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The Justice Network is engaged in advocacy, education, news gathering & dissemination, and helping people fight injustice. This site is also part of my therapy as a survivor of legal injustice. Read more on Scribd
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Has a Federal Judgeship Become a Safe Haven for Coordinated Wrongdoing? By Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq. Judicial Discipline Reform
Mr. President, an African-American schoolgirl in Ocala, Florida may need assistance attending public school
September 27, 2016
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Mr. President, an African-American schoolgirl in Ocala, Florida may need assistance attending public school, which is a federally protected activity under 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2)(A).
Enclosed is a copy of my letter to Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General. Something disrupted next day delivery of my letter to Attorney General Lynch, shipped on September 22, 2016, UPS tracking #1Z64589FNW92981779. FBI Director Comey got his letter delivered on time. But my letter to the Attorney General was misdirected to the Lafayette Building, Veterans Affairs, 811 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20571. As I write this, my letter to the Attorney General still has not been delivered to the Department of Justice. I wrote Attorney General Lynch in part,
The Ocala Star-Banner reported January 29, 2016, "Racial incident at West Port: 3 students face discipline after taunts while waiving Confederate flags." Meanwhile, the black schoolgirl being intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags was wrongly cited in lieu of arrest.
U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley has jurisdiction, but there is no evidence USAFLM Bentley sought justice for the black schoolgirl intimidated by white supremacists with Confederate flags.
Mr. President, long ago when I was a student in Levittown, Pennsylvania, the American Civil War was taught as a history lesson. Today in Ocala, Florida, the Lost Cause of the Confederacy is an ongoing current event. Too many folks here have not accepted the outcome of the American Civil War, including powerful people like lawyers, judges, and perhaps Mr. Bentley.
The murder of 9 African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015 was a time of change for many Americans on the Confederate flag issue. But not in Marion County. Instead, Ocala doubled-down on its support for the flag. Unfortunately Confederate flags were used in a racial incident at the West Port High School to commit a hate crime against an African-American student, as defined by Fla. Stat. § 775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense; reclassification, because the offense involved the race/color of a black student by three white students who used Confederate flags in a threat of force, to injure, intimidate or interfere with the African-American student while she was attending public school. Thank you.
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop Telephone: (352) 854-7807
Ocala, Florida 34481 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
VIA UPS Next Day Air, Tracking No. 1Z64589FNT91572209
*Legacy of Hate. Central Florida, Fifth Judicial Circuit, home of the all-white bench, a Jim Crow bench in 2016. The Indoctrination of Keeper Greene, July 12, 2015. Intergenerational Confederate Propaganda (1861 - 2016)
Keeper Greene, a 2-year-old from of Clermont, draped in a Rebel flag, waves a Confederate flag with his father, Brian, at the start of the Florida Southern Pride Ride at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala, Fla., on Sunday. (BRUCE ACKERMAN/Ocala Star-Banner /Landov)
Confederate flag supporters flock to the 'Florida Southern Pride Ride' in Ocala: reports Ocala police investigating after shots fired near Confederate flag rally WFTV - Orlando, FL By Tobias Salinger, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Monday, July 13, 2015, 6:04 AM
ABA & NAACP: Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history. - President Obama
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund YouTube channel
Must-Read Reactions To Grand Jury Decision in Tamir Rice Case
ABA & NAACP: Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System
American Bar Association (ABA)
By Debra Cassens Weiss
July 16, 2015
The ABA and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund have issued a joint statement addressing the "troubling and destabilizing loss of public confidence in the American criminal justice system."
The statement (PDF) notes the "recent spate of killings of unarmed African American men and women at the hands of white law enforcement officers." While the ABA and the Fund believe that "the overwhelming percentage" of police, prosecutors and judges are not racist, "explicit bias remains a real factor in our country—and criminal justice system—and implicit or unconscious bias affects even those who may believe themselves to be fair," the statement says.
