Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Broken Bothered Bewildered

When we hear of the famous committing crimes for decades unscathed yet when the average Joe or Jill even brushes against the criminal justice system they find their lives utterly in ruin so one wonders how is that just or fair?  It is not and in the blog post about Power Fame and Money it enables those to use a bully pulpit of lawsuits, careful public image and of course courting those who defend such image and lastly success that blinds those to the truth while binding others to cover lies.

Then we have the members of the system - the Lawyers, Judges, the Prosecutors and the Police that are fully vested in retaining the status quo as a form of job security under the guise of justice. Those who are not as fortunate find themselves against a well funded and in turn encouraged system of duplicity much in the same way it enables a Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby to go untouched.

Two weeks ago John Oliver covered the issue of Junk aka Forensic Science and how it manages under the guise of Hollywood graphics and misguided and misinformed Judges that enables those to believe such a thing as Dental Science, Lie Detectors and Facial Analysis exists and is a legitimate form of crime resolution.  And while DNA is still the Cadillac of crime analysis it too has its failings and problems that are not clearly explained to Judges or Juries let alone the individual charged.

Then we have the increasing issue of Police Misconduct.  This story in The New York Times about a Detective whose arrest records were too good to be true.  And the truth was it was full of lies and misinformation that puts many if not all of his convictions false, like confessions that many Police illicit with no real knowledge of the facts or with the data to prove the confession.

Police are not trustworthy we have the issues of drugs being planted on innocent individuals, those being killed where they stand or sit or walk and we have Police committing their own version Harvey Weinstein as this story today of an Officer having sexual intercourse with a minor, compensating her for it and videotaping it. It appears she was like Mr. Weinstein not his first.

And we have more incompetence with regards to the Police and Sheriff department in Las Vegas as the truth with regards to the timeline in Las Vegas when the Police finally entered the crime scene which appears later than first notified.

This is consistent with the timeline regarding the mass shooting at the Pulse Club in  Orlando and that SWAT waited three hours before breaching the disco enabling the shooter to kill and injure more had they entered earlier.

The issues surrounding Prosecutorial Misconduct has been well noted and it another issue of how the system fails to serve Justice as uphold the belief innocent to proven guilty.  I laugh that my Prosecutor as many do when they leave office become defense Attorneys.  The reality is Jen Miller was a shitty Prosecutor but had the State on her side and laws and jury instructions written to make her job easier but who in the fuck would hire this cunt?  She is likely eeking out a living much like my former Lawyers and that again is cold comfort.

But lastly the wall the guardian of the gate the Defense Attorney is truly the largest farce in the system.  Be they privately hired or part of our Public Defense system they are truly the most dangerous morons that do nothing to actually assist their clients.  I have told you of my horrific team of Attorney's - Ted Vosk and Kevin Trombold - and their inability to listen and to in turn respect my wishes.  I have no good wishes for them and can only hope they feel one-tenth of the anger and rage I feel daily when I even type their names.   But then I was not charged with a felony with a potential outcome as the Death Penalty.   So I when I read the below I understood and recognized his frustration.

We have a system so broken it is bothersome and bewildering.

Facing the Death Penalty With a Disloyal Lawyer

OCT. 9, 2017

WASHINGTON — Two weeks before Robert McCoy was to be tried for a triple murder, his lawyer paid him a visit. It was the summer of 2011, and the two men met in a holding cell in a Louisiana courthouse. Mr. McCoy, who was facing the death penalty, told his lawyer he was innocent.

Mr. McCoy was adamant. Others had committed the crimes, he said, and he wanted to clear his name.

The lawyer, Larry English, said he had a different strategy.

“I met with Robert at the courthouse and explained to him that I intended to concede that he had killed the three victims,” Mr. English recalled in a sworn statement. “Robert was furious and it was a very intense meeting. He told me not to make that concession, but I told him that I was going to do so.”

