"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.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

How Jeffrey Deskovic betrayed the dream he claims he is serving, fighting wrongful convictions - from seeking Justice to seeking Just-US. Part II.

Why did the famous New York exoneree Jeffrey Deskovic, as it was shown in Part I of this article series, betrayed his initial dream of holding prosecutors CRIMINALLY accountable for intentionally drumming up wrongful convictions - which is already both a host of federal and state crimes, for example, it is a crime punishable under 18 U.S.C. 242 and a crime addressed in the State of New York by a whole Article of the New York Penal Code, Article 195?

Because in order to fulfil that dream, the grand jury proceeding laws must be reformed, to 

  • allow direct and unimpeded public access to the grand jury, 
  • ability for any public citizen to file a complaint directly with a grand jury and ask to 
  • start a grand jury investigation of the complaint, which will be able to 
  • return criminal charges against subjects found by the grand jury to have more likely than not violated criminal law - including judges and prosecutors.

And, this particular idea WAS already offered to the public - by a certain movement in the United States, called "Jail 4 Judges", here is an interesting radio show with an interview from the leader of that movement, also showing interesting insights about what non-attorney Americans think about the American judicial system, the American legal profession, their interaction and wrongful convictions that they drum.

And, that certain movement already tried to advocate for change of state Constitutions to introduce changes of grand jury proceedings through public referendums.

Referendums - because Legislatures, overwhelmed by licensed attorneys who are controlled by one of the three groups of individuals who cause wrongful convictions, judges - are unable to produce any efficient legislation to make people who cause wrongful convictions accountable.

Changing grand jury law in a way affecting their own regulator would mean professional suicide for legislators who are also lawyers, deemed "officers of the court" (licensed attorneys) and controlled in their in-court and out-of-court life by the judicial branch of the government (the majority of which is former prosecutors.

Many of these judges, former prosecutors, controlling legislators-lawyers. are likely those who have caused wrongful convictions, but were protected from civil prosecution by judicially created judicial and prosecutorial immunity and from criminal prosecution - by laws regulating grand jury proceedings putting grand juries under control and legal advice of prosecutors.

Of course, this movement, to change state Constitutions, give people free access to grand juries and make grand juries independent from the legal profession protecting its own - was quashed by the legal profession and its richest clients, corporations:

That happened in the year of Deskovic's release from prison.

See, an association of insurers calls the ideas of, again,

  • giving people direct access to grand juries;
  • removing control of the legal profession over the grand juries, so that grand juries may investigate judges and prosecutors - 

"radical", and "upsetting their state's entire CIVIL justice system".

You know what happened to that movement?

It was very active in 1999 and for about 10 years afterwards, that's before Deskovic's "campaigning" began.

Its leader was charged (by a prosecutor) and convicted (by a court) of a crime and locked up (the interview starts at around 15:40).

The attorney who helped that leader articulate (very well, by the way) constitutional issues involved in necessity of such direct grand jury access and in grand jury proceedings independent from prosecutors, John Wolfgram - was disbarred, tarred-and-feathered as "mentally incompetent" (an old-as-world idea to discredit your opponents as crazy when you have nothing to offer in terms of opposition on the merits), and bankrupted, despite being a war veteran and a holder of not only a law degree, but also a degree in philosophy of law.

Deskovic is on the verge of RECEIVING - from the hands of the judiciary, who are, in their overwhelming majority, former prosecutors, a law license.

He wants it.

He craves it.

He already publishes with pride pictures of himself lecturing to attorneys, judges and prosecutors about "ethics" in mandatory for attorney licensing continued legal education (CLE) courses.

He will not do anything to jeopardize the possibility of receiving a law license, and the place in attorney monopoly and the power (place in the government) that such a monopoly gives in the U.S. nowadays.

So, he instead dupes the public who GENUINLY believes him - as "one of them", an exoneree, into supporting legislative measures that will effectively BLOCK any possibility of holding prosecutors accountable.

After all, one has to take care of oneself and one's own career.

But, judging by Deskovic's statements that "just people", not licensed attorneys, are not qualified enough to take public office and review whether a prosecutorial misconduct was committed (while they are so qualified to sit on grand juries and trial juries - Deskovic does not even try to explain his reasoning), Deskovic is very far away from considering "just people" on par with himself.

He needs them as mindless cattle, for numbers only, to support his use of himself as a stamp of approval "from exonerees" upon giving the same people who caused wrongful convictions an opportunity to populate the body faking investigations of those wrongful convictions and prosecutions.

