Tuesday, June 28, 2005

 

Funeral: Deputy Jerry Ortiz, LASD

The funeral for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff Jerry Ortiz will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2005 at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Here's information from the LASD Memorial.

ARRANGEMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

VIGIL RITE:

VIEWING ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2005, FROM 3:00 P.M.-6:30 P.M

ROSARY TO FOLLOW AT 6:30-8:00 P.M.

CALVARY CEMETERY 4201 WHITTIER BLVD

LOS ANGELES, CA 90063 (T.G. PAGE 635, GRID E-7)

FUNERAL:

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2005, AT 9:00 A.M.

THE CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS

555 W. TEMPLE STREETLOS ANGELES, CA 90012

(T.G. PAGE 634, GRID F-3)

BURIAL:

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING FUNERAL SERVICES

CALVARY CEMETERY

4201 WHITTIER BLVD.

LOS ANGELES, CA. 90063

(T.G. PAGE 635, GRID E-7)


There has also been a relief fund setup in his name.

A Relief Fund has been established in Deputy Ortiz's name.

DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO:

Sheriff's Relief Fund # 285

c/o Sheriff's Relief Association

11515 S. Colima Road Whittier, California

90604


And here's the background to the scenario that Deputy Ortiz gave his life for.

INCIDENT & INVESTIGATION:

FROM: SIBB
06/27/05 09:45:38 SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT BROADCAST ANNOUNCEMENT:SHERIFF'S HEADQUARTERS BUREAU

SUBJECT: MURDER OF A LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF

ON FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2005, AT APPROXIMATELY 1513 HOURS, DEPUTY JERRY ORTIZ, ASSIGNED TO OPERATION SAFE STREETS BUREAU - GANG ENFORCEMENT TEAM AT LAKEWOOD STATION, WAS WORKING NEAR NORWALK BOULEVARD AND 222ND STREET WHEN IT IS BELIEVED THAT HE RECOGNIZED JOSE LUIS OROZCO, MH/27, WHO WAS WANTED FOR AN ASSAULT, WALKING IN THE AREA. WHEN OROZCO SAW DEPUTY ORTIZ, HE RAN AWAY THROUGH A NEARBY ALLEY EASTBOUND TO 223RD STREET AND OUT OF SIGHT. DEPUTY ORTIZ CHECKED THE AREA FOR OROZCO, CONTACTING SEVERAL RESIDENTS STANDING OUTSIDE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE HIM.

DEPUTY ORTIZ THEN CONTACTED A FEMALE RESIDENT OF A DOWNSTAIRS APARTMENT LOCATED AT 12215 EAST 223RD STREET, HAWAIIAN GARDENS. DEPUTY ORTIZ NOTICED A MALE AND OTHER FEMALE OCCUPANTS INSIDE THE APARTMENT. WHILE REMAINING ON THE FRONT PORCH, HE REQUESTED TO SEE IDENTIFICATION FOR THE MALE. DEPUTY ORTIZ WAS
UNAWARE THAT OROZCO HAD SOUGHT REFUGE INSIDE OF THIS SAME APARTMENT.

OROZCO CONCEALED HIMSELF BEHIND THE FRONT DOOR AND WATCHED DEPUTY ORTIZ AS HE EXAMINED THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE OTHER MALE. ALTHOUGH DEPUTY ORTIZ POSED NO THREAT TO OROZCO, SUSPECT OROZCO CHOSE TO POINT A HANDGUN AT DEPUTY ORTIZ THROUGH THE OPEN CRACK ON THE HINGED SIDE OF THE FRONT DOOR. OROZCO FIRED ONE GUNSHOT, WHICH HIT DEPUTY ORTIZ IN THE HEAD. DEPUTY ORTIZ COLLAPSED AT THE SCENE AND OROZCO FLED ON FOOT IN AN EASTERLY DIRECTION.

