Monday, November 21, 2005

News and notes

So I'm sitting here waiting for Bellsouth to install my new phone lines at the new office and I found a computer connected to the internet... Interesting stories today.

First is the DBR article about the internal district rules that were made public. Here's the intro to the article: "The so-called secret rules that federal judges in the Southern District of Florida have been operating by for more than a decade are no longer secret. Under pressure from defense attorneys and the Federal Public Defender Office after an article about the rules was published in the Daily Business Review, the district court in Miami has for the first time made public its internal operating procedures manual. The manual, signed by Chief Judge William J. Zloch Nov. 14, is available for viewing on the court’s Web site. The 20-page manual lays out procedures for how the federal judges assign and reassign cases, how new judges receive cases, jury instructions and magistrate assignments. It also details special powers of the chief judge, which include appointing the chief bankruptcy judge and chief magistrate judge, approving all requests for annual and sick leaves, approving all new courthouse construction projects and architectural plans and reviewing all complaints of judicial misconduct."

Also today's Miami Herald details the sentencing of Haitian informer, Oriel Jean, who got a reduction for his cooperation: "Oriel Jean, the former security chief for ex-President of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was sentenced Friday to just three years in prison for his role in helping drug traffickers move tons of Colombian cocaine through Haiti to the United States.
With good reason: The 40-year-old defendant, held in custody since March 2004, gave federal investigators invaluable information on Haiti's drug underworld and the location of fugitives -- and even continued to testify after a cocaine smuggler threatened his life. Indeed, Jean proved to be the prosecution's star witness. At his sentencing hearing in Miami last week, U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez paid Jean a compliment, praising his ''good work'' for the government. The judge then gave him half of the six-year sentence he otherwise would have received for his money-laundering plea deal."

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