With predictable result.

Deskovic is no John Wolfgram, a brilliant philosopher of law and constitutional scholar, who tried to make grand juries do their jobs - and was expelled from the legal profession, bankrupted and proclaimed crazy for that.

Deskovic is just another fairly brainless, but actively greedy opportunist, hungry for money, power and fame.

He consistently proves it with his own statements, and actions.

How Jeffrey Deskovic betrayed the dream he claims he is serving, fighting wrongful convictions - from seeking Justice to seeking Just-US. Part I.

Jeffrey Deskovic, the famous New York exoneree, always had a weakness - flattery and recognition by people in authority.

That is how he has gotten wrongfully convicted in the first place.

According to description of facts of his own case provided in the federal court's decision denying summary judgment in one of his lawsuits, the police did not have enough evidence to even arrest him.

The police suckered him into taking a polygraph which turned into 9 hours of interrogation, brow-beating and wrongful confession - because they promised him a central role in a criminal investigation of the murder of 15-year-old older sister of his girlfriend.  Ok, at 16 you might not be able to resist such lures.

But, when you are 45-ish, like Jeffrey Deskovic is now - maybe, you should?

Not likely.

Let's compare certain positions - 

  • Deskovic's position several days ago:

To which Deskovic answered thus:

Let's review what Deskovic "and his colleagues" worked for FOR 6 YEARS (note the period) - the starting point, those same 6 years ago - before going to law school and posing for photographs in the New York Senate, with judges, police officers, prosecutors, doing CLE lectures for these three groups and accepting awards from anybody who ives them - just for the fact that he was suckered into a wrongful conviction, then exonerated by sheer triple luck and then awarded millions of dollars when he sued for his wrongful conviction.  (The luck I am talking about is:  1. DNA evidence pointed at another killer,  2. DNA evidence from the crime Deskovic was convicted for was preserved,  3.  somebody took effort on Deskovic's behalf to prove the above and advocate for his release - the luck that does not happen in majority of wrongful convictions).

So, nearly exactly 6 years ago Deskovic answered the following question of a reporter: If there was one change, just one, that you could make in the criminal justice system, what would it be?

Deskovic:  Definitely criminalizing intentional prosecutorial misconduct

Now, compare it with my view expressed 5 days ago:

I also spoke about elimination of prosecutorial immunity - civil, by the way, there was never a prosecutorial immunity for criminal prosecution, Deskovic was mistaken in believing in 2013 that intentional prosecutorial misconduct is not criminalized, it can be charged as a number of state and federal crimes, the only problem is - who is going to charge it against prosecutors (many of whom since drumming up wrongful convictions to advance their career have become judges), when prosecutors, by laws lobbied by prosecutors, control public access to grand juries and are, in our "fair" "adversarial" justice system are operating, in an ex parte manner, as LEGAL ADVISERS of grand juries.  Imagine - a party in the proceeding operates as a law clerk advising the judge what to do, in an ex parte proceeding, and obtains a decision based on which he acquires the right to prosecute in the subsequent "public" "adversarial" "fair" proceeding - that is a wonder of the American criminal "justice" system.

What has happened over these 6 years that Deskovic transformed from an advocate for CRIMINAL penalties for prosecutors for intentional misconduct and drumming up wrongful convictions (which view I completely share) to telling me that working towards THAT SAME GOAL is "fighting against" what took him and his "colleagues" "six years to pass"?

What transformed a man who adamantly said in an interview that prosecutors and the judicial system target wrongful convictions only against the poor to a self-conceited peacock who tried to lecture to me that blocking the public from membership in the "public" Commission that seeks only to discipline (to the point of removal, but not to the point of criminal prosecution) prosecutors for creating wrongful convictions is justified - by STANDARDS no less.

That "standards" now require for Deskovic - that he is preparing to get licensed as an attorney - that a law license or working as a professor in a school approved by an Illinois corporation with foreign secret membership (the American Bar Association) is a REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

Why - because of "standards", "quality control of education".

So, 6 years ago Deskovic, fresh-er out of prison at that time, with his memories of his wrongful incarceration that lasted 16 years (including denial of parole) fresh-er then, believed that these same people, with "standards", graduates of ABA-approved law schools and licensed attorneys - should be held criminally liable for wrongful convictions that they INTENTIONALLY cause.

