"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, April 24, 2017

Was Ledell Lee killed off by the U.S. Supreme Court as a punishment for raising the issue of BAD judicial misconduct in his trial, the judge sleeping with a prosecutor? Yet another death for criticizing judges.

This is Ledell Lee.

The person who maintained his innocence until his dying minute.

The person who has had an intellectual disability that was disregarded when he was put to death.

The person who asked for a DNA test which was denied to him despite his claims of innocence.

The person who was convicted and condemned to death when his presiding trial judge was having an affair with the prosecutor - and all lawyers, but the first one (who was drunk) and the last one, were afraid to raise the issue of the judge's affair with the prosecutor, choosing to rather cause their client to be killed by the State of Arkansas than jeopardize their own careers.

And this is the Governor's spokesman who is patiently waiting - outside of the death chamber - until Ledell Lee is killed of and "justice is served", or, rather, until the State of Arkansas uses the last chance to kill Ledell Lee before the drugs the State deceptively bought to kill him, while claiming they are purchased for another purpose, expire.

I wonder why he wouldn't watch "the process".

I saw in reports mentioning that it was the newly appointed judge Neil Gorsuch who delivered the death blow and whose vote broke the tie and resulted in Ledell Lee's death.

That's the same Neil Gorsuch who, citing to St Augustine and Aristotle, preached in his book about right to life, to the point of denying people who want and choose to die the right to die with dignity, of their own free will.

I also saw mentioned that the presiding judge in Ledell Lee's trial and the prosecutor had an affair and later married.

What I did not see were the names and faces of that judge and that prosecutor.

The press was somehow too shy to mention them.

Yet, those names were mentioned in Ledell Lee's request for relief filed with federal courts, the request that was denied by the federal court - and I wonder whether the denial was based on the merit, or based on the increasing backlash in the American courts against criticism and critics of judicial misconduct, no matter how fair and how much it is based on uncontroverted evidence.

The presiding judge over Ledell Lee's trial who had an affair with the prosecutor at that time, but did not disclose it - and neither did the prosecutor - is #JudgeChrisPiazza.

He is still a judge, is still a licensed attorney, and is still called "Honorable".

And, the press is still afraid to mention his name in connection with Ledell Lee's murder.

Of course, Judge Piazza's only "notable ruling" is pronouncement of the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Nobody mentions sending a man to death without a DNA test while sleeping with the prosecutor, preventing appointment of a non-conflicted counsel and instead appointment of a counsel who was drunk at the trial.

And, these are the only two lawyers who, in addition to the drunk lawyer, raised the issue of the affair between the judge and the prosecutor at a capital murder trial:

Other "competent counsel" during the years and years of appeals and habeas petitions, failed to mention it.  I wonder, why.  I actually don't wonder why, because we all know, why.  They threw their client under the bus - no, literally, into the death chamber - in order to save their own hides and licenses.

Because the judge they were duty-bound to criticize was still on the bench, and very much in power.

The prosecutor participating in an affair with the judge presiding over a capital murder trial was #MelodyLaRue who was portrayed in the press as a "confident prosecutor" who claimed she "believes in what she is doing".

I guess, she believed in having an affair with the presiding judge and not disclosing it to the defendant or his attorney.

It took a subpoena of the judge's ex-wife to testify regarding the affair, but only after the conviction and death sentence of Ledell Lee, and after the state death machine was put into motion.

Now the former prosecutor is the judge's wife and a law partner in a private law firm.

No discipline was imposed upon her for having an affair with a judge who was presiding over a capital murder case her office (if not she herself, personally) was handling.

Here is Ms. LaRue's/Mrs. Piazza's work history, from her own attorney advertisement:

Not only Melody Larue/Piazza was not disciplined (as well as her husband-judge) for non-disclosure of their affair during a capital murder trial where Judge Chris Piazza presided and Melody LaRue's employer handled the prosecution and sought the death penalty, but Melody Piazza boasts "pre-eminent" statuses and credentials such as memberships in a vast number of lawyer associations:

I guess, they are all happy to have her, a powerful judge's wife, no matter what kind of misconduct her husband-judge and Melody LaRue committed.

