Introducing Judge Russell L. Healey

July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good afternoon to all of our friends:

Duvall County Judge Russell L. Healey is the third judge to handle the Michael Dunn case.

Scott Butler of the Florida Times-Union has the story:

A second judge has removed herself from the high-profile Jacksonville murder trial of Michael David Dunn, charged with killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music.

Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper had been appointed in May following the defense team’s request for Judge Suzanne Bass to step down due to concerns for a fair trial.

Bass denied him bail, refused a motion to have the state declare him indigent and pushed to have the trial in September even though his attorneys said it was unrealistic. Defense attorney Cory Strolla also said Bass failed to control her courtroom, including warning the victim’s father about his outburst, the Times-Union previously reported.
Cooper was replaced by Circuit Judge Russell Healey, court records show.

I previously wrote about the first and only hearing so far before Judge Healey. He denied Dunn’s motions seeking reconsideration of Judge Bass’s denial of bail, denial of indigency status, and denial of a motion to continue the trial date.

DISCLOSURE: Although Judge Healey and I were members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers when I was a member of the Board of Directors, I do not recall his name. It is possible that I may have met him during our midwinter meeting in Jacksonville in the late 90s, or at one or more of our other meetings, but I do not recall doing so. Therefore, I have no opinion about him.

The odd thing about Judge Healey’s appointment is that he is not a Circuit Court Judge. He is a Duvall County judge and I do not believe county judges can preside over felony trials without some sort of special appointment and or the consent of both parties to the case.

There does not appear to be a shortage of judges serving on the Fourth Judicial Circuit, which has 29 judges, with 9 assigned to handle criminal cases full time.

Could the Dunn case be the case that no circuit court judge wants to handle because of its high profile and possible voter backlash from the verdict?

Why Judge Healey?

Does not appear that he has any experience presiding over any felony trial, let alone a high profile felony trial.

Did he volunteer for this duty?

Who in their right mind would volunteer for a baptism by fire?

This oddity does not inspire confidence that the outcome of this trial will not be rigged.

Zoom has the skinny on Judge Healey.

Russell L. Healey was a law partner for 14 years in Mahon, Mahon & Healey, P.A. where he practiced criminal law specializing in marital and family law.

He was a board certified Marital and Family Law attorney and a former member of the Jacksonville Planning Commission.

Before joining Mahon & Mahon, he worked in private practice with Tassone and Healey after serving as an assistant state attorney and state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida in Jacksonville.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of South Florida, a JD degree from the University of Florida and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.

Before becoming a Duvall County judge in 2002, he was a member of the American Bar and Florida Bar Associations, the National and Florida Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of Trial Lawyers.

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SYG statutes violate the Fourteenth Amendment

July 30, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good afternoon to all of our friends.

In this article, I argue that the SYG statutes violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because they are being used to justify and, in effect, license and encourage race-based murders of young black males.

The law of Self-defense

A person can use force, which would otherwise be unlawful, in order to prevent an aggressor from injuring them or someone else. However, they cannot use excessive force, which is defined as the use of force that exceeds the amount of force necessary to prevent being injured.

If a person uses excessive force against an aggressor, the aggressor can use force in self-defense, including deadly force, if necessary, but only if they first offer to quit the attack and withdraw or attempt to withdraw from the fight.

When can a person use deadly force in self-defense?

A person can use deadly force in self-defense or defense of another person, if they believe they are in danger of suffering imminent death or grievous bodily injury.

However, unless a person is inside their castle (i.e., their home), they have a duty to retreat or attempt to retreat before using deadly force. There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force, if a person is inside their castle.

Stand-your-ground (SYG) statutes eliminate the duty to retreat or attempt to retreat before using deadly force outside the castle. In effect, a person takes their castle with them when they leave the home.

As I have said before, this is not a new concept. The western states eliminated the duty to retreat from their laws when they became states and joined the union.

Subjective belief versus Objective reality

Notice that the word “reasonable” is missing from the set of rules that I have provided. I intentionally omitted that word to illustrate as dramatically as I can that (1) a person’s perception of a threat and (2) their decision to use force in self-defense, including deadly force must be objectively reasonable.

In other words, would a reasonable person (i.e., the objective prong of the test) in their situation, knowing what they know about the aggressor (i.e., the subjective prong of the test) believe the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or grievous bodily harm?