Now, his beliefs suffered a dramatic transformation, and now he thinks that "someone receiving an inferior education from a school that does not meet accreditation standards should not be able to serve because they do not have the proper background for that.  They wouldn't be able to practice law: how can they be able to sin on a commission that reviews conduct of those who have went through the process of graduating from an accredited school, sat for bar exams etc. - all through an accredited/approved process".

So, Deskovic, on the brink of becoming a lawyer himself, now professes a belief that only people with law degrees are eligible for public service.  

And, only people with law degrees and law licenses 

(which in New York and across the United States also means - who never criticized a judge, including the judge who has caused a wrongful conviction) - 

people, so far, did nothing to investigate and prosecute prosecutors for wrongful convictions, 

the reason the bill for the Commission for prosecutorial misconduct was proposed in the first place - 

have the ability to properly investigate and prosecute THEMSELVES and get to the bottom why they THEMSELVES cause wrongful convictions.

The same people who create wrongful convictions - prosecutors, judges and public defenders - are the ONLY people who may, according to plan put into law by Deskovic, preside over investigations of public complaints of such wrongful convictions or wrongful prosecutions - where the decisions of that Commission, fashioned (as Deskovic openly acknowledged) after the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct that shreds WITHOUT INVESTIGATION the overwhelming majority of meritorious complaints from the public,  will not be even appealable by the victims of prosecutorial conduct?

(The link above: this is how the federal court, judge Mae D'Agostino, the then-undisclosed Chairperson of the shadow judiciary, the State-Federal Judicial Council, the composition of which the 2nd Circuit still refuses to disclose to me in answer to my Freedom of Information request, so I do not know whether judges - defendants in this action - were or were not deciding this same case through participation in that "Council", said:  

"In the present matter, the Court finds that Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the following: (1) the policy which allows attorneys who are members of the Judicial Conduct Committee from practicing law "in the courts where the mere appearance of such an attorney may influence the court;" (2) the New York State law "which provide[s] that no appellate review of denial of citizen complaints for judicial misconduct is available;" and (3) the policies of the Judicial Conduct Committee regarding the confidentiality of their records of investigation. See Dkt. No. 5 at ¶¶ 254-56. The law makes clear, a private citizen does not have standing to initiate or maintain a disciplinary proceeding against an attorney or a judge, or to appeal if the court or commission declines to discipline, see In re Attorney Disciplinary Appeal, 650 F.3d 202, 203-04 (2d Cir. 2011) (citing cases); and, therefore, Plaintiffs lack a legally cognizable interest in the disciplinary proceedings that follow the filing of a grievance, just as a crime victim lacks standing to challenge the decision not to prosecute. See Weisshaus v. New York, No. 08 Civ. 4053, 2009 WL 2579215, *4 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2009").


Especially from a person who lectured me on what due process is:

Only prosecutors (and other attorneys) eligible to investigate and prosecute prosecutors for misconduct, after a lifetime of not doing that through existing attorney disciplinary system, while denying the public the right of any voice on that Commission - through membership, the right of the complainant for participation as a party, or the right of the complainant to appeal dismissals of meritorious complaints, even without investigation - is NOT a violation of due process, according to the newly transformed Deskovic.

But, appellate review by the Court of Appeals of its own decision - is a violation of due process.

For that reason, and for the reason that the Court of Appeals "did not want" to uphold the law if the law puts a certain function on it, and the wish of the Court of Appeals as to how the law must be shaped - is somehow law of its own - the decision of the Commission (fashioned, mind, after the Commission for Judicial Conduct - where its decisions go only to the Court of Appeals, no problem with non-appealability at all) will go for review to the Appellate Divisions.

The same Appellate Divisions, mind, that have a policy of non-prosecution of prosecutors, which was the reason for creation of the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct in the first place.

This kind of argument.

So, in 2013, 6 years ago, before going to law school, Deskovic considered that the main thing to be done is to make prosecutors who intentionally caused wrongful convictions, must be made CRIMINALLY accountable.

For that, there should be an effective GRAND JURY mechanism, eliminating prosecutors (institutionally interested parties) as parties controlling public access to the grand juries, directing the grand jury investigation, advising it and being able to be present in the grand jury while the public, the subjects of the investigation and the defense cannot.

Did Deskovic, with his "colleagues", fight for implementation of that grand jury mechanism?

Oh, no.

He is proud that he has given power to a body (after getting and publishing some snapshots of himself in the New York Senate and self-advertised his close connections to all three branches of power in New York) that will make true accountability of prosecutors impossible.

