"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, October 31, 2016

In a rare move, a Bronx criminal court (NY) dismisses a case because People's statement of readiness was illusory

There are honest judges in New York out there who do not always bend backwards to the prosecution, as it usually happens.

Judge Laurence Busching, a former prosecutor I must add,

dismissed a criminal case for "Assault in the Third Degree (Penal Law [PL] § 120.00 [1]); Menacing in the Third Degree (PL § 120.15); and Harassment in the Second Degree (PL § 240.26 [1])" - because People's statement of readiness (designated as "SOR" in the decision) was "illusory" - not true.

Assault in the 3rd Degree, PL 120.00(1) (intentional causing an injury to a person), is a Class A misdemeanor  punishable by up to 1 year in local jail.

Menacing in the 3rd Degree, PL 120.15 (threatening a person and putting a person in fear of death or serious bodily injury) is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in local jail.

Harassment in the 2nd degree, PL 240.26(1) (striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting  another person to physical contact, or attempting or threatening to do the same) is a violation punishable by up 15 days in jail. 

So, the People failed to properly prosecute a criminal defendant who allegedly caused a physical injury and made threats of death or physical injury to another person, blew taxpayers' money by prosecuting the criminal defendant for nearly a year while their witness would not come to trial on multiple occasions - and, as a consequence, the criminal case was correctly dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

Yet, a precedent was made (unless People appeal and the appellate court overrules it) that People cannot do what they always do in criminal court - run their mouth that they are "ready", file whatever they want with the court at whatever time they want, while the court would accept whatever they say or file as Gospel.

Judge Busching applied the New York state statutory law of speedy trial IMPARTIALLY, as judges usually don't, but should rule.

Kudoz to Judge Busching.

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