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Lawyer chastised special prosecutor in Trayvon case: 'civil rights...are at real risk'

Gov. Rick Scott's choice of special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin shooting case, Angela Corey, provoked a rare and deeply critical letter to the White House in 2009 from former Florida State University president and Law School dean Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte.

"There is, in my judgment, a very real danager of a melt down of the justice system in Duval County with the election of a new State Attorney and a Public Defender who has shown no enthusiasm for defending citizens,'' D'Alemberte wrote in an Aug. 12, 2009 letter to Gregory B. Craig, White House Council for President Obama. Download D'Alemberte Letter

The purpose of D'Alemberte's letter was to recommend that Obama appoint Harry Shorstein, the former state attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. Corey had worked under Shorstein between 1991 to 2006 but after Shorstein moved her from the homicide division she announced she would seek election to run against him. News reports indicated their relationship became further strained after her announcement, and he fired her in November 2006. Shortstein retired as state attorney in 2008 and voters elected Corey. He was not appointed U.S. attorney.

D'Alemberte, who is also law school professor and former head of the American Bar Association, also used the recommendation letter to express his lack of confidence in Corey, and Public Defender Mark Shirk, both of whom he did not mention by name in the letter.

"The civil rights of Jacksonville citizens are at real risk and it is important to have someone who has show integrity in office there to guard against a slide into lawless behavior," D'Alemberte wrote. Corey and Shirk are both Republicans. After taking office, Corey fired 10 assistant state attorneys, more than half of the investigators, and 48 support employees. She also earned a reputation for being tough on juvenile criminals, sending 230 juvenile felony cases to adult court in 2009, and has high rate of prosecutions, according the Jacksonville Times Union.

Scott appointed Corey to head up the special investigation to the shooting that has drawn national media attention.

-- Tampa Bay Times writer Lucy Morgan contributed to this report.


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Can't take anymore

Scott has appointed a politically safe State Attorney to keep the lid on this investigation. Every breath Scott takes is tainted with the priority to maintain Republican control of every aspect of Florida government. Shorstein is a very thorough and experienced prosecutor but probably seen as being contaminated by prior Democratic contacts. All better than the incompetent and obsessively political Pam Bondi or the private attorneys she always hires to defend the role of government. She has been useless since becoming Florida's Attorney General.


So, the cover-up continues.

Stuart Faulks

Time for Corey to go.


John Osborn

Of all of the people in Florida to act as special prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey is undoubtedly the worst selection. Corey is the very same prosecutor who has insisted that a 12 year old child from an abusive home be charged with first degree murder with the possible imposition of a mandatory life without parole sentence; the child in this case is Hispanic. Corey is an individual who has absolutely no sense of justice, compassion or fairness and should have never even been considered, given her extremely controversial position in the prosecution of Cristian Fernandez.

It is far from surprising that the State of Florida, with its history of injustice toward all children, but particularly children of color, would have selected this individual. Her incredible lack of scruples and extraordinarily poor judgement with respect to the inhumane incarceration of Cristian Fernandez and prosecution of this child in adult court speaks volumes about how she would treat the case of homicide involving a 17 year old black victim. Corey seemed to revel in the appearance of little Ferandez as he walked into court in shackles, no she will revel with the figurative shackles placed on seeking justice in the Martin case.


I cannot, in good faith, sign the Petition - until a further review of her history.

Am concerned = though - well before you presented this issue; that her appointment may be a way to continue the bad faith endeavors form the outset of that horrific night.

The Oracle

Aaaah, just what Florida needs, another Katherine Harris.

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