Monday, March 13, 2006


Remember the eternal bliss of summer vacation when you were a child, wearing your new yellow rain hat even on the brightest sunny day in Tampa Bay Florida because you were so proud of it - your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer doesn't remember that either but why should I be expected to remember something from your life as I can hardly recall mine? For your grandmother that summer was a prelude to her lonely gray winter ending as quickly as the bowl of melting ice cream you shared with her (make mine an Italian chocholate macadamia nut, please).

The passage of time is the very measure of our lives. As we age the perception of time passing speeds for each of us as the taper of our lives burns ever faster.

Since people at different times in their lives perceive the passage of time differently, doesn't that imply that say, a five year sentence of jail to a twenty year old man is, if not harsher, certainly felt subjectively as being in actual time longer, than the same five year sentence given to the sixty year old convicted of a white collar crime, scheme to defraud or embezzlement (who happily, unlike the twenty year old, can actually pay me)?

But what if the twenty year old is a new mother? How will those five years be felt by her and by her innocent child? And wouldn't incarceration affect a youthful offender or juvenile much differently than someone of another age. Yet the courts tend to treat everyone alike especially with Florida Sentencing Guidelines and Florida Sentencing Scoresheets controlling what Judge's will sentence and reducing judge's discretion. Shouldn't a judge be able at sentencing to take these factors into account? Don't we want our judges to have the ability to occasionally seek out the best solutions for each Defendant?

But today in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo and Tampa Bay, Florida when a judge sentences a Defendant most of the decision-making process with which the judge ought to be entrusted has already been declared out of bounds by Florida Statutes and Federal law, that have made honest, fair, impartial judges subservient to minimum mandatory sentences, mathematical tables and immoveable sentencing guidelines.

Any civilized and rational legal system that even Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys could cherish, would allow a judge at sentencing to take many other considerations in hand with the traditional considerations that include the severity of the misconduct, any prior misconduct, and the likelihood of future misconduct.