Did Angela Corey Violate the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good morning:

I begin today with this question:

Did Florida State Attorney Angela Corey violate the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct when she sent the unsolicited three-page statement below regarding the prosecution’s case against Marissa Alexander to the Duval County members of the Florida legislature?

Ms. Alexander was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to 20 years. The First District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. The new trial is scheduled to begin on July 8th.

Ms. Corey’s statement bears the title, STATE OF FLORIDA VS. MARISSA ALEXANDER. Immediately beneath it are two jail booking photographs of Ms. Alexander dressed in jail clothing. One is dated August 2010 and the other is dated December 2010.

The following statement appears below the photographs:

Marissa Alexander to her husband: “I’ve got something for your ass.”

Ms. Corey increased the size of the font and emboldened Ms. Alexander’s alleged statement.

The rest of the three-page statement sets forth the prosecution case against Ms. Alexander in considerable detail. Ms. Corey claims that the purpose of the letter is to set the record straight, and that it is based on “testimony at trial” and various legal rulings.

At various times in the recent past, Ms. Corey has publicly complained about media reports that Ms. Alexander fired a warning shot into the ceiling of her kitchen to prevent her abusive ex-husband from assaulting her. Ms. Corey has since claimed that she produced the statement in response to a request by state Representative Mia Jones regarding the state’s stand-your-ground law, a defense that was rejected in Ms. Alexander’s case.

Representative Jones denies that she requested the statement.

Read the relevant rules of professional conduct that I have set forth below and decide whether you think Angela Corey violated them. Then let us know what you think. With the exception of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Model Rule 3.6, which I cite below, all of the rules are from the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC). Bracketed and italicized material are my comments.

1. RULE 4-3.5 IMPARTIALITY AND DECORUM OF THE TRIBUNAL

(a) Influencing Decision Maker. A lawyer shall not seek to influence a judge, juror,
prospective juror, or other decision maker except as permitted by law or the rules of court.

[“other decision maker” includes prospective jurors]

2. RULE 4-3.6 TRIAL PUBLICITY

(a) Prejudicial Extrajudicial Statements Prohibited. A lawyer shall not make an
extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of
public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a
substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of
an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.

[“extrajudicial” means out of court]

Comment

It is difficult to strike a balance between protecting the right to a fair trial and safeguarding
the right of free expression. Preserving the right to a fair trial necessarily entails some
curtailment of the information that may be disseminated about a party prior to trial, particularly
where trial by jury is involved. If there were no such limits, the result would be the practical
nullification of the protective effect of the rules of forensic decorum and the exclusionary rules
of evidence. On the other hand, there are vital social interests served by the free dissemination
of information about events having legal consequences and about legal proceedings themselves.
The public has a right to know about threats to its safety and measures aimed at assuring its
security. It also has a legitimate interest in the conduct of judicial proceedings, particularly in
matters of general public concern. Furthermore, the subject matter of legal proceedings is often
of direct significance in debate and deliberation over questions of public policy.

3. RULE 4-3.8 SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROSECUTOR

Comment

A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an
advocate. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations such as making a reasonable
effort to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to and the procedure for obtaining
counsel and has been given a reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel so that guilt is decided
upon the basis of sufficient evidence. Precisely how far the prosecutor is required to go in this
direction is a matter of debate. Florida has adopted the American Bar Association Standards of
Criminal Justice Relating to Prosecution Function. This is the product of prolonged and careful
deliberation by lawyers experienced in criminal prosecution and defense and should be consulted
for further guidance. See also rule 4-3.3(d) governing ex parte proceedings, among which grand
jury proceedings are included. Applicable law may require other measures by the prosecutor and
knowing disregard of these obligations or systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion could
constitute a violation of rule 4-8.4.

4. ABA Model Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

[Should Ms. Corey have reasonably foreseen Representative Mia Jones’s dissemination of the three-page statement to the public?]

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) information contained in a public record;

(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;

(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;

(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;

(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and

(7) in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):

(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;

(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;

(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and

(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.

