Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hey Judge SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!

People v Thorpe
2007 NY Slip Op 06731
Decided on September 13, 2007
Appellate Division, First Department

In the above cited case, after denying the defendant an opportunity to even present a defense, we learn the the judge felt the need to "participate" in the case a little differently than allowed by law. She joined in the questioning interrupting defense counsel's crossexamination of the police witnesses.

Here is the First Dept's excerpted decision on the issue of the court's interference.:

We also find reversible error in the trial court's almost continuous interference, during cross examination of the People's witnesses, in defense counsel's exploration of issues relevant to defendant's intent to sell (see People v Canto, 31 AD3d 312 [2006], lv denied 7 NY3d 900 [2006]; People v Melendez, 31 AD3d 186 [2006], lv denied 7 NY3d 927 [2006]; People v Retamozzo, 25 AD3d 73 [2005]; People v Garriga, 189 AD2d 236 [1993], lv denied 82 NY2d 718 [1993]). While we recognize that the dynamics of a criminal trial may result in some intervention by the trial judge in the examination of witnesses, the cumulative effect of the court's extraordinarily incessant interference in this case was to obstruct counsel's effort to present a defense for his client. This is simply unacceptable.

Hattip: ABA Journal on line found here

Thursday, September 06, 2007

NEWSFLASH: Luciano Pavarotti, Italian Tenor, Is Dead at 71

The New York Times Reports that Maestro Luciano Pavarotti has died. With it, the heart of the opera world is broken and bereaved. As an American of Italian descent, an Opera lover and singer, and as a fan of Italian culture, I am more than sad. Another part of my history is gone.

I began hearing Maestro Pavarotti at a tender age. As he began to come of age as the world's pre-eminent post-World War tenor in the late 1960's and early 1970's his special brand of opera appeared on the Sunday Morning Italian American radio broadcasts and Shell Oil company sponsored Metropolitan Opera House Radio Performances that could be heard throughout my home. My mom and Dad would have breakfast to his and other great Italian-American singers, then dad would work around the house listening to the music these talented men and women made. Sunday was often the only day of the week we would even see my dad. If we wanted to be with him, and we always did, we learned to love Italian music.

Pavarotti, Roselli, Sinatra, Como, Prima, Butti, Connie Francis, all brought the different sounds of Italian music to my ears and home. Mind you I do not speak a word of real Italian. I understand some, and the more bastardized it is, the better I understand it. I know some of the Neapolitan dialect. But I can sing in the language. I can understand the great emotions that the music conjures up.

(If you never heard Luciano Pavarotti sing, click on this

In college, I had the opportunity to study opera. To sing with my first formal coach, and for a brief moment even pretend that I had sufficient talent to sing on the same stage as the Great Pavarotti. Alas, that was never to be. I was good, but he was great. I had a high B but my C was iffy and my D was usually bludgeoned into submission. I would never make it to the Met to perform. I did however go to see them work.

I new I could try cases someday. Maybe even argue in the SCOTUS or Der Hauge, but I would never know a 15 minute ovation in the Met, or La Scala. That is how NY said good by to Luciano Pavarotti. In his last performance, missing notes and in failing health, NY'ers didn't care. They had spent hundreds of dollars to hear what by would have been by all accounts a bad concert. Instead, we heard no errors, we heard the man of our opera youths, the man who made the art form real again. We loved him. And in his very human way, he loved us too.

Luciano Pavarotti, age 71, leading tenor for the NY Metropolitan Opera company has died, from pancreatic cancer complications. In my memory of my dad cutting wood and building homes and doing projects around my house, Pavarotti, just like my dad, will live forever.

Buona Notte Maestro.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

NEWS FLASH CRAIG MAY NOT RESIGN!! Is This The Making of a Libertarian???


The NY TIMES and the Associated Press (here)report Senator Larry Craig who said he was resigning from the US Senate after it was reported he was convicted of Disorderly conduct after being accused of soliciting gay sex in a public toilet, has let it be known he is reconsidering his decision... yet again.

By the time I had a chance to look into this matter and post about it originally, it was over. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was already resigning.
I remember thinking how sad it was that this fellow didn't trust the systems of justice that he had been part of for so long that he hastily entered a guilty plea.

Then I read about his family, and where he was from. Then I realized the shame he would have felt by putting them through what they are now going through. THEN I HEARD THE TAPE...

Pardon me, but I really do not believe... THE COP!!

Evidentially neither does former prosecutor and fellow US Senator Arlen Spector from PA. He has urged Craig to stay on and fight for his seat in the US Senate.

That I find the cop to be somewhat sureal and to be lying should come as no suprise to most of my readers I guess, but when I heard the tape, I realized that there was no case and the cop was desperately trying to get Sen. Craig to incriminate himself so he wouldn't look like the buffoon he was, sitting in a toilet all day waiting for someone to do something he could say was solicitation.

Maybe my mind was colored by all the hogwash I hear NY and Long Island vice say about solicitation...

Prosecutor:"What did you say to her?"
Undercover:" I asked her if she liked to listen to oldies music."
Prosecutor:" What did she say."
UC:" She likes Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel. So I arrested her."
ADA": What was the significance of that answer?"
UC:" In my 5 months as a vice squad cop (the judge is now ruling he is a vice expert) I have learned that the names Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel are euphamisms for Full service or vaginal sex and a blow job the venacular term for oral sex..."

It's hogwash. Everyday people get cowed into pleading guilty to a violation or crime they didn't really commit because these guys are to lazy or stupid to put together a real case.

Now I will pass on the whole issue of why it is a crime to ask a guy if he wants to have gay sex with you and it is considered a badge of honor to go up to a girl and ask her if she will have straight sex with you, as long as there is no discussion of payment. But come on. He LOOKED,TAPPED & WAVED??? So obviously, not only does he want to have sex with me, but he wants to do it in a public bathroom stall... IN MINNEAPOLIS???? Yet all the scarry cat Republicans who never met a cop they didn't want to believe blindly just cast Senator Craig aside. Gosh they fought harder for Congressman Jefferson and the cold cash in his frezzer!!!

Sen. Craig. You are a Neo-con Christian Right conservative. More anethma politically to me than anything to the right of Clinton and Kennedy. ( I save a special place for those two senators and the rest of the ADA clan)

I don't think you have voted for anything I believe in in all your time in DC... With that said, I would like nothing more than for you not to continue to serve in the US Senate, though I admire your willingness to do so.

My advice to you Sir is " DO NOT RESIGN. DO NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT. TRUST OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE. In the end you will prevail."

Yes, I want you out, but not like this, not for these reasons. The people of Idaho elected you. It is not for a bathroom cop in Minnesota to say who may represent them. If you are as innocent as you sound on the tape, and as you say you are, DO NOT GO. DO NOT RESIGN.

Who knows what will happen now that you have learned about police testilying??? Maybe you will start looking at the executive branch with the same distrust the founding fathers did when they proposed those first 10 amendments...

( I reserve the right to clean this up later and maybe add a few links.) I wanted to get this out. By staying up this late, I actually may have a blog scoop and I want it up ASAP.) TLD.