And now he claims that it is people who insist on Deskovic's OWN INITIAL VERSION of what needs to be done to fight wrongful convictions are - well, in the way.  Fighting against what he "fought for 6 years to pass".

Such a busy man.

So much effort, time and money dedicated to the "cause".

Dedicated "7 figures of money" into a cause - and squandered it on a TV show without a written contract.

"There is only one me".

"Body of work, time and money spent to the degree that he "contributed" "are the true barometers".

Body of work, mind.

Not the result.

Limelight, remember?

Wrongfully convicted because he was weak for flattery, and now suckered his supporters into supporting something that will KILL their dreams of every stemming wrongful convictions - also because of his hunger for proximity to power, money and the spotlight.

As to how well Deskovic manages the money of his foundation - public money - will be my next article.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Points of Jeffrey Deskovic, supporter of the just-signed into law amendments to the law regarding New York State Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct in answer to criticism of amendments

As promised, I am publishing answers to my criticism of the amendments to the bill for the New York State Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct (just signed into law by NYS Governor Cuomo) by Jeffrey Deskovic, a famous New York exoneree who has served 16 years in prison for rape and murder he did not commit, then was released because of a happy (for him) circumstance of DNA of the true perpetrator becoming available, sued Westchester County and recovered in trial 40 million dollars, later reduced to 10 million.

Interesting factual background of the case Deskovic v City of Peerskill is contained in the 2012 opinion of the federal court in this case that can be read here.  The decision is a denial of summary judgment to the defendants in the case, after which the case went to the jury trial.

Deskovic is now 

finishing an expensive private law school, Pace Law School,

is preparing for the bar exam and licensing by the judiciary that already favors him, giving him a right to lecture at Continued Legal Education (mandatory for attorneys to maintain their law licenses), is given left and right awards by different law-related individuals and organizations, lectures (for compensation) at Continued Legal Education courses certified by the New York State Court system, and, as he said to me, worked for 6 long years to put into being the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct - supposedly to prevent further wrongful convictions.

Deskovic's conflict of interest, as I have stated before, in deriving income from being favored by the very same government that causes wrongful convictions in New York - the judiciary and prosecutors - as Deskovic is supposedly fighting against (for public image and future career) is apparent.

The initial bill for the Commission was enacted in the summer of last year, to go into effect in January of this year, but was shelved by the Governor who refused to make appointments to the Commission - which refusal, as Deskovic, who now rubs shoulders with people on the top of New  York corrupt government and is proud of it, was pre-arranged at the time the law was initially passed in the summer of 2018, before Cuomo's re-election, but the public was not told about that.

I wrote about the lawsuit of the New York State District Attorney's Association in 9 articles here:

And, here are my articles dedicated to the prosecutors' lawsuit challenging the initial bill creating the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct in New York - and to events and individuals surrounding that bill.

Part I can be read here.  Prosecutors' challenge to the New York State Commission for prosecutorial conduct: shooting themselves, and the attorney regulation, in the foot - in more ways than one. Part I.

Part II - here.  New York prosecutors' lawsuit challenging the new Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct, Part II. The dance on landmines by people in blindfolds

Part III - here.  Voters and the wrongfully convicted in the State of New York, you have been duped - prosecutors' lawsuit challenging the New York State Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct was fixed before it was filed, the Commission was never planned to start its work on January 1, 2019, and many people knew it

Part IV - here.  Prosecutors' pre-fixed lawsuit challenging constitutionality of the New York State Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct, Part IV. The Legislature and the Governor inadvertently nixed prosecutorial immunity for the Attorney General and his Assistants and to special counsel assigned to prosecute criminal cases.

Part V - here.  New Yorkers, if you don't like it, you can all go to Moscow - or can you? New York eases the creation of wrongful convictions while blocking the means to prevent them and make those who cause them accountable

Part VI - here.  New York prosecutors' lawsuit's main point - DO NOT protect whistleblowers of prosecutorial misconduct. On the right of the Governor and the Legislature to stall the law already on the books

Part VII - here.  Not so funny: New York prosecutors argue violations of constitutional rights. The circus with prosecutors' "separation of powers" argument. 

The sham of Prosecutoricla Conduct Commission in New York, Part 8, one more "good violation" of the "bedrock principle" of separation of powers

Part IX is here.The New York prosecutor's lawsuit - a selective approach to infringments upon prosecutorial discretion. 

I wrote about Deskovic's call for public support for the amendments and of my criticism of the amendments before they were passed - here, and about additional information regarding DA Soares leading the opposition to the amendments, and Deskovic, leading the support for the amendments, here.

