Mukasey , O.J. and Afternoon Open Thread

Update: Here are my photos of President Clinton taken this afternoon in Boulder.


I may have a touch of the Norman Hsu political groupie syndrome. While I didn't bundle any money to attend, I'm off to see Bill Clinton at a Hillary fundraiser in Boulder -- even though it means I have to drive 60 miles afterwards to see a client in jail.

Here's an open thread.

I'll leave you with a quote from Judge Mukasey contained from an article, New York's Federal Judges Protest Sentencing Procedures (The New York Times December 8, 2003, available on Lexis.com) about the Feeney Amendment that raised criminal sentences, limited the ability of Judges to impose downward departures and imposed a reporting requirement on judges who granted downward departures. The report was to be submitted by the Chief Judge and made available to members of Congress.


One federal judge in New York called the reporting requirement a breach of the separation of powers and tantamount to a blacklist. Other judges, including Mukasey, agreed and said they would not be intimidated by Congress:

"They can have their blacklist," said Chief Judge Michael B. Mukasey of United States District Court in Manhattan. "But we have life tenure."

Again, he may be conservative, but I don't think his independence can be seriously questioned. And while I expect no relief from any Republican Attorney General regarding criminal prosecutions, I do have hope Mukasey will help restore the civil rights division.

Last topic: What's up with not setting bond or a hearing for O.J. until Wednesday?

All topics welcome.

< ACLU Files Amicus Brief in Support of Larry Craig | Times Select Goes to the Graveyard >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Can you make a Sting Operation? Yes or No (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 02:56:17 PM EST
    Abrhams on MSNBC about OJ said that only the police can do sting operations.  Attorney Black also on the interview told Abrhams no, MSNBC does sting operation with the series predator where they are interview people who come to a particular home looking for sex with some one they met on the internet.  Abrahams became very defensive saying that was not sting but undercover report.  Black laughed and said "come on that's a sting."  Who is correct?

    define "sting" (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:30:07 PM EST
    Anyone can "sting" anyone - the legal effect (on everyone involved) is an entirely different story.

    If I were OJ, I'd be getting my lawyers warmed up on me being nuts - given all that football and the blows to the head.  


    Black (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:31:57 PM EST
      The thing a PRIVATE actor can't do is engage in illegal activity in order to execute the sting. Police can do things that would otherwise be illegal (e.g. possess drugs, conspire, etc).

    absolutely -which was why OJ's first defense (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:47:25 PM EST
    to the allegations - getting back stuff stolen from me - was so interesting.
    You can get stuff back by self-help, but not engage in illegality to do it.
    Of course, with a snitch now singing whatever the police want, in the words of the tabloid headlines, it's "Juice in the can".

    Yeah (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:51:39 PM EST
      and OJ's "the police hate me" defense while true isn't going to work. He could have filed a replevin and sought a TRO requiring the goods not to be transferred while the civil case was pending. Judges might hate him too but if he could make a showing that it was his property he could prevail in the replevin and getting a TRO  would only require a showing of irreparable harm unless the goods swere ordered frozen until the court could sort it out.

    What I found odd (none / 0) (#6)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:01:26 PM EST
    (or I should say, one of the things I found odd)is that Simpson is claiming ownership of valuable personal property. Did he commit a fraud on a court somewhere in denying ownership of such assets to evade execution on the judgment the Browns and Goldmans won?

      Some things you might argue he came into possession subsequent to any court ordered disclosures but that picture of Hoover sure wasn't taken after the case.


