Monday, April 18, 2011

Prosecutors and their unwritten rule: Don't drop a case no matter how bad it might be

On the 27th of this month, Carola Jacobson's son will have a hearing before a Maricopa County juvenile judge who is going to decide what will happen to the young man. As has been covered extensively in this blog, the charges against the young man (now 15) are bogus, and transparently so.

We have seen how the police interviews of the children were beyond tainted, and that the scenario which police and prosecutors claim was in the realm of physical impossibility, unless one is willing to believe that for a few days in a row, a 14-year-old boy could coerce young children (who lived elsewhere and voluntarily came to the house) into an unfinished attic and make them engage in sex play for several hours.

The main reason that the prosecution's account is not believable is that the Maricopa County authorities want us to believe that young children would do those things for hours in a place where temperatures in June would be upwards of 140 degrees. (Remember, this is Phoenix, Arizona, where daytime temperatures in June average well above 100 degrees.)

In other words, it makes no sense at all. I'm sure that the American Academy of Pediatrics might have something to say about prosecutor Noble Murphy's claim that these things MUST have happened because he says it did.

So, what is a prosecutor to do? One would think that most prosecutors would say that if there is no evidence, or if the evidence is hopelessly tainted, then all charges should be dismissed. Think again.

No prosecutor openly will admit this, for obvious reasons, but the policy of most prosecutorial offices in the United States is explained by the nihilistic phrase, "Bleed 'em and plead 'em."

WHY PROSECUTORS HOLD THE ADVANTAGES

When I was a newspaper reporter in Chattanooga more than 30 years ago, I heard the local district attorney in a speech claim that prosecutors face all sorts of unjust barriers in their never-ending fight against crime and criminals. At the time, I believed him, but no longer.

Prosecutors really hold all the cards; all of them. They can bring whatever charges they want against anyone they target because grand juries have become prosecutorial playthings. Once charges are filed, they can keep them on the books even if they have no evidence because they can use them as bargaining material.

Lest you think that perhaps they might be hindered by that thing called a guilty conscience, think again. In the recent Pottawattamie vs. McGhee case heard (but not decided because it was settled after oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court), the defendants, prosecutors from Pottawattamie County, Iowa, contended (and I present their exact words): "There is no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed." (emphasis added)

Not ONE prosecutor in this country made a public statement against that utterly chilling statement. The Obama administration supported it, and every association of prosecutors in the USA publicly agreed. Let me repeat what was said: Prosecutors in the United States claim that they have a right to frame whomever they want, and that no citizen can or should be able to do anything about it.

No, I am sure that prosecutors reading this blog would tell me that is NOT what is what the statement meant, but please don't feed me crap, people. The government will tell you that if a prosecutor engages in outrageous or even criminal framing of a defendant, the government has plenty of options to take against the offender, from bringing criminal charges to hauling the prosecutor before the state bar.

However, government authorities are playing a shell game. Yes, these "remedies" theoretically can be imposed. No, the government won't impose them, no matter how outrageous and outright criminal the conduct of prosecutors.

The one option that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that regular citizens -- including those that are framed -- DON'T have is to be able to sue the prosecutor. (The courts and advocates for prosecutors claim that lawsuits would keep them from "doing their jobs.")

The problem is that the one remedy that an individual citizen might have to rectify a grievous wrong is the lawsuit. All of the other vaunted remedies must be launched by the government itself. In other words, the government is given the power and the authority to discipline...the government.

Lawsuits can be brought by citizens and can be decided by juries consisting of citizens. Government disciplinary actions, on the other hand, are launched by the very people who stand to be harmed if their cohorts are disciplined.

Don't kid yourselves. Yes, prosecutors in North Carolina were happy to see Mike Nifong get thrown to the sharks of disbarment after his execrable conduct in the Duke Lacrosse Case, but they also knew that Nifong's disbarment potentially made all of them just a little more vulnerable to the same treatment, should they get out of line. Thus, they made a big show out of disbarring Nifong, but then made sure that other prosecutors in the state that lied and broke the law would not have to face the same fate. Nifong's disbarment actually protected the other miscreants employed by the State of North Carolina as prosecutors.

If anyone were to question their conduct, they could reply: "What do you mean saying prosecutors get away with bad acts? Mike Nifong got disbarred! What further proof do you need to know that the authorities stand ready to discipline anyone in our profession who does wrong?"

