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Conceptually Understanding Criminal Procedure

WHAT ARE THE RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE Florida has a strong policy of adjudicating on the merits. As a result the rules of procedure were designed to achieve fairness in reaching the merits of the case. The rules of criminal procedure are set out in chapter 3 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rules […]

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Why Victims’ Rights Should Be Limited

VICTIMS’ RIGHTS CAN UNDERMINE THE PROSECUTORS JOB TO SEEK JUSTICE In our current criminal justice system the prosecution brings criminal charges and not the victims of the crimes. This is an important concept. It is extremely important that the power to bring charges rest with the government and not the victim for four reasons: 1) […]

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The Rule Of Lenity: The Rarely & Selectively Applied Constitutional Right

The rule of lenity requires the court to interpret anyambiguity in a criminal statute in favor of the defendant. It is aconstitutional right that has been codified by Florida Statute 775.021(1) which states “The provisions of this code andoffenses defined by other statutes shall be strictly construed; when thelanguage is susceptible of differing constructions, it […]

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The 4th Amendment’s Exclusionary Rule

WHAT IS THE 4TH AMENDMENT’S EXCLUSIONARY RULE The 4th amendment of the constitution guarantees people the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The exclusionary rule comes into play when the government violates a person’s 4th amendment rights and illegally searches a person or their property. In these cases the courts have come […]

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Freedom Of Speech: Where Does It Come From

The freedom of speech is one of the most important rights in the United States Constitution, but where does it come from. As there are very few countries if any that give people the same freedom as the first amendment. FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN ANCIENT DEMOCRACY Freedom of speech is clearly a pinnacle of democracy, […]

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When Do The Police Have To Read You Your Rights

In the case of Miranda v. Arizona the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a criminal defendant is entitled to be informed about his right against self incrimination as well as his right to an attorney before law enforcement could conduct a custodial interrogation. These rights became known as the defendant’s Miranda Rights. WHAT IS A […]

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Problems Challenging Sentencing Disparities

People agree that fairness in our system of criminal justice requires that everyone gets treated equally. However our justice system routinely fails to live up this aspiration, and the defendants have very little means to challenge it. DISPARITY IN SENTENCING AMONG CO-DEFENDANTS The courts have said in United States v. Granados, 962 F.2d 767, 774 (8th […]

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Sentencing Manipulation

WHAT IS SENTENCING MANIPULATION Sentencing manipulation is when law enforcement takes some kind of action to increase the defendant’s potential sentence. Sentencing manipulation is different then entrapment in the fact that entrapment requires law enforcement to cause a defendant to commit a crime that he was not otherwise predisposed to commit. While in sentencing manipulation […]

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Four Step Opening Statement

INTRODUCTION Studies show that upwards of 80% of juries make up their mind after opening statements.[1] Therefore it is important to give a strong opening statement. In all my trials I use the same four step process to achieve this goal. THE FOUR STEPS 1) What is the Case About: The first thing I tell […]

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Law Versus Compassion

JUSTICE IS NOT JUST PROCEDURAL As stated in my previous blog some attorneys take the position that justice is two folds: 1) procedural justice; and 2) substantive justice, which requires compassion. About a year ago I saw this concept in one of Alan Dershowitz’s book. TAKING THE STAND: MY LIFE IN THE LAW (2013) BY […]

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