[Can Ms. Corey claim that her disclosure is authorized by subsection (c)?]

5. ABA Rule 3.6 Trial Publicity – Comment

[1] It is difficult to strike a balance between protecting the right to a fair trial and safeguarding the right of free expression. Preserving the right to a fair trial necessarily entails some curtailment of the information that may be disseminated about a party prior to trial, particularly where trial by jury is involved. If there were no such limits, the result would be the practical nullification of the protective effect of the rules of forensic decorum and the exclusionary rules of evidence. On the other hand, there are vital social interests served by the free dissemination of information about events having legal consequences and about legal proceedings themselves. The public has a right to know about threats to its safety and measures aimed at assuring its security. It also has a legitimate interest in the conduct of judicial proceedings, particularly in matters of general public concern. Furthermore, the subject matter of legal proceedings is often of direct significance in debate and deliberation over questions of public policy.

[2] Special rules of confidentiality may validly govern proceedings in juvenile, domestic relations and mental disability proceedings, and perhaps other types of litigation. Rule 3.4(c) requires compliance with such rules.

[3] The Rule sets forth a basic general prohibition against a lawyer’s making statements that the lawyer knows or should know will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding. Recognizing that the public value of informed commentary is great and the likelihood of prejudice to a proceeding by the commentary of a lawyer who is not involved in the proceeding is small, the rule applies only to lawyers who are, or who have been involved in the investigation or litigation of a case, and their associates.

[4] Paragraph (b) identifies specific matters about which a lawyer’s statements would not ordinarily be considered to present a substantial likelihood of material prejudice, and should not in any event be considered prohibited by the general prohibition of paragraph (a). Paragraph (b) is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of the subjects upon which a lawyer may make a statement, but statements on other matters may be subject to paragraph (a).

[5] There are, on the other hand, certain subjects that are more likely than not to have a material prejudicial effect on a proceeding, particularly when they refer to a civil matter triable to a jury, a criminal matter, or any other proceeding that could result in incarceration. These subjects relate to:

(1) the character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party, suspect in a criminal investigation or witness, or the identity of a witness, or the expected testimony of a party or witness;

(2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense or the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or suspect or that person’s refusal or failure to make a statement;

(3) the performance or results of any examination or test or the refusal or failure of a person to submit to an examination or test, or the identity or nature of physical evidence expected to be presented;

(4) any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration;

(5) information that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence in a trial and that would, if disclosed, create a substantial risk of prejudicing an impartial trial; or

(6) the fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime, unless there is included therein a statement explaining that the charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

[6] Another relevant factor in determining prejudice is the nature of the proceeding involved. Criminal jury trials will be most sensitive to extrajudicial speech. Civil trials may be less sensitive. Non-jury hearings and arbitration proceedings may be even less affected. The Rule will still place limitations on prejudicial comments in these cases, but the likelihood of prejudice may be different depending on the type of proceeding.

6. Rule 3.8: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

Comment

[5] Paragraph (f) supplements Rule 3.6, which prohibits extrajudicial statements that have a substantial likelihood of prejudicing an adjudicatory proceeding. In the context of a criminal prosecution, a prosecutor’s extrajudicial statement can create the additional problem of increasing public condemnation of the accused. Although the announcement of an indictment, for example, will necessarily have severe consequences for the accused, a prosecutor can, and should, avoid comments which have no legitimate law enforcement purpose and have a substantial likelihood of increasing public opprobrium of the accused. Nothing in this Comment is intended to restrict the statements which a prosecutor may make which comply with Rule 3.6(b) or 3.6(c).

[6] Like other lawyers, prosecutors are subject to Rules 5.1 and 5.3, which relate to responsibilities regarding lawyers and nonlawyers who work for or are associated with the lawyer’s office. Paragraph (f) reminds the prosecutor of the importance of these obligations in connection with the unique dangers of improper extrajudicial statements in a criminal case. In addition, paragraph (f) requires a prosecutor to exercise reasonable care to prevent persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor from making improper extrajudicial statements, even when such persons are not under the direct supervision of the prosecutor. Ordinarily, the reasonable care standard will be satisfied if the prosecutor issues the appropriate cautions to law- enforcement personnel and other relevant individuals.

