Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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.


Anonymous said...

I for one couldn't disagree with you more, Mr. Anderson. I don't think this is anything like the cases you mentioned. The state has presented a lot of evidence (testimony from the little children, the parents, the experts, the investigators, and Tonya's Homosexuality) that lend to justification for conducting this trial. I'm sorry you refuse to see that and make your living stirring up trouble.
Can you imagine the publics reaction if the state had NOT pursued this case after the Grand Jury indicted her?
I applaud Judge House for hearing this class and not running from it. I'm glad we have a Judge in Catoosa Co that isn't worried about the likes of you. I think he is conducting a fair trial despite what this small band of vocal critics would like the world to believe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you Brother Bill...
Enuff said.........

Anonymous said...

AMEN Anon 7:56!! This blogger is nothing but a pot stirrer who is NOT an attorney, does not know the law- much less GEORGIA law, and sits far from the trial in PA. Whatever his sources are, many of them are clearly wrong- about Judge House, Gregor & Arnt- and he is going to write whatever he chooses to, and however he wants the story painted. People simply can't believe another person would do this to children. I don't know if she did it or not. And the jury is still out.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the cronies for the prosecution getting their shots in before they go to court.

Why don't you two idiots show us something that none of us have seen...some real evidence in this case. Get real.

Anonymous said...

"The state has presented a lot of evidence" - Why don't you show us some concrete evidence not made-up by some supposed "experts" or parents looking for money or revenge?

As the commercial says, the defense needs to "put their money where their mouth is".

Anonymous said...

Are Anon 7:56 and Anon 8:14 watching and listening to same trial as I am??? Some of the witness' have PERJURED themselves on the stand!! It is incredible how this trial is still going on. I wish that I knew how to let someone in the "national" media know what is going on.

William L. Anderson said...

Speaking of "evidence," Holly Nave Kittle took a FIVE-DAY COURSE in order to prepare for this job. Four weeks later, she interviewed Sandra Lamb's daughter.

In more courtrooms, Kittle would not be allowed to testify as an "expert." That she is attests to the kind of "evidence" the prosecution is presenting. Yeah, people have said stuff, but one must remember that evidence is subject to the laws of time and space, and must fit within the bounds of logic. That has not been the case here.

KC Sprayberry said...

I feel, unfortunately that Tonya Craft can only expect a hung jury at best from this farce of a trial. There is a ringer on the jury, a man who is a friend or relative (I can't remember the exact relationship at the moment) of her ex. This man said no one actually spoke of the accusations at any gatherings he attended, but I seriously doubt he spoke the truth, as have none of those associated with the prosecution. And the children associated with this trial will have extremely bad problems later in their lives, problems where they use the same false accusations to demean people who they feel disrespect them or were just in the line of fire when their own lives went in a direction they did not want. How do I know? Bitter experience with one of my daughters who fell into this trap at approximately the same age. No therapists I contacted ever addressed the root problem, only reinforced her current accusation, leaving me with the feeling most therapists specializing in victims of child abuse are only interested in furthering their 'research' for their next book and keeping this hysteria at a high peak. It's time to stop the witch hunts and slowly, very slowly, investigate each case as an individual incident before bringing a possibly innocent person to trial.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson,

(With all due respect) you, sir, are a badass. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:34... just look up various media outlets online and find their "contact us" area of the website. That should lead you where you want to go. I have written to national media myself about this "trial."
And to Anon 7:56, this "small band of vocal critics" that you write about... well IT may be small, but the number of people who support Ms. Craft and object to this farce of a trial is LARGE. And to Anon 8:14, your statement that "people simply can't believe another person would do this to children." In this world, anything is possible. Sadly, there are pedophiles out there. However, with SUCH a lack of evidence, how can one say Ms. Craft is guilty? Like the other commenter said, are you watching the same trial I am? Get real.

Johnny said...

Anonymous @ 0756 and agreeing Anonymous @ 0814, you are both idiots if you think there has been evidence presented by the state. What someone thinks and says, unless on tape/video is not proof. Oh, I just remembered after two years and while on the witness stand. How stupid. It's not credible. Oh, too big of a word? Then it is not to be believed.

Sneak behind anonymous all you like. God sees you. Maybe you don't care. Fair is fair and this is not fair. I can only hope that someday you have a trial by the same standards.

And be careful about slinging the homosexual card around. It can be considered a hate crime and if you are found out then you could be charged with a hate crime. It is so obvious you two don't even know what you are talking about.

Expert my foot. A child makes an astonishing announcement and you don't go back to the camera to record it. And you think someone was there taking notes but can't remember and oh how convenient he shows up the next day. Really, REALLY!!!!

