Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Charles E. Cobb #180134063
12/30/1969, I along with two other Co-defendants were charged with two count of First-Degree Murder.
Ten Month later, October 190, we were given the death penalty, Furman vs. Georgia, we were given Life sentences.
My case is Forty nine Years old, perhaps one of the oldest juvenile cases , Florida Law says , when you commit a crime and whoever in with you they too are guilt of the crime .The roll I played in this case was never consider by the jury. Nor is being consider by the parole board or commissioners. For the record I didn’t kill anyone, I only got the money from the cash register. Florida’s Parole Process violates the Eight Amendment because it does not provide offenders a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation , when applied to children because children are different, they lack maturity, they are more vulnerable and easy to influence and their traits are less fixed, so they are more likely to become responsible law abiding adults. In short, because juveniles have lessened culpability, they are less deserving of the most severe punishment.
Parole will afford the opportunity for release, to those who demonstrate the truth of miller’s central institution- that children who commit even heinous crimes are capable of change. Therefore, juvenile offenders must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption, and if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored. Parole is an act of Grace of the state and shall not be considered a right. 947.002 (5), Fla. State. (2016), Fla. Admin. Code R. 23-21.002(32). It is not enough to be rehabilitated. “No person shall be placed on parole merely as a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties assigned in prison.”947.18, Fla. State. (2016)
“Primary weight” Must be given to the “seriousness of the offenders presents criminal offense and the offenders past criminal record” 947.002 (2), Fla. State. (2016)
From a moral standpoint it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor’s character deficiencies will be reformed. But Florida’s Parole Process does not recognize this, the commission is not required to consider either the mitigating attributes of youth or the juvenile offender’s maturity and rehabilitation. Instead of maturity, rehabilitation and the diminished culpability of youth. Florida’s Parole Process focuses on the “sciousness of the offender’s present offense and the offenders past criminal record”
Further, Parole is less likely to be granted to juvenile offenders than adult offenders. To be released, inmates must have gained employment and suitable housing. Adult offenders are more likely to have resources- education, job skills and family support- to obtain those things. Juvenile offenders, on the other hand, often have been imprisoned since they were children, and imprisoned in an environment that focuses on punishment rather than rehabilitation. See 921.002(1) (b), Fla. State. (2016) “The Primary Purpose of sentencing is to punish the offender” > ; State v Chestnut, 718 so. 2d 312, 313 (Fla. 5th OCA 1998) (“The First Purpose of Sentencing is to punish, not rehabilitate”.) it is unlikely they have lost contact with friends and family. Juvenile offenders who have been detained for many years are typically isolated, and many will lack connections and support from the community. This isolation makes it more difficult for them to present solid release plan to the decision maker, and it means that they are less likely to have individuals in the community advocate for their release--------------- Consider me (49) years and I didn’t kill anyone. In March 2015, The Florida supreme court addressed that issue. First, the
court held that Miller vs Alabama applied retroactively: it reversed a juvenile offenders life sentence for a first -degree murderer committed in 1997. Falcon vs State, 162.50. 2d 954< Fla 2015> Second, it held that length term-of-years sentences violate Graham vs Florida, 560 U.S. 48 <2010> because they Fail to provide a meaningful opportunity for release. And Third, it held that the remedy for these violations would be resentencing under the new juvenile sentencing statues. Horsley vs State, 160 so 3d 393< Fla 2015>
Florida’s Commission on Offender Review, the body that makes parole decisions, is not required to consider mitigating circumstances, and that in any event the “enumerated “mitigating and aggravating circumstances in rule 23-21. The Florida Administrative Code, even if utilized, do not have specific factors tailored to juveniles. In other words, they completely fail to account for Miller vs Alabama 567 U.S. 460 <2012>. The Commission Members never see or hear the inmates, as inmates ae prohibited from attending the commission meeting. FLA Admin. Code R. 23-21.004(13) Certainly, it is important for the prisoner to speak directly to the decision maker. A decision Maker needs to be persuaded by the prisoner that he or she is truly remorseful and reformed. This means the sentence of life without parole is disproportionate for most juvenile offenders and raises a grave risk that many are being held in violation of the constitution. Finally, the rarity with parole is granted makes it more like clemency. Of the 1499 parole release decisions made in fiscal year 2017-2018, only 14, or 93% were granted. < App.A45> the overall parole approval rate in Texas for fiscal year 2017 was 34.94 percent.