7. RULE 4-8.4 MISCONDUCT
A lawyer shall not:

(d) engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the
administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage,
humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on
any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national
origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or
physical characteristic;

Subdivision (d) of this rule proscribes conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of
justice. Such proscription includes the prohibition against discriminatory conduct committed by
a lawyer while performing duties in connection with the practice of law. The proscription
extends to any characteristic or status that is not relevant to the proof of any legal or factual issue
in dispute. Such conduct, when directed towards litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or
other lawyers, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability,
marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, physical
characteristic, or any other basis, subverts the administration of justice and undermines the
public’s confidence in our system of justice, as well as notions of equality. This subdivision does
not prohibit a lawyer from representing a client as may be permitted by applicable law, such as,
by way of example, representing a client accused of committing discriminatory conduct.

34 Responses to Did Angela Corey Violate the Rules of Professional Conduct?

  1. bettykath says:

    OT
    http://news.yahoo.com/son-of-malaysian-airlines-pilot-breaks-silence-133946108.html

    Ahmad Seth, the 26-year-old son of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, broke his family’s silence about the speculation concerning his father.

    Seth told New Straits Times that his father is not a “political fanatic.” He said, “I’ve read everything online, but I’ve ignored all the speculation. I know my father better.”

    “We may not be as close as he travels so much, but I understand him,” he told New Straits Times.

    Like many others, Seth is still hoping that there will be survivors from the ill-fated flight. Earlier this week, the Malaysian government concluded that the 239 people aboard the flight had died.

    “Now, we are just waiting for the right confirmation,” Seth said. “I will believe it when I see the proof in front of my eyes.”

    Seth did not address how his mother and siblings were doing but did say that he is “the strongest in his family in dealing with the crisis,” according to New Straits Times.

    The search for the plane, which went missing 19 days ago, continues. Experts believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. New images from Thai and Japanese satellites show debris that may have been part of the plane, according to Reuters.

    The United States Navy recently delivered equipment used to scan for flight recorders on the ocean floor and send the data back to search headquarters.

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

    • bettykath says:

      March 29-30, 2014 — Breaking News/Exclusive to WMR — Malaysian 370 hijacked by pilot over jailed opposition leader

      Multiple sources with Asian airlines have told WMR that the pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, hijacked the Boeing 777 on its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and demanded the release of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in return for the plane and its crew and passengers. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources with Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines, and Asiana Airlines that the Malaysian government refused to negotiate with Zaharie and that pilot kept the plane in flight until it ran out of fuel.

      There is some disagreement, however, among Asian airline sources on what caused the Boeing 777 to crash. Some sources believe that Zaharie diverted his plane over the open waters of the Indian Ocean to avoid radar contact and Malaysian chase planes from the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Other sources claim that the Malaysian Air Force intercepted the plane and shot it down somewhere over the Andaman Sea or the Indian Ocean.

      The hijacking of the aircraft for the purpose of freeing Anwar provides some reasoning behind the Malaysian government’s failure to divulge what it knew about MH-370 in the hours immediately following the time when air traffic controllers first lost contact with the aircraft.

      It is known that Zaharie was a fervent supporter of Ibrahim and his People’s Justice Party (PKR). On March 7, Anwar was sentenced by the Kuala Lumpur Court of Appeal to five years in prison, overturning his earlier acquittal on charges that he sodomized his former male aide. Sources claim that Zaharie decided to hijack MH-370 the next day, March 8, and demand Anwar’s release. Zaharie had worked as a poll worker for Anwar’s PKR party in the 2013 general election. In 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison in another sodomy case. However. his conviction was overturned by the Malaysian Supreme Court and he was released from prison in 2004.

      Zaharie was, according to WMR’s sources, incensed over the Kuala Lumpur appellate court’s decision that sent Anwar back to prison and vowed revenge.

