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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blagojevich's Lawyer Censored

This story was interesting. The judge in the Blagojevich corruption trial made a bizarre ruling. During his closing arguments, Blagojevich's defense attorney is barred from referring to witnesses the prosecution refused to call. Blagojevich claims those witnesses would have been favorable for him. That's the reason the prosecution declined to call them. Even more bizarrely, the prosecution already mentioned those witnesses.

Blagojevich was given unfair bail terms. As condition for his bail, he was barred from publicly explaining his side of the story. The mainstream media had already pronounced him guilty. The prosecutor got to publish his evidence, but Blagojevich was censored. That was unfair, even before his trial started. This is standard practice in State criminal trials, but it's still unfair. Of course, it's better to agree to the restrictions than spend 12+ months in jail awaiting trial. That doesn't make it right.

The official reason is "The judge doesn't want Blagojevich tampering with the jury pool." The prosecutor already tampered with the jury pool. The mainstream media already proclaimed Blagojevich guilty. Wouldn't it be fairer to allow both sides the freedom to publicly say whatever they want?

I already mentioned this point in "Censorship of Justice". It is immoral for the judge to bar the defense from making argument X or showing evidence X. If X is obviously frivolous, there's no reason for the judge to block discussion of X.

The judge will only block X when it might induce the jury to vote "not guilty". It is a huge perversion of justice, when the judge bars the defendant from mentioning something that would induce a juror to vote "not guilty".

If the judge is eager to censor something, that's a clear indication that it's important. If X is obviously stupid, then why should the judge care?

This is an important point. "If someone has an emotionally hostile reaction to X, then that is evidence that X is important." The judge seems to be arguing emotionally rather than logically. What harm is there, if the defense attorney mentions X? Is the legal system so fragile, that it falls apart if criminal defendants are allowed to say whatever they want?

This suggests a politically-motivated trial. Otherwise, why would the judge be so eager to censor the defense attorney? In many ways, the judge is the prosecutor.

Many judges are former prosecutors. Most/all judges have worked for the State their entire life. Most/all judges have never done an honest day's work in their entire life. They are sympathetic to the State and the prosecutor. Most judges have *NO* experience defending an individual against State aggression.

The judge works for the State. The prosecutor works for the State. They're on the same team.

This blog had an interesting point.

The government spoke about missing witnesses, yet the defense is precluded? Why would that be, Judge?


The yeoman's reaction to a ruling like this is to protest, make a record, and move on. But Sam Adams is no mere yeoman. He knows that there will be no better chance to beat the case than here and now, before the jury. On appeal, everything flips over and all presumptions are against him. On appeal, the sensibilities of judge rule, while the understanding of real people are lost. No, one doesn't give away a critical part of the defense lightly.
The "legally correct" thing for the defense attorney to do is note that the judge made a mistake, and then appeal. However, Blagojevich's attorney may have balls. After all, Blagojevich is an ex-insider. He has better legal representation than most slaves. His lawyer may ignore the judge's order.

That would be a great spectacle. The defense attorney is hauled out of court by State thugs during closing arguments, for something seemingly unimportant. That would make the jury think that the judge is biased against Blagojevich. Every criminal defendant should have a lawyer willing to say "**** you! I'm mentioning this anyway! I don't care if you jail me for contempt of court or revoke my law license!" A lawyer who is not willing to do this, is really working for the prosecutor.

For this reason, I advise sui juris representation. Most lawyers wouldn't have the balls to ignore the judge's order. If you do it sui juris, and the judge jails you for "contempt of court", then you were going to jail anyway when the jury gives an unfair verdict. If the judge censors a lawyer, and the lawyer deferentially says "Yes, sir!", then the jury presumes it's OK. If the judge censors a pro se defendant, then that creates a lot of sympathy with the jury.

Blagojevich is a lawyer. Why doesn't he present his own closing arguments? The "official" legal advice is that is a stupid idea. However, in a politically motivated trial, you need sympathy and a direct connection with the jury.

That blogger pointed out "It's pointless to wait for appeal. The trial judge is a pro-State troll. The appeals judge is an even worse pro-State troll. It's better to try and win the trial now via the jury, rather than wait for a biased appeals judge." Besides, the defendant is sitting in jail while the appeal takes years.

I would really respect that lawyer, if he ignored the judge's order and got a "contempt of court" arrest. Given the circumstances, the lawyer probably wouldn't lose his law license, but you never know. The State legal system is unfair and the State lawyer licensing cartel is unfair.

This comment was interesting:
Jdog, I wasn't able to look at your website long enough to figure out whether you're a lawyer, so if you don't know: "harmless error" is the doctrine that says, basically, "even if the judge ruled incorrectly or your rights were violated, you have no remedy if the appeals court thinks you're guilty."
If the appeals judge thinks you're guilty, and the judge made an error, that isn't grounds for overturning the verdict. It's irrelevant if the *ACTUAL* jury would have voted "not guilty" (or been hung), if the defendant were allowed to present his evidence or argument. The mere fact that the judge made an error doesn't justify an appeal. It has to be an error *THAT WOULD AFFECT THE OUTCOME*, which is irrelevant if the appeals judge thinks the defendant is guilty.

A trial judge is a pro-State troll. The appeals judge is an even worse pro-State troll. If you're the victim of State aggression, it's silly to hold your hopes out for a win on appeal. The appeals courts are there to provide the illusion of fairness, rather than provide genuine justice.

If a judge gives an illegal order, you aren't required to obey it. If the judge says "You aren't allowed to mention X in your own defense!", then you should ignore him and do it anyway. Why is a judge allowed to kidnap and torture someone, just because they say something the judge doesn't like?

The reality of the legal system is that a judge can jail someone indefinitely for "contempt of court". That doesn't make it right. Someone pointed out that statutory crimes are really enforced via "contempt of court" orders. Suppose I operate a gold/silver barter network. State thugs prosecute me. The judge orders me to stop operating my business, before I'm even convicted. If it's a misdemeanor, I don't even get a jury trial. If I violate his order, now I'm guilty of "contempt of court" and don't even get a trial. That's a clever legal loophole. I'd be jailed for "contempt of court" and not for the original invalid law.

The State legal system is completely corrupt. It is biased against most criminal defendants. Blagojevich is an ex-insider, so he gets a better lawyer than most. At this point, it would be an embarrassment for the State, if Blagojevich is acquitted. It's a politically-motivated prosecution. The mainstream media loudly pronounced Blagojevich's guilt. Blagojevich says (correctly) "Hey! Every politician does this!" He must be convicted to prove that he's the only corrupt politician! All corrupt politicians get convicted. Therefore, everyone else is honest.

The Blagojevich trial is amusing. Like all politicians, Blagojevich is a State parasite who probably never did an honest day's work in his entire life. Blagojevich's defense essentially is "Everyone does it!" He is right, but that's not a valid excuse for corruption. The State legal system is so corrupt, that Blagojevich seems like the hero in this story.

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