Published On: Tue, Oct 23rd, 2018

Why I voted to retain Susan Rothstein-Youakim to the Court of Appeals

It’s hard to analyze the Judges up for retention on any ballot and the lazy/non-existent press in the Tampa Bay area offers no help. In fact, the Tampa Bay Times offers a four paragraph recommendation to retain the four on the Hillsborough County ballot.

That includes the introduction and the recommendation – that’s it. Read it here.

Susan Rothstein-Youakim

My cursory research for Judge Susan Rothstein-Youakim took me to one particular story which confirmed my support.

A case from last November involved a police raid in April 2017 in Collier County. SWAT arrived at Juan Falcon’s home in East Naples before 7 a.m. for an arrest on felony drug charges, running a marijuana house and likely dealing pot. After three reported efforts to announce themselves, “They waited about 15 seconds and, after hearing nothing, took down the door with a battering ram and tossed two flash-bang grenades at the front and side of the home.”

Yes, at 6:45 a.m.

This isn’t about the SWAT team, marijuana or Falcon’s guilt or innocence — it’s about due process.

The lawyer argued that “Falcon was hardly given time to refuse, that 15 seconds wasn’t enough time for him to wake up and get to the door, given the circumstances.”

This is the response from Rothstein-Youakim:” In so holding, we recognize that determining what is reasonable is not an exact science and that, in the wrong situation, waiting too long could have catastrophic results,” Rothstein-Youakim wrote. “Nonetheless, maintaining the balance between the rightful force and authority of the State and the rights of its citizens can come down literally to a matter of seconds.”

Rothstein-Youakim urged law enforcement officers to curtail the use of SWAT tactics when executing search warrants and to “take special care that their use does not simply become par for the course.”

Rothstein-Youakim wrote that other than the “bare nature” of the offense, “no factor supported the urgency with which the deputies executed the warrant” and that the facts of Falcon’s case undercut some of the assumptions deputies would have made in other drug cases.

Rothstein-Youakim argued that deputies had no reason to think Falcon had weapons in his home or that he would be armed and dangerous. He previously had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, but he no history of violent crime.

So let’s review.

It’s the crack of dawn and SWAT bangs on the door a couple of times, yells out and storms the castle. There was no history of violent crime or reason to bust in.

Falcon is likely guilty BUT we need the police to take a breath and not make matters worse.

Forget about the drugs, Rothstein-Youakim’s ruling PROTECTED ALL OF OUR RIGHTS FOR DUE PROCESS.

Please share and keep in mind that we have an amazing process WE MUST PROTECT to ensure the rights and freedoms of all. From what I know, we should vote to retain Judge Susan Rothstein-Youakim.

More details at Ballotpedia

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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