I really want to thank you for that immature and imbecilic press release you released on Friday, May 14. Granted, I was told about it just before I was to sing Faure's Requiem at our Cumberland Choral Society concert, but you didn't ruin the evening, although I might be tempted to blame you because I held a quarter note a bit too long and was not ready for the next note. However, I will refrain from pointing the finger. I just screwed up, Buzz, and I'll take the responsibility.
It was tough singing the Kyrie while realizing that you blamed me for Tonya Craft going free, but I'll have to live with it. However, given that you have made your statement, I am going to make mine. That I have decided to spend this evening sipping red wine and writing a reply is proof positive that I really have no life, although right now, I would rather be in my shoes than in yours.
My first reaction to reading this statement was this: YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! I mean, is this a joke? Do you realize how ridiculous this two-page fax really is? But, you are serious, so it is time for me to put on my serious cap, too. (Right after another sip of wine. I couldn't make it to the CAC-LMJD tonight and enjoy the cash bar -- and the girls in thongs, or pink leotards, and Elvis -- so this is the best I can do.)
So, Buzzer, let us go through this thing that you sent. (I need another drink, Buzz, as it is hard to be serious when reading this nonsense.) Before going through this silly press release, let me tell you first to get a life. You lost a case you never should have brought to trial, and just because your crack prosecutorial team of Facebook and The Man could not convince a jury to convict does not mean you need to go silly on me.
However, you did tell some whoppers, and I don't like it when Officers of the Court tell whoppers, so I am going to wade through this nonsense. (Really, I am. But first, another drink.)
First, and foremost, Buzz, the state's case sucked. My gosh, when you put high school graduates who "just remember" important details on the stand, and their testimony does not pass the smell test, and it is clear they are lying -- that's called PERJURY, Buzz -- then you don't have a case. You had lies, Buzz, and your code of ethics says you can't do that.
Tell you what. Before I go any further, let me give you the link to the Code of Rules and Ethics from the Georgia State Bar. You need to read it, and then get back with me. (That's worth another drink. Give me a minute to compose myself. The stuff I'm drinking is pretty darned cheap, surely not as good as what was served at the CAC fundraiser.)
We can cover that list later, but for now, we need to move on, as readers are going to get tired, and you know what that means: they stop reading, Buzz, and we don't want that to happen, do we?
Don't give me this "right of appeal" crap, Buzzie Boy. Your district has a very suspicious 98 percent conviction rate, and that alone should be enough to warrant a visit from the fellows at the U.S. Department of Justice. So, quit crying about how unfair it is that you could not throw an innocent person in prison for the rest of her life.
Let us deal with the local press coverage before we deal with my blog, for you were referring to it, weren't you Buzz? Hey, what did you want? Channel 9 was in the tank the whole time, kissing the posteriors of Chris Arnt and Len Gregor. I mean, how can it get better?
Oh, and just because Melydia Clewell had some doubts about the majesty of your case, your boy Gregor CALLED HER OUT while court was in session and threatened her? Give me a break, Buzz. These people have no duty at all to think that every case you bring into court is sound. They don't work for you, Buzz, period. You need to understand that Ms. Clewell, who is more intelligent than you ever will be, is a taxpaying Georgia citizen, and you work for her. You are NOT her master, no matter what you and your fellow prosecutors might think.
So, let us deal with the next paragraph, which is a doozie:
Combined with the dynamics of the internet blogosphere, it created an environment hostile to the State's ability to receive a fair trial and portrayed the victims and their families in a false and negative light. This was an integral, purposeful and shameless part of the defense strategy. This will result in child victims and their supportive family members refusing to come forward for fear of a similar portrayal in the public. My office has never tried cases in the media and we won't start now.Buzz, give me a break. This is pathetic.
First, and most important, I always thought that Tonya Craft was on trial, not you, although I will make an editorial comment and say that since you have put yourself on trial, I would love to see you, Arnt, and Gregor in the dock for committing crime after crime. And, I would be quite happy not to see you get a fair trial, since fair trials don't exist in the LMJD.
Buzz, since you are a DA, let me teach you something about the law: IT IS UP TO THE STATE TO HOLD A FAIR TRIAL. Furthermore, Buzz, the defense had NOTHING to do with me.
There was a gag order, place by Gregor and Arnt, er, Brian House, acting on behalf of Gregor and Arnt, who ran the trial. Prosecutors aren't supposed to run trials, but from what I saw, the animals were in charge of the zoo, and the parrot sitting in the judge's chair kept saying, "Awk. Awk. He's on cross, He's on cross!" whenever one of your boys was berating a defense witness.
I need to let you know that NEVER DURING THE TRIAL, I had ANY contact with the defense. None. That means zip, nada, none. You called me a liar, Buzz, and I don't like that.