As for criminal charges, they rarely are brought and juries are loathe to convict wayward prosecutors, no matter how outrageous their conduct. Call it a belief in law-and-order, but the record stands, as no American jury ever has convicted a prosecutor of criminal misconduct.

When I spoke to a representative of the Georgia State Bar last year about the conduct of Christopher Arnt and Len Gregor in the Tonya Craft case, she told me that she believed that the prosecutors were "just doing their jobs." She then said to me, "She was acquitted, wasn't she?" as though that made everything just fine.

My response to her was: "Yes, after spending more than a million dollars to debunk charges that transparently were false and never should have been brought in the first place."

In the Duke Lacrosse Case, the three families spent close to five million dollars to defend their sons against charges that from the start were laughingly false. (The accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, now has graduated from lying and prostitution to murder. This is the woman that Durham and Duke University held up as a near-saint.)

To put it another way, if prosecutors want to bleed someone to death, they can do it because, well, they can do it. The vast majority of people cannot afford the kind of defense needed to fight false charges, and prosecutors know it. And because they actually believe that they have a "right" to frame innocent people, and that nothing will happen to them if they do, you can bet that the profession attracts the very kind of people that one does not want to see in a courtroom in the first place.

This brings us back full circle to the case involving Carola Jacobson and her son, which I will cover in my next post. Why does "Ignoble" Murphy continue to insist that he wants to prosecutor this case? He claims it is because he "has not lost a case in seven years." In other words, it is nothing but a game to him.

However, the situation -- not that anyone in Maricopa County government would care -- is that Carola Jacobson is very, very ill, and that she had to give up cancer treatments in order to pay her son's legal bills. This situation deserves more attention, as do other cases which I will be covering soon enough.

12 comments:

Trish said...

The sad thing is the real criminals are out running around committing crimes, while money and time is wasted prosecuting innocent people. Just think, a police officer in Chattanooga would be alive today, if the judicial system in Colorado had done its job!!!

Until there is legal recourse for those falsely accused and prosecuted to be able to sue prosecutors, then this kind of stuff will continue. There also needs to be no statue of limitations on being able to sue. In my son's case, they drug it out so long before dropping the charges that we weren't able to sue anyone.

I will be praying for Carola and her son!!

Asha said...

Carola, think about the plea, if Arizona laws are the same as Michigan, proof is not needed to convict. If those kids get up there and say that your son did something, he will be convicted. If it goes to trial, don't believe the jury will see that your son did not do this, they don't care they just want to go home. It doesn't matter how screwed up the testimony of the kids are, as long as they can get it out at least once, that's enough.

Asha said...

I find it astounding that when I watch court shows, the defendant and the plaintiff have to submit all sorts of documents to prove that what they are saying is true but; when it comes to convicting a juvenile to life in prison, nothing is needed.

Carola said...

Asha, I appreciate the advise! But both my son and I refuse to give in to their bullying tactics. The state's own expert said the police screwed up, unduly influenced the kids and did not follow established protocol. It is juvenile court,thus not a jury trial. The hearing will be about excluding the children testimony as it is no longer reliable.
I don't want my son to go to prison, but neither one of us wants him to plead guilty, he didn't do anything. Sometimes you have to stand up for what you know is right, even if it involves a risk. If innocent people keep taking pleas, nothing will ever change. Not to mention if he pleads to anything he will have to live with the stigma for the rest of his life.

Asha said...

Carola, I’m not suggesting that you not fight, we didn’t want to plead either that’s why we fought but when it came down to it, nothing that we said mattered. If we would have taken the plea we could fight for him while he is out of jail, now we have to fight for him while he is locked up. My son’s case was in juvenile court and the judge dismissed his case. The prosecutor asked if it could be transferred to another judge and it was. The new judge transferred the case to the city that they alleged this happened in and they tried him as an adult, when did a 14 year old become an adult? I believe that the detective had it in for us because I had gotten in to an argument with her, because she kept playing the “good cop, bad cop, role and I told her after a long period of time “he keeps telling you he didn’t do it” she got upset and then the ball started rolling. So once the case was transferred to the court where these alleged allegations had taken place, they arrested him and the detective that I got into the argument with says “we can do whatever we want to do” They told us “if you don’t accept this plea you will be tried as an adult” (What?) It kills me that they claim “we want to help him” How are they helping him by putting him in a prison with some grown ass men to do whatever they want to him. My son’s entire case was some BS and they still convicted him.