NEIGHBORS CALLED 911 AND DEPUTIES RESPONDED, FINDING DEPUTY ORTIZ SHOT AT THE LOCATION. DEPUTY ORTIZ WAS REMOVED FROM THE IMMEDIATE DANGER ZONE AND AIRLIFTED TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY HARBOR-UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES MEDICAL CENTER, TORRANCE, WHERE HE DIED AS A RESULT OF HIS INJURY.

FOLLOWING A SUBSEQUENT AREA SEARCH BY K-9S, SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT BUREAU CONDUCTED A SEARCH WARRANT AT 12239 EAST 223RD STREET, HAWAIIAN GARDENS, AND FOUND SUSPECT OROZCO HIDING IN A ROOM AT THE RESIDENCE. HE WAS ARRESTED WITHOUT INCIDENT. OROZCO WAS TRANSPORTED TO INMATE RECEPTION CENTER AND BOOKED FOR A VIOLATION OF PAROLE PENDING ADDITIONAL CHARGES. OROZCO IS BEING HELD WITHOUT BAIL.

A HANDGUN WAS RECOVERED AT THE SCENE OF OROZCO'S ARREST, AND IT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE SAME WEAPON USED TO SHOOT DEPUTY ORTIZ.

LEROY D.
BACA, SHERIFF AA/SNDG


Sunday, June 26, 2005

 

Case Brief: Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982)

Here's another case brief that should make the lives of law school students and CJ students a whole lot easier. Please do not copy this verbatim. Instead, use it as reference for writing your own case brief. Sometimes the issues of older cases are hard to grasp compared to the varied legal issues surrounding the cases we work on today, which is the only reason I post my own briefs.

Name of the Case

Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982)

Facts of the Case

Two former Senior Presidential aides and advisors, Bryce Harlow and Alexander Butterfield, were previously denied the use of immunity as a defense in a civil case. The case involved suit brought by the current respondent, A. Ernest Fitzgerald, in which he stated that the petitioners had entered into a conspiracy while employed as Senior Presidential Aides. The court denied the use of immunity as a defense by citing that anyone who should have "reasonably" known that any action violating another persons civil rights, or denying them any Constitutional rights, would be considered an action with malicious intentions, and that the actions of the petitioners clearly violated those rights.

Issue

The issue in the case is where the scope of immunity falls, and how it is applied to Senior Presidential Aides and Advisors.

Court Decision

The case is remanded for further opinion.

Rationale for the Decision

Justice Powell delivered the opinion of the court. After noting the decision passed down by the Court of Appeals, in which they did not offer an opinion as to the denial of immunity for the petitioners, the Court sought to grant certiorari. It was stated that public officials require the protection of immunity in order for them to complete their jobs in a timely fashion without having to worry about lawsuit after lawsuit hindering their performance. In the case of the President and his Cabinet, prosecutors, legislators, and related entities, "absolute immunity" is granted, allowing them to be shielded from all legal action. However, in the case of executive officials, those who are Aides, Advisors, and the support staff for the Presidential body, an issue of qualified immunity is applicable. As cited through Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232 (1974), "… we acknowledged that high officials require greater protection than those with less complex discretionary responsibilities." In that case, the public policy being drawn by the official is also representative of the moral and judgment of the official himself; unconstitutional conduct must not be met with absolute immunity if only to justify the means. A claim of absolute immunity by an executive member must be in relation to a matter of national security or foreign policy. In the civil case involving the petitioners, the matter at hand was of public policy, in which it is duly noted by the Court that previous courts overlooked their desire for qualified immunity. At the same time, an official must petition the proposal for qualified immunity, and it could easily be recognized as "good faith" immunity and a "good faith" defense. The petitioners sought to serve the Presidential cabinet, thus making their efforts ones that were thought to be for the good of the country. At no point in time did they realize they were breaking any rules or regulations. In that case, being that the District Court knew the facts of the case, it was remanded for further opinion.

