When I was in Cohen’s division Wednesday last week, I knew something was bothering Barry. I’d never seen him so mad. He’s usually so calm, cool and collected. The courtroom was full of people – he didn’t know why they were all there. Cohen was also covering Evans’ docket. Evan’s motto: “Let’s put 205 people on the docket in one day.” The clerks love that.
Now I know why Cohen was mad.
Everyone in the PDs office and private criminal defense bar knows that prosecutors have little discretion under SA Michael McAuliffe. That’s old news. A case you used to get probation for under Barry Krischer, you get a prison offer under McAuliffe.
ASAs are scared. There is pervasive fear in the SAO. Nobody wants to lose their job.
Now, Judge Barry Cohen has said what virtually every criminal judge in Palm Beach county is thinking about certain cases clogging up their dockets: h/t to the Post.
Cohen said in court that while other judges might not say it, he will: that he was nothing less than “outraged” by prosecutors’ continued incurring of incredible expense on Torocsik’s case in the current budget crisis.
“On what possible basis and what possible rationale would the state be seeking to expend these sort of resources?” he asked the two fresh-faced prosecutors, Marco Masullo and Cheo Reid.
The question, he said, wasn’t directed at them — but to McAuliffe.
You have to love Cohen. He’s got chutzpah.
McAuliffe has to learn how to PRIORITIZE. Mike, you can’t prosecute everybody for everything. Concentrate on violent crime, repeat offenders and rapists.
Alex, you should have gone non-jury on this one.
Grey Tesh is a board certified criminal trial lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida and is President of the Palm Beach association of criminal defense lawyers. www.aaacriminaldefense.com