"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, November 7, 2016

Two powerful women accused of misconduct, two criminal cases, two diametrically opposite outcomes in Pennsylvania and Tennessee - the cases of #PennsylvaniaAttorneyGeneralKathleenKane and of the #TennesseeJudgeAmandaSammons

Recently, Pennsylvania's elected public official, its State Attorney General investigated, uncovered and was set to prosecute inappropriate behavior amongst the local "ole' boys club", judges, up to the highest echelon, and prosecutors.

Of course, Pennsylvania is the state where the judiciary was very recently shaken by scandal and that continued to be shaken by scandal as Kathleen Kane investigated.

Of course, Kathleen Kane was also, as the State Attorney General, attorney representing the State judges when they are sued as defendants in civil rights actions, making investigation and prosecution by Kathleen Kane of those judges decidedly awkward and ridden by conflict of interest.  But - that conflict of interest was imposed upon Kathleen Kane by local statute.

The conflict of interest of the local judges was all of their own doing.

Pennsylvania is the state where:

This is what Kathleen Kane's spokesman said about why it was so important to get the system rid of those who use time in their taxpayer jobs to trade sexually explicit e-mails:

Instead, the judiciary preferred to restore its "honor and integrity" in the time-honored way in this country - by silencing the critic,Kathleen Kane, an elected public official who was trying to do her job in investigating and prosecuting misconduct in the state judiciary and amongst prosecutors, the breeding pool of the state judiciary.

Kathleen Kane was:

So, for all the world to see, an elected public official who dared to investigate and prosecute judges - and who has actually uncovered judicial and prosecutorial misconduct that resulted in several "retirements" - was subjected to an extraordinary measures of repressions, publicly, by the judiciary, under the guise of the use of "legal process".

At Kane's sentencing, the crooked #judgeWendyDemchik-Alloy who brought Kane's conviction about by blocking her legitimate defense and thus who allowed the jury to convict Kane on testimony of interested witnesses who Kane could not impeach, hd the audacity to tell Kane this:

Only the retaliation and revenge was against Kane, and was what Demchik-Alloy blocked from introduction at trial, thus rigging the legal process and bringing about the conviction.

It is even more disgusting that a female judge did that to a female state prosecutor who was trying to eradicate sexist misconduct in office of male public officials.

Kathleen Kane is a woman of an enormous courage.

Because she was doing her job for the public that elected her, she was stripped of her law license, her position, her liberty if she loses her appeals - and she is supposed to appeal to the same crooked people who she investigated and who arranged to silence her with a rigged criminal case - and her family was split up over that.

She refused to back up or step down up until she was convicted - based on evidence from interested witnesses who the presiding judge prohibited to impeach with available evidence that would have had the jury not believe a word of what those witnesses were saying.

NONE of the "ole' boys club" who were caught by Kathleen Kane in the "Porngate" scandal received ANY discipline - judicial or attorney discipline.

Kathleen Kane's case shows that attorney discipline and judicial discipline exist not to protect the public but to punish - viciously - people who try to clean up the system using legal means, such as getting elected and lawfully acting as an investigator and prosecutor.

Kathleen Kane's case is a case of intimidation against all attorneys to not even try to report judicial and prosecutorial misconduct - OR ELSE.

And that happened in the state of Pennsylvania, where attorneys were already so intimidated by discipline that they did not report selling kids to a private juvenile prison for kickbacks for years.  Apparently, attorneys in Pennsylvania were not sufficiently intimidated.

After Kathleen Kane's case, they are, so litigants in Pennsylvania should not expect their attorneys to ever criticize a judge, "step out of line" or, God forbid, make a motion to recuse - for fear of losing their licenses, livelihoods or, possibly, even liberty.

At nearly the same time as Kathleen Kane was persecuted for doing her job in investigating and prosecuting judicial and prosecutorial misconduct in her state, in the sunny Tennessee, a judge, Amanda Sammons, was caught in committing misconduct and was actually indicted for official misconduct in a state criminal proceeding - something that never happened in Pennsylvania, even in the Kids for Cash scandal the feds had to prosecute, and even then, they did not prosecute for the actual violation of kids' rights, only for accepting bribes.

Judge Amanda Sammons' misconduct was very obviously not a mistake.

When the judge, a former career prosecutor, clearly instructed the Sheriff to RAISE charges of a woman who was stopped with children not wearing seatbelts, up to charges that required a showing of serious bodily injury in the children, the Sheriff's office had to report the judge and hire its own attorney to defend its position.

Judge Sammons was temporarily suspended pending the criminal proceeding.