Concurring Opinions

Justice Brennan, Justice White, Justice Marshall, Justice Blackmun, and Justice Rehnquist join in concurring opinion. Justice Brennan notes that the issue of qualified immunity allows for the Court to investigate and question as to what the defendant did have knowledge of, in relation to the issue of "reasonably have been expected" in term of the knowledge of civil or Constitutional violations. Justice White, Justice Marshall, and Justice Blackmun join him. Justice Rehnquist notes that the Court is willing to review the decision in Butz v. Economou, 438 U.S. 478 (1978).

Dissenting Opinion

Chief Justice Burger delivered the dissenting opinion of the Court. The Chief Justice notes that the President and his Cabinet are offered absolute immunity, and that the staff, consisting of Aides and Advisors, is only offered qualified immunity. The support staff acts as alter egos to the President, which in turn, should give them the same immunity as the President, being that they make the decisions and write the policy for him. If the Aides and Advisors to the President are required to balance and weigh every move they make, it will interfere with their ability to do their job.

Holding of the Court

While the President and his Cabinet are offered absolute immunity, which shields them from suits, the executive staff is only offered qualified immunity. This qualified immunity grants them immunity under certain conditions, mostly relating to national security, foreign, and domestic policy, opposed to immunity from all suits.

Friday, June 24, 2005

 

LASD: Deputy Jerry Ortiz killed

Word just came in through our Command Post that an LASD Deputy working patrol in Hawaiian Gardens was injured a few minutes ago. The news media has reporters on-scene.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was shot Friday by a man who then barricaded himself inside a home, authorities said.

The gang enforcement deputy was shot in the upper torso and was flown to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

He was among several deputies who were at a home when the shooting occurred at about 3:30 p.m., sheriff's Lt. Buddy Goldman said. One other deputy was injured, sheriff's Sgt. Harry Van said."

I don't know if they even got a chance to return fire," Van said.

The suspect remained inside the house as deputies outside could be seen in televised reports taking several people into custody.

Other deputies could be seen pointing guns at the home.

I'll update this post when they take the shooter into custody.

UPDATE --- 4:49 PM PST: It seems that two Deputies were injured. SWAT and a canine unit have been deployed to the scene.

UPDATE --- 4:51 PM PST: Here's a slideshow of the location in Hawaiian Gardens.

UPDATE --- 6:37 PM PST: Los Angeles County Sheriffs Deputy Jerry Ortiz has been pronounced dead by Undersheriff Larry Waldie. CBS has details.

Undersheriff Larry Waldie says the deputy was shot in the head shortly after he knocked on the door of a residence where he was conducting an investigation.

Waldie says doctors told him the deputy probably was "killed instantly."

UPDATE --- 6/25/05 --- 12:25 PM PST: Deputies arrested gang member Jose Luiz Orozco, a parolee who is wanted on attempt murder in another case. Rightfully so, Sheriff Lee Baca called this "an assassination."

UPDATE --- 6/26/05: LAPD Wife has a great letter from members of the LAPD and LAFD.

UPDATE --- 6/27/05: Curt of Flopping Aces, current LASD Deputy, gives an account of what happened to Deputy Ortiz in a way that covers it better than any news media outlet I've read thus far. The mixture of emotion (he was a good friend of Deputy Ortiz) as well as a step-by-step analysis of the events that occurred is well outlined.

* I wanted to extend a personal welcome to all of the readers linked from CNN, FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Please consider donating to the LASD Memorial.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

The politics of abductions

By now, everyone in the world has heard about a young lady named Natalee Holloway, who disappeared in Arabu and has yet to be found. Low and behold, Aruban officials arrested another person in relation to her disapperance.
Meanwhile, Paul van der Sloot was taken into custody Thursday and transported to the police station for processing. After an initial interrogation, a judge ordered him to be held for another 48 hours.

Aruban government spokeswoman Mariaine Croes said Paul van der Sloot was arrested under "reasonable suspicion" in the disappearance of Holloway.

Paul van der Sloot is an island judicial official.

I agree with John Ziegler about how the news media covers a story such as this one. As I've pointed out many times in the past, the cases that stroll through our barn make most of these media-hyped cases look like child's play. Yet, it's a rare instance that reporters even care to interview our superiors, because most of the victims we deal with aren't Beverly Hills beauty queens, runaway brides, or naive teens who fly to islands without taking a few seconds to peep over their shoulder to make sure everything is okay. We deal with single mothers of three who are working at the phone company, going to college at night, and coming home to a man with a machete who is waiting in their living room with a black ski mask.

