Just a quick note to mention that in Domville v. State, No. 4D12-556, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently held that a Judge who is Facebook friends with the prosecutor should have recused himself. This is an opinion that Florida’s criminal defense and criminal appeals attorneys may want to keep handy. And if you haven’t googled the Judges on your cases to see if they have a Facebook page, you should do so now . . .
Although the Court admitted that the case presented a close call, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled today that the trial judge assigned to George Zimmerman’s criminal case should enter an order of disqualification. Read the opinion in the case, Zimmerman v. State, No. 5D12-3198, here. Zimmerman’s Petition for Writ of Prohibition, Appendix, and the State’s Response, can be read by clicking here. Congratulations to Zimmerman’s defense team. Criminal appeals and criminal defense lawyers know that the courts rarely grant such petitions.
In an earlier post, I noted how defendants David Slocum and Emmanuel Paul were requesting that a Palm Beach County Judge reduce their life sentences based on the United States Supreme Court decision of Graham v. Florida, 130 S.Ct. 2011 (2010). Well, it looks like they may have gotten their wishes just in time for the holidays. The Sun Sentinel reports that on December 20, 2011, Judge Garrison reduced Paul’s sentence to 27 years, and Slocum’s to 29 years. If Paul and Slocum receive gain time, they could be out in possibly 6 to 10 years. Let’s hope that when they are released, Paul and Slocum don’t squander what may be their gift of a lifetime.