Friday, April 30, 2010

Georgia Prosecutor Conduct Rules and the Dishonest Duo

[Update, 8:30 p.m.]: Each day I follow this joke of a trial, I tell myself that Arnt, Gregor and House cannot sink any lower, yet today with the barring of some testimony from expert witness Dr. Ann Hazzard, a well-known clinical psychologist, House demonstrated beyond a doubt that he actually believes that he is supposed to have one set of rules for the defendants, and, to be honest, NO rules for the prosecutors.

The Hazzard affair was especially egregious. Even though Georgia law did not require the defense to prepare a summary of Dr. Hazzard's testimony, the defense did it anyway. However, Gregor told the court that the prosecution never received the documents, which was a bald-faced lie, so he demanded that she be totally disqualified from testifying. (You might recall that two nights ago, I predicted that the Dishonest Duo would try to pull this kind of trick, and I was right.)

Unfortunately, it gets worse, and you can read how Gregor and Arnt sent a SWAT team to Dr. Hazzard's office in Atlanta, which trashed her office and brutalized her and her clients. All in a day's work I guess. (The Chattanoogan article by Dennis Norwood also does a great job in laying out the testimony that Dr. Hazzard WAS permitted to give.)

And, it gets even better (or worse, depending on your viewpoint). While "House of Horrors" did not altogether disqualify her testimony, he DID rule that she COULD NOT tell the jury anything about her interview with the children of Tonya Craft, because the prosecutors did not want Dr. Hazzard to say what she had concluded: She saw NO signs of sexual abuse with either of them.

House's reasoning? Such testimony, he declared, would be hearsay. Now, this is rich, very rich. Almost ALL of the "expert" witness testimony for the prosecution has been hearsay, and House has allowed ALL of it to be entered into the record. Furthermore, there is a long record of testimony such as Dr. Hazzard was prepared to give being used in other courts, including in Georgia, but such testimony might have undermined the lies that the Dishonest Duo are trying to foist upon the jury, and, as we have seen time and again, House will allow NOTHING to get in the way of rigging a conviction.

This most likely was the most shameful moment in a very shameful trial. Furthermore, even someone like House, who observers to a person tell me that takes ALL of his instructions from Gregor and Arnt, must know that this trial is a train wreck, and that even if Ms. Craft is convicted, the guilty verdict certainly will be overturned. Moreover, no matter what happens, Brian House will be defined by this trial, and he never again will have an ounce of credibility as a judge.

As for Arnt and Gregor, I am announcing that I will be working for their disbarment. As the earlier post below demonstrates, their conduct over the past three weeks has demonstrated that they should not be entrusted with charging anyone with a crime, and it is obvious that they have obliterated the rules that are supposed to govern them.

I need to make it very clear: I am going to make it my mission in life to have these men disciplined and have their Georgia law licenses taken away. I may not succeed, but Christopher Arnt and Len Gregor are going to know that they are in a fight for their careers. They made the decision to trash the law and their profession, and now they are going to live with the consequences. [End Update]

As I survey the wreckage of the Tonya Craft trial, what with Judge Brian "House of Horrors" along with the Dishonest Duo of Facebook and The Man running the proceedings, it is time to step back and examine the conduct that so many of you have observed personally while sitting in that alleged courtroom. Today, I looked through the rules that prosecutors in Georgia are supposed to follow, and -- Surprise! -- the Dishonest Duo clearly believes that the rules exist for them to break.

I will list each rule and its contents, and then you, dear reader, are free to make your own judgments. Those who actually have entered the House of Horrors and seen the proceedings for yourself might be the most authoritative in interpreting the rules and the actions of the Dishonest Duo.

Rule 3.3:

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;

(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client;

(4) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures.

4(d) In an ex parte proceeding, other than grand jury proceedings, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that the lawyer reasonably believes are necessary to enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is disbarment.

Rule 3.4:

A lawyer shall not:

(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;

(b) (1) falsify evidence;

(2) counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely;

The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is disbarment.

Rule 3.5:

A lawyer shall not, without regard to whether the lawyer represents a client in the matter:

(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;

(b) communicate ex parte with such a person except as permitted by law; or

(c) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.

The maximum penalty for a violation of part (a) of this Rule is disbarment. The maximum penalty for a violation of part (b) or part (c) of this Rule is a public reprimand.

I have covered Rules 3.6 and Rules 3.8 here, and Chris Arnt's Facebook page and his public comments about Tonya Craft's "guilt" are prima facae evidence of his having violated those two rules, which carry a maximum penalty of public reprimand.

The more serious alleged violations come in the breaking of Rules 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5. I believe that both Arnt and Gregor have suborned perjury, and then they covered it up when they prevented the defense from entering the on-line resume of Sandra Lamb's child after Lamb testified that the girl had not received acting lessons.

Furthermore, as I have said many times, the testimony of both Suzi Thorne and Tim Deal clearly was perjured. (Yeah, investigators after hitting the "mother lode" of "disclosures" "just forget" to memorialize the moment. Right.)

Then there is the issue about their "Animal House" behavior in the courtroom. A number of people who have attended have contacted me and told me their observations. Unlike the "testimony" created by the prosecution, these accusations really are consistent. Here are some accounts:
I sat in court yesterday afternoon and this morning. I am completely amazed at how Judge House, the prosecutors, and Det. Deal act in court. I saw on many occasions the Judge making faces at "The Man and Facebook." He seems to be getting all of his cues from them. I also witnessed today, Det. Deal roll his eyes at people in the audience(seated behind the prosecution) as the Defense was fighting to get in Dr. Hazzards testimony. During this time, House also reprimanded Dr. Lorendos(sp??) for raising his voice. Yet, when "The Man" slammed a document down accusing the defense of showboating in front of the jury, no action or reprimand from the judge(no big surprise). It is so very evident(especially as you seat in the court room) that House is aligned with these two and they will stop at nothing to get a conviction!! One other interesting observation. The person that I was with also noticed that the baliffs stare down the defense side of the audience. It is as if they are looking for a reason to throw you out!!
And this:
Gregor and Aren't (my own joke) honestly acted like children -- if they were my son I'd have gone up and pulled him up by his ears and told him to stop acting like an idiot. As the defense questioned a Mr. Walker on the stand, the two of them couldn't sit still. On purpose, of course, they acted like 12 year olds -- they'd put their heads in their hands and shake them, they'd put their arms behind their heads and sigh -- they were like baby monkeys!
And then this:
I was in court today and was able to see this mockery of a trial for myself...I am appalled! No need for a judge because the DA is definitely running the show. Honestly, the judge looks at them everytime just before he overrules the defense team! What are they so afraid of...the defense wants to hear the opinion of a real expert...with credentials...and they continuously object. Mr. Deal was seen rolling his eyes to the prosecutions supporters...the DA Slamming a paper down in front of defense attorney...and House just sits there. He actually looks annoyed to even be there. Nothing but praise for the defense team...they never let this outlandish behavior rattle them.
While it is true that Brian House is supposed to be in charge, nonetheless Arnt and Gregor are fully aware of the rules of conduct for their office. That they consider those rules to be beneath them is not an excuse for their behavior and their bullying.

Important: Some of you who have attended these proceedings and witnessed this misconduct can take out sworn statements and have them notarized. I can get more information about this. The reason I am asking is that I plan to present the Georgia State Bar with this evidence of misconduct. Obviously, that would place you in a position of possibly having to testify against a prosecutor, should the Bar take these complaints seriously.

I can understand why some people might not want to become involved, especially given the ordeal you have faced at the courthouse already. Nonetheless, people who are interested in having sworn statements made can email me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arnt, Gregor, and the Rule of the High School Bullies

[Update II]: I read in my devotional literature this morning that today is National Honesty Day in the United States. My sense is that every day in Brian House's courtroom, at least where the prosecution is concerned, is National Dishonesty Day. God help us.

[Update: Friday, 6:10 AM]: I received an email from someone who visited the trial yesterday. This person does not know the people being tried or anyone else involved in the case. This is a description of what this person saw, and it is quite germane to the subject of my post. Read on:
House looked pale and spooked. Other posters aren't kidding when they say he watches the prosecutors for his cues -- he actually watches the prosecutors most all of the time period.

Gregor and Aren't (my own joke) honestly acted like children -- if they were my son I'd have gone up and pulled him up by his ears and told him to stop acting like an idiot. As the defense questioned a Mr. Walker on the stand, the two of them couldn't sit still. On purpose, of course, they acted like 12 year olds -- they'd put their heads in their hands and shake them, they'd put their arms behind their heads and sigh -- they were like baby monkeys!

The (prosecutors) left through their doors -- laughing, joking, waiting on House to leave with them. Tim Deal (that's an entire, scary story all to itself) prissed out behind them, as if begging them to wait up so he could be part of the gang.
I think these words speak for themselves. You have to understand that what this person has described above in the last paragraph is prima facae evidence of ex parte conversations between the judge and the prosecutors. This violates judicial ethics and because House has not reported these conversations with the prosecutors to the defense, he is in violation of the judicial codes that supposedly govern his actions. Food for thought.

