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Obama DOJ Seeks to Restrict Defendant's Right to Lawyer During Questioning

More true colors?

The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to overrule Michigan v. Jackson, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that held that if police may not interrogate a defendant after the right to counsel has attached, if the defendant has a lawyer or has requested a lawyer.

[T]he protection offered by the court in Stevens' 1986 opinion is especially important for vulnerable defendants, including the mentally and developmentally disabled, addicts, juveniles and the poor,

This isn't the first time the Justice Department, under President Obama, has sought to limit defendants' rights. [More...]

Since taking office, Obama has drawn criticism for backing the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial, invoking the "state secrets" privilege to avoid releasing information in lawsuits and limiting the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.

The idea of overruling the decision originated with Justice Alito during oral arguments in the case of Jesse Montejo, a Louisiana death row inmate. Even some prominent former prosecutors and judges are not on board with changing the rule:

Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former FBI Director William Sessions are among 19 one-time judges and prosecutors urging the court to leave the decision in place because it has been incorporated into routine police practice and establishes a rule on interrogations that is easy to follow.

Their amicus brief is here (pdf.)

Allowing the police to initiate interrogation of a represented defendant and to use any resulting statements would strip away protections the attorney can provide, interfere with the relationship between counsel and client, and undercut the integrity of criminal trials. It would also contradict the commitment made to defendants through Miranda warnings.

The Supreme Court ordered additional briefing in March. It could decide as early as tomorrow whether it wants to hear argument on the issue.

< Obama DOJ to Seek Prison in CA Medical Pot Case | Obama DOJ Asks Court to Okay Seizure of Cell Phone Location Data Without Probable Cause >
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  • Jeralyn, knowing your commitment (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 09:28:24 PM EST
    to defendants' rights, this has to be pretty disappointing and disheartening, especially since there appears to be somewhat of a pattern developing.

    Actually, I think it should be pretty upsetting to everyone.

    And I have to say that it seems to be more congruence with the general disinclination to investigate and prosecute on the torture issue than I would like to be seeing.

    Of course it is, but it's not like it (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 09:41:49 PM EST
    Good point, and thanks for the link. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by DeborahNC on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:24:47 AM EST
    I appreciate the time you spent doing all that research. Great summary.

    Parent
    What do you hear, if anything, (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:13:19 PM EST
    about Obama's plans with respect to US Attorneys?

    I think most people have been expecting him to replace them - or at least a fair number of them - but if his policies are going to be more in line with the previous administration, maybe there is no point.

    Parent

    Disturbing. (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 09:40:47 PM EST


    Extremely (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:19:33 PM EST
    I keep remembering that poor little abused kid in Utah that they got a murder confession out of recently.  How can things be getting this scary in America?

    Parent
    Thank you for keeping us up to date. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by AX10 on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 09:54:29 PM EST
    So is this more "change we can believe in"?


    Just Wondering (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by CDN Ctzn on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:17:54 PM EST
    If this is something else he contradicted himself on during the campaign?
    Which brings me to my next question. If we know that politicians will lie their butts off during campaigns, making promises they never intend on keeping, then why do we waste boatloads of money on long protracted campaigns that last years when we all know the candidates have no intention of doing what they promise? The whole process is ridiculous! They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If that's the case then the electorate is insane if they really think an election will change anything.

    Parent
    I don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:34:57 PM EST
    {disclaimer: artist not lawyer!} It seems to me, we would end up with more problematic cases if cops are free to interrogate without representation. Most of the general public is not legal smart except in the most basic ways, like to ask for a lawyer.

    Anyone know the 11 states that want this also?

    It's the chess game! </sarcasm>

    I think the groupies (none / 0) (#21)
    by JamesTX on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:59:16 AM EST
    are going to have trouble maintaining that story now! Of course, what they are doing now is distracting us. We need a new progressive blogosphere, as the old ones have simply turned their attention away from this issue -- going silent on criminal justice reform and drug war issues, and burrowing ever deeper into the distractions of irrelevant punditry and unconditional Obama worship.

