Tuesday, January 17, 2012

[Victims of Court Corruption] A Quiet Crisis in Our Courts

A Quiet Crisis in Our Courts

by Bill Robinson, American Bar Association


We all experience delays that slow down and frustrate our daily lives, from traffic jams on a city street to long lines at a grocery store.  But some delays are more than an inconvenience — these delays threaten the very core of our constitutional democracy.

For several years, the American Bar Association has identified a troubling trend in our state courts resulting from increasing workloads and declining budgets.

State judiciaries handle approximately 95 percent of all cases filed in the United States, according to the National Center for State Courts.  In 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, states reported 106 million incoming trial court cases—the most in 35 years.  Anecdotally, we know that trend has continued as more people represent themselves and legislators add more laws to the books.

Despite those caseload increases, NCSC says 42 states reduced their court budgets in fiscal year 2011.

Courts around the country have had to make difficult decisions.  New York’s courts end promptly at 4:30 in the afternoon to avoid overtime costs. Massachusetts has lost more than 1,100 trial court employees through attrition to save money.  The lines at courts in Sacramento, California are so long that people bring lawn chairs to use while they wait.

People should never have to jump over budgetary hurdles to reach the courtroom.  If our legal system isn’t accessible, then it can’t be just and it won’t be fair.

The constitutional argument for sustainable funding for our courts is simple:  The judiciary is a co-equal branch of government responsible for protecting our rights.  The practical argument is equally compelling.  The courts decide matters that go to the very core of our daily lives: when a parent petitions for custody of a child or when a family fights foreclosure of its home.

The financial argument is stunning.  Judiciaries typically receive just 1 percent of a state’s entire budget—that’s often less than a state allocates for an executive branch agency.

Members of the legal community are beginning to understand this situation.

Courts are doing their part to demonstrate efficiency and innovation. The expanded use of video conferencing in Pennsylvania, for example, has saved taxpayers an estimated $21 million annually in defendant transportation costs.

The ABA is continuing the work of its Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System, bringing together those affected by this crisis to discuss strategies to help our judiciary. The task force has created a venue to share court funding stories and creative ideas on its website at americanbar.org.

The ABA is also working with state and local bar associations to rethink how to sensibly spend taxpayer dollars to ensure public safety.  In 1974, about 175,000 people were incarcerated in state prisons in theUnited States.  In 2010, that number had risen to 1.4 million, an increase of 705 percent.  We can’t sustain the costs of a system where states spend, on average, $23,000 per inmate per year.

Then there’s the issue of the punishment fitting the crime.  In some states, fish and game violations, dog leash violations and feeding the homeless are offenses punishable by time in jail.  We need to decriminalize minor offenses, utilize pretrial release, and implement effective re-entry programs, among other reforms.

Finally, we must articulate what courts do and why they are so essential by more effectively educating legislators and the general public—especially young people, because that civic knowledge will drive a renewed dedication to the preservation of our justice system.

Courts must be open, available and adequately staffed.  No one would accept closing the local emergency room, or the local fire house or the local police station for one day a week.  Our justice system is no different.  Let’s join together to fight for this access, otherwise … No courts.  No justice.  No freedom.

WM.  T. (BILL) ROBINSON III The author is president of the American Bar Association and member-in-charge of the Northern Kentucky offices of Frost Brown Todd, LLC.

[Victims of Court Corruption] Comparing JAIL4Judges With All Other Proposals

Comparing JAIL4Judges
With All Other Proposals

Dr. Joseph Zernik, what you have described below is about a good description of judicial immunity as can be stated. It matters not what the law, or judicial decisions are regarding judicial immunity. The only thing judges are forbidden from doing is embarrassing the judicial system. In that regard, murder, bank robbery, rape, car jacking, bribery and extortion performed by judges are all within the realm of "acceptable judicial conduct covered by judicial immunity." We need to forget defining judicial immunity according to published law or printed judicial decisions, the first and greatest of all commandments is, "Thou shalt not embarrass the judicial system!" Never is any judge prosecuted for evil doing, or for the commission of any crimes.