[End Update]

One of the most common sets of complaints I receive involve the behavior of Chris "Facebook" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor, who remind me of the bullies in high school who sat in the back of class, made noise, were rude and utterly narcissistic.

Since Gregor has been making much of the word narcissist, I decided to look it up, and here is what it says about someone who is a narcissist:
Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, often used as a pejorative, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
Yes, I think that narcissism definitely applies to a couple of men who make catcalls, laugh out loud at the testimony of defense witnesses, openly mock the attorneys, roll their eyes, smirk, and engage in the kind of behavior that one might expect at the Delta House.

Why do they do it? They do it because "Judge" Brian House encourages this behavior. Interestingly, when someone from the defense apologized to a defense witness after the Dishonest Duo had been trying to scream at this woman and humiliate her, then House sprang into action and sanctioned the defense team.

A friend of mine who has testified in more than 500 cases, and who is a better-qualified expert than the entire staff of the Children's Advocacy Center combined, told me that she was testifying in court when an assistant district attorney (like the Dishonest Duo) simply rolled his eyes at a statement by someone else, the judge immediately called him out and fined him $500.

Will we see Brian House demand such decent behavior from his good friends, Facebook and The Man? I seriously doubt it.

As a journalist and writer, I have been to a number of trials, and I cannot recall one time seeing a prosecutor act in the rude, obnoxious and bullying manner of Len Gregor and Chris Arnt. I have seen Gary Gerbitz, Frank Groves, and many more, and I can tell you that to a person, whether you agreed with them or not, they were ADULTS.

What is going on in the courtroom of Brian House is nothing more than two bullies pushing around other people who are not permitted to fight back, and you can tell they are enjoying themselves. Arnt and Gregor are nothing but dishonest bullies who apparently get their jollies from falsely accusing people and seeing how far they can push their attempts to frame innocent people.

However, it is not enough for Len Gregor that he is bullying witnesses and acting like a jerk. No, he had to call out Melydia Clewell from Channel 3 because, apparently, she has not bowed down and worshiped him and his "evidence" that is built upon perjury. Clewell's lack of reverence for "The Man" seems to throw him into a rage, snd it is clear that "The Man" really feels most like a man when he is bullying women.

(Someone else pointed out to me that as soon as the Today Show crew left the courtroom, he started his bullying routine again. Hey, "The Man," why don't you show that lady from Today how tough you are?)

This weekend, I will be doing a series on the evidence, and at the end, I think I will demonstrate that House, Arnt, and Gregor are not "mistaken" in their interpretation of the evidence. To a man, each of them knows that they have seen perjured testimony from the prosecution witnesses, and that they have approved of it, and that they will continue to do as they damn well please because, after all, they are like the jock bullies running around.

However, I do recall one prosecutor who laughed out loud, bullied witnesses, rolled his eyes, smirked, and acted as though he owned the courtroom. His name was Mike Nifong, and the last I saw of Mikey, he was in a hearing room bawling like a child because the North Carolina State Bar had stripped him of his license.

Is Len Gregor a Child Molester? According to His Logic, He Is

[Update]: A friend of Kristen Jones Bradley has contacted me and wanted me to know that Ms. Bradley was working on school rosters and the like, not taking notes at trial. I have decided to take down that earlier post. As I have written before, she was one of my students and a very good one, and I will take her word for it, according to what her friend has said.

Len "The Man" Gregor has been involved in an interesting line of questioning with defense witnesses, acting semi-civilized during the cross-examination only AFTER someone from NBC's Today Show entered the courtroom. (Guess "The Man" did not want to look like "The Jerk" in front of someone who is going to put his picture on the TV tube.)

Over and over again, he has been screaming at the female witnesses that Tonya Craft is a "narcissist" because she goes to a gym and is a personal trainer. Other than simple character assassination, which in most courtrooms would not be permitted, this is an irrelevant and highly prejudicial line of questioning. Unfortunately, the court of Brian House no longer is a Court of Law, but rather a House of Judicial Horrors, the Ultimate Star Chamber.

Because Len Gregor's Facebook page no longer is available, I am once again going to post the image of an earlier FB page, the one in which Holly Kittle was shown to be one of his "friends."

If one looks at the woman on Gregor's right (who I guess is his wife), you will see she is wearing very low-cut shorts and a top, showing her midriff. Her left hand is at the top of the shorts as though she is pulling them down a bit for the camera to reveal something (the shorts already are very revealing and the photo makes it look as though she is giving the impression she wants to pull them down even more).

Obviously, the woman is attractive, and wanting to show off, and Gregor is standing there proudly, as though he were the cat that swallowed the canary. It is quite clear that the woman works out in a gym, and I suspect that Gregor spends some time there, too.

Folks, if you wish to see narcissism in action, here it is. I will go further. Gregor is claiming the following syllogisms: (1) People who work out in the gym or are personal trainers are narcissist; (2) Tonya Craft works out and is a personal trainer; (3) therefore, Ms. Craft is a narcissist.

Then, having established that Ms. Craft is a "narcissist," he demands that jurors and the public accept the following chain of logic: (1) Some narcissists have molested children; (2) Tonya Craft is a narcissist; (3) therefore, Tonya Craft definitely molested children.

Neither of these syllogisms actually work, at least when one applies real logic, as opposed to "The Man's" logic. However, since he has established in a "court" the previous chains of logic, and since Brian House has determined that the prosecutors' line of questioning on this matter as something that established "evidence" of child molestation, I simply am going to demonstrate how this logical chain -- that carries the force of Almighty Law in House's Star Chamber -- can be applied using Gregor's FB page:

(1) Len Gregor and his wife work out, and his wife has placed her hand to her very low-cut shorts in a provocative manner, making both of them narcissists; (2) Narcissists molest children; (3) therefore, Len "The Man" Gregor and his wife are child molesters.

Now, before all of the supporters start screaming at me that I have no right to bring Gregor's wife into all of this, all I am doing is just following the logical chain that the Great Brian House Himself has permitted to be established in his courtroom. If you don't like what I have said, ask yourself how I am wrong, given what has transpired this week, and given what Gregor is demanding that the jury believe.

Enough said.

[Update]: A number of people have said that the woman in the picture is NOT Gregor's wife, but rather one of the "Bud Girls" or someone like that. So, who is the narcissist? I cannot imagine having my picture taken next to a woman like this who is posing in a sexually-provocative manner.

However, apparently is OK for Gregor to pose with his arm around a woman who is posing like this, but not OK for a woman to be a fitness trainer. Talk about hypocrisy.

What Will Be the Next Outrage From House and the Prosecution?

The prosecution trifecta does not like to look bad, and it was clear that the testimony of Dr. Nancy Fajman Tuesday was a blow to the "theories" that Arnt, Gregor, and, let's be honest, Brian House, have been delivering. Not that these people are interested in facts, truth, or anything like that.

Nonetheless, their egos were bruised because they came face to face with a real expert witness and they didn't like it. Unfortunately for them, the defense has two more expert witnesses upcoming, and here is where the dishonesty will begin.

Arnt and Gregor argued Tuesday that because they had chosen not to depose Dr. Fajman, and because she had not given them a summary report, she should be disqualified. That's right, the same people who want us to believe that Suzi Thorne is a "forensic investigator" and an "expert" in interviewing young children also want us to believe that Dr. Fajman is not qualified to testify in a courtroom.

Well, they were burned, and so Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos has made sure that the upcoming expert witnesses prepare summaries to give to the prosecution so they won't make any objection to their appearance. Now, the witnesses are some of the best-known experts in their fields, so their qualifications certainly merit their appearance.

However, I predict that the prosecution nonetheless will try to have them disqualified, and House most likely will rule in their favor. Now, I HOPE that is not the case, as while I believe the jury pretty much is rigged, nonetheless I would like to see at least a pretense of Tonya Craft being able to defend herself in a court of law.

What makes me the angriest, and the reason that I am posting as I do has been that House has not even tried to pretend he wants Ms. Craft to have a fair trial. Look at the questioning he allows, the bullying by Facebook and The Man, and the personal attacks and character assassination that they are presenting instead of what this case needs: cold, hard facts.

I need to say one more thing. House, Gregor, and Arnt believe that if they can rig a conviction, then their troubles will be over. They will have WON a big victory.

However, I will say with utmost certainty that what is going to happen is that as the media, and especially national figures, examine what happened, and people look at the trial record, the outright tag-teaming between House and the prosecution, the fabrications, and everything else that has been abominable, these three men are going to find their lives under the kind of scrutiny they did not think possible. And my posts and comments will be the least of their problems.