    I think TalkLeft would be a good candidate for the premier progressive blog!

    Parent

    Restricting peoples rights comes natural to the (none / 0) (#1)
    by SOS on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 09:27:04 PM EST
    American Establishment -- the elite few who dominate business, finance, politics and government apparently.

    It's the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (none / 0) (#9)
    by 1980Ford on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:36:40 PM EST
    Seriously. Think about it. If the conservatives can thwart evidence-based "liberal" programs that are effective and stop prison building, the conservatives are done for because that could justify science and other liberal programs. It's their last front line. There are conservative paid to post comments on message boards, from products to politics, and as long as they post enough to give the impression the majority of the public does not support reform, no politician will risk it despite the fact that the majority of Americans prefer rehabilitation where possible. The only chance conservatives have of maintain any sense of relevance is with "tough on crime" and if they can make it appear not enough people support reform, they can maintain some power. Many Dems fall for this and think public opinion is real public opinion. It's like those on-line polls. At freerepublic, they call it "freeping the poll."

    A hallmark of the Bush administration was how (none / 0) (#11)
    by BlueDevil on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:02:22 AM EST
    much the judicial system became politicized. Surely, some of those people are still around. Do you think that Obama will replace those people?

    You use a flawed AP article to slam Obama? (none / 0) (#16)
    by merh on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 08:56:51 AM EST
    This case is being heard by SCOTUS because the districts are split on how to handle the issue. It is being heard to bring about uniform application of the law in the states and circuits. This is a state court case that is being considered, not a federal court case. From what I can tell, it is the State of Louisiana and not the Department of Justice that is arguing this case.  The Office of Solicitor General is assisting the State of Louisiana and this appeal has been pending pre-Obama.  

    The Court apparently agreed to hear that issue after being told that the lower courts are split on it. The petition for Jesse Jay Montejo said: "The majority rule in the states that have considered the issue is the sensible one -- that a defendant who has been appointed counsel need not take additional steps to secure the protections of the Sixth Amendment." But the Lousiana Supreme Court, following the lead of the Fifth Circuit Court, held in Montejo's case that "a defendant who has been appointed counsel cannot invoke the protections of Michigan v. Jackson unless the defendant has previously done something affirmatively to `accept' the appointment."

    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/court-questions-michigan-v-jackson/

    That said, when the DOJ defends these type of cases they are representing the public, the citizens, not Obama. Should criminals be allowed to walk free based on technicalities? That is how some of the US looks at cases like this.

    The US Department of Justice has thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of these cases that they see to completion. The right to appeal is not taken lightly, for every conviction in federal criminal court, there can be an appeal and points of law and fact disputed. That is our justice system, our adversary system.

    You hire an attorney, the attorney represents you, they may not agree with you, they may not like you but they are not paid to like you or agree with you, they are paid to represent you.  The DOJ is representing the prosecution in this case, the prosecution is representing the public and the victim.

    Are you seriously suggesting (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:19:12 AM EST
    that the brief signed by the recently-appointed Solicitor General on behalf of the United States does not represent the position of the Obama Administration?

    Perhaps it's some other entity called the "United States" other than the one of which Barack Obama is the President?

    Your argument that the appeal was pending pre-Obama is misleading, intentionally or otherwise, because the Solicitor General's brief was only filed this month.  This was an amicus brief; the administration was under no obligation to weigh in on behalf of the State of Louisiana's arguments and they could have refrained from doing so.

    It is hardly part of the DOJ's mission to favor the pro-prosecution side of every state prosecution, as your comment seems to suggest.  Their job is to enforce the Constitution, which may favor the prosecution in some cases and may favor the defense in others.

    You have every right to favor the state's argument in this case, but let's at least be honest about whether the Obama Administration was compelled to throw its weight behind their views.  It was not.

