So Why Did It the DA Take So Long?

The real headline could be “DA drags feet on admitting officer justified in defending himself” No Charges for Wisconsin Cop Who Killed Man Wielding Cleaver.

And he wasn’t just brandishing the meat cleaver.

[Caledonia Police Officer David] Baird needed 23 stitches to his head.

I think that qualifies under the heading of “a reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm.” I mean, what did they expect the officer to do at that point? So what was the prosecutor considering while deciding if this action was justified or not? OR – Why the F@#^ did it take from August 18th of this year until the first week in December to come to the “justified” conclusion? Because DAs HATE self-defense. And besides, DAs are elected, so they have to pander, because no matter how cut and dried a situation is, someone will be screaming about brutality.

Self-defense Is Legal in Arizona

But the DAs hate that. Jury finds repairman not guilty in shooting death of customer in Surprise. That’s Surprise, Arizona.

Robert Moore, a 27-year-old who has been behind bars since his arrest in July 2018, says the customer attacked him, and he shot him in self-defense. Now, he is exonerated.

He was repairing an air-conditioning unit, but it was taking longer than the homeowner liked. They ended up in a physical altercation, and the repairman shot one shot.

As firefighters arrive and begin to work on Pineda, another officer finds Moore down the street, still inside his repair van. He had left the home and called 911.

DAs hate self-defense. And cops didn’t believe it either in this case. Oh, and relatives of dead criminals also hate self-defense. Which is a human-right.

You Would Think a Prosecutor Would Fight Government Corruption

In a perfect world anyway, but Chicago is in a different area code from that perfect world. Where is States Attorney Foxx on this most recent episode of Cook County corruption?.

I know, I know. Chicago politicians engaging in corruption is about as much a news story as the sun coming up in the east.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the insider deal involving the Cook County Land Bank Authority and a building that Austin’s [34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin] chief of staff Chester Wilson Jr. owned at 103rd Street and Corliss Avenue.

And the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Kim Foxx, affectionately (or maybe not) known to Second City Cop (See the blogroll) as Crimeshea? She appears to be AWOL on the subject.

Kim Foxx is our chief law enforcement officer and absolutely has a duty to be looking into this. It’s been 3 days since the story broke and she remains silent.

If she is not up to the job, she should resign.

Lie and Cheat to Send a Man to Prison for 20 Years

JusticeThat is how much prosecutors HATE self-defense. Man suing attorneys over wrongful murder conviction.

The suit for Terrence Haynes, 42, was filed Thursday in Urbana. His suit accuses two Kankakee County assistant state’s attorneys of encouraging an 11-year-old witness, Marcus Hammond, a first cousin of one of the prosecutors, to lie about Cezaire Murrell being unarmed when Haynes fatally shot the 18-year-old in 1999.

Hammond was the only eyewitness called by prosecutors, even though three adults at the scene told police that Haynes acted in self-defense after Murrell reached for a gun in his waistband. But none of those adults testified at Haynes’ trial, which resulted in his conviction and a 45-year prison sentence.

He wasn’t freed, but awarded a new trial. That witness has recanted his testimony, BTW, which is strictly separate from the suit.

Justice? Truth? A Jedi Prosecutor cares not for these things. Winning at all costs. Winning by lying. Winning by concealing evidence.

That new trial was cancelled when the charges were dismissed.

And actually, Jim Rowe, the current State’s Attorney for Kankakee County, sounds like a stand-up guy.

“I am not able to comment on pending civil litigation,” Rowe said. “I have, however, taken the rarest of actions as a state’s attorney by joining in Mr. Haynes’ petition for a certificate of innocence (COI), which remains pending. I believe he is entitled to that COI and that is why I joined in the petition.”

That would expunge his record and entitle him to restitution.

Chicago’s Recipe for More Crime

Otherwise known as bail reform. And there is more than one story. Prosecutors: Man shot teen while AWOL on robbery charge (and he was on electronic monitoring at the time of the robbery, too.).

Electronic monitoring failed multiple times. While out on electronic monitoring, he was arrested for robbery and various gun charges. Eventually he was sentenced to 2½ years for the first two offenses.

On Sept. 17, a month after Wilson went to prison, prosecutors charged him with five counts of attempted murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm. They say he shot a 17-year-old boy on the 4100 block of South Prairie around 1:40 a.m. on March 9 — two days before he skipped bail.

And there is more. Round & round & round it goes: Courthouse revolving door keeps spinning in Chicago

How about the man who prosecutors say shot another man five times on Saturday — about two weeks after they dropped a weapons charge against him?

One guy on electronic monitoring was arrested multiple times for gun crimes. Another guy was arrested 3 times for narcotics manufacturing. The last 2 times he was on electronic monitoring for the previous arrest. At some point the good people of Chicago are going to have to decide if they want criminals off the street or not. So far, the State’s Attorney for Cook County seems to be coming down on the side of “Not.”

Do Prosecutors Have to Follow the Rules?

JusticeIt can be hard to tell the good guys, from the bad guys. Arizona appeals court to consider how alleged prosecutor misconduct affected Jodi Arias murder trial.