You see, a guy like me is small potatoes, just someone with a laptop who kind of knows how to connect to the Internet. However, the people who will scrutinize their actions are going to be people who can change their lives for the worst. I don't think that will happen; I know it will happen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tonya Craft Trial Travesty is Reported on the Criminal Justice Blog

Noah Arenstein, "a lawyer writing for," has written on the Tonya Craft trial, calling it "A Travesty of Justice in Northern Georgia." He jumps right into the heart of this case, noting that it involves misconduct on behalf of the prosecutors and the judge:
At this point, Craft's trial has devolved into a ludicrous, back-and-forth character assassination of everyone involved. Prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, in particular, have asked lurid and wholly irrelevant questions about Craft’s sexual history, while her attorneys have been barred from introducing evidence of Craft’s good character.
It gets better:
Craft’s trial has also seen a parade of so-called forensics experts act as effective cheerleaders for the prosecution. One expert who made an appearance, Holly Nave Kittle of the Children's Advocacy Center, was openly hostile to questions about her lack of credentials and was unfamiliar with any relevant child abuse literature. Neither did she help her credibility as a witness after she “liked” a public Facebook post by Arnt, in which he wondered “if Tonya Craft’s Defense [sic] lawyers are really insane of [sic] just trying to jack up her defense bill?” (Both Arnt and Kittle’s conduct likely violate Georgia's ethical rules.)

Another prosecution “expert” involved, Suzie Thorne, lacks a college degree, and her testimony seems highly suspect. When Thorne interviewed one of the children involved during a videotaped session, she asked the girl a whopping 16 times whether “anything else happened.” Each time, the child said no. However, Thorne testified that after she shut off the camera, the child left the room and then returned — suddenly remembering that yes, Craft had sexually abused her.

Fair enough. But then why didn't Thorne record this statement, or press the child for more information on camera?

We should also remember that — as a third prosecution expert testified — both children and adults are "equally susceptible to suggestion,” which you should keep in mind the next time your child asks about Santa Claus, the Boogeyman or the Tooth Fairy.
As I see it, there is a better chance that there is a Tooth Fairy than Tonya Craft is a child molester. Unfortunately, she is in a courtroom being run by men who molest the law.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gregor: "I'm Not Obligated" to Obey the Law

If there has been one consistency in the Tonya Craft trial, it has been that the prosecutors have believed they are a law unto themselves, and Judge Brian House has done everything to stoke that fire. Thus, when Joal Henke suddenly "remembered" that Tonya had engaged in a lesbian affair, the prosecution (which I am sure had a hand in Henke "recovering" his memory) jumped on it as a "bad act."

(If I had a "minister of justice" title, as do prosecutors, I would want to make sure that I presented was true, as opposed to having to depend upon some lurid stories coming from the mouth of a man who was alleged to have multiple affairs while he was married to Tonya. Unfortunately, Facebook and The Man are interested in engaging in character assassination in hopes that the jury will buy what they are trying to sell.)

So, before his partner-in-crime, Chris "Facebook" Arnt was schooled in pediatric medicine, Len "The Man" Gregor decided that if a female ever has engaged in extra-marital sex, then she must be a child molester. Of course, since Jerry McDonald, who testified for the prosecution on Monday has some extra-marital issues of his own, I was surprised that Gregor did not leap from his seat, have Tim "Dirty" Deal arrest and handcuff McDonald, and then charge him with child molestation.

(Actually, in a moment before the trial began when he actually wanted to tell the truth, McDonald said to prosecutors that he believed that there was no molestation. However, after being told by prosecutors that he would be charged with obstruction of justice if he changed his mind, McDonald "got religion" and once again got with the prosecutors' program.)

Despite Channel 9's contention that Gregor's attempt to engage in character assassination with defense witness Paula "Dee" Potter was a brilliant legal show by The Man, in truth, the whole exchange demonstrated just how craven Gregor really is. Remember, the prosecution this past week introduced all sorts of hearsay (and hearsay of hearsay) "evidence" that it had not brought to discovery, including the unsubstantiated claim that Tonya Craft had a lesbian affair with a friend. (The friend, not to mention Ms. Craft and all her friends, deny that, but Judge Brian House refused to allow the defense any attempt to refute that accusation.)

Perhaps, the best example was given by the Times-Free Press in an account of the morning's proceedings:
Defense witness Paula "Dee" Potter took the stand this morning, testifying that she trusted Ms. Craft with her children and never heard any complaints that she mistreated any child at the house.

During his cross-examination of Ms. Potter, Mr. Gregor brought out a list of questions that questioned the character of Ms. Craft.

Mr. Gregor became angry when defense attorney Cary King objected to a question about Ms. Craft sending a promiscuous picture to a teenage boy, saying the state had not entered it as evidence.

"I’m not obligated to give them the material I’m using," Mr. Gregor said to Superior Court Judge Brian House.

Judge House agreed that Mr. Gregor could continue with his line of questioning.
Actually, in a court of law, he would have been required to give his material at discovery, as opposed to trying to spring surprises for the faux "Perry Mason Moment." However, he is in Brian House's court, which is increasingly looking like something from the Scottsboro Boys travesty.

As posted today in the Chattanoogan, Gregor went on a tear that demonstrated a sick streak of voyeurism, trying to claim that Ms. Craft must be a child molester, since she allegedly had an affair with Joal Henke when married to her first husband. (That Gregor would then claim that the morally-challenged Joal Henke is a trusted witness who always tells the truth and who is nice to children and puppies makes no sense if, according to his logic, people who ever do these things must molest children.)

However, Gregor decided he had not been depraved enough, so The Man then went on the following tear:
“Do you know anything about a time that Ms. Craft came to the door of her home dressed only in a towel to meet a first-time date?” “No, I do not,” said the witness.

Mr. Gregor asked, “Do you know any narcissists?” “No, I do not.”

“Would a good person molest a child?” “No.” “Would a good person insert a finger or thumb in a vagina or rectum?” “No.”
This is rich, really rich. Here is a prosecutor who bragged on a public forum that he loved his job because he gets to be "The Man." Gregor is not someone who should be calling someone else a narcissist.

By the way, a "good person" would not suborn perjury. A "good person" would not revel in the power of his position. A "good person" would not try to throw innocent people into prison. And a "good person" would obey the law. Enough said.

Whoops! The Prosecution Changes Its Story

OK, everyone. Scratch the "she did horrific damage to their bodies" story, as Dr. Nancy Fajman, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University Medical School, debunks the prosecution's line. However, this well-known and highly-respected expert (unlike the "experts from the Children's Advocacy Center) almost was not able to testify, as the prosecution objected to her being there.

(The prosecutors had a meeting with her, but I doubt they tried to be as intimidating as they have been earlier, given that if they were to rough up this person, they might find that their castle walls would start crumbling.)

After Fajman went over the photographs, she said that in her view, there was no evidence at all of sexual abuse and certainly not of the "highly-suspicious" nature, unless one is "highly-suspicious" that Arnt and Gregor knew all along that their case was a fraud. That puts a huge hole in the story that Facebook and The Man (and their puppet, Brian House) have been telling. However, they cannot claim that Sharon "Highly Suspicious" Anderson of the CAC is a greater medical authority than Dr. Fajman. (Maybe Facebook and The Man will claim that Dr. Fajman was "coached.")

So, what is a prosecution to do? Well, they are changing their story. Now, they are claiming that there was molestation and abuse, but Tonya Craft did not do any damage. However, there is a problem with that one.

The prosecution had put a lot of eggs in the basket of physical abuse. One child told about Tonya putting her entire fist into the girl's vagina, which, if done, would create horrific damage. This kind of makes the "believe the children" mantra a bit difficult.

What happened is not hard to explain. The children recited the scripts that the prosecution wrote for them, as Facebook and The Man believed that Anderson's interpretation of her exams would hold up, but that clearly is not the case.

We have to remember that as terrible as this case might be, it is not the only one of its kind that Arnt and Gregor have pursued. They have made a career out of railroading others on false molestation charges, and were able to roll defendants because the attorneys did not realize just how brutal and dishonest these prosecutors really are. There are a number of wrongfully-imprisoned people from this district, sent to prison because of dishonest prosecutions from the Dishonest Duo.

Now, the Dishonest Duo, being helped by House, still might get a conviction because I cannot imagine this bunch not having any contact at all with jurors. Maybe I am wrong and they are staying away, but given just how these people believe that the courthouse is their little fiefdom, it is not a stretch to think that some, if not all the jurors, have had a "friendly" visit from someone wanting a conviction at all costs.

The rules for prosecutors are plain. Prosecutors are to seek justice and the truth, not bend the rules and stretch the truth and certainly not seek to have judges grease the skids for them. As I have said before, what you are seeing in Catoosa County is a disgrace, and people need to remember that if they are not vigilant, men like Arnt, Gregor, and House take over and injustice is the norm.

House Channels William Callahan in Outrageous Ruling

In my earlier post, an open letter to Brian House, I told him that his behavior mirrored that of William Callahan, the notorious judge in the Scottsboro Boys case. I quoted from the UMKC website on the case:
The stated goal of William Callahan, the Alabama trial judge for the later Scottsboro trials (those from November, 1933 to July, 1937) was to "debunk" the Scottsboro case-- to cut it down to size, to take it off the front pages of America's newspapers. To this end, Callahan imposed strict time limits on the trials, persuaded the Governor not to provide National Guard protection for the defense team, and made it as difficult as possible for reporters to cover the trial.