"The American criminal justice is unquestionably at a moment of crisis," the statement says. Read more
- An ABA press release is here
I Have Been to the Mountaintop - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Thurgood Marshall Founded The LDF In 1940
Thurgood Marshall founded LDF in 1940 and served as its first Director-Counsel. He was the architect of the legal strategy that ended the country’s official policy of segregation. Marshall was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court on which he served as Associate Justice from 1967-1991 after he was successfully nominated by President Johnson. He retired from the bench in 1991 and passed away on January 24, 1993 in Washington DC at the age of 84. Civil rights and social change came about through meticulous and persistent litigation efforts, at the forefront of which stood Thurgood Marshall and the Legal Defense Fund. Through the courts, he ensured that Blacks enjoyed the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship. Read more
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.
Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a decision that desegregated public schools. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967. Read more
How well do people actually know their Miranda rights?
How well do people actually know their Miranda rights? (podcast with transcript)
ABA Journal Daily News
By Stephanie Francis Ward
Posted May 23, 2016 08:00 am CDT
You have the right to remain silent." Because of TV shows and movies, most people probably know at least this part of the Miranda warning. But do people actually understand all of their Miranda rights? Fifty years after the landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward speaks to Russell Covey of Georgia State University College of Law to find out what people know and don’t know about their rights.
......Cold Cell Torture in the USA - Hypothermic Death......
......Cold Cell Torture in the USA - Hypothermic Death......
The "Cold" is used as torture because it causes severe pain yet leaves no bruise or blood evidence or scars. It causes horrific pain and results in the most painful death man can endure. The problem is it kills.
4/18/16 - US Supreme Court 'DENIED' my petition today effectively legalizing torturing citizens to death with hypothermia.
Today the US Supreme Court denied my petition (15-983) to stop torturing the citizens to death with hypothermia in our jails and prisons. Now it is perfectly legal to do so in all 50 states, so say eight US Supreme Court justices. May God have mercy on their souls, and on our nation. Read more
The US Senate Report on CIA Detention use of torture
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques is a euphemism for the U.S. government's program of systematic torture of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and various components of the U.S. Armed Forces at black sites around the world, including Bagram, Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib, authorized by officials of the George W. Bush administration. Methods used included beating, binding in contorted stress positions, hooding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, deprivation of food, drink, and withholding medical care for wounds — as well as waterboarding, walling, sexual humiliation, subjection to extreme heat or extreme cold, confinement in small coffin-like boxes, and repeated slapping. Several detainees endured medically-unnecessary "rectal rehydration," "rectal fluid resuscitation", and "rectal feeding." In addition to brutalizing detainees, there were threats to their families such as threats to harm children, and threats to sexually abuse or to cut the throat of, detainees's mothers. Read more
ACLU link U.S. Senate Torture Report
Human Rights Watch US: CIA Torture is Unfinished Business
Year After Senate Report, Still No Criminal Inquiry, Redress Provided
(Washington, DC) – Obama administration claims that legal obstacles prevent criminal investigations into torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are unpersuasive, and risk leaving a legacy of torture as a policy option, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sufficient evidence exists for the attorney general to order criminal investigations of senior United States officials and others involved in the post-September 11 CIA program for torture, conspiracy to torture, and other crimes under US law.
The 153-page report, "No More Excuses: A Roadmap to Justice for CIA Torture," sets out evidence to support the main criminal charges that can be brought against those responsible for state-sanctioned torture, and challenges claims that prosecutions are not legally possible. The report also outlines US legal obligations to provide redress to victims of torture, and steps the US should take to do so. It also details actions that other countries should take to pursue criminal investigations into CIA torture. Read more
Swedish Doctors for Human Rights - U.S. Senate Torture Report
Ambassador Samantha Power U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Samantha Power White House Author
Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice Responding to the unmet legal needs of low- and moderate-income Floridians
FINAL REPORT, Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice
with Press Release July 1, 2016 (2 pg. PDF)
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- Florida Open Government Public Records
- Florida Judicial Nomination Commission Information
- Gov. Rick Scott Recent Appointments
- Fla. Stat. sec. 216.013 Long-range program plan
- Executive Office the Governor Long Range Program Plan
- Agency Persons with Disabilities Long Range Program Plan
- 2010-2011 State Budget Instructions Request for Creation, Re-creation, Retention, Termination or Modification of a Trust Fund and Analysis of Trust Fund Creation p 121 (133-137)
- The Florida Bar Financial Statements
FLORIDA Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
The Honorable Andy Gardiner
President, Florida Senate
Office of Senate President
409 The Capitol
404 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Phone: (850) 487-5229
Florida Senate, Wikipedia
The Honorable Steve Crisafulli, Speaker
Florida House of Representatives
Speaker's Members page
420 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Public Guide to the Florida House of Representatives
The Florida Handbook 2013-2014 Edition
Florida House of Representatives, Wikipedia
American Bar Association Daily News
By Martha Neil
April 29, 2016
Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice who currently is vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has been nominated by President Barack Obama to a long-vacant seat on the state’s federal court bench.
Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who is a onetime member of the ABA Journal’s Board of Editors, was among eight nominees for judicial positions announced Thursday by the president. Goodson was the first black female to serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court when she joined the court in 2006. She retired from the state high court in 2012.
However, getting confirmed may not be entirely smooth sailing for Timmons-Goodson—Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican who is the state’s senior senator, say he would not submit the nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the News & Observer reports.
The Fayetteville Observer also has a story.
Burr’s opposition appears to be motivated by the fact that Obama made the nomination in his final year as president, rather than in any objection to the candidate herself. The seat has been vacant for 10 years, for reasons that are not entirely clear, the News & Observer notes.
In a Thursday news release, Burr blamed Obama for "making a brazenly political nomination" and seemingly indicated he would not support any nomination by the president, according to the newspaper. Read more
ABA Daily News
By Debra Cassens Weiss
May 02, 2016
The federal government employs 25,060 people under the job classification "general attorney," costing the government $3.3 billion last year.
In 12 states, the total number of people on the public payroll was smaller, according to a Forbes op-ed that refers to the federal lawyers as "Uncle Sam, Esq." Alaska, for example, has 25,050 people on the public payroll, while Idaho has 20,270.
The average pay for a federal lawyer in fiscal 2014 was $132,817, according to the article. More than half of the lawyers were located in Washington, D.C., area.
More than 1,400 lawyers work for the Internal Revenue Service; 1,020 work for the Environmental Protection Agency; and 160 work for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The op-ed doesn’t see federal employment for lawyers as a good thing. "American citizens and the business community have good reason to fear the feds army of 25,060 lawyers," the article asserts. "In The Godfather, Mario Puzo had it right. Today, the heavy boot of government often comes disguised wearing a pair of wingtips delivering intrusive subpoenas devoid of due process."
Revisiting Eric Holder's parting shot: It's too hard to bring civil rights cases.
But when considered with the fact that many or most criminal civil rights violations are perpetrated under color of law (FBI), Holder's parting shot begins to make sense, as in the failure of the government to bring a civil rights case against David R. Ellspermann, Clerk and Comptroller of Marion County. Its too hard to bring civil rights cases because the government is so corrupt. Color of law (DOJ) cases are obstructed in many ways by corrupt federal judges, corrupt federal magistrates, corrupt AUSA’s and corrupt law enforcement. Also, the criminal justice system lacks a safe harbor to report obstruction of justice in color of law cases.
The American Bar Association and the NAACP issued a joint statement on Racial Bias in the Criminal Justice System, July 2015.
"The growing skepticism about the integrity of the criminal justice system is driven by real and perceived evidence of racial bias among some representatives of that system."
This is especially true in the Middle District of Florida, home of active support by "representatives of that system" for white supremacy racism, Lost Cause of the Confederacy, membership in the KKK, and its history of racial terror lynching.
Buck v. Bell, bad SCOTUS decision used by the Nazis
Buck v. Bell: Inside the SCOTUS Case That Led to Forced Sterilization of 70,000 & Inspired the Nazis
Democracy Now, By AMY GOODMAN, March 17, 2016
Buck v. Bell: Inside the SCOTUS Case PART 2 on YouTube
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote the US Supreme Court opinion in the 1927 case Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) upholding Virginia law that authorized the involuntary sterilization of those in state custody deemed "hereditary imbeciles." Justice Holmes’ oft cited quote in the case was "Three generations of imbeciles are enough". Not only does this predate Nazi eugenics (1933-1945) by six years, American eugenics remained lawful until 1983, although the last known forced sterilization was 1978.
