"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, October 9, 2017

The #JudgeBrendaWeaver saga, Part VII - The Fraudulent Indictment - Alison Sosebee may have waived absolute prosecutorial immunity for purposes of a civil rights lawsuit

I am continuing to comment on the corrupt actions of Georgia State Judge Brenda Weaver who engaged in vicious persecution of a journalist and an attorney for using the State of Georgia Open Records law and trying to get access to:

  • audio recordings of a certain court proceeding; and
  • bank records about certain "court operating accounts".

For exercising their right to know, as members of the public, Judge Brenda Weaver, wife of a material witness to the court proceeding that triggered journalistic investigation by Mark Thomason, have had Mark Thomason and his attorney Russell Stookey
  • sued for defamation, without lawful basis;
  • illegally arrested,
  • illegally thrown in jail, where they were subjected to humiliating, inhumane and degrading treatment,
  • illegally coerced into no less illegal bond conditions, and
  • illegally indicted for non-existing felonies that they did not commit.

This is Part VII of the series of blogs about corrupt behavior of Judge Brenda Weaver. 

You can read Parts I through VI following the list of blog articles on the right.

I will take the bull by the horns and will go directly into analysis of the indictment against Mark Thomason and why it was unlawful.

Here is the indictment:

The only positive thing that I see there does not relate to the contents of the indictment, but to the laws of the State of Georgia.

As compared to the laws of the State of Georgia, under the laws of the State of New York, where I worked in a criminal defense office for 16 years, identities of grand jurors, with the exception of the foreperson who signs the indictment, are not known to the defendant or his/her attorney.

And, that's a shame - because:

  1. criminal proceedings must be public, every stage of such proceedings, and because
  2. the identity of who brings criminal charges against a person must be known, too - to verify whether conflicts of interest and other disqualifying factors were excluded when the grand jury panel was picked.
There is no reason to fear influence upon or retaliation against the grand jurors any more than against the petite (trial) jurors, and identities of petite jurors are always known.

Moreover, after the grand jury is complete AND the defendant arrested or arraigned, the last reason for making the grand jury INVESTIGATION secret - trying to do it secretly so that the defendant does not flee the jurisdiction - disappears, too.

Additionally, in New York, in many cases, grand jury proceedings are held after the criminal case has already started in a local court, and the defendant, under such circumstances, has a right to a NOTICE from the prosecutor of the pending grand jury proceedings, to be able to appear and testify in front of the grand jury.

If the defendant is to appear and testify and SEE the grand jurors, there is no reason to make their identities secret.

Here, the identity of grand jurors was disclosed to Mark Thomason right in the indictment ("true bill").

  1. Christopher Adam Payne, Foreperson
  2. Alan Morris
  3. Marcus Jesse Walker
  4. Cheryl Ann Carmody
  5. Danny Lee Crulkshank
  6. james Cody McFarland
  7. Martha Ann Baldwin
  8. June Elizabeth Ash
  9. Lisa Lowery Duckett
  10. Heidi Marie Smith
  11. Audrey Jewell Blaine
  12. Jason Timothy Berneth
  13. Stuart Anthony Martin
  14. Candy Chism DiPrima
  15. Vanessa Kaitlin Stancil
  16. David Paul Croft

Before I go into analyzing potential conflicts of interest among the grand jurors, let me point out right away the main reason why the indictment against Mark Thomason was not valid - a nullity, which, I believe, subjects DA Alison Sosebee to criminal liability and to civil rights liability outside of prosecutorial immunity.

The problem with the indictment, rendering it a nullity, is right here:

The indictment was signed by the prosecuting attorney, not by the foreperson Christopher Adam Payne.

Yet, in Georgia, same as in New York, the indictment was supposed to be signed by the Foreperson of the Grand Jury, not by a prosecutor.

First, if prosecutors could issue indictments, they would not have had the need for grand jury proceedings.

Second, the 5th Amendment requires prosecution of heinous and infamous crimes (like felony fraud that Mark Thomason was charged with) only based on an indictment by a Grand Jury - not by a prosecutor.

So, this indictment, ladies and gentlemen, is FRAUDULENT.

And, for trying to prosecute upon this indictment, it is Alison Sosebee and not Mark Thomason who should be - not only prosecuted, but disbarred.

Third, the signature of the prosecutor may verify reports about the grand jury proceedings from people with knowledge indicating that the grand jury refused to indict - three times, reportedly - causing, again reportedly, Brenda Weaver to come into the hallway, and into the grand jury room, screaming, insulting Alison Sosebee, insulting grand jurors, reminding grand jurors of favors she provided to them in the past and demanding that they return a "true bill".

And still - the indictment presented to Mark was not a valid indictment, unless there is another document signed by the Foreman of the Grand Jury, Christopher Adam Payne.

Do you think Sosebee did not know she had no right to sign indictments?

Think again.

Here is an excerpt from a Prosecutor's Council's Grand Jury Manual for District Attorneys of the State of Georgia, as well as the link to the entire Manual:

That manual, in black on white, states that it is the foreperson of the Grand Jury, as the presiding officer of the Grand Jury, who signs all indictments and presentments.

Not the prosecuting attorney.

So - the indictment, copy of which was given to Mark Thomason, and upon which he was prosecuted, was a nullity.

And, Alison Sosebee, possibly trying hard to earn Brenda Weaver's "trust" for her own judicial rumored judicial nomination, has exposed herself - badly - to a civil rights lawsuit by signing an indictment INSTEAD OF the grand jury Foreperson.

Alison Sosebee was only entitled to PROSECUTORIAL immunity, for PROSECUTORIAL functions.

Usurping the authority of the Presiding Officer of the Grand Jury was certainly not a prosecutorial function, and, in my opinion, does not entitle Sosebee to prosecutorial immunity.

So, from the indictment that Mark Thomason was given, it is clear that the Grand Jury DID NOT indict Mark Thomason - Alison Sosebee fraudulently pretended that the grand jury did indict, for which she should be DISBARRED and criminally prosecuted.

For further analysis of the indictment - why it was defective not only because of who signed it, but by its contents, too, and for analysis of potential conflicts of interest in the composition of the grand jury - 

Stay tuned.

Update as of October 11, 2017.  There has been a development after I published this blog - there emerged a document that purports to be another part of the indictment that supposedly have been signed by the grand jury foreman, but was somehow never served upon Mark Thomason.

Why I still continue to believe that this indictment has been fabricated, and to see that "document", read Part VIII of #JudgeBrendaWeaver saga here.

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