An equally obvious, though unstated, goal of the seventy-year-old judge was to help secure the prompt convictions of the Scottsboro defendants. Haywood Patterson said of Callahan, "He couldn't get us to the chair fast enough." Callahan denied almost every motion of the defense, including a motion to quash the indictments because Negroes were excluded from jury rolls and a motion for a change of venue. He sustained nearly every prosecution objection to a defense question of a witness, and often objected himself when the prosecution didn't. (emphasis mine)
Today, after prosecution witnesses had given (what I firmly believe to be perjured) testimony trashing Tonya Craft's character, House ruled that the defense COULD NOT HAVE CHARACTER WITNESSES TO REBUT THE PROSECUTION'S CLAIMS.

A person who has testified in hundreds of trials called me and said that she never had seen anything like this, ever. She was stunned, and so am I.

There are some things we have to understand, and I believe these to be true, and logic backs up my claims:
  • House knew the objection from the prosecution was coming, and I believe his knowledge came from improper ex parte conversations with the prosecutors.
  • House knows absolutely that this is a reversible error and that if he can engineer a conviction, there is a 100 percent chance that the appellate courts will overturn it.
  • House will do everything he can to box in the jury to make sure that their window of choice is so narrow that it will be hard not to vote to convict, even if the jurors believe there was no molestation and Tonya Craft committed no crimes.
Do not kid yourself about what is happening. This is a rigged trial, pure and simple, and the actions by House, Arnt, and Gregor are moving into criminal territory. People are stunned, and I am not surprised.

An Open Letter to Judge Brian House

As you know, Mr. House, I have been openly critical of your performance in the Tonya Craft trial and everything I am hearing from Catoosa County tells me you are somewhat unhappy with my portrayal of you. No doubt, you want me to be telling other people that you are a Great Man of Justice, a Champion of Crime Victims, a Protector of Vulnerable Children, and a No-Nonsense Jurist.

Well, sorry, no can do. As one person told me last night, your actions and your behavior over the past 2-1/2 weeks have been such that people no longer are surprised at anything. So, I guess that is a dubious accomplishment: people in your courtroom are losing a sense of outrage because you openly have allied yourself with the prosecutors, Chris "Facebook" Arnt and Len Gregor (who has referred to himself as "The Man"), and your decisions make it absolutely clear that you are doing everything you can to rig a conviction of Ms. Craft. In other words, you have done nothing but give the impression that you want Ms. Craft to go to prison and no matter what transpires in testimony, you have made up your mind and you won't stop until you not only have destroyed justice itself, but also your own credibility.

The latest example was your declaration after the state "rested" that prosecutors had demonstrated "sufficient evidence" to retain all 22 charges against Ms. Craft when the jury deliberates. You didn't even take the defense motion under consideration, rejecting it immediately out-of-hand. As one person in the press pool room who was observing the proceedings wrote: "We are admittedly stunned by what just happened." (More on the local media later)

At one level, I wish to thank you for being such a help to me. For many years, I have been writing about prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, mostly at the Federal Level. For example, I recently had a long article in Regulation on the destruction of law in federal courts. There have been a number of articles elsewhere including a couple in Reason Magazine on federal prosecutorial misconduct and overreach.

However, it is hard to convince people that prosecutors and judges are as craven as what I have portrayed in my articles because no one wants to believe our courts are so openly crooked. People want to believe that the institutions which govern them are fundamentally honest, and that prosecutors and judges seek only the truth.

Well, I don't have to worry anymore. No, you have been a walking billboard advertising my articles and, frankly, this blog. (Since I don't have advertisements, I am not making any money from it and, no, contrary to what some of your supporters have been writing in the comments section, I am not "paid off" by the defense, nor do I have contact with any of them, as I intend to obey your "gag order," as awful and immoral as it is.)

You see, Mr. House, when a judge is openly taking his cues from a prosecutor who openly flouts Rules 3.6 and 3.8 of the codes of the state bar that governs him, then you are saying that at least in your courtroom, prosecutors are above the law, while ordinary citizens are beneath it. But, it is not just the fact that you have all-but-announced you are a part of the prosecutorial "team" that has made your behavior utterly outrageous, but also the things you have done which have violated your own oath of office and the duties that are expected from judges in the State of Georgia.

I will write about a number of things that demonstrate beyond any doubt that you not only are demonstrating partiality with prejudice, but also that you don't care if the whole world knows it. Let me begin with Monday's proceedings.

The testimony began with yet another unqualified prosecution "forensic" witness from (Where else?) the Children's Advocacy Center, Holly Nave Kittle. Her demeanor on the stand with the defense was questioning her (shrugging her shoulders, rolling her eyes, giving smart-mouthed answers) was disgraceful, but all of the CAC witnesses have been like that, but you approve, so why should the rest of us be upset, right? As for qualifications, if she is part of a team trying to railroad an innocent person into prison, then what more needs to be said? THAT ALONE makes her qualified, at least in your view. And since you openly consider yourself to be the Lord High Dictator of the Courtroom, you, Facebook, The Man, and their gaggle of perjuring witnesses are creating another reality. Call it "Third Life."

Kittle was especially troublesome, as you know. She had given a "thumbs up" on Facebook when Arnt made his infamous post smearing Ms. Craft's attorneys. Now, in many states, and in courtrooms of judges who take their duties seriously, that gesture alone would have been enough to disqualify Kittle, but since you have pretty much approved of what Arnt did (I mean, who needs Bar regulations when it is so much fun to play by your own rules?), you were happy to have this person sitting in the witness chair.

As I posted Monday, Kittle thought it was funny that she had not read any relevant literature on interviewing children. In other words, she openly was proud of her own ignorance about her job, even though the consequences of her testimony might mean innocent people go to prison. Yeah, who needs training when one can play God in your courtroom? Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence!

To make matters worse, when the defense had its first witness on the stand, Arnt objected time and again, attempting to disrupt her testimony and create havoc. What was your reaction? You sustained his objections time after time, even though they had no basis in law.

But, there is so much more. On the Saturday before she was to testify for the prosecution, Sandra Lamb called you on the phone and the two of you talked for a long time. This is known in legal circles as an ex parte conversation, and it is highly improper. In fact, you were supposed to have reported it to the defense, as the circumstances of the call demonstrated that Lamb's testimony the following Monday was tainted, but you decided that you didn't have to do it because, after all, you are above the law and judicial ethics apparently don't apply to you.

Last week, while cameras were rolling in the courtroom before the proceedings began, you had a conversation with the bailiff in which you were trashing the counsel for the defense. Because of legal considerations, local TV is not running that tape, but everyone involved knows its contents, and they also know that what you did is considered to be highly improper -- at best -- for a judge to do.

Each day, two groups of people enter the Catoosa County Courthouse. Spectators, media personnel, and others enter through tight security. They are not permitted to bring in food, reading materials (you made one woman even take her Bible out of the courtroom), and cell phones.

However, another group, which consists of witnesses for the prosecution and their supporters, enter the courthouse through a separate, non-secured entrance. They are not checked for any materials, and they openly bring in food, reading materials, and -- yes -- cell phones. Of all of the statements and actions you have done this week that have screamed, "I don't care about evidence! I only care about guilt!", perhaps this is the most blatant of all.

Most Americans have an innate sense of fairness, and you have managed to violate that sense in ways that I could not imagine a judge who takes an oath of office to do. Later, I will give an example of a judge who acted like you have acted in the Craft trial, and today he is vilified as an example of how a judge should NOT act.

Before looking at that judge and case that made him famous, I want to write about the media. When the accusations and arrests began almost two years ago, the media was in the tank. As a former reporter myself, I know that when police and prosecutors make charges, the first inclination of the newsies is to believe the authorities, and like Pavlov's dogs, the press pronounced Tonya Craft to be a vicious child molester.

However, other than Channel 9, which openly supports your outrageous antics, the people of the press no longer believe the prosecution, its witnesses, and you. Yes, you have lost your credibility with reporters, and sooner or later they will make you pay. True, they cannot begin their evening broadcasts or write lead paragraphs in their stories with: "Today in Catoosa County Court, Judge Brian House outdid himself in perverting justice." No, they are supposed to "report the news."

You take safety in that fact, but I have been involved with the media long enough to know that they have their ways of paying back someone who has been able to get away with egregious conduct. It is important also for you to know that you have lost your credibility not only with the media, but also with a large group of local citizens and people elsewhere.

I receive emails and calls from many people who live in North Georgia or Chattanooga, including attorneys, and to a person they have nothing good to say about you. Friends of mine from around the country following this case express shock at what you are doing and what you have permitted to go on in your little fiefdom formerly known as a "court of law." True, they cannot vote against you, but they do talk, and many of them are influential, including some media figures who are waiting to see the outcome of this travesty called a "trial."

If Tonya Craft is found not guilty (the only just verdict in this case), then you will fade into a sort of obscurity, although I suspect you may receive fewer votes in the next election, as there are angry supporters of Ms. Craft who have long memories. However, if she is found guilty, then you are going to become famous, although famous like Mike Nifong or someone else who has violated public trust in order to engage in outrageous conduct.

