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by Human Rights Alert, NGO
Wednesday, Dec. 01, 2010 at 11:45 AM
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Following initial request for opinion, additional information was provided to Rabbi MICHAEL LERNER, TIKKUN's Editor
From the OAK discussion board.
1. Comment by Joseph Zernik, Los Angeles, CA 9 hours ago
TIKKUN's Rabbi MICHAEL LERNER, is asked re: The Los Angeles Jewish Community and the Rampart FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons)
See the full posting under: http://www.scribd.com/doc/44354776/
The question posed to Rabbi Michael Lerner:
Should the Los Angeles Jewish community consider it part of its duties and responsibilities to initiate actions for the release of the Los Angeles Rampart-FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons) - mostly black and latinos - victims of conduct of the Los Angeles, California courts?
Posing questions to leading rabbis of the day has been a traditional form of Jewish discourse, going back some 1,500 years.
2. Comment by Dr. A. D. Jackson 8 hours ago I recall the Rampart scandal in L. A. resulting in a some cops getting convicted and over 100 convictions obtained by perjury, falsifying evidence etc. being overturned. The traditional hesitancy of the prosecution to free the innocent, like in using D N A to exhonerate, is the doctrine of finality of judgments and no doubt embarassment.
3. Comment by Joseph Zernik, Los Angeles, CA 53 minutes ago
Again, please check the facts... for your convenience, references were provided in a previous messages. Regardless, you prefer to 'recall' the facts, and grossly misrepresent them.
a) The case of the Rampart FIPs does not involve 100 false convictions through perjury. In fact, the number of the Rampart FIPs was estimated by various groups at 8,000-30,000.
b) The case of the Rampart FIPs does not involve only 'convictions obtained by perjury'. Confessions were extracted through torture, victims in some cases were documented to have been permanently maimed, and others were killed.
Finally, I find objectionable your attempt to find a legal 'doctrine' to justify such conduct. The applicable doctrine is Void not Voidable Judgments. Such judgments are far from final, they are null and void, always were, and always will be.
Finally, the case of 'Kids for Cash' in Luzerne County, PA (2008 to the present), shows that even in the US such facts are recognized. Immediately upon discovery of corruption of the courts in Luzerne County, PA, the PA state court system established a review panel, and initiated efforts to review each and every case of imprisonment by the corrupt courts, leading to the release of thousands of juveniles.
The question, which looms heavy over the Rampart scandal and the Rampart FIPs is the refusal of local, state, and federal agencies to comply with the law and initiate release of the victims... The reasons for such conduct were separately reviewed.
My proposed explanation:
Federal agencies were left incapable of enforcing the law in Los Angeles County, California, after such agencies, led by the CIA, engaged for over a decade (mid 1980s to mid 1990s) in large-scale drug trafficking to LA, as part of the Iran-Contra affair (link was previously provided to a 1997 official US DOJ IG report, so please do not rely on your recollections in the matter),
In running such operation for over a decade, federal agencies had to rely on cooperation by local law enforcement and the courts. Therefore, when confronted with the largest case of corruption of the justice system in the history of the United States, they opted to permit the corrupt local justice system to investigate, prosecute, and adjudge itself, with predictable results - no enforcement of the law at all.
It should be emphasized that the Rampart scandal at its base was centered on the very same type of alleged criminality - control of wholesale drug markets by law enforcement in collusion with the courts.
All links were provided in previous postings.
4. Comment by Joseph Zernik, Los Angeles, CA
Hi Dr Jackson:
Let me complete the fact corrections for your short piece below.
Your recollection of 'the Rampart scandal in L. A. resulting in a some cops getting convicted' was the contrary to the truth in the matter.
A. THE FIRST RAMPART TRIAL (2000)
In the First Rampart Trial, four of the principles in the ring of undercover narcotics officers were subjected to pretense prosecution.
Judge Jacqueline Connor, who had been The Central Figure in the false convictions, and who had been reputed as close friend of the Defendants, appeared as 'Presiding Judge'.
The absurdity of the situation was noted by newspapers already then:
1) Two years earlier, Jacqueline Connor provided Rafael Perez with a glowing recommendation letter for his promotion, based explicitly on his excellent testimonies in her courtroom. Later he recanted all these testimonies as perjury.
2) A few months before the opening of the trial, and after Perez signed a plea bargain, Connor appeared in an LAPD public function, where his family was present, and from the podium warned him against cooperation with the investigation, and also warned him against ever again appearing in her courtroom.
3) Had it been a true prosecution, Connor would have been required to preside over prosecution, which would have been largely based on elaborating on her own conduct...
Naturally, had Judge Jacqueline Connor been assigned to preside in the First Rampart Trial in compliance with the law, she should have immediately recused.
Various sources say that she appeared as Presiding Judge to protect herself, that there was a lot at stake for her personally in the case.
B. EVENTS THE FOLLOWED:
1) Early on Connor ruled to exclude most of the prosecution's evidence.
2) Through various manipulations, Perez - the main witness - was indeed prevented from appearing in Connor's courtroom and taking the stand.
3) Already then media speculated that the jury would not be able to convict the Defendants under such conditions.
4) Regardless, in October 2000 the jury convicted 3 of the 4 Defendants.
5) On Friday night, December 22, 2000, from home, Judge Jacqueline Connor issued a ruling, which was later described by media as 'unprecedented'. She voided the jury convictions and ordered the release of the three convicted cops, claiming that she had made fatal errors in jury instructions. (So much for the finality of judgments...).
Moreover, in her ruling she appeared to ridicule those who try 'to fix the Rampart'.
6) Later, the three cops, who had been convicted by jury, were paid millions in damages - for being subjected to the prosecution...
1) The victims remain falsely imprisoned to this date, with a few notable exceptions.
2) Judge Jacqueline Connor continues to preside in both the criminal and civil courts in Los Angeles.
3) Regardless of his plea bargain with California prosecutors, Rafael Perez was subjected to the 'federal option' and served several years in federal prison. The case follows what became a pattern in recent years across the United States - imprisonment of whisleblowers...
4) The perps were enriched.
So much for recollections. We would all be better served by sticking to the facts.
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
Human Rights Alert is dedicated to discovering, archiving, and disseminating evidence of Human Rights violations by the justice systems of the State of California and the United States in Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Special emphasis is given to the unique role of computerized case management systems in the precipitous deterioration of integrity of the justice system in the United States.
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES?
* "On July 26, 2010, Laurence Tribe, Senior Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative, delivered an important speech to the Conference of Chief Justices, challenging them to halt the disintegration of our state justice systems before they become indistinguishable from courts of third world nations."Prof Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School (2010), per National Defender Leadership Institute
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA?* "Innocent people remain in prison"* "...the LA Superior Court and the DA office, the two other parts of the justice system that the Blue Panel Report recommends must be investigated relative to the integrity of the system, have not produced any response that we know of..."LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)
* "...judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit." Prof David Burcham, Dean, Loyola Law School, LA (2001)
* "This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states... and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted." Prof Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Irvine Law School (2001)
WHAT DID THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL STAFF REPORT SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA?* "...corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California." http://www.scribd.com/doc/38566837/
La Verne, CA
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