Holly Nave Kittle, shame on you. I bet you weren't raised that way.

Allison said...

Looks like Anon 7:56 and 8:14 no less on the prosecution side are getting a little scared. Well you should. You support a Judge who never should have been Judge much less a Judge on this trial. You are the one that should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Ya House is great, he has now ruled that defense cannot present testimony as to Crafts Character, after prosecution trashed it.

Kerwyn said...

Having been a FNE (Forensic Nurse Examiner) for over 12 years, I do feel qualified to comment on the actions of other "supposed" professionals in my field and the auxiliary fields in which I practice.

I have testified in well over 500 cases ( I did check, it is 512) as am "expert" witness. I have never, repeat NEVER seen an "expert" witness, roll their eyes, shrug shoulders or give smart ass answers. It is blatantly unprofessional and simply shows they are unprepared and ill suited to their supposed profession. A degree in Anthropology and a couple of seminars do not a Forensic Examiner make.

I have never, repeat never, seen a judge allow such behavior from a witness in their courtroom. I cannot imagine a judge who "represented" the ex husband of the defendant NOT recuse him/herself. I literally cannot imagine most of what has been allowed in this court happening where I live (thank God).

As a FNE, I care about one thing and one thing only.. The truth. NOT what I want the facts to be, not what I hope the facts might be, not what the prosecution wants them to be, nor the defense. I frequently piss off the defense and the prosecution equally because I refuse to be someone's toady. I present my facts carefully and with thought. If that means it contradicts what the prosecution wants.. tough beans.

For these "supposed" experts to conduct not only the interviews in the fashion they did, but to conduct themselves in the way they did is stunning. For the judge to have allowed it simply shows bias of such a degree that he should simply recuse himself and move the case somewhere else.

For a juror to be allowed to sit that is related to anyone in this trial either by marriage or by blood is beyond the pale.

Thank God we have a real justice system where I live and not this perverted deceit-filled kangaroo court that exists there.

Oh-- Prosecution buddies who are posting.. You do realize, don't you, that your IP is being logged and can be traced directly back to your doorstep right?

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

To Anon 7:56:

Does the LAW in Georgia deem as qualified "experts" who might as well have obtained their credentials from a Cracker Jack box? Does the LAW deem as credible evidence hearsay within hearsay which, because it is hearsay, is malleable in order to fit the preferred storyline rather than solid, impervious and a rock of transcendent truth? (Yes, the statutes allow this)

Does the LAW allow a judge to withhold information about an ex parte conversation with a witness, the contents thereof bearing on that witness's credibility and manifesting her actions as an advocate for the prosecution rather than someone recounting facts?

Does the LAW allow a judge to legally hide a taped conversation showing his partiality to one side and preventing the implementation of proper procedures to disqualify him from the case?

If so, the LAW is an ASS!

Anonymous said...

I am a Catoosa County resident and have been for over twenty years. I approached this case avoiding the publicity that surrounded it from the beginning. I refused to speculate on Mrs. Craft's guilt or innocence believing that is her right under the law. After the trial began to read the evidence put forward by the prosecution. On my own, I saw inconsistencies and contradictions. As I read some of the objections that were overruled by Judge House I was amazed. As I saw the arrogance of the prosecutors and the lengths they went to keep Mrs. Craft and her supporters silent I was angry, I admit to not knowing evidentiary rules, but the decisions House made seemed to defy common sense and my sense of fairness. After reading the transcripts of the prosecutions case, as a taxpayer, I want my money back. Whatever we compensate Arnt and Gregor, they are paid far more than I think they are worth and I would speculate far less than they think they should be compensated.
As far as Judge House, I am a registered and active voter and I firmly believe he has put forth a great argument for his first term being his last. I'm not sure that I would credit his incompetence to malice, but simply a case of a man being way over his head. I hope the jury considers carefully the decisions they must make in the next few days. I hope each juror considers that one day he or she may sit with a jury of their peers considering their guilt or innocence. I can only say based on what I've read, and what my instincts tell me that were I in that jury box, I would have to vote for Mrs. Craft's acquittal. Thank you for taking the time to write this blog. Frankly, I wish Chickamauga had kept this smelly mess in their county.

John Proctor said...

Brian House forfeited any right to refer to himself as a jurist when he refused to recuse himself or allow a change of venue. He is determined to engineer a guilty verdict on the flimsiest of excuses (no objective evidence, the kind presented in real courts anywhere besides Catoosa County has been offered) and realized early on that a truly fair trial presided over by a truly neutral jurist would not produce the verdict he is determined to get. His representation of the defendant’s ex-husband would certainly disqualify him in all courts except the one in the parallel universe that is Catoosa County.

