The Bad News and the Good News

Bad News First:  The federal indictment against RHONJ Theresa must be under seal still because I can’t find it on pacer.

The Good News:  Because this is a federal case eventually everything that happens will be available online.  For those that don’t know, federal cases require everything filed to be filed electronically.  The public can view these documents for a pretty penny of .08 cents per page on a site called Pacer.  I can’t wait for the day when county courts catch up and all court files are publicly available online.

In the meantime, here’s to Publicly Available Court Electronic Records (PACER)!

JJC Hearts Pacer.

CopsySelfie

If you don’t know what a selfie is, welcome to 2013:

My dear husband emailed me a link to this tumblr : Cops Selfies. All day. Everyday. I. am. so. amused.

I cannot explain to you why or how it is that I hate on cops all the time, but am in love with a tumblr of just photos of cops.  But, I love this tumblr.  Cops? Not that cool.  Cops taking selfies? 100% awesome. I think what it is is that cops acting like cops can be kind of funny. Like when you are at a motion to suppress and the first words out of his mouth are “based on my training and experience.”  Oh coppy, you’re so cute, so predictable.   Anyway, enjoy this tumblr. And enjoy these vintage JJC Cop Selfies. Shout out to dem Miami and NYC PDs!

NYPD Blue Loves You!

143 Miami PD
P.S. I do not know what I was thinking with those boots. ICK! But at least I never wore them in court.

1st Degree Murder Conviction Reversed Because of Failure of DA to disclose Police Dog Sniffing Dog’s Prior Bad Acts!

Nice reversal of a first-degree murder conviction out of Los Angeles County. I heart Judge Pregerson, although it is a Fletcher opinion.

What had happened was:

LA DA Steve Cooley’s deputy (I spent some time trying to find out who the constitution violator was because JJC ALWAYS NAMES NAMES but I couldn’t 😦 if you know, email it to me) violated Brady in failing to disclose evidence in their possession that the dog sniffing dog who identified the defendant’s scent on the passenger seat of a car where the shooter reportedly sat had, on more than one prior occasion, been wrong with his scent sniffin.

Side note, is there a confrontation clause problem with the fact that you cannot cross-X the dog and show his biases, motivation, and financial interest to lie??? (j/k. Or am I?) This doggie eventually got fired because he was so bad!!

Anyway, in this case the DA’s office had stipulated to the dog’s unreliability in a different trial several months before Aguilar’s which led to the exclusion of the evidence in that trial.

The LA Public Defender–and the bad ass constitution enforces that they are–had actually written a letter to the DA after that trial saying that the DA had a Brady obligation to disclose this doggy’s unreliable nose to every defense attorney going forward if they planned to use that evidence against that person.

Cooley apparently ignored the letter or didn’t ensure his deputies complied.  It is unclear why, if the Public Defender’s Office knew about the dog’s unreliability in the prior trial, the particular public defender in this case did not.  I believe there are over 700 public defenders in that County. It is understandable that one deputy doesn’t know about something in another deputies case.  But, this is an example of why PDs offices should have a master database of police officers and Brady material on any of them (or their dogs) and deputies should always search that database when they get a new case.  Obviously, the database could not include information learned through pitchess motions (we need to change this).

JJC Hearts LD

As a Jew, a funny person, and a criminal defense attorney, I love Larry David for many reasons.  He is a Jew like me and I love bald Jewish men (see e.g. my father).  He is funny, and laughing is all we got.  He helped exonerate someone both fictionally and in real life. His stare down is the greatest cross examination technique known to man.

And he’s the only guy I know who is smart enough to hire a prostitute to drive in the carpool lane.

In short, Larry David is g-d.

My love for all things LD has led me to consider one of these.  But, the whole Old Testament thing prevents me from following through with it so I may have to settle for one of these, although I do eat bacon so maybe I should reconsider.

In any event, I was delighted to learn that he has a movie coming out on August 10 on HBO!   Can’t wait!

