The latest legal developments in the case of "Sick Ric" Howard and his obscene sentencing of a poor african american kid to 30 years in prison, highlight an aspect of the justice system--how intransigent judges use procedural dodges to hurt criminal defendants.
Newly Slick Judge 'Sic' Rick Howard
INVERNESS - Circuit Judge Ric Howard on Tuesday denied an emergency motion that William Thornton's defense team had filed.
Thornton, 18, is serving a 30-year prison sentence for the deaths of a Citrus County couple in a December 2004 traffic collision. Thornton's public defenders had asked the judge to expand the 60-day time limit during which he could consider a motion to modify Thornton's sentence. Howard recently told the public defenders he couldn't hear any motions in the case because they already had filed an appeal. The case is outside of his jurisdiction until the 5th District Court of Appeal grants him permission to rule, he said at the previous hearing. At Tuesday's hearing, Howard denied the public defenders' motion, repeating that the case is outside his jurisdiction, at least for now
In other words, because the defense actually abided by the strict time limits on filing appeals sick Ric won't even decide WHETHER to extend the 60 day sentence modification period. It's a way of forcing a choice between his sleazy justice (and potentially faster results) and a more tempered view from above that could take a years...