The "senior judge" presiding over the case then dismissed two out of four counts of the indictment before the jury heard the case.

Then, after the jury heard the testimony of prosecution's witnesses. 

At the end of testimony, Amanda Sammons, through her attorney, made a motion to dismiss for legal insufficiency of People's case based on a defense that she was supposed to present through her testimony to the jury - but never presented.

Had such a motion been brought in any other criminal case, it would have been denied, and the defense counsel laughed out of the courtroom.

Because, one cannot bring a motion on legal insufficiency of People's case based on an affirmative defense in the defendant's case - before that affirmative defense was ever presented.

GRANTED the motion and dismissed the remaining counts against #JudgeAmandaSammons, proving once again that judges across the United States, and including the State of Tennessee, are very much above the law.

Judge Summers acted as an advocate for Judge Sammons and a substitute for the jury at the same time when he said that "[t]he defense of honest mistake of fact is alive and well in the state of Tennessee".

That "defense of honest mistake of fact" is an AFFIRMATIVE defense, to be presented through TESTIMONY of the criminal defendant.

Any criminal defense attorney would tell you that it is extremely dangerous to put a criminal defendant on the stand to give such testimony - and expose herself to prosecution's cross examination and impeachment.

Judge Amanda Sammons had an obvious reason to be afraid to give that testimony - she already testified under oath before, and her testimony could be used by the prosecution to impeach her.

The jury could very well convict her, rejecting any "honest mistake" defense, because credibility of witnesses in presenting that affirmative defense is for the JURY, not he judge.

As he knew that the jury may very well reject any claims of "honest mistakes" by Judge Sammons not only because she was, for years, a prosecutor before coming to the bench and knew the charging process and who does what in that process to the last t, but also because Judge Sammons's testimony about her alleged "honest mistake" could be rebutted by testimony of the Sheriff's Office witnesses who could testify that she was insistent on her alleged mistake even when it was pointed out to her.

Moreover, Judge Sammons' potential testimony of "honest mistake" could be rebutted by the evidence that she, according to a federal lawsuit, also tried to remove children from the mother stopped with a seatbelt violation only, while no petition was filed by DSS.

So, Judge Sammons acted not only as a prosecutor in trumping up the criminal charges, but acted as a DSS prosecutor to remove the children on a never-filed DSS petition.

No mistake there.

So - Judge Summers, knowing what a disaster awaits Judge Sammons if she takes the stand with her "honest mistake testimony", rescued her, usurped the role of the jury, acted as an advocate for Judge Sammons and dismissed charges against her as if her testimony already happened and as if her affirmative defense of "honest mistake" was already presented.

The judge claimed that "no reasonable jury" could possibly NOT believe Judge Sammons on her affirmative defense that she never presented - an extraordinary act of official misconduct for Judge Summers.

So, now, the questions.

Will the state of Tennessee remove Judge Paul Summers from the bench from his act of official misconduct - saving a criminal defendant the necessity to testify on an affirmative defense and ruling instead of the jury as if such a testimony already happened and was believed by the jury - could not possibly NOT be believed?

And, will the feds now file charges against Amanda Sammons AND judge Paul Summers?

There is no double jeopardy between state and federal criminal proceedings, and it is very obvious that states, where judges regulate attorneys, and where judges help judges out of criminal proceedings and quash attorneys who try to prosecute judges for even the most egregious acts of misconduct - states has no ability to clean up the system, they have an ability only to perpetuate it.

Of course, with the recent circus where the FBI claimed it read 650,000 e-mails in 9 days in order to come to the quick rescue of a presidential candidate whose own counsel is "prosecuting" the case - we will not have hope of any luck with the feds either...

What remains?

State Constitutional Amendments for:

  1. repealing immunities of any kind for CIVIL lawsuits against public officials for their misconduct in office;
  2. pressure on the legislature, or another Constitutional amendment to allow people direct contact with the grand juries, and submission of complaints directly to the grand juries for misconduct of public officials - because prosecutors, whose licenses and livelihoods are regulated by judges, will be ever afraid to do that.
In Tennessee they did - but it did not go very far, with a judge rigging the jury trial.

And, I do not see reports that the Tennessee prosecutors either appealed the dismissal of the case against Judge Sammons, or that they complained against Judge Paul Summers for his outrageous misconduct in the criminal trial.

So, in Pennsylvania, a criminal case was rigged to obtain a conviction of a prosecutor who had the audacity to do her job and investigate and prosecute judges and prosecutors, while in Tennessee a criminal case was rigged to obtain a dismissal of conviction of a judge who committed egregious misconduct.

Business as usual.

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