Judges should get involved when they have the power to do so and when it’s the right thing to do irrespective of who the victims are. Now sometimes judges cannot get involved because the criminal guidelines do not allow them to get involved. Im not talking about those scenarios. I’m talking about situations where guidelines are not at issue. As lawyers, defense or state, we learn over the years the value of a case. What it’s worth in terms of punishment. Its very subjective but the funny thing is that if you get a group of seasoned criminal lawyers in one room I bet they would be off by months when valuing a case in terms of what the punishment should be. So why don’t judges get involved more often? Politics. Plain and simple. Judges are elected in Miami Dade. A judge maybe afraid of stepping on victims shoes, political fallout, making one side unhappy or just because of sheer inexperience. Fear is an unattractive attribute to have as a judge. It just isn’t sexy. Some of the better Judges in the 11th circuit criminal court in Miami Dade are: Judge BERTILA SOTO, WILLIAM THOMAS, SAMANTHA RUIZ-COHEN, ROSA RODRIGUEZ, NUSHIN SAFIE, IVAN FERNANDEZ, REEMBERTO DIAZ, DIANE WARD, DARYL TRAWICK, ELLEN SUE VENZER, LUISE KRIEGER MARTIN, SAM SLOAM and JORGE CUETO to name a few. These are Judges with perspective, who can run their courtrooms effectively, who you dont want to play loose and fast with and have the character makeup to make the tough decisions. Now if a defendant is lucky enough to get in front of one of these judges he should also bring with him a seasoned, experienced lawyer who #1 knows the judge and #2 is able to make the legal and factual arguments that will be persuasive. Who your lawyers is can make a big difference. Sometimes a judge may not get involved because he isn’t aware that legally he can. A good lawyer will know his case, know his judge and know what arguments will work best. So pick your lawyer wisely, trust him or her and hope you’re in a courtroom where the judge gets involved.
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