If the answer to that question is “yes,” the use of deadly force is lawful.

If the answer to that question is “no,” the use of deadly force is unlawful.

The effect of Racism

Racism is not reasonable. A belief that all young black males are thugs or thug wannabees looking for an opportunity to become a thug is a racist belief, no matter who believes it.

It should be acknowledged for what it is; namely, an insane delusion.

When a defendant charged with murder or manslaughter and one or more jurors in that defendant’s case believe that the victim, for example a Trayvon Martin or a Jordan Davis, is a thug or thug wannabee looking for an opportunity to become a thug, no one should be surprised when that juror or those jurors vote “not guilty.”

After all, racists are unreasonable people who regard their prejudiced beliefs as reasonable. They are going to vote “not guilty” because they regard their beliefs as reasonable and they will not understand why other people disagree with them. Instead, they are likely to brand as racist everyone who disagrees with them.

Therefore, the problem with the SYG laws is not that they abolish the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense, which has been the law out west since the western states joined the union, the problem is that racists are commandeering juries and imposing their racist beliefs to acquit racist defendants who unreasonably decided that it was necessary to use deadly force to prevent suffering imminent death or grievous bodily harm.

I have referred to Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis for illustrative purposes in this analysis. In both cases, however, I believe the defendants intentionally killed their victims and knowingly asserted false claims of self-defense hoping to get away with murder.

Summary

1. SYG statutes require more than a subjective belief by the killer that death or grievous bodily harm is imminent and the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent it from happening .

2. The additional requirement that people are ignoring is that the belief must be reasonable. In other words, would a reasonable person in the same situation perceive the same danger and respond the same way.

3. The reasonableness requirement is supposed to prevent a paranoid or otherwise delusional person, such as a racist, from getting away with murder.

4. The problem in Florida and many other parts of the country, particularly in the South, is that too many white people think it’s reasonable to believe that all young black males are dangerous thugs or thug wannabees looking for an opportunity to become thugs.

Conclusion

Statutes abolishing the duty to retreat before resorting to the use of deadly force in self-defense or defense of another person, are being used by racists to legitimize the murders of young black males.

Since these statutes are being used to justify and, in effect, license and encourage race-based murders of young black males, they violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Therefore, the SYG statutes are unconstitutional as applied and must be stricken.

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Featuring Malisha identifying who the good guys are

July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Good morning to all of our friends:

Crane has a post up about a pregnancy disaster in jail and I have a post about the Supremacy Clause trumping the Nullification Doctrine, which is quite popular with state’s-rights and 10th Amendment enthusiasts. This is the same crowd racist crowd that has supported and continues to support George Zimmerman. They want to re-fight the civil war to reestablish white supremacy and segregation and legitimize slavery through imprisonment and debt.

I think this group is far more dangerous to our collective peace and security than Muslim terrorists.

I am featuring Malisha’s comment this morning because I think she nailed why so many powerful and influential people decided to demonize a child and rig the outcome for George Zimmerman

I think we actually DO know the truth, but up until this very morning I had not put it into a sentence. The sentence it came to me through was Serino’s sentence when he began to gently — ever so minutely and shyly, like a little girl wondering, with her thumb in her mouth, if she could ask the regal old woman for a cookie — question Fogen’s story. Serino said, mid-sentence, after saying that Trayvon Martin was not doing anything wrong, “You’re still the good guy here.”

Those (and now, the individuals included in “those” is legion) who worked hard to exonerate Fogen after he murdered Trayvon Martin were essentially saying:

Fogen has to still be the good guy here.
No matter WHAT he did,
No matter WHAT WHOPPERS he told,
No matter how innocent and undeserving Trayvon was;
No matter what the facts show,
No matter what the forensics reveal,
No matter what the law says,
No matter what his intentions were,
No matter how many wrongs he committed,
No matter what the morality issues are,
No matter what (including but not limited to ANYTHING)

George Zimmerman has got to stay THE GOOD GUY here.

… why? …

Because if he is NOT,
THEN:

A white guy went out hunting and chased down an anonymous Black kid he picked and targeted like game in a forest,
and he chased him
and he scared him
and he killed him
and there is no excuse.
And he did it because he knew he could get away with it.
And he DID get away with it.