If you haven’t watched curb your enthusiasm, check this out–the “best of Leon”–the character who plays a member of the family that Larry’s wife moves into their home after Hurricane Katrina.

Interesting proposed legislation

Top five interesting pieces of pending legislation that I found in the 5 minutes I spent searching the phrase “penal code” at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov for the 2012-2013 session. The author of the bill is in a parenthesis with a link to their contact form so you can email them your thoughts.

1. (Morrell) AB2 : What the title of the bill should be: NO REALIGNMENT FOR YOU!

  • Old law: violate parole for failing to register, realignment community release rules apply
  • Proposed change: violate parole for failing to register go to state prison.
  • Why this proposed law sucks: adds to prison over crowding (Jerry Brown is about to be held in contempt over this), kind of stupid because the max time someone can do on the violation is 180 days, and there are many mitigating reasons why someone might fail to register  .

STATUS OF BILL: Re referred to the committee on public safety.
JJC VERDICT: Bad idea.

2.  (Ammiano) AB4:  MELT DEM ICE HOLDS!!!!

  • Old law:  If the feds tell the county jail they want to place an ICE hold on you, it doesn’t matter if the judge says you are no flight risk or threat to public safety, you are stuck in jail until your case resolves. Then you are sent to ICE to deal with, defend against, or not, their accusation that you do not have legal status.  This means if you are arrested for stealing chicken to feed your family (true story) you are stuck in jail and likely deported if you did not have the arbitrary fortune of being born on the US side of the imaginary thing we call a border.
  • Proposed change: the county jail is prohibited from holding someone for the feds UNLESS the person has certain prior convictions (the least serious prior that will fuck you is a misdemeanor conviction in the last five years for a crime that is a wobbler; the others are what you’d expect, serious violent felonies, sex crimes, etc.) or has been held to answer on a felony.  

STATUS OF BILL: “Sen of Third Reading.” Don’t know what this means, but, according to wikipedia, it may mean that a vote will be taken after the bill is literally read again? Does anyone know? I will monitor this because it is HUGE.
JJC VERDICT: Yes please. And also, can I kiss you Ammiano? Of course, I’d make it so no one can be held for the feds (you want to detain someone feddys go find them yourselves) but this is a HUGE start.

3.  (Ammiano does it again!!) AB5:  BE NICE TO HOMELESS LAW

  • Old law: people with homes do whatever they want in public people who look like they don’t get arrested for doing things the with-home people could do without being arrested.
  • Proposed new law: homeless people should be treated just like everyone else and this makes it so according to law (aka the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act).  Read the legislation for specifics, e.g. you can’t be criminally prosecuted for sleeping in public, eating in public, or even soliciting donations. 
STATUS OF BILL:  In committee.
JJC VERDICT: (3 part verdict): 1) Ammiano, I had no clue who you were before 5 minutes ago, but now I believe you are Jesus Christ or Mother Theresa reincarnated.  Laws to help immigrants and homeless folks? You must have a heart of gold. 2) Any proposed law with the phrase “Fairness Act” is ok in my book.  3) Really? We need a law to tell cops not to arrest a person for eating in public.  I guess we do.
4.  (Many authors).  AB65:   CLOSE DAT RAPE-FRAUD LOOPHOLE!
  • Old law: This case happened. In short, a guy was accused of pretending to be a girl’s boyfriend (it was dark) to have sex with her when she realized midway through she wasn’t having sex with her  boyfriend. Turns out, this is only rape by fraud if she were married.
  • Proposed new law:  Not surprisingly, people were a little perturbed by this “loophole.” They moved to plug that shit up. Now, it is rape by fraud if you get a person to consent to having sex with you by pretending to be their boyfriend (this law will be very helpful to blind people).
STATUS OF BILL: I didn’t check, but my guess is the status is: “about to be passed.”
JJC VERDICT: I mean, look, I’m no proponent of tricking someone into sex under the facts of this case (but let’s not get too loosey goosey with this e.g. someone who tells you that he is a doctor so you sleep with him because who wouldn’t sleep with a doctor then you find out he’s actually an EMT (true story) (just kidding ahahah). that is not rape in my book.  That is why it sucks to be single). Anytime there is a loophole in a law that benefits my client I’m pretty pumped.  So they plugged this one up.  I guess my verdict is: Allllllllright.
5.  (Hat Trick for  Ammiano !) AB336:  CONDOMS SHMONDOMS
  • Old law: D comes to meet an undercover vice cop to pay for sex. (And you say cops don’t lie?!)  He brought condoms with him.  DA will try to use the fact that he brought condoms with him to show his intent. Pretty straightforward.  Likewise, D is seen on the corner waiving at a car.  She is arrested. The DA wants to use the fact that she had condoms with her to prove she was loitering with the intent to commit prostitution.
  • Proposed new *brilliant* law:  The DA will have to WRITE A MOTION including an AFFIDAVIT justifying the relevance of the condom evidence.
STATUS OF BILL:  The first hearing on it was cancelled per Ammiano’s request.
JJC VERDICT: Love love love it.  Love love love any law that requires the DA to write a motion and an affidavit.  Potential pitfalls are that they can easily establish relevance so maybe they should have to show something more than that.  Or, maybe we should make a policy driven statue that the evidence of the condom is always inadmissible or cannot, alone, establish intent.  (See e.g. Cal Penal Code section 261.7)