Unfortunately, the mother of three doesn't pass the focus-group test.

What is the focus-group test, you ask? Newsrooms grab photos of the victims, the defendants, and various other actors in the drama that is currently unfolding. They put these in front of focus-groups and ask each participant if they think the victim is cute, if they find her attractive, and how they feel about the defendant. If the results are positive, they take the case and run with it, usually attaching an amazing amount of hype, publicity, and media-driven sorrow to the case.

This isn't to say that the victims in the case deserve any amount of blame, or less attention than is paid to them by law enforcement agencies. No matter what, we treat every case the same, and put in more hours than anyone can imagine to solve a case. But, we can't pick our cases, or put them before a focus-group in order to decide what will happen next.

I believe the so-called runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, was a mixed blessing for the news media. They start off with the story of a bride who mysteriously disappeared, and places a random phone call that she was kidnapped. The focus-groups must have only seen the one picture of her, because every other one that I've seen since has not made me think for even one second that she was the Miss America-esque beauty queen that the news media made her out to be. In fact, the investigators at The Smoking Gun picked up a great number of facts about Wilbanks right around the same time that Federal and local law enforcement agencies happened to notice inconsistencies, which essentially threw egg on the face of the news media. But this was actually a great chain of events for the news media, as they quickly turned it around and presented the public with the story of a confused woman who is now responsible for paying back a number of counties for the money they spent trying to find her. Also, the constant media splurge allowed Wilbanks to sell the rights for a made-for-TV movie about her delusional escapade across the country.

The media does a great job when it comes to presenting breaking information about Amber Alerts, many of which have ended in the apprehension of a suspect. However, I am going to have to agree with Dirty Harry of the GOP Vixen blog, in which he summarizes exactly how most of us feel about the recent media barrage of abduction cases.
Okay FOX, you win. It worked. I won't kidnap any young, blonde, blue-eyed, upper class, teenage, all-American girls. Your round the clock mega-hyped coverage of this tragic but nonetheless non-story is working. It's a brilliant deterrent. Who in their right mind would think suffering through incessant, overblown, 24/7, E! True Suburb Tragedy was worth it? You are making America safe for white rich girls. Pat yourselves on the back.

It's true, they do win. While we receive the same paycheck week after week for endless hours involving real life blood, sweat, tears, bullets, and flashing lights, they boost ad rates and discuss viewers. But we're the one's who go home at night and sleep sound knowing that at least one life was saved because of our efforts. That's something that no one can experience over morning latte and Nielsen overnights.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

 

Apprehended: Vineland Boyz

The Burbank Police Department and the LAPD ran a major offensive against gang violence by arresting a number of the Vineland Boyz gang in "Operation Silent Night."

At least 19 arrests were made overnight in a raid targeting a violent San Fernando Valley gang suspected of killing two police officers.

The early-morning raid began at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, when officers began serving 43 search and arrest warrants on members of the Vineland Boyz gang in Los Angeles, Palmdale, Rosamond, Valencia, Bakersfield and Simi Valley, police said. The Vineland Boyz gang is suspected in the fatal shooting of Los Angeles Officer James Beyea in 1988 and the 2003 shooting death of Burbank Officer Matthew Pavelka.

By 5:30 a.m., at least 19 of the 43 gang members being sought were in custody, and "Operation Silent Night" was continuing, said Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton. He promised an update at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"We're very pleased this morning with the results of this operation," Bratton said.

UPDATE --- 6/21/05 --- 6:07 PM PST: LAPD Wife has more information on the busts.

Friday, June 17, 2005

 

I Need A Bandaid

This is one that I posted on my old Blog. I thought I would recyle it for those who have not read the story and because it's funny; and yes he lost the fight.

