcourts.
Advocates of sentencing reform have been doing a nationwide tour for their push, and came to Florida this past week. Brian Elderbroom, of the Urban Institute, took part in a “Fair Sentencing” event at the Florida State University College of Law. Also taking part was Lauren Galik, who’s report “The High Cost of Incarceration in Florida: Recommendations for Reform” can be found online, HERE.
There is a serious movement from both sides of the aisle to put more common sense in sentencing, and in doing so, reduce the cost and potentially be more proactive in preventing crime. It’s a movement to keep an eye on.
read more here. and here.
LCSO plans a sobriety checkpoint somewhere
in Lee County this weekend. Let this again serve as a reminder not to drink and drive… and be safe out there!
There’s a comment here about the interim chief not being afraid to get his hands dirty… I’m sure. Eads was called over by a citizen who was worried that a hispanic man appeared to be ill. The man happened to be local infamous homeless crazy-person Victor Casiano. When the chief and another officer located Casiano, his drawers were down, as he was pooping in the woods. Eads and the other officer arrested him for indecent exposure.
While we might admire the chief’s willingness to jump to duty, Crimcourts would like to point out it is not illegal to shit in the woods. Bill Bryson is relieved. To qualify as Indecent Exposure, under Florida law, there must be some “lacsiviousness”. Merely pooping, especially if he tried to discreet himself in the woods, is not a crime. Fortunately, Mr. Casiano was released on his own recognizance, but not after spending a night in jail. It’s a bad look that the department still doesn’t use better judgment over when to arrest people, especially after the Nate Allen fiasco just last year.
Related Update: It’s also not illegal to check your mail naked, but it will get the cops called on you, as this guy found out in Collier County. For the behavior to be criminalized, there has to be more, and Collier Sheriff’s Deputies showed a little more, correct, restraint.
Kultar Goraya thought he had committed the perfect crime… now he has the rest of his life behind bars to think about it. Goraya was supsected of killing his wife in 2007, and dodged the law for over seven years. After his wife’s disappearance, he skipped to India with their child, where he thought he had pulled it off: even bragging to people that he wouldn’t be caught.
The Sheriff’s Office, with the help and resources of the TV show “Cold Justice”, they were able to arrest Goraya and bring him to justice. He was convicted late last year, and now will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will presumably appeal the case, but since he represented himself, he won’t be able to claim ineffective assistance of counsel…
I don’t know why it should take an act of the Legislature to get thousands of DNA samples from Rape Kits tested, but that’s apparently what it takes. Our own Senator from Southwest Florida, Lizbeth Benacquisto (R, Lee and Charlotte Counties), has sponsored a bill to expedite the process, and the bill has now passed the Criminal Justice Committee, an early step in the process of becoming a law. Kudos to Ms. Benacquisto, and AG Pamela Bondi, who has also made it a point to see that these rape kits get tested in the name of justice.
It remains to be seen how long it takes the state to catch up to the backlog of kits, numbering over 13,000 at one point. In addition to Bondi’s urging, Governor Scott has also pushed for money to get the kits tested. It’s a shame that it still has not happened, and Senator Benaquisto has taken real action to see that happen.
See previously: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/shocking-florida-has-more-than-11000-rape-kits-left-untested/
I guess some kids in Gainesville were having too much fun or something, playing basketball, and somebody called the cops on them. Why? I don’t know… something about noise perhaps, as if that was illegal. So, somebody literally calls the fun police, and the cops have to respond to the call. He walks up to the guys, and says, “Can you believe it?” I love it.
He hung around to shoot hoops for a little while, and even lowered the rim for a dankaroo! That’s good police work. It was Gainesville PD that posted the video, with a comment that they have no problem with kids being kids. #hoopsnotcrime Good stuff.
For several weeks last year, the FBI ran what it admits was one of the largest illegal, child pornography distributing/sharing websites online. They had seized the site, but instead of taking it down, let it run to try to track other users who were downloading from the site. The is a major break from former FBI policy, but apparently they have done it several times in recent years. It’s like ATF’s gunwalking scheme, sometimes referred to as “Fast and Furious” that ended up with a bunch of weapons in the hands of violent drug dealers. It has entrapment overtones, not that they are coercing subjects, but that the behavior of the government so shocks the conscious that they should not be permitted to use this type of procedure to arrest people. We don’t want our government in the business of creating crime, and legal challenges are now underway on cases that were derived from these types of operations.
Ultimately, this signals that these law enforcement agents are more interested in making their prosecutions than they are in preventing crime.
Former Judge Tracie Hunter
The remaining charges against former Hamilton County Judge Tracie Hunter were abruptly dropped at the last minute. In court, just before jury selection, the special prosecutor announced they would be dropping the remaining charges. Some evidence went missing, but apparently the evidence was only relevant to a couple of the remaining eight counts. Hunter’s team has suggested that may have had something to do with the charges being dropped, but the prosecutors deny it. They indicate that it didn’t make sense to go through a second trial, as the first was already an expensive affair.
Hunter is now a convicted felon from the sole charge that she was found guilty of during the first trial. The appellate court recently upheld that conviction, and the timing of that decision just a week or so ago is the most logical explanation for the other charges being dropped now. She can still appeal to the Supreme Court, but unless the decision is overturned, she cannot return to the bench, will likely be disbarred from the practice of law, and will eventually have to serve six months in jail.
Authorities were called out to an apartment complex in Hypoluxo, Florida because someone found a live shark swimming around in a pool. A five-foot blacktip was swimming around in the common pool for the apartments.
When I first read the headline, I thought it would be something due to the flooding from the major storms that moved across Florida on Friday, but it sounds more likely to be the work of some young pranksters. There’s probably a crime here, but I’m not sure what it would be, other than trespassing if they didn’t live in the apartments. Alas, it’s kind of funny, too…