Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Uglier and Uglier

So much to talk about, I'm not sure where to begin. And I'll have to board my plane in a few minutes. So here's two stories, quick and dirty. With links.

Maricopa County

Right now, there may be no more openly lawless place in the country. Let me be clear about that. The law there is lawless, and the law is just fine with that. Here's the video.

You see Sheriffs Deputy Adam Stoddard decide to invade the attorney-client privilege. He pulls a paper out of defense counsel's file. He reads it, gives it to another deputy to copy. That's a theft offense. He gets caught.

Defense counsel points it out to the judge, who was willfully blind. Good for counsel, but when the judge tells her to calm down, she does. Bad for counsel. What just happened calls for force and continuted outrage. The prosecutors were no more than four feet away. Like the judge, and in the inimitable words of Sergeant Schultz, they "saw nothing." They are, of course, the forces of legal law and order. They are mute.

The follow up comes from Heat City. (Actually, all of this comes from Heat City.) There was a hearing before the presiding judge. Stoddard lied, repeatedly, in court. Then the lawyer who represented Stoddard apparently contradicted his client. Then the judge declared that he would do nothing about the invasion of attorney-client privilege unless the client agreed to waive the privilege.

More outrage over this at Defending People and Simple Justice.

Ohio Supreme Court

It's come to pass. The Ohio Supremes today scheduled two more executions. Michael Beuke is now scheduled to be killed on May 13. Richard Nields is scheduled for June 10.

Of course, right now, and as a continuing consequence of the failed execution of Romell Broom, Ohio doesn't actually have an execution protocol. But it has hearings scheduled in federal court in July to decide how to kill. So what happens in May and June? Or to Mahdi in January, Brown in February, Reynolds in March, or Durr in April?

Perhaps we'll torture them to death. Maybe not. The Supreme Court is, it would seem, just interested in keeping the machinery moving.

Oh, and in that same stack of orders that included the dates for killing Beuke and Nields, the court refused to reconsider its decision that Broom can't use the information that was originally and unconstitutionally hidden from his lawyers to try and prove that he shouldn't have been convicted and shouldn't be executed.

There's a whole lot of bad to go around.

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