"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.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

How we enable public prosecutors to commit crimes in office - the case of Suffolk County (NY) DA Thomas Spota and his criminal charges - too little, too late

Violation of civil rights is a criminal offense, I found today from the criminal federal indictment of Thomas J. Spota, the just-resigned and now former District Attorney of Suffolk County, New York.

Spota is charged as Count 4 of the indictment as an "accessory after the fact to the deprivation of John Doe's Civil Rights.

Here are the full charges from the docket report of the criminal case against Thomas Spota.

Here is the full indictment against the former DA Spota:

The indictment had more or less vague and conclusory statements of what was it that Spota did wrong.

Reporters hunting for juicy details provided a less sterile view of why exactly former DA Spota was indicted.

Yet, as juicy as the indictment against the now-former DA Spota can be, Count 4, accompanied with review of the list of civil rights lawsuits against former DA Spota in the official electronic register of such cases -, raises a bigger question.

Why wasn't he indicted earlier?

Spota has been sued many, many, many times for violation of civil rights (see below the list of lawsuits against him from as of yesterday, codes 440 "civil rights", 445 "Americans with Disabilities Civil Rights in Employment", 550 "prisoner petitions - civil rights") - and most of these cases were dismissed, on prosecutorial immunity grounds.

And, dismissal of civil civil rights lawsuits on judge-invented immunity grounds should not have prevented charging DA Thomas Spota for the CRIME of violation of civil rights under 18 U.S.C. 242 through criminal indictments in every single case where he was sued - because sworn statements from witnesses about violation of civil rights are enough to charge with such a crime, and every single civil rights lawsuit requires that it be sworn - certified under oath.

Here is the list of lawsuits against Thomas Spota available on as of yesterday.  There are 131 cases listed on Pacer against Spota, some of them where he was an attorney, but still, here is the list where codes 440 and 550 - civil rights and prisoner civil rights - repeatedly appear.

Gaps in the farthest right column, "Date Closed", indicate lawsuits against Thomas Spota that are still ongoing.

There are 18 (!) such ongoing lawsuits as of today, plus two on pending appeals.  10 are pending for over a year, 7 are pending for over 3 years, 5 are pending for over 5 years and one is pending for over 7 years.  And that is with existence of absolute prosecutorial immunity for corrupt acts which courts use to get rid of civil rights litigation against prosecutors immediately!  I wonder what former DA Spota did so that even the extremely biased federal courts let civil rights lawsuits against him proceed for such a length of time?

Date filed Code Meaning of code Case Number Duration of litigation as of October 27, 2017 Spota's role in case
1/6/2010 440 Civil righs 2:2010-cv-00032 7 years 9 months Defendant
5/27/2011 440 Civil righs 2:2011-cv-2588 5 years 5 months Defendant
3/20/2012 440 Civil righs 2:2012-cv-01455 5 years 7 months Defendant
8/28/2012 440 Civil righs 2:2012-cv-04327 5 years 2 months Defendant
8/28/2012 440 Civil righs 2:2012-cv-04327 5 years 2 months Defendant
4/10/2013 440 Civil righs 2:2013-cv-2104 over 3 years Defendant
4/17/2014 442 Employment 2:2014-cv-02473 3.5 years Defendant
11/17/2014 445 Americans with Disabilities Act - Employment, Civil rights 2:2014-cv-06731 2 years 11 months Defendant
6/27/2016 440 Civil righs 2:2016-cv-3431 1 year 4 months Defendant
7/5/2016 440 Civil righs 2:2016-cv-3723 1 year 3 months Defendant
12/22/2016 440 Civil righs 2:2016-cv-07047 0 years 10 months Defendant
5/8/2017 530 Habeas corpus general 2:2017-cv-3135 0 years 5 months Respondent
5/8/2017 530 Civil righs 2:2017-cv-03135 0 years 5 months Defendant
8/17/2017 440 Civil righs 2:2017-cv-4853 0 years 2 months Defendant
8/21/2017 442 Americans with Disabilities Act - Employment, Civil rights 2:2017-cv-04897 0 years 2 months Defendant
8/24/2017 550 Prisoner petitions - civil rights 2:2017-cv-05023 0 years 2 months Defendant
9/29/2017 440 Civil righs 2:2017-cv-05706 0 years 1 month Defendant
10/13/2017 360 Other personal injury 2:2017-cv-06006 0 years 1/2 months Defendant

While I will try, time permitting, to look into what kind of civil rights cases were not dismissed - as usual - on prosecutorial immunity grounds against former DA Spota, the question remains:

why do we, People of the United States, the constitutional source of power in the government, allow our prosecutors to have judicially (and thus illegally) granted prosecutorial immunity for corrupt acts and for violation of the U.S. Constitution?

Why did we allow Article III federal courts that DO NOT have authority to legislate, not only to legislate, but to carve out an exception to the U.S. Constitution - granting certain classes of people, starting from judges themselves, and extending to prosecutors, the usual breeding ground of judges - an exception to their own constitutional oath of office?

