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Case Update - Back in the Saddle Edition

The only other Supreme Court decision besides Colon II, which I discussed yesterday, was State v. Clark, which involved the issue of whether a guilty plea was voided by the trial judge's giving incorrect information about post-release controls:  the judge had told the the defendant, who'd pled to aggravated murder, that he'd have to do five years of post-release control, when in fact he'd be on lifetime parole after release from prison, assuming he was released at all.  The Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded the case back to the 11th Circuit to determine whether the defendant could show prejudice, i.e., that he wouldn't have entered the plea if he'd been given the correct information.

The court tackled this issue earlier this year in State v. Sarkozy, which I discussed here, and the very short version of the two cases is that if the trial judge fails to give information about PRC at the plea, the plea gets vacated; if she merely fails to give correct information about PRC, the defendant has to show prejudice in order to have the plea vacated.

On to the courts of appeals...

Criminal.  1st District reverses dismissal of petition for post-conviction relief, says facts re claims of ineffective representation warranted hearing... 2nd District reverses not one, but two, denials of a motion to suppress, holding in one that officers lacked basis for searching "lunge area" of car after removing passengers, and in other that officer flashing emergency lights, pointing searchlight at pedestrian, and telling him to stop didn't constitute "consensual encounter"... 12th District gets into the act, affirms suppression where cops detained defendant for an hour on a lane-change violation while waiting for drug-sniffing dog... Trial court granting judicial release for first or second degree felony must make specific findings on record re recidivism and seriousness, says 10th District; mere reference to statute not enough... 8th District says that right of allocution not applicable where defendant is being resentenced to include post-release controls; re-sentencing was conducted on day defendant's sentence was to end... 12th District affirms exclusion of expert testimony re police interrogation techniques (see tomorrow's post for more on this subject)...

Civil.  2nd District reaffirms its rule that landlord seeking to recover damages to property caused by tenant must show difference in pre-injury and post-injury fair market value... 8th District affirms trial court's 41(B) dismissal of medical malpractice complaint before trial after granting defendant's motion excluding plaintiff's expert's testimony... 12th District reverses denial of motion for new trial by plaintiff who was awarded lost wages and medical expenses in personal injury case, but nothing for pain and suffering...

Bullshit pedestrian stop of the week.  From the cross-examination of the police officer in State v. Cosby, in which the appellate court held that the officer didn't have grounds for a stop simply because the defendant stood at a street corner and waited for the light to go through two complete cycles before crossing:

  Q. There was nothing in his behavior that was indicative of any particular criminal conduct prior to the time that you stopped him, true?

  A. It was suspicious that he stood at the stoplight for two cycles.

  Q. What particular criminal conduct would that make you suspicious of?

  A. Basically, he was up to no good.


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