    Parent

    I'm suggesting that appeals are a part of our (none / 0) (#19)
    by merh on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:28:01 AM EST
    justice system.  The State of Louisiana, on behalf of the people, the police, the prosecution, have the right to perfect their appeal just as the accused/defendant does.  

    This appeal is vital - it will provide uniformity to how the circuits can handle this issue.  It will set the law for all states and circuits to follow.  Since this involves the 5th Circuit, you can bet your bottom dollar I want SCOTUS to rule on behalf of the accused, I want SCOTUS to say that he is entitled to his representation.  The 5th Circuit is one of the most conservative circuits that doesn't care much about the rights of the accused, it is time they be told they must care about the rights of the accused.  

    That wouldn't be a possibility if this issue were not on appeal.  Does it bother me that the DOJ assists states in their appeals before the US Supreme Court?  No - every party to a lawsuit, criminal action, deserve representation.  That is how our justice system works.   The Solicitor General picked up where bush's SG left off.  Not unusual.  

    And you need to pay attention to how SCOTUS rules regarding constitutional rights of the accused, it may surprise you that they do protect them.  See Arizona v. Gant that came down last week.
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-542.pdf

    The panel itself will blow your mind.

    Parent

    You miss my point (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:48:07 AM EST
    The filing of an amicus brief by the Administration has absolutely nothing to do with whether anyone "deserves representation."  The State of Louisiana already HAS representation.  That's how they filed this brief.  They did not need "help" from the federal government.  The Obama Administration CHOSE to weigh in.

    In addition, your statement that Obama's Solicitor General "picked up where Bush's SG left off" could not be more mistaken.  As the Supreme Court's docket reflects (link in my previous post), it was not until March 2009 that the Supreme Court directed the parties to brief an additional question, "Should Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), be overruled?"  Bush's Solicitor General had not taken any action in the appeal up until that point, and certainly had not done anything to respond to a question from the Court that wasn't posed until two months after Bush left office.

    Indeed, the SG's brief is addressed only to this additional question raised by the Court:

    By order dated March 27, 2009, the Court directed the parties and permitted amici to file briefs addressing the following question: "Should Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), be overruled?" In the view of the United States, Michigan v. Jackson was incorrectly decided and has been undermined by recent precedent. The decision therefore should be overruled.

    So please, no obfuscation.  I am not challenging Louisiana's right to appeal, I am pointing out that the Obama Administration had no obligation to support Louisiana's position on the merits.  Indeed, if you genuinely want the defendant to prevail in this case, you should be disappointed that the Administration chose to weigh in on the other side of the case.  It is strange that you are working so hard to distort a legal position of this Administration that is set forth, and undeniably so, in black and white.

    Parent

    excellent response by Steve (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:21:22 AM EST
      before taking a position on what DOJ should have done, you must understand what they are doing.

      DOJ had options: (1) not seek permission to file an amicus brief; (2) seek permission to file an amicus brief supporting the position of EITHER party; or (3) seek permission to file an amicus brief supplementing the arguments but not wholly supporting the position of either party.

      DOJ chose to seek permission to file an amicus brief supporting the position of Louisiana that Michigan v. Jackson  should be overruled (not clarified, not modified, not limited-- overruled.)

      If you believe that is the correct position then you should be pleased DOJ weighed in on the question. If you don't then you should be displeased because DOJ carries some weight.

      Still prior to taking a position on what DOJ has done, you should ask why would it do this. The answer is because DOJ appearently wants to be permitted to use statements obtained in violation of Michigan v. Jackson against defendants in federal prosecutions. DOJ isn't concerned with what happens to Montejo's conviction in the state court. DOJ wants cops to be allowed to continue to seek inculatory statements (confessions) from suspects after they have obtained or requested counsel.