Deskovic ran away from public discussion with me regarding the critical points about the amendments claiming that he has more important things to do, but what he already disclosed speaks volumes about not only 
  • how the bill came about, but about 

  • the value system of Deskovic himself, and 

  • the two-class system in the U.S.,  attorneys and non-attorneys, that exists in the U.S. for a century, which now has gone as far as

  • considering non-attorneys a second class of citizens not eligible for public office - even when the public office in question is to review the mess that the attorney class created towards non-attorneys (the predominant victims of wrongful convictions), and

  • how this system is embedded into the heads of law students and attorneys - Deskovic is just one example of it.

Here are Deskovic's points in answer to my criticism of the amendments for the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct that Governor Andrew Cuomo has just signed into law - but the DA Association still claim has constitutional defects and claim they will continue their lawsuit to challenge those defects.


Jeffrey Deskovic’s introduction and points to me.  I did some formatting of his text posted on social media to make it more readable – broke it into paragraphs.

You are working against the first Commission On Prosecutor Conduct in the country that took us 6 years to pass. Why? Some context:

The Commission was signed into law with the agreement that the Gov. was only doing so because chapter amendments were already agreed to between legislature and him. In the rough and tumble of the process, a memo from the NY Attorney General’s office which was leaked to the media questioned the Constitutionality of the Commission.

While I don’t believe that position was correct, the net impact is that if amendments addressing those areas in the memo are not addressed, the Commission will be more vulnerable in the pending lawsuit- which could end with the Commission being struck down.

Thus, not working for the passage of the amendments is a move against the commission.

Also, there is a reason why we are trying to get public support for the Gov. to sign the chapter amendments.

I know that it may not matter to you if the end result is that the Commission is ultimately scrapped/killed, because you never liked the idea anyway. But for those of us who worked for 6 years to pass the bill, we don’t want our work to go up in smoke.

1.     NOT ONE of the members of the new commission (as well as the old commission) is a person independent of the ties with the legal profession and the judiciary, the sources of wrongful convictions.

ANSWER: it is clear that a law degree would be very helpful in assessing whether misconduct occurred - findings are grounded in the law. 
Beyond that, I agree that it would have been desirable to have a lay person in there, preferably someone personally affected who was either exonerated or otherwise vindicated.  But that was not inserted in the original bill language nor the amendments, and so that is not an option at this stage. That is a change that anybody could work towards in the future; if you wish to put together a coalition group to spearhead this change, I will support you at key times: I am not willing to play a central role like I did in passing the Commission in the first place.

2.     The Court of Appeals, the authority removing judges, is removed from the bill and Appellate Divisions (that currently have a policy of non-prosecution against bad prosecutors) are inserted instead. That is a recipe for disaster, everything will remain the same.

ANSWER: that change was necessary in order to avoid a conflict in that in the case of a removal recommendation, the Court of Appeals may end up having to review the recommendation.

Obviously, they cannot review what they themselves have ordered in the first place: due process dictates that there is a review mechanism for such determinations, just like others have a place to appeal to. 

That is a cosmetic change, not substantive.

Plus, the Court of Appeals did not want that function - that could have caused an issue also.

3.     The number changes - the Governor is given in the new bill twice as many appointments as before, while the majority leaders of both houses now have twice less appointees. The power shifts to the Governor, big time, and we know what kind of Governor New York has and how he has been using his power so far.

ANSWER: as a general matter, changes to laws are not done specifically with a particular person or entity in mind.

Secondly, that was a deal they made, not one we necessarily endorsed or wanted.

I personally am not crazy about it. But we were not asked, and I don’t believe that everything must be perfect in order to support something. The issue is that at this point, we need the amendments passed to put the Commission in the strongest possible position .

This change therefore is not a reason not to support the passage of the amendments. if you wish to put together a coalition group to spearhead this change, I will support you at key times: I am not willing to play a central role like I did in passing the Commission in the first place .

4.     There is a discrepancy in requirements to appointees. For prosecutors, they can be former or retired prosecutors, but for criminal defense attorneys - they must be present-time defense attorneys, it is a discrimination.

ANSWER: it is not a discrimination: it was done because  the DA Association was threatening to jam the Commission from functioning  by telling it’s members not to serve which would therefore prevent a quorum from being achieved .

That was done quickly, not with the idea of excluding. Is it 100% symmetrical? No.

But again, that is not worth putting the Commission in a little bit more of an at risk position than not. 