Asha said...

In my sons case the states witnesses said they concluded their report with the notes that the detective had given them.

Kerwyn said...

Carola,

You hang tough! I reviewed the "interviews" and you know exactly what I thought of that.

Don't give in. If your lawyer is worth 2 cents he will get these supposed interviews tossed. Just have him quote the last 4 lines of the girls interview. Those were priceless.

Doc Ellis said...

Greetings Dr Anderson,

Shared as "Bill Anderson on the prostituters' golden rule: Don't stop..."

Thank you for writing this essay

Doc Ellis 124

Anonymous said...

My son passed multiple polygraphs. The accuser claimed she'd been raped over a dozen times, yet was virginally intact. She waited tow years to "disclose" and did so during a tantrum when not allowed to attend a party.

My husband and I were banned from participating in his defense after I kept telling them the accuser and her both BOTH had verifiably made prior rape claims and filed false police reports against others.

"You'll never get an aquittal in Seattle" our PD chanted over and over, so we fired her and hired a hot shot who had successfully won a McMartin style multiple accusation case. TWICE.

He assured us of his legal prowess, until AFTER the check was cashed. Then he came up with an ever WORSE plea bargain - the Prosecutor was mad we switched defenders.

My son still refued to accept the plea, and insisted on his hearing in juvenile court - no jury, of course.

10 days before the hearing, the accuser's family fled the state, refusing to return.

My son held strong, in spite of threats of 6 years in prison. "Shec can't put her hand on a bible and say I did that" he insisted.

The night before the hearing we werer told his accuser had been admitted to a mental ward, and if he didn't accept the plea he would receive the max. NO Judge was going to be lenient with an accuser in a mental ward.

He accepted an Alford plea for no jail time, then was jailed anyway after passing yet another polygraph during the pre sentencing evaluation, for being "in denial".

It took three years of "therapy" for him to be finally released - as an innnocent person you cannot succeed in a program the requires to not only to confess the crime, but describe it in minute detail.

The was 12 years ago. My son is now 28, and has registered as a sex offender.

Two years ago we sent a Seattle attorney $3,700 to petition the court to release him from duty to register. All this time later it finally happened, only to be told we have to go through the process in the state we live in.

More money, more registering.

God help the innocent. God save us all.

Anonymous said...

Carola, you stay strong woman! I am praying for you & so are many others. You are a hero for what is right in this world & don't ever give up or in. God bless you in everything. Do not listen to naysayers. You & your son know what is right. If not anything else in this world, you both will always know that you stood for what is right. How many people can say that? Not as many as should.

I love you all in Christ & believe that everything has a purpose. Always know that there are people who are on your side, but even more so, you have the Highest power with you. Don't ever back down. I believe you have the strength to beat the cancer & for your son to prove his innocence.

Wow! I am really feeling the power of the Lord tonight.

Anonymous said...

nice post. I have a family member currently sitting in jail on charges that are beyond laughable, obviously false and something even a preschooler could see are untrue. It's sad but now I think I see what it is, as you said, the prosecutors feel they have the right to prosecute regardless of guilt or innocence. such a sad thing to see. My loved one was accused of molesting child in 2010 when there are hundreds of actual proofs that he did not see the said child since 2008.In 2008 the child was just turned 2. The said child has accused others in the past and admitted that they made it up. The child's story has changed each time it is told. Even the child's siblings say this did not occur, yet supposedly they witnessed it. We even have emails from the mother say;ing "hahahah i told you if you ever found a new wife I'd ruin your life forever" upon a few minutes of her finding out that he was arrested. Passed lie detector tests and all. Yet they still arrested him. No money for a lawyer, so we are praying and praying the public defender will actually defend, but I know it's not likely.

Anonymous said...

There is an astounding case in the Los Angeles Criminal courts downtown. It's case 8CA10541 and then the related files are in the mental health court. It basically starts with the innocent defendant refusing to take a plea for "informal diversion," and it mestatizes into a scheme to get her declared incompetent rather than for the prosecution and the corrupt cops to admit they messed up. They managed to jail and basically torture the innocent defendant but the defendant stood firm and a decent judge would throw out all the charges, after two years. A true blue massive conspiracy came about in that case and the arrogance and evil of prosecutors is very much on display in that case. I would advise anyone interested in prosecutorial and police misconduct to take a look at that case.