And, finally, to Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., as it pretains to this case, the law is not an ass. Brian House is.

Anonymous said...

Show trials such as these serve much the same purpose as the gladiatorial contests served in the Roman Coliseum. Few Christians were actually thrown to the lions, but some were. These atrocities took place at times when the public's lust for blood was especially strong and the authorities were especially fearful or sadistic. The point is that when bread becomes more scarce, we want better circuses. The justice system provides them. And the need for scapegoats, of course, is perpetual.

There isn't much that one can do for people like Tonya Croft who've been selected, for whatever reason, to be scapegoats subject to judicial process which, nowadays, functions as the equivalent of a lynching. When the people want a hanging, the system's functionaries will give them one.

What can be done is to attempt to create a support network with sufficient resources to ensure that persons such as Ms. Croft will be permitted to do her prison time in relative peace with unfortunate consequences to be visited upon inmates and prison personnel who may subject her to violence, terror and harassment.

Judge House and some of the other actors involved in this travesty may indeed be villains or they may just be representatives of their time and place. We've all heard the phrase "the banality of evil." They may or may not, in their lifetimes, be called to account for their actions. In any event, they play their part in a corrupt system that may eventually collapse but will not be reformed. All we can really do is to try to offer what aid we can to their victims.

Anonymous said...

House is a snake...He allows prosecutorial evidence on Crafts character, then disallows defense evidence on Craft character.

What a joke.

Lisa B. said...

I know Tonya has not been allowed any contact with her daughter for two years. However, what about her family? Have the maternal grandparents or other family members been denied visitation with the child?

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

John Procter,

You are probably right. However, this trial should be a wake up call about how hysteria over child molestation has caused jurisprudence to be corrupted. Hearsay is allowed in these cases because they involve children.

I don't care what the utilitarian argument is about that. The evil of allowing hearsay is before your eyes in this case.

Anonymous said...

To file a grievance with a lawyer. Call the State Bar of Georgia at (404) 527-8759 or (800) 334-6865. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. E.S.T. The fax number is (404) 287-8390. You may also write to the following address:
State Bar of Georgia
Consumer Assistance Program
104 Marietta Street
Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

John Proctor said...

"The evil of allowing hearsay is before your eyes in this case."


Anonymous said...

Google Scottsboro + "Michael Craft" + murder.

big rob on 43rd said...

It's strikingly funny that the only comments favorable to the prosecution came before trial start time. Keep up the good work, it seems you are at least distracting them from their job at hand.

tandt said...

Once again, I must say WOW!!! I see our little biased anons got their comments in right before court started. Whew!!!

Also, I pray again that these people were not the products of the same educational system I attended. In the good old South we like to use the term "Bless their hearts" for those less fortunate in the education or even brain function category. I would dare to wager that these fine citizens and scholars actually look up the words in the word verification. (Hint to our little friends: they aren't real words. Isn't that silly?)

Bill, didn't know you had made a very recent move to PA. I guess with all of the money you are making from your free blog with no advertisers is making you a rich man! Lol! I'm sorry, I can't help it. They truly set themselves up for it.

Anonymous said...

I am so incensed by what happened in court this morning (Tuesday) that I don't even think I can form a complete sentence beyond to say, "God Bless you, Bill...keep it up." If I were on the jury, you had better believe they prosecution would have earned an innocent vote from me after their actions just now.


To Anon 7:56 and 8:14
Thank you Mrs. Lamb and Mrs Wilson for your unsolicited opinions. Hope you were not late for court.

Anonymous said...

As one who was formerly a citizen of that county, I can attest to it's judicial corruption. I am a real molestation victim and my friend was too as a little girl. 2 cousins who were brothers molested us repeatedly as children. SS became involved once but it went away because their parents rub elbows with higher-ups in that system. So nothing ever happened to them. It is definitely all about who you know there and the ones who are in with the big wigs in charge can get away with anything they like. To this day, one of the 2 molesters is a heavy alcoholic and the cops in that town have let him get away with drinking and driving!!! It is sickening! The real molesters get away in that county if they know the right people in the system, that much is certainly true.

Keep on shining the light Mr. Anderson and all of us will do the same in turn by getting the word out!

The 3 stooges will have to face The Allmighty in HIS court one day and explain their evildoings in this case and it had better be good. But as we all know, Satan surely has their backs in this case and is cheering them on - not God! God is about truth, they are not!

