Monday, December 13, 2010

Maricopa County "Justice" and the Wrongful Conviction of Courtney Bisbee

Maricopa County, Arizona, has proven to be a cesspool of justice and the situation only looks to get worse. From the predations of Sheriff Joe "Pink Underwear" Arpaio to the contrived and false charges against the son of Carola Jacobson, the "justice" apparatus of that place proves to be something that makes the courtroom of Roland Friesler look to be paragon of goodness.

There are many issues I want to cover in the future about Maricopa County, including the continuing investigations into the clearly-criminal activity of former Maricopa County DA Andrew Thomas and his partner-in-crime Lisa Aubuchon. These two miscreants, who were politically allied with Arpaio, attempted to frame innocent people of crimes for political purposes, but the law might (I emphasize might) be catching up with them.

Yet, for all of the turmoil, an innocent woman named Courtney Bisbee quietly serves her prison time in Arizona, convicted by one of Thomas' henchmen in a case that every legal expert who has examined it calls a farce. She stands convicted of molesting a young teenager, although the teenager's brother has since said in a sworn affidavit that his family concocted the whole scheme for lawsuit purposes. (That also has been the motivation behind the accusations against the Jacobson boy.)

The Bisbee story is kept alive by her mother, Camille Tilley, who has proven to be quite formidable as a force against the injustice perpetrated by Thomas' people. I would urge readers to read this lengthy story in the Phoenix New Times that goes into detail about the case, and how the false accusations came about.

The other day, our pastor preached about the lies that abound in our present society, and while he mentioned the lies told by government agents, I doubt most people in the congregation that day really understood how pervasive the official culture of lying really is in government at all levels in the USA. This blog deals with only a smidgen of the lies, and I see things only getting worse.

Yet, there are some small victories. Tonya Craft was acquitted, Eric Echols is a free man, and Carola Jacobson so far has been successful in chewing up the prosecutorial apparatus in Phoenix. There is much more, and I hope that in the near future, we can say that Courtney also is a free woman.

I will be doing more on this case and on what is happening in Phoenix. For now, read about Courtney Bisbee, and then realize this is the hell where our "leaders" want to take us. And don't forget that Arizona voters almost made Thomas the state's attorney general. There is much work to be done.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

What happened with this Jacobson case you posted about?

Anonymous said...

A "must-read": Professor Kathleen Ridolfi's latest report on prosecutorial misconduct. The destruction of lives and our society by those who abuse their power can no longer be ignored. It's time for these elected officials to be sent to prison themselves!

How to Fix the 'Systemic Problem' of Prosecutorial Misconduct in California | Criminal Justice | Change.org
http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/how_to_fix_the_systemic_problem_of_prosecutorial_misconduct_in_california

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Bill, Camille Tilley really IS a force of nature!! She has been a great source of information and support. She is a tireless advocate for her daughter and those who are falsely accused. I hope that her efforts will pay off and Courtney Bisbee will receive the justice she deserves and her conviction overturned. This is long overdue!!
As to the Jacobson case that I am intimately involved with. The county attorney's office has so far been incooperative in making the police detectives available to the defense for a deposition. It makes you wonder what they have to hide!!??A hearing is scheduled for the end of the month in which the prosecutor's lack of cooperation will be addressed.

In the meantime, the prosecutor appears to be wanting to push a plea - geeh, I can barely recover from that surprise - calling for a "diversion" program. Which really is hogwash because it requires the juvenile to plea delinquent (juvenile "justice"system term for guilty), consent to probation and a counseling program as well as restitution to the alleged victims. They can call it the Golden Egg as far as I am concerned but it doesn't change what it really is, a guilty plea. Making a 14-year old admitting to something he didn't do will most definitely affect his mental well-being. He is already being harrassed at school with friend's of the older sister of the accusers calling him a child molester, rapist and threatening him to beat him to a pulp if he continues to show his face in school, the father of the alleged victims showing up at school and stalking him.

What the diversion program offer makes you wonder though: What happened to "the boy is a dangerous sexual predator and society needs to be protected from him"? Now we can release him to society dropping the charges to a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor already admitted that there is a problem with the interviews. Geeh! Ya'think??

It is scary because we know that Courtney Bisbee was offered a plea as well but at some point we all have to make a decision what we believe in and what is worth standing up for. I think it is a matter of principle and to say it in the words of the Jacobson boy: "I'd rather go down fighting than admitting to something I didn't do".