      Eliminating the rule that once the right to counsel has been invoked questioning must cease unless the lawyer has the opportunity to consult with his client, consent to questioning  and be present if he decides to allow questioning, essentially gives cops nearly unlimited opportunity to "persuade" a person they hold in virtual isolation to "change his mind"  about enforcing his right to counsel and then being obviously much more susceptible to pressure to waive his 5th Amendment against self-incrimination.

      Why would prosecutors want this? Obviously because lawyers tell clients not to incriminate themselves unless they receive valuable concessions in return and the lawyers insist that the agreements providing those concessions are written and come from a person withe actual ability to provide them (prosecutors not cops).

      Lawyers can also advise clients as to whether the concessions are worth the risks of submitting to questioning; how strong the case against the suspect is in terms of admissible evidence tending to prove the elements of potential offenses, etc., when the police lack inculpatory statements.

      Has any defense lawyer here not had a case where by the time you were retained the client had made damaging admissions to cops based on vague and unenforceable suggestions the cops would help the suspect if he cooperated?

    Parent

    Just a quibble (none / 0) (#28)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:31:54 AM EST
    Under Supreme Court Rule 37(4), the Solicitor General doesn't actually have to ask permission prior to filing an amicus brief, although that obviously doesn't alter your point in any way.  They still have the choice of whether to file one, and they certainly don't do so in every case!

    Apropos of this discussion, I saw a Law & Order episode the other night where a suspect demanded to see an attorney, the cop said okay and stopped the questioning, and then on her way out the door said "call this person's attorney and tell him he has a murder case to handle."  At which point the suspect excitedly uttered "Murder?!  But..." and made some damaging admission.

    Unlike most evidentiary rulings on L&O, which seem to be based on a thought process like "If I admit this evidence, we'll never stretch the show for a full hour, so I'd better exclude it," I think the judge was quite savvy in excluding that particular statement.

    Parent

    The statement by the L&O (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:40:14 AM EST
    suspect was an excited utterance and did not stem from questioning by law enforcement.  IMO it is admissible

    Parent
    I don't watch L&O (none / 0) (#30)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:58:02 AM EST
     or other cop/lawyer shows with  a pretense of realism because they drive me so crazy with the BS I can't focus on the plots.

       I'd have to see the scene to make a call on that. Statements don't have to be in response to questions to be excludible.

     Spontaneous utterances are admissible but under Innis, interrogation
    encompasses "any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect."

      It could be argued that the cop's remark was known by the cop to be reasonably likely   to elicit a response.

    Parent

    I think (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:01:56 AM EST
    that the context of the show made it quite clear that the cop was deliberately (and slyly) trying to provoke a reaction, and the judge was quite savvy in sniffing that out.  Perhaps he had seen the show in reruns.

    Parent
    Doesn't seem all that different (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:06:13 AM EST
    than law enforcement telling a suspect--hey, your buddy ratted you out.  May as well tell us your version of what happened.

    Parent
    Except (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    they wouldn't be able to try that after the suspect had invoked his right to counsel, would they?  It's the effort to cleverly continue eliciting information after the interrogation is required to stop that seems problematic.

    Parent
    Not aware of anything prohibiting (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:17:19 AM EST
    law enforcement from talking.  

    Parent
    you are mixing up concepts (none / 0) (#36)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:27:45 AM EST
      If a suspect waives his rights cops can use deceptive tactics to elicit information, including the calculated statement to a third-party internded to provoke a response from the suspect or the "your buddy ratted you out" or the good cop/bad cop stuff.

      The current rule is that interrogation must cease when the defendant asserts his rights and as i said above interrogation is defined more broadly than questioning.

      Innis didn't mean  that if Innis had agreed to talk but was withholding information that the cops couldn't use the "it'd be a shame if she doesn't get a proper burial" ruse to get him to disclose the incriminating information about where the bosdy was. It means that type thing is considered a form of interrogation and if done after an invocation of rights the incriminating statement will be excluded.

