Some more DCA Decisions…

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Potts v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D666 (Fla. 4th DCA, Mar 30 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed for new trial – Fingerprint expert improperly bolstered his testimony by starting another agency confirmed his identification.  Defense objection overruled and state referred to bolstering in closing.

Benitez v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D667 (Fla. 3d DCA, Mar 30 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed and sentence vacated – Defendant, a non-English speaker, was held on a violation of probation.  Court decision and sentence was pronounced without the defendant having an interpreter present.

Mack v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D682 (Fla. 1st DCA, Mar 31 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed for New Trial – Investigator improperly commented on defendant’s silence.  “Any comment that is ‘fairly susceptible’ to interpretation as a comment on the defendant’s right to remain silent will be treated as such.”  Quoting State v. DiGuilio, 491 So.2d 1129, 1135 (Fla. 1986).

Blackmon v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D690 (Fla. 1st DCA, Mar 31 2011): Certified Conflict – Issue addressing the Dealing/Trafficking in stolen property and Theft charging document where court fails to instruct jury that defendant can only be found guilty of one or the other but not both.  Conflict with Kiss v. State, 42 So.3d 810 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) and siding with Ridley v. State. 407 So.2d 1000 (Fla. 5th DCA 1981).  (It is the many cases like this out of the 4th that makes me want to move to Palm Beach County).

Stieh a/k/a Stien v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D709 (Fla. 2d DCA, Apr 1 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed and remanded for discharge – (I’m not sure this is not an April Fool’s prank) – Defense put forth a prima facie case for self-defense and the state fails to meet burden (proof beyond reasonable doubt) that defendant did not act in self-defense, motion for acquittal should have been granted.  Good case on the law of self-defense but all actors (defendant, his friend, the victim, and his girlfriend, that had a consensual three-way sexual encounter with all of them) seemed guilty of something.  Argument that led to act of self defense was over whether the defendant and friend had stolen the victim’s and the victim’s friendly girlfriend’s wallets.  A true classic.

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