Monday, August 2, 2010

"They Are Just Doing Their Jobs," Or Real Georgia Justice

The American system of government supposedly is built upon checks and balances. The notion is that accountability must be at every point, and those who have great amounts of authority and power especially must be held accountable.

In the justice system, those in elected offices, such as judges and district attorneys, are supposed to be held accountable by voters. Whether or not that is the case is another matter, but even then, prosecutors and judges are supposed to be held accountable by higher governing bodies.

For example, voters in Durham County, North Carolina, elected Michael B. Nifong to his position as DA in November, 2006, but in June, 2007, the North Carolina State Bar voted to strip this miscreant of his law license because of his outrageous and dishonest conduct in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case. Had the Bar not acted, this lawbreaker would have been running wild in North Carolina for four years and who knows the damage he would have caused to innocent lives?

This brings us to Georgia, and specifically the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit. Who monitors the principals in this district? The voters supposedly do, although Georgia has the infamous "Missouri System" in which once a judge is elected, and as long as he chooses to stay in office, the voters vote "up" or "down" on his continued presence. Obviously, that is NOT a real election.

Now, no sane person really believes that "judge" Brian Outhouse deserves to spend another minute on the bench; the guy already has demonstrated that he absolutely despises the law and all judicial canons, so he has no right to continue being the Total Disgrace that he is. Nonetheless, I only can hope that most voters will vote "no" for him in the 2012 election, although that is unlikely, given that the "Missouri Plan" exists precisely to keep bad judged in office. (The claim was that it would "remove judges from politics," but that is nonsense. If judges are government employees, then judges are political, period.)

Likewise, prosecutors also are elected, and at least Franklin claims not to be running at the next election. Nonetheless, if there were justice in Georgia, Franklin would be on the bread lines now looking for work. Furthermore, his henchmen, "Alberto-Facebook" and "The Man" have been on the job longer than "Buzzare" and apparently they are the ones actually running the office.

Supposedly, they work at the pleasure of the DA, but in the LMJC, the civil "servants" are the ones who have "captured" the prosecutorial apparatus. Thus, if they are not going to lose their jobs at the behest of the DA, then the only other place where they can be disciplined is at the Georgia State Bar.

More than a month ago, I talked to a couple of women who work for the State Bar and who are instrumental in making recommendations that attorneys be disciplined or even disbarred. What they told me regarding Arnt and Gregor was not encouraging. One woman said to me, "She (Tonya) was acquitted, wasn't she?" Then she added, regarding the prosecution, "They were just doing their jobs."

I replied, "Are you telling me that their jobs are suborning perjury? Are you telling me that a defendant having to spend upwards of a million dollars to defend herself against ludicrous charges is no harm, no foul?"

The woman was not happy with my comments. Furthermore, she intimated that she had no problem with Arnt's little message on Facebook and other public statements, despite the prohibitions from the State Bar regarding prosecutorial misconduct on those specific issues.

In other words, the woman to whom I spoke was saying to me: Our job is to protect prosecutors no matter how much they break the law and no matter how outrageous their conduct might be.

This is pretty typical of Georgia, from what I have seen. There really are no checks and balances in the system, and this is a long-held legacy that goes back to the Jim Crow years.

Never forget that Georgia gave us the infamous Moores Ford murders of 1946 in which a mob of whites literally executed two black men and two black women, one of whom was pregnant. I mean that they tied these people to trees, and then shot them point-black, execution style, and not one person ever was prosecuted for it.

The legacy of Georgia Justice goes back to the Leo Frank lynching, in which an innocent man was murdered by (What else?) a Georgia mob for the murder of Mary Phagan. (She was killed by someone else, but Georgia "justice" tends to concentrate on the wrong people. The ringleaders in Frank's murder included "included a former governor, a senator's son, a Methodist minister, a state legislator, and a former state Superior Court judge." Sounds like business as usual in Georgia.)

So, if "Alberto-Facebook" and "The Man," along with "judge" Brian Outhouse get off scot-free for their lawbreaking, their lying, their subornation of perjury, and their acquiescence in fabricating documents to fill holes in their "evidence" against Tonya Craft, don't be surprised. The Georgia State Bar is very efficient at disbarring regular private attorneys; it refuses even to consider action against prosecutors, no matter how dishonest and how outrageous their conduct might be.