Long before you and I were born, a set of trials in neighboring North Alabama defined justice -- and two judges -- in the Jim Crow South. The infamous Scottsboro Boys case involved nine young African-American men accused of raping two women while riding in a box car. While medical examinations (which were crude then, compared to now) demonstrated there had been no rapes, and especially no rapes in the way that the women described them (one later recanted), nonetheless all-white juries routinely handed down guilty verdicts and death sentences (although none of the defendants ever were put to death).

Two judges distinguished themselves in these trials, James E. Horton of Decatur, Alabama, and William Callahan, also of Decatur. Perhaps you know of them, although from what I have seen of your performance so far, you definitely would consider yourself to be Callahan's disciple.

Here is what an account from the law school project of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) says about your hero:
The stated goal of William Callahan, the Alabama trial judge for the later Scottsboro trials (those from November, 1933 to July, 1937) was to "debunk" the Scottsboro case-- to cut it down to size, to take it off the front pages of America's newspapers. To this end, Callahan imposed strict time limits on the trials, persuaded the Governor not to provide National Guard protection for the defense team, and made it as difficult as possible for reporters to cover the trial.

An equally obvious, though unstated, goal of the seventy-year-old judge was to help secure the prompt convictions of the Scottsboro defendants. Haywood Patterson said of Callahan, "He couldn't get us to the chair fast enough." Callahan denied almost every motion of the defense, including a motion to quash the indictments because Negroes were excluded from jury rolls and a motion for a change of venue. He sustained nearly every prosecution objection to a defense question of a witness, and often objected himself when the prosecution didn't. (emphasis mine)
Keep in mind that courtroom observers who just read those last two paragraphs are telling themselves, "That is what House has been doing!" That, so far, is your legacy in this case.

But, there is the example set by Judge Horton, whose family motto was: "Fiat justicia ruat colelum" -- let justice be done though the heavens may fall. He lived that example, although it ultimately would cost him his job. The UMKC site has this to say about Judge Horton:
If the tale of the Scottsboro Boys can be said to have heroes, there is no person more deserving of the label than James E. Horton, the judge who presided over Haywood Patterson's second trial in Decatur. Judge Horton's decision to set aside the verdict and death sentence of Haywood Patterson, made despite warnings that ordering a new trial for Patterson would end his career as an elected circuit judge, was a remarkable act of courage and principle.
Then there was this:
During the course of the contentious trial of Haywood Patterson, Horton rarely raised his soft, conversational voice. Although his rulings neither consistently favored the prosecution or the defense, Horton made it abundantly clear thate he stood on the side of fair process and fair treatment for all, regardless of color. That alone made Horton a liberal by Alabama standards. Horton raised many local eyebrows when he warmly shook the hands of two black reporters who he had helped secure seats in his courtroom. His full anger only showed once in the trial. On the third day of the trial, after hearing reports of plans for a lynching, the judge raised his voice to a near shout and denounced would-be lynchers as "cowardly murderers." Horton, saying that he had "absolutely no patience with the mob spirit," announced that he had ordered police guards to shoot to kill if necessary in defense of the black prisoners.
And this:
On June 22, 1933, when Horton convened court in his hometown of Athens, Alabama, there was little optimism in the defense camp that their motion to set aside Patterson's guilty verdict would be granted. Horton, however, shocked those assembled by announcing that he would grant the motion on the ground that the jury's verdict was not supported by substantial evidence. In a careful, point-by-point review of the medical testimony and that offered by other prosecution witnesses, Horton found Price's testimony to be "not only uncorroborated, but it also bears on its face indications of improbabilty and is contradicted by other evidence."
Unfortunately, justice in a highly-charged case like this was too much for the voters, and he lost the next election and was a farmer the rest of his life.

These are two legacies, and it is abundantly clear which one you have chosen. Oh, you may fancy yourself to be a "tough judge," but in truth you are a judge who hates justice. When people tell me that they have lost all sense of outrage because so many outrageous things have gone on under your watch and, frankly, your encouragement, then they also are telling me that yours is no more a court of law than was the court of Roland Friesler, the infamous Nazi judge who sentenced more than 5,000 to death by hanging with piano wire (including the great theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

Friesler reveled in his power, but he met a curious and fitting end. During an Allied bombing raid in 1945, he ordered the courtroom cleared, but then returned to grab the files of someone who was appearing before him. A well-aimed bomb hit the courtroom squarely and ended his life. The reaction to his death was commensurate with the way he ruled in his courtroom:
A foreign correspondent reported, "Apparently nobody regretted his death." Luise Jodl, the widow of General Alfred Jodl, recounted more than 25 years later that she had been working at the Luetzow Hospital when Freisler's body was brought in, and that a worker commented, "It is God's verdict." According to Mrs. Jodl, "Not one person said a word in reply." (emphasis mine)
No, you don't have to worry about your courtroom being bombed, but for a man whom I understand goes to church each Sunday, you know that God's verdict is one of justice and righteousness, and while the justice of God might seem slow to us mortals, nonetheless it is powerful and final.

In the end, you don't have to worry about my opinion. I'm just an obscure person typing words into a computer. However, you do have to be concerned with God's verdict, and also with the views of the appellate courts should your efforts help convince the jury to convict Ms. Craft.

I have no doubt that not only will a guilty verdict be overturned, but the comments by the justices will be scathing. When the news media "reports the news," I can assure you that they gladly will repeat those things that many of them wish they now could write in their dispatches or say while facing a camera.

At that point, there will be nowhere to hide, and then you will have wished a B-17 had dropped something on your courtroom. However, you still have a choice to leave a good and just legacy of how you have handled this case. I would urge you to follow the example of James Horton, not of William Callahan and certainly not of Roland Friesler.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Updates: The Outrages Continue

It seems that Facebook and The Man are an everlasting fount of outrageous behavior. Last week, Joal Henke's wife, Sarah Bass Henke, claimed that she had given investigators some information about her alleged concerns. That information, it seems, was not available at discovery, which means one of two things:
  • The prosecution had it, but did not give it to the defense, which violates open discovery policies of the State of Georgia, or
  • They did not have it at all.
Given the behavior I have seen by the prosecution, either one is believable. However, today A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES HAPPENED. (Where is the "Fiddler on the Roof" when we need him to play a diddy for this miracle?)

THEY FOUND THE NOTES!!! Caloo, Calay! They must have been hidden in that folder that had Tim "Dirty" Deal's notes of Suzi Thorne's sudden revelation about the "disclosure" of one of the children.

But it gets even better. Yes, "forensic therapist" Holly "Thumbs Up" Kittle now is on the stand. In case you don't remember her, Kittle is the person who gave the "I like it" thumbs up to Chris Arnt's Facebook post that violated the codes of conduct for prosecutors. Furthermore, by signing on to that post, Kittle committed an act that in many states and in real courts of justice would disqualify her from testifying at all, or at very best, her testimony could be impeached.

But, then, we are in "Judge" Brian House's courtroom, where the judge already has been caught on videotape having a conversation he does not want revealed with a bailiff, and who held an ex parte discussion on the telephone with a prosecution witness two days before she testified, but he did not notify the defense.

Kittle's testimony reveals the same shoddy "investigative" procedures that everyone else involved has been performing. From Callie Starnes on Twitter this morning, we get some little snippets:
  • This witness seems to think it is very funny that she doesn't know about research defense is citing. 
  • Witness had been a forensic interviewer for just a few months before conducting interview w/ accuser 1
  • Kittle is already getting snappy w/defense. It's amazing to see how the state's witnesses develop an attitude just a few ?s in.  
  • Witness just rolled eyes for all courtroom to see.
  • Kittle being asked if girl's robotic tone of voice when answering ?'s about abuse raised any red flags. She says no.  
In other words, the attitude is: How DARE you even talk to me!

Think about it. Every time there is a child molestation accusation in the Lookout Mountain Judicial District, people like Kittle are the ones doing the interviews, and not a one of them is qualified to do this kind of work. Furthermore, as we can see, they are arrogant and go into interviews not trying to find out what happened, but rather come into them having already made their conclusions. Thus, they believe their job is to pound square pegs into round holes and bamboozle jurors.

That these kinds of dishonest and incompetent people are permitted to be part of a judicial and prosecutorial apparatus that throws innocent people into prison is an outrage that will not end when this trial is over.

On Being "Respectable"

As we move into week three of the trial of Tonya Craft, the "discussion" in the comments section has become more animated (at best) and virulent (at worst). I have been accused of being in the pay of the defense (no, I have no contact with the defense) to being someone who "smears" Paul Krugman, apparently because I strongly and publicly disagree with his view that all the government has to do to end this economic downturn is to print more money.

