The Robert Hindman Award: “Named after Robert “Bob” Hindman, an affable assistant state attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, who was assigned to the juvenile division. Mr. Hindman suffered from the effects of childhood polio but was known for his caring attitude for children. He died shortly after his thirtieth birthday. The Pinellas County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association decided to issue a yearly award for the person who had made an outstanding contribution to the criminal justice system.”
Last evening PACDL awarded Pinellas county Assistant Public Defender (APD) Stacey Schroeder. Congrats Stacey! APD Lori Mahin delivered these words on behalf of herself, Allison Miller, and Adrian Burden prior to presenting Schroeder with the award.
Back in 1999 Stacey was a regular felony line attorney when she found herself assigned to a direct filed juvenile case. She mentioned to a supervisor how nice it would be to have a specific, specialized attorney dedicated to handling these kinds of cases. From there, our office’s “Direct File Attorney” position was born and Stacey was the first one to fill it. She has been working with our county’s direct filed juveniles ever sine, and she undoubtedly our resident expert on such cases.
Since then, Stacey also now handles almost all of the juvenile re-sentencings under Graham/Miller, yet still manages to forge new grounds legally for juveniles charged in the adult system. She is responsible for making new law on behalf of all children who find themselves in the criminal justice system. The judges may not all rule in her favor, but they all recognize that Stacey is a force to be reckoned with.
Stacey currently has 34 of these juvenile re-sentencing cases pending with motions currently filed waiting for ruling, motions granted but without a sentencing date set, motion granted but state appealed, and of those 34, she currently has ten with sentencing dates scheduled. One of them died earlier this month. There are a number of other juveniles who have motions waiting to be filed under recent decisions from the Florida Supreme Court (FSC) or pending resolution of issues by the FSC. She truly is “the hope” for these clients, after all of the years they have lost under unjust and unreasonable sentencing laws.
Stacey has been a fierce and tireless advocate for children in their most vulnerable years, and continues to be for those who are now adults that the system threw away as children. Her work ethic and dedication are beyond compare. she takes care of these kids as if they were her own. She is and expert and inspiration when it come to advocacy for Juvenile Justice. That is why she is most deserving of the Hindman Award, as Stacey is someone who truly embodies the spirit in which the award was created.
This was Stacey’s Facebook status from December 30, 2016.
“Closed out the work year finishing up initial motions to correct illegal sentences for dozens of clients in my 2-county circuit. Nothing makes you appreciate freedom like letters from people who have been in prison for decades who now have hope.”
That is who Stacey is for the now mostly older adults convicted as children. She is hope. We are proud to work with her.