12 July 2005

Florida mourns the loss of Robert Shevin

Robert L. Shevin, a man who served in all three branches of the state's government, died last night from cancer of the esophagus at the age of 71. Florida has lost a great public servant.

Shevin, a Democrat, was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1964, representing Miami-Dade County. Two years later, he was elected to the Florida Senate, where he served for four years.

In 1970, Shevin left the Senate and was elected Florida Attorney General. As the top law enforcement officer for the state, Shevin was a champion of consumer rights and open government. As a member of the Supreme Court Workload Commission, Shevin urged the Florida Legislature to require unanimous or at least "super-majority" (9-3) votes before a death sentence could be imposed.

A highlight of his career was when Shevin signed a pardon for two men who had been wrongly convicted of murder. Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee were convicted and sentenced to death in 1963 for the murder of two gas station attendants. It was later discovered that the confessions by the two men were coerced, and this discovery ultimately led to the apprehension of the real killer and the release of Pitts and Lee.

Shevin ran for governor in 1978, but lost to former Senator Bob Graham in the Democratic primary. The election did not sour their relationship, and in 1982, Shevin served as the South Florida campaign coordinator for Graham's reelection.

In 1996, Shevin was appointed to the Third District Court of Appeal, where he served honorably until last December.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 14th at 1:30 PM at Temple Solel, 5100 Sheridan Street in Hollywood.

Shevin is survived by the his wife, Myrna, three children, and six grandchildren.


Anonymous Karen said...

Judge Shevin was a great man. He will be missed, and never forgotten!

7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kartik said...

Bob Shevin was titan of the progressive movement in Florida. He was one of the bright leaders that made the 1970's Florida's shining decade- a decade where we paced the nation in progressive reforms and a time when we were the envy of the Sun Belt. Boy how times and our leaders have changed. Bob Shevin will be missed.

12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, have you seen the loser that took Shevin's place? She is an embarrassment to the judiciary. Dude, you gotta write someting about her. We can remove judges taht Jeb appoints, so we need to keep our eyes open.

11:23:00 PM  

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