You know, the defense lawyers were honorable, damned honorable. They did not have unreported ex parte meetings with House, like your employees. They faced hostility that they never have faced before.
Second, are you telling me that it is perfectly acceptable for prosecutors to make noises, catcall, roll their eyes, mimic the defense attorneys, write comments disparaging the defense on Facebook pages and utterly disrupt the proceedings? Buzz, have you ever read the rules on "disrupting the tribunal"? It's on video, Buzz, and your boys have nowhere to hide.
And give me a break about the poor "victims'" families. I have seen Sandra Lamb in action, and after she committed perjury on the stand (telling us her daughter had not received acting lessons), I really lost any sympathy I might have had for her. Why you and your boys decided that they had to go all out to please this person, I never will know.
I won't deal with the recusal motion except to say that I have talked to other prosecutors, and they tell me that House should have taken a powder, even given his minor role. Appearances matter, Buzz, they really do. However, given that he always was looking to Arnt and Gregor for instructions on what to do next, I can understand why he hung around.
Let's talk about discovery, Buzz. Let's talk about the way that the prosecution kept out exculpatory evidence, such as Dr. Ann Hazzard's sessions with Tonya Craft's daughter, as Dr. Hazzard noted that LAST FALL Tonya's daughter STILL had not made any claims of sexual abuse to her.
Yes, this would have blown up Arnt's and Gregor's timeline, and, no, they could not have that. I mean, what is a trial in the LMJD if the prosecutors actually have to tell the truth? That is so unfair of those mean, nasty, defense attorneys who actually have expectations that prosecutors don't lie. (Time for another sip. It's your fault, Buzz. You are driving me to drink.)
The state went "above and beyond" discovery rules? What are you smoking, Buzz? The state introduced a ton of "I just remembered" evidence from Joal "I Just Remembered" Henke to Suzi "I Just Remembered" Thorne. It was perjury, Buzz, and your prosecutors suborned it, and House put it into evidence, so spare me this nonsense of the gracious prosecution.
As for Tonya Craft being a "child molester," let's talk seriously here. The jury said it believed she was NOT a child molester, and that is that. (And Arnt and Gregor knew it, too, but they knowingly brought a false case, which is a crime.)
So, now let us talk about that jury you slandered in your press release. First, the jurors swore they did NOT read the papers or my blog, so for you to claim that my blog influenced them is to accuse those jurors of committing perjury. Are you ready to charge them with crimes, Buzz? If not, then shut up. They did their job; you did not do yours, which was doing justice.
Second, those jurors saw your boys in action, and it was not pretty. The outcome was never in doubt, as the jurors saw through your ruse. Furthermore, your boys chose to call Dr. Nancy Aldridge, one of the most RESPECTED AND IMPORTANT prosecution witnesses in the state a "whore of the court" and someone who "lies for money."
OK, Buzz, are you ready to say that other prosecutors in Georgia and elsewhere who have used Dr. Aldridge to testify for their side are suborning perjury? Your people claimed that Dr. Aldridge committed perjury, lying on the stand. Are you ready to back up their claim and to call your fellow Georgia prosecutors liars? Can you handle that, Buzz? If the answer is no, then you need to understand just what you and that crack team of Facebook and The Man have done.
But it gets even better, as your statement really is the Gift That Keeps On Giving. Let us look at the following statement: My office has never tried cases in the media and we won't start now.
Uh, Buzz, have you ever heard of Rules 3.6 and 3.8 from your state's own rules for attorneys -- and that covers you and your boys? I have in front of me two things that Arnt said, both in violation of those rules.
First, there is the Facebook statement that Arnt made on January 27, 2010. Let me quote from what he put down in what is legally a PUBLIC forum: "Chris A. Arnt is wondering of Tonya Crafts lawyers are really insane of (sic) just trying to jack uo (sic) her defense bill?"
Now, why would Arnt make such a statement that violates the rules of conduct for prosecutors? Hmm, maybe he was trying to influence readers, which also would mean he was trying to influence future jurors in the case. Furthermore, a PROSECUTION WITNESS, Holly Nave Kittle, made a "thumbs up" notation on that Facebook page, which also violates the rules. Second, lest you think this is the only time Arnt made public disparaging remarks about Ms. Craft and her counsel, we also have this gem from the March 8 Catoosa News:
Craft’s four-attorney defense team, lead by Chattanooga lawyer Clancy J. Covert, argued in motions Monday that prosecutor Chris Arnt should be dismissed because he influenced a witness by advising Catoosa County sheriff Phil Summers to dismiss a subpoena; he told the media that Craft was “acting guilty” by taking her case public; and he talked about the case on his Facebook page.And, you are trying tell us that your "honorable" prosecutors did not try this case in the media? Buzz, no prosecutor is permitted to declare to the media that a defendant is "acting guilty" by seeking to defend herself.
