Saturday, October 06, 2007

Am I The Only Criminal Lawyer This Happens To?

Where have I been?

Getting angry. Going through that occasional "what's happening to our criminal justice system?"

In the past few weeks I've both personally and in the news seen the following:

1. A Texas inmate on the verge of execution denied an appeal and then executed because the Court of Appeals told his lawyers who were running late due to a computer malfunction, "we close at 5."

2. A man pardoned after being sentenced to 25 years in prison for possessing too many pain killers. 25 years!

3. Two separate prosecutors, federal and state, completely ignore polygraph results. (When are we going to get right with this polygraph thing?)

4. A man arrested at his home by 2 police officers who knocked on his door on a Sunday night while he was with his family, did the whole "we got a 911 call from this residence can you step outside" thing, and then took him to jail for.........missing his arraignment on the charge of failing to display the proper commercial vehicle markings on his truck.

So I haven't had the passion to write anything. Although these are individually things I could write all day about, combined, they cause me to shake my head and wonder if anyone's watching.

They are, they're all on the newspaper websites. You notice this? Every news story now has a comment section, and when it's a criminal law story, the opinions fly. They are mostly of two schools of thought:

1. The defendant should "fry" for his crime; or,
2. The defendant should go to jail forever.

That gets me into the phrase my dear friend said at a recent seminar. He said something to the effect that in our criminal justice syttem today only two things happen, they either kill you, or leave you alone.

I'll be back next week, still a bit "annoyed" by it all.


Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com