court post

Peace be with you

I have so many things to write about, but am busy defending myself from an accusation I violated some uncodified, vague, selectively enforced, rule, by a whopping 21 seconds. I’ve been in court Wednesday and Thursday (June 17 and 18). All of you familiar with the court system probably think I am in the middle of a long hearing, but your wrong. I am just trying to get another continuance.

I went to have my suppression motion heard Wednesday morning. It was scheduled for courtroom two, was docketed in courtroom three, and called in courtroom seven. After assuring Judge Cissna that I was ready to proceed with the hearing, Blair Angus, a county council (not the lawyers prosecuting me), caught me in the hall and told me that two of my subpoenaed witnesses were out of town and wouldn’t appear. I didn’t know Blair was county council, and somehow assumed she was with the District Attorney. She came to work out a deal with me on the five county employees I subpoenaed, but I didn’t realize she wasn’t a prosecuting attorney so she ended up sitting around the courtroom half a day.

When I first heard that Phillip Crandall was one of the two violating the subpoenas all’s I could think was, body attachment. A “body attachment” is basically an arrest warrant you get a judge to sign for someone violating a subpoena. I realize that unlike you and me to Crandall a body attachment is nothing more than a phone call telling him when to show up. I decided the best course of action was to move the court for a continuance. Blair promised to bring me a list of dates when all the county employees will be available.

Anyone who has been through any court system in this country realizes that plea bargining is what passes for justice in this nation of profiteering off crime. The judges encourage plea bargaining, asking again and again if the lawyers have reached an agreement. The shitty thing about plea bargaining is that innocent people get harsh punishment, while those who really hurt people get reduced deals. With over worked and under paid public defenders, with elderly and mostly conservative juries, with people’s natural tendency to want the least in punishments, with the cops, the DA, and judges all wanting drug war convictions instead of justice, with the piling on of charges, and with the possible loss of job/housing the plea bargain model of pseudo-justice has slowly replaced our truth based peer system. Because the odds are that stacked against you, especially when you’re innocent, plea bargaining is really coercion. The judges are require to ask if you “have been coerced into accepting this plead bargain,” yet nobody ever says yes.

The “bargain” the DA is currently offering in my case is, plead guilty of count one and they’ll drop count two. My counter is drop all charges, and I won’t ask Jimmy Smith to publish an apology in the papers. I’m not sure that is really a wise move on my behalf though. It seems that the purpose of “bargaining” is to get a bargain. The DA’s goal is to get a conviction, and my goal after all is to force Jimmy Smith, or any other boring supe chairman, to allow me my constitutional/legislated uninterrupted time of their attention. How exactly I get my legal, constitutional, civil right to redress my grievances matters not to me as long as it is obtained non-violently.

When we finally got called in front of Judge Cissna again he had to recuse himself because he is friends with one of my witnesses. This meant we had to wait around for another judge to open up. After about an hour the head court clerk Linda Carter, got us to agree to 8:30 the next morning in front of judge Reinholtsen.

When lawyers wait around the hall waiting to have their cases called it’s pay for by tax dollars. Lawyers bill their hours to each case. Normally it is one DA, but in this case it is a DA and a County council. I have so far invested $3 for bus tickets for every day I appeared in court (though a few have been on days I would have been in Eureka anyway). It appears to me that because the county is facing a law suit they believe the have to keep throwing good money after bad.

Thursday morning’s wait fest didn’t last long – 30 to 45 minutes. This continuance was important at this point, none of the witnesses were told to return. I didn’t even bring a note taker (someone to take notes during the hearing). Judge Reinholtsen granted the continuance, vacated the trial date which was mistakenly set for June 29th instead of July 29, and acknowledged that I received discovery on even more witness from the DA.

When I arrived Wednesday Jeremiah Ross, the DA prosecuting my case, told me we had trial on June 29th. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I checked my notes from when we set the trial date and saw I had written “7/29.” Because my charges are misdemeanor missing a trial date would mean a warrant for my arrest. Though I am sure the warrant would leave a “cite and release” clause one must remember I’m tad and the cops arrest me without reason, let alone a paper saying they can. The clerk wrote the wrong date and I was at risk. Luckily it was fairly easy to catch seeing how it was scheduled the day before the “pretrial conference.”

