"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 3, 2017

Kudoz to Kansas #JudgeEvelynWilson for her bravery. A judge accused of "slandering veterans" for stating the obvious - that the military teaches soldiers how to kill people

Sometimes, the show-off respect to the veterans of the military in this country borders on the bizarre.

We still have homeless veterans - showing that the country DOES NOT respect its veterans appropriately.

We still have teens arranging, and "hundreds" attending indigent veterans' funerals, with press reports about it, while there are no press reports of the same teens and the same "hundreds" helping those veterans not to be alone, and not to die alone while they were still alive.

But, the veteran status is often used to advance political gains, protect people in power from accountability, or raise "politically correct" issues of the day.

For example, it is likely the respect to the veteran PA Judge Ronald Castille (former Philadelphia DA) that prevented him, despite his raging misconduct and "flagrant conflict of interest", from being taken off the bench and disbarred for his "role" in Williams v Pennsylvania, for
  • having his office obtain a murder conviction, of a black man, Terrance Williams, for killing the perpetrator of sexual abuse upon him when he was a child, based on fraudulent testimony and based on hiding the Brady material from the defense;
  • seeking and obtaining his death sentence,
  • being elected based on the claims of "being tough on crime" and using that death sentence as a statistic that elected him to the bench, and then
  • repeatedly - for 4 times, without a recusal, denying the man habeas corpus petitions, and in the last denial, lashing out at his defenders for doing their jobs.

Yet, in Kansas, an appellate court, while affirming the sentence imposed by a judge, recently blasted a sentencing judge for stating the obvious, when revoking probation and imposing a 68-month (5 years 8 months') sentence against a person where:

The judge considered, in the context of the threat to kill somebody, that the defendant was, in fact, very capable of killing that person because he was professionally trained by the military to kill - which was the truth:

So, that was a military veteran who was given the leniency of probation instead of prison sentence, and who blew it by violating conditions of probation, and engaged in dangerous conduct.

And, somehow the judge was criticized - by an appellate court no less for "unnecessarily slanderous" comment that the court attributed to all those who served in the military.

Yet, what exactly was slanderous?

That our military personnel is not taught how to kill?

What then does the training of our military personnel include?  Crocheting?

In combat, it is "kill or be killed", and soldiers are taught how to survive - yes, by killing people and by defending their country.

But, when they come home, and engage in civilian professions, there is no denying that their skills of how to kill people remain with them.

And, thus, if a military veteran, a person professionally trained to kill in order to defend his country, is trying to use those skills against the public - like this particular military veteran did:

- his military training MUST be considered an aggravating factor, whatever the politically correct crowd says.

Imagine yourself in the place of defendant's victims: his ex-wife and her "family members".

Imagine that your ex-husband, a military veteran who - yes, was trained to kill, and knows how to kill using various weapons - threatened to kill you and your family, and was arrested with a machete in his car, in violation of his conditions of probation.

He did not know of conditions of probation?

He did not know the law does not allow him to threaten to kill people?

He did not know he is not allowed to have weapons in his car?

Of course he did know - otherwise he would have been held in competent to stand trial.

How else should the judge have considered defendant's military experience? 

A machete is a dangerous weapon in anybody's hands, and especially so in the hands of a trained soldier - yes, who was trained to kill, not to crochet with it.

What IS slanderous is assuming that all military veterans will turn their skills of how to kill people against their fellow citizens in civilian life and against their family, or former family members, as it happened here.

Because, condemning a judge for considering the "trained to kill" factor against the military veteran who DID break the law as a slander against ALL military veterans, implies that all military veterans also commit crimes.  And that is what is truly slanderous.

Let's give veterans their respect where it belongs.

Let's help them get treatment when they need it.

Let's make it so that there are no homeless veterans in this country.

But, let's not allow the veteran status to escape accountability for breaking the law.

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