Forty-nine years is a longtime out of any men Life, especially when he didn’t kill anyone. Floridians Parole Process Focuses of the seriousness of the offenders past criminal record. At 66 years old the child that participated in that robbery -murder is dead, only the remembrance of the poor choices he made as a child. As I look back at my childhood I had no Father no one to guide me I was alone a child looking for acceptance and that decision cost me my whole Life .Pleas share my story I pray I can be a voice for those who have lost their life to the system .. " MY CO -DEFENDANTS WHERE ON A 21 DAY ROBBING SPREE & KILLING PEOPLE. ON THE 21ST DAY I WENT WITH THEM TO ROB SOMEONE , I NEVER KNEW OF THE OTHER KILLINGS OR THAT THEY HAD INTENTIONS OF KILLING ANYONE, MY ONLY CRIME WAS THAT I TOOK THE MONEY FROM THE REGISTER ."
A Guide to the Eighth Amendment
The Eighth Amendment, or Amendment VIII of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that states that that punishments must be fair, cannot be cruel, and that fines that are extraordinarily large cannot be set. The Eighth Amendment was introduced as a part of the Bill of Rights into the U.S. Constitution on September 5, 1789 and was voted for by 9 out of 12 states on December 15, 1791.
Understanding the Eighth Amendment Line by Line
If you are confused by what each line of the Eighth Amendment means, here are some good explanations to make the Eighth Amendment easier to understand:
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed”: The courts are not allowed to assign an accused person a large and excessive amount of money for bail. This is because if they could, a judge would have the chance to judge someone early on and set a bail amount based on that.
Bail is the property or money given to a court as a promise that the accused person will return for his trial. If the accused person does not show up, he or she will lose their bail money or property. The amount of bail assigned depends on the type of crime committed and the chance that the accused person will return for his trial. If the crime is very serious, the bail will be higher.
“Nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”:
According to the Eighth Amendment, punishments cannot be cruel or unusual. However, it is not exactly clear what cruel and unusual really means. When the Eighth Amendment was written, the Framers were considering situations where severe punishments would be used, such as being strangled, branded, or burned, or being locked in stocks. The Eighth Amendment works to prevent these types of punishments.
History of the Eighth Amendment
The Eighth Amendment is almost exactly the same as a part of the 1689 English Bill of Rights, which also said that excessive bails or cruel and unusual punishment were unnecessary. This provision was written in because of a case where a man named Titus Oates lied and caused many innocent people because of it. His punishment resulted in being in a pillory for two days, and being whipped while tied onto a moving cart. Later on, this case was thought of one that had very cruel and excessive punishments. Because of this, the Constitution now forbids these punishments since they are unnecessary, not approved of by the people, and are very illogical.
Facts about the Eighth Amendment
• The Eighth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, which were introduced by James Madison
• The Eighth Amendment also applies to the States.
• Some punishments are completely forbidden under the Eighth Amendment, such as taking away a person’s citizenship, or painful and hard labor.
• Because of this amendment, there are very rules laws for the death penalty (for example, death by firing squad is not allowed).
Case Summary of Furman v. Georgia: Furman was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty. ... In a per curium opinion, the Supreme Court held that the death penalty was unconstitutional and violated the Eighth Amendments prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment
Miller v. Alabama Decision Is Retroactive. In 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States found in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that their finding in Miller applies retroactively.
