So, I know I said I would write about a number of topics but I just have to write a quick note about something I learned today. My immediate supervisor is up for district court judge. Today the paper reported that he was the highest ranked of all the candidates, especially in the area of personal integrity. While it would be a hard loss for the Agency, it would be a boon to the community. I don't say this because he is a defense attorney. One of the worst judges I ever dealt with was a former public defender. I say it because he is the kind of judge that might make a difference. Like one of my personal heroes Lord Denning (pictured above). It seems that so many judges today can't even be courteous to me or my clients. I have written many times about my disappointment with judges as a whole, who don't seem to ever, ever slow the Government down these days. What is so funny is that historically it is not the judges who are rude and lackeys of the Government who make history. Think of the famous court decisions that you know. They tend to go against what the Government wanted. Roe v. Wade. Brown v. Board of Education. Gideon v. Wainwright. Miranda v. Arizona. Etc. Now don't get me wrong. I don't expect to win very often as a defense attorney. If I needed to win I would go be a DA. But I do expect to be treated with respect. I do expect that if I am right, then I should win. I also expect judges to believe in basic constitutional principles. You know, basic fairness. That is why I am so excited about this possibility. Everyone says that Governor Sarah Palin, a Republican, won't appoint a defense attorney. Even if he is the only local candidate and the one highest ranked by the Judicial Council. I don't know. What do you say Sarah? Can you do it? Can part of your legacy be justice and fairness or is it all politics? Remember what I said...the judges remembered throughout history expand rights and freedoms. I don't know the other candidates. They might make fine judges indeed. But if you want a judge beyond reproach and who might actually make people feel like they got a fair shake, I guarantee the Judicial Council has it right.

Comments said…
Well, I'll agree with you as to Lord Denning. I love this passage:

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow through it, the storm may enter, the rain may enter, but the King of England cannot enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.' So be it – unless he has justification by law."

I hope Illsley gets the job.
Well another prosecutor on the bench is the likely result. You will likely get your wish. And I wonder if a prosecutor could ever write a passage like the one you quoted? How many prosecutors in black robes (aka most judges) expand the rights and freedoms of the people? I am beginning to wonder who you are. I have my suspicions!
Anonymous said…
Ben, bear bait pictures, please.

g said…
PD in AK, you'd be surprised how many state prosecutors are very liberal. What is the great Stan Lee line from Spider Man? 'With great power come great responsibility?"

Oh, and it's very easy for you to figure out who I am. And, no, you don't know me.
Anonymous said…
Right, 101, prosecutors can be compared with superheroes. Who is engaging in self-aggrandizing now? It seems appropriate that a District Attorney seeks affirmation from the fictional Spidey.

There are far more quotes from real-live people that more properly describe the role of prosecutor/government in American society:

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

“The citizen who sees his society’s democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor.”

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”

I have practised in a state with a powerful and unchecked prosecutor and prosecutor-rich judiciary. It has only confirmed my belief that few prosecutors have seen Spiderman.
Well first, Operator. I won't try and find out who you are. If you wanted to tell me you would. God I wish I could believe you regardng power. But I don't. As for Anon, I could not agree more. This country is going to shit. And the people stand by. What I can't stand about prosecutors is the sickening hypocrisy. The drunk driver is "scum" (when I know for a fact the DA saying that has driven drunk). The 19 year guy who had sex with his 17 year old girl friend needs to register as a "sex offender" for life (when I know the DA would have had sex with her too if he could have). Marijuana is evil (the DA smokes). He had a gun the government says he shouldn't have (the DA has had or does have all kinds of "illegal" weapons). It goes on and on. Always looking for the worst when the prosecutor has done the same his or herself. 99% of my clients are not bad people and most prosecutors have done some or all of the acts they scream about my clients doing. It makes me sick. Yet the People dance to the clatter of the approaching cattle cars.
operator101 said…
it's good to read that there remains so much hatred here.

Anon, so you practice in a location where the judiciary isn't doing their job? the prosecutors are abusing their power? it shouldn't be that way. those people should be fired or elected off the bench.

PDA in AK, why are you comparing Alaska to to retarded backwardness of Alabama? or just b/c a DA is a hypocrite the law shouldn't be enforced? it is not up to me to pick and chose which law to enforce; that is an abuse. I say, it doesn't matter who breaks the law, the offender must be treated with dignity at all times and it doesn't matter who the offender is.

You make these overbroad statements about all prosecutors yet all you are doing is feeding into the stereotypical 'true believer' b.s.
Anonymous said…
The point is, 101, not to paint all individual prosecutors with the broad brush of tyranny, but to point out that it is inevitable that prosecutors generally, unchecked, will tend towards abuse of power. When faced with overprosecution vs. leniency, they will tend to choose "protection of the public". And they become unchecked when they flood the bench and the legislators' chambers. How many important cases are won or lost purely on a tiny evidentiary issue? When it comes down to whether the cop is telling the truth or not? The prosecutor/judge, in my experience, will always believe the cop. They will, most times, give deference to the state. After all, they cannot be seen to allow defendants off on a legal technicality, such as the Fourth Amendment, can they?
You're quotation regarding Spidey is most appropriate--most prosecutors see themselves as the benevolent kings entrusted with determining the outcome of peoples' lives. That power is the very definition of the potential for tyranny.
Anon is aying it better than I could. Mercy is rarely seen these days.
P.S. Operator, I don't hate you at all. Hell, in maye 10% of the cases I am glad there is a prosecutor. It is the other 90% that pisses me off. It is funny, I think. You talked about "liberal" prosecutors. You also referred to me as a "true believer". It is all backwards these days. Everything I have ever written is about a "true belief" in one thing: the government should be small as possible and the people as free as possible. Doesn't that make me a conservative? As for overbroad statements about prosecutors, let me ask you this: when is the last time a judge shut you down. Called your prosecution ridiculous and threw it out? I bet never. Anon's point stands very well indeed.
Anonymous said…
Having worked as a DA in two cities, I can confirm that hypocrisy abounds. "Cowboy cops with law degrees" are all too common in the DA's office. Drunk driving was a varsity sport amongst senior DA's where I was at and was almost a bi-weekly occurance. Sexual harrasment and racism was the order of the day. Anytime one of these brickheads was caught, they just pull out the old badge and ID and your on your way with some backslapping from the local cops. Sad to see that the good ole boy's network is going strong even in AK.
Anonymous said…
Oh yes, and my diction and spelling are a bit off bc, yes I am (legally) drunk.
Hell anon I'll get drunk with ya! Here's one to justice. And no, justice doesn't always mean giving the State every godamned thing they ask for.
Anonymous said…
Let's get this straight, the DA is a sure bet to be a pedophile, he has all kinds of illegal weapons, uses drugs, and drives drunk?

And you say people should have to respect you?

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