Georgia officials claim that they have "moved on" from Leo Frank and from Moore's Ford, but that is a lie, a big lie. They are no different now from when state "justice" was run by lynch mobs. When the woman from the Georgia State Bar confirmed to me that subornation perjury and lying was just another day at the office for Georgia prosecutors, and that she was fine with it, I realized that nothing has changed in Georgia, no matter how many times the officials try to tell us differently.

Mike Nifong's disbarment was the first time a prosecutor in that state had been so disciplined. It can happen in Georgia, but ONLY if people raise hell, and lots of it. I hope that Tonya Craft can receive justice. I hope Eric Echols can receive justice. I hope Ron DeLaby can receive justice. I hope Brad Wade can receive justice.

The problem is that they all have dealt with Georgia justice, and one hopes that sooner or later, the people at the Georgia State Bar begin to realize that their coddling of a real criminal class of people -- Georgia prosecutors -- is taking its toll. Justice Louis Brandeis once said that "sunlight is the best disinfectant," and I only can hope that some sunlight can clean the nasty mess that is the "justice" system in Georgia.

20 comments:

Trish said...

Absolute insanity!!

Doc Ellis said...

Greetings Dr Anderson,

I have linked this to my
BikerorNot blog line at http://www.bikerornot.com/docellis124
and I tweeted this to
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/docellis124 , to
MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/docellis124, and to
LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/docellis124
Thank you for writing this

Doc Ellis 124

KC Sprayberry said...

Very sad that our check and balance system is so skewed. Perhaps the loud roar and outrage for the ordinary citizens who really do understand the twists and turns of the justice system will fall upon ears that are interested in cleaning up this state. Unfortunately, this is a long, hard road to follow and we are only just beginning. Too bad the major players in this farce have gone underground so to speak. I'm sure they're still doing business as usual but no one's reporting on it.

Anonymous said...

Bill

I should be offended, being from and living in Georgia, after reading todays Blog. The only thing I can do is shrug and say, "Yep. that's us". Speaking with many that are in the quiet mass in Catoosa County, I think the elections will be interesting. The people will be outraged all over again when the time comes. The 97% of the people here are still mad as hell about it and are just biding their time to do their part to show those in power that they giveth and they will take away.

John

Anonymous said...

John,I pray that what you say is true. The public seems to have a short memory.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea how to do proper research to elect the correct people into a judicial office?

I don't want to vote for someone I thought was qualified only to end up with what is going on in LMJC. Having little interaction with the court system, I am at a disadvantage in knowing who would be the best people.

Yes, the public has a short term memory when it comes to elections. However, I think Tonya Craft's case will still be in the minds of Catoosa County voters.

Anonymous said...

Georgia State Bar

Paula Frederick, General Counsel (404) 527-8720
paulaf@gabar.org

Connie P. Henry, Clerk, State Disciplinary Board (404) 527-8720
connieh@gabar.org

Jenny Mittelman, Deputy General Counsel (404) 527-8720
jennym@gabar.org

A. M. Christina Petrig, Assistant General Counsel (404) 527-8720
tinap@gabar.org

Rebecca Hall, Assistant General Counsel (404) 527-8720
beckyh@gabar.org

Carmen Rojas Rafter, Senior Grievance Counsel (404) 527-8720
carmenr@gabar.org

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention that the "other person" in the Leo Frank case was a black man named Jim Conley. Do you really think that Georgia public officials nearly a century ago would let a black man they believed guilty of the rape-murder of a white girl go free? There was plenty of circumstantial evidence that Frank was guilty.

There was not THAT much anti-Jewish feeling.

Do you think a black man in the Georgia of 1912 would murder a white girl and not run off? Would he be confident that he could convince the authorities that his boss, the plant manager, did it?

I AM totally against the lynching of Leo Frank. The lynchers should have been held to account. But NO WAY would Southern white men in 1912 deliberately prosecute a white man for this kind of crime if they thought a black had done it.

Furthermore, I want the prosecutors of Tonya Craft disbarred at the very least.

liberranter said...

But NO WAY would Southern white men in 1912 deliberately prosecute a white man for this kind of crime if they thought a black had done it.


That's true, but white Southerners, by and large, didn't consider Jews to be "white" at all.

As for Jim Conley, contemporary accounts of his arrest and interrogation by police state that he held up so well to the intense grilling by the cops (that probably bordered on, if not consisted of, torture) that they became convinced of his innocence and shifted their focus to Frank. The locals had it in for Frank anyway, not only because he was a Jew, but because he was also 1) a Yankee from New York and 2) an industrialist. They probably could have tolerated any one of those three characteristics in isolation, but all three combined in one man was too much to bear. The murder of Mary Phagan served as a convenient pretext for a lynching (both physical and judicial).