      WMR has been told that Malaysian Air Force, Defense Ministry, and senior government officials are all aware of the hijacking but that Prime Minister Najib Razak and his United Malay Nationals Organization (UMNO) party have clamped down on any public revelation bout the details of MH-370’s disappearance. On March 26, Najib made a definitive statement to the press that MH-370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. There have been various reports of wreckage being spotted in various locations in the area but nothing conclusive has been determined that the objects spotted floating in the water by maritime surveillance aircraft are from the downed Boeing 777.

      There is another major reason for Malaysia’s cover-up of MH-370. Malaysian Chinese dominate the nation’s business sector. Many also have close ties with China. If it emerges that the Najib government refused to negotiate with Zaharie over Anwar’s release, thus ensuring the deaths of scores of Chinese nationals along with Malays and other nationals, that would set off ethnic turmoil in Malaysia and create a diplomatic firestorm with China.

  2. bettykath says:

    Most of these rules apply to all lawyers. Why is Mark O’Mara not disbarred for several repeat performances to poison the jury pool? Or is it ok when you’re a defense lawyer?

    Corey was just lobbying her reps in the state legislature. I’m not sure how this email does anything but produce prejudice against Alexander though.

    • Crane commented earlier today when we out riding around that the layout of the email reminded her of a wanted poster.

      She’s right and that’s another reason why it is so offensive and way over the line. Whether the bar association will take any action remains to be seen but this is Florida so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Yes O’Mara violated the same rule, repeatedly. Judge Nelson refused two requests to impose a gag order and the Florida bar did nothing.

      I criticized O’Mara repeatedly and I’m pleased to report that the newly elected president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the director of the state public defender system also criticized him publicly.

      Most of the criminal defense lawyers I have known take their ethical obligations seriously and would not have even considered doing what O’Mara did.

  3. towerflower says:

    After the first trial, AC also went to the one press group, I can’t think of which one, and talked about the facts of the case. It also included photos of the wall where the bullet initially went in. She is feeling the heat of the case from the public uproar.

    I also blame the press that this case received when they kept repeating her line of firing into the ceiling as a warning shot when the facts proved she fired at head level at her now ex, with his two children standing by him. They also kept citing her SYG claim when she didn’t fall into the SYG guidelines and she lost on that and again in her appeal……it has yet to be seen if her new attempt will get it, although I highly doubt it due to her actions of leaving the area and returning with a gun.

    But I do agree that she was in a volatile relationship and she could be just as volatile. And I don’t understand why they just couldn’t offer her the same 3 yr plea deal that MA turned down the first time with assurances that she also seeks counseling; after all it was good enough the first time with the same evidence.

  4. The best answer to Corey’s claim that she was merely setting the record straight is to state that demonizing her with two irrelevant and extremely prejudicial booking photos and using over large emboldened fonts to make her points is not setting the record straight.

    Therefore, it’s prohibited by RPC 4-8.4 which states,

    A lawyer shall not:

    (d) engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage,humiliate, or discriminate against litigants . . . on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national
    origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic;

    Marissa Alexander is a litigant. She is the defendant in a criminal case.

    RPC 3.8 (f), Special Duties of a Prosecutor, provides in pertinent part,

    The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

    (f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

    Finally RPC 4-3.6 (a) states:

    Prejudicial Extrajudicial Statements Prohibited. A lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.

    That’s a trifecta of serious violations that establishes that she is unfit to serve as a prosecutor.

    I believe she should be disbarred for this extremely unprofessional stunt and the case against Marissa Alexander should be dismissed with prejudice for deliberate prosecutorial misconduct that has made it impossible for her to get a fair trial.

    • Malisha says:

      Amen.

      Corey specializes in prosecutorial misconduct but the one time she was acting right (charging Fogen) she got all our fine intellectuals’ tails in wringers and they called for her blood. It’s ironic. It almost teaches: “First, Do No RIGHT.”

  5. So. The very first sentence in her email. The FIRST sentence. It says that Ms. Alexander fired at the husband AND children. Like she took aim and fired three shots. That is what it says. The first sentence was meant for the newspaper and the internet and that is just exactly where it went. The first sentence was meant to be misleading, and it was misleading. The two booking photos were meant to demonize and to bolster, and that is what they did.

