Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kudos to Judge LeBlanc

Last week I saw a no contest plea in the case of State v. Eberson Florial (2009CF960) in front of Judge Bob LeBlanc. Florial was initially charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation, but the formal charge was Felony Battery - Great Bodily Harm. Florial was sentenced to 2 days in jail with credit for time served (the Statute requires 5 days), enroll in a Batterers' Intervention Program (BIP), and 18 months probation.

I am delighted to see the State include BIP in the sentence (it's not often we see this in felony court). The kudos to Judge LeBlanc are because he asked the State if there was also to be a no contact order or, at a minimum, a "no hostile" contact provision added to the sentence. The State admitted that it wasn't part of the plea negotiations, but the judge included a "no hostile" provision in the sentence.

If the judges begin to hold the State accountable for negotiated sentences according to what Florida Statute requires, I think the judicial system will begin to hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes more effectively than it sometimes does now.

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