Rebecca Lee FALCON, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decided: April 30, 2013
Elliot H. Scherker, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Miami, Paolo G. Annino, Public Interest Law Center, Florida State College of Law, Tallahassee, and Karen M. Gottlieb, Coconut Grove, for Appellant. Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Joshua R. Heller, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Rebecca Lee Falcon currently serves a mandatory life sentence without parole for the first-degree murder she committed in 1999 when she was 15 years old. In August 2012, she filed a motion for postconviction relief and/or to correct illegal sentence, arguing that the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Miller v. Alabama, ––– U.S. ––––, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), should be given retroactive effect and that she should be resentenced following an individualized sentencing hearing.
The trial court properly denied relief, citing this Court's decision in Gonzalez v. State, 101 So.3d 886 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) as well as the Third District's decision in Geter v. State, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2283 (Fla. 3d DCA Sept.27, 2012), both of which held that Miller does not apply retroactively to cases on collateral review. This Court has decided the retroactivity issue, and we see no reason to further pass upon the question other than to reaffirm that Gonzalez controls in this district. However, we recognize that federal and state court decisions are sharply divided on this issue.1 Because the question is one of great public importance that merits possible consideration by our supreme court via its discretionary jurisdiction, we affirm based on Gonzalez and certify the following question pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.030(a)(2)(A)(v):
WHETHER THE RULE ESTABLISHED IN MILLER V. ALABAMA, ––– U.S. ––––, ––––, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 2460, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), “THAT MANDATORY LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THOSE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 AT THE TIME OF THEIR CRIMES VIOLATES THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT[ ],” SHOULD BE GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT?
Last term the Supreme Court of the United States held “that mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’ “ Miller v. Alabama, ––– U.S. ––––, ––––, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 2460, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012). The Court handed down its ruling in a single opinion written in two cases argued in tandem, Miller and Jackson v. Hobbs. Id. The court had accepted the Jackson case to review a decision of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, in which another juvenile had, like Miller and like the appellant in our case, committed murder, been tried as an adult, and been sentenced to life without parole under a statute mandating such a sentence, without “requiring individualized consideration before sentencing a juvenile to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.” 132 S.Ct. at 2469–70.
Evan Miller, the defendant in the Alabama case, appealed his conviction and sentence directly to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals initially, then obtained further, direct review in the United States Supreme Court. Id. at 2463. But Kuntrell Jackson, the defendant in the Arkansas case—like the appellant2 in our case—had reached the end of the line on direct appeal, without obtaining any relief. Jackson v. State, 359 Ark. 87, 194 S.W.3d 757 (Ark.2004). Only after he had lost on direct in the Supreme Court of Arkansas, did “Jackson file[ ] a state petition for habeas corpus.” 132 S.Ct. at 2461. “The [state] circuit court ․ granted the State's motion to dismiss [the post-conviction habeas petition․ And] the Arkansas Supreme Court [eventually] affirmed the dismissal of Jackson's [state habeas] petition. See Jackson v. Norris, 2011 Ark. 49, 378 S.W.3d 103.” Id.
It was on review of the Arkansas Supreme Court's affirmance of the lower Arkansas court's disallowance of Jackson's collateral attack on his sentence that Jackson and Miller became companion cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. The difference in their procedural postures notwithstanding, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed both state appeals court judgments and, in Jackson and Miller alike, “remand[ed] the cases for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion,” id. at 2475, i.e., in order to afford the states' sentencing authorities “the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances before [possibly re]imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles.” Id.
Albeit in a different connection, Justice Alito in dissent described Miller and Jackson as “two (carefully selected) cases.” Id. at 2489. Plainly they were carefully selected partly to make clear to the discerning reader that the rule laid down in Miller and Jackson applied whether or not the mandatorily life-without-parole-sentenced juvenile's case was still “in the pipeline.”
A panel of the First District recently held in Gonzalez v. State, 101 So.3d 886, 888 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012), however, that “Miller is not retroactive in application and because Gonzalez' case [sic] was final before Miller was issued, he is not entitled to relief.”3 But Jackson's direct appeal, too, “was final before Miller was issued.” Id. Without addressing the Jackson case,4 the Gonzalez panel relied on “the decision of the Third District in Geter v. State of Florida, ––– So.3d –––– (Fla. 3d DCA 2012),5 [and] adopt[ed Geter's ] reasoning in its entirety.” Id. While the Third District's decisions are often persuasive, the Supreme Court's decisions are binding on Eighth Amendment questions.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,Second District.