    Parent

    Ah (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:34:18 AM EST
    But would it be interrogation if the cop walked out of the room and was talking to another cop?  From what it sounds like in this scene, no one was talking to the suspect, yet he piped up anyway.

    Parent
    Innis: (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    So (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:41:12 AM EST
    It would be up to interpretation of a judge as to whether a conversation was truly meant to illicit a response from suspect, even if the conversation was not directed at the suspect?


    Parent
    That's how I read the summary. (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    Haven't read the opinion.

    Parent
    technically (none / 0) (#44)
    by Bemused on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:40:01 PM EST
      it's supposed to be an "objective" test, i.e whether the mythical reasonable person would believe it was likely to elicit an incriminating response and the intent of the cop is not necessarily controlling.

      I'd agree that in application a lot of subjectivity comes into play.

     

    Parent

    Thanks for the L & R comment (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jack Okie on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 12:04:00 PM EST
    I've often wondered what real lawyers think about the issues raised in the show.

    Parent
    The DOJ office of Solicitor General was ordered (none / 0) (#22)
    by merh on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:10:19 AM EST
    by SCOTUS to file the supplemental brief.

    Go read the brief and SCOTUS' order of March

    http://www.usdoj.gov/osg/briefs/2008/3mer/1ami/2007-1529.mer.ami.pdf

    ----------------
    Mar 30 2009     The parties are directed to file supplemental briefs addressing the following question: Should Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), be overruled? The briefs, not to exceed 6,000 words, are to be filed simultaneously with the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, 2009. Amicus briefs, not to exceed 4,500 words, may be filed with the Clerk and served upon counsel to the parties on or before 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, 2009. Reply briefs, not to exceed 3,000 words, may be filed with the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before 2 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2009.
    --------------------

    I don't agree with DOJ's argument but I do understand it.   They believe the protections that Michigan v. Jackson affords are already protected by other legal precedence and the 5th & 6th Amendments.   I believe that the accused's rights cannot be protected enough.

    Again, this case is vital as SCOTUS needs to set the prosecution straight on when they can take statements from the accused, the circuits vary and uniformity is necessary.

    Parent

    Sigh (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:13:52 AM EST
    The PARTIES were directed to file supplemental briefs.  The parties are the State of Louisiana and Jesse Jay Montejo, not the United States.

    That's why the Solicitor General's brief is entitled "BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES AS AMICUS CURIAE."

    Parent

    Admirable restraint. No bolding. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:16:35 AM EST
    And when an Order states that (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:19:16 AM EST
    amicus briefs MAY be filed - it mean that doing so is strictly voluntary.

    Funny thing about words, huh?

    Parent

    "Means" not mean. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:20:49 AM EST
    It's Friday - my only excuse.

    Parent
    Oh, so you find it alarming and wrong that the (none / 0) (#34)
    by merh on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:17:10 AM EST
    DOJ would have an opinion about the right to counsel and when it attaches and how it impacts investigations and prosecutions?

    I guess the FBI, the Secret Service, the ATF, the DEA shouldn't be bothered by such issues.

    Seriously, that the DOJ's position and/or brief bothers or surprises any of you is just ridiculous.  Go read their brief, their argument is legitimate, I don't agree with it, but I understand it.


    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:43:24 AM EST
    Now that you've finally accepted that the brief constitutes the actual and genuine position of the Obama Administration on this constitutional issue, my work here is done.

    Parent
    I believe that's called (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 12:13:16 PM EST
    "checkmate"

    Parent
    Thank you for this clarification (none / 0) (#47)
    by Amiss on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 11:56:16 AM EST
    I am not an attorney and this too, is what I read into this direction by the court.

    I take the SG's filing kinda like the government crashing a party to which they have not been invited, but because they are the government, they bully themselves in anyway.