If you want to assemble a coalition to fight for that change down the line, you are welcome to do so. I will support you. But I do not want to spearhead such an effort - I will be a supporting cast member, not a centralized figure.

5.     both criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors must be attorneys "in good standing", thus excluding from the process former criminal defense attorneys who were wrongfully suspended or disbarred for doing too good of a job for their clients, being licensed or not licensed must have no bearing on the experience and ability to hold that public office.

ANSWER: good standing is a common standard that is used as an eligibility requirement for other things when it comes to the law. There are attorneys who are disbarred/not in good standing for good reason: it is obvious that we cannot have those people serving on the Commission for obvious reasons. But in terms of those who are wrongfully disbarred, it would be impractical to suddenly bring up for review all those who have lost their license to determine if it was rightful or not all for the purpose of determining whether they should be allowed to serve on the commission or not.

6.     The Chief Judge now may appoint only a professor or dean from an "accredited" (by the ABA, an Illinois corporation with foreign secret membership) law schools - an unreasonable requirement giving improper power for the ABA over review of wrongful convictions.  And, the time when the Commission may start reviewing a case has changed dramatically: it cannot start its review of the case before criminal charges are filed or before the case has been investigated for under a year. That gives prosecutors a year to "properly" fabricate a case and make a wrongful conviction a given.

ANSWER: I cannot believe you are calling into question the validity of a school being accredited or not and therefore the purpose of requiring candidates to have graduated from such a school rather than a non-accredited school.  There is a such thing as standards, quality control of education, etc.  Someone receiving an inferior education from a school that does not meet accreditation standards should not be able to serve because they do not have the proper background for that.  They wouldn’t be able to practice law: how can they be able to sit on a commission that reviews conduct of those who have went through the process of graduating from an accredited school, sat for bar exams etc.- all through an accredited/approved process.  If you have an objection to those things, that is a separate fight than something related to the commission. Addressing them indirectly through the discussion on the bill is a roundabout way of challenging accreditation.

7.     Amendments castrating the bill were made to appease prosecutors who have filed a lawsuit.  When else did you see legislation changed because public officials whose misconduct the legislation is trying to address are upset about its effectiveness?

ANSWER: The changes were not made to appease the prosecutors, they were made to strengthen the bill.  

As I previously said, changes were made because the Gov. only agreed to sign the bill with the agreement that chapter amendments were made which were agreed to.

The DA’s were going to file suit no matter what; their lawsuit will go forward and a decision upholding the commission on the merits will have to be won. Interesting that you take the position that the changes will castrate the bill: when it was first passed you were already saying that it would not work, even prior to these changes.

9. 4 appointees from Cuomo and 3 from his friend-in-crime (literally) DiFiore, a former prosecutor = an absolute majority on the Commission of 11.

Imagine how those 7 will rule.

It is a stillborn, and shameful, concession, a waste of public money and a dangerous illusion that wrongful convictions are now going to be addressed. 

ANSWER: it is not stillborn.

Before the Commission has even began to work, you already declared it will not work.  You have not even given it a chance.

And by the way, feel free to form a statewide coalition in NJ (sic) to work for changes there ; give updates regularly; and let’s see something-anything-passed.

10. You, yourself a wrongfully convicted person, suggest to support THAT?

ANSWER: Yes, because since the Commission has not yet started to work and proven a record of not working, I am not going to say it will not work.


I will publish separately my comments to Deskovic's answers, and an article about interesting financial happenings in the Jeffrey Deskovic's Foundation which may shed more lights as to why Deskovic supports unsupportable bills for public bodies from which the public is blocked and that are designed to work contrary to their declared purposes.

All of that said, the Governor signed this "pre-agreed deal" into law.  The DA's Association has pledged to continue its lawsuit designed to kill the law castrated to appease them anyway.

Let's see how this shameful performance will unfold in the future.

For my comments/ responses to Deskovic's shameful answers and for the news about how the DA's lawsuit unfolds and how it continues to influence the creation and operation of the public body that was supposed to address the record number of wrongful convictions in New York - 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On the players who oppose and who support the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct

New York Governor Cuomo has until the end of day on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, to sign into law the new amendments for the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct.

I consider the new amendments a very bad idea and am vigorously opposing it - since it is going to be populated with the same players who routinely cause wrongful convictions, it blocks the public from participating in the work of the Commission (all members of the Commission are to be licensed attorneys or ABA-approved law professors who will never deign to criticize or prosecute "their own" or get to the true causes of wrongful convictions - prosecutorial and judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt conduct, lack of transparency in criminal cases and lack of equal-with-civil cases discovery rights in criminal cases).

