Sunday, November 22, 2015

Please support our clothing drive

2014 clothing drive
Please bring your clean, serviceable clothing for men, women and children to our collection point at the Orange County Courthouse on Saturday, December 5th between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  

My team and I will be located at the circular driveway to receive your donations. Thank you for your contributions. Donation receipts will be provided.

Your donations are shared with litigants appearing in court proceedings in the Ninth Circuit who are unable to provide their own appropriate attire, to individuals going into residential programs and other needy individuals. Your items will help to maintain the dignity of our court proceedings and ensure that the lack of proper attire does not affect the outcome of cases that come before the court.

Please help spread the word by sharing this message with co-workers, associates & friends. We thank you in advance for your donations at the holiday time and throughout the year.

If the December 5th drop-off date is not convenient for you, or if you have donations at other times of the year, please call our office at 407-836-4806 to arrange a drop off or pick up at your location.

Thanks for keeping us in mind. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Edward Francis case

This letter was sent out by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office recommending the re-sentencing of a man who was a juvenile sentenced to life in prison.

From: Starke, Angela []
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 5:11 PM
To: Starke, Angela
Importance: High

Media Friends,

Some of you may know a few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders in the case Miller v Alabama. In March 2015, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that the Miller decision is retroactive.

As a result, some juvenile offenders who had been sentenced to mandatory Life are being resentenced. One of those is Edward Francis. A hearing will be held for Mr. Francis at 9:45 a.m. Friday in courtroom 6A with Judge Keith Carsten.

There is a high probability that he will be released tomorrow – should Judge Carsten allowState Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton has asked Judge Carsten to consider having Francis’s sentence reduced to time served plus 5 years of supervised probation. It is, though, the Judge’s decision.

Mr. Ashton supports Edward Francis’s release. The State Attorney vividly remembers Francis’s acceptance of his responsibility, his humility and his willingness to testify against the actual killer. Francis testified - even though he had nothing to gain as he had already been sentenced to Life. This is an unusual and surprising attitude for a defendant with a Life sentence and the SA thought about this intermittently through the years – to the point that when he retired in 2011, he reached out to Edward Francis to encourage him.

The State Attorney personally visited Mr. Francis this week in regards to a potential release and will attend tomorrow’s hearing.

Background: Edward Francis was convicted for the First-Degree Murder and Kidnapping of Kenneth Maurice Lewis in 1996. While Francis was not the person who killed Lewis, he was held responsible on the Principal theory that whoever commits a criminal offense or aids, abets, counsels, etc., the offense to be committed is a principal and will be charged as such.

Francis was 17 years old when the crime occurred. He has spent nearly the last 20 years in prison.  

Angela Starke
Public Information Officer
Office of the State Attorney

Friday, November 13, 2015

How PTSD affects clients

As human beings, we have all experienced events that impacted our lives in a significant way. Some experiences are positive but some are so traumatic that we never fully recover.

At the CFACDL luncheon next Wednesday (Nov. 18th), Dr. Sandra Neer will talk about the ways in which these traumatic experiences shape our lives and the lives of our clients. If your client has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, how does this condition impact their perception of the world and most importantly, how do we as defense attorneys communicate this information to a jury?

Although Veterans Day has just passed, many vets can’t move past the trauma they’ve experienced. Come to CFACDL’s luncheon to learn more about this topic and the groundbreaking treatment for PTSD that is underway at UCF.

The luncheon is $10 and is located at the Sorosis Club at 501 E. Livingston St., 11:30 a.m. to 1 pm.  To register, send email to

Friday, November 6, 2015

'Miller' resentencing

Members of the Orange-Osceola Public Defenders Office worked for three years to help Frederick Bradley who was only a teenager when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder.
The incident occurred 18 years ago.

In late October, the public defenders succeeded in getting Bradley’s sentence changed to 23 years. He is now set for release in 2017.

The lawyers pursued and secured Bradley’s re-sentencing under the U.S. Supreme Court Miller v. Alabama ruling that mandatory life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.