About Marshall Frank

Thirty-year veteran of law enforcement with Miami-Dade Police Department, sixteen years in Homicide, retired a captain. Author of seven fiction novels and seven books of non-fiction. Op-Ed writer for Florida Today and TC Palm newspaper. Former symphony violinist. Married, father and grandfather. President, Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc.
Author Archive | Marshall Frank

U.S. VOTING SYSTEM SHOULD BE UNIFORM

(This Op-Ed appears in the July 14 edition of Florida Today.) 

     “U.S. voting system should be uniform for all”

     Marshall Frank, Community columnist

 

Apart from state laws that vary across state lines, federal laws are a national standard. Criminal and civil matters, federal law enforcement, income taxes, military and international issues are guided by laws under one umbrella in the United States. Federal laws are no different in California than in South Carolina, Alaska or Maine … with one exception: voting.

It’s no wonder federal elections and states administering them are in such a quagmire about voter identification. Consider this:

  • There is no uniform system across America for establishing identification of prospective voters. The state in which people live determines how voting is administered. Five independent systems currently exist that may or may not require identification, with and/or without photo.
  • Eighteen states, including New York, California and Pennsylvania, plus Washington, D.C., require no ID at all. Anyone can walk into a voting station and assume any name, be a convicted felon or an illegal immigrant, yet be provided the opportunity to vote — illegally. Without ID, there is no way to establish their eligibility.
  • The U.S. Constitution requires voters
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REMEMBERING OFFICER MIOSOLIS FAMILIA, NYPD

This is Miosolis Familia, age 48, mother of three kids, a 12 year veteran of the New York City Police Department, formerly a nurse, and before that, a worker with the Red Cross. On Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Officer Familia would not be coming home from work. As she sat in her parked police car on a Bronx side street doing paperwork, a deranged man approached the driver’s side. A bullet was suddenly fired through the window and into her brain. Her marvelous loving life was snuffed out by a maniac imbued with hatred because someone, anyone, wore a police uniform.

     The first thing that came to my mind was the haunting chant over two years ago, when a hundred cop haters recited a chorus, over and over …”What do we want? Dead Cops…What do we want, dead cops!”

     Well, they bagged another one this week. 

     Hers was a black life that mattered. The shooter was equally as black. Sorry, no racism this time, no matter how hard you try.

    This is the ultimate in bastardizing the First Amendment right to free speech. Not only do the chanters infuriate me, their supporters and sympathizers infuriate me more, because these “deplorables”

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE BEGUILED” – 6.5

“The Beguiled.”  –  6 ½

     In a word:  Slow.

This is the antithesis of an action film. Directed by Sofia Coppola, (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) it is a remake of a 1971 movie of the same title, which starred Clint Eastwood.

     Set in rural Virginia, 1864, as the Civil War blazed in the distance outside the frames of the camera, the entire setting for the story is in and around a mansion in the woods – nothing else — that has been converted into a girl’s school of some four students who are sheltered from the war. The property is owned by Martha, a stoic, discipline-minded woman deftly played by Nicole Kidman.

     While alone in the woods collecting mushrooms, one of the young girls stumbles upon a wounded union soldier lying under a tree. Though this is a staunch Confederate region, the girl assists the soldier (Colin Farrell) to the mansion where Kidman takes charge and reluctantly treats the soldier’s wounds, with the objective of releasing him back to the field once he is ambulatory.

     The soldier’s presence ultimately creates a wave of interesting relationships and curiosities among the four students, one adult teacher and Kidman, of which Farrell’s

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LET’S REVAMP HOW WE PICK JURIES

(This Op-Ed by yours truly, appears in the June 30th, 2017 issue of Florida Today)

More than 2 centuries later, let’s revamp how we pick jurors

       “There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that mandates trial by jury “of our peers.”

 

The hung jury in the rape trial of Bill Cosby raises questions, once more, about the composition of juries in the American trial system. Perhaps it’s time for America to innovate and make criminal trials more efficient, fair and precise for the 21st century.

The answer? Professional jurors, certified, trained and/or experienced in basic law and court procedure, selected for trials in a random process of picking jurors’ names from a hat. No more than six to a trial. That would expedite the process and do away with long, arduous and costly juror selection processes in thousands of jurisdiction in the nation and save citizens the anguish of losing time from jobs, kids and other responsibilities. It would also eliminate the emotional factor which comes into play with average citizens.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that mandates trial by jury “of our peers.”

During my years with Miami-Dade Police, I witnessed numerous cases where emotion

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A LOW BLOW FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Women’s rights? Well, of course we are all sensitive and supportive of women who deserve human rights, not only here, but around the globe.

     Or, are we? Folks would not know that if they had been witness to a recent congressional hearing.

     Some politicians bluster about the rights for women, but they are always selective, ensuring the subject matter is localized which does not speak for women throughout the world. It’s all about getting elected and staying in office and to keep that political cash rolling in.  

     In truth, multi-millions of Muslim women live under subservient conditions where the male gender (husbands, fathers, brothers) is religiously, legally and functionally superior to women. In some fundamentalist countries, females are basically of equal value to a camel.

     Rarely do we hear anything from politicians about the plight of women within the Islamic world and the tortures and indignations they suffer just for being born female.  They comprise roughly half of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the globe and they are rooted throughout most every country on earth…including Iceland, (of all places) which has one mosque.

     On June 14th of this year, a congressional hearing was held in Washington in which two

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TEN VALID REASONS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

(The following Op-Ed appears in the June 23, 2017 edition of Florida Today.)

 

     “It’s time to put death penalty to rest in U.S.”

By Marshall Frank, Community columnist  

     One innocent executed is one too many — and that’s just one reason to abolish capital punishment. 

Now that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that juries must vote unanimously for the death penalty in order to validate a sentence, we can anticipate many new appeals and/or commutations of sentences for over 200 death row inmates to whom this will apply. Such appeals, or new trials, would be an extreme cost to the taxpayer.

Thus, we re-examine the death penalty once more. As a 30-year career cop and former Miami-Dade homicide detective, I’ve seen the worst of criminal behavior. I’m no bleeding heart.

I propose 10 valid reasons why capital punishment should be abolished, not only in Florida, but throughout the entire nation.

Too many risks of executing the innocent: In Brevard County, we’ve been witness to at least three life terms in which human beings have wrongfully served 27 years, 22 years and four years as innocent men. Had they been given a death sentence, two would probably be dead

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REMEMBERING A FATHER ON FATHER’S DAY

This story is for those people who don’t always have the best relationships in families, especially fathers.

    Marshall Strauss was ten years of age when the man he called “Dad” passed away after a long illness. His mother came home from the hospital, sobbing, telling of what a good man William Strauss had been. Later that afternoon, she composed herself and called her son over to have a serious talk.

     “What’s the matter, Mom?”

     “I have something to tell you. The man who died this morning loved you and wanted the best for you. But…he wasn’t really your father.”

     Marshall was stunned. “Wha…what do you mean?”

     “He adopted you when you were two years old, that’s why your name is Strauss. Your real father’s name was Arthur Frank.”

     Many thoughts swirled through the boy’s mind, most of all, why he was never told the truth before. “Do you mean my name is really Marshall Frank?”

     “Yes, honey. We wanted for you to not have any confusion, so that we all had the same name. We didn’t think it was necessary to tell you.”

     “But I want to know. I want to know more.  Who was my real father? Where is

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