Happy New Year from Bodiford Law

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year.  After some much needed time off, we will be back in the office on January 2, 2018, hitting the ground running.

Call us for your Tallahassee criminal defense needs – let our expertise help you.

California Couple Used a Drone to Deliver Drugs (from Time)

Authorities say a drone delivered drugs to customers at a nearby parking lot. The customers would then drive by the couple’s home and throw their payments on the lawn.

One wonders what some people could do with their lives if they put their minds to that, rather than finding ways to break the law.

Source: California Couple Used a Drone to Deliver Drugs: Police | Time

Tallahassee criminal courts in 2018 . . . what to expect

2017 was tough in Tallahassee criminal courts – while crime statistics were down (artificially so, it may be, as the rumor is that local law enforcement is purposely not making as many arrests in order to push the stat lower and raise Tallahassee’s poor reputation for being a crime-ridden city), big cases were up.  Tallahassee courts processed several high-profile cases- some of which ended in acquittals, some of which never went to trial and have been continued (the Markel murder trial), one of which (Segura) ended in a mistrial, and one that was investigated and not charged (the FSU fraternity death case).  We saw the establishment of a new veterans’ treatment court.

2017 saw laws change, and policy change – we saw the first year of a new Second Judicial Circuit prosecutor’s term, which always takes adjustment on both sides.  Jack Campbell seems to be working very hard to make the system better, and also seems to have a good compass as to what needs to be done.  We wish him well in 2018!

In 2018, expect to see the legislature continuing to be “tough on crime” and continue its quest to make EVERYTHING in Florida illegal.  Segura will be retried, to the great expense of Leon County citizens.  The FSU fraternity case will either end, or there will be charges.  The Markel case may not get tried, because the out-of-town attorneys for the defense can’t seem to get it ready.  DUI arrests will likely go up, and I sense that financial crime arrests and prosecutions will also increase (there has been a slight rise ongoing for some time).

As a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney, I plan to continue to provide the best service possible to my clients.  My book, Florida Criminal Cases Notebook (James Publishing) should be out in early 2018.  Another book that is being completed, Cross Examination in a Nutshell (West Academic) should be out in the late spring.  James Publishing and I are looking at another book to come out in late 2018, on the topic of Florida Criminal Procedure.  We tried several jury trials in 2017 – all of which were acquittals.  That’s a rarity (even for me!), and while we hope it will continue in 2018, we are going to hope for the best and continue to prepare for anything.

We wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018!

What say you: Gov. Rick Scott signs bill to speed up executions in Florida

How do you feel about this?  Doesn’t really shorten the appeal process, or the post-conviction procedure.  Apparently kicks in to speed any clemency review and then sign the death warrant no later than 30 days after, and execute no more than 6 months after that.  So long as the appeal process is complete, I see no legal reason for the delay in carrying out the sentence.

via Gov. Rick Scott signs bill to speed up executions in Florida | Tampa Bay Times.

Drew Peterson defense team commenting on Casey Anthony

The Huffington Post has an article about Drew Peterson (who is charged with killing one wife and suspected of killing another wife) commenting, through his attorneys, about the Anthony acquittal.  The Peterson defense team approved of the verdict, commenting, “The jury’s job is not to act emotionally. A jury’s job is to evaluate whether or not the government has sufficient evidence, and it looks like in the Casey Anthony case they felt the government did not have sufficient evidence to prove their case.”

In the new era of online news and social media coverage, this is an interesting move.  We will have to wait to see what, if any, impact these comments will have on Peterson’s trial.  I probably would not have done anything to link, in any way, my client to Casey Anthony (arguably one of the most unpopular people in the world).  The comments were benign and should not draw any ire.  Maybe the comments caught my eye in light of the Anthony team’s use of online comments to monitor public opinion/sentiment and tailor their arguments.

As I posted last week on Twitter, we are in a new era, where social media plays a part in the preparation of high-profile trials.  Perhaps the Peterson defense team knows EXACTLY what they are doing, and are trying to send a message to potential jurors to be open-minded, unemotional, and fair.  If that is the case, it may end up being a brilliant move.

The question becomes, what happens to all those defendants who are going to trial on cases with NO media coverage.  Is it fair that those defendants don’t have access to the media.  Who knows.  We’ll see. . .