By Colonel Ty Seidule
Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point
What caused the Civil War? Did the North care about abolishing slavery? Did the South secede because of slavery? Or was it about something else entirely...perhaps states' rights? Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, settles the debate.
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.....................Lynching in the United States...........................
Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America
James Allen, Author
It almost passes human understanding
How a people could be so ostracized
And yet, culturally influential
So despised and yet, artistically esteemed
So depressed and yet a dominant editorial
Force in American life.
- - Anonymous
.........Tamir Rice - The Whole Damn System is Guilty!.......
ABA addresses 'destabilizing loss of public confidence' in criminal justice in joint statement by Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal
Tamir Rice’s Mother Calls Out 'Corrupt' Criminal
The Huffington Post
By Lilly Workneh
Black Voices Senior Editor
January 2, 2016
"We mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice."
Samaria Rice said she is "mad as hell" over a grand jury's decision not to indict two Cleveland cops involved in the fatal shooting of her 12-year-old son Tamir.
"Due to the corrupt system, I have a dead child. I felt as if breath has been taken out of my body once again," she told MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday. "It's a struggle."
Rookie patrolman Timothy Loehman shot Rice on Nov. 22, 2014 near a Cleveland recreation center. Rice, who had been playing with a toy pellet gun, died moments later. Loeheman said he believed the young boy to be a man in his 20s and claims he thought the gun was real. Both Loehman, and veteran officer Frank Garmback who was also at the scene, said they yelled at Rice to "show me your hands," but surveillance footage shows the child was shot less than two seconds after officers arrived.
On Monday, after a year-long deliberation, a grand jury declined to indict both of the officers on criminal charges. The decision sparked protests, with activists speaking out against a system that has consistently failed to deliver justice in police killings of black people -- and often blames them for their own deaths.
"He was my bright and shining star," Rice's mother said of her son in the MSNBC interview, before going on to dismantle some of the other dangerous misperceptions about black people.
"He was full of life and laughter. Tamir had the potential to be anything in the world," she said. "But Officer Timothy Loehman and Frank Garmback didn’t even give him a chance."
Despite the collective outrage over the lack of police accountability in Tamir's case, the grand jury's decision will always be a particularly heavy burden for Rice’s mother, who has relentlessly fought for justice on behalf of her son. She has even called for an independent federal investigation, citing concerns over local prosecutor Timothy McGlinty, whom she alleged had majorly mismanaged the case.
"Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers’ defense attorney," Samaria Rice wrote in a statement following the news of the non-indictment.
Her fight for justice puts her in the company of other black mothers, like Sybrina Fulton and Lesley McSpadden, who grieve children killed by police who have walked free. The failure for indictment against the officers involved in these killings has widened the distrust between the black community and the criminal justice system.
For Rice's mother, it has led to a process that "demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system," she wrote last week.
"In a time in which a non-indictment for two police officers who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice."
Comment by Gabriel O'Neill Velasco
She is right the criminal justice system in our country is hugely corrupt, especially against African Americans.
A DA does not need a grand jury to indict. If you or I were accused of a crime 99.9% chance you wouldn't receive a grand jury, you would be charged and go to trial. Just like the police officer in Chicago, South Carolina and those in Baltimore. A grand jury for all practical purposes has served as a cover not to charge police officers. The DA doesn't even have to follow the outcome of a grand jury he can still press charges, but that was never his intention, hence the corruption. George Stinney=Tamir Rice.
DrMartinLutherKingJr-March on Washington[...]
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"Experience the world as a dynamic and a
changeable, interactive thing."
- Rachel Corrie (1979-2003)
American Peace Activist
.......................Beyond PTSD to "Moral Injury"......................
