A notorious murderer conducts a brutal jailhouse toilet paper strangulation on another inmate with his goal being to avoid spending his life in jail for second degree murder charges by gaining access to death row. That’s smart. The killer was in jail for murdering his girlfriend by strangulation in the same method used in the jailhouse killing. And the man he murdered? The victim was merely serving time on a reduced charged of misdemeanor trespass.

Florida Jails are unsafe and overcrowded especially the jails in Tampa Bay like the Pinellas County Jail.
Pinellas Jail for a long night’s sleep

Why would any jail in America place a prisoner serving time for trespass with a known murderer? If a primary goal of the Pinellas County Jail is safety then those accused or convcited of violent crimes would always be segregated from those accused or convicted of nonviolent crimes. The answer is the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department which controls the jail just doesn’t give a damn about the inmates entrusted to the prison by local Judges.

As this Blog has noted the Pinellas County jail fails to protect and provide for the state and federal prisoners who are often housed there. The jail is not safe, the food is deplorable, the conditions are overcrowded. Based on these facts Florida Judges should be demanding that the conditions in Pinellas jail be corrected immediately.

Press reports note that even after the prisoner yelled out that he’d done another murder just like the one he was in for, it took seven minutes or so for officers to respond to the victim who might have been saved with faster action and that another man was severely injured recently during the process of transporting prisoners.

As Americans we have a right to expect that a primary priority of our prison system be safety. Yet Clearwater criminal defense attorneys in Florida know that ignoring prisoner rights is not unusual for the Tampa Bay criminal justice system; therefore one wonders how many more needless deaths will result due to the fundamental failure of Florida jails to provide for prisoner safety. 


Stand your ground is the law in Florida. Recently in Tampa a man stabbed another man in the head with an ice pick after a traffic dispute leaving the stabbed man in critical condition. His defense was that he was standing his ground.

In Clearwater the police determined there would be no arrest of a man who shot his neighbor after a shouting match over putting out garbage.
In Hillsborough a jogger shot and killed an unarmed man eight times, yet the jogger was not prosecuted after establishing that he’d been struck in the face first and believed the other man to be armed. But eight shots, you’d think he might have stopped at seven…
The Florida law gives people the right to use deadly force against intruders entering their homes or vehicles, no longer needing to prove fear for their safety, only that the person who is stabbed, shot with a firearm or even killed intruded unlawfully and forcefully. Thus making a defense to charges of aggravated battery or murder.
Previous Florida law and common law required that a person attacked in a public place must retreat if possible. Now someone attacked in public, “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” The law also forbids the arrest, detention or prosecution of the people covered by the law, and it prohibits civil suits against them.
The central innovation in the Florida law is in expanding the right to shoot intruders who pose no threat to the occupant’s safety. According to the International Herald Tribune, one professor of law noted, “In effect,” Professor Sebok said, “the law allows citizens to kill other citizens in defense of property.” At least the Florida Supreme Court has ruled in its standard jury instructions that the Defendant must actually believe that the threat and danger is real.
 Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine


View Entire Chapter

776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.

(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:

(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

Members of the Florida Supreme Court rest after a hard day’s work in the Fields of Justice.

Alfred de Dreux: Pug Dog in an Armchair, 1857


Oh, impartial jurors, please don’t tell the Court what you’ve decided until you actually render your verdict at the end of the case otherwise bad things will happen possibly even this unfortunate result….
The Supreme Court granted certiorari this morning in the case of Alex Blueford v. Arkansas, 
No. 10-1320. 

The facts are as follows:

Petitioner Blueford was tried on a charge of capital murder. During jury deliberations the jury forewoman, in open court, informed the court that the jury had voted unanimously against the capital murder charge and against the lesser-included charge of first-degree murder, but that it was deadlocked on the lesser-included offense of manslaughter. (oops!) 
The court declared a mistrial, and subsequently ruled that double jeopardy did not prevent a retrial on all charges. 

The defendant appealed interlocutorily

to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which affirmed. Blueford v. State, 2011Ark. 8, S.W.3d, 2011 WL 285805 (Ark. 2011).

Areas of Practice for Robert Hambrick – Attorney in Clearwater, FL
Criminal Defense Attorney and Trial Lawyer Crimes in Clearwater, FL
Definition: Certiorari, Petition for Writ of Certiorari. Legal Dictionary | – Explaining Jury Nullification as the Last Check and Balance

Jury behavior

Scholarly research on jury behavior in American non-capital criminal felony trials reveals that juror outcomes appear to track the opinions of the median juror, rather than the opinions of the extreme juror on the panel, although juries were required to render unanimous verdicts in the jurisdictions studied. Thus, although juries must render unanimous verdicts, in run-of-the-mill criminal trials they behave in practice as if they were operating using a majority rules voting system.

The Jury by John Morgan, 1861 This is a very talkative bunch of jurors…the one with the blue scarf on his head wants to convict my client, shame on you — but the future foreman of the jury, that bright tall fellow right behind Mr. Bluescarf knows that my client is innocent and plans to dominate the jury and then if necessary,  invade Continental Europe to prove my client’s innocence – Many Thanks.

File:The Jury by John Morgan.jpg