"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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

More on U.S. NDNY Chief Judge Gary Sharpe, employment of his sons, conflicts of interest and taints on cases created by such employment, and on media coverage, and lack thereof, contributing to wrongful convictions

I think media contributes to wrongful convictions.

And I think Judge Sharpe and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York should get off cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office and off civil cases defended by the New York State Attorney General's office.  All of them.

And here is why.

Times Union, a major newspaper out of Albany, New York, the capital of New York State, is reporting on a criminal trial.

A reporter that covers a criminal trial must be minimally aware of presumption of innocence of the criminal defendant.

Yet, the report proudly features a picture of a criminal defendant, who is presumed innocent, in shackles.

What for?

To tip "the scales of justice" against the person against whom such scales of justice are already horribly tipped?

And, as always, it is interesting to mention what the same reporter, or Times Union, or any other "mainstream" media outlet, DID NOT report.

That the U.S. Attorney's office employs the presiding judge's son Robert Alan Sharpe.

As well as the New York State Attorney General's office employs the same Judge Gary Sharpe's other son Michael Aaron Sharpe.

Wouldn't you want to have a job where:

1/ you have a "discretion" to retaliate against your enemies;
2/ to make the rules absolving yourself of any liability for your malicious and corrupt acts;
3/ make the rules absolving you of judicial discipline on the bench;
4/ sit on the disciplinary committee where complaint about yourself are heard;
5/ promote your children by having them employed by public offices of attorneys who appear in front of you and
6/ having a "discretion" to not disclose that fact, punish people who point out that fact and ask for your recusal, claim that employment of your sons do not create an appearance of impropriety in the case and does not taint the case.

Well, to me as an objective reasonable observer, as to any other objective reasonable observer, such employment taints the case, big time.

Let me ask any of my readers a question - would you like to be prosecuted by an office employing as an attorney the presiding judge's son?

Would you like to pursue a civil rights claim in a court where your opponent employs the presiding judge's son?

Will you be absolutely comfortable that the judge will not be advancing his or her child's career and job security and will not rule against you and for the judge's employer just to aid the judge's child?

What would you think of your chances in such a criminal or civil proceeding?

Now, WHY would media NOT cover such an issue of public concern and instead reports about pending criminal proceedings by posting pictures of the criminal defendant in shackles?

Is the media afraid that the editor or the reporter will be the next target of the omnipotent judge's ire?

Then do we have a rule of law in this country?

And - last but not least, if the judge thought his children are worth anything as attorneys, why would he allow them to be hired in offices that appear in front of the judge, creating a potential conflict of interest not only for the judge, but, in the case of Chief Judge Gary Sharpe, for the entire court?

And if Judge Sharpe's children, Michael Aaron Sharpe and Robert Alan Sharpe, think they are competent attorneys, why do they need this "little" leg up by being employed by public prosecutors who regularly appear in front of their father - knowing that that will be a factor in their advancement.

An honorable profession.  Honorable people.  Just kidding.

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