TALLAHASEE—A Miami judge has dismissed another voter fraud case filed by Governor Ron DeSantis’ election police. This is the third incident since the governor announced his arrest.
On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Laura Ann Stugin reached the same conclusion another Miami judge did with another voter. case, Prosecutors statewide did not have the ability to prosecute Ronald Lee Miller.
Miller, 58, was ineligible to vote because he was convicted of second-degree murder in 1990.but then His voter registration application was approved by the Florida Department of State, and Miami-Dade election officials issued him a voter ID card to vote in November 2020.
DeSantis held a high-profile press conference in August to promote the arrest of Miller and 19 others. He was arrested because he was ineligible to vote due to a previous murder or felony sex crime conviction, but had done so after applying for and receiving a voter ID card. DeSantis oversees the State Department.
Statewide Attorneys Charge A felony count, Miller made false affirmations in connection with the election and voted illegally.
Miller’s attorney, Robert Barrar, challenged the prosecution using the same argument that was successful before another judge.
Under state law, statewide prosecutors are limited to prosecuting crimes in multiple jurisdictions, such as drug traffickers who sell drugs in multiple counties.
Statewide prosecutors said Miller’s alleged crimes occurred in multiple jurisdictions. That’s because Miller registered to vote through a third-party voter registration organization, sent an application to the Broward County Elections Commission, and then to Tallahassee.
Stugin flatly rejected that claim, writing that state laws governing prosecutors statewide were “ostensibly clear and unambiguous.”
Miller “never physically entered” Broward or Leon counties and “never forwarded anything by mail or electronically” to any of those counties, she determined.
The statewide prosecutor’s office “does not have the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute a defendant as part of a transaction involving more than one judicial circuit,” she wrote.
“Let this be a lesson to everyone not to use the legal system for political gain or waste taxpayers’ hard-earned money,” Barrar added. .
Statewide prosecutor Nick Cox said in a statement: I will appeal the decision.
The decision resulted in another loss for DeSantis’ new Office of Election Crimes and Security.
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In November, prosecutors dropped identical charges against 44-year-old Tony Patterson after he was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for an unrelated incident.
Last week, 56-year-old Romona Oliver made a plea bargain and escaped punishment.