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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet Justice? Lawyer Arrested For Giving Inmate Candy

With dwindling state budgets causing every side of the criminal justice system to consider the dirty word "re-prioritize," (translated and spun: "cause chaos in the streets") out comes this sour story of a lawyer arrested for giving his inmate/client a piece of candy in court.

Prescott, Arizona!

Click the name to see that this is "everybody's hometown," and they are actively looking for volunteer dog walkers. I kid you not.

That up there is the Mayor of Prescott, Mr. Jack Wilson. Don't know what kind of candy he likes. I predict Werther's hard candy.

This here below is a map of Prescott, which you can see is right by, uh, by, well, it's in Arizona.

Now before this 38 year old menace to society damn lawyer was arrested in his home, he began his crime spree by asking two detention officers if he could feed his client a piece of candy. He was "warned against it," but obviously seeing no reason it would cause him to be handcuffed himself and booked into the jail, sans candy, he went ahead and GASP! gave his client the candy.

In addition to asking permission, and yes, ignoring the "warning" he also asked the officers "what are you going to do, arrest me?"

Why, yes.

Now this was no knee-jerk reaction to this obvious criminal act. The officers were careful in their investigation, turning the matter over the sheriff's criminal division for a decision.

"Gee Earl, yuh think next time one dem law-yrs may uh hand over sum dat Pop Rock candy that killed thut Mikey kid?"

Here's the kicker (literally). Sheriff's officials said (cue the banjos): "The concern we have is that no contraband should be passed to an inmate," That's the rule. We don't know what's in it. If we allow attorneys to feed our inmates it would be a security issue _ they get fed three squares a day and we don't feed them in court."

Reminds me of this line from the Breakfast Club:

"If he gets up . . . we'll all get up . . . it'll be anarchy!"

It was funny in the movie. Not as funny here. The joke here, is the Prescott, Arizona Sheriff's Office.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


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  1. Anonymous10:00 AM

    I had to laugh while reading, "Sweet Justice?...." Two weeks ago I was in court representing an attractive woman. I went into the holding cell to discuss the details of the State's latest plea offer with her. Of course my client is in shackles. I see a candy wrapper on the beach next to my client. I asked my client where the "contraband" came from. She pointed to the deputy outside the cell and said that he had given the candy to her.

  2. Anonymous10:01 AM

    The wrapper was on the "bench" not the beach! I do not take my clients to the beach!

  3. When I was a public defender representing inmates from the Tamms Supermax in Illinois a Jolly Rancher was more than a nice gesture, it was a means to help establish trust, especially when I had to buck the prison administration to do give one. There is a transcript somewhere that has an argument on my oral Motion to Give Candy to Prisoner, which the judge wisely granted. What it comes down to is that prison is a total institution that "owns" the prisoners and a human gesture by an outsider undermines that.