The DA keeps giving me more and more “discovery.” Some of it makes no sense at all. Like police reports from civil disobedience I was accused of in the past. Understand this “discovery” is not the court records which actually shows I was never found guilty of those charges. If the fact that cops seem to hate me for standing up for my rights is evidence against me then I’d be glad to retry all those case now too. The only one of those old cases I was convicted of anything was once I bargained away 4 or 5 misdemeanor protest related charges for an infraction disturbing the peace plea, with no fine and I plead Nolo contendere to. A Nolo contendere, or no contest, plea means I never admitted guilt. And that means if the DA wants to introduce any bygone shit into this case I get to retry all those old cases I’ve always regretted not getting the justice I deserved on.

It would be interesting if the County decided to spend as much prosecuting someone who dissented against its policies as they would prosecuting a capital criminal. Oh well I can’t concern myself with too much right now past the suppression hearing I’m trying to have heard, and that has been rescheduled to July 16th, at 8:30 am. This time it seems a go. Blair promised me that all the witnesses will show up, I will also re-subpoena them and arrive in court with body attachments ready for the judges signature.

love eternal


11 Responses to “court post”

  1. fig Says:

    2009 ———->
    Saturday — 6-20

    a good post, a bit long, but can be managed
    if I use the ARROW keys to scroll down slowly,
    instead of like a maniac, using the page up,
    page down keys, in that case, have a tendency
    to not completely read the post, will only skim
    the headlines and maybe first and last paragraphs,

    keeping with the theory of justice, a ridiculous
    5-4 decision by the U.S. SUPREME COURT, see below,
    my question the arses on the “court” is DOES
    a human being have a “constitutional right” to
    breathe and exist ? DNA to clear your imprisonment
    is NOT a constitutional right ?

    the problem with all these lawyers, their brains
    have corroded over the years, with TOO MUCH
    overthinking, and slicing and dicing of useless
    legal jargon semantic shit-load of bullshit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    PleASE give me a break.

    la times,
    The Supreme Court’s DNA ruling: Wrong on rights
    Fri 19 Jun 2009
    Multiple Page View
    In ruling that inmates have no right to sophisticated DNA evidence that could exonerate them, five conservative Supreme Court justices have taken a cruelly cramped view of the protections of the Bill of Rights. They also have vindicated President Obama’s much-ridiculed observation that empathy for the powerless is a qualification for serving on the court.

    Television crime dramas notwithstanding, DNA evidence isn’t the skeleton key to unlocking the truth in every case. Nor, as O.J. Simpson’s acquittal demonstrated, are DNA results so persuasive that a jury can’t be convinced that they’re invalid or have been tampered with. Even so, developments in DNA technology have led to the release of more than 200 wrongfully convicted defendants. In the words of one eminent judge, “DNA testing has an unparalleled ability both to exonerate the wrongly convicted and to identify the guilty.”

    That judge was Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the author of Thursday’s majority opinion rejecting the claim of William G. Osborne that he should be allowed to undergo DNA testing — at his own expense — to establish whether he sexually assaulted a prostitute.

    After his paean to the accuracy of DNA testing, Roberts offered a litany of “buts.” Among them: The court shouldn’t establish a right to DNA testing because 46 states and the federal government already have enacted legislation providing such access. Osborne might still be able to receive a test under the laws of Alaska, where he was convicted, even though state law doesn’t explicitly say so. And Alaska’s refusal to accommodate Osborne didn’t offend “some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.”

    Most of these arguments were refuted by Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissenting opinion. Stevens was especially persuasive in arguing that, given the importance of DNA evidence, “the state’s failure to provide Osborne access to the evidence constitutes arbitrary action that offends basic principles of due process.” Ideally, recalcitrant states like Alaska will act on Stevens’ insight that access to DNA testing is part of the right to “liberty” guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. If not, Congress should act — perhaps by offering federal law enforcement assistance to states that reform their procedures.

    The majority opinion is objectionable not just because of its conclusion but because it’s an object lesson in the sort of jurisprudence that, for all its command of legal technicalities, is impervious to the fundamental humane purposes of the Bill of Rights. Roberts and Stevens disagree about how to read the court’s precedents, but a more basic difference between the majority and the minority is insensitivity to the poignant predicament of an imprisoned man denied an opportunity to clear himself.

