I already know "The State is evil!", but there still are some stories that make me wonder "Is the State more evil than I previously estimated?"
I liked this story, via Neutral Underground (site registration required). It's always nice to find interesting stories that the other blogs I read haven't mentioned. I decided this one was too interesting for a footnote in a Reader Mail post.
Judges are frequently biased against sui juris defendants. From the judge's point of view, many of the defendants' arguments probably really are frivolous. However, the judge also will ignore appeals that contradict their pro-State brainwashing. If the defendant in a possession of marijuana trial appeals saying "Possession of marijuana is not a crime!", then the judge will see that true argument as frivolous. I haven't read sui juris appeals, so I have no idea if they're frivolous or genuine.
For poor defendants using a public defender, their actual trial probably really was very biased against them. Why does it matter if a public defender does a brilliant job or an incompetent one? The public defender gets paid the same either way. (If you hire an attorney, you have the same problem. Suppose I am arrested for tax evasion. I decide to hire an attorney. My attorney expects to get paid whether I am acquitted or convicted. Given those incentives, why should my attorney care if I'm acquitted or convicted? Hourly billing encourages my attorney to drag out the trial for as long as possible.)
Back to the above story, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was rejecting *ALL* sui juris appeals without reading them at all! It was only uncovered when the clerk in charge of implementing the scam, Jerrold Peterson, committed suicide and revealed the details in his suicide note.
The clerk was instructed that, whenever a sui juris appeal was filed, he would create a generic "appeal rejected" statement. The judge then signed these rejections without bothering to read the appeal.
If the US Fifth Circuit Court does this, you can be sure other courts do this also. They just haven't been caught yet!
There's another point not emphasized in the article. The three judges who blindly rejected these appeals keep their jobs. Even caught being flagrantly corrupt, there are no negative consequences for State employees. State employees who commit misconduct are protected by sovereign immunity.
State bureaucrats have no obligation to treat their "customers" fairly, because of the State's absolutely unaccountable monopoly.
I liked this comment:
Anyway, there was a heavy burden of guilt to bear by employees who knew what was going on and did not take a stand. It eats your dignity. It eats your soul.Many State employees are aware that they are participating in one big scam, yet they remain silent. That makes it even worse! Desperate to protect their jobs, they go along with the scam. State employees are, by definition, paid an above-market wage for their labor, making them unable to risk their jobs.
What goes on at the trial court level is bad enough. You would hope that injustices would be rectified at the appellate court level. Don't count on it not being more of the same.
I liked this comment.
One time, one of the clerks at the Third Circuit did take a stand. That person was fired by the Criminal Court director. The Criminal Court director copied the pages of the personnel manual and accused the fired clerk of everything listed in the manual. Threw the whole kitchen sink. The fired clerk was accused of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, violence, etc. Everything. Of course, there were no factual basis to support the accusations. That Criminal Court director was just enraged. As crazy as that may seem, the Third Circuit judges did nothing. There was nobody directly over the Criminal Court director. You would have to have all of the judges agree on doing something. Well, for political reasons, that is not going to happen. The fired clerk was a single parent that had to support a child. It was a complete ruination for the fired clerk. The fired clerk was not privileged enough to have the circumstances rectified. A tort suit against the Third Circuit is not practical in the legal environment. You would have to be weathy to fight it because you would have to pay an attorney at the very least $100 an hour for services. It is just another wrong that isn't economically feasible to rectify.If you are frivolously arrested, and are representing yourself sui juris, be sure to mention this incident to the jury. It's important to make the jurors understand how the judge is biased against you.
This situation turned the Third Circuit employees into scared rabbits -- being terrorized.