Are you aware that people are legally entitled to a defense in the United States and in the State of Georgia? (Oh, I forgot, one of the counties in the LMJD called itself the "State of Dade" and only declared itself as part of the USA in 1948. Maybe the "State of Dade" formulated new laws regarding criminal law, and your office goes by those laws. Or, maybe your office is a proud holdout of the old Soviet Union.)
So don't tell me that your office does not "try a case in the media." That is EXACTLY what Arnt was doing, and you and he were hoping that your office could put enough out there to influence jurors to have voted "guilty" in their minds even before the trial began. Are you aware that according to Rule 3.5(a), trying to influence a jury by the means done by Arnt can be considered grounds for disbarment?
It gets better, Buzz, if that is possible. When Ms. Craft was on the stand, Len Gregor openly accused her of not "cooperating with the investigation" because she would not be interviewed by the police unless she had an attorney present. Now, maybe it is because of the "State of Dade" influence or maybe because you learned your legal theories at Leningrad State University, but according to the U.S. Supreme Court's reading of the U.S. Constitution, what Tonya Craft did in securing counsel is fully within the bounds of U.S. law.
And, let me continue. There were a number of examples of the prosecutors falsifying evidence on behalf of your goons, and falsifying evidence also is grounds for disbarment. You want an example? Let me give you one.
Do you remember when Suzi Thorne testified that one of the children had "disclosed" an alleged sexual molestation action by the defendant AFTER Thorne had concluded the interview with her? She then claimed that while she did nothing to document or memorialize this supposedly momentous event, that she believed a detective had done it, but she could not remember who it was. (Oh, I forgot, you were to busy Saving the LMJD From Evil Elsewhere to attend any sessions.)
Well, it was Tim Deal to the rescue, wasn't it? Unfortunately, this alleged memorialized event had no documentation, even from Deal, in the discovery materials prior to the trial. However, that weekend, Voila! The "document" SUDDENLY APPEARED! Yes, Buzz, deus ex machina! Except that one did not pass the smell test. Instead, it was patently obvious that your boys manufactured "new evidence," which also violates the rules and can result in disbarment.
In fact, Buzz, had there been a conviction (and this jury, even with your goons running the trial, did not come close to convicting Ms. Craft), that accusation in open court before a jury would have been enough for an appellate court to overturn a guilty verdict. Let me put it another way: Not only did your office try the case in the media before the trial, but then your office openly and publicly called a very important person who often is a PROSECUTION witness in the State of Georgia a liar, and then one of your prosecutors openly declared that having legal counsel is a violation of the law.
Buzz, you need to read your law books. Maybe you need a refresher course, or maybe you need to stop confusing the laws of Nazi Germany with the laws of the USA and the State of Georgia.
I'll tell you what I will do, Buzz. I had stated that I would make it my mission in life to seek the disbarment of Arnt and Gregor. But, since you wrote this ridiculous and pathetic press release, I think I will turn in your name, too. Anyone who thinks like this, and who tries to put something over on the public really does not need to be practicing law.
So, while I know this is your last term in office, I will seek to have your license pulled altogether. Since you don't even know who is on trial (it ain't the state, Buzz), you really have demonstrated that you don't know anything about the law, so maybe you need to try something else, like selling life insurance.
I thought about going through the codes of ethics in detail, but, no, it is of no use. Since you are unfamiliar with the basics of a trial in which the state tries a defendant, I don't think the Rules of Conduct really will mean anything to you. Now, maybe the State Bar of Georgia will have a better sense of the rules than you, or at least I hope that is the case.
Nonetheless, by blaming everyone but yourself for being stupid, I think that you have demonstrated beyond a doubt that you are more clueless than I ever thought you could be. In the next year or so, you are going to be scrutinized like you never have been before. If I were you, I'd take up heavy drinking, since I think you are not going to like what you are going to face these next 12 months.
Buzz, let me tell you that it won't be just me. There are a lot of researchers who are interested as heck as to how much money you are pulling into the district with your faux child molestation cases. They really are interested in how you have a 98 percent conviction rate when your ADAs are not exactly the cream of the crop.
It is not my fault you lost your case, Buzz. If you want to know the truth, I decided to blog because I did not like your gag order and the fact that you had another McMartin case and I believed you wanted an innocent person to go to prison for the rest of her life.
I don't like malicious prosecutions. You can ask Mike Nifong about how I deal with lying and malicious prosecutors, and as far as I am concerned, your office has nothing BUT Mike Nifongs inhabiting it. Since you have no interest in clearing out the liars and the criminals, I will try to do that for you. In the end, I really do care about the LMJD and its people a lot more than you do.