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Court Rules Duval County Judge Violated 1st Amendment

Appellate Court rules that Duval County, Jacksonville Circuit Court, Judge usurped the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and the Rules of Florida when the judge ruled the media could not be present inside a courtroom during jury selection.  In a highly publicized criminal homicide trial of Michael Dunn in Duval County on one count of murder in the first degree, three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile into a vehicle, the Duval County Judge granted the State Attorney’s motion to keep all media out of the courtroom during jury selection. This judge, like many Florida trial judges, ruled in favor of the State Attorney to take away the rights of the People of Florida to have an open and transparent judiciary.

Mr. Dunn was convicted of all but one count he faced for firing shots into an SUV containing four black teenagers, fatally shooting one of them, during a dispute over loud music. The State with their motion to abridge the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution tried to keep the public and press from learning the truth about what was occurring inside the courtroom at a critical stage of a criminal proceeding that being Voir Dire or jury selection, when they press was banned from being present inside the courtroom. It is motions like this one filed by the Duval County prosecutors and judge’s rulings in favor of said motions that raise eyebrows about the impartiality of who is sitting on the benches of Florida’s courts and how fair the prosecution of criminal matters are in the State of Florida. The criminal justice system above all other functions of government must remain open, transparent and accessible to all members of society. The criminal justice system is the only system in our government were liberty and freedom of the “individual” can be taken away through imprisonment and when the system is closed off and the public and press are kept in the dark society loses as a whole.

First, under the history of the Anglo-American criminal trial system it has always been open to the public and the press. American jurisprudence has borrowed many concepts from British Law and one feature of the American Criminal Justice System that comes directly from England and contrary to the Court’s of Star is the open and fair trial procedure to the public and press. Secondly, the public can only possible accept a verdict that imprisons a man for life or worst yet execute him if the public heard, saw, and was able to be present and witness the facts and law for themselves. Third, when a crime occurs in community or when an arrest occurs in a community that shocks a community the open trail process serves the members of the community well so that their emotions, hostility and community concerns may be addressed as to the wrong doing.

No one in society appreciates when one of its members are a victim of crime, especially a violent crime. But no one person in society nor society as a whole cannot erase from their memory or from the communities history or the outrage, the truth and the act, when a crime occurs or when Law Enforcement or the Sheriff falsely or unjustly arrest a member of the society neither. An informed society and a fair press can provide the prophylactic aspects of the administration of justice but it surely cannot happen if the criminal courts are functioning in the dark as this Duval County Circuit Judge and the prosecutor would like for the community of Florida. If criminal trials were to be conducted in a corner or in a covert manner then the courthouse would be in a cave, like we witness in third world countries like Afghanistan or Iran. This is not what American Jurisprudence and American Anglo Courts stands for and neither does society.

If you have been arrested or indicted for a criminal offense in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Wellington, Lake-Worth, Lake-Park, Lantana, Delray, Boca Raton, Greenacres Jupiter, Tequesta or arrested anywhere  in Palm Beach County contact Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine. Criminal Lawyer Andrew D. Stine has fought many fights in “open” court during trials for his clients. Whether you have been arrested for a felony, misdemeanor, DUI or Animal Care and Control Case by calling a passionate adversarial Criminal Lawyer like Andrew D. Stine assures you will not be in the dark during you or your loved ones time in court. For over a decade Criminal Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine, has stood shoulder to shoulder with his clients in the courtrooms throughout Florida, so that they may get the fairest possible trial and bests outcomes. “Hire Stine or Do The Time.”

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