Thursday, June 07, 2018


Seems pretty quiet in the District right now.

The Heritage Foundation's Podcast interviews CA11 Judge Kevin Newsom here.

In state court, the 4th DCA orders a new trial in this infamous murder case, showing how harmless error really should be applied.  From the Sun-Sentinel:

An appeals court gave new life to one of Broward’s most notorious murder cases on Wednesday, ordering a new trial for a man serving a life sentence for ordering the mob-style execution of the founder of Miami Subs in 2001.
Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello, 79. was convicted in 2015 — the third of three defendants to face justice for the February 2001 murder of Gus Boulis.
Moscatiello had been hired as a security consultant to protect one of the new owners of the SunCruz Casino boat fleet, which Boulis had been forced to sell in late 2000. But secretly, the hire was intended to telegraph to the underworld that Moscatiello’s new boss, Adam Kidan, was protected by the Gambino crime family, according to trial testimony.
 Here's the opinion on harmless error:
Given the substantial issues of credibility of all of the major witnesses in the case, we cannot say that the State has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the error in admitting Gurino’s statement was harmless. See Shivers v. State, 900 So. 2d 615, 618 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005) (finding the erroneous admission of an affidavit was not harmless error where the State made it a feature of closing argument). We are mindful that there is plenty of evidence of Moscatiello’s guilt. But our supreme court has consistently stated that overwhelming evidence is not the test, particularly where the erroneously admitted evidence becomes a focal point of the trial. See State v. Lee, 531 So. 2d 133 (Fla. 1988). We are constrained by these rulings.
As to the remaining issues raised, we affirm. But, because we cannot conclude that the error in admitting Gurino’s statement regarding Moscatiello is harmless under DiGuilio, we reverse for a new trial.

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