    we can't begin to know the answer to your (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:39:18 PM EST
    question without actually parsing all the pleadings in his cases.  He could have been being totally honest.  The usual drill is something like this:
    1.  Plaintiff gets judgment against defendant,
    2.  Plaintiff sends defendant judgment and a letter which says "how do you intend to pay this"
    3.  Defendant shows empty pockets (or just ignores it)
    4.  Plaintiff serves defendant with process (sometimes its a subpoena, sometimes it's called something else) which requires defendant to disclose (under oath) to plaintiff all the defendant's assets, liabilities, property, interests, etc., and where they are (it's very intrusive)
    5.  Defendant stalls answering it.
    6.  Plaintiff gets court order compelling defendant to comply with demand for information
    7.  Defendant, foot-dragging, fesses up to where everything is and sort of answers all the questions
    8.  Plaintiff gets court orders/writs for execution on the property, wherever it is
    9.  Plaintiff sends sheriff out to execute on property
    10.  By this time, the property has disappeared or gone elsewhere
    11.  Sheriff comes back empty-handed (after collecting his fee from plaintiff in advance)
    12.  Plaintiff gets court order compelling defendant to tell where the property went
    13.  Defendant temporizes
    14.  Judge gets irked and threatens defendant with jail
    15.  Return to #7 and repeat until the sheriff comes back with a hit (if a hit, go to 16).  In the interim, the defendant may wind up in jail if recalcitrant enough.
    16.  If the sheriff gets a hit, he executes on the property and then
    17.  Plaintiff gets another order for turnover of the property (if it's being held by some third person, like a bank or a buddy)
    18.  Sheriff goes out and executes the turnover order and brings in the property.
    19.  If the property is liquid (like cash), it goes to the plaintiff (less more sheriff's fees).  If it is not liquid, it has to be sold and the proceeds (less the expenses of sale) get turned over to the plaintiff.  If the sale is of property for which there is a market (like securities), it can be liquidated into the open market as would any other exemplar of that property.  If the sale is not of such property, then there has to be an auction, where the property will be sold and the proceeds (less auctioneer fees and advertising expenses and all the rest) will go to the plaintiff.
    20.  This goes on until the judgment is paid or the defendant's wealth is totally depleted.

    Of course, at just about any step in this the defendant can throw a monkey wrench into the works by declaring bankruptcy.  That engenders a whole mess of more litigation, not the least of which would be (effectively a retrial of the underlying case for) determining whether the judgment is dischargeable in bankruptcy.  If it is, then the plaintiff gets a nice piece of paper to show he won, and no money.  Also, the whole determination of what property of the defendant is exempt from execution (like OJ's retirement plan) - which also goes on in the underlying litigation.

    And, every time the defendant comes in for a hearing on why he hasn't complied or whatever, he will be able to get more time or indulgence because "He stole my stuff", "I forgot", "I misunderstood", "I made a mistake filling out the form and I'm sorry" and so on.

    Getting a judgment is often the easy part of the litigation.  A skillful defendant can - quite legally - string these things out for literally years without paying.

    And, this doesn't imply any bad behavior by the defendant.  When there's bad behavior, things get really interesting - a former partner once had a defendant forge his signature to a document the defendant then filed with the Court saying that the judgment had been paid and was therefore discharged.  Which led to (a) a lot more litigation and (b) that former partner to start using a fountain pen and mixing his own color of ink.


    Shocking... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:05:27 PM EST
    Anybody seen this clip of a cop in Ohio macing a teenage fast-food worker for having the audacity to question his attempted 10 dollar shakedown?

    well, at least the City had the sense (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:15:04 PM EST
    to settle and pay.

    Chances are, if they had pressed it, they would not have had to pay, especially if the video would have "disappeared".

    That said, the cop is a swine.


    another (none / 0) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:45:06 AM EST

      More cops run amok. A kid at a Kerry speech at UF gets tasered for being a long-winded conspiracy theorist.

    It don't take much..... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    these days to get high voltage pumped through you.

    No, it sure doen't (none / 0) (#12)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:52:55 AM EST
      and if these cops are doing these things in public with multiple witnesses and video recording devices active, one has to wonder how they behave when no one is watching.

      I can't make out what Kerry is saying in the background, but it's been reported he was asking the cops to calm down and that he would answer the question (which was reported as a rambling diatribe that among other things suggested that because Bush and Kerry were both in Skull& Bones that Bush is allowed to prosecute the war without impeachment).

      I really think many universities need to take a long look at how they are staffing campus security because there are way too many instances of these rent-a-cops making minor disturbances become major problems.

    Then this morning..... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 08:59:13 AM EST
    on the news I hear about the grandmother in Utah who gets manhandled during her arrest for not keeping her lawn green.

    Law and freakin' Disorder man....law and disorder.