The United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment provides and facilitates assistance to wounded, ill and injured Marines, sailors attached to or in support of Marine units, and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. (Photo by Cpl. Tyler L. Main)
Beyond PTSD to "Moral Injury"
By Jeff Severns Guntzel, guest contributor
"I really don't like the term 'PTSD,’" Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay told PBS' "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" in 2010. "He says the diagnostic definition of "post-traumatic stress disorder" is a fine description of certain instinctual survival skills that persist into everyday life after a person has been in mortal danger — but the definition doesn't address the entirety of a person's injury after the trauma of war. "I view the persistence into civilian life after battle," he says, "... as the simple or primary injury." Read more
The military doesn’t know who is fit to fight
Stars and Stripes - Opinion
By Stephen N. Xenakis
Military physicians don’t have a good sense of how to tell whether a combat veteran is still qualified for the battlefield. And the tragedy this month in Afghanistan, where Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, on his fourth combat tour, is alleged to have slaughtered 17 civilians and has been charged with murder, underscores the urgency of finding a better solution. Read more
Women, War, and PTSD
By Laura Kasinof
Are female warriors more likely to be traumatized by combat?
Former U.S. Army medic Jennifer Pacanowski’s speech was punctuated by loud laughter, even when the topic of conversation turned quite dark. "I’m looking for bombs," she said, driving south on the New Jersey Turnpike, "so if anyone tries to blow up this roadway, I’ll be ready for it." She laughed again, acknowledging the ridiculousness of her statement but unable to let go of the tricks her mind was playing.
Pacanowski, who’s thirty-three now, served in 2004 as an ambulance driver in Iraq, where she accompanied military convoys from the Al Asad Air Base in western Anbar Province, one of the most violent regions in a violent war. Despite serving in a "noncombat" role, Pacanowski often found herself in the line of enemy fire, witnessing firsthand the carnage of fatal roadside bombs or being forced to take cover during sniper attacks.
Read more online
US must do more to reduce homelessness among female
Stars and Stripes - Opinion
By Darlene Curley and William T. Bester
Female veterans are more likely to be divorced and single parents, sharing this extreme hardship with the most vulnerable in our society — young children. And the majority of VA homeless programs lack congressional authority to provide services to spouses and children of veterans. Read more
Why distinguishing a moral injury from PTSD is important
Why distinguishing a moral injury from PTSD is important
Stars and Stripes - Opinion
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff
Special to the Washington Post
March 9, 2015
Even on the short overnight ops, sometimes we talked about things we knew we'd carry home. On a cold night in March 2010, Jeff brought up the kid he'd shot a month earlier, when the battle for the Afghan city of Marjah was hot and there was no shortage of 15-year-olds picking up Kalashnikovs off the ground. Jeff had killed one of them with four shots from a heavy-caliber semi-auto that made a soft thud when the bolt released. The kid had a rifle, and even kids with rifles can kill Marines, Jeff had figured.
A few weeks later, we were on the side of the road watching for Taliban fighters digging bombs into the ground, and Jeff was telling me about it. He described the way the kid fell and how he wasn't sure he'd done the right thing. Read more
Identity crisis: A U.S. veteran and a casualty of war
Stars and Stripes - Opinion
By Shannon P. Meehan
Los Angeles Times
July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them. I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming. Read more
Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court
Attorney and journalist Amy Bach spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America. In the process, she discovered how the professionals who work in the system, however well intentioned, cannot see the harm they are doing to the people they serve. The book is Ordinary Injustice, How America Holds Court.
Winner of the 2010 RFK Book Award.
- Book review Washington City Paper
- Book review Scott Greenfield
- Justice by the Numbers New York Times
- ABA Journal Ordinary Injustice by Amy Bach
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Ordinary Injustice -- How America Holds [...]
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New salvos fired in jury nullification battle - ABA Journal
New salvos fired in jury nullification battle include felony
case over pamphlet handout
ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Martha Neil
December 01, 2015
A Michigan man is facing a felony obstruction of justice charge, in the latest salvo in an ongoing national battle over the extent to which jurors should be informed of their right to vote their conscience, regardless of applicable law.
Keith Wood was also charged with misdemeanor jury tampering for handing out pamphlets outside the Mecosta County courthouse, Fox affiliate WXMI reports.
