Daily News Summary
An electronic digest of media coverage of interest to members of The Florida Bar compiled each workday by the Public Information and Bar Services Department. Electronic links are only active in today's edition. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.
Aug. 9, 2012
JUDGE REJECTS LAWSUIT ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE JUSTICES FROM BALLOT-- The Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, Aug. 9, 2012. [Also: JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT SEEKING JUSTICES' REMOVAL FROM BALLOT-- Sunshine State News, http://www.sunshinestatenews.com, Aug. 9, 2012; SUIT TO KICK FLORIDA JUSTICES OFF BALLOT DISMISSED-- The Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Aug. 9, 2012].
From The Miami Herald: A circuit court judge in Tallahassee dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday [Aug. 8] by a conservative legal group attempting to remove three Florida Supreme Court justices from the November ballot. Second Circuit Judge Terry Lewis sided with lawyers for Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, who argued the case was without merit. The three justices face a merit retention vote and have drawn criticism for halting an April 20 court hearing on the Senate redistricting plan to file last-minute paperwork. A lawyer for plaintiffs immediately announced plans to appeal. Lewis said the plaintiffs were not entitled to sue to force the state to conclude the justices did not properly qualify to be on the ballot. He compared it to a citizen filing a lawsuit because another driver wasn't stopped for speeding.
JUDICIAL RACES STAY RESTRAINED, REFINED-- The News Chief, http://www.newschief.com, Aug. 9, 2012.
The article gives an overview of the candidates in Polk County judicial races. Generalities and geniality are the rule as Polk voters get ready to go to the polls next week and choose which of seven lawyers will fill three vacancies on the local bench. The nonpartisan elections will take place Tuesday [Aug. 14], and all voters in Polk County can cast ballots in the those races.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
HILLSBOROUGH JUDGE GIVES 'JUVENILE' OFFENDER 100-YEAR-SENTENCE-- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Aug. 9, 2012.
For a day of terror 24 years ago that started with near-murder and ended with rape, Jere Walker will not leave prison at least until he is an old man — even though the five life sentences he got when he was 17 have been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Walker, now 41, came before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Debra Behnke on Wednesday [Aug. 8]. His victims included a former state attorney who went on to become an appellate judge, his wife and their widowed friend, and a Texas tourist who said the rape ruined her life. Because of a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that said juveniles who don't commit murder can't be given life sentences with no hope of parole, Walker had a chance of a new sentence and possible release. Behnke took only minutes to resentence Walker to 100 years — two consecutive 30-year sentences for robbery and attempted first-degree murder and a 40-year sentence for two counts of sexual battery.
TEENS, 16, FACE TRIAL AS ADULTS IN BEATING DEATH OF 67-YEAR-OLD MAN-- Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com, Aug. 9, 2012.
Three 16-year-olds charged with beating 67-year-old Esteban Calderon to death during a burglary at his Orlando home will be tried as adults. The second-degree murder cases of Victor Wriden, Ronald Edouard Jr. and Luner Axcius Jr. were transferred from juvenile to adult court last week after review by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office. Wriden, Edouard and Axcius also are being held without bail at the Orange County Jail on charges of robbery with a firearm and burglary with assault or battery. Calderon died July 22 of injuries suffered when he was beaten July 18. Attempted-murder charges against the youths were upgraded after Calderon's death.