- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California June 7, 2002
The UntouchablesEvery 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 anything.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 castle.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 Them
San Francisco Examiner - 2/21/02
By Ace Sanders
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 public.
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.
"Judges specifically may not pay attention to popular opinion," said
Constance Dove, executive director of the California Judges Association, an Oakland-based nonprofit. "It's in the code of judicial ethics ... by the California Supreme Court."
The state constitution calls it judicial independence and Dove says
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
In 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 Operates
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 opponent.
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. ....
After the 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 their decisions.
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 untouchable.
E-mail Ace Sanders at asanders@...
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