A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Florida's Governor Looks For A Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Governor Jeb Bush is living the commonly heard phrase "everyone hates criminal defense lawyers, until their kid is busted for some minor offense, and then they want the best one they can find to correct an obvious huge injustice, and get him or her off on any technicality they can find."

John Ellis Bush, the youngest son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was arrested (read story here) in Texas for public intoxication and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

Big deal. He'll get some diversion program, like every other first time misdemeanor offender, pay a fine, and be able to seal his record.

But this is more important because of who it happened to, the son of a prominent "tough on crime" elected official.

In interviews following his son's arrest, Governor Bush became Jeb, the father of a kid in jail, and he acted as any typical father - who also happens to be governor of a state with 15 million people. He said: "It's a private matter. We will support him. We're sad for him. But I'm not going to discuss it on the public square with 30 cameras.

He deserves privacy. This arrest has nothing to to with Jeb as Governor. His 21 year old "kid" is a grown man and was 1500 miles away from the Governor's mansion when it happened.

So leave Jeb alone. It's really none of your damn business.

I just mention it because these are the times when people like the Governor have to step out of their political world, and live the reality of the effects of legislation.

I am sorry the Governor's son was arrested, but I do know that personal experiences with the reality of criminal statutes can't be a bad thing for someone who has to sign off on "tough on crime" legislation.

Jeb believes in longer sentences, more prison beds, and making the job of criminal defense lawyers tougher and tougher.

Except in one particular case.


  1. I'm a Jeb Bush fan and voted for him twice for governor. But you DEFINITELY have a point:) And I fully agree with you. I think most politicians are in the same sort of Catch 22. They say what the public wants to hear to get elected but when THEY have to face the laws they helped pass it's a different story. Great comments.

  2. An excellent piece, very well thought out and right on. I, too, voted for him twice.