Apparently this guy didn’t think rules applied to him.

Martinez faces a slew of allegations in connection with Arias’ case, including that he began a sexual relationship with a blogger writing about the trial and then used her to dig up information on the juror, according to the Phoenix New Times.

The Maricopa County prosecutor allegedly wanted “information that might disqualify her from continuing the deliberation.”

Also in the list of charges… He was in a relationship with a juror, and lied about it. He is accused of making “sexual remarks” about a county employee. (Is that harassment, or creating a hostile work environment?) And there are ethics complaint going back almost to the start of his career. Putting the “Criminal” in Criminal Justice System.

The Fix Is In

In Chicago, “You can’t fight City Hall” apparently reaches to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Crimeshea Kim Foxx. Court Documents Reveal Dan Webb, Special Prosecutor In Jussie Smollett Case, Once Donated $1,000 To State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

So after Jussie Smollet (allegedly) invented a hate crime, and cops spent a boatload of taxpayer money investigating it, and then investigating him for making a false report, et cetera, Kim Foxx decided that all those felonies could just go away. After a call from the Obama’s attorney, or a friend who’s also an attorney, or whatever. The ethics officer for State’s Attorney’s office quit the next day. (Or 2.) So eventually a “special prosecutor” was appointed to decide if any laws were broken. In Cook County they don’t worry about ethics. They don’t even worry about laws all that much, unless they really, really get caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

But it turns out that this prosecutor is in fact “special,” but not in a good way.

The donation came from a fundraiser in October 2016 at the law firm Winston & Strawn, where Webb serves as a co-executive chairman.

[SNIP]
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, Webb said he does not remember writing the check and thus did not tell the judge who appointed him. It is a potential problem for the recently-selected special prosecutor.

Hat tip to Second City Cop, who calls the whole thing Business as Usual.

Those Unintended Consequences

Be careful what you wish for. You can also file this under, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Police body cameras are capturing so much footage it’s driving some defense attorneys to quit.

It wasn’t that long ago that every SJW and defense attorney wanted every cop, at least in places big enough to sue, like NYC, Chicago, etc. to wear body cameras. Now they don’t like it.

Public defender’s offices have long struggled with high turnover. But lately, one time-consuming part of the job is driving lawyers out even faster.

Attorneys are quitting at least partly because they’re swamped by the amount of video footage they have to review from police body-worn cameras.

And in localities without public defender’s offices, court-appointed attorneys are struggling to maintain their own law practices and keep up with the body camera footage.

Hat tip to Second City Cop, who doesn’t have much sympathy. Lawyers demanded this – they can live with it:

You made our job too hard! We were just supposed to Monday morning quarterback you into a quick settlement, not actually have to defend our clients based on facts recorded by you evil police!

Lying Witnesses, Concealing Evidence, Innocent Men Condemned to Death

JusticeProsecutors love to win at all costs, even if that means putting innocent men on death row. ‘Jailhouse snitch’ helped send four men to prison, but her false testimony might help get two of them out.

Holland was known for her ability to overhear incriminating statements, and, Payne wrote, had “strategically” been placed by the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office in a cell across from Fontenot for nine days.

According to testimony given by Holland, she said she struck up a conversation with Fontentot, who told her that he, Ward, and a man named Odell Titsworth, took part in Haraway’s killing. She said Fontenot confessed to raping Haraway after Titsworth had stabbed her to death. The trio then poured gasoline on the body and burned it, Holland testified Fontenot told her.

But that never happened. When Haraway’s body was found in 1986, evidence showed she had been shot in the head, not stabbed.

Not that the prosecutor cared. He was rewarding that testimony by getting a reduced charge and sentence for her husband. (That was 7 years vs 40 years.) That was not disclosed to defense, and when asked on the stand about any benefits, she said there were none.

In another case there was DNA evidence that eventually cleared 2 people.

You think The Criminal Justice System cares about Justice? Think again. It cares about winning, and is willing to embrace the “criminal” part of that description if that means more winning.

Trump Kills Navy Achievement Medals for JAG Team That Screwed Up

If you call circumventing the protections of the Constitution a screw up. The medals made little sense to anyone outside of JAG. Trump nixes NAMs for 4 prosecutors tied to SEAL case.

“Not only did they lose the case, they had difficulty with respect to information that may have been obtained from opposing lawyers and for giving immunity in a totally incompetent fashion,” Trump tweeted.

And he was right. For the details on everything they got wrong, see the original story: Their case collapsed in court but 4 Navy prosecutors still netted NAMs.

First up there was some warrant-less surveillance carried out by NCIS with the original lead prosecutor on the case in question.

The spying wasn’t the only accusation of prosecutorial and police misconduct dogging the case. They were accused of manipulating witness statements to NCIS agents; using immunity grants and a bogus “target letter” in a crude attempt to keep pro-Gallagher witnesses from testifying; illegally leaking documents to the media to taint the military jury pool; and then trying to cover it all up when they got caught.