    At first blush, before I saw this letter, I actually began to wonder about the case. In other words, if it was really true, that the children were in the line of fire, and there maybe was no reason…maybe even that Marissa could have run away or something…well, then, the man who wrote the letter asking for the plea deal, three years- I could see that, maybe. There are a lot of ‘ifs’ to sort out, but assuming for the sake of argument…okay. I really did not have any idea what the facts of the case were.

    But now? Seeing this? I do not believe a single word that Angela Corey says. Not one word.

    She crossed the line. If I were a judge I would be tempted to throw the whole case out. The only one going to jail would be Angela Corey, for real.

  6. Kelly Payne says:

    She certainly did a good job protecting her other client.George Zimmerman.

  7. MKX says:

    Angela Corey has to curry favor with those who elected her and, as such, white justice must be applied in all cases. White justice meaning that it is A-OK to besmirch the reputation of any black person using trial by media, regardless of the black person being the victim or the accused. White justice also demands that any white person be assumed pure as the driven snow. So any media shenanigans is not to be used against them.

    And what is the common thread in all three of these trial?

    A black person is an emotional time bomb capable of exploding into violence at the drop of a hat. So they must be put away one way or another. As a result, we {meaning Corey and the people who elected her} must give a lot of benefit of the doubt to those who claim to defend themselves against black rage.

    Personally, I don’t like what Miss Alexander did and do feel some time served is appropriate.

    However, she only loaded one bullet and fired once. I tend to feel that she may have aimed high as a warning. Logic tells me that, if she intended to kill, she would have closed and aimed dead center like Porky Zimmerman did.

    Dunne and Zimmerman clearly each went for a kill. So her doing more time than them is not justice, IMO.

    This country is a mess with respect to skin color being deemed a “race”.

  8. Malisha says:

    Professor, I just realized you’re gonna be sued for knocking off an original painting by famous artist Cheorge Sszimmerman!

  9. Corey’s defense would be to claim that she did this to protect her client (i.e., the people of the State of Florida).

    (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.

    What is the best argument to make in response?

    • Malisha says:

      Her client, the People of the state of Florida, do not have an interest in her writing that letter or anything in it because they have an interest in the prosecution going forward and that letter will make it more difficult for the prosecution to go forward.

      I think Corey was looking for a way to end up NOT having to try Alexander again because this time there will be EYES on her prosecution, on the evidence dumps, and on the defense. It will not be an easy hit as it was the last time. If it becomes more and more difficult to seat a jury and there is activity by the defense that she cannot counter, she can find a way out such as a plea deal.

    • lurker says:

      Her client, the people of the State of Florida, have a reasonable expectation of justice under the law–not simply a prosecutor with a high conviction rate.

  10. lyn says:

    Angela is a scumbag. Fred, did you get my donation? Hope all is well.

  11. Malisha says:

    I think what Corey did was more serious than violating her ethical responsibilities OR prejudicing a defendant. She made a bold, manipulative and dishonest attack on the US Constitution, specifically, trying to dismember the separation of powers provision and arrogating to herself power in the legislature.

  12. Two sides to a story says:

    PS – what’s pretty odd too is that booking photos are often readily available to the public – FL publicly displays these online. Whether it’s the state that does that, or just some site that likes to publicly parade these daily, I forget.

    I lived in a SW state in a county that regularly published booking photos in the paper almost every day, effectively screwing defendants over. Sometimes people got lucky and theirs didn’t get printed. Sometimes law enforcement agencies didn’t turn them over to media if they knew the arrest was dicey.

    • Girlp says:

      booking photos are published here (in SC) I agree makes a person look guilty before there is a trial and I believe can influence a jury. They publish photo’s of people who may have committed minor crimes it’s a shame.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Exactly. It isn’t just high-profile violent crimes. It can be for dumb little things – mj, non-violent domestic quarrels, your dog got out of the yard and bit someone while you were at work. Extremely unfair to people.

