Thursday, January 19, 2012

"They are just doing their jobs"

As posted earlier, when I spoke to a representative of the Georgia State Bar about the conduct of Christopher Arnt and Len Gregor during the Tonya Craft trial, she blew off what I was saying with the flip comment, "They're just doing their jobs."

When I asked if "doing their jobs" included lying to jurors, suborning perjury, fabricating documents, and general misconduct, she hung up on me. After all, the Georgia State Bar has to protect privileged wrongdoers. (The Bar is great about going after private attorneys in small practices, people who have no real political constituency. Prosecutors are a protected class, however, and the Georgia State Bar will go to all lengths to protect them, no matter how many crimes prosecutors commit and how many innocent people go to prison.)

Unfortunately, the State of Georgia hardly is alone in protecting criminal behavior on behalf of prosecutors. The National Law Journal reports a most disturbing trend with state bars all over the country:
A report issued Monday by the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University School of Law found that of the 707 cases between 1997 and 2009 in which courts explicitly determined that prosecutors had committed misconduct, only six prosecutors -- 0.8 percent -- were disciplined by the State Bar of California. Sixty-seven prosecutors committed misconduct more than once and some as many as five times. The majority of those prosecutors were never publicly disciplined, the project said.
We are not dealing with naive behavior by state bars, but rather willfulness. As I see it, the state bars across the country are sending a clear message to everyone else: Prosecutors are to be protected at all costs, and if one of those costs is thousands of wrongful convictions and the destruction of law that comes with prosecutorial abuse, then so be it. The profession is above the law.

I would challenge ANYONE on ANY state bar in this country to tell me that what I am saying is wrong. Yes, they will spare no expense going after a crappy lawyer who rips off clients, lawyers that have no moneyed constituency behind them, but if my experience with the Georgia State Bar is typical of what happens in the USA, the state bars will do ANYTHING to protect politically-connected people from facing any consequences.

As I said in my interview with Lew Rockwell, the prosecutors have "captured" the "justice" system, and we can see the sorry results.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My interview with Lew Rockwell on prosecutorial misconduct

My recent interview with Lew Rockwell on prosecutorial misconduct in this country is available here. You will find a number of themes that have been consistent in this blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amerika, Obama, and Eric the Unjust

To get a sense of what has happened to the "law" in the United States, and especially federal criminal law, the federal persecution of marine biologist Nancy Black tells us what we need to know about what is happening to the innocent. And shame on the federal grand jury that indicted her.

According to the story in The Economist:
ONE of the unforgettable experiences to be had in California is to go whale watching in Monterey Bay. Nancy Black, a licensed marine biologist, is one of the scientists who lead these commercial outings, besides doing her own whale research. As Lawrence Biegel, her lawyer, tells it, one day Ms Black was in her research boat with assistants when killer whales attacked a pod of grey whales and killed a calf. Its blubber floated to the surface, and the killer whales were about to feed on it. Seizing this opportunity to film their behaviour, Ms Black threaded ropes through some pieces of blubber, then lowered a camera underwater.
The government of Barack Obama and the Department of (In)Justice led by Mr. Perjury Himself, Eric Holder, had this response:
For this, Ms Black might now face up to 20 years in prison and half a million dollars in fines, after a federal grand jury indicted her this month. Little about the charges makes common sense. The federal law in question is the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was intended to save dolphins, seals and whales from being killed and harassed. The law also banned feeding these animals, on the theory that doing so might compromise their ability to forage naturally in future. Feeding is what Ms Black is now accused of. She says she was using the protocols she had learned from the federal agencies that are now investigating her to observe a natural feeding that was already in progress.

Just as ridiculous, says Mr Biegel, is the accusation, increasingly common in federal cases, that Ms Black lied to the authorities, which carries its own prison terms. Ms Black always edits the commercial videos of her whale outings to make them more interesting. When investigators demanded footage, she gave them one of these edited videos. Prosecutors now claim that she had tampered with evidence.
So, Ms. Black cooperated with investigators who then decided to interpret an edited film as "tampering with evidence" and "lying to investigators," which is an extreme way of looking at things. For doing these things, an innocent person might go to prison for 20 years, given how federal juries are nothing but lapdogs of federal prosecutors.

Now, how do Obama and Holder deal with federal employees who actually commit real crimes? Oh, they give their com-padres a slap on the wrist. Here are TSA agents who STOLE $40,000 from passengers and what do they get? A few months in jail.

At least we know how Obama and Holder look at crime. Real crime is overlooked and real criminals get a slap on the wrist, but when it comes to a marine biologist who has committed no crime, they want to put her away for two decades.

Now, in their defense, it was not Obama and Holder who did away with the mens rea portion of federal criminal law. No, that was the Supreme Court of Earl Warren and William O. Douglas, both of whom are revered by "Progressives" who believed that the ancient Anglo-American view of criminal law -- that someone must inflict real harm upon individuals or their property -- should be discarded and be replaced by rules that would reflect "the public good." Of course, "Progressives" would be the sole creators of what would be in the "public good" or not.

Harvey Silverglate, who has been a mentor to me for many years, has written a great book Three Felonies a Day and notes that many federal laws are vague and are easily manipulated by prosecutors. Furthermore, because the laws themselves are unclear, juries are forced to INTERPRET the laws as opposed to their historical duties of (1) knowing that a crime has been committed and (2) determining whether or not the defendant committed the crime.

Unfortunately, much of federal law consists of prosecutors charging people with a series of complicated and wordy charges and then leaving it up to the juries to determine if the law even was broken. Under such circumstances, jurors often conclude that if someone has been charged, then that should be proof of guilt.

