Sunday, October 25, 2009

Justears! Louisiana Backwater

Injunctive Relief Needed in present court systems | Failed Justice | Louisiana Appellate Project | '08 La. Legis. House Concurrent Study Resolution [HCSR-1] approved - no action taken

[ JP resigns] Several accounts
have been made relating to a justice of the peace in south Louisiana. Some who retold the story state the JP denied a marriage license to the couple. Not true.

The state official refused to perform the ceremony. The two individuals have now filed suit for civil rights violations in the federal courts. Great.

This could be a perfect storm to make the state's highest court do it's job. In forcing the high court to act, it could very well alter the face of the system, finally. The new chief justice, has a few things to prove in her role. The civil rights suit has nothing to do with actions of the judiciary commission. The commission, is already however wanting to get around it's efficacy. A spokesperson from the judicial administrators office told a national news outlet, the process could take as much as a year. However, the chairman of the commission can cause the body to act, sooner than later if it so desires.

The commission's legal counsel, should already have begun compiling her information to present to the commission, on how the JP's defense may seek to defend him. Truly, the inner workings of the process is hard to unravel. Within the process, the commission's legal counsel will advise the commission on the possible routes the JP's defense may take. The office of disciplinary counsel will make the formal accusatory declaration to the JP. That person is the interim special counsel.

The former special counsel left the commission last year. In 1994, he went to work for the judiciary commission where his primary responsibility was to investigate complaints against judges and hand recommendations for discipline to the commission, a panel of three citizens, three judges and three lawyers appointed by the state Supreme Court. Once the commission settles on a sanction, it's the special counsel's job to persuade the justices to adopt the recommendation.

If, in the function of his office, a state official violates the law it is malfeasance. If, under the color of law an official violates the law and denies a person civil rights the public integrity section of the justice department can pursue criminal charges.

The Public Integrity Section oversees the federal effort to combat corruption through the prosecution of elected and appointed public officials at all levels of government. The Section has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of federal judges and also monitors the investigation and prosecution of election and conflict of interest crimes. Section attorneys prosecute selected cases against federal, state, and local officials, and are available as a source of advice and expertise to other prosecutors and investigators. Since 1978, the Section has supervised the administration of the Independent Counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act.

And what if prior state attorney's general were indeed aware of a JP's violative interpretation of their elected office? Who is now liable? The State? Is the state in need of expertise and advice from federal sources? Recusals of local US Attorneys are also a part of the public integrity sections operation. Would the state supreme court be found deficient? Would other areas of the state's judicial apparatus be subject to purview? Perhaps.

On, another note; the state's director of indigent defense, functioning under Act 307 passed by the 2007 regular session has admitted to media the system is broken. The Judiciary has the role of making sure proper judicial process is carried forth. Indigent defendants are routinely wrongly convicted through ineffective assistance of counsel. Is it unimaginable, the mere refusal to honor an officially obtained license from a clerk of court could evolve in to a full scale re-aligning of the system?

The Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice, recently finished an investigation into the Orleans Parish Prison. Released 9-11-09 it outlined deficiencies with the facilities operation. The final paragraph says in part - "We are obligated to advise you that, in the event that we are unable to reach a resolution regarding our concerns, the Attorney General may initiate a lawsuit pursuant to CRlP A to correct deficiencies of the kind identified in this letter"... .. .. .. . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Memphis to Massachusetts

It is Not a time to be silent! America is a Police-State. Martin|Memphis|& Profiling. If you think the system is not edged against us. Consider this, who is next? Police investigating officer-involved shooting
July 25, 2009

The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations/Alexandria Field Office is investigating a Friday shooting in which a Colfax Police officer fatally shot a man.

The shooting happened around 2:45 p.m., according to a State Police release. According to that release, Colfax Police Officer Stephen Merchant witnessed a physical altercation between Harold Phillips, 54, of Colfax, and an unidentified person on Chester Street while on patrol. As Merchant approached the two, Phillips fled on foot.

The foot pursuit led Merchant to Ash Street, where a physical altercation occurred between Officer Merchant and Phillips. It was at that time that Merchant shot Phillips, according to the report.

The Colfax Police Department requested that the State Police investigate the incident. The Grant Parish Sheriff's Office is assisting in the investigation.