But there was another comment last night that actually upset me. When people from the prosecution accuse me of being paid off, or I get some other gratuitous insult, at worst, I am amused, but when a "Brother in Christ" (the poster did not identify himself/herself) claims that my writings violate Jesus' command to "love our enemies" and quotes a passage in James to insist that I only should be speaking kind and loving words to the prosecutors and the judge, then I no longer am amused. I am disgusted.

However, as I thought about what the poster was saying, it dawned on me what the real problem has been with many Christians throughout this whole affair: they want to be "respectable," and this blog clearly is not that. I use harsh language and have given monikers (earned, of course) to the prosecutors and to some of the others who have given perjured testimony. (Yes, Joal Henke, Suzi Thorne and Tim Deal, you committed perjury and you know it.)

The person who made the comments also said I was engaging in "hate-filled language," and to that I will disagree. I am using harsh language, that is for sure, but nothing as harsh as what Tonya Craft has had said about her in local "respectable" churches and in public documents, not to mention from the witness stand. There is much more I could say on THAT topic, but I won't.

I'd like to return to "respectability." One of my strong research topics is the Progressive Era, which "officially" existed from the late 1800s to about 1920, with the implementation of Prohibition, which, besides America's entry into World War I, was the crown jewel of the Progressives. Economic Historian Robert Higgs once told me that the unifying force among the Progressives, who came from extremely varied backgrounds, was "respectability." They wanted all of the institutions, from business to government to religion, to be "respectable," and if you look at the various public comments from people in this umbrella, you can see that theme in spades.

Many churches and religious organizations seek "respectability" as much as many of them claim to be seeking the Gospel. They don't want their worship services to be "too" lively, or they want to make sure that their doctrines are not offensive to people on the outside, and in extreme situations, to blend into whatever cultural mores happen to rule.

Other evangelical churches also want to be "respectable." I'll not name any churches or institutions, but readers will understand what I mean. As I re-read the comments from my critic, I realized that while this person wrote that I needed to change the tone of my posts on this case to sound more gentle and less harsh, it was the lack of "respectability" that really was at issue.

I'll admit to writing hard-edged stuff. People in my old home area will tell you that there is a very unpleasant side to me that can get riled, and I can use my verbal and writing skills in a way that often steps over the line. I admit to such, and it is a personal weakness. Furthermore, there have been many times that I have had to apologize to someone precisely for stepping over the line, and I suspect that some readers of this blog who know me can name you chapter and verse.

However, I will defend what I have written on this blog, and will defend it strongly. The poster was more right that he or she could have imagined -- if the real message of the comment was that I was writing things that are not "respectful" of the people responsible for this travesty and sham of a criminal case.

That is correct. I have not pulled punches, nor will I do it. It is more than just what the principals of this case have done to Tonya Craft and her family, and it would take much more space than I will use here to give a full listing. But I will deal with the "respectability" issue because that is at the heart of this whole case.

Compared to the families that are trying to railroad her, not to mention the prosecutors and "Your Honor" himself, Brian House, Tonya Craft is not "respectable." She is on her third marriage, although after watching one of her ex-husbands testify and knowing about the various videos in which he plays a starring role, I hardly can blame her for divorcing a person like that.

Furthermore, she goes (Horrors!) to a Pentecostal church and the people of that church have embraced her and openly support her (making them even less-respectable, since they are supporting an accused child sexual abuser, and those people are the lowest of the low of our society). She is not a Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Roman Catholic, or a Methodist, or even (like me) a Presbyterian. Most of those denominations, including the theologically-conservative branches, are pretty respectable and they prize being seen that way.

People from those churches tend to be most supporting of our governmental institutions and approach them in a "respectable" way. My own experience as a newspaper reporter have taught me that above all, the "watchdog of government" must treat all people with government titles as though they were the soul of integrity. The institutions of "justice" especially are this way, and the notion that perhaps a judge could be engaging in courtroom behavior that violates his oath of office or that prosecutors knowingly are suborning perjury simply is not to be entertained at any time, unless some other official body says otherwise.

As I have said before, this blog is not "respectable." However, there is a huge divide between not being "respectable" via a mainstream definition to being an entity that simply engages in nastiness and name-calling. I hope that I don't go that far, although I am sure that supporters of the prosecution are convinced that I stepped over that line when I first wrote on this case.

While I hardly put myself in the same category as the Old Testament prophets, I would like to remind evangelicals who are "saddened" by the tone of my blog that the prophets were not "respectable," either. Amos called society ladies "cows," Elijah told Ahab that his wife, Jezebel, would be eaten by dogs, Hosea, by God's order, married a prostitute, and Ezekiel engaged in weird behavior when giving the messages from God to the Israelites in Babylonian exile.

David danced before the Ark of God in a way that disgusted his wife, Michal, and Jesus ate with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, and all of the other scum of the earth that, according to the religious traditions, were "unclean." The most respectable people of that society were the religious leaders, and Jesus called them "whitewashed tombs" and told them they were going to Hell, and that is about as unrespectable as one can get.

If there is any incident that demonstrated how the "respectable" crowd has worked in this case, I go back to that horrible Friday when Tonya had to be in a courtroom while the very daughter who the authorities took away from her claimed that her mother sexually molested her. There is much, much more that I could say about this particular situation, but let me note that it all was defined in Chris Arnt's "We're all adults here" statement to the judge.

As a father of four children, I cannot imagine a more horrible thing than what Tonya Craft experienced in court. I'm very familiar with the "interviewing" techniques that were used to get the "disclosures" out of her child, and to think that these people used the discredited "recovered memories" nonsense to do it makes it even worse, for they have violated that child, too.

Remember, when first questioned by the authorities, the child said something to the effect of:
"Mommy did terrible things to me. I don't remember what she did, but my daddy tells me that she did them."
That the authorities would then use dishonest techniques to pry false accusations from the mouth of a child, just so they could "win at all costs" simply is not something that ever should happen in a civilized society -- or any society at that. Furthermore, when Arnt then told the judge that Ms. Craft should "get her act together" and do it in a taunting, "We're all adults here," voice, he stepped over all lines of decency.

Yes, he was demanding "respectable" behavior from Ms. Craft, who was sobbing as this spectacle unfolded. It is hard for me to imagine that this same person sits in a church singing hymns to a God that looks upon his behavior with utter disdain, for what he did in that courtroom that day was to look at God and give Him the middle finger.

So, I will end this post by saying that I pray I don't cross the line. However, I also will say that if what I am doing is not "respectable," then I don't want to be "respectable." If standing up for someone who is being crushed by the "respectable" people of North Georgia and the Chattanooga area is "unloving" behavior, then I have to ask what IS "loving" behavior.

I will stand up for Tonya Craft, whom a judge has teamed with prosecutors to attempt to deny her an effective defense, and if it means that I lose all of my friends who deem my actions "unloving" or "unrespectable," then so be it. I am proud to play the fool here if that is what it takes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Prosecutors' Goebbels Strategy: Employing the "Große Lüge"

Long before there was a Chris "Facebook" Arnt or a Len "The Man" Gregor polluting the earth, there was Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler's Minister of Propaganda (his real title). Readers who are familiar with Goebbel's role with the Third Reich also know that he used successfully a tactic which is called the "Big Lie."

It worked like this, to quote Hitler from his wretched Mein Kampf:
The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
The idea was this: tell a huge lie, one that no one can believe, but as people hear it, they tell themselves, "Well, THAT can't be true, but there must be 'something' there." It is a tactic that the prosecution in the Tonya Craft trial has been using with impunity, and it is a slimy and utterly dishonest thing, and that House would permit such a thing in his courtroom tells us more about this man than we would want to know.

I write this post because someone wrote to me in an email that a number of people in the Chattanooga area were falling for this tactic (which is why the Dishonest Duo is using it). The person wrote:
I've read the blogs and comments, I've talked to people around town, and one thing jumps out at me: men, more often then women, have said "there must be something to the charges because those three little girls wouldn't have just made it up -- it would be too much of a coincidence." Or, "I can't believe that they could get that many people in on a conspiracy -- they couldn't get them to all say the same thing."
Unfortunately, people are misinformed, thanks not only to uneven media coverage (and pure prosecution propaganda on Channel 9), but also to the fact that most law-abiding people tend to believe everything prosecutors are saying, as they have a false belief that those in prosecutorial offices are incapable of lying.

With that in mind, I would like to address these issues one at a time. Here is the first quote again:
  • "There must be something to the charges because those three little girls wouldn't have just made it up -- it would be too much of a coincidence."
It is important -- absolutely important -- to remember that at no time did these three children come up to their parents and say: "Miss Tonya did a nasty to me." No, the children came up with these accounts only after "interviewers" such as Suzy "I Don't Recall" Thorne and Stacy "So What" Long either asked dozens of leading questions or simply made up the thing out of whole cloth. Afterward, the children were instructed to give certain testimony.

I cannot emphasize enough this last point, and what we have seen is quite consistent with what occurred in the gaggle of child molestation hoaxes that swept this country and forever marred its judicial system two decades ago. If one examines how these various "disclosures" came about, one will find that no child -- not one -- said anything without first being badgered by unqualified and dishonest "investigators" and parents.