    Parent

    the justice department is led (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 04:06:12 PM EST
    by the attorney general who is appointed by the President and sets the policies for the Department. The Solicitor General is appointed by the President. Overruling Michigan v. Jackson wasn't the issue in the cert petition until Alito brought it up at oral argument and the Court then asked for additional briefing to consider the question.

    The parties are directed to file supplemental briefs addressing the following question: Should Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), be overruled?

    The question for which cert had been granted was:

    "When an indigent defendant's right to counsel has attached and counsel has been appointed, must the defendant take additional affirmative steps to `accept' the appointment in order to secure the protections of the Sixth Amendment and preclude police-initiated interrogation without counsel present?"

    The state of Louisiana, the appellee in the case,  didn't ask for the decision to be overruled.

    The state of Louisiana, in its written arguments in Montejo, did not urge the Court to reconsider Michigan v. Jackson, but a group of 17 states did in an amicus brief.  That brief contended that the "Jackson rule" was not necessary to protect the right of counsel of a suspect in police custody.

    DOJ, the prosecution, represents the people of the United States. Their job is to seek justice. Even though DOJ is not a party to this appeal,

    The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meager benefits." The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions.

    This is  a case of the Obama Justice Department advocating to restrict the rights of criminal defendants, as all the news articles noted in their headline.

    Parent

    VRWC (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jack Okie on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:06:59 AM EST
    As a card-carrying member of the VRWC, I can assure you that there are plenty of us ready to post comments without being compensated.  In fact, I think this assertion is wildly overused, whether it's the left or right that's supposed to be paying for comments.

    I can further assure you I agree 100% with Jeralyn (as would many conservatives) on Michigan v Jackson.  Where we differ is in the treatment accorded someone on a foreign battlefield who shoots at our troops and does not meet the Geneva Conventions' requirements to be recognized as a lawful combatant.  Indefinite detention is far kinder than the summary judgment allowed by the Conventions.

    1980Ford - Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, on the right pays any attention to the freepers.  If you want to know what we're up to, try Dan Riehl, Don Surbur, Powerline, American Thinker, Reason, Instapundit (for links), Pajamas Media (especially Richard Fernandez).  Spend a couple of weeks with those sites and you'll get a feel for the right-o-sphere.  I would sincerely be interested in your thoughts afterward.  But no fair just dipping your toe in - you have to jump in with both feet.  

    Overzealous Prosecutors (none / 0) (#45)
    by txexspeedy on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 03:05:07 PM EST
    I defend state cases in Texas. I am defending an individual for a subsequent prosecution. He was originally arrested and indicted for possession of CS. During the pre-trial investigations information surfaced that the def. may have sold or offered CS to minors/juv. The prosecutor interviewed the alleged victim who said no drugs but that def. sex. assaulted. her. Prosecutor has investigator interview def. although represented by counsel on drug charge claiming no violation because different case. The def made contradictory statements regarding the allegation, which were allowed at punishment as well as victims testimony. The Jury based on this gave 25 years. Def. appealed and pending. However, in retaliation Pros indicted for sex assault. I represent on Sex Assault. It was attempt to plea bargain out of the appeal, because sex assualt is agg case requiring at least 50% of time to be served before parole eligibility, with possible enhancement for other conviction.

    This is straight law and order mind set. Hit hard with the max. and put them away. Ends justifies means.

    Scarier things! (none / 0) (#48)
    by Mdubby on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:15:24 AM EST
    "I keep remembering that poor little abused kid in Utah that they got a murder confession out of recently.  How can things be getting this scary in America?"

    There are many things i've heard and seen on the net and news which are a lot more disturbing..
    watch free movies, watch hung

    Obama (none / 0) (#49)
    by wawa on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:58:15 AM EST
    Short diary today, just looking to see what others think about this. I believe that Obama and the White House will apologize today for the hurtful and regressive support that his DOJ showed for DOMA. By Obama apologizing, I mean Robert Gibbs will probably just come up and say "The President was not aware of this, and neither he nor his administration agree with it."

    thanks,
    Car Games