There is a lack of funding for public defense in every state, and people charged with low-level misdemeanors, often poor minorities, suffer the most as public defender offices focus their few resources on felony cases.
When Judge J. Michael Traynor sentenced Nathaniel Juratovac to four years in prison for the attempted murder of Flagler County firefighter Jared Parkey last week, the judge managed to blame both men for the violent incident that led them to the courtroom, a stunning and immoral leveling of blame in a state that too easily excuses gun violence.
Melissa Moore Stens, a candidate for Flagler County judge, has been unfairly criticized for defending Paul Miller, the Flagler Beach man who shot and killed his neighbor over barking dogs. But Paul Miller should be on trial, not his lawyers–or the Sixth Amendment.
South Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals, in a divided ruling, declares red-light cameras legal under cities’ home rule powers. A dissent calls the majority ruling at odds with state law. The decision may influence a proposal to revisit traffic cameras at the Legislature in the coming session.
The two-year term, the second for Parsons, entails administrative supervision of all courts in the 7th Judicial District, which includes Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
Kim Hammond started his career as a judge in Flagler County four decades, six presidents and 11,0000 days ago. His retirement ceremony Friday was a tribute to an institution.