Let's compare the dates in Melody Piazza's autobiography in her attorney advertisement and in Ledell Lee's final petition for relief - which was denied.

Ledell Lee:

So, Ledell Lee was not convicted, sentenced or executed after his first trial.

In his first trial, he presented an alibi defense enough to have a hung jury even on the issue of conviction, without even reaching the issue of sentencing.

Melody LaRue/Piazza:

So, in 1993 and 1994, at the time of Ledell Lee's first trial, Melody LaRue was already employed as a prosecutor in the District Attorney's Office of the Pulaski County.

And, of course, the Circuit Court of that same county denied Mr. Ledell's application for DNA testing.

See argument in opposition of DNA testing by John F. Johnson, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 6th Judicial District, an argument arguing to kill off a person who once won a hung jury on an alibi defense and who was only asking to check, before he is killed, if the state has got the right guy.

This is the perverse prosecutorial logic:

So, the alibi defense that has caused a hung jury did not matter.

The assertion of innocence does not matter.

Presence of some other blood on the shoe of Mr. Ledell does not matter - while it should matter, because if the crime scene was full of blood, if Mr. Ledell had blood on his shoe, but that blood was not the victim's, that clearly means that his alibi defense is solid and there is a reasonable doubt whether he was at the crime scene at all.

Mr. Johnson did not mention in his opposition that his office made an ultimate "argument", unbeknownst to Mr. Lee or his counsel, to win his 2nd trial after the 1st one resulted in a hung jury - had a prosecutor from their office sleep with the presiding judge.

Actually, in "Relevant Procedural History" Mr. Johnson did not even mention the hung jury on the issue of alibi defense.

He only mentioned a conviction - on October 12, 1995.

Guess what happened to Melody LaRue after that conviction in 1995 (obtained because she was sleeping with the presiding judge Chris Piazza)?

She got promoted!  To the position of Chief Deputy Prosecutor "from 1996 until her departure in 2001".

Good girl!  Won such a victory for the office! Deserves a promotion, of course!

Look what else Mr. Johnson is arguing:

"Yes, we destroyed the evidence which could have been exculpatory for Mr. Lee - but we did it not in bad faith", and somehow that makes it right to kill Mr. Lee, an indigent criminal defendant, without doing any additional investigation or DNA testing.

Moreover, repeating one of the reasons why an innocent may be executed that a federal judge recently asserted in his blog, untimeliness, Mr. Johnson pushes that untimeliness as No. 1 reason why a potentially innocent person should be executed, immediately.

So, it was Ledell Lee's fault that his attorneys deprived him of effective representation and did not ask for additional DNA testing after new DNA-testing technologies became available.

And, it was Ledell Lee's fault that attorneys who the same state that killed him, assigned to him, knew nothing about DNA testing:

But, that was exactly what his attorney was arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court - ineffective assistance of counsel - which the same Mr. Johnson was opposing, too.

And, by the way, the Arkansas Supreme Court refused to review the issue of Judge Piazza sleeping with prosecutor Melody LaRue during the capital murder case which Melody LaRue's office was prosecuting and where Judge Piazza was presiding - without disclosure of the relationship to the defense or the jury - because allegedly it was not raised in the petition by the defense counsel who did not think it prudent (for his own personal reasons) to raise issues of judicial misconduct of a still-sitting judge.

So, Ledell Lee was killed off.

Because, the state of Arkansas absolutely had to exercise the death warrant before it expired, and use the killing drugs before they expired, too, and all judges, with little exception - only judge Breyer dissented, and judges Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan and Breyer dissented in a related case - raised their voices against the horrible injustice of killing of an intellectually disabled man asserting his innocence, who:

  • once had a hung jury on an alibi issue;
  • who never received effective assistance of counsel at trial or in post-trial proceedings;
  • who never had an impartial prosecutor, as he was entitled by law;
  • who never had an impartial judge, as he was entitled by law - where the judge actually slept with the prosecutor instead, without disclosing it to Mr. Ledell.
What happened to the judge?