On Monday, June 16, 2005, at 0342 hours, the Sheriffs Office was informed by City Dispatch of a combative subject, in their custody, on the way to Kaw County Adult Detention Center. Officer City Cop arrived at the Kaw County Adult Detention Center with Inmate Tampon in custody. As we met up with Officer City Cop and Inmate Tampon, we noticed a large amount of blood on Inmate Tampon's shirt, shorts and shoes. Inmate Tampon had a deep laceration on his left middle finger, and abrasions on his right forearm and right hip. Inmate Tampon was in a bar fight early that night in which he lost. Sergeant XXXX called for the nurse to respond to intake. Nurse June attempted to assess Inmate Tampon's injuries, however, Inmate Tampon refused to allow the nurse to look at him. Due to his high level of intoxication, Inmate Tampon believed the nurse was going to beat him up also. Sergeant XXXX informed Officer City Cop that he would need a medical release in order to admit Inmate Tampon into the Kaw County Detention Center. Officer City Cop left the facility with Inmate Tampon to obtain a medical release from the Medical Centers Emergency Room Doctor.

At 0533 hours, Officer City Cop returned to the detention center with Inmate Tampon. Officer City Cop had a medical release form from the Medical Center stating that Inmate Tampon was stable and was not demonstrating any medical emergency at the time. The medical release was signed by the attending physician.

Inmate Tampon was taken to the 1E shower to change out of his bloody clothing. Inmate Tampon stated that he was trying to get his "red wings" while licking his blood from his finger and arms. I secured Inmate Tampons arm and person so the nurse could look at his cuts. At this time Nurse June cleaned and bandaged his finger and elbow. Inmate Tampon was then placed into holding cell 1E2.


In 1E2, Inmate Tampon became upset and removed the bandage from his finger, reopened his wound, and began to rub blood on the cell window, floor, and bench. Inmate Tampon became highly aggressive and began to yell profanities at the Deputies in the booking area, and hit the cell window for an extended period of time. Inmate Tampon stated that he was bleeding out and wrote this on the cell window along with the word 'REDRUM." Inmate Tampon then stated he was ready for war and decorated his face with blood to resemble Indian war paint. Inmate Tampon continued this behavior until my shift ended.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Autopsy: Terry Schiavo

Kevin over at Wizbang managed to get his hands on the Schiavo autopsy report, as well as a link to a summary. He also provides some nice commentary about the results with a non-partisan spin that is quite refreshing, considering the media coverage surrounding the incident. One has to wonder: Was the on-site "Countdown to Death" that all of the news stations ran really necessary?

UPDATE --- 6/17/05: Governor Jeb Bush has called for an investigation into the call to emergency services that was made 15 years ago.

Monday, June 13, 2005

 

Case Brief: Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)

Here's another case brief that should make the lives of law school students and CJ students a whole lot easier. Please do not copy this verbatim. Instead, use it as reference for writing your own case brief. Sometimes the issues of older cases are hard to grasp compared to the varied legal issues surrounding the cases we work on today, which is the only reason I post my own briefs.

Name of the Case

Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)

Facts of the Case

In a Florida State Court, Mr. Gideon was being charged with breaking into a poolroom with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, which is a felony in Florida. After making the court aware of the fact that he did not have any money, he requested for counsel to be appointed for him, but the court denied the request after citing the fact that counsel is only appointed for defendants in capital cases. Gideon conducted his own defense at the trial, and a jury convicted him and sent him to prison on a sentence of five years. He filed a habeas corpus petition, basing it on the grounds for his conviction, citing that he believed his rights, as guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were violated when the court denied him the assistance of counsel. The issue went to the Supreme Court, at which time they granted certiorari. The Court appointed counsel, and asked for the case of Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455 to be reexamined in question of whether or not it should be reconsidered in order to grant a decision.

Issue

The issue in the case is whether or not the right to counsel is a guaranteed right to a defendant.

Court Decision

The court reversed and the cause was remanded.

