"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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Why Albany County (New York) District Attorney P. David Soares should be removed from office, immediately

One's innermost, most important views are often revealed the best in a critical situation threatening the person's well-being.

Albany DA Soares' point to oppose the new amendments (they are bad, and I oppose them on my own grounds, which I published yesterday) for creation of a Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct is, among others (his letter was not published in full, just mentioned) this:

“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.”

So, DA Soares PRESUMES GUILT of the defendant by presuming that complaining witnesses in criminal cases are "victims" - before the conviction by a jury.

So much for the Albany defendants' constitutional, due process, right for an impartial prosecutor.

And, so much for the defendant's right to equal protection of law - with, at the very least, a defendant in a civil case who is entitled, under New York law, to a fullest discovery of all issues, even if the civil case is based on allegations of defendant's criminal behavior, as in, let's say - assault or battery.

Then the defendant has a right to:

  • depose his accuser (not a victim yet, before the final decision of the court) before trial;
  • have the accuser answer, under oath, interrogatories, questions of defendants about the case;
  • have the accuser answer, under oath, Notices to admit, about crucial points of the case;
  • disclose crucial documentary evidence about the case - where discovery laws are "liberally construed" in favor of discovery.
All of that - with much lower stakes than in a criminal case where the worst that the criminal defendant may expect is not the loss of property (as in a civil case), but the loss of liberty.

It is not DA Soares' "fault" - other than aggressive lobbying by prosecutors against the reform of discovery that would at least equalize discovery in civil and criminal cases - that such a law is already on the books.

But, IT IS prosecutor Soares' fault to call complaining witnesses in all criminal cases "victims", ahead of time, before the trial, before the verdict - thus, presuming guild of criminal defendants.

And, for this, people need to demand that Soares must step down as infit for the office of the prosecutor.

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