Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Re: Death of Common Sense; Gadfly's Post Below

This is not to denounce all judges nor our entire judicial system (yet) but to use this video as an example of lack of common sense or justice in too many cases. It appears that many of our government officials also lack common sense. Educated fools, indeed.

Your HONOR??
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I grew up in the "mom, the flag, and apple pie" generation. I was reared to believe our policemen were our friends ( and the majority are). I believed that in trials "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" prevailed . I believed that Americans always wore the white hat and our government was always honorable. I was naive until well into my adulthood.

Re: our justice system:
1). My university educated younger sister sat on a jury where a couple of non-English speaking Hispanics had filed a lawsuit against a realty contractor. As per the Law, translators were provided for the non-English speakers. The judge was a Hispanic-American as were many of the jurors. At the end of the trial, the judge lectured the Anglo-American jurors and people in the gallery for being unable to speak Spanish and harangued them to learn that foreign language! Not that the foreign people who came here to live, work, buy homes, send their children to our schools, etc. should learn the common tongue of the United States that enables us to be united!!
Communication is essential for unity among this melting pot nation. But no, his position was that Anglo-Americans should learn the language of Hispanic "immigrants"! Where's the common sense in that? Are English speaking citizens supposed to learn the languages of the dozens of nationalities who come here, or should newcomers learn the common tongue?

2). I attended a trial where the sitting judge was temporarily off the bench and a substitute judge heard the case. During the course of the trial the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney presented their cases very well, and ofcourse each learned all aspects of their opponents' facts and strategy.. It is not possible for attorneys to accurately "read" a jury but they can assess a jury's reactions to a certain extent. The defense attorney was almost jubilant, thinking he was surely going to win his case. The prosecuting attorney was a beautiful woman who presented a brilliant case for the State, utilizing expert psych buttons to push on the jurors. Yet when she began the final address to the jury, she made an illegal gaffe. The judge slammed down his gavel and reprimanded her, threatening a mistrial if she erred again. She apologized, turned back to the jury and immediately repeated her error. The defense attorney started pushing back his chair to object but before he could arise, the judge slammed down his gavel, pointed it at the defense attorney and demanded, "Counselor, do you want a mistrial?" Of course he did. We were mystified that the brilliant ADA made such a mistake and yet seemed so pleased.

When the new trial began, the regular judge was back on his bench, the same ADA was by then heavily pregnant, and it was quite apparent that the judge and she were old friends. They went to lunch together every day and he was very solicitous of her, hovering protectively over her. She exploited her pregnancy by leaning heavily on the table, holding her hand on her rounded belly, speaking weakly UNTIL forceful speech was called for, at which time she came on like a great white shark. She was GOOD at her job! Since she had learned the defense's strategy and facts in the first trial, she asked that everything he used to defend his client be excluded- and the judge ruled every thing as "immaterial"so it was not allowed to be presented to the new jury. She and the judge effectively gutted the defense.
She won the case and the defendant lost. We then understood why she manuvoered a mistrial; she wanted the case tried by her judge buddy.

3). I was subpoenaed to testify in a murder case in a small town, a real hicksville. The local-yokel media had broadcast "news" full of lurid errors and very biased against the accused. The defense requested a change of venue as every citizen in the entire county had already tried and convicted the defendant in their minds. The judge denied a change of venue. Witnesses were not allowed in the gallery except during testifying and during summations. We had to sit on wooden benches in the hall but we could often hear what was going on in the court room. The local river was on a rise and people were sandbagging their homes and businesses. The River Authority broadcast that a dam was endangered and extreme, sudden flooding was possible. The defense attorney pled with the judge to grant a recess so that people could go home to safeguard their property and farm animals. The judge denied the request and at break time as the jurors filed out, one overalled juror commented loudly that he just wanted to get "this shit" over with. However, the town was celebrating some annual event and the judge granted a recess so the jurors could leave the courtroom for a couple of hours to WATCH THE PARADE and enjoy the festivities!! There were numerous other bad (to me) decisions on the part of the judge and I reported them to my sister. Her law professor at the university was utterly appalled and said that many were actually illegal. Too bad about Justice and a fair trial. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to die- twice - once in the media and once in the court room.

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