"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Do you believe in spirits - revisited

After the execution that lasted 2 hours, which I described here, yet another condemned prisoner applied to the U.S. Supreme Court for the stay of his execution because the drugs that take 2 hours to kill may be used on him, too, constituting cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited by the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - and by the International Treaty against torture.

The U.S. Supreme Court's response?  Stay was denied, because "there is no question about the brutality of this crime, or doubt of Michael Worthington's guilt". 

The execution actually (reportedly) took 10 minutes, but that is not the point.

The point is that the court, judges, human beings who denied the stay of execution of another human being by drugs despite a clear possibility that the execution will turn into a 2-hour unconstitutional torture, as it already happened a short time prior to the prisoner's application,  did not know the future, did not know that it will take "only" 10 minutes for the condemned prisoner to die.

The denial of the stay was because of the "undeniable guilt" of the condemned prisoner and because of the "brutality of the crime".

But - it was not the point.  The point was whether such an execution was cruel and unusual punishment.

So - in the decision of the highest court, comprised of judges and lawyers who were sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, including its 8th Amendment prohibiting CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT, no matter what the brutality of the crime or whether guilt is or is not undeniable, the brutality of the crime and the guilt of the prisoner outweighed the U.S. Constitution the judges were sworn to uphold.

What should be done to the judges who decided to deny the stay?  My suggestion - they must certainly be taken off the bench.

But who will take a U.S. Supreme Court justice off the bench?  There are no real enforceable mechanisms to do that.

And this type of decisions - not on point, unconstitutional, but final and causing harm to a human being - is the whole problem with the U.S. court system.

My personal opinion - judges should be held personally responsible and should be taken off the bench for decisions that blatantly disregard issues in front of them and their own oaths of office.

There should be an enforceable mechanism by which the public can remove such judges from ANY position, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Will any U.S. representative in the Legislature dare to promote such a statute?

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