Sunday, January 01, 2023
Florida inmate pleads guilty to threatening federal judge. (USDOJ/AP/Florida Politics)
Tallahassee U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Eaton Walker is one of the finest federal judges in Florida, and America. He has repeatedly worked diligently to enforce the Rule of Law in First Amendment and other cases involving civil and constitutional rights.
A guilty plea was entered in a case where a Raiford prison inmate wrote, signed and mailed Judge walker a death threat.
Is that news?
Did our U.S. Department of Justice press release writers and Florida journalists cover it properly.
The DOJ and Florida news media didn't even release the name of the federal judge whom the Raiford inmate threatened.
Defendant CURTIS BROWN, the Raiford prison inmate was due to be released in 2034, convicted of drug trafficking charges.
Then BROWN wrote, signed and mailed written threats to kill U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. BROWN is now in federal custody.
Did BROWN, the Raiford inmate who has now pled guilty to the crime anticipate getting a nicer prison and a friendlier cellmate if he committed a federal crime?
Does BROWN's case create a precedent for all state prison inmates to threaten federal judges to be transferred to federal prisons?
Should a Florida state prison inmate be "entitled" to a transfer to a federal prison imply by threatening a federal official?
The simple, baby-talking USDOJ press release on the guilty plea oddly omitted Judge Walker's name and also omitted the full name of the inmate who threatened the life of Judge Mark E. Walker. There are lots of CURTIS BROWNS out there -- how clumsy of USDOJ and AP to bring charges and obtain guilty pleas without using the full name of the actual guilty party.
So did every single news report on this case.
That's sloppy press release writing by USDOJ.
That's slopping reporting by jaded North Florida journalists.
The April 28, 2022 Grand Jury indictment likewise uses only Judge Walker's initials, M.W.
If we had more sophisticated, inquiring and resourceful reporters who knew how to use PACER, the federal court database, we'd have more thorough coverage of federal courts in Florida. Is that too much to ask? AP: it wouldn't take much effort to instruct your lazy reporters on legal research.
But the prevailing attitude among certain dim, docile, dumbed-down, non-investigative Florida news editors and reporters is, "let 'em eat press releases." (Especially, evidently when the press releases emanate from what Professor Michael Tigar calls, "The Department that calls itself 'Justice.'" Compare the AP article with the USDOJ press release, here:
From AP/Florida Politics:
Florida inmate pleads guilty to threatening federal judge. (AP/Florida Politics)