He is still on the bench.

What happened to the prosecutor?

She was promoted, married the judge, left the prosecutor's office to pursue private practice, and is still a rich and successful private attorney.

What happened to their victim, Mr. Ledell?

He was killed by the state, and the state insisted on killing him.

So, why was Mr. Ledell killed?  Because the killing drugs were closes to expiration, or because his attorneys dared to point out, truthfully, based on testimony of the judge's ex-wife, that the judge was sleeping with a prosecutor from the office prosecuting Mr. Ledell during Mr. Ledell's SECOND capital murder trial, after the first one was lost to a hung jury?

Punishing people for criticizing judges has become a favorite target practice for courts in America.

Yet, killing people for criticizing judges is brand spanking new.

Let's remember this face.

Ledell Lee, a person killed for criticizing a judge for sleeping with a prosecutor during a capital murder trial.

And, let's remember these faces.

Judge Chris Piazza - still on the bench.

Attorney Melody Piazza

- still has her license, is now married to judge Chris Piazza, and uses in her attorney advertisement the career promotion she received after sleeping with the presiding judge during a capital murder trial and thus helping her office "win" the trial.

The tie-breaking vote on the U.S. Supreme Court - Neil Gorsuch

whose only credentials to get him on the SCOTUS bench were that:

And this is, again, their victim - Gorsuch's, and Scalia's (who denied certiorari review to Lee Ledell in 1999), and Judge Piazza's, and attorney Melody LaRue/Piazza's:

Ledell Lee was just a stepping stone in these people's careers.

I wonder, whether DNA testing that Ledell Lee asked for, and was denied, will be conducted after his death, or will the State of Arkansas continue to be as cowardly after killing him as it was while seeking to kill him off before finding out the truth.

Since there is a big question whether Ledell Lee is the person who murdered the victim, there is a big question whether the perpetrator continues to be out there, jeopardizing lives of the residents of the state of Arkansas.

Not that the Governor of the State of Arkansas, and other public officials who sought to kill of Ledell Lee, care about such trifles, obviously.

They DESTROYED EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE - remember?  And claimed that it is ok to still kill Ledell Lee because the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence was not in bad faith, allegedly.

Nothing wrong that the government does is usually deemed, by the government (the courts) to be in bad faith, no matter how wrong it is.

But - you know what is one of the most important aspects of this gruesome story?


Judicial discretion.

Discretion of the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear appeal of Mr. Ledell.

Not from the criminal conviction.

Not from denial of his habeas corpus petitions.

Not from denial of his requests for DNA testing.

Not from denial of stay of execution.

Since then, nearly 100 years passed, the population and number of cases, including civil rights cases, have grown exponentially, yet, the "discretion" remains.

So, I am asking a question - WHY DO WE HAVE the U.S. Supreme Court?

For what reason do we have these 9 people who receive enormous salaries, sit in a marble palace, and have no obligation to do anything?  At all?

They can refuse, at their "discretion", to hear ANY cases coming their way - and still receive their salary.

And, nobody can hold them accountable, they are there for life.


Why do we have jobs in the government that are discretionary for the government officials to do or not to do?

Why do we have jobs where enforcement of the U.S. Constitution, including, literally, life or death decisions, lies within the whim of 9 people.

Why do we have jobs where these "discretionary" public servants may decide to punish a person with DEATH, this person,

simply for breaking the ultimate taboo - criticizing a judge for an obvious misconduct?

I wrote recently about yet another death of a critic of a judge - attorney Patrick Massud in California.  That death was claimed to be a suicide.  In state custody, awaiting trial where he was likely going to testify about judicial misconduct.  To kill him off was the most "efficient" way to shut him up.

And about other whistleblowers who were given the ultimate gag.

Now Ledell Lee joins their ranks.

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