imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Prosecutors seek OK to create phony files

by DAN CHRISTENSEN AND PATRICK DANNER Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007 at 1:41 AM

Florida's prosecutors are floating a proposal to the Legislature to give them the power to secretly falsify public court records -- with a judge's approval -- for undercover law enforcement purposes.

Prosecutors seek OK to create phony files

Prosecutors are urging a change in state law to allow them to falsify court records in some cases.

By DAN CHRISTENSEN AND PATRICK DANNER

dchristensen@MiamiHerald.com



Florida's prosecutors are floating a proposal to the Legislature to give them the power to secretly falsify public court records -- with a judge's approval -- for undercover law enforcement purposes.

Spurred by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, the draft bill would limit the authority to manufacture and plant fake documents in court files to 180 days. But it also provides for an unlimited number of 30-day extensions.

''Judges would be very involved in the monitoring. It all has to go through a judge,'' said Arthur I. ''Buddy'' Jacobs, general counsel for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, which supports the bill.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida opposes the idea.

''The fundamental problem is that it so goes against our notion of the way our justice system ought to work,'' said ACLU legislative director Randall Marshall. ``How would we ever be able to trust anything in the judicial record knowing that something could be intentionally falsified with a judicial seal of approval?''

Tallahassee Public Defender Nancy Daniels said the proposal undermines constitutional protections for those charged with crimes.

''Even if this is temporary, what if someone testifies during that time and we never get to know they had a criminal conviction? We can't properly cross-examine to develop their motives for giving testimony,'' Daniels said.

The bill has been prefiled with the Florida Senate for the legislative session that begins March 6.

A second, longer version of the bill has been prefiled with the House. It would convey authority to falsify any public record to prosecutors, judges, mayors, sheriffs, coroners and other public officers unless they were acting corruptly.

The Miami Herald reported late last year how judges and prosecutors in Miami-Dade had official court records altered and kept secret dockets to disguise what was happening in some court cases.

Two cases were uncovered in which court dockets were altered to cover up the felony convictions of informants, but more are known to exist. Chief Assistant State Attorney Jose Arrojo said authorities have altered the public records of informants for two decades.

It is a crime for anyone in Florida, including judges and prosecutors, to alter or falsify court records or proceedings. Violators can be sent to prison for a year.

STATE INQUIRY

The prosecutors' push to change Florida criminal statute 839.13 comes amid a statewide inquiry by Supreme Court Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis into the improper hiding of court records. The probe began last summer after The Miami Herald reported that hundreds of civil and criminal cases, mostly in Broward County, were kept hidden on secret dockets.

More recently, Lewis asked the Florida Bar to examine the propriety of falsifying court records and to recommend rule changes by March 1. The high court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on secret and false dockets March 5.

Rundle sent a letter to the chief justice in December defending the practice of altering public court records as occasionally necessary to protect informants and investigations. She also announced that Miami-Dade judges and prosecutors would no longer ''affirmatively'' falsify dockets.

In response, the Florida Public Defenders Association has asked that the practice be banned.

Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, said the bill is a priority for the prosecutors' association, but declined to comment further.

The Senate sponsor is Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, vice chairman of the criminal justice committee. The House sponsor is Rep. Julio Robaina, R-South Miami.

''Ultimately, this protects the public against the evil of corruption,'' Aronberg said. ``It's just another tool. How else can you get at a corrupt judge unless you create false pleadings?''

TWO SCENARIOS

In an e-mail to Aronberg's office, Ted Mannelli, executive director to the state attorney, wrote that prosecutors have used the technique in ``two scenarios.''

''In a very, very, very limited number of cases, perhaps less than five over the last two and one half decades in our circuit, bogus court records have been generated in corruption investigations targeting judges,'' Mannelli wrote.

The other scenario Mannelli described involves any case in which defendants plead guilty and sentencing is deferred to let informants work undercover.

Mannelli did not say how many times that has happened.

He wrote in the e-mail and confirmed in a phone interview that prosecutors believe Florida's prohibition on altering court records doesn't apply to them because they have acted ``without corrupt intent.''

The law, however, makes no such distinction. The Florida Supreme Court also has ruled that a lack of corrupt intent does not excuse the faking of court records.

1997 CASE

Broward County Judge Laran Johnson backdated records in an apparent attempt to keep her caseload low. In 1997, the court removed her from office because ``her knowing and repeated acts of falsifying public records strike at the very heart of judicial integrity.''

Today, prosecutors want the law changed to make sure ''these procedures are clearly legal and allow for their continuation,'' Mannelli said in the email.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy