Thursday, November 19, 2015

Former prosecutors seek federal probe of O.C. justice system over use of jailhouse informants

Here is link to a letter authored by Erwin Chemerinsky and signed by various defense organizations (including NACDL) and prosecutors calling for a federal investigation into alleged systemic misuse of informants and Brady violations in Orange County, California.

The content is exceptionally disturbing.  There is substantial evidence of collusion between prosecutors and police officers to both illegal obtain evidence and hide exculpatory evidence.  There is an allegation that a special computer has been kept to detail movement of paid jailhouse informants who were positioned to obtain incriminating evidence and either paid or given reductions if they succeeded (and that data shows that this practice has been occurring for 30 years).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wisconsin: No Federal Charges for Ex-Officer in Man’s Death

There is still no justice for Dontre Hamilton.  It's been 18 months since Dontre Hamilton was murdered.  The officer was fired for the illegal patdown of Dontre, but the state chose not to charge the officer with the murder that followed, and now the feds have made the same decision.  So now we will bring our case in civil court and let the people bring the justice.

The New York Times article on the decision of the DOJ to do nothing is here:

Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert Prosecuted For Being A VICTIM Of Extortion -- I'm No Fan Of Hastert, Or This Prosecution

I am no fan of Hastert, but he just got prosecuted for being a victim of extortion.

I appreciate when hypocrisy is exposed.  Hastert's public stances on morality are apparently in direct conflict with his behavior.  I believe in the Frank Rule of outing closeted politicians who use their power to hurt members of the LGBT community (and understand it’s dangerous to conflate Hastert's sexual orientation with the alleged crime of child molestation).  At first, I was quite pleased that a politician who had loudly condemned Clinton's misconduct was being outed for much worse misconduct. 

But Hastert was the victim of extortion.  He withdrew his own money to pay those extorting him.  He did so in small amounts so no one would know.  When asked why by FBI agents, he apparently didn’t reveal that he was being extorted (which is understandable).  So he gets charged for not being truthful to the FBI agents.  And for how he withdrew his own money -- under a statute enacted to stop drug dealers and money launderers, that was never intended to criminalize victims of extortion.

I can’t see the DOJ prosecuting anyone else for this.  If it went to trial, he could have won, but the reason he was being extorted -- alleged acts of child molestation -- would have dominated the public discourse, even though they aren’t relevant to the charged offense.  To avoid that public dialogue, over irrelevant facts, he had to plea.  That’s not justice.  That’s blackmail.

I am no fan of Hastert.  But I am no fan of this injustice either.

KPCC Southern California Public Radio Covers Ian Wallach's case of officers shooting an unarmed mentally ill man

Wednesday, November 11, 2015.  KPCC Southern California Public Radio Covers Ian Wallach's case of officers shooting an unarmed mentally ill man.  The article, captioned "Officer Involved: A Cry For Help" details several instances of officer shootings of the mentally ill and the need for change, and can be read here:

Prosecution Dismisses Drug-Sales Case Mid Trial. Compton Courthouse.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015.  Prosecution Dismisses Drug-Sales Case Mid Trial.  Compton Courthouse.  The client had 16 years of exposure at 80%, and the offer prior to trial was 2 years at 50%.  Four days into the trial, the last witness was a LAPD Police Officer who acknowledged making several false representations in the arrest report and the search warrant affidavit.  The Prosecution admirably chose to dismiss the case mid-trial based on the lack of the officer's credibility.