If a theorem is true, the contrapositive is true.

If a white guy is a good guy,
then he is right to target and kill a Black and blame the Black.

If he is NOT right
(to target and kill a Black and blame the Black)
then he is not a good guy.

Since this case started with everyone in power saying:

HE IS STILL THE GOOD GUY,

Then he had to be NOT GUILTY of any crime
because it HAD to be that what he did was right.

OtherWISE, all the wrongs the white South has committed
would make them NOT the good guys any more.

And Rick Scott would not put up with that.
State’s Rights.

Serino gave us the verdict in the very beginning:

“YOU’RE STILL THE GOOD GUY HERE.”

Let us know your thoughts on this matter and if you believe Michael Dunn’s prosecution and trial will be rigged in his favor for the same reason.


Supremacy Clause trumps Nullification Doctrine

July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Good morning to all our friends:

Thanks to all for making Crane’s birthday yesterday a special occasion.

You all have thoughtful comments (YAHTC) posted a comment responding to Xena at 6:06 am. The comment includes an interesting quote from a person using the internet name TJefferson-1649275.

TJefferson-1649275 says:

The situation inside the Republican Party is serious. The poorly educated, far right wing, extremist, fanatics in the Party are moving toward demanding the states’ rights doctrine of “Nullification.”

They argue the Constitution reads that any given state, not the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority to declare a law unconstitutional in any given state. In other words, a state has the constitutional authority to “nullify” a federal law and therefore not obey it within the geographic bounds of that state. It is true that Jefferson and Madison made that argument in their Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, but it is also true those Resolutions never did pass the Congress. The issue was resolved in 1803 when Chief Justice John Marshall and the U. S.Supreme Court ruled in Marbury vs Madison that the Court had that authority.

The poorly educated, far right wing, extreme, fanatics in the Republican Party today are joining together in an organization called the 10th Amendment Society to demand the states adopt the “nullification doctrine.”

Why? One of the main reasons is to nullify the 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision, the decision that ordered segregation was not constitutional and that the United States would integrate at all deliberate speed. So, if the nullification doctrine were put into place, Arkansas legislature or the Mississippi legislature, or the Alabama legislature could nullify the Brown case and return the state to segregation. Not possible you say? Then, take a look at the voter statistics for those states and see how many whites voted for Obama.

Think about that very real possibility and then let your mind run free to all of the other federal laws that could be nullified within the borders of the fifty states. In effect, nullification means that each state is a separate country and that therefore the United States is nothing more than a confederation of united states of america.

#159.2 – Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:40 PM EST

People who believe in nullification do not know the U.S. Constitution.

Article VI, Clause 2:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

So much for the nullification doctrine.

These fools want to restart the Civil War so that they can reinstate segregation and slavery.

I believe they represent a far greater danger to our peace and security than Muslim terrorists.

FYI: This was my 600th post on this blog.

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Bullet trajectories and self-defense in the Michael Dunn case

July 28, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Good morning my friends:

An interesting issue occurred to me while I was reading through the discovery in the Dunn case. Which of the bullets struck Jordan Davis?

Crime scene investigators used wooden dowels as probes to line up the trajectories of the multiple shots into the Dodge Durango.

Medical examiners use metal rods to do the same thing with bullet wounds.

The use of wooden dowels or metal rods can provide useful information that assists in solving crimes as well as confirm or contradict a witness’s or a suspect’s description of a shooting.

According to the discovery in the Dunn case, he fired four shots into the Durango while seated in the driver’s seat of his vehicle and four more shots into the back end after the driver backed out and sped away.

Jordan Davis was seated in the back seat of the Durango on the passenger side, which was open. His position in the vehicle would have been next to the driver’s side of Dunn’s vehicle and a little behind Dunn. He was shot multiple times.

Questions:

1. Did the bullets that struck him pass through the vehicle?

2. If so, did the shots come from the side or from behind?

3. What were the angles?

4. From what direction and what angle was the fatal shot(s) fired.

I do not believe Dunn has a viable claim of self-defense, but this is crazy racist Florida and, therefore, it is impossible to predict what a jury might conclude.

Nevertheless, Dunn’s claim of self-defense would be weaker, if he fired the fatal shot(s) at a fleeing vehicle.

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