And for this they were awarded medals. Does the Judge Advocate General Corps realize how tone-deaf they are? Or is this just another issue of “Lawyers Behaving Badly?”

And for all this (and more, there was at least one more related trial scheduled) the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson ordered a review of JAG.

Lawyers (and Navy Cops) Behaving Badly

JusticeEnough to have the lead prosecutor thrown off a court martial. Lead Navy prosecutor in SEAL war crime case out over email spying.

Navy Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak was ordered off the case against Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher by the judge, Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, on Monday after Czaplak admitted emailing 13 defense attorneys and paralegals, as well as Navy Times editor Carl Prine, a tracking beacon in an effort to find the source of leaks to the media.

It was part of an NCIS investigation. (So that makes it OK?)

In a related matter the judge released the defendant from pretrial confinement. Military judge frees Navy SEAL in advance of murder trial.

A decorated Navy SEAL facing a murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner was freed Thursday from custody after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors.

It must be the mindset of .gov and .mil in the 21st Century. They think they can do anything. (Hat tip to Mobius Wolf.)

The DoJ: Winning At All Costs, Even If It Means Breaking the Law

The Criminal Justice System – more criminal every day. ‘We’ll Expose The Rest Of Their Dirt’: Cliven Bundy Vows To Fight If Feds Put Him Back On Trial.

So the prosecutors broke the law, got caught, got called out for it. Now they are calling foul. (Really?!?)

Bundy’s case ended in a mistrial on Dec. 20, 2017, after a team of federal prosecutors were found withholding evidence from the court that was favorable to Bundy’s defense. Prosecutors handed over roughly 3,000 pages worth of overdue evidence to the court after repeated requests from the defendants.

Navarro found the prosecutorial team had broken federal law and violated the defendants’ civil rights by not turning the documents over sooner, according to court documents.

The case was dismissed “with prejudice.” After the violations came to light. That was the 4th mistrial. But the prosecutors really, really want a 5th chance, which they can’t have because of the “with prejudice” dismissal. So they are appealing.

I think the proscutor’s office needs counseling; from where I sit, it sure looks like they are obsessed.

Oh, and for breaking the law, none of the lawyers faced any difficulties as far as I can see. No fines, no disbarment, not censure. Just business as usual. Just an “internal investigation.”

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions took notice of the Bundy’s case after Navarro dismissed it. Sessions ordered a DOJ investigation in December 2017 into the potential misconduct of the federal prosecutors, led by former acting Nevada U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre.

Yeah, I have tons of faith in that!

This is categorized as “Cops Behaving Badly,” because “Lawyers Behaving Badly” seems redundant somehow.

That the DOJ is obsessed with destroying a Nevada Rancher seems almost cliche. You can find details on the latest mistrial at this link.

Lawyers Behaving Badly

JusticeYou could also file this under, “Women do lie about abuse.” Maine Man Receives $375,000 After False Rape Accusation.

Prosecutorial misconduct is rarely corrected. Putting the Criminal in The Criminal Justice System.

[Prosecutor Mary] Kellett admitted in 2013 that she violated rules by making an improper argument and withholding exculpatory evidence. She was suspended for one month, but vacated that and allowed her to go through six hours of legal education instead. She’s one of the few prosecutors – and the first in the state of Maine – to be sanctioned for prosecutorial misconduct.

Vladek was finally exonerated in 2015, and he filed a federal lawsuit against those that handled his case, after he discovered more evidence was withheld

And although her office had to pay out the $375,000 she is still an attorney, and still a prosecutor. Her punishment for trying to destroy a man’s life? She had to take 6 hours of legal education. Less than one day.

The guy who settled was only one of dozen defendants. Go read the whole thing.

“The System” is not interested in Justice. It is interested in winning. It is interested in promoting political agendas.

Cops Behaving Badly – Federal .gov Edition

OK it was an attorney for ICE, not actually an enforcement officer. (If you don’t like the free ice cream…) Former top ICE attorney facing prison time for stealing identities of immigrants.

Raphael Sanchez “abused his position of public trust to prey our nation’s immigrants,” according to documents filed by lawyers from the Department of Justice’s public Integrity Section ahead of his sentencing in U.S. District Court. The 44-year-old attorney in February pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and has been in custody since he agreed to surrender his bar license.

At least it seems Mr. Sanchez will be held accountable.

The Criminal Justice System: Not Much About Justice

I’ve said it before. It is a system that rewards winning, not justice. So winning is everything. Observer-Reporter | Deputy district attorney suspended after judge finds he withheld evidence.

Deputy District Attorney Joseph Zupancic was suspended with pay Friday following the outcome of a hearing in which a Washington County judge ruled he knowingly withheld evidence from a robbery defendant’s attorney.

He says he “forgot” about the evidence in question. (queue the Steve Martin comedy routine.)

And what is his punishment for trying to send a guy to jail without obeying the constitution? Paid vacation leave. They couldn’t even send this idiot home without pay.

I’ve listed this under “cops behaving badly.” Lawyers behaving badly seems somehow redundant.