We are not such a small band of supporters as you think. The word has spread far and wide and we will all make sure this injustice is not swept under the rug. Thank you Mr. Anderson! Shine on!

Anonymous said...

Oh my!!! To the Forensic Nurse, would you mind if I copied and pasted your comments on the WRCB facebook page??? Thanks for what you had to say, sad isn't it what we have going on in this county!

kbp said...

Anon 12:16,

All information hear is public now, copy away. I know she'll wekcome it!


Cross examination gives the prosecution their chance at the leading questions. Think about the difference between how the defense and prosecution has handled the cross so far.

Discredited the 'experts' through revealing a lack of professional qualifications and procedures which violate the professional guidelines established, through leading questions based on fact.

Put forth an effort to discredit the witness's personal character and suggest characteristic behaviors of Tonya through leading questions absent fact.

Any juror absent an agenda to convict Tonya can see what was done, and the defense helped make them aware of it through the wording of their objections.


"... comments by the justices will be scathing"

Would not the criminal appeals court hear the case prior to the Supreme Court of that state?
(I'm not sure of Georgia, and realize some cases can go directly to the SC)

Anonymous said...

I would bet a princely sum that House and the prosecutors subscribe to every liberal nostrum. It is politically advantageous to do so.

Former Attorney General Reno believed that child abuse was going on behind every closed door. I'm sure Reno was a true believer but it helped her to be appointed to head the Justice department.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Sandra Lamb but Sherri Wilson isn't well educated. Hell she just married money.

tandt said...

Actually, anon 4:00, don't start betting your money yet. All 3, are sadly, representing the conservative Christians. That is how they became elected. Now, because of my knowledge of all of their pasts, I did not vote for them. I do a lot of research on every, single person before I vote. It's almost a sickness, but, I do not fall for the campaigns of people.
So save up your money, and let's get a bet you can win big at, then help Mrs. Craft! Also, I'm not being sarcastic, which is rare for me, I just wanted to let you know what they claim to be. :-)

Anonymous said...


Self-identified conservative Christian politicians circa 2010 will go out of their way to show how liberal they are. They want to be respectable. A way to do this is to seize on "child molestation" as a way to advance themselves.

tandt said...

Sadly though, these guys truly believe that is who they represent. They don't. In fact, they do not represent anyone except themselves & their few followers. I find it all sad because 1st and foremost, judges are supposed to walk in blindly, this joker does not. He knows he is being watched and is still behaving in the worst manner. Also, a very good friend (who is an attorney & leans to the left), is completely disgusted by this case. So we don't need to be so quick to judge based on "right" or "left", but rather right or wrong.
Also, the quest for "child molesters" in this district has been going on for years. It's a financial boost and most of the people do not have the money or resources to defend themselves. There are an enormous amount of these cases in this district which are started because of custody/ divorce. It's very easy to do here.

William L. Anderson said...

By the way, are House and Franklin Democrats or Republicans? I know so little about the party politics down there, and this would make no real difference, but I am interested.

Anonymous said...

In House's case, most likely, Republican as that is the trend in this area of Georgia, but I cannot document that as a certainty. His campaign webpage does not list a party affiliation so it may have been a non-partisan election. Of the Tennessee firms he worked for previously, I recognize at least 2 names as prominent Republican supporters.

tandt said...

Franklin is a Democrat who ran unopposed. House is Republican. Arnt & Gregor, both Republicans also. It's generally that way around here.

dmk said...

Please let's try not to turn this into an us vs. them political issue, because this isn't the time or place for it, and it won't be helpful to the cause, especially if someone is pushing an idea that's not based in fact. Anon @ 4:00's suggestion that in this area it is politically advantageous to subscribe to every liberal nostrum is incorrect. In fact, in northwest Georgia, it is political suicide.

In this community, I would be considered a true blue liberal of the worst kind. Yet I absolutely believe what has happened to Tonya Craft is sheer outrage, as do the few of my acquaintances that also lean left. Given the political makeup of this area, it's an almost mathematical certainty that the majority of Tonya's supporters are politically conservative. So, the fact that this issue completely transcends party lines says a lot about how strongly people believe in Tonya's innocence. I find hope in the fact that when the chips are really down, we can still put aside our differences of opinion and labels and come together as citizens to stand against true injustice.

