More Client-Centered than Thou

Appellate Squawk

Client Satisfaction Survey hearing If you ever want to liven up a dull CLE, just ask your audience, “How do you deal with a client who wants you to do something that you know would sink their case?”  People who’ve been totally comatose until that moment will lift their noses out of their I-phones and start baying, “I’ve been practicing law for 30 years, and I would NEVER. . .”  “I’ve been a public defender all my life, and I would  ALWAYS. . . ”

Add to the hypothetical that the client is a juvenile or otherwise mentally underserved and they may start throwing chairs.  There’ll be heated speeches on Equality, Autonomy and the Evils of Paternalism, followed by retorts that if clients had good judgment they wouldn’t have ended up as clients.  And somebody will inevitably unfurl the banner of CLIENT-CENTERED REPRESENTATION.

Since that seems to be our kommandant’s favorite slogan, we decided to find out…

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Bipartisan Coalition Looks Targets Florida for Sentencing Reform

crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

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.

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Woman Found Dead In Hotel Room With Two Capuchin Monkeys and An Incoherent Man . . . Police Declare Death “Suspicious”

JONATHAN TURLEY

bildePolice in North Port, Florida responded to the discovery of a dead body in a hotel room with two live Capuchin monkeys and an incoherent man. In an announcement that would seem the most unassailable finding in the annals of criminal justice, the police declared the death of Linda Marie Smith, 59, to be “suspicious.”

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Woman Found Dead In Hotel Room With Two Capuchin Monkeys and An Incoherent Man . . . Police Declare Death “Suspicious”

JONATHAN TURLEY

bildePolice in North Port, Florida responded to the discovery of a dead body in a hotel room with two live Capuchin monkeys and an incoherent man. In an announcement that would seem the most unassailable finding in the annals of criminal justice, the police declared the death of Linda Marie Smith, 59, to be “suspicious.”

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Citizen Captures Connecticut Troopers Discussing Charges Against Protester To “Cover Our Asses”

JONATHAN TURLEY

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.41.22 AMA new citizen videotape has triggered an internal police investigation of Connecticut State troopers who are heard discussing charges for Michael Picard, 27, who was warning citizens of a DUI checkpoint. One of the officers is heard to say “we gotta cover our asses.” The officers are also heard threatening the citizen recording them. The police union has said that the officers acted appropriately.

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So, Another Inmate Died at Charlotte Correctional Institute

crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

reginald davis.jpg Reginald Davis

While it hasn’t made a lot of local news, there has been a rash of inmate deaths, many from non-natural causes. This past week, Reginald Davis passed away, authorities indicate he killed himself. This might not be noteworthy, except for the string of deaths at Charlotte Correctional Institute, just south of Punta Gorda. As of August, 2015, there were five inmate death investigations ongoing. That represents at least the seventh criminal investigation at CCI in recent years. One that did end in prosecution was the brutal beating and eye-gouging of an inmate that resulted in a federal conviction for a guard, William Wilson, a few years ago. Sadly, that incident made national news, not for the crime, but because the whistle-blower guard who reported it was framed and then fired after he testified for the government after the attack. He sued, and reached a settlement for $135,000.

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