"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.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Judicial discipline in New York in 2015 - Part II . Drug-addicted sons of judges with tied kittens and lighters and their honorable parents

I continue to review judicial discipline in New York in 2015, as per the annual report of New York Commission for Judicial Conduct.

In my previous blog, I provided a table with a brief description of judicial discipline imposed by the Commission in 2015.

I would like to concentrate today on two cases where judges were involved in criminal behavior, but remained on the bench.

Those cases are:

1) the theft of the court funds case;
2) the kitten case.

The theft of court bail money case

In the theft of the court funds case, a judge, Thomas Kressly (Urbana Town Court, Steuben County) took $500 in bail money from the defendant's family, and the money disappeared

Judge Kressly did not provide a coherent explanation of the missing money, so Judge Kressly had to be charged with theft.

Judge Kressly was not charged with theft and remains on the bench.  First, it is a problem to keep on the bench a person who was caught in a theft before, for veracity reasons, and because a person who most likely committed a crime does not have the requisite character to be a judge.

Yet, Judge Kressly, who is not an attorney, remains on the bench.

The kitten case

This case is a disgrace, and I do not mean to rhyme.

Judge Daniel P. Sullivan, of Whitestown Town Court, Oneida County, had a 19-year-old son.

Judge Daniel P. Sullivan and his wife, according to the judge's own admission, spent all their life savings to cure their son of drug addiction.

Apparently, it did not work, because the son was caught by the police in the stall of a women's restroom of a parking lot of a public park after closing hours of the park, with "hog-tied" kittens and a lighter.

 So, Judge Sullivan was called to the scene to take his son home, so his son was already spared immediate charges, immediate arraignment and jailing - even though he was caught practically red-handed in the commission of a two violent felonies (cruelty to animals and arson).

Why was Judge Sullivan's son not immediately charged with a felony, arraigned and put in jail pending prosecution?  

Because he was a judge's son?

By the way, the judge's son was NEVER charged with a felony - he was only charged with a misdemeanor cruelty to animals, while he could very well be charged with an E-felony attempt to commit cruelty to animals with grave injury.

The next question is - why kittens were given "into the custody" of a defendant's son, who was taking kittens AND defendants someplace from the scene of the crime.


Wasn't it the duty of the police to take the kittens to the nearest shelter? 

Why give EVIDENCE, not to mention, live creatures, to the father of a criminal defendant just caught in the commission, once again, of two violent felonies?

That's quite a chain of custody for the evidence.

-  Where did you put the evidence of the crime, officer?

-  I gave it to defendant's father?

- Why?

- He is a judge.

And, my question is - where are the kittens now? 

Had they gone to a pound, there would be records as to what happened to them.

Since they went into the hands of the sadist's father covered with the shield of "honor" that puts him - and his son - above the law, where are the animals?  What happened to them?

Did Judge Sullivan throw them away "where his son found them", hog-tied by his son as they were?

Did Judge Sullivan give the kittens to his sadistic monster son - as a favorite toy - to finish what the son started?

Judging by the fact that Judge Sullivan had the audacity of calling the police and asking them not to charge his sonny boy with anything because he still believed his son was a good Sheriff's Department material, says it all.  Judge Sullivan's "fatherly love" makes him blind to the monster he continued to raise, so anything is possible.

 Now, Judge Sullivan, as a judge of a justice court, knew that what his son did was at least one violent felony (attempt at committing an act of cruelty to animals with severe injuries).  How would he know that?  Judges of justice courts handle arraignments and preliminary hearings in felony proceedings in New York.

So, Judge Sullivan, after he did whatever he did to the kittens given by the police into his "custody" at the crime scene, started to interfere with the court the very next morning, in the following way:

What the judge did qualified as obstruction of justice at the very minimum.

Was judge Sullivan charged with any crime for what he was doing?  No.

He was slapped on the wrist and allowed to remain on the bench.

And think about it - the judge was concerned that a charge of animal cruelty, after being caught red-handed, will ruin his son's chances of getting a job with the Oneida County Sheriff!

Given that mental health and employment records of police officers in New York are protected from disclosure by Civil Rights Law 50-a, and based on the judge's sadist son's case - how many more uncured drug addicts and sadists are walking and driving the streets in police uniforms, with tasers and guns?

Here's what happened to the judge's sadist drug-addicted son:

The sadist was charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Even with that low and inadequate charge, he was allowed to plead to a lesser misdemeanor of "carrying an animal in a cruel manner", which obscured the nature of the charge.

Even under the charge the son-of-a-judge pled to, he could be sent to jail for at least some time.

That did not happen.

He could be and should have been sent to a rehab again.

Before sentencing to a misdemeanor, the court has to consider a pre-sentencing report, and in a pre-sentencing report, drug addiction and unsuccessful prior treatment would have come into the court's view.  So, the sentencing court disregarded this information.


Because the court was sentencing a son of a colleague, a fellow judge?

50 hours of community service, stay away from the park, have your father pay a fine and a surcharge and - now this is a real punishment - stay away from cats!

You can other small and helpless critters to your heart's desire, but stay away from cats only.

To escape a conviction for a violent felony, for an act of sadism to animals with a conditional discharge, a fine and surcharge, 50 hours of community service and a prohibition to come into a certain park and near cats?

And, this young man might still hope, as his father does despite everything that happened, to join the police force?

We really need to fight for the repeal of Civil Rights Law 50-a.

Imagine how many sadists and perverts with a badge are hiding behind this law.

As to Judge Sullivan, his son and the kittens.

Judge Sullivan is still on the bench.

His son escaped with a slap on the wrist.

And the kittens - where are they after they were put into the "custody" of the sadist's father?

Where are they?

And - as an afterthought...  While everybody coddles a sadistic brat because he is a son of a judge, we need to remember that homicidal maniacs started their "journeys" into killing sprees by first exercising on animals.

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