Kerwyn said...

http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/12/06/20101206andrew-thomas-discipline-arizona-supreme-court.html


Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon, a onetime deputy prosecutor, vowed Monday to keep practicing law and to vigorously fight new allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct that, if proved, could result in their disbarment.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Thomas May End Up Disbarred, But He Really Belongs in a Prison Cell - by Stephen Lemons, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2010-12-09/news/andrew-thomas-may-end-up-disbarred-but-he-really-belongs-in-a-prison-cell/


Morethanuthink 11 hours ago
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Andrew Thomas was able to put thousands of average people in prison and ruin their lives in this manner: He routinely convicted people for things that most of us would not impose any punishment on. He could turn a urinating on the street case into a sexual abuse and kidnapping case. When the alleged "victim" did not want to press any charges, he threatened to take their kids away and put them in foster care. He instructed "investigators" on what to say to grand jurors. He hid information from the defense and prevented the defense from interviewing the "victims". In other words, Thomas fabricated cases out of thin air by manipulating every aspect of the legal process. This is not only unethical but highly criminal.
We must remember the case of the parents who developed pictures of their bathing kids at Walmart and Thomas tried to prosecute them for child pornography. Well, that was just a glimpse of the type of work he did while in office. Luckily this couple had enough money to defend themselves. But most people that were unjustly accused lost everything they had trying to fight Thomas' system but still ended up in prison.
Every minutes that this criminal psycopath walks our streets, poses a danger to our society. He should be tried for treason to our constitution and for crimes against humanity. He must be locked up as soon as possible to send a message to other power-hungry politicians around the country.

Tim Martin 18 hours ago
Wow - Lemmons struck nerve with this article. The more it looks like Andrew Thomas may actually be in trouble, the more the crazies feel the need to attack what they perceive as the source.
Sad for them, the Phoenix New Times isn't the cause of Thomas' woes. It was that darn Supreme Court investigator. Let's see how they try to destroy him in the coming weeks.

anon 21 hours ago
Mr. Lemons, Thanks for your courageous article. You nailed the coffin on this one!

Anonymous said...

This blogger exposes the Rachel Alexander and Andrew Thomas destructive abuse of power in Classically Liberal: They couldn't win in court so they smear a teen in the press. The Matt Bandy case returns.
http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2007/02/they-couldnt-win-in-court-so-they-smear.html

M said...

Courtney Bisbee refused to plea bargain and confess to something she did NOT do, so the judge threw the book at her - eleven years without possibility of parole or probation!! So much for 'bench trial justice' in Arizona where the judge is 'judge,''jury,' and 'executioner.' For Courtney, her family and her little daughter this was a life sentence.

Rob said...

Please pardon the nitpick, but Roland's name is spelled Freisler, not Friesler. A remarkable man, who managed to leave a career as a communist, but became a notoriously fanatic national socialist.

Anonymous said...

Roland Freisler was remarkable? Seriously? I think the attributes that would come to my mind would be evil, opportunistic, power hungry, twisted, narcissistic .... certainly not remarkable. Having turned from a communist to a Nazi who was responsible for 5,000 death sentences between 1942 and 1945 is no accomplishment to be proud of, even for those of us who don't support communism.

sample said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William L. Anderson said...

The 10:54 comment above lays out the situation. What happened was that the prosecution dug a hole for itself by insisting that the Jacobson boy was a dangerous threat to society, blah, blah, blah, and argued that he should be held without any bond and then tried as an adult.

Once the interviews by Terje Boe were broken down (Kerwyn's work) and things started to come unglued for the prosecution, they turned to their tried and true response: "Bleed 'em and plead 'em." The idea is to stall and stall until the Jacobson's agree to a "diversion program," which essentially is a guilty plea, but if the boy stays out of legal trouble, the record is expunged (supposedly).

However, a number of things could happen if he were to take this option:

1. The authorities would try desperately to frame him for something or to interpret anything he did as a crime so that he would go to prison;

2. The record still would follow him for the rest of his life in one way or another, and given he would be pleading to a "sex crime," there always would be trouble for him.

You have to remember that American prosecutors these days cannot admit EVER to being wrong, and when one asks why they refuse to act honorably, they invariably reply: "We don't want people to lose confidence in the justice system."

Now, THAT's Orwellian, but that is the way of thinking that now governs this country. A sense of power has fully replaced any sense of honor that might have existed in the USA.

