"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.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

There is no cure for the stupid-in-power: Chief NYS State Judge Janet DiFiore has just undermined prison security in the state, badly

New York State Department of Corrections has invented a system of "earning good time" for prisoners.

The system is mutually beneficial.

Prisoners comply with certain requirements of DOCs - by not being involved in violent acts while in prison, following directions of prison authorities, complying with different "programs", including mental health programs, like "sex offender treatment", for example - and in return for that prisoners earn "good time", being able to be released earlier than their maximum sentences on parole.

That has just changed - because of just one stupid decision by New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

As of November 27, 2018 New York prisoners have no incentive to not be involved in violence in prison, to follow prison regulations and - for sex offenders especially - to be engaged in the so-called "sex offender treatment programs", extremely invasive harassment sessions involving polygraphs and penile polygraphs (electrode attached to the prisoner's penis while prisoner is made to watch child porn), disclosing sexual history and preferences not only of the prisoner, but of his sex partners.

All of that was holding up on the flimsy basis that prisoners hoped to get released sooner - by earning "good time".

DiFiore's decision legitimized cheating prisoners out of their good time, for no fault of the prisoners.

A convicted sex offender earned good time, 4 months of it, and was hoping to be released 4 months early.

The Department of Corrections, by law, is supposed to make an effort to help an about-to-be-released sex offender with housing.

But, convicting on coerced plea bargains and under the threat that, if a person does not plead guilty, he will be sentenced to prison, put in general population there and be tortured and killed there, and especially "treating" the untreatable sex offenders is such a lucrative industry in New York - and across the United States - that there are so many sex offenders, and so many municipalities with zoning restrictions prohibiting sex offenders to reside in close proximity with parks, schools and other places where children under the age of 18 "may congregate" (covering about the whole areas of those municipalities) that is practically impossible to find a place for a convicted sex offender to reside.

While residing within such areas may earn a convicted sex offender yet another felony conviction.

So, DOCs either did not want to look for suitable housing for Gonzalez before his release deliberately, wanting him to fail and get convicted for living where he is prohibited to live - because no other housing was available, or did not put enough effort into helping Gonzalez in finding suitable housing.

Because suitable housing was not found, DOCs simply denied Gonzalez the already earned good time and released him at his maximum sentence.

Gonzalez sued.

The case went all the way up to the New York State Court of Appeals.

DiFiore pronounced a decision that DOCs did not have to knock themselves out finding suitable housing for Gonzalez, so it was ok for DOCs to simply cheat Gonzalez out of his earned good time.

Now, DiFiore was a prosecutor all her life before coming to the bench, and for all her career did not have to think to obtain convictions.  As the former NYS Chief Judge (a convicted felon) Sol Wachtler said, one can indict a ham sandwich.  And that is true.

Moreover, one can convict a ham sandwich, too - for a sex offense especially, as long as you:

  • publish the charges on the Internet;
  • secure contamination of the jury pool - where comments in the media from the time charges are published ask for torturous death of the culprit in prison;
  • coerce a guilty plea from a person, without regard of his guilt or innocence, by showing him these comments and telling that he will be raped and killed if he gets into the prison's general population, and that he will be given a break if he "just pleas".

DiFiore, after doing all of the above for her entire prosecutorial career, did not have a need to develop any type of mental acuity, you know, like in a chess game, think about consequences of her decisions at least more than 1 step forward.

So, her no-thinking-required mentality showed, as it always shows when a person with such a mental setup becomes a judge, and the absolute majority of New York State and the country's judges are former prosecutors.

What was the legislative intent to introduce the "good time" credits in the first place?

Not just reintroduction of prisoners into society.

First and foremost - prison security.

So, what did DiFiore do with her decision?  She told prisoners that no matter how much of good time they have earned, in order to be released early from prison, no matter how much humiliation prisoner put up with in the ineffective and unconstitutional "sex offender treatment programs" where sex offenders are coerced to talk to state authorities while their appeals are pending, for example - all of that good time may be taken away, for no fault of prisoners.

In other words, there is no reason to engage in any efforts to earn good time in the first place - you may be cheated out of it anyway.

Good job, Judge DiFiore.

Let's see the next year's safety report from DOCs.  DiFiore's decision can, literally, cost lives of both prisoners and corrections officers.

And that was exactly what the law that DiFiore "applied" through her decision was trying to prevent.

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