Wood, who was freed on $150,000 bond, is represented by attorney Dave Kallman, who called the case "just a blatant illegal improper use of government power to squelch a person’s Constitutional rights of free speech," the station reports.
Meanwhile, the Fully Informed Jury Association filed an amicus brief (PDF) last week in a federal appeal in an unrelated case that also focuses on jury nullification.
At issue in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case is whether a trial court judge should have instructed the jury: "You cannot substitute your sense of justice, whatever that means, for your duty to follow the law, whether you agree with it or not," explains a news release summarizing the dispute from the advocacy group’s standpoint.
"It is not your determination whether a law is just or whether a law is unjust," the disputed jury instruction continues. "That cannot be your task. There is no such thing as valid jury nullification. You would violate your oath and the law if you willfully brought a verdict contrary to the law given to you in this case."
An earlier Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) provides more details about the underlying California drug prosecution of Noah Kleinman.
U.S. Civil Court System Needs Major Overhaul
U.S. Civil Court System Needs Major Overhaul, New Book Declares
PBS News Hour
October 18, 2011
A new book, "Rebuilding Justice: Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care," argues Americans don't understand how the courts work and that the system itself needs a major overhaul. Ray Suarez talked with the book's co-author on the campus of Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, the book reads like a 230-page indictment. What's the problem?
REBECCA LOVE KOURLIS: Well, it's not that complicated -- or it shouldn't be. If you get in a car wreck, and there's an argument about who should be paying damages, your assumption is that you can go to court to have that case resolved. The truth of the matter is that's probably the last place you want to be, because the fees and the costs will ultimately be more than your car is worth, even if you drive a really nice car. PBS News Hour
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, IAALS: Authors Rebecca Love Kourlis and Dirk Olin tell the story of a civil justice system that has become alarmingly expensive, politicized, and time-consuming, degrading it to the point that it no longer meets the legitimate needs of the people it was created to serve. IAALS Facebook
Rebuilding Justice, forward by Sandra Da[...]
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The Bench Speaks on Judicial Performance[...]
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10 ways to reform the civil justice system by changing the
culture of the courts
By Rebecca Love Kourlis
January 14, 2016
Civil justice reform is on the march, and it is much needed. A survey (PDF) conducted on behalf of the National Center for State Courts in October echoes this sentiment, and captures the overall public perception of our courts. Americans believe that the courts are political (61 percent), inefficient (52 percent), and intimidating (44 percent). As a result, courts are seen as a last resort rather than a preferred method of resolving disputes (54 percent).
Rules changes—at the federal and state level—are intended to make the courts more navigable and effective without sacrificing justice. But if reform is to be successful, it has to include much more than just changing the rules of civil procedure.
Rather, the culture of the courts and of the profession needs to change. Easy to say. Much harder to achieve—or even to define.
IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, has conducted focus groups and one-on-one conversations with dozens of state and federal court judges, lawyers on both sides of the "v," and court administrators over the last year. We asked them what needs to happen to create the just, speedy, and inexpensive courts of tomorrow. We compiled the results of the conversations in our recent publication, Change the Culture, Change the System (PDF).
These are the top 10 changes that emerged from our conversations. Read more
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An Honest Legal System Matters: Trickle-Up Economics
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails
Everywhere Else Hernando de Soto, Author
Published 14 years ago, the information is dated in a way beneficial to understanding current economics, and why we in America are truly in a crisis over the misrule of law.
"It's become clear by now the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in most places around the globe hasn't ushered in an unequivocal flowering of capitalism in the developing and postcommunist world. Western thinkers have blamed this on everything from these countries' lack of sellable assets to their inherently non-entrepreneurial "mindset." In this book, the renowned Peruvian economist and adviser to presidents and prime ministers Hernando de Soto proposes and argues another reason: it's not that poor, postcommunist countries don't have the assets to make capitalism flourish. As de Soto points out by way of example, in Egypt, the wealth the poor have accumulated is worth 55 times as much as the sum of all direct foreign investment ever recorded there, including that spent on building the Suez Canal and the Aswan Dam."