There is a reason that the USA leads the world in incarceration. This country has some of the harshest laws on the planet and some of the world's worst prosecutors. And it is sad to see the former Constitutional Law professor Barack Obama and Eric Holder carry on that sorry tradition.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sintija now officially is an Anderson!

A Latvian court today granted our adoption petition for Sintija, so she now officially is our daughter! Johanna and Sintija are in Latvia this week and will return to the USA on Thursday and come home on Friday.

They will travel back to Latvia in about a month to obtain the permanent resident visa from the U.S. Embassy, and then we will go about doing the re-adoption here in Maryland.

This is a wonderful day, and we are thankful to all of you who have supported us.

RIP Carola Jacobson

I have sad news to report: Carola Jacobson, a truly wonderful woman and a mother who stood alone against the Maricopa County Mafia, has succumbed to breast cancer, dying on December 30. Her memorial service is today in Phoenix.

This blog became involved with Carola and the case involving her son (then 14) in the fall of 2010. At the time, her son was accused of some very fanciful charges of having orchestrated several hours of sex play between two young children, and he was being held in juvenile detention.

As Kerwyn and I began to look at the charges, the conduct of police and prosecutors, and the circumstances around which the events supposedly took place, both of us came to understand that what the authorities were alleging were the facts actually were things that could not have happened at all. For example, they claimed that the boy somehow coerced neighborhood children to go into the passively-ventilated and unfinished attic in his Phoenix home in June 2010 and spend several hours during two different days, despite the fact that these acts would have had to have taken place in temperatures upward of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The fact that such actions would have created noticeable effects that no one ever observed (because they did not happen) did not faze Phoenix police and Maricopa County prosecutors. They had their narrative, and even though it had been proven wrong, they were going to stick with it at all costs. And the cost was the life of Carola Jacobson.

Last April, I had this post on how Maricopa County officials literally were murdering Carola, and how she had to stop her cancer treatments in order to pay her son's legal bills. Prosecutors knew this and they also knew they had no case, but continued on simply because Maricopa County has a policy that once prosecutors file a case, they do not let actual innocence stand in the way of pursuing it.

You see, according to Maricopa County prosecutors, if a person is charged, that is proof of guilt, and even if the facts show otherwise, the person still is guilty because there are criminal charges. Furthermore, prosecutors there go by the policy that once charges are filed, they MUST get at least a guilty plea to SOMETHING, even if everyone knows that "something" never happened.

In the Jacobson situation, the boy finally agreed to plead to one charge of "disturbing the peace" in order to have the other charges dropped, providing he passed a polygraph and have a psychologist say he was not a danger to the community. However, even after both of those conditions were met, prosecutors STILL were trying to pursue the case simply out of spite.

Why do prosecutors act this way? The logic is perverse, but perversity is the order of the day in American "law enforcement." Prosecutors claim that if it is discovered that they have charged innocent people with crimes that never occurred, the public will "lose confidence" in the ability of prosecutors to do their duties.

Therefore, they argue, it is important that they keep public confidence, so they must pursue wrongly-charged people anyway because if they were to admit they were wrong, the public would lose confidence in them. Get it? Thus, their unwritten rule of not dropping charges even when everyone -- including them -- know they are false. After all, prosecutors openly declared in the infamous Pottawattamie case that: "There is no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed." (emphasis added).

It takes a while to let that one soak in. Prosecutors in this country openly have declared that they have the RIGHT to "frame" people, and that doing so does not violate the rights of innocent people. If that does not infuriate readers, then nothing will.

I content that Maricopa County officials knew exactly what they were doing when they drove Carola Jacobson to an early death. They knew she needed cancer treatments, and by increasing her stress and by forcing her to choose between her son's freedom and medical care, she would choose her son -- and die in the process.

No one in the Maricopa County prosecutors' office will face any sanctions for this outrageous and evil behavior. It is business as usual in Arizona and in the United States of America. If I seem angry, it is because I am.

Rest in peace, Carola. You came to this country not knowing that its "justice" system is a sham and that vengeful and dishonest people would try to destroy you, and I wish I could apologize on behalf of others in this country, but somehow I doubt that will do any good.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why do things like this make me suspicious?

A recent death at the Dade County Jail, ostensibly by suicide, is one of those things that makes me suspicious. According to the Times-Free Press:
A Dade County, Ga., inmate was found dead in his cell 14 minutes after being jailed for driving under the influence of alcohol, authorities said.

A detention officer found Joseph Cochran, 29, dead at 4:40 Tuesday morning, Sheriff Patrick Cannon said. Authorities believe Cochran used his thermal underwear to hang himself, Cannon said.

Cochran had been arrested earlier in the morning and charged with DUI. He was in the holding cell when he was found, Cannon said.

“It’s a sad situation,” the sheriff said.
At least that is the story readers are told. And maybe it is true. Perhaps Cochran was so depressed about many things, including his arrest, that he just snapped and killed himself. We never will know.

Yet, this is Dade County, the place where Brad Wade was convicted after what essentially was a crooked trial in which Len "The Man" Gregor withheld evidence, lied to jurors, suborned perjury and gave the world a look at how he later would act in the Tonya Craft trial, which was just as crooked. This is Dade County, where "judge" brian outhouse resides in the judge's chair, and his exploits of operating his office outside of the bounds of the law already have been laid out in this blog.

Again, maybe the story that Dade County officials are telling is the truth and things transpired just as they claim. However, given that the "law enforcement" mechanism in that county -- and in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit in general -- operates almost completely outside the law, I reserve the right to be skeptical, very skeptical.