The DA Association, whose lawsuit has triggered the pre-agreed-upon (according to insider Jeffrey Deskovic, 

and without telling the public before Cuomo's reelection about that pre-agreement) shelving of the initial bill for the Commission - declared as a "revolutionary", "first-in-the-country" legislation to deal with wrongful convictions, ask Cuomo to veto the legislation as still unconstitutional.

Albany DA Soares, presuming guilt of all criminal defendants, claimed that;

“That investigation may include hearings attended by the defendant at which the prosecutor, victims, witnesses, and police officers may be compelled to testify about sensitive aspects of the defendant’s ongoing case,” Soares wrote. “These consequences will chill lawful prosecutorial conduct, impair prosecutorial discretion, and interfere with the operation of District Attorneys’ offices".  

As I said before, Soares should be removed from office for this phrase alone - since he PRESUMES GUILT of the defendant by presuming that complaining witnesses in criminal cases are "victims" - before the conviction by a jury.

Unfortunately, the amendments to the bill ARE, indeed, very, very bad - and it does not save the bill that 
  • it has on its banner a declared purpose of supposedly "fighting wrongful convictions" (the way it was passed it has no potential of doing that), nor that 
  • a famous New York exoneree, the 3rd year Pace Law School student Jeffrey Deskovic has called upon the public to support the amendments, while, after initial superfluous engagement in answering criticism of the amendments, refusing to debate crucial flaws of the amendments as "minor" and not worthy of his attention at this time.

Deskovic has his own - irreconcilable - conflicts of interest that he does not discuss when calling upon blanket public support - from the same public who he considers good enough to give support (and money) to his endeavors, but not good enough to populate PUBLIC Commissions to resolve what Deskovic's future colleauges, attorneys, have botched up - wrongful convictions.  For that public office, Deskovic said to me, there must be "standards" - and none less than the country's aristocracy, 
  • licensed attorneys and 
  • law professors - and law professors only from law schools accredited by the Illinois corporation (ABA) sued for discrimination against law schools in order to block the poor from getting legal education
may satisfy those rigorous "standards".

Once again, Deskovic claimed to me yesterday that only licensed attorneys, and only ABA-approved law professors may take public office to look at misconduct of licensed attorneys (prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges) who are causing wrongful convictions - because only they satisfy the necessary (according to Deskovic) "standards".  

An interesting position, isn't it?  Or, rather, an early case of professional deformation and a down-his-nose look on his own supporters, the "ordinary people".

While advocating this position, Deskovic does not discuss his disqualifying conflicts of interest for this particular advocacy.

  • has spent 16 years in prison for the crime he did not commit, who 
  • received a large settlement from New York taxpayers for that (not from the actual perpetrators), who
  • is now getting paid for lecturing about his case to those who routinely cause wrongful convictions in New York - judges, prosecutors and the police, who
  • awaits to get a license from the New York judiciary, and thus must abstain from criticizing the judiciary - even if they are causing wrongful convictions (as Jeffrey Deskovic must know they are).

How good a lawyer and legal analyst he is, or is going to become may be revealed from the news of his recent lawsuit against 2 TV producers.

Deskovic was so eager for a TV series about himself and his projects, and for a promise of more money, that he handed over to 2 people $1,020,000 before signing a contract with them - which they took and, according to his pending lawsuit, used on their own "personal expenses".

Here is how the arrangement to hand over $1,020,000 without a contract transpired:

"In the spring of 2015, Deskovic answered an ad on Craigslist “seeking stories of personal interest for a show designed to … help individuals and entities who have been wronged,” court papers say.
After meeting the two TV execs behind The Security Brief TV, a company that also produces a justice-themed podcast that claims to have more than 250,000 weekly listeners, Deskovic told The Post that he was promised a percentage of the company, a co-branding with his non-profit The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and a producer credit.
“There were ten ways to Sunday that we were going to make money on this venture which was going to be like a talk show,” Deskovic told The Post. “That’s not what happened.”
After handing over $1,020,000, Deskovic anxiously waited for a contract laying out his agreement with Viollis and Murphy. Four years later it has yet to arrive, court papers say."

How hungry for fame and more money one should be to 

  1. answer an ad on Craigslist for a million-dollar project?
  2. to agree to finance a TV show - big time - in order to bring more fame to himself and his "non-profit" corporation?
  3. to hand over a million and twenty thousand dollars to two strangers for mere promises - without a written contract?

