Photographer Carlos Miller of Miami, and a blogger I really enjoy reading, won his appeal of his criminal conviction (here and here). Some of the details are important to bloggers:
A three-judge panel determined there were errors both in my conviction and my sentencing. The panel reversed both with directions for me to be tried again before a different judge.
In other words, they realized that Judge Jose L. Fernandez allowed his personal bias to affect my trial, including in how he allowed the prosecutor to use my blog against me "“ even though I did not even launch the blog until after my arrest "“ and how he allowed those blog postings to affect my sentencing.
The charge was effectively one of taking pictures of police in public, a perfectly legal and Constitutionally-protected activity that many police have none-the-less convinced themselves should be illegal, so they treat it as such. The actual charge was "resisting arrest without violence," perhaps the most abusable statute on record. Especially when there is no underlying illegal activity for the arrest in the first place. In effect, if a police officer hassles someone for no reason, the citizen responds verbally that the officer is out of line - boom, "resisting arrest without violence." It's amazing one can be convicted of this without there being any underlying crime justifying the arrest, but I guess Martha Stewart went to jail for lying to the police about something that turned out not to be a crime as well.
In this particular case, the Judge made this outrageous statement to Miller during sentencing:
I can't imagine why you thought this situation was worth getting arrested for. I can't imagine for the life of me.
I don't know if you think you're some kind of hero or something like that, but if you want to see a hero, go visit Arlington. All right? I don't think any of those people that are back here are those people that are giving you the "” the thumbs up on your blog.
If I were to sentence you to jail, none of those people would volunteer to go in there to serve the time with you. They might say they would, but I guarantee you they wouldn't. I'm shocked at your lack of remorse.
Miller gets double extra style points for defending himself through this whole process, and managing to win a victory at appeals when fewer than 1 in 15 trained attorneys are able to do so.