February 27, 2018

On February 27, 2018, more than 80 people filled the Jury Assembly Room at the St. Lucie County Courthouse in Fort Pierce for the second night of the Your Courts Up Close 2018 program. The topics for the evening included presentations from Lesley Norman and Tina Rel of the St. Lucie County Clerk’s Office and Thomas Bakkedahl of the 19th Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

Tina Rel, Criminal Court Manager and Lesley Norman, Assistant Criminal Court Manager from the St. Lucie County Clerk’s Office provided information regarding the role of Deputy Clerks in court, accompanied by several intriguing examples of physical evidence that the Clerk’s office maintains from past cases. Dominic Rodriguez of the Clerk’s office assisted with the evidence, while wearing gloves, illustrating the care the Clerk’s office takes in maintaining the integrity of evidence. Jennifer Luna of the Clerk’s office also assisted with the presentation. Their presentation elicited a number of questions from the audience and the physical evidence certainly sparked the participants’ interest.

Thomas Bakkedahl, Chief Assistant State Attorney, spoke about the functions and responsibilities of the State Attorney’s office, along with a quite spirited and engaged discussion regarding criminal prosecution and the Florida Death Penalty. It was clear through his presentation that he is passionate about his role and the role of the State Attorney’s Office in facilitating justice through the 19th Judicial Circuit Courts.

Based on participant engagement and comments received, the audience appreciated the presentations and enjoyed discussions with the presenters.

St. Lucie County Judge Isenhower, who developed Your Courts Up Close, was the host for the program and facilitated the question and answer periods throughout the evening. Thanks to Judge Isenhower for facilitating the program, to the presenters Lesley Norman, Tina Rel and Thomas Bakkedahl, and to staff from the St. Lucie County Clerk, State Attorney, Sheriff, and 19th Judicial Circuit Court Administration offices for their assistance in providing the program. The next Your Courts Up Close event will be Tuesday, March 6, 2018.