Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"A very against police judge."

That was The Donald last night during the debate when discussing stop & frisk:

We didn't get any questions on the Supreme Court though...

Instead we got quite a bit of sniffles. I would have felt bad for him had he not been attacking Hillary's health for the past 3 weeks:

OK, OK... enough of that. The highlight of the night was Dee Gordon. I could watch this over and over again:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Will tonight's debate feature UFOs?

What was that percentage?!?!

I like this moment when Bill defends Hillary.

Should be fun tonight.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Justice Federico Moreno?

Former Chief Judge of the SDFLA, Federico Moreno, has made Donald Trump's short-list for Supreme Court Justices.  I love it.  Judge Moreno, who has been a district judge since 1990, would make a fantastic Justice.  He's smart, witty, engaging, and an all around good guy. 

He would be the first Supreme Court Justice to be a:

  • Floridian
  • Venezuelan
  • former practicing criminal defense lawyer
  • former assistant federal defender
  • UM law grad
He's also been a state court judge and a practicing lawyer.  He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Courts. 

 Other notables on the list include Charles Canady, a current Florida Supreme Court Justice.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is flight from the police = reasonable suspicion or consciousness of guilt?

Many courts have said yes over the years. See Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (2000).

But the Supreme Court of Massachusetts has rightfully come out the other way in light of recent encounters between black men and the police:
Second, as set out by one of the dissenting Justices in the
Appeals court opinion, where the suspect is a black male stopped
by the police on the streets of Boston, the analysis of flight
as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus cannot be
divorced from the findings in a recent Boston Police Department
(department) report documenting a pattern of racial profiling of
black males in the city of Boston. Warren, 87 Mass. App. Ct. at
495 n.18 (Agnes. J., dissenting), citing Boston Police
Commissioner Announces Field Interrogation and Observation (FIO)
Study Results, http://bpdnews.com/news/2014/10/8/boston-policecommissioner-
results [https://perma.cc/H9RJ-RHNB].13 According to the
study, based on FIO data collected by the department,14 black men
in the city of Boston were more likely to be targeted for
police-civilian encounters such as stops, frisks, searches,
observations, and interrogations.15 Black men were also
disproportionally targeted for repeat police encounters.16 We do
not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion
analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an
investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is
not necessarily probative of a suspect's state of mind or
consciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in
Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO
encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to
consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by
the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to
avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by
the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for
black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in
appropriate cases, consider the report's findings in weighing
flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.
Here, we conclude that the police had far too little
information to support an individualized suspicion that the
defendant had committed the breaking and entering. As noted,
the police were handicapped from the start with only a vague
description of the perpetrators. Until the point when Carr
seized the defendant, the investigation failed to transform the
defendant from a random black male in dark clothing traveling
the streets of Roxbury on a cold December night into a suspect
in the crime of breaking and entering. Viewing the relevant
factors in totality, we cannot say that the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Any possibility of unfair prejudice was ameliorated when the district court explicitly instructed the Rhode Island jury not to hold Alcantara's wearing of a Yankees hat against him."

That was the First Circuit explaining why a New England jury could be fair in deciding whether a Yankee fan was guilty:
Alcantara's second claim of evidentiary error runs along
similar  lines.    He  argues  that  a  handful  of  references  to  his 
wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap prejudiced the jury (which
he assumes to have been composed of Boston Red Sox fans) against
him.  As an initial matter, all but two of the cited references
occurred  during  defense  counsel's  cross-examination.    In  any 
event,  this  testimony,  like  the  references  to  luxury  vehicles 
discussed  above,  was  relevant  to  the  witnesses'  knowledge  of 
Alcantara and his appearance.  Any possibility of unfair prejudice
was ameliorated when the district court explicitly instructed the
Rhode Island jury not to hold Alcantara's wearing of a Yankees hat
against him.