  2. stan Says:

    Dear Tad:

    These charges are just completely idiotic to begin with; but for the County to end up spending valuable tax dollars by the boat load to bring this to court is absolutely beyond ridiculous.

    If Humboldt County had anything close to a free press that the board of Supe’s weren’t in bed with and controlling; this would have been resolved with a humble apology on their part long ago.

    But just like P. Crandall’s Mental Health criminal debacle; they will just continue to waste the tax payers money on issues that do Zero for the public interest or the good of the County.

    People should actually think and question before they vote next go around. I wont hold my breath.


  3. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you fig

    I know it was long and reads like shit too! I was in a hurry to get it out, you know sun shine and all that healthy stuff. Maybe I’ll clean it up, but don’t bet life ever slows down that much.

    love eternal

  4. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you Dear Stan

    I love the word dear as used in dear Stan, dear brother, dear friend.

    Don’t you understand this whole we’re broke bullshit is nothing more than an excuse to sell off “local governments” to someone bigger. And bigger means more prosecutions, not less. When you down size you increase “technologies” (in cop terms “tools”), and increase volume. If the government is going to build 10 new prisons to “fight crime,” then they will fill 10 new prisons to over capacity. They want you for fodder, and I advocate against that. What, let me go prove me right? I welcome the challenge my dear friend.

    love eternal

  5. transient Says:

    thanks for taking the time to post, tad. Those of us who care about you (and Griz, of course) are always eager to hear what’s going on, and enjoy hearing about the the thorn in the side that you pose for the powerful. Let us hope that thorn grows in size…

    Anyhow, i don’t expect that you’ll get justice through the court system, but maybe INSPITE of it.

  6. transient Says:

    portland, OR, sit/lie anti-homeless law ruled unconstitutional…see link above

  7. Bite Me Says:

    Tad, you are a self-important paranoid moron. It’s you who’s waiting tax payer’s money. You never have anything of value to offer, just your stupid anger at “the system.” Feel free to move to Portland and loiter on their free sidewalks.

  8. Moviedad Says:

    Hey, Bite Me, bite me.
    It’s all about dignity Tad. Keep your head up, Don’t cuss, don’t give them any leverage.

  9. transient Says:

    Bite me, you are a self-important paranoid moron. It’s actually YOU who is wasting tax-payer’s blood-money. You haven’t offered anything of value, just your stupid anger at tad. Feel free to just go to hell, etc.

  10. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you

    I think Bite Me makes a couple of good points. Yes all I have of value for you is my anger at “the system,” especially when the system doesn’t follow its own rules. Itz all about liberties, and just how “stupid” it is defending those rights. Of course I feel free to move to Portland, and free to stay in Arcata too for that matter. Let’s just say I want to feel free to feel free.

    The difference between someone who just feels self-important and this case is winning scores a victory for everyone’s rights. I wish more people were a little more paranoid when it came to insuring our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

    love eternal

  11. Peasant Dreams Says:

    Thank you tad, for standing up to “The Big Lie” – the rule of law, in a county where judges ignore The Constitution, even condoned the murder of Cheri Moore, as they’re interested only in protecting their cronies’ graft.

    Thank you for standing up to steroid crazed cops, who are true hate mongering agent provoceteurs., driving many into the alienation that often results in drug addiction. Even Obama, in his book, said he was disgusted with society he used cocaine. How many talented people don’t we every hear about, because they’ve been dragged into the War on Drugs, because Tricky Dick Nixon convntently included pot smokers who were disproportionately protesting the killings in Vietnam. How many who are exhausted from heroin addiction get further brutalized by “The Rule of Law” so they are so exhausted by the dual tragedies of heroin and The War on The Helpless, that they have so little energy escape the trap they’re in, they might as well be trying to escape a black hole?

    The cops are laughing all the way to the bank, while the rest of us have had to sacrifice education, so another generation will fall into the same trap, so Humboldt will continue to suffer an astronomical overdose rate, and an ever increasing number of scapegoats will be born and die.

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