Judge Lody Jean is a leader, mentor, and up for reelection of Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge so learn more about why you should KEEP LODY JEAN
Judge Lody Jean serves her community proudly as the first female Haitian judge in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade’s Criminal division and has no plans of stopping. Her illustrious career as a lawyer and judge, her commitment to mentorship and serving the community, and her passion for taking on complex cases is awe-inspiring.
We had the honor of talking to Lody Jean about the work she does and how she manages to handle hundreds of cases as well as be an active mentor altogether.
Judge Lody Jean on high profile cases
Judge Jean loves the problem-solving aspect of her job, even if it does involve making some very difficult decisions. She is currently in the felony criminal division, which handles offenses that carry more than one year in jail.
When we asked her about the toughest cases she’s seen, she immediately admitted that dealing with cases involving minors is never easy. It’s always heart-wrenching to hear stories of abuse, allegations of molestation, and more. There’s a high case load, so she faces a constant struggle to make sure that every case gets the time it deserves. Which often means having morning and afternoon calendars. This is even more shocking once you consider that she handles around 650 cases a year.
The Supreme Court recommends closing out more cases monthly than are filed monthly so she manages her case loads as efficiently as possible. However, considering the fact that people get arrested every day, the case load grows everyday. This is why many cases are resolved by something other than a trial. Lody Jean added that it is still important to keep setting cases for trial since that forces the parties involved to either come to a resolution or get ready for the judge’s decision.
Judge Lody Jean handles high-profile cases called “Arthur Hearings” and “Motions for Pre-trial Detention” where she has to decide if people charged with qualifying offenses such as Murder, DUI, Manslaughter, Capital Rape and others will be granted release pending trial.
In many cases, she had to decide whether to issue or refuse a bail bond. As a judge, she’s had the difficult task of deciding whether a person should be sentenced to jail. On another occasion, she had to issue a first amendment judgement and determine whether to order the parties to stay silent or dismiss the matter openly.
“Bootcamp” and second chances
Judge Lody Jean always goes the extra mile to make sure she does what’s best for the community and the parties involved in a case. An example is the “Bootcamp”program, which is geared toward people under 21 years of age. She understands that offenders need family support to stay on track and with this support they are less likely to re-offend.
If someone qualifies for the “Bootcamp” program and the victim agrees, she has ratified the plea between the parties and has sentenced the youthful offender to that program which has an 87% success rate.
The law already allows a lot of discretion and flexibility for young adults. Society as a whole recognizes that the young brain is not developed, so there can be times where giving them a break is more appropriate. Fortunately, not a lot of her cases involve minors. In the last two years, she has sent around 8 kids to bootcamp.
Judge Lody Jean on sentencing guidelines
In Florida’s courts the punishment is not only up to the judges’ discretion because they have to adhere to certain guidelines and requirements. Every case has charges and each charge has a number which gets inputted in a scoresheet, depending on the type of offense. The guidelines allow for some leniency, but the minimum mandatory sentences are quite restricting.
These are minimum mandatory sentences for cases like drug possession with intent to distribute, murder, etc.. They don’t take into account the many factors affecting a ruling, and judges are confined to a specific sentence, regardless of the underlying circumstances or how deserving the person is of the minimum mandatory sentence.
A big part of why Judge Jean applied for the Circuit Judge position is her commitment to serving her community. And she’s prepared for all the challenges that come with that, especially if that means making difficult choices according to the law.
Judge Jean has a lot of litigation experience since she has been a trial attorney for 14 years. She’s done a lot of community service and worked with renowned organizations. So, she understands courts, lawyers, and managing high dockets. She knows how important lawyers and judges are to the community.
As an immigrant, she thinks it’s very crucial to be able to serve in a functioning judiciary which she wouldn’t have in Haiti. She is dedicated to serving and approving the system, which makes her one of the best candidates for circuit judge. She’s also one of two liaison judges between the Miami-Dade public schools and the courts who have an internship program for budding lawyers.
You can learn more about her on her official website.
You can learn about more about Judge Lody Jean, who is dedicated to making Miami-Dade c a safe place for all its residents on her website www.KeepJudgeLodyJean.com or you can follow her on Instagram @keepjudgelodyjeanC.