Lord Acton wrote, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Those words were written about 140 years ago, and they are as true as ever.

William L. Anderson said...

I need to add that the Jacobsons are refusing this option. That means that the prosecution either has to drop charges altogether or the prosecutors have to try to figure how to bring this to trial. Their original plan was to try the boy as an adult, but if that were to occur, the case would be moved from juvenile court to adult court, and that would bring in the press.

What then would happen would be that the prosecutors would have to bring in their lack of evidence, which would be taken apart in open court. They would fight back by first making inflammatory statements (which I am sure the mainstream media would report as fact) in hopes that they could poison the jury.

However, one of the problems of pretrial inflammatory statements is that if the evidence presented counters those statements, then things can fall apart quickly. That is one of the things that happened in Tonya Craft's trial. The prosecution had built up all of these accusations, but then things fell apart as the defense tore up each piece into little shreds.

I have found in my own experience that the one thing prosecutors fear most is the truth, and they will go to great lengths to hide it. That is what is happening in the Jacobson case, which is why the prosecution is desperately trying to keep the defense from doing its job.

Kerwyn said...

The question I have is how many other innocent folks have these two put in prison?

I would love to see the press start digging. I have a personal reason to hate Maricopa County "legal" system and I can only hope that these two not only go to prison, but take down a whole bunch more with them.

liberranter said...

And don't forget that Arizona voters almost made Thomas the state's attorney general.

One cannot reasonably expect anything else from the ignorant, illiterate and innumerate, meth-and-alcohol-addled rabble that populates this state in the majority, with the heaviest concentration being in Maricona County/Phoenix. Nowhere else in Amerika will you find a better case study that illustrates why democracy is such a hideously flawed and dangerous concept.

Anonymous said...

First off, we live in a represntative republic. Second, democracy, in the words of Winston Churchill, "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." That being said, it is my opinion that the sucess of a democracy is directly related to the education level of those who participate, which is why ours is suffering so badly.

Rob said...

Anonymous @ 12/14/10 2:56 PM:

If the US is a representative republic, then how can you say anything about its success as a democracy?

Furthermore, what makes you agree (as I presume you do) with Mr. Churchill's statement?

Anonymous said...

A representative republic is a limited form of democracy. (A true democracy, of course being rule by popular vote only). I didn't write the above comments, but I do agree with Churchill. I'm no historian but I don't believe there has been a more successful form of government when you take in to account the ability of the individual to thrive. I also believe that our current direction is steering us away from our founding principals and reducing individual liberties and opportunities. I'm not for anarchy, and I'm not for collective Socialism/Progressivism so what's left?

Rob said...

Anonymous @ 12/14/10 5:22 PM:

The problem with democracy is that it holds whatever the majority wants to be right. In other words, might makes right. For those who hold everyone to a "higher" standard, this idea is repugnant indeed.

Q.A. said...

This issue of “Representative Republic”/”Democracy is a profound one.

The relatively poor education of Voters is a main problem promoting the rampant prosecutorial misconduct.

Are we already in Decline & Fall?

Have we passed the point-of-no-return?

Kerwyn said...

I think that the real issue with our "democracy" is not that the voters are uneducated, but rather there are so very many of them. When this country was founded, the founding fathers built into the constitution many things that would prevent exactly what we are seeing. But, they had no way of foreseeing the burgeoning populace of today.

These concepts worked wonderfully well when people where still connected to each other and not isolate behind a computer screen. These concepts worked well with people who had a sense of personal responsibility and honor, not with the me me me I I I take care of me generation we currently are endowed with.

There have always been these kinds of power plays, BUT the regular folks in a town wouldn't let it go on for long. I have a document from 1839 where one of my ever so great relatives set someone up to be accused of theft "because I don't like 'em much". It ended up with the poor man shooting the deputy, being tried and convicted of murder. However, the people of the town wrote letters to the then governor asking that the man be set free rather than hanging. The governor did just that, set him free when he saw all the local folks who had to live with the guy writing letters pleading his case. I have several of the letters as well and they speak of a sense of honor and justice that I just don't see today.

What needs to happen, is people need to face having personal responsibility again. That means LESS government interference even if it means bad things happen to people. Welfare needs to be cut off at the knees. It was never meant to be a lifestyle but rather a very short term helping hand. Things like lifetime welfare simply encourage poor behaviors, no responsibility and frighteningly, they get to vote too.