Rationale for the Decision

The opinion of the Court was delivered by Justice Black. The case of Mr. Gideon was granted certiorari, and therefore the case of Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455, would be the deciding factor. In the case of Betts, the defendant was indicted for robbing a bank, and subsequently requested the assistance of counsel to represent him in court due to the fact that he did not have any money. In the county where the offense occurred, it was not the practice of the judges to appoint counsel for defendants unless the charge was rape or murder, so the request was denied. After the trial, where the defendant pleaded not guilty and took the time to represent himself, he was found guilty at a bench trial and sentenced to eight years in prison. He filed for release via habeas corpus, citing that he had been denied the assistance of effective counsel as required under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court denied the request, also, although after review in the matter of Gideon, the court decided to overrule the decision. The Court also review the language expressed by the Sixth Amendment, in which it is stated "… the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." The Court decided that the meaning of that would apply to Federal courts, and that counsel must be appointed unless "competently and intelligently waived." In the matter of States rights, the Court also accepts that the provisions outlined in the Bill of Rights provide for the assistance of counsel, and that the decision handed down in the matter of Betts was wrong, and that the Sixth Amendment allows for this guarantee, being that it is a fundamental right. The Court cites Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 243-244 (1936), as well as Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 462 (1938), in which the fundamental right for defendants to be granted due process is made available through our legal system. The issue of indigence arises, and it is determined that anyone who is a defendant in a trial deserves the assistance of counsel, regardless of income range, quoting "The right of one charged with crime to counsel may not be deemed fundamental and essential to fair trials in some countries, but it is in ours." Justice Douglas and Justice Brewer join in the decision of the court.

Concurring Opinions

Justice Clark and Justice Harlan concur in the decision of the court. Justice Clark notes that the Sixth Amendment requires the appointment of counsel in "all criminal prosecutions," and that the language of the Amendment is rather clear.

Holding of the Court

The right to counsel is a universal right, and one that is guaranteed under our Constitution, as well as the Bill of Rights. If a defendant is facing prosecution for a serious crime, or for a misdemeanor where a jail sentence could result, the defendant, regardless of income level, should be given the right to be assisted by counsel.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

Confirmed: Janice Rogers Brown

The extreme left wing of the country is highly opposed to Janice Rogers Brown, who was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court today as Lee notes in his post. I have no idea why they are against her, but it's worthy to take note of the groups that oppose her, which you can find a full list of here.

Meanwhile, here's a list of quotes that the extremists are posting as some form of protest against Judge Brown. However, what they fail to realize is that these quotes make the case for why Judge Brown is perfect for the job:
Janice Rogers Brown On American Government:
Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible. [“A Whiter Shade of Pale,” Speech to Federalist Society (April 20. 2000)(“Federalist speech” at 8]

Janice Rogers Brown on the New Deal, the Great Society, and the “transmutation” of the Constitution:
In the last 100 years – and particularly the last 30 – the Constitution, once the fixed chart of our aspirations, has been demoted to the status of a bad chain novel. [IFJ speech at2]

Janice Rogers Brown on the proper “protection” of property
:
In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the classical era of American law reigned...Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937…Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status...It thus became government’s job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has not altered our fervent commitment to statism. [Federalist speech at 12, 13]

Janice Rogers Brown on the courts, law and the judiciary:
But, alas, the decisions of such [supreme] courts, including my own, seem ever more ad hoc and expedient, perilously adrift on the roiling seas of feckless photo-op compassion and political correctness. [IFJ speech at 15]

Janice Rogers Brown on strict judicial scrutiny for violations of fundamental constitutional rights and the incorporation doctrine:
[T]he courts overcame these alleged limitations on their powers with ridiculous ease. How? By constitutionalizing everything possible, finding constitutional rights which are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. By taking a few words which are in the Constitution like “due process” and “equal protection” and imbuing them with elaborate and highly implausible etymologies; and by enunciating standards of constitutional review which are not standards at all but rather policy vetoes, i.e., strict scrutiny and the compelling state interest standard. [Libertarian speech at 7-8]