Let us now examine the second quote:
  • "I can't believe that they could get that many people in on a conspiracy -- they couldn't get them to all say the same thing."
 Guess what? The witnesses have not said the same thing, which is the reason I have called them the "Gang That Couldn't Lie Straight." Why do you think that the prosecutors constructed a nebulous timeline? They wanted to create as much uncertainty as possible so they could try to fit the "changing fact" into this greater lie.

Furthermore, don't forget that the prosecution had months to help witnesses prepare for their day on the stand, and still there have been key inconsistencies. If you think they have not been coached, think again. A clinical psychologist contacted me and told me that it was obvious that coaching was going on, so if anyone really believes that these various witnesses just came to the stand on their own without prosecutors having written the script -- as bad and self-contradictory as that script might be -- then the Brooklyn Bridge is in Chattanooga and it is for sale at a bargain price.

Why do the prosecutors use the "Große Lüge"? They use it because it works. If you doubt what I am saying, just watch Channel 9's coverage during the day (if you can stand to listen to them report something akin to a claim that Goebbels was telling the truth) and you will see what I mean. It is clear that the reporters and their own newsroom have bought into the "Große Lüge," and I would bet that if you asked them why, they would say that no prosecutor would make such serious allegations if they were not true.

However, there is one pitfall to using the "Große Lüge," and that is once people conclude one is just telling whoppers, then one's credibility is shot forever. No one defends the name of Goebbels anymore, as the name is identified with producing lying propaganda.

Likewise, even if "Facebook" and "The Man" manage to get a conviction, a huge number of people are going to conclude the trial was a fraud and they got the conviction by lying to a jury, and neither man will have credibility that is essential for them to do their jobs in the future. (If they DO get a conviction, the information that will be made public when the attorneys file for an appeal will be an eye-opener, and a near-death experience for the Dishonest Duo.)

Don't forget that the name "Nifong" became a verb in the Urban Dictionary, and no one confuses "Nifong" with "integrity." I don't know if "Facebook" and "The Man" will reach such towering heights of fame, but they certainly are doing their best to outdo the "Fong" himself.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Can We Expect in Week Three?

Having taken two weeks to present its "evidence" against Tonya Craft, the State of Georgia still is not done with its Parade of Perjurers. A couple of "therapists," one of whom was disqualified in Hamilton County due to very questionable activities, are scheduled to appear, and it should be interesting.

As I noted, the first one will have to explain a number of calls that she and Joal Henke exchanged, far more than one might thing would be the situation between the father of an allegedly abused child and the therapist. It should be interesting.

The other one, Holly Nave Kittle, already made an appearance, giving a "thumbs up" to an inflammatory Facebook post by prosecutor Chris Arnt that clearly violates the standards set by the Georgia State Bar, Specifically Rules 3.6 and 3.8. Here is the problem; in most states, judges will disqualify "expert" witnesses who already have involved themselves in a public way in a case.

Arnt's Facebook incident is bad enough, but when a prosecution "expert" witness publicly affirms the post, that brings double trouble, especially since the post itself was a gratuitous remark about Ms. Craft's defense and not the facts of the case itself. If Kittle were to have made that statement in a number of states other than Georgia, she most likely would have been kicked off the witness list.

Obviously, Georgia permits much more misbehavior on behalf of the prosecution than other states, and it remains to be seen what happens when the inevitable complaints are filed about Arnt, Len "The Man" Gregor, and Judge Brian House. I can tell you already that a preliminary complaint about one of those three has been examined by the Georgia State Bar, and the way is paved for a formal complaint to be filed by a person who will not be named by this blog.

I have had lengthy discussions with people from other states who either are expert witnesses or have testified in court, and it is absolutely clear that a number of the people who testified to the jury in House's court would not have been permitted to do so in other states. For example, when presented with the "credentials" of "Forensic Investigator" Suzi Thorne, one of the witnesses just laughed.

The idea of someone who has not finished college and is taking some on-line classes being a "forensic investigator" is a joke, this person told me. She then listed all of her credentials, well through master's studies, and then told me that even she could not be considered an "expert" witness in her state in her field. Yet, "Facebook" Arnt and "The Man" Gregor have been getting conviction after conviction against people who very well might be innocent of the charges by using unqualified charlatans like Thorne and Sharon Anderson.

For example, this person told me of interviewing a girl who had been engaged in underage sexual intercourse with an underage male, and she asked a number of questions that were recorded. After the tape was turned off, the girl told the interviewer of a situation between her father and herself.

The interviewer quickly went back to the tape, turned it on, and repeated the questions, which the girl answered. That is how such things are done. Contrast that action with what Thorne claimed while under oath happened when she was interviewing one of the three girls. After having asked approximately 16 questions of the child while videotaping her, with the child giving not one bit of incriminating evidence of sexual abuse, Thorne says she turned off the tape.

According to her testimony under oath, Thorne then claimed that the child walked up to her and then claimed that Ms. Craft had put her hand down her pants and did some other things. Now, I can assure every reader that had such a thing actually occurred, Thorne would have run back to the video camera, turned it on, and made sure that her star witness was on tape.

Instead, she claimed that an unknown detective took notes, and a day later, Det. Tim "Dirty" Deal came to the rescue and claimed he was the man. Let's face it; Deal's claim does not pass the smell test, which is what happens when the state does not have real evidence and it uses unqualified, and, frankly, dishonest people to give "expert" testimony.

Of course, as bad as the "expert" witnesses might have been, it got worse when Tonya Craft's ex-husband Joal Henke took the stand Friday. All of a sudden he "remembered" a number of alleged "bad acts" against Tonya, those "acts" allegedly being committed before they were married.

The "bad acts," as the prosecution and judge called them, were alleged homosexual liaisons between Ms. Craft and another female friend. However, there are two problems here. The first is the truthfulness of Henke himself, and a guy who suddenly became forgetful of his alleged sexual prowess is not likely to all of a sudden remember something that he had forgotten to tell investigators before the trial began. His allegations do not ring true, and I don't think they are believable.

Second, the "bad act," had it actually been committed, was perfectly legal. For all of House's explanations, there is no connection at all between lesbian acts and child molestation, and psychologists have not established such links. In other words, Henke's claims were not made in order to enlighten the jury as to some facts, but rather it was done to smear Ms. Craft and inflame the jurors.

But, what trial is not complete without the state presenting hearsay statements as "proof" of something? In fact, in one situation, a witness was providing hearsay of hearsay, which is something falling into the category of the absurd. I will not go into detail except to say that not one of those teachers provided evidence that should be permitted to convict anyone in a court of law.

Unfortunately, the witnesses were not the only people to provide outrageous behavior. There were two incidents involving House which are very telling and ultimately are going to create problems for him in his career.

Two days before she was appeared on the stand as a witness, Sandra Lamb called House personally in order to complain about television coverage of the proceedings via a local TV station. House did not report this ex parte conversation to the defense, even though he is duty bound to do so. Furthermore, he pretended as though nothing had happened when Lamb took the stand at the beginning of last week.

For people not familiar with the law (and apparently that includes House, "Facebook," and "The Man"), judges are NOT supposed to have ex parte conversations with witnesses, the prosecution, and the defense, and if there is meaningful contact between the judge and any of those parties, the other party is supposed to be notified. That clearly did not happen with the Lamb conversation, and it allows one who might be suspicious to wonder if House has had any other ex parte conversations and not reported them.

Unfortunately, House was not through with his own set of "bad acts." The other morning, before testimony began, House was having a conversation with a bailiff in the courtroom and a number of things that he said were recorded. While I am not at liberty to say what the judge uttered, let us say that it is the sort of thing that demonstrates that he might not be exactly even-handed in his approach to justice in this case. Furthermore, the contents of the conversation, though I am not giving them, are the kind of comments that can get a judge in big trouble if his conduct is scrutinized by those people with authority over him.

To put it another way, it was not a good week if Brian House wished to enhance his judicial career.

In looking at the upcoming defense witnesses, the first thing you will notice is that they are going to be much more professional than the dishonest hacks paraded around by "Facebook" and "The Man." Furthermore, these people not only read the literature in the field covered in this trial, they have written much of it.

I have no doubt that they will present themselves well, but the cross-examination should be most interesting. First, neither "Facebook" nor "The Man" really are able to have an intelligent conversation with intelligent people, much less ask appropriate questions of someone who is shredding the prosecution's dishonest and fabricated "evidence" from the stand.

Thus, I predict that what they will do is to abuse the witnesses or try desperately before they appear to have them disqualified. This should be humorous, given that any one of the defense's "expert" witnesses has more credentials and real-world credibility than all of the prosecution "experts" combined. However, given the way that House has been running this trial, I have come to expect the unexpected and have learned that no outrage is outrageous enough for these people.

Second, I predict that these witnesses will be forceful and authoritative in their testimony, creating more problems for "Facebook" and "The Man." In the cross-examination, observers will see the prosecutors engaging the ad hominem to the fullest, attempting to inflame the jury to reject anything these "outsiders" might have to say.

