When a Jail Sentence Equates to a Death Sentence
Previously I had written an article regarding a client of ours who was charged with felony DUI and was suffering from a terminal illness, namely HIV. A person suffering from HIV can become immune to life-saving medications rather quickly. In the case of my client, who had been HIV positive for over 17 years, his “options” as they are referred to, were limited to one immune-boosting medication, as he had grown immune to all others. Doctors have consistently testified that missing a dosage of HIV medication by even six hours could render an individual immune. They have also testified that the Broward and Fort Lauderdale county jail systems failed entirely in previous years to be able to supply HIV inmates with their medications on a timely basis, if at all. A number of lawsuits have resulted from inmates developing full-blown Aids while incarcerated. A case-in-point, clients facing minimum mandatories with HIV must be certain to retain counsel that know the importance of bringing these issues to the attention of the sentencing judge. In the case at hand, our client, who was before the Honorable Judge Joseph Murphy in the felony unit, was fair and sentenced our client for his felony DUI to house-arrest in lieu of a jail or prison sentence. I commend Judge Joseph Murphy for his ability to be fair and identify the very real issues that exist in South Florida jail systems. There was, however, one catch. My client had been on probation for his second DUI at the time of his third felony DUI which I have been speaking about, the very DUI that was resolved favorably. The violation of probation hearing, a separate criminal matter, will be heard by misdemeanor Judge Stacy Ross. Although relatively new to the bench, Judge Ross has shown an outstanding ability to not only be fair but to know the law and apply it correctly. I have no doubt that she will render a correct and just sentence to our client for his violation of probation case which is consistent with the ruling of Judge Joseph Murphy. I will report on the results after sentencing.