"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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The TASER-happy Delaware County does not have proper safety procedures or records regarding TASER certification and use

On September 24, 2014 I filed with Delaware County Sheriff's Department this FOIL request:

This is the response that I received from the Delaware County to this FOIL request.

Please, note that Delaware County claimed that no records exist in answer to my questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 5 and 7.

I already wrote in the previous post about search of attorney files, and that is a clear violation of attorney-client privilege and interference with criminal defendants' right to counsel which is only confirmed by the lack of written policy.

The lack of records in answer to my question No. 2 is a risk to public safety.

In other words, Delaware County does not have a written policy that would require the County to order an officer to desk duty and to turn in his pistol and TASER if, let's say, as Derek Bowie claimed under oath on the stand, his disability from a dog bite was so bad that his fingers were getting numb.

Yet, Deputy Derek Bowie was not ordered to desk duty despite his "seriously numbed fingers" and, as a consequence, the public in Delaware County was at his mercy.

Imagine if Derek Bowie's fingers get completely numb when he is driving, or he grabs his pistol or TASER and then his fingers get numb on him or on you.  He then will either not be able to protect a person when he needs to protect him or her (and that includes his partner, another police officer), or he can accidentally misfire - at any of you, with sad consequences.

What I absolutely loved is that Delaware County, while claiming it is certified by the Criminal Justice Department and while it has to show compliance in accordance with such certification on over 130 parameters, claims to have no record whatsoever of such compliance.

Of course, I will verify that with the Criminal Justice Department and will ask it to revoke Delaware County Sheriff's certification if no such records are kept.

If I learn that it is simply a stonewalling tactic, I will sue under Article 78, as required by New York Freedom of Information Law, with a request for attorney fees.

Both ways, it is a losing tactic for Delaware County to make claims as, let's say, disingenuous as this one.

Furthermore, Delaware County has no records showing certification of the "non-lethal" weapons, TASERS which can be, as various reports in this country and abroad show, can be very lethal.

This is clear liability of the county not to certify TASERS at all, or on each day when they are released or used, and that liability, if it results in a fatality, injury or a lawsuit, will be backed up with your own money, county taxpayers, so, please, pay attention.

The same refers to lack of records in response to questions No. 6 and 7.

It is elementary to have such certification and sign-out procedures of the TASER equipment, for the safety of both the officers themselves and the public.

Apparently, Delaware County doesn't give a damn about that safety.

And as to training as to how to use TASERS, see question No. 9 and Delaware County's response to it, "by policy, all employees who carry TASER guns, are certified accordingly".

Yet, no records of such policies or certifications are provided, so, as with policies to search attorney files, this is just an ad hoc invention to keep at bay the information-hungry civil rights attorney.

How safe are you, residents and visitors of Delaware County?  Apparently, not safe at all.

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