For those curious about the local political scene, from what I remember of House's campaign is that he emphasized the themes you would expect of someone courting the conservative Republican vote. Franklin is a Democrat but has been in office long enough that he just keeps getting by on name recognition and incumbency, and his office isn't really seen as that political to begin with. Until then next election cycle after Franklin was elected, almost 100% of local offices were held by Democrats. Often there wouldn't even be a Republican candidate, so the Democratic primary was really the general election. The D after the name was more about tradition and status quo than anything else though, and a rural Georgia Democrat of his era would likely label themselves as something else entirely were they starting over from scratch today.

Anonymous said...

I am a christian conservative, please don't loop these jokers with me! They may say they are but have proven they are the devil's advocates! Neither party would want them!

Anonymous said...

I don't know anyone in the case, BUT if the "experts" failed to record interviews pertaining to the children in this case, then these same experts should bear full responsibility to the children, as well as Ms. Kraft.
I say prepare the slander suit.
If you don't have proof, keep your mouth shut. Shame on you "experts!"

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that if this judge is a man of character, rather than just a character, he should recuses himself from the trial.

It also seems like the real crime here might be in those people who are for and about bearing false witness against this woman. May the all rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Catossa County, I am extremely appalled by the way that this judge and these prosecutors have conducted themselves. If this is the kind of fair and impartial justice we have to offer to our tax paying citizens here, we should all be very very afraid.
A judge who represented the accused's ex-husband during their divorce, and a family member of that same ex-husband's on the jury? You have got to be kidding me. This stinks to high Heaven people, and I truly do appreciate what Mr. Anderson is doing here.
Judge House, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you are truly a Christian person, you have to know in your heart that you have not been fair and impartial here. What if you were accused of such a terrible crime? Would it be important to you to have a fair trial? Think about that, would you?

Anonymous said...

The judge and prosecutor in this case should go to prison for this horrible injustice they are committing against this teacher. The Salem Witch trials started the same way this case die- angry little girls making false accusastions. The mothers of the girls also should go to prison for inventing these lies and planting in their little girl's heads over nothing more than a cat fight. Our justice system is a joke. I urge all the people to look up jury nullification on google and then apply jury nullification to obvious cases of corrupt prosecutions and where corrupt, criminal judges like this pig sit over sham trials .

Anonymous said...

I have been a Catoosa resident for many years and am so ashamed I voted for Mr. House. His behavior and demeanor in this "Witch Hunt" is nothing less than immoral, un-Christian and unlawful. May God have mercy on Mr. House as he will be judged by the SUPREME JUDGE. Ms. Craft seems to be a 'scape-goat' for the prosecution as she is NOT getting a fair trial - they only want a conviction not justice. Shame on you all who are ruining this lady's life. Much in prayer for you.

Anonymous said...

The speculation is over, the verdict is in: 22 Counts charged, 22 NOT GUILTY verdicts. The facial expressions of this judge when the verdicts were read looked as though he was feeling the loss of his prosecution of this woman.

I have many family and friends in his district. I will encourage them to vote for someone else to serve on the bench.

This judge is a disgrace to justice and a "fair trial." His distain for the very process of "innocent until proven guilty" leaves my blood cold.

I do, however, believe that the system works and this verdict proves this fact. When people are innocent, they can be exonerated by a jury even when the judge loads the case against them.

On a personal note, I am so very glad to be a resident of Tennessee. I do not believe our own state or judiciary tolerates such behaviors.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for people like you Mr. Anderson! Mr. House is a JOKE!! He reminds me of someone with anger from high school or middle school seeking revenge on people because he thinks he has "power" to ruin lives now. Do everyone a favor and GET A LIFE MR. HOUSE!! The world is full of enough criminals as it is.

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Anonymous said...

My daughter just went through a child custody case with Mr. House being the judge. Her ex-husband has custody of her 6 year old son only because he threaten, manipulated, and scared her into it. He began keeping the child and not letting her have her visitation so she filed to regain custody.During this time, the ex-husband was drinking to the point of passing out. One particular night it happened and the child called his mother and asked her to come get him. She called 911 and she arrived after the police, firetruck and ambulance. The father was so drunk he couldn't speak and the ambulance took him to the hospital.(He stated in court that he was asleep). Also during this time, my daughter discovered that the ex-husband and his new wife were involved in a swingers club, heavily into porn and smoking pot. This was all proven in court and Judge House ordered that the child be returned from his mother's temporary custody to go back to the father. The father also had purchased airline tickets and is a flight risk. We were absolutely shocked that Judge House would rule in that father's favor with all the information he had. The father and his wife actually lied several times under oath and suffered no consequences for anything. Catoosa and Walker County's courts are the worse anyone could ever imagine!!! They are a disgrace. I cannot warn people enough about them! Attorney Larry Stagg and Judge Brian House must be two of the "good ole boys" working together.