Sloan, when this case, Omar Brown’s, first came to my attention from somebody’s mentioning it before this week, the first thing that popped into my mind was, this is as bad as Gitmo, with alleged suspects being rounded up and stuck away in there with no due process at all for years! And, this is Key West, where everyone supposedly is given a chance to be proven innocent (or guilty, if the case might be) no matter what the circumstances are or what they are accused of doing. We all, as citizens of the United States of America, have a right to due process within a reasonable time. And, years certainly does not constitute a reasonable time, if my stint working for the state attorney in another county serves me correctly. Jail was never intended to be more than a ‘holding’ area while awaiting the judicial process. It was never intended to be a prison for long term or indefinite confinement. I hope once it begins, Mr. Brown’s case is not continued again and again until more years go by before he is released or sent to prison. Guilty or innocent, he deserves his day in court, just as does every other citizen of this island. Do you reckon it all boils down to who you are and who you know? Surely not in Key West. You reckon?
Have a nice afternoon,
Yep, I reckon. This case, though, if Omar is innocent, or even if he isn’t but he’s acquitted or the case is thrown out, poses huge risk for the city, and perhaps even for the State Attorney’s Office, for not going after Rodriguez on its own motion, to see if there really is a case. I imagine with any plea deal offered to Omar, there also was, if not overt, then implied, the understanding that in taking the deal he would have to sign a release of the city across the board, for any damages he might or did incur as a result of false arrest, false imprisonment, denial of due process, denial of equal protection, mental suffering, loss of civil rights, and so forth. A release, I get the impression, Omar will not sign, maybe even if he’s paid a significant amount of money to sign. He says he is innocent, and if he is, then that would explain his refusal to “cooperate.” If he isn’t innocent, that poses a different kettle of fish altogether. In that case, I’m not nearly as concerned that he’s been locked up. Armed robbery is not something to take lightly. If he is found guilty, he will get credit for time served, and for armed robbery, the time served probably won’t as much as his sentence. Even so, he should have been tried long before now, and that he wasn’t tried long before now leaves me noticing what seems an awful lot like a real fishy smell in the air. That smell, and the fact that I have not been told by the angels that Omar is guilty, leaves me thinking he may be innocent and this whole thing is the city’s and the police’s, and perhaps the State Attorney Office’s, attempt to cover their own butts. I hate to say that, but having practiced law in some trenches and having lived in Key West a while and seen how it goes here for people not well-connected — you reckon? – the fix might well be on in this case. Hard to believe I would have been dragged into it by Judge Allgood, in that dream, and by my old labor lawyer friend, in another dream, if Omar wasn’t being jerked around more than just a little bit. Hard to imagine.
I agree, but of course, his lack of due process would lie at the feet of the state attorney, I would believe.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I agree, the State Attorney’s Office is involved in the delay. If I were Judge Auldin at Omar Brown’s suppression hearing Tuesday morning, 9 a.m., absent proof that Omar Brown or his lawyer are the reason for the delay, I would dismiss the case because Brown did not get a speedy trail. Furthermore, I would insist that KWBP Officer Pablo Rodriguez be brought before me. I would examine him personally, under oath, about what he stated in his application for a search warrant of Brown’s home, which led to his arrest and incarceration for well over three years now. If I determined Officer Rodriguez lied in the application for the warrant, and that the lie was material, I would order him arrested and jailed, and would order the State Attorney to prosecute him. Our courts upholding and enforcing the law takes precedence over any contract the Police Benevolent Union has with the KWPD, over the KWPD’s right and/or duty to conduct Internal Affairs investigations, and over the State Attorney’s “discretion” to prosecute law breakers. Judge Auldin not only has the power and right to issue such an order to prosecute, he has the power to enforce it with contempt and incarceration of the State Attorney, if it the order is not obeyed. Not that I expect it to go that far. In fact, I would be shocked to see it go that far. I am convinced State Attorney Dennis Ward will prosecute Officer Rodriguez, if it appears he committed criminal acts. By the time this is all said and done, the PBU might wish it had never opened its mouth. By the time this is all said and done, the PBU, Officer Rodriguez and KWPD may all be in front of a state grand jury and/or a federal grand jury for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, corruption and violation of Omar Brown’s Civil Rights. Not meaning to issue a prophesy, the angels still have not told me after I slept on this twice more that Brown is guilty, which is their way of telling me that he is innocent of armed robbery.
Postscript. Right after making that reply to Peggy, I ran into a local journalist I know somewhat, who told me to be very careful of Pablo Rodriguez; he’s the bubbas’ hit man. I laughed, said I hoped Pablo would bump me off and get me off this planet. I wasn’t really joking, and I wasn’t sure that was really what the journalist meant either. Maybe just that I should be careful not to break any laws, because Pablo would be looking for a chance to put me in the pokey. Either of which outcomes would save me from trying to talk Omar Brown out of suing everybody in sight, which I surely would be asked to do, because it is what Jesus would have done, if he were here and this had been given him to deal with. But then, were I Judge Audlin, if I ordered the charges against Omar Brown dismissed because he had been denied due process (a speedy trial), I also would order Brown to be paid restitution of $1,000 a day by the State Attorney’s Office and the City of Key West, calculated from the date of his incarceration, with six percent interest calculated daily.