Lame said...

It's funny that people in the South have had a love-hate relationship with Jews. Most people in the rural areas never knew any of them or what they were all about. Many still don't. But those in cities knew of them, many worked with them. Many Southerners fought alongside Jews in the Confederate Army. There were actually more Jewish chaplains in Confederate service than Catholic chaplains, that's how many there were. I don't believe that most Southerners believed Jews to not be white throughout the history of the South. I think that Jews only really became a target of hatred after it became perceived that many Jews from the North were coming down into the South to help Blacks register to vote and work for civil rights.

Lame said...

As for the system in Georgia being corrupt and full of morons, here's a quote for you all:

"Insanity is the cornerstone of any bureaucracy."

Anonymous said...

Mr Anderson, Where are you I did not see my Aug. 3rd. Haveing withdrawals. Are you ok..

Angie Granger said...

I think this is a perfect post today. We have been saying this from the very beginning. My brother may as well not even had a trial. He was taken by a lynch mob, they were just wearing suits and ties and one wore a robe. Wish I could deliver my own personal justice this same way......well maybe a little different! Good one Bill!!!

William L. Anderson said...

12:16,

We had to go to Hagerstown today, and I have been pretty busy. I'll have a new post in a day or so!

volfan69 said...

The assualt charges against Sandra Lamb have been dismissed. Mr. Echols will appeal. Strange how that happened in favor of Ms. Lamb. I have to wonder if we have made any progress at all in this country. I have more to say just don't have the time now. I'll be back tonight. Bobb

Kaye said...

volfan,

I just saw those tweets from Melydia Clewell, too. I can't say that I'm surprised in the least since it is just more of the same from the LMJC, which is just as crooked as the day is long.

Hope that Mr. Echols appeals, but not so sure that the citizens of Catoosa County shouldn't be protesting in the streets at these "judges" brazeness when they thumb their noses at justice. What a bunch of clowns.

Anonymous said...

She must be bucking the right people in the LMJC...Wonder who that might be?

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Bill, I am beginning to understand your point regarding Georgia "justice". I am a retired detective sergeant from Los Angeles County, CA sheriff's dept. and have submitted many cases to the DA's there. We moved to Georgia 5 years ago. My stepson was involved in a business dispute with a contractor which resulted in his arrest for "reckless conduct" (a misdemeanor) on a Friday evening 15 months ago. He remained in jail without bail for 3 days until a hearing before a judge who set his bail at $5000.00. I posted the cash bail and he was released with a notice that he would be "notified of a court arraignment date by mail". It is now 15 months later with no "notification" of a court date. I contacted the "solicitor's" office and was advised that a "notification" would be forthcoming in SEPTEMBER.

My stepson has since settled his "dispute" with the "victim"/contractor who does not wish the prosecution to proceed. Meanwhile, the county has $5000.00+ of my cash and $550.00 worth of "evidence". My stepson is also prohibited from leaving the jurisdiction of the court without permission.

As bad as the criminal justice system is in California, this outrageous situation could never occur. The Georgia statute of limitations on misdemeanors is two years and it appears that the county is prepared to allow it to expire. I also suspect that legal counsel will ultimately need to be retained at considerable expense in order to obtain a dismissal and have the bail released.

Anonymous said...

There is a great probability that Brad Wade had ineffective assistance of counsel based on the single fact that Mr. Levitt had never previously tried a child molestation case. And that is a 99.9% probability. The remaining
.1% probability is allowed for lawyers who are geniuses and those who are lucky. Further, based on the limited documents and information available online, there is no indication Mr. Levitt had ever previously handled any criminal defense, much less a felony defense, something that would also be highly pertinent to a rational estimation of the probablility that Brad Wade could have possibly had effective assistance of counsel, under the circumstances. If that is so, i.e., Mr. Levitt had never previously tried a felony case, the probability of ineffective assistance in Brad's trial would necessarily have to be raised to 99.99%. Because luck does happen.

Eric Ballinger said...

This guy lives and works in Maryland and wants to preach about how corrupt things are in Georgia. Looks like another carpet bagger preaching from his Northern moral superiority. Fix the corruption in your won state.

Eric A. Ballinger
Post 2, Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit
Board of Governors
State Bar of Georgia