We are talking about a future lawyer here, graduating now from an elite law school, who has spoken to me about "standards" - that only licensed attorneys and ABA-accredited law professors are good enough to be appointed to the public office of resolving the mess created by … surprise! - licensed attorneys (prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges).
About a future lawyer who is making a living by giving lectures to lawyers, prosecutors, judges and police officers.  For licensing - mandatory continued legal education (CLE) - credit.
Which tells a lot about the quality, and necessity, of CLE.
Imagine how stupid Deskovic's future clients must be to hire him!
To hire a lawyer that openly admits, in writing to the court, in a lawsuit, to handing over $1,020,000 in return for PROMISES of more money and more fame, and a portion in the business, and no written contract?
A law student whose future livelihood, his licensing and continued CLE lecturing (CLE courses, to be acknowledged for mandatory licensing credits, must be certified by the judiciary) and ability to practice law, heavily depends on whether or not he refrains from criticizing his future regulator, the judiciary.
How can a person be perceived as a bona fide "advocate" against wrongful convictions when he
  • has this many unreconcilable conflicts of interest,
  • is this hungry for fame and money no matter how they come by, and who
  • runs from public debates of what may be wrong in the legislation he is so ardently trying to push through, after a self-aggrandizing campaign, with multiple pictures of himself at the New York Senate, or himself lecturing to police or judges, or himself accepting various "awards" - only because a DNA test showed that he was not the perpetrator of the crime he was convicted for, only because he was released, sued, got a settlement from the County taxpayers and used the money for his education and for promoting his BUSINESS?

Players from BOTH sides of this bill are bad.

Moreover, they are not even players from opposite sides.

Both Deskovic and Soares belong to the same clan, the same aristocratic class - the American legal profession:

that CAUSES wrongful conviction, and fights - Soares openly, and Deskovic in a round-about way, by blocking members of the public from populating the Commission and getting to the bottom of real causes of wrongful convictions and real people that actually caused them.

There will be no end to wrongful convictions in this country, and in the State of New York if people will continue to allow the self-proclaimed aristocracy, the American legal profession, to dictate who is to take public office to look at their own messes.
Only people with no ties to the legal profession can bring an end to the mess.

I support free access of citizens to grand juries.

I support abolition of prosecutors' control and legal advice to grand juries. 

Grand juries populated by "simply people", independent, not controlled in any way by the legal profession - are the answer to the wrongful conviction crisis.

  • prosecutors, in the presence of immunity of judges for civil lawsuits, are the only people at this time to be able to investigate and prosecute judges (yes, I know, it ended really well for Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane, who was suspended, prosecuted and convicted on a fabricated felony case, incarcerated and disbarred because she investigated judges, and it resulted in public discipline for Soares himself for criticism of a judge) by bringing criminal charges against them, including with the help of grand juries which prosecutors now are legal advisers of;
  • judges control prosecutors' livelihood and behavior by:
    • having control of their law licenses - worked well in Kathleen Kane's case;
    • bribing prosecutors with 
      • absolute immunity (through a court precedent, not statutory law) for malicious and corrupt acts while prosecuting a case, and
      • with an unspoken, but universal, across-the-country, policy of not using attorney discipline against prosecutors (if they do not criticize or investigate judges, of course, then all bets are off).
Do you think, in your right mind, that prosecutors will bite the hand that feeds them?

That they will prosecute judges for the crimes of violating people constitutional rights (it is a federal crime, 18 U.S.C. 242)?

It is a very cozy arrangement, and, unless and until it is broken, until people have DIRECT access to grand juries to file complaints with grand juries directly and to directly trigger grand jury investigations of prosecutors and judges (and, often, defense attorneys, especially public defenders and assigned counsel, those groups of people who are now to populate the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct to BLOCK investigations of wrongful convictions rather than fight wrongful convictions) - and roles of these licensed attorneys in wrongful convictions, the number of wrongful convictions will remain growing.

Regardless of whether Cuomo will or will not sign the new amendments for the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct.

Whether people are going to support abolition of judicially created prosecutorial and judicial immunity, the cause of wrongful convictions,

whether the people are going to support changes in laws regarding the grand jury, removing control over grand juries by the American legal profession - remains to be seen.

But, do not complain if you do not support actual measures that can actually help eliminate or reduce wrongful convictions, but support fake idols like Deskovic and his pet self-promoting projects.

Those projects were never designed to help people in the first place.