June 7, 2002
Every election period the voters ask
of J.A.I.L. the all so common question, "How should I vote on the
judges?" It has never failed. All of the voters are bamboozled every election
cycle regarding the judges and want instructions on how to mark their
ballots. Not a one seems to know anything, so they just blindly punch
Little do the voters know that their
ignorance is intentionally programmed to stay that way. And why is
that? Because the most important controlling factors within government are
purposely designed to be obscure from the voters. The program depends upon
everyone continually being distracted in party politics, with one
candidate opposing another from within the same party, or against their opposing
party. Anything, so long as it keeps the voter's attention off the judiciary.
Bill Gage, J.A.I.L.'s Associate
Commander-In-Chief leading New York, makes the analogy
of the judiciary being the alligators in the mote that
surrounds the executive and legislative castle. All government politicians
and bureaucrats know they could not possibly get away with their serving only
the special interests with the money rather than the voters without the
full and complete protection of the judiciary. The politicians rest in the
assurance that the courts will always cover for them while they pull off
their financial heist of the taxpayers.
So, as a hand-in-glove partnership, the
politicians absorb every complaint lodged
against their devouring alligators surrounding their
political castle. While the voters complain to their politicians
of judicial immunity, the politicians are thankful for it. Both are
mutually benefiting from each other's protection. And, yes, while the
voters argue over who should be the politician across the Potomac or in their
state legislature at election time, the attention is taken off the alligators
protecting that executive and legislative castle.
Hence, what J.A.I.L. figuratively proposes to do is
drain the mote, tie up the alligators, and make the politicians
accessible to the voting public outside their executive and legislative
Have you noticed that hardly ever is there an open
judicial seat available for the public to vote upon. The game plan calls
for the sitting judge to retire short of his election cycle in which he
wishes to leave the bench. Then the game plan calls for the governor to
appoint a systematized replacement, and come election time, the seat is almost
always filled by an uncontested "incumbent" judge that no one runs
against. Thus, the game of "keep away" from the voters is fulfilled.
Even if the voters are ever given a shot at voting on a
judicial election, the game plan calls for it to be an uninformed decision
-- always one made in the dark. Hence, government always perpetuates itself
protected and undetected by the voters as to what is really going on. "Just keep
watching those election returns for executive and legislative positions."
As for the judges? "How should I vote?" - Ron Branson
Superior Court Judges - Can't Touch
San Francisco Examiner - 2/21/02
Unlike other elected officials,
Superior Court judges operate unchecked. Among the most powerful players in the
city's criminal justice system, they decide the fate of residents, criminals and
victims -- without so much as a peer review or input from the
Their decisions can sentence a man to death, free a violent
offender or shatter a family. And yet, when elections periodically pop up, they
are the least known candidates -- and that is by design.
specifically may not pay attention to popular opinion," said
executive director of the California Judges Association, an Oakland-based
nonprofit. "It's in the code of judicial ethics ... by the California Supreme
The state constitution calls it judicial independence and Dove
keeping a record of sentencing can threaten it. The problem is that
unqualified candidates often reach the bench. Some judges don't even know the
law relevant in a given case, said Public Defender Kimiko
Burton, voicing the
frustrations shared by many in the legal community. ....
... [T]wo recent court decisions detailed in The Examiner increased
the blood pressure of readers, not to mention the police officers and
prosecutors involved in the cases.
The latest was that of Joe Alvarez, a
former San Francisco police officer accused in the rape of two teenagers at
gunpoint. On Feb. 6, he was back on the streets after a judge slashed his bail
to $250,000 from $1 million.
The judge criticized the victims for waiting too
long to report the crimes.
The prosecutor in the case, Assistant District
Attorney Elliot Beckelman, blamed the judge for bias against the victims, who
were streetwalkers.He had seen it before
1998, Beckelman prosecuted Jack Bokin, a serial prostitute rapist who walked out
of jail after a judge sliced his bail. Then, as now, citizens concerned about
his release had nowhere to complain. They protested on the steps of the Hall of
Justice. As they feared, while awaiting trial, Bokin picked up a 19-year-old
single mother working as a prostitute, raped her, and smashed her head
repeatedly with a hammer until he thought she was dead.
"I am outraged by the
situation that your article reveals. What's worse, I feel totally powerless to
register my outrage with any of those responsible for this screwed up system,"
wrote one reader. ....
It turns out, there is nothing the public
can do until the next judicial election, when voters finally can decide who
reaches the bench in the first place.Superior Court
The governor appoints Superior Court judges to
six-year. He selects
appointees from a group recommended by a statewide
evaluating committee. In the next city election, the public votes on the
appointment. A lawyer may run against the new judge, but this rarely happens
because the incumbent has the advantage of the judge title preceding his name.
And, if the challenger loses, he may appear in court in front of his former
If the judge is unchallenged at the end of his first term, he
automatically wins. His name does not appear on the ballot so most people don't
even know he has been re-elected. Forty-seven of the 49 Superior Court judge
seats in the city are unchallenged in the March 5 election.
When a judge
dies or retires, the seat opens up to an appointment or
to an election,
depending on the timing of vacancy. In the upcoming election, two seats, Nos. 10
and 3, are open to outsiders. The only information available about the
candidates is provided by the candidates themselves. ....
March 5 election, when two winning lawyers wrap themselves
in judicial robes,
the public once again will have no say in their performance or any record of
Only if they commit a serious crime or behave
offensively in the courtroom, will a statewide Commission on Judicial
Performance discipline them. Otherwise, they will remain
E-mail Ace Sanders at asanders@...