Tuesday, July 31, 2007
People who like laws or sausages should never watch Michael Decker take a sponge bath under the legislative building
Tue, July 31, 2007 | link
There is always a nadir. I have watched North Carolina political scandals for most of my adult life, from
Jimmy Green, to Rufus Edmisten, to Meg Scott Phipps, the lottery. The North Carolina Department of Transportation
has never gone more than a month or two without some type of graft (it has gotten to the point where citizens should be grateful
that DOT employees are simply being rude to them
rather than taking payoffs).
In listening to Jim Black testify at his sentencing in Raleigh today, I believe I heard the nadir. Black testified
that he gave representative Michael Decker $10,000 in the hope that Decker would stop living in his van and taking spongebaths
under the Legislative building during sessions.
Maybe Decker just bought a nicer sponge.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Days late and dollars short
Fri, July 27, 2007 | link
It should come as no shock that the contempt hearing was continued (again) to August 30.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
A gross waste of public resources
Thu, July 26, 2007 | link
Taxpayers paid a prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, bailiffs and 12 jurors to sit through this
Just because you can prosecute someone does not mean you should.
What is newsworthy about the guy's mugshot?
Monday, July 23, 2007
An troublesome hand-me-down
For the past several weeks I have been dealing with a particularly difficult client. He arrived under the typical red flag,
his previous court-appointed lawyer had been allowed to withdraw and I was appointed in his place. I’m not going to get into
the details of the case, but the biggest weakness in the State’s case is the fact that the identification of my client as
the perp occurred from 125 feet away. This is a better “reasonable doubt” defense than I have had in any of the cases I have
tried this year.
Mon, July 23, 2007 | link
What makes him difficult is that he obsesses over irrelevant facts and is dumb as a box of rocks. He sends me page after
page of letters filled with legal research he has copied from the law books at the jail. None of it remotely applies to his
case. He gets angry with me for refusing to file motions based on his research. I am angry with him for being such an annoying
ass. I’ve found myself thinking, maybe this guy is so dumb that I can’t be of any help to him. His personality is so obnoxious
that I am not enthusiastic about helping him The contrarian part of me responds that he can’t help the fact that he is ignorant
and his obnoxiousness probably stems in part from some kind of mental illness. Given his age I am unlikely to be able to
persuade him to change his behavior. Finding the point between not wanting to tolerate bad behavior and understanding that
he does not (and probably cannot) see the world as I do is tough.
If he would sit still and be quiet during his trial, we’d have a shot at acquittal. But he won’t do that. He’ll shake his
head during the testimony, shift in his seat, and constantly badger me with questions and comments during the trial, all things
that will distract me from doing my job.
If I was in another line of work, I’d quit working for him. But criminal defense attorneys cannot stop working for a client
without permission from the court. Since this guy has already switched attorneys once no judge is going to permit him to
do it again, I’m stuck with him, just like he is stuck with me.