"No, the real problem is that such countries have yet to establish and normalize the invisible network of laws that turns assets from "dead" into "liquid" capital. In the West, standardized laws allow us to mortgage a house to raise money for a new venture, permit the worth of a company to be broken up into so many publicly tradable stocks, and make it possible to govern and appraise property with agreed-upon rules that hold across neighborhoods, towns, or regions. This invisible infrastructure of "asset management"--so taken for granted in the West, even though it has only fully existed in the United States for the past 100 years--is the missing ingredient to success with capitalism, insists de Soto. But even though that link is primarily a legal one, he argues that the process of making it a normalized component of a society is more a political--or attitude-changing--challenge than anything else." Read more
Book Review, Hernando de Soto, The Myste[...]
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The Institute for Liberty and Democracy envisions a world where the majority of people can fully participate in a national and global economy by having access to property and business rights. We seek bottom-up reforms that are derived from understanding and recognition of existing extralegal systems and customs. Read more
The rule of law and property rights came to America in the 18th and 19th century according to Peruvian economist Hernando DeSoto in the video Property Rights and Prosperity by John Stossel at 7.30 in the video.
Walking Purchase Wikipedia
The Walking Purchase (or Walking Treaty) was a purported 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the Lenape (also known as the Delaware). By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres (4,860 km²) and forced the Lenape to vacate it. The Lenape appeal to the Iroquois for aid on the issue was refused.
In Delaware Nation v. Pennsylvania (2004), the Delaware nation (one of three federally recognized Lenape tribes) claimed 314 acres (1.27 km2) of land included in the original purchase, but the US District Court granted the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss. It ruled that the case was nonjusticiable, although it acknowledged that Indian title appeared to have been extinguished by fraud. This ruling held through the United States courts of appeals. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Also see The Delaware Nation v. Commonwealth of Pa., et al., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 04-CV-166. The 33 page Memorandum and Order of November 30, 2004 shows a story in fraudulent land title and conveyance by Pennsylvania.
Memorandum and Order of November 30, 2004
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Prosecutorial Misconduct: The case of Michael Morton
Evidence of Innocence: The case of Michael Morton
60 Minutes CBS News
by Lara Logan
March 25, 2012
It's not every day that a convicted murderer clears his name and then returns to court to argue that his prosecutor should be prosecuted. But that's what happened recently in a high-profile case in Texas that raises broader questions about the power prosecutors have and what happens when they're accused of misusing it. At the center of this story is a man named Michael Morton. He was once an ordinary citizen with a wife, a child, a job, and no criminal record whatsoever. But then he was sent to prison for life. Read more
Justice and Prosecutorial Misconduct
The New York Times, Editorial
December 28, 2011
Michael Morton was exonerated by DNA evidence this month after being wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and serving nearly 25 years in prison in Texas. In seeking to prove Mr. Morton’s innocence, his lawyers found in recently unsealed court records evidence that the prosecutor in the original trial, Ken Anderson, had withheld critical evidence that may have helped Mr. Morton. Read more
More Prosecutorial Misconduct: Sen. Ted Stevens Case
Justice Department: We won't repeat Ted Stevens mistake
by Sean Cockerham
March 28, 2012
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that its misconduct in the case against then-Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens was an isolated incident and Congress shouldn't pass a law forcing prosecutors to disclose all evidence they have to the defense.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is pushing a bill to require prosecutors to turn over evidence to the defense immediately that could be favorable to the accused. Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who beat Stevens in an election just days after his conviction, which later was thrown out, is a co-sponsor. The American Civil Liberties Union, among others, supports the bill, saying that this type of problem happens too often.
But the Justice Department released a statement Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on an investigator's report that concluded the Stevens investigation and prosecution "were permeated by the systematic concealment" of evidence that would have helped Stevens. Read more
Tab For The Ted Stevens Misconduct Report: $981,842
Supreme Court Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest
Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest
The New York Times
By ADAM LIPTAK
April 2, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs, but also public health and information about gang affiliations.
"Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed," Justice Kennedy wrote, adding that about 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails.
The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures. Read more
- Commentary by Karen Garcia on Sardonicky
- Related story on the ABA Journal Law News Now
- Linda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court and the law