Janice Rogers Brown on democracy, capitalism, socialism, and “liberalism”:
In truth, liberalism’s vaunted tolerance and openness is a lie. In America, at least, liberalism is tolerant only of those concerns to which it is indifferent. To those trivialized forms of religious observance which amount to no more than a consumer preference, the culture maintains a posture of tolerance. [Speech to St. Thomas More Society (Oct. 15, 1998) at 8]

Janice Rogers Brown on the right of privacy vs. the “right to keep and bear arms”
:
Curiously, in the current dialectic, the right to keep and bear arms – a right expressly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights – is deemed less fundamental than implicit protections the court purports to find in the penumbras of other express provisions. (citations omitted) But surely, the right to preserve one’s life is at least as fundamental as the right to preserve one’s privacy. [Concurring opinion in Kasler, 2 P.3d at 602]

If I was to judge (no pun intended) Judge Brown on those quotes alone, a tactic that many people use when siding with a politician, she would score an A-minus on her report card. I believe that she has the independence required to sit as a Circuit Coast judge, a job that does not mean you get to be an activist and change the nation to how you see fit. Instead, a Circuit Coast judge fairly weighs the legal issues of a case in comparison to the laws of the land, most of the time being Constitutional in nature.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

 

Smoking him out

This took a whole lot of patience. This guy tried to kidnap a woman at gunpoint in Ventura, and then led various law enforcement agencies on a chase through Ventura County and into Los Angeles County. It started at 8:45 AM and ended around 3:15 PM. He's lucky that this is all that happened to him.
Traffic was backed up for miles and even the commuter rail service was shut off when a suspect in an attempted kidnapping led officers on a 75-mile chase and then held them at bay for hours before he was captured.

With television news helicopters hovering overhead Tuesday, deputies shoved a tear gas grenade into the man's minivan and, when he opened the door, sent a dog to drag him out. But he was buckled in and the dog vainly ripped off his sleeve before deputies finally unbuckled him to end the standoff.

Monday, June 06, 2005

 

Apprehended: Raul Garcia-Gomez

The illegal immigrant who brutally murdered an off-duty Denver detective was picked-up in Mexico by US Marshals and Mexican officials. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey is still deciding whether or not he wants to file for the death penalty.
When asked about whether he would pursue the death penalty if it precluded extradition, Morrissey replied, "I haven't made that decision yet. It's certainly a complicated decision that has to be made after speaking to the detective's widow and certainly to Detective Bishop and other family members."

Even before Garcia-Gomez's capture in Mexico on Saturday, Morrissey said his staff has been working with the U.S. State Department to set up extradition proceedings.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said his office is willing to assist Denver in any extradition proceedings. "The first and foremost objective will be to get Mexico to allow his (Garcia-Gomez's)
extradition with as few conditions as possible," he said.


Suthers said that with a charge as serious as the fatal shooting of a Denver police officer, he would think that Mexican officials would be open to extraditing the suspect to face a life sentence.

"I would hope that would be open to negotiation," he said.

 

Case Brief: Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

Here's another case brief that should make the lives of law school students and CJ students a whole lot easier. Please do not copy this verbatim. Instead, use it as reference for writing your own case brief. Sometimes the issues of older cases are hard to grasp compared to the varied legal issues surrounding the cases we work on today, which is the only reason I post my own briefs.

Name of the Case

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

Facts of the Case

A defendant, Ernesto Miranda, was taken into custody and taken to a station house and put into "Interrogation Room No. 2," after being accused of a combination rape and kidnapping. Upon being interrogated by two officers, a written confession was obtained by the officers after two hours, although Miranda was never made aware of his basic rights. At the top of the confession sheet, it was typed that the confession was made voluntarily, "without threats or promises of immunity and 'with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me'."

Issue

The issue at hand is whether or not the prosecution may use statements in the form of confessions given by a suspect when the suspect has not been advised of his basic rights against self-incrimination, or deprived of these rights in a manner that violated the Constitutional safeguards against self-incrimination.

Court Decision

The Court reversed the decision of the state Supreme Court.