Phillips was transported to Rapides Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing and, at the conclusion, the case will be forwarded to the Grant Parish District Attorney's Office.
The Town Talk

Couple Sues Police Over Dog's Death, Abuse In Raid
Yes, this involves cops threatening children with machine guns
Updated 6:31 AM EDT, Wed, Jul 29, 2009

The Hendersons' story spread like hotcakes in January 2008 after a Howard County SWAT team entered their Columbia home, late at night, brandishing a warrant for a major drug-dealing operation -- for some other home down the street: "a nearby house the police raided later that evening more closely matched the warrant’s description, and contained marijuana, a pair of scales and large sums of money." All they found drug-wise in the Hendersons' home was some pot and a bowl belonging to their house guest, who was immediately arrested for possession. Couple Sues

Officers involved in fatal La. shooting resign
(AP) – 1 day ago

HOMER, La. — Two white police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 73-year-old black man in northern Louisiana have resigned from the force.

The Feb. 20 shooting of Bernard Monroe Sr. sparked protests and at least two investigations.

Officer Tim Cox, who shot Monroe in his yard, and Officer Joey Henry, who was present at the time of the shooting, have decided to pursue other employment, said Homer city attorney Jim Colvin.

"Tim Cox told me he is moving to St. Tammany Parish and I think will be training canines for police departments," Colvin said. "I don't know what Joey Henry is going to do."

Both officers had been on paid administrative leave after the shooting, which is still under investigation by the FBI and state police.

"They should have been gone," said Rev. Willie Young, head of the Claiborne Parish NAACP, on Wednesday. "I don't think taxpayers should have been paying their salaries all this time."

Monroe, who was mute after losing his larynx to cancer, was cooking on a grill in his yard with relatives and friends when the police officers arrived. In a report to state authorities, Homer police said Cox and Henry chased Monroe's 38-year-old son, Shaun, from a suspected drug deal blocks away to his father's house.

Witnesses disputed that account, saying the younger Monroe was talking to his sister-in-law in a truck outside the house when officers arrived.

There was a scuffle between the officers and Shaun, in which Shaun was shocked with a Taser. Police said the elder Monroe then pulled a gun on them and Cox fired his weapon. Witnesses claim Bernard Monroe was unarmed as he walked toward his porch.

State police said in February that a loaded gun was found on or near Monroe's body. But friends and relatives suggested police planted a gun Monroe owned next to his body.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is studying arrests and traffic citations by Homer police as part of an investigation of racial profiling complaints against the department.

Reached by phone on Wednesday, Police Chief Russell Mills refused to comment.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Supreme Court & Indigent Defense - Louisiana Spotlight

| Obama Speaks to 100 year NAACP July 16, 2009 | Video-Obama@NAACP | Gates!-Profiled? | Barbara Boxer-Racial? | Is the NAACP Relevant-Clarence Page | Gates charges dropped | WaPo Story |

| LOUISIANA STANDARDS ON INDIGENT DEFENSE | News.doc LSBA new [model] ABA Rules on Professional Conduct |
Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled its 23-year-old ruling in Michigan v. Jackson on the rights of a criminal suspect in police custody who has asked for a lawyer. The Court did so in Montejo v. Louisiana (07-1529), in an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia. After Scalia announced the decision, Justice John Paul Stevens spoke orally for the dissenters — a somewhat unusual gesture. Stevens was the author of the 1986 decision that was cast aside; he was the only member of the Court then who is still sitting. Michigan v. Jackson overrulled in Montejo v. Louisiana
Louisiana Public Defender Board Staff. The Spotlight is steadily glaring on the state of Louisiana. Within the boundaries of today's SCOTUS decision is a blatant 5 to 4 conservative response in answer to an already vulgar criminal justice apparatus in Louisiana & America.

Brief of AMICI CURIAE the Louisiana Public Defenders Association in Support of Petitioner JESSE JAY MONTEJO V. STATE OF LOUISIANA - rendered 26 May 2009.

The Sixth Amendment provides a right to counsel at each “critical stage” of a criminal proceeding. This case addresses whether a defendant must affirmatively accept the appointment of counsel to receive the protections of that right, particularly the protection not to be interrogated by the state without counsel’s presence or consent.