Why are we asleep at the wheel and allow prosecutors to become bolder in their lawlessness because - as the example of DA Spota shows, he's been sued for years by victims of his criminal behavior, and for years federal courts who are tasked by the U.S. Congress through the Civil Rights Act to protect THE VICTIMS of civil rights violations, protected THE PERPETRATOR, under an illegally - judicially - granted "absolute immunity".

By the way, such immunity was granted (illegally) by the U.S. Supreme Court on a pretext that attorney discipline is enough for prosecutors.  Of course, U.S. Supreme Court knew at the time it was spouting this illegal nonsense that prosecutors are never disciplined.

But, the whole idea of usurping the exclusive authority of Congress to legislate and giving immunity to prosecutors, the main source of the judiciary, for CRIMINAL behavior and for oath-breaking?

Why do we enable and encourage prosecutors to commit the FEDERAL CRIME of civil rights violations by protecting them from accountability to their VICTIMS by allowing courts to give them immunity from that CRIMINAL behavior?

Why do we allow the same judges and prosecutors who give themselves (judges) and prosecutors absolute immunity for MALICIOUS and CORRUPT acts authority to block our access to grand jury to prosecute them criminally for that behavior?

Because they do.

You won't be able to access the grand jury without presentation by a prosecutor.

I still remember how I talked to Delaware County (NY) Senior Assistant DA John Hubbard asking him why wouldn't he prosecute then-judge Carl Becker for falsifying court records, filing a falsified certificate of elections going back go 2002 when I pointed out that there is no documentary proof of his legitimacy on file?  It is still there, in that record, falsely certified by Delaware County Board of Elections while underlying documents that could prove or disprove that he was ever elected in 2002 were long gone.

You know what the now-DA Hubbard told me then?  "Tanya, why?  Why are you doing it?  Why do you need to do this?"

You know what the now-DA Hubbard DID NOT tell me at that time?

That he was the freaking LAW PARTNER of Carl Becker before Becker usurped the bench.  That came out only after 
  • Becker ran from the bench in July of 2015 during an State Comptroller and an FBI investigation, as well as several of his cronies in Delaware County shortly before him and shortly after him;
  • Hubbard's boss Dick Norhtrup was elected a judge on November 4, 2015;
  • I was safely suspended from the practice of law, on November 15, 2015, less than 2 weeks after Northrup's election, for criticizing Carl Becker for the same falsification of election records
    • in a secret proceeding that
      • I had a right to open,
      • asked to open, but
      • was denied my right to an open proceeding right there in the Delaware County so that people who know me and whom I represented would come and see what exactly I am charged with, and without a hearing, 
  • Northrup was sworn in (unlawfully) by the same Becker, who was not a judge any more by that time, was a private attorney and did not have a right to swear in new judges into office, but was still allowed to don a black robe and swear in a new judge.  That Becker was allowed to unlawfully don back the black robe and swear in Northrup as a new judge speaks volume about their closeness and favors they likely exchanged over the years.

After all that, Hubbard ran for a DA himself and now disclosed to the public, in January of 2016, that actually all this time when he was a Senior Assistant District Attorney, his office appeared in front of his own former law partner - without any disclosures in criminal proceedings about that.

Hubbard and Northrup were opponents of my clients in criminal felony cases before Becker for years, they NEVER made a disclosure that Becker is Hubbard's former law partner.

And, both Hubbard and Northrup faithfully locked the doors of the grand jury against prosecutions of themselves, any Delaware County officials known for their corruption, and, of course, their benefactor tossing them victories in criminal cases - former law partner of John Hubbard Carl Becker.

The same way as former DA Spota obviously locked the doors of the grand jury for investigations against himself and the police, and that situation continues until now.

While there is no double jeopardy in charging people for crimes in BOTH state and federal court, the only way former DA Spota was charged was only in federal court.  No state prosecutor dared present a criminal charge against DA Spota to a state grand jury.

And, former DA Spota is old.  Very old.

So, he was allowed to violate people's civil rights with immunity for years and decades, so one does look for reasons other than those stated in the indictment for why in reality he was indicted now.

Somebody desperately wanted his powerful seat that he was clinging to?

The whole story is disgusting, but it is time for people across the country to see that nothing good is coming out of prosecutorial immunity and insist that their legislative representatives do their jobs and to have them
  • legislatively outlaw, once and for all, judicial and prosecutorial immunity, and introduce penalties FOR JUDGES for any attempts of applying it;
  • put the power to present cases of public corruption to grand juries into citizens' hands directly,
  • remove the secrecy from the identities of grand jurors and from grand jury proceedings, on both "true bills" and "no true bills", at least after the fact when an indictment was already rendered proceedings, at least after the fact;
  • take away authority of "legal advisors" to prosecutors as parties of criminal proceedings disqualified from being such an "advisor" by their dual role, acting both as advisors of the indicting body and as party to litigation - which provides prosecutors an opportunity to block criminal grand jury investigations and indictments against themselves and public officials they are closely tied with.
Until and unless that is done, cases like DA Spota will be popping up - only when the feds condescend to bring criminal charges against state officials, which happens next to never, and only when there is no way of concealing the garbage any more.

We deserve better.

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