Rationale for the Decision

Chief Justice Warren delivered the decision of the Court. The issue at hand is under what circumstances may a statement be obtained, and what the Constitutional safeguards surrounding the acquisition of the statement are. In a majority of the cases, a statement is obtained while in police custody, which brings into question the availability of the knowledge that a suspect might have of his basic right against self-incrimination. A suspect is essentially "cut off from the outside world," which provides for intimidating circumstances. Without a warning of basic rights, a suspect might be inclined to admit to various acts or actions, purely by succumbing to what he or she believes to be pressure from the acting authority figures. This provides for "psychological intimidation." Whether we like it or not, interrogation will take place in a room that is sealed from the outside world, so the ongoing must be taken at face value, or left in the hands of the prosecution to provide the burden of proof in relation to the fact that none of the rights of the interrogated were violated. As cited in Bram v. United States (168 U.S. 532), "… A confession is voluntary in law if, and only if, it was, in fact, voluntarily made." Therefore, a set of pre-interrogation warnings must be issued to guarantee that a suspect understands his right against self-incrimination, as well as the privileges surrounding that. First, a suspect must be advised of his right to remain silent, as not to indict himself. Second, the suspect must be made aware of the fact that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is too poor to pay for counsel, then the government will make one available to him. The right to counsel applies to the interrogation process, as well as a trial. In no way can the request for counsel be denied. And finally, the suspect has the right to terminate the interrogation at any time. The burden will rest on the government to prove that a confession obtained outside of the presence of an attorney was not coerced in any fashion as to violate the rights of the defendant. These warnings are to be given before any questioning begins, as to protect both the government, as well as the defendant.

Concurring Opinion

The opinion was concurred in part by Justice Clark.

Dissenting Opinion

The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Clark, and joined by Justice Harlan and Justice White. Justice Clark states that the ratio of improper police interrogation practices compared to correct procedure is not balanced in any way, and the rights of suspects are rarely violated. It is stated that the new advisement process will "kill the patient," namely the patient being police agencies across the country, as they now have to make a suspect aware of his rights, provide an attorney, and cover the costs of the attorney if necessary. Furthermore, a failure to follow these rules will result in the deletion of any confession or statement made by a defendant. This will essentially handcuff the police, and not allow them to do their job properly. Also, in accordance with the Solicitor General, the right to counsel does not necessarily mean that a defense attorney must be present during interrogation, and only that an attorney must be made available to the defedant. Citing Haynes v. Washington (373 U.S. 503, 515 (1963)), it is noted, "interrogation has long been recognized as undoubtedly an essential tool in effective law enforcement." By limiting the process, law enforcement officers will have a difficult time properly exercising the functions of their job. However, in concurrence, a lack of given warnings during some portion of the proceedings would not allow for a confession to be validly admitted into evidence in a court of law.

Holding of the Court

The court has decided that a set of warnings must be administered before any custodial interrogation begins. This set of warnings includes the instruction to a suspect that he has the right to remain silent and that anything said outside of silence can be used in court, that the suspect has the right to the presence of an attorney, and if the suspect cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed, and in conclusion, the suspect has the right to terminate the interrogation at any time.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

 

Case brief requests

I've been receiving a lot of e-mail from criminal justice, law, and military law students who are asking me if I am planning on posting certain case briefs. My answer is "yes," and I absolutely love doing so. Remember, these case briefs are for you to read so you get a better understanding of, not for you to copy directly. Personally, I don't care if you copy them, but you're only cheating yourself. First of all, you're not going to learn anything. The key elements of each case provide for a learning tool that is impossible to grasp any other way. Second, you learn to identify key points in each case, and how to outline them so you can present your findings to a court, or even a board meeting.

The second order of business are the criminal justice process and procedure postings. A few weeks ago, I was asked to provide a description of the interrogation process, which I was more than happy to accommodate. However, due to my 18+ hours work day, I haven't been able to get around to it, although I guarantee that it is coming very soon.

So please keep the questions and comments coming. I'd be more than happy to help any student with questions they have, as well as anyone else who just wants information about the infamous US criminal justice system.

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