Category Archives: News

Bull Rider Lassos Bike Thief

cowboy robert borba

Bull Rider Robert Borba and his Lasso

Full-time cowboy Robert Borba was in the parking lot of WalMart when he saw a bike thief escaping on his stolen wheels. Borba is clearly a gentleman who will help out a lady in distress. Borba acted quickly, saying, “Grabbed Old Grey from the trailer and went for him.” He was able to get a rope on the thief, and detain him until authorities arrived.

Borba is a professional rodeo rider… and soon to be the most popular cowboy on the circuit!

It was nice to read some good news instead of the bad…

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Thoughts on NBC-2’s Drug Sentencing Story

  • Michael B. Edwards was sentenced to 60 years in prison for cocaine charges in 1993
  • He has already served more than 20 years behind bars, so far
Michael Edwards in DOC

Michael Edwards in DOC

If you didn’t get a chance to check out the NBC-2 story, spend a few minutes reading or watching it. Mr. Edwards was a drug addict, who got arrested for his involvement, and then hammered by the courts with an extremely harsh sentence. According to the story, the state will pay over $1,000,000 to pay for his incarceration, as he faces decades more than the 20 years he has already served. A review of the file discloses that even the sentencing judge found his efforts at reforming his life while incarcerated to be commendable.

The story does sugar coat the story, or gloss over some of the bad facts. Mr. Edwards didn’t merely possess cocaine, he was convicted of selling it, on two separate occasions. His prior record was terrible; he’d already been to prison multiple times for many charges, including a prior cocaine trafficking conviction. His plea offer was for 15 years, and that was due to his substantial record.

I stated in my previous article that the sentence was more than he could get in state court for a possession charge. To extend his sentence out to 60 years, he really had to get hammered. First, it wasn’t merely possession: it was two counts of sale. Secondly, he was classified as a Habitual Felony Offender, which double the potential penalty on each of the sale counts. Finally, he had to be completely maxed out. The court double him up under the habitual statue, and then ran the sentences concurrent. Basically, he got doubled up twice. Since there were two sale charges on different days, the sentences are legal. As I’ve said before, Florida has an extremely harsh sentencing regime. He is not slated for release until 2044.

According to the article and the case file, Mr. Edwards has one of the harshest sentences in Florida for sales of such small amounts of drugs. In addition to punitive value, harsh sentences are intended to serve as a deterrent to others who might sell. However, there comes a point where the punishment, when extended to its fullest limit, may not fit with the actual facts of the crime. That’s a pretty basic principle of law: the punishment should fit the crime. Either way, you, me, and the other taxpayers of Florida are footing the bill for the million dollar cost of the case, for an individual who never was given a shot at rehab.

UPDATE: Link to NBC fixed: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/25371390/should-a-tablespoon-of-cocaine-equate-to-life-in-prison

Some Florida Communities Caught Shortening Yellow Lights

Red Light camera

Red Light camera

People often claim that traffic citations are more about fund-raising for cities and counties than they are about the safety of drivers. While the communities continually deny this, they rake in money from the citations, especially red light cameras. Well, it’s hard to claim that the communities are concerned about safety when it turns out that some communities are deliberately SHORTENING yellow lights, which directly leads to more red light tickets. Studies have shown that shorter yellow lights lead to more accidents, but politicians are still using the camera company’s talking points to claim justification for shortening the yellows. Some of those same politicians are receiving campaign donations from the camera companies!

More insidious is that camera supporters put through a change in the law to allow the yellow lights to be shortened. Still, communities in the WTSP story are still shortening the yellow lights below the new minimum standards. Watch reporter Pransky confront the spokesman with evidence of the intentional shortening. This is sickening.

The red light cameras are clearly a racket for communities to tax drivers for the most minor of infractions. Amidst some tumult about the cameras, Collier took theirs down a few months ago. One of the commissioners there admitted it was a revenue generating program, and they weren’t making as much money when the law changed to prevent the camera company from making a commission based on the number of tickets issued. This is shameful by these other Florida communities who are putting drivers at greater risk, just to ticket them for more revenue. It’s government working against the people who it should be working for, and I applaud the investigative efforts of Noah Pransky and the WTSP, Channel 10 news team in Tampa for bringing this racket to light. Great job, I can safely say we Mr. Pransky’s reporting in Southwest Florida.

Thanks to Drudge Report for pointing out the story.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=316418

Attorney Spencer Cordell Will Be on Ask a Lawyer Tomorrow Morning

I’ll be on B 103.9 with Big Mama and the Wild Bunch for their ask a lawyer segment at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Tune in and check it out!

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