News of the Day 6-6-13

Inside the Silo News
“New Federal Judge in Iowa Accused of Acting as ‘Prosecutor-in-Chief’ at Sentencing”
Next time you’re inclined to think I’m exaggerating when I talk about DAs and judges who see themselves as comic book heroes in stories of their own making, please recall this former DA, now judge:

In a case involving convicted drug dealer Bryan Holm, Rose ordered prosecutors to provide evidence that could extend Holm’s prison sentence on a weapons charge. When they refused, citing a plea agreement they had signed, Rose called a police officer to the stand, questioned the officer herself and imposed a sentence that was two to three years longer than what prosecutors had contemplated.

Rose then sent prosecutors an email comparing herself to the comic book superhero the Hulk, saying there was “a lesson” there for attorneys: “You won’t like me when I’m angry.”

Holm’s attorney, Dean Stowers, says in court papers his client was “caught in the crossfire” between Rose and federal prosecutors who refused to do her bidding. Stowers, who is appealing Holm’s sentence, says the Hulk email “tends to support the view that there is a price to be paid” if prosecutors don’t take her advice.

“Any defendant, including Mr. Holm, would be particularly alarmed by such judicial advocacy in seeking to enhance his sentence,” Stowers wrote in court filings. “Most defendants have a hard enough time defending against the prosecuting attorney. … They at least should expect the judge will not be assuming the role of prosecutor-in-chief,” he wrote.

Also note that this is explicitly against the Code of Conduct for federal judges and ask yourself how much she ever worried about such niceties, like, oh, rules and the law, when she was a self-appointed archangel DA. Oh, wait, sorry. “The Hulk.”

“Judge Edith Jones: Blacks and Hispanics More Violent”
Here’s another one, in her own way even more repulsive, likely to have a cape on under that robe. Can you have two Hulks at the same time? Or would one have to be She-Hulk? Have we just revealed more about our selves than was prudent? Reminds me of the time I got into an argument with a WI judge once at a state conference over whether child sex abuse, one of the few crimes in the state with white inmates outnumbering minorities about 2-1, was a predominantly white crime. He argued that since blacks made up a small % of Wisconsinites yet were still around a third of all child sex crimes, it was a predominantly black crime. IOW, were the police to issue an APB for a child sex offender on the loose in WI, this judge, like these two jewels, would have told the cops to be on the lookout for a black man. He was one of the judges for whom the judges on the WI sentencing commission killed that commission’s effectiveness in order to protect his discretion. And for whom I decided to move to OK DOC. Win-win for them, I know.

“A Tale of Two Warning Shots”
And over at SentenceSpeak blog a perfect example of how dangerous and criminal behavior is somehow okay when committed by one of those self-appointed archangels and how worthless their Cool Whip Justice is. These are the people we insist have to be on our Reform 1.0 workgroups, remember. And we wonder why results are so weak tea and how people can view/treat the law the way they do.

“Department of Corrections Nepotism Case Focus of DOJ Report”
Oh, man, talk about needing to drop back and punt. OR needs to close up that troubled corrections industries shop and reopen under a new name with a changed mission statement that does the same thing but allows everyone a fresh start. Not the guys involved in the mess, of course, but you know what we mean.

“Michigan House Approves Indefinite Use of Retired Corrections Officers”
Not a done deal. Yet. And not the only place we’ll be hearing about this in Perfect Storm Days in all likelihood.

“Governor Encourages Companies to Hire Former Convicts”
We’re not shy about calling out the sheer dumbness of much of what IN’s done lately in Corr Sent (moving to mandatory 75% of sentence from old 50% when everyone else is fleeing that cr*p, we mean, really??) so we should hail it when it catches the Sanity Train for at least a stop or two. Note the active participation in the reentry effort by the Dept of Workforce Development. Absolutely essential. But that’s not telling you anything, is it?

“Inmate ‘Perk’: Should Prisons Have Nurseries?”
Probably too much to expect the website for Headline News to have an in-depth article on this, but it actually does have a few links that get you to more careful discussion if you’re interested and willing to click a little more.

“Court’s Ruling Could Toss Thousands of Drug Convictions”
You don’t know which of many possible states with medical examiner malfeasance this could be, do you? One of the ones we’ve talked about regularly around the nation or a new one. Isn’t that really the story here? Click the link and see if you got it right.

“From Lost Cause to ‘The Cause’”
Nice, quick tribute to a big and big-time ex-offender who’s managed to get it together and is now active in reentry efforts. Sounds like a great candidate for inclusion on Washington state policy boards/commissions/workgroups dealing with future Corr Sent policy. Good quote from him about what turned him around that resonates with us grandpas of granddaughters: “my granddaughter, and the results in my life and the lives around me, that makes my life worth living right.” Hmm, granddaughters. A reentry option no one’s come up with yet . . . .

Outside the Silo News
“Soccer Mom from Fancy Suburb Charged in Multimillion-Dollar Pot Bust”
Reality imitating art, well, “Weeds” anyway. Loved this defense by her attorney: “She has never been in trouble. She is a full-time mother and she is an equestrian.” Ah, the “equestrian” angle. Probably never been used in a pot case before. We’ll keep tabs to see how effective it is. You know, in case it comes up again somewhere, sometime.

“Legal Hemp on the Ropes: Senate Effort Running into Stiff Law Enforcement Opposition”
So much stupid in one place, it’s hard to contain it all within the center of this webpage. Industrial hemp is not pot and you can’t get high. It was George Washington’s top cash crop. But cops have a hard time telling it from pot and want their lives easy so they spread scare stories. The best example of determined dumb though may be this:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), another advocate of states' rights, said simply "no" when asked if he would back the McConnell-Paul effort. Asked why not, he added, "I haven't looked at the issue."

Oklahoma Senator/voter. Any questions?

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