INDIGENT DEFENSE IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA Both expenditures and revenues for the 4th Judicial District have increased over
the years under study. Because the data collected in the previous study is in a
different format than the data collected for the last two years, the individual line
items are not directly comparable; instead, focus should be placed on the total
revenues and expenditures when making comparisons. In addition, the 2003 and
2004 totals represent 11 month totals (January through November); the 2006
figures are full-year totals. The 4th Judicial District is unique among the four under study here as it is the only Judicial District that has a formalized on-going training program for public defenders who handle felony cases.

This training occurs monthly and is open to
all public defenders from other Judicial Districts. The 4th Judicial District is also
working to prepare a training manual that can be easily distributed, as well as
expanding the training program to include public defenders who handle
misdemeanor cases and one for those how handle juvenile cases. These
subsequent training courses will also be open to all public defenders from other
judicial districts.

Effective August 15, 2007, the Louisiana State Legislature enacted a new law (R.S.
15:146-184) revising the Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board (LIDAB)
and creating the new Louisiana Public Defender Board (LPDB). This new law
provides that the LPDB shall have “all regulatory authority, control, supervision,
and jurisdiction, including auditing and enforcement, and all power incidental or
necessary to such regulatory authority, control, supervision, and jurisdiction
over all aspects of the delivery of public defender services throughout the courts
of the state of Louisiana” (R.S. 15:147). What was known as “indigent” defense
has since become “public” defense. The adage “the name has changed but the
game remains the same” certainly applies.

Indigent Defense Services Task Force

Louisiana Public Defenders Association

NACDL Indigent Defense Recent Developments In the spring of 2003, the Louisiana State Bar Association passed a resolution in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Gideon decision that called into question the adequacy of adult indigent defense services in Louisiana and urged the state government to establish a “Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a strategic plan for indigent defense system reform and set a timetable for implementation.”

LASC Rule XXXI (3) Private Practice of Law. A staff attorney of a district indigent defender board, who is a permanent, full-time employee of the district board, shall not engage in the private practice of criminal law in the same jurisdiction in which he or she serves as a staff attorney. The said attorney, however, may be permitted by the district board to have a private civil law practice in the same jurisdiction in which he or she serves as a staff attorney, provided such practice does not conflict with or otherwise adversely affect the duties owed by the attorney to his or her indigent clients.

What's the matter with this picture? Already the "wheel of justice" rolled when the news article showed the "leading" photograph of this 19 year old accused suspect, as he was being transported to OCC.
The 40 something year old trigger-man is the real culprit. Video surveillance doesn't show the 19year old in the store. The 19 year old doesn't admit to knowledge of the crime, before leaving Morehouse Parish.
Will the Indigent Defense system of the 4th Judicial District provide adequate assistance of counsel.

To recognize the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 83 S.Ct. 792, 9 L.Ed. 2d 799 (1963), and to rededicate the State of Louisiana to the promise of equal justice for all, regardless of income, in accordance with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System, by creating the Louisiana Task Force on Indigent Defense Services.
WHEREAS, 2003 marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Gideon.. .

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court stated in Gideon the "obvious truth" that "in our adversary
system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer,
cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him"; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has consistently extended the right to counsel to critical
stages of criminal proceedings and any case that may result in the potential loss of liberty,
including: direct appeals -- Douglas v. California, 372 U.S. 353 (1963); custodial
interrogations -- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966); juvenile proceedings resulting in
confinement -- In Re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967); preliminary hearings -- Coleman v. Alabama,
399 U.S. 1 (1970); Louisiana Justice Coalition

Friday, April 3, 2009

Obama:European Capitalist Venture

NATO Host Cities protest rallies.

STRASBOURG, France — President Barack Obama laid down a tough new line on America and Europe Friday morning, saying both were to blame what he called the "drift" in the trans-Atlantic alliance in recent years.

"In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world," Obama said, boldly taking aim at the country that just elected him last November. "There have been times where America's showed arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

Of Europe, Obama looked directly at a few thousand German and French students in a town hall in Strasbourg, France, and told them that the continent had showed "an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious."

"There have been times when Europeans chose to blame Americans for much of what is bad," he said to a crowd that had been elated at Obama's entry but then turned silent after his remark.

"So," he continued, "I've come to Europe to renew our parternship."

The tone of Obama's rhetoric changes in Prague!

Nuclear Disarmament

Before Turkish Parliament

Turkish News - Hurriyet