Dear OPD, it is time to arrest Fnu Lnu

There is a person named Fnu Lnu (pronounced fa-knew-la-knew) who goes around town and commits crime.  This person also notoriously sets up poor folks in situations that look really bad then mysteriously disappears just before the cops arrive.  I really think it is time for the Oakland Police Department to do something about this person.  By my count, this person is responsible for thousands of crime and convictions of innocent people.  This person has even gone to New York to commit crimes!!! Shout Out to the NYPD, well done, you are the only jurisdiction I know of who actually caught him! But, alas, he continues to wreak havoc in California.

Let me give you an example of a classic Fnu Lnu M.O.  Your client is minding his own business when suddenly he needs to be somewhere immediately.  Luckily, and completely coincidentally, his good ole buddy Fnu Lnu pulls up in a car as he is walking to where he needs to go.  Fnu Lnu is a VERY generous person.  Fnu Lnu says to your client “hey, you look like you need a ride. I have something to do. Want to borrow my car?”  Your client has somewhere to be. He needs to be there soon. He knows Fnu Lnu.  He has no reason to believe that Fnu Lnu would set him up or would be driving a stolen car.  Never mind the fact that the car is running with a screwdriver in it instead of a key.  So, your client accepts Fnu Lnu’s offer.  Within minutes, the police pull over your client, arrest him for driving a stolen vehicle, and throw him in jail.  Now, if you ask me, Fnu Lnu set this whole thing up and called the cops. But, maybe I’m just paranoid.

So your client meets you for the first time. He tells you what Fnu Lnu did.  All you can say is “EFFING FNU LNU, HE STRIKES AGAIN!”

According to your client, all you have to do to exonerate him is talk to Fnu Lnu, wherein Fnu Lnu will explain everything. Fnu Lnu will definitely come to court to testify for your client and besides the whole New York thing, which your client doesn’t know about, Fnu Lnu has no prior record because he never gets caught so he will make an unimpeachable witness.

If only it were that simple.  F(irst) n(ame) u(known) L(ast) n(ame) u(nknown)  lives in the UK (I’m not talking about Europe, I mean his address is UnKnown).  His phone number begins with “555.”  Even though he is your client’s friend, no one else your client knows whose contact information he has also know Fnu Lnu.  Thus, your client is convicted, by plea or verdict, and Fnu Lnu, lives another day.

This, my friends, is how Fnu Lnu commits crime and frames people.  Dear OPD, drop your donuts and DO SOMETHING to stop Fnu Lnu.