Compromise on procedural rules bill in the works April 1, 2004 Regular News Compromise on procedural rules bill in the works A bill proposing a constitutional amendment to give the Florida Legislature the authority to write all court procedural rules may be dead following a meeting of the bill’s sponsor with Florida Bar President Miles McGrane.McGrane, Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, who represented the Bar on the issue, and Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami, met last month after the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee, which Barreiro chairs, passed the proposed amendment on a party-line vote.“We’re looking at a compromise,” Barreiro said on March 17.“It was a very friendly conversation and I understood what caused [Rep. Barreiro] to be concerned about court rule-making authority,” McGrane said. “I explained to him how it was done and we left with a mutual understanding. We are going to work together and get beyond this.”The preliminary agreement calls for the Senate President and House Speaker to be able to appoint a legislator or two to the Bar’s procedural rules committees, Barreiro said, and for lawmakers to get copies of proposed rule changes when they are submitted to the Supreme Court. That would give them an opportunity to comment before the court acts.Both of those actions were suggested by Richard in his presentations at two committee meetings as ways to assuage legislators’ concerns about the rule-making process and whether the Supreme Court was infringing on substantive matters with procedural rules.“The legislature will feel they are a part of the process” with those changes, Barreiro said. “If we can get to that point, the amendment will go away and we’ll have a compromise.”In a March 18 letter to Barreiro, McGrane wrote, “In addition to my February 19, 2004, letter to you wherein I proposed the Bar would give specific notice to appropriate legislative chairs and staff of court rule amendments, I will seek further changes in our processes so that the Bar can specifically include members of the legislature to each of our court rules committee.“You and I should further discuss the details of this concept — e.g. , how many lawmakers, how they should be selected, etc. — but I wanted this letter to reflect my understanding and approval of these concepts. Once we agree on the specifics, I will take this matter to the Bar’s governing board for immediate approval.”There is also another sign that the court system has taken notice of legislators’ concerns about both procedural rules and jury instructions. In a March 18 opinion on criminal jury instructions, the Supreme Court rejected two proposed instructions and returned them to the Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases.In the first instruction, the court asked the committee to revise the rule to reflect concerns of the House Judiciary Committee that the rule did not reflect state law and the second to update it with changes made by the legislature last year. Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases (2003-1), case no. SC03-629.
Franklin Mitchell4 Kossuth131 Hancock332 RecoveredNew Recovered Butler303 Wright1168 Area Total24517 Confirmed CasesNew Cases Winnebago Worth61 Mitchell91 DES MOINES — 18 more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in our immediate listening area.According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, in the 24-hour period ending at 11 o’clock this morning, four new cases were confirmed in Cerro Gordo County; three each in Butler and Floyd; two each in Franklin, Hancock, and Wright; and single cases in Mitchell and Worth.That brings the area’s total since the start of the pandemic to 534 — 294 in Wright; 53 in Cerro Gordo; 52 in Franklin; 33 in Hancock; 30 in Butler; 24 in Floyd; 20 in Kossuth; 13 in Winnebago; nine in Mitchell and six in Worth.17 more people from the area have recovered — eight in Wright; four in Franklin; two in Butler; and single cases in Cerro Gordo, Hancock and Kossuth — for a total of 245.Statewide over the same 24-hour period, seven more people have died for a total of 677; 357 more cases have been confirmed for a total of 24,737; 327 more people have recovered for a total of 15,453. Worth Cerro Gordo271 Cerro Gordo534 Cerro Gordo1 Area Total53418 Floyd243 Winnebago11 Hancock Butler162 Wright2942 Mitchell Kossuth Kossuth20 Hancock201 Butler2 Franklin184 Franklin522 Winnebago13 Floyd1 Floyd17 Worth3 Deaths Wright Area Total4
…as DPP disposes of 195 cases for 2018The need for more judges and expediency in the judicial system was reflected in the recent figures released by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers which saw the overall number of criminal cases in Demerara county being reduced by seven per cent at the October criminal session.During last week, the DPP’s office disclosed that 228 cases were listed for attention in Demerara, but of this number, only 16 matters were disposed of – seven per cent of the overall figure.Justice Sandil Kissoon gave the gaol delivery earlier in December which ended the Demerara October 2018 Criminal Assizes. He, along with Justice Jo Ann Barlow,The Supreme Court of Guyana where Demerara High Court cases are heardand later on, Justice James Bovell-Drakes presided over the last session.A release from the DPP’s chambers revealed that of the 16 cases that were disposed of, three were nolle prosequi by the DPP after the complainants opted against pursing trial. Of the 13 matters that were actually presented at the High Court, six were for sexual offences while seven were murder cases.There were six guilty verdicts by jury, three guilty pleas, two formal verdicts of not guilty, one hung jury and one mistrial. State Counsels Abigail Gibbs, Tiffini Lyken and Seeta Bishundial prosecuted the six sexual offences matters before Justice Barlow – matters ranging from Rape of A Child under 16 years to Sexual Activity with A Child Family Member.“In the three cases for the offence of Rape of A Child under 16 years, one accused was sentenced to life imprisonment after the court found the evidence was overwhelming. Another accused was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment while the one other case ended in a hung jury,” the release highlighted.In two separate matters for the offence of Sexual Activity with A Child Family Member, the accused persons were each found guilty by a majority jury verdicts; one accused was sentenced to life imprisonment while the other was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment. The accused in the one case for the offence of Rape was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment after the jury returned a majority verdict of guilty.Notably, sex crimes dominate the Demerara list of cases and a specialised unit called the Sexual Offences Court has been established to deal with such matters. Thus far, only female Judges have been rotated to hear these cases. They were Justices Simone Morris-Ramlall, Jo-Ann Barlow and Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.Next Tuesday, a new criminal session will open in Demerara. Some of the older matters have reappeared in the system owing to retrials ordered by the Appeal Court of Guyana. That Court reduced 17 sentences in 2018 and ordered seven fresh trials.There are 260 cases listed to be heard during the January session which will see Justices Navindra Singh, Bovell-Drakes, and Barlow presiding.During 2018, there was a total of 195 cases disposed of and 129 of these cases received attention in the court. Notably, 66 matters were nolle prosequi by the DPP. Of these 129 cases, 90 were presented from the Demerara Assizes, 27 from the Berbice Assizes and 12 from the Essequibo Assizes.There were 54 cases for murder, 15 cases for the offence of rape, 15 cases for Sexual Activity with A Child Family Member, 13 for Attempt to Commit Murder, 23 cases of Rape of A Child under 16 years, 5 for the offence of Manslaughter and one case each for the offences of Carnal Knowledge of A Girl under 15 years, Causing Death by Dangerous Driving and Wounding with Intent.In February 2018, acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, had revealed that some 5000 cases were listed before the courts, but this estimated number included “old rules” cases, divorce proceedings, civil cases, and full court matters.