Cornell HORSLEY, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decided: May 26, 1999
John Thor White, St. Petersburg, for Appellant. Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Erica M. Raffel, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Cornell Horsley appeals the denial of his motion to suppress, alleging his warrantless arrest was without probable cause or a reasonable suspicion. We concur and reverse.
Cornell Horsley, standing near the walk-up window of a take-out restaurant in St. Petersburg, was arrested for violation of a municipal ordinance banning the possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages. A police officer found an open bottle of beer on the ground ten feet away from Mr. Horsley in this public area. We reverse on the ground that no police officer observed Mr. Horsley actually committing a misdemeanor in his presence. The fruit of the search incident to the arrest-two rocks of crack cocaine-should have been suppressed.
Two officers were instrumental in Mr. Horsley's arrest. The events began when Sergeant Lightfield, riding in an unmarked car, spotted Mr. Horsley carrying a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag as he walked along the sidewalk. Sergeant Lightfield, from a distance of five or six feet, could see that the object was a bottle with a label, but he could not discern what was written on the label or whether the bottle contained any liquid. His experience led him to conclude that the bottle contained beer or malt liquor. Sergeant Lightfield then radioed all of this information, including a description of the “suspect,” to a nearby uniformed officer.
Officer Herron, the recipient of the dispatch, discovered Mr. Horsley within a minute outside a business known as the Snow Peak. Mr. Horsley, who stated that he was ordering food from the window, was not carrying a bottle of any kind, but Officer Herron found an open container of Colt 45 malt liquor on the ground ten feet away. He then arrested Mr. Horsley for possessing an open container of alcohol, a violation of a municipal ordinance.1
According to section 901.15(1), Florida Statutes (1997), an officer may arrest a person without a warrant for violation of a municipal ordinance committed “in the presence of the officer. An arrest for the ․ violation of a municipal or county ordinance shall be made immediately or in fresh pursuit.” The courts have strictly construed the “presence of the officer” language, requiring that the arresting officer actually see or otherwise detect by his senses that the person has violated the ordinance. See Malone v. Howell, 140 Fla. 693, 192 So. 224 (1939); Peterson v. State, 578 So.2d 749 (Fla. 2d DCA 1991); Steiner v. State, 690 So.2d 706 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997).
In this case, however, the State has urged that the observations of Sergeant Lightfield may be imputed to Officer Herron under the “fellow officer” rule, which “allows an arresting officer to assume probable cause to arrest a suspect from information supplied by other officers.” Voorhees v. State, 699 So.2d 602 (Fla.1997). The collective knowledge of the two officers, according to the State, provided probable cause for the arrest of Mr. Horsley.
Although the general proposition advanced by the State is true and operative in the context of arrests for misdemeanors, see State v. Eldridge, 565 So.2d 787 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990), we must reject the State's argument because neither Officer Lightfield nor Officer Herron actually observed Mr. Horsley committing an open container violation. Sergeant Lightfield did not know what the label stated nor whether the bottle contained alcohol; Officer Herron did not see Mr. Horsley carrying the container. Furthermore, we decline to hold that Mr. Horsley constructively possessed the container, found ten feet away, because the area was open and accessible to the public. Although Officer Herron stated that no other person was nearby when he arrested the defendant, both officers described the area as normally busy, where people tended to congregate and where businesses sold food and beverages. All of the circumstances in the officers' collective knowledge provided only a mere suspicion that Mr. Horsley possessed an open container of alcohol. Accordingly, we reverse the court's denial of the motion to suppress and vacate the judgment and order of probation.
1. Although the parties have not provided this court with the ordinance that Mr. Horsley allegedly violated, the appellant's attorney verified that such an ordinance does exist. No challenge to this ordinance has been raised in this appeal.
Charles E Cobb #180134063
Miami Dade Pre-Trial Center
Sentence : Currently Pending