Capital trials have two phases. The first concerns guilt, the other punishment. Mr. English reasoned that he would forfeit his credibility with the jury if he contested what he believed was overwhelming evidence against his client in the trial’s first phase. He feared the jurors would not listen to him when he begged them to spare Mr. McCoy’s life in the second phase.

Conceding guilt in a capital case is sometimes the right play. Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether it is permissible even if the man whose life is at stake objects.

Mr. McCoy was accused of killing Christine Colston Young, Willie Young and Gregory Colston, who were the mother, stepfather and son of Mr. McCoy’s estranged wife. There was substantial evidence that he had done so. There was also reason to think that Mr. McCoy’s belief in his innocence was both earnest and delusional.

There was no ambiguity in Mr. McCoy’s position, Mr. English recalled.

“I know that Robert was completely opposed to me telling the jury that he was guilty of killing the three victims,” Mr. English said. “But I believed that this was the only way to save his life.”

After the meeting, Mr. McCoy tried to fire his lawyer, saying he would rather represent himself. Judge Jeff Cox, of the Bossier Parish District Court, turned him down.

“Mr. English is your attorney, and he will be representing you,” the judge said.

Mr. McCoy’s parents had paid Mr. English $5,000 to defend their son. They had borrowed the money, using their car as collateral.

In a letter to Judge Cox before the trial, Mr. McCoy’s parents said they rued their decision. Mr. English “is neither prepared nor capable of adequately representing our son,” they wrote. When they tried to discuss the case with Mr. English, they wrote, he responded with a tirade and “insulted us by talking to us as if we were children.”

During his opening statement at the trial, Mr. English did what he had promised to do. “I’m telling you,” he told the jury, “Mr. McCoy committed these crimes.”

Mr. McCoy objected. “Judge Cox,” he said, “Mr. English is simply selling me out.”

“I did not murder my family, your honor,” Mr. McCoy said. “I had alibis of me being out of state. Your honor, this is unconstitutional for you to keep an attorney on my case when this attorney is completely selling me out.”

Whatever its wisdom, Mr. English’s trial strategy failed. Mr. McCoy was convicted and sentenced to death. He appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court, saying his lawyer had betrayed him. The court ruled against him.

“Given the circumstances of this crime and the overwhelming evidence incriminating the defendant,” the court said, “admitting guilt in an attempt to avoid the imposition of the death penalty appears to constitute reasonable trial strategy.”

The decision relied on a unanimous 2004 ruling from the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. Nixon, which said lawyers need not obtain their clients’ express consent before conceding guilt in a capital case. But the ruling did not address whether it was permissible for a lawyer to disregard a client’s explicit instruction to the contrary.

That is the question in the new case, McCoy v. Louisiana, No. 16-8255.

The right answer, Louisiana prosecutors told the justices, is that lawyers may ignore their clients’ wishes. “Counsel’s strategic choices should not be impeded by a rigid blanket rule demanding the defendant’s consent,” they wrote in a brief urging the court not to hear the case.

Mr. English declined requests for an interview, saying he would not comment until after the Supreme Court ruled.

In a brief supporting Mr. McCoy, the Ethics Bureau at Yale, a law school clinic, said Mr. English had essentially switched sides. “Far from testing the prosecution’s case,” the brief said, “Mr. English seemed downright eager to advance it.”

Mr. McCoy’s situation is not particularly unusual, according to a second supporting brief, this one filed by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Promise of Justice Initiative, a nonprofit group. “In Louisiana,” the brief said, “a capital defendant has no right to a lawyer who will insist on his innocence.”

Since 2000, the brief said, the Louisiana Supreme Court allowed defense lawyers to concede their clients’ guilt in four other capital cases over the clients’ express objections.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a right to “the assistance of counsel.” Those words, the Supreme Court said in 1975 in Faretta v. California, indicate that the client is the boss.

“It speaks of the ‘assistance’ of counsel,” Justice Potter Stewart wrote, “and an assistant, however expert, is still an assistant.”

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