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.
Sept. 25, 2013
STETSON LEADS STATE, FIU SOUTH FLORIDA, IN BAR PASSAGE RATE -- Daily Business Review (requires subscription), http://www.dailybusinessreview.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Stetson University law students led Florida schools with a passage rate of 89 percent on the July examination for The Florida Bar. For South Florida schools, Florida International University placed fourth at 83 percent, Nova Southeastern University was fifth at 82 percent, University of Miami was sixth at 79 percent and St. Thomas University was eighth at 74 percent. Other results were University of Florida in second place at 88 percent, Florida State University in third place at 87 percent, Barry University in seventh place at 75 percent, Florida A&M University in ninth place at 72 percent, Florida Coastal in 10th place at 67 percent and Ave Maria University in 11th place at 58 percent.
CHIEF JUDGE BELVIN PERRY JR. APPOINTED TO PRESIDE IN POLK CASES -- The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston has selected Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. of the Ninth Judicial Circuit to oversee the criminal cases against a Polk judge and her former judicial assistant. Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Beth Harlan and Alisha Rupp were arrested on charges of grand theft and scheme to defraud after a State Attorney's Office investigation. Harlan and Rupp are accused of falsifying Rupp's time sheets so Rupp would get paid for time she didn't work, an affidavit states. Rupp also was charged with filing a false police report and perjury. A judge from outside the 10th Judicial Circuit was requested to handle their cases.
--Criminal Justice Issues--
REDUCING LENGTHY, LIFE SENTENCES FOR JUVENILE STILL A STRUGGLE FOR FLORIDA HIGH COURT, LAWMAKERS -- Palm Beach Post (requires subscription), http://www.pbpost.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it’s unconstitutional to send juveniles to prison for life with no possibility of parole for crimes other than murder, Florida judges still are handing lengthy sentences to teen offenders. In a spirited debate last week, the Florida Supreme Court seemed to agree that the best way of complying with the landmark decision may be to declare a state statute that eliminated parole for juveniles unconstitutional. For three years, Florida legislators have rejected measures that would have resolved the issue, leaving judges uncertain as to what types of sentences they can impose on juveniles. A ruling from the high court is not expected for several months.
BONDI APOLOGIZES FOR HAVING EXECUTION MOVED -- Tampa Tribune, http://www.tbo.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday [Sept. 24] publicly apologized for causing the delay of an execution that was the same evening as her re-election campaign kickoff fundraiser in Tampa. Bondi's statement may also run counter to the oath she took as an attorney and states in part, “I will never … delay anyone's cause for lucre or malice,” though it's an oath that goes largely unenforced. “The courts have taken the position that when people are elected to a constitutional office, even one in which they're required to be an attorney, The Florida Bar can't discipline them,” said Sandy D'Alemberte, a lawyer, former president of Florida State University, former dean of its law school and former president of the American Bar Association. A Florida Bar representative declined to comment on Bondi's remarks.
UNJUST FOR ALL -- Folio Weekly, Editorial, http://folioweekly.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Backpage Editorial by Robert Pace. Pace addresses the media attention garnered by Angela Corey's charging in the George Zimmerman case, noting that perhaps the publicity brought on by Corey on national TV might force an examination of Duval County's system of criminal justice. He discusses judicial bias, impartiality and fair trial deprivation.
ROGER BUCHANAN RAY, ESQ. -- Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com, Sept. 25, 2013.
Roger Buchanan Ray, Esq., 78, of Largo, died on Sunday, Sept. 22. Ray graduated from Stetson Law School in 1991 with a JD. He became a member of The Florida Bar and served as an assistant state attorney for the 6th and 13th Judicial Circuits, retiring in 1995.