I have said numerous times in public presentations, we have no laws that govern the U.S. The "law" is whatever the judges say at any given time. When judges open their mouth, what comes out of their lips is "the law." Two plus two equals whatever conclusion is desired! Forget about what you learned in school. "Fraud" is their name, and deception their game!

When I hear someone tell me about a dishonest judge, I know I am speaking with someone who is a novice. The judicial system is irreparably broken. Looking to "legislation" will only install another layer of deception over the top of existing fraud. It is like repainting a house that is totally eaten through and taken over by termites. Another coat of paint will to no good! Paint will only make the house look more livable, but you know you are in trouble when your leg passes through the floor when you take one step inside the front door!

When I say "J.A.I.L. is the only answer," I know that means we have to remove all the rotten wood in a house that is 100% rotten. But people do not want to hear something so drastic. So I just say, "Let's fix up the judicial system with judicial accountability." Most everyone agrees that a fixer-upper effort must be employed on our judiciary, but what people do not agree upon is that we must start with a bulldozer and not even save the rusty nails.

When the people start throwing the evil judges to the hungry lions within the J.A.I.L. lions den, then, and only then with the "good" judges will submit their application for retirement. But the provision within J.A.I.L. will not allow judges to escape by retirement, for basically, three-strikes will overtake them on their pre-existing record before they can enjoy the fruits of retirement. And consider the retroactive provision of J.A.I.L. If there once existed law that provided for a remedy, it can never go away. The judiciary cannot escape the sting of those current laws. Hence, your statement, "
In short: I am not opposed to new legislation, but we must demand to prosecute the judges even under current law, not let them get away for racketeering!" is all totally covered within the passage of Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.)

Ron Branson

joseph zernik wrote:
Mr Branson:

As one, who supports your cause, I just wanted to comment, that even under current law the judges are not immune to most of their crimes. 

The most common form of judicial corruption today is through the issuance of simulated court records.  The judges, who engage in such conduct are NOT under any immunity, since they are engaged in extrajudicial conduct in doing so - presiding in cases, to which they were not assigned, and with no judicial authority and immunity at all.
Regardless, neither the US congress, nor anybody else holds them accountable.

The best documented case of this type is the case of the corrupt US Judge Manuel Real, who was caught grabbing the court file of a woman he knew with no assignment and no authority.  She was under bankruptcy procedures, and he basically stopped the case to help her.  He was caught, US Congress did nothing, and Steven Yagman, who blew the whistle went to federal prison for several years on IRS violations, that some said others would only be fined for.  In his sentencing heaering, Yagman quoted Kafka: "a case went looking for a bird..."

What is most lacking is public demand for holding the judges accountable.  In that department, there is no doubt that you are a pioneer! 

In short: I am not opposed to new legislation, but we must demand to prosecute the judges even under current law, not let them get aways for racketeering!


[1] 00-00-01-97-00-00 Putting the Mice in Charge of the Cheese (RE- US Judge Manu...
[2] 10-11-28 Regulation of US Judicial Ethics and the Case of Judge Manuel Real-s
[3] 07-11-28 Attorney Steven Yagman Sentenced to Federal Prison Term After Initia...

At 01:43 AM 1/14/2012, you wrote:

Comparing JAIL4Judges to All Other Proposals

The problem with political bodies handling the subject of judicial accountability, is politics and special interests. It must be understood that no man can be trusted because of the propensity of mankind to evil. The distinction with JAIL4Judges is that it creates a rotating Special Grand Jury in which no one sits on the Special Grand Jury for more than a year, and is thereafter disqualified. The public becomes involved only by a random drawing.

Members of the Bar Assoc., law enforcement, and all judicial employees are excluded for obvious reasons. No government prosecutors are allowed, but only qualified members of the public may serve this Grand Jury as Prosecutors, Investigators, and Advisers who submit their applications to the Grand Jury for such positions. This Grand Jury is totally autonomous, and only has jurisdiction over issues of willful violations of laws or of the State or U.S. Constitutions.

No judge may be defended at public expense in answering to this Special Grand Jury. Upon any conviction by a panel of jurors, only the jurors may impose sentences, not any other judge or judicial officer. In this manner, all politics are separated from its operations, and only the people determine for themselves the plite of all judicial offenders. It just cannot get any better than JAIL4Judges!

Ron Branson