"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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Improper publicity stunts and destruction of evidence of a cozy relationship between the Chicago, Illinois #CookCountyCircuitJudgeMariaKuriakosCiesil and the prosecutor's office

It was reported that an Illinois judge, #MariaKuriakosCiesil,

"chided" the criminal defendants in a case where they were charged with hate crimes accusing them of torturing a mentally disabled white man, at their arraignment:

"Where was your sense of decency"?, and denied them bail, "finding" them a danger to society - before all evidence is in. 

Does the judge not know that all 4 criminal defendants are presumed innocent?

Does the judge not know that, as a judge, she should be not only neutral and impartial, but should also make an appearance of neutrality and impartiality, as a matter of due process of law?

Does the judge not know that, until there is a conviction through a plea bargain or a jury verdict, she has NO RIGHT to "chide" criminal defendants as if the verdict is already in?  No matter how heinous the allegations.  No matter how public the evidence is.

Actually, if a judge cannot constrain herself from making an appearance to the public that she has made up her mind that the defendants who are just being arraigned are guilty, and all the criminal procedure to be afforded them, including the presumption of innocence and the right to an impartial judge, is a mere petty formality on the way to an inevitable conviction, she should get off that case - and off the bench.

At nearly the same time as Judge Ciesil "chided" the arraigned defendants, the State prosecutor #ErinAntonietti

already "presented the evidence" to the "court of public opinion", making statements to the public and claiming in those statements that defendants "did" certain things instead of "alleged to have done" certain things that Antonietti is charging the defendants with.

It is apparent that both the prosecutor and the judge, both white women, are involved in misconduct, and are trying to get political capital while tainting, possibly, irreversibly, the four defendants' right to a fair and impartial trial, and their jury pool.

Judging by publicly available information, Judge Ciesil already has a cozy relationship with the prosecutors, a relationship clearly questioning her impartiality, even without her "rebuke" and denial of bail based on finding that the four defendants are a "danger to the community".

Here is the picture of the former Illinois State Attorney Anita Alvarez who was reportedly in office until December 1, 2016

And here is the photo of the same State Attorney Anita Alvarez handing to the happily smiling Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil a "State Attorney's Award" for "community service" in May of 2016.

The problem with this picture is not only a judge receiving an award from a prosecutor for "community service" - making one wonder what kind of "community service" a prosecutor would commend the judge for.

Even more troubling is that the full description about the picture was scrubbed off the Internet, so the only way I could retrieve it was from the still "cached" copy.

After I retrieved it yesterday, today, when I checked the link, even the cached copy was scrubbed from the Internet.

So, somebody with an interest to destroy evidence, is actively monitoring access to even cached evidence, and is destroying evidence of a too-cozy relationship between a judge, former employee of the prosecutor in the currently pending sensational criminal case, and the prosecutor's office - which is a grave issue of public concern.

I wonder if the defendants attorneys will subpoena computers upon which this information has been kept, and evidence as to who ordered scrubbing this information, and the cached file off the Internet - or if they will be scared for their licenses to do that.

The law enforcement community reported on the court proceedings in this case featuring a picture of a very small balance (judicial "scale of justice") and a very large hammer (judicial gavel).

It appears that featuring the scales of justice is an exaggeration in this case.  The judge, the former employee of the prosecutor in the case, who was just last year awarded by that prosecutor for "community service", already made up her mind.

Criminal justice courts and prosecutors in Chicago should be actually extremely cautious in prosecuting African Americans based on confessions, including in sensational cases - in view of the history when Chicago police extracted confessions from African Americans through torture, so under these circumstances

confessions of African American defendants in criminal proceedings are not worth much.

And, let us remember that the Cook County in Chicago, Illinois, is the place where one of the most famous anti-court-corruption FBI "Operation Greylord" happened in the 1980s, and nothing in the way attorneys are regulated and/or promoted through brown-nosing the judiciary, and disciplined for criticizing the judiciary (including in Illinois) has changed the climate that encourages to rather engage in misconduct than zealously and honestly represent clients.

Lanre Amu, a Nigerian attorney, was recently suspended in Illinois for criticizing a judge.

Kenneth Ditkowski, a longtime attorney, was suspended in Illinois for exposing judicial participation in elder abuse, draining the estate of the elderly, blocking them from seeing their loved ones and having them die alone and robbed by the court-appointed "guardians".

JoAnne Marie Denison - an attorney in Illinois recently suspended for exposure of corruption in probate proceedings regarding estates of the living elderly people.

Thus suspensions were in 2011, 2014 and 2015, enough to put a chill on the Illinois bar against doing its job properly.

And, whoever is representing the 4 African American defendants, is chilled from providing them a proper representation - because no motion to disqualify the judge and the prosecutor based on their misconduct and prejudicial statements was reported so far.

In a criminal case, a criminal defendant has a FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL right to:

  • a neutral and impartial judge;
  • a neutral and impartial prosecutor;
  • an effective legal defense;
  • a presumption of innocence;
  • constitutional protections against forced or coerced confessions;
  • constitutional protections regarding identification of the defendants, and as to authentication and admissibility of evidence;
  • constitutional protections against tainting the jury pool by pre-trial publicity by the prosecutors and through statements by the judge.

Apparently, all of those protections have already been has been scrapped in the infamous Cook County, Illinois, by the actions of an unscrupulous judge and of an unscrupulous prosecutor already at the time of arraignment.

For the judge and the prosecutor, their two minutes of fame, apparently, mean much more than ensuring a fair trial for the accused.

Yet, no matter how heinous are the charges, if this country wants to claim that it is based on the rule of law - which both the judge and the prosecutor were sworn to uphold and get money (a lot of money) from taxpayers for doing that, the constitutional protections for the accused must be strictly observed.

And, the more sensational is the case, the more protections should the defendants be afforded.

Here, both the evidence, and the jury pool, have been likely irretrievably tainted by the publicity stunts of the judge and the prosecutor.

And such publicity stunts hurt both the chances of the defendants for a fair trial, and the chances of the alleged victim (that is his legal status in the criminal proceeding - an alleged victim) to get justice, if crimes were committed against him.

I will continue to monitor and report on this case.

Stay tuned.

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