Actually, if "Facebook" and "The Man" want to channel someone for this daunting task, they might look to the former Morgan County, Alabama, Solicitor Wade Wright, who made the state's closing arguments in the infamous Scottsboro Boys trial. In closing, Wright thundered:
Don't you know these defense witnesses are bought and paid for? May the Lord have mercy on the soul of Ruby Bates (who testified for the defense). Now the question in this case is this—Is justice in the case going to be bought and sold in Alabama with Jew money from New York?
Indeed, I think we can see the prosecution team giving some repeat performance of Wade Wright, although they most likely will try to appeal to the mentality of the locals that they are under siege from "outsiders" trying to bamboozle them.

While I have no idea as to what the jurors are thinking, given that no one is "supposed" to contact any of them of speak of this case (and I only can hope that is the case, given the audacity of some of the prosecution's supporters), I can say forcefully that the prosecution and House clearly are losing the public relations battle outside the courthouse. This isn't Scottsboro, where guilt was determined before a trial began and the townspeople would hear of nothing else. Tonya Craft is a much more sympathetic defendant than I could have imagined, and the prospect of three men ganging up to manipulate the law and abuse their powers to railroad an innocent woman into prison is not playing well outside the households of the Lambs and the Wilsons, along with the faux "investigators" of the Children's Advocacy Centers.

Look for week three to be most interesting, because once the defense puts on its own witnesses, I believe that the prosecutors and House will demonstrate an even uglier side than what we have seen so far. However, I also believe that everyone else outside the small circle of accusers is going to recognize their brutality and lawlessness for what it is. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

An Open Letter to the Little Three: House, Arnt and Gregor

In writing this open letter to you, I hope you understand that I have written other open letters and if you see the events which followed, you might agree that I gave really good advice. For example, you might want to read this open letter I wrote to Mike Nifong shortly after the infamous December 15, 2006, hearing in which it became abundantly clear he had been hiding evidence and lying to a judge.

True, in this situation, Judge Brian House is part of the whole package of dishonesty, which makes thing even more complicated, but as much as I despise all three of you for making a mockery of justice, I am going to give you good advice. Yes, it is unsolicited advice, but it still is the best path for all three of you if you wish to save your careers.

"Save our careers?" you ask mockingly. Yes, save your careers. Let me explain.

In the fall of 2006, Mike Nifong was invulnerable, or so he thought. He won the general election in November, the courts were doing his bidding, and the New York Times was acting as his publicity agent. Many times I despaired as I saw him smirk in open court, roll his eyes when the defense attorneys were speaking, and generally behave as though he owned the world.

Ah, but Virgil Sollozzo in "The Godfather" believed he, too, was invulnerable because he had Captain McClusky as his bodyguard, but that did not save him. Likewise, the cocky Nifong strode into the December 15 hearing and limped away as the defense confronted him with exculpatory DNA results Nifong claimed did not exist. That was the last we saw of the cocky Nifong.

Six months later, he was in another hearing, facing a panel of the North Carolina State Bar, which pulled his law license and ended his legal career. I remember watching him weep at the end of the hearing, an utterly humiliated and pathetic creature. No one could have predicted such a scene seven months earlier.

I tell you this story because you three men are riding high. You own the courthouse. With House greasing the skids, you find that it is easy to introduce perjured testimony. Why, your witnesses are having sudden recalls of memory on the stand, and those memories just happen to match the stories you want to have told. Amazing! And it is so easy because you don't have a judge that is telling you that you are perpetrating a scam!

Why? Because House is in on this fraud. The only thing left to do is to fix a guilty verdict. Yes, you believe that if you can get a conviction, then all will be well.

I would like to differ with you on that. To the contrary, a "guilty" verdict will be the worst thing for you, and you don't want it under any circumstances. Oh, you tell yourself that it will be years before Tonya Craft wins an appeal -- if she wins it at all. You will be heroes, at least to Sandra Lamb and Sherry Wilson, as they seem to be running the show down there, anyway.

However, let me warn you that if there is a conviction, all three of you are going to face scrutiny like you never have before. While it is true that the national media has not covered this case, I can assure you that if you manage to get Ms. Craft thrown into prison, this conviction and its aftermath will find its way to the desks of some prominent journalists, and I can guarantee you that these reporters will not be deferential to you the way that local folk have to bow down to your wishes.

Do you think I am joking? A few days after the December 15 hearing, the Los Angeles Times was calling for Nifong to resign. The LA Times! More than 2,000 miles away! That meant Nifong's shenanigans had reached the Pacific Coast, and it also meant that Nifong was fair game for journalists who wanted a piece of him.

Right now, the three of you are running a dictatorship. You have managed to suppress evidence, keep key defense witnesses from testifying, and coach your own witnesses to lie under oath without any worry of sanctions. In other words, you have created your own reality, and it is fun watching decent people squirm as you strut your stuff.

However, all of that will change if the national media becomes convinced that Ms. Craft was railroaded by three men who ran roughshod over innocent people and the law. Furthermore, don't be fooled by Ms. Craft's tears when you had her own daughter testify untruthfully against her. She is a survivor, and she will become more determined if she is forced against her will into a prison, and she will harness that anger into an appeal that ultimately will expose your whole crooked operation.

You see, Ms. Craft would not be the only person you have railroaded on false charges. People whom you have mowed down are telling me their stories, and those stories will make some journalists very interested. There are a lot of innocent people whose lives you have ruined because, frankly, you enjoyed it. As you yourself said, Mr. Gregor, you "love" to be "the man."

I can assure you, however, that someone from the New York Times or Fox News will not be impressed by your "the Man" act. Judge Andrew Napolitano and others there already are aware of what you are doing, and they are waiting to see what the jury ultimately does. If it returns a "guilty" verdict, trust me when I tell you that you will be dealing with journalists who see you as a liar and a bully, and will treat you as such.

Furthermore, the journalists are going to find and expose a number of things. They will tell the world about the therapist in Atlanta whose office you raided (and took the Tonya Craft file), and your police state tactics won't look so good on the big screen. Unlike the local news, which cannot report the disparaging remarks House made about the defense counsel and Ms. Craft because they came before testimony began, national journalists won't be afraid of your suing them. The very words you said will be shown to the world, and I can assure you that Tim Deal won't look to tough to a reporter who is not afraid of him and who holds him in total contempt.

Do you believe that just because you can make sport of the defense lawyers in your court, Mr. House, that they are not going to remember what you did? These lawyers have connections, and it is not about the money for them. They see what you are doing, and they are talking to other attorneys, and there are going to be some people out there who are motivated enough to make serious legal trouble for you.

I am not kidding. Nifong openly insulted attorney Joe Cheshire, but it was Cheshire who turned that scoundrel into the state bar, and it was Cheshire who was sitting in that room when Nifong bawled like a baby as his career was given the boot. All three of you have crossed a line, and you know it, and a lot of other people know it, too.

Moreover, the media will start scrutinizing your other "molestation" cases that featured Deal and the same gaggle of charlatans posing as "forensic investigators" at the Children's Advocacy Centers in Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton. And as the truth comes out, drip by drip, your friends in high places are going to start running for cover, just as they did in North Carolina as Nifong's legal shenanigans were exposed.

Trust me when I tell you that the very people you believe will cover your tails are going to be the ones who throw you under the bus. Don't think that you save your careers by bullying others, because it won't work.

So, if you wish to avoid the scrutiny which ultimately will bring you down, I know of only one way for that to happen: lose this case. The best way is for House, after the state "rests," to direct the jury to return a "not guilty" verdict.

What? You think I am joking, don't you. Lose the case? After the three of you have worked so hard to make sure that the fix was in? Yes, that is what I am saying.

Yeah, you would win now, and you could claim that a jury convicted Ms. Craft, not you, but you also would know that had you and your witnesses been telling the truth, and had not House done everything in his power to keep Ms. Craft from mounting a proper defense, the jury would have no problem at all in voting for acquittal.

Don't kid yourselves. None of you ever have felt the scrutiny of the national media. Nifong believed they were eating out of his hand -- until he found that the press decided he might look better with that hand chopped off. It is not pleasant, and you and your families do not want to endure it.

So, if you win, you lose. To be frank, I want to see you lose, and still undergo the scrutiny, but if Ms. Craft is found not guilty, the national media won't even try to find Ringgold on the map.

I don't give you this advice because I like any of you. Indeed, I believe you to be loathsome characters who have perverted justice out of a sheer sense of enjoyment, which makes you pretty disgusting creatures. That any of you are permitted even to use the bathroom in a court of law is disgraceful, let alone that one of you actually wears the black robe of justice.

Nonetheless, while I hope your careers crash and burn, I am giving you the advice on how to save them. When I gave the rogue Nifong similar counsel, he rejected it and tried his best to steer his Titanic away from the iceberg.

Unknown to him, however, his ship already was doomed. Yours is not, but if you manage to contrive a conviction from that pack of lies you presented, then it only is a matter of time before you receive the Nifong treatment. It is not pleasant, but if it is given to you, I can assure you that you will have deserved all of it.