Maybe Robert Heinlein was correct when he described that citizenship and the right to vote were held only by those who had done public (military) service (Starship Troopers)

Doc Ellis said...

Shared at BoN and FaceBook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

Thank you for writing this.

Doc Ellis 124

liberranter said...

Maybe Robert Heinlein was correct when he described that citizenship and the right to vote were held only by those who had done public (military) service (Starship Troopers)

Kerwyn, Heinlein intended this to be part of an allegory that depicted statism at its worst. "Public [sic] service" (which includes military "service") as a prerequisite to being allowed to participate in an exercise in majority mob rule that oppresses, robs, and tyrannizes the minority is hardly an aspiration worthy of someone who considers the society of which he/she is a member to be one that is just and respectful of individual liberty and sanctity of private property.

While the example you cite of your ancestors using the power of a majority to ensure that justice was done is certainly admirable and inspiring, the fact is that the likelihood of such an event (and outcome) repeating itself today is so far below zero as to be preposterous. (In fact, I would venture to say that your example was an aberration even in 1839, when the majority of the citizens of this nation still held liberty and justice to be sacred, living, and inviolable concepts.)

To tie this in to my original comment in which I denigrated Arizona voters who would have made a lawless, amoral criminal with a law degree like Andy Thomas (referred to by many in Central Arizona as "Joke Arpiggo's kept legal b****") the state's AG: It would not have mattered, and indeed still does not matter whether or not any of these benighted creatures had ever performed any sort of "public service" to justify their possession of voter registration cards. In fact, such prerequisites instill a perverse incentive to perpetuate the unchecked growth of the state (but that's fodder for a whole 'nother rant). The sizable number, a frightening near-majority of those voters made it clear at the polls that they either 1) did not care that Andrew Thomas was an amoral criminal dedicated to the subversion and destruction of the rule of law that he, as an attorney, was duty-bound to respect and uphold; 2) saw Thomas's election to the post of AG as an opportunity to "put the screws" to a lot of "poodles" ("People We Don't Like") in advancement of their own narrow and selfish interests, the consequences to freedom, private property, and the rule of law be damned; or, 3) were too uneducated and apathetic to care one way or another (at least until THEY or someone near and dear to THEM became an Arpiggo-Thomas victim). Regardless of their backgrounds, whether or not they were well-educated or informed of current events, "veterans," "public [sic] servants," vagrants, or "illegal aliens," these people used a state-sanctioned machinery of mob tyranny to attempt to force THEIR "morality" upon the rest of the state by co-opting a corrupt and lawless opportunist to do THEIR bidding at the expense of others. THAT, in a nutshell, is why "democracy,*" in its purest defined form, was, is, and always will be a tyrannical abomination and a force utterly and irreversibly destructive to liberty and justice, especially in the hands of nation whose citizenry is ignorant and/or contemptuous of those concepts.

(Jumping down off of soapbox and putting it under the bed...)


(* Is there really any practical difference between the dictionary definition of "democracy" and Karl Marx's "Dictatorship of the Proletariat?")

Kerwyn said...

Liberranter..

I stand silent. Well said

(I still kinda like Heinlein's idea but you are completely correct)

liberranter said...

Kerwyn:

I hope you didn't take my response the wrong way. Forgive me for the pedantic rant; it's just that the topic of "voting" and the people who do so without demonstrating an ounce of understanding of the issues or knowledge of the candidates for office is a real sore spot with me.

Rob said...

Liberranter, are you sure that Heinlein meant it to depict statism at its worst? When I read Starship Troopers, I really didn't get that impression. Also, my understanding is that Heinlein toyed with many different political ideas over the course of his life.

There are people who claim that those who have a better understanding of combat are less likely to resort to warfare. An argument can also be made that decision-making authority should be given only to those who have demonstrated a willingness to fully bear the consequences. When it comes to deciding war vs. peace, then, only those who are willing to die in the defense of their homeland would be given such authority.

Ancient Athens supposedly had this as one of the requirements for citizenship. If true, it didn't prevent the city-state from forging an empire. Then again, I'm not sure whether Athens had a militia consisting of all citizens during its imperial stage.

On the other hand, Switzerland has had such a militia for centuries. However, joining it isn't a condition of citizenship - all citizens are required by law to join.

In the end, a system like that, as with any system, is viable only as long as people continue to believe in it.