        • Girlp says:

          A store clerk I know photo was published because he had not completly cleaned his yard. The guy was taking care of his elderly mother and got behind, they don’t have the money to hire anyone to do it for them, yet he was put on display like a bank robber.

  13. Oops, just lost a comment, will try again. Sorry if this is a re-post but here is an open letter, from Weary Traveler Musings:

    Open Letter to State Attorney Angela Corey RE: Marissa Alexander

    http://wearytravelermusings.tumblr.com/post/67023338633/open-letter-to-state-attorney-angela-corey-re-marissa

    • Two sides to a story says:

      That letter was way too mild and polite for me! LOL! But it’s true – the domestic situation in Alexander’s case needs counseling, not criminal litigation.

      And people who use guns irresponsibly need to be permanently banned from having them.

      • He is very polite! Agree on the gun responsibility.

        Still scratching my head and wondering what on earth made her do this? Why the booking photos, for instance? Not one, but two. Why? Seriously. There is no question, if you read the letter, or glance at public records, that Marissa Alexander was arrested. So what was the purpose of placing the booking photos onto the internet and in the news media? Because that was her intent, after all, wasn’t it? To publish booking photos in the media, kind of like what a tabloid would do, except the tabloids have more class than this.

        You really do have to find a shovel and start digging, to get this low. Bolstering. Underlining. Placing things in enlarged font. Bold print. Shouting, in other words.

        What has come over her, has she lost her mind?

        • Two sides to a story says:

          It feels really dicey when a public servant behaves this way, huh? It’s as if Corey has gone off the edge.

          Usually a prosecutor’s office endures a lot of flak silently – they always get plenty of criticism no matter what they do, so not sure what compelled Corey to go public, but policies in the state of FL certainly foster this kind of nonsense.

          • I keep waiting for her to say, “Some asshole hacked into my email account and signed my name to this outrageous piece of shit, of course I would never do anything of the sort.”

            I have never seen anything this crazy.

          • Two sides to a story says:

            Yeah – exactly!

        • Girlp says:

          Maybe she’s afraid of losing the case and over reacted…in any case she is a poor DA, not a good lawyer at all.

  14. Two sides to a story says:

    I guess prosecutors think they can now behave as defense attorneys do, victimizing people in the media (modeled after OM;s attack on TM, using spurious info about him not admissable in court).

    While there’s definitely some personal responsbility here, I think the root of this behavior is caused by Florida’s “Sunshine Law. ”

    If the state of FL wants fair trials, they need to keep a lid on evidence until after trials are over. This will keep cases from turning into media circuses.

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt to actually give fair trials and offer fair convictions. Why should a state / jury be able to give someone twenty years after they offered a plea deal for three? Why not convict for the three? Why should they then ask for 60? It’s obscene, not even approaching reality.

    You can fire ten shots into a vehicle, kill a kid, and not be convicted of murder in the state of FL. Fire a shot past someone, not kill or intend to kill anyone, and go to prison for 20-60 years?

    Puh-leeze. Put the prosecutors in the slammer instead, along with the banksters, and the killer cops. Enough is enough.

    If people in the state of FL aren’t angry and concerned, they should be. There should be hundreds of thousands of protestors in the streets of Jacksonville demanding answers and change.

    • lurker says:

      Yes–exactly what I was thinking. Obviously we hold defenders of the public to a higher ethical standard (considering O’Mara’s free dissemination of any damaging anything that he could put hands on to smear the victim Trayvon, a minor). However, the wide-open door to all evidence shared prior to trial certainly feeds the ability of all parties to engage in subtle (and not so subtle) acts of jury influencing. Not everything dumped from prosecution to defense is relevant or admissible. Putting it out in advance simply muddies the trial process and all protections.

  15. She knew damn well that the email letter would go straight to the news and then to the internet. So, deliberately and in bad faith, she began the letter with two booking photos, to demonize Marissa Alexander to the public. This is egregious.

    The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.

    This significant responsibility of the public prosecutor was aptly described by Justice Sutherland in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935).

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/about/about.html

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