Friday, October 15, 2010

Sleazy politics...

So one of the first things I saw this morning as the TeeWee cut on in alarm clock mode was this commercial:

Boy, that's a sleazy little hit piece, no?

Don't vote for this guy, because he represented a child molester!

Hey, why don't we go one step further and deny accused child molesters any legal representation at all? As a matter of fact, let's just skip the whole "trial" thing. If a kid says that you touched them in their special naughty place, we'll just have a cop drag you behind a barn like Old Yeller. Would that be good enough for Mark Massa?

Well, thank you for the commercial, Mark; you just convinced me that you don't have the moral character for the job.

I just have one question for Curry: Would you be the kind of prosecutor who goes after good citizens that have the temerity to use their legally-owned firearms in self defense, just to score some political points?


Anonymous said...

And the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is O.K. with this ad?

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

Can Mark Massa get tough on killer drunk cops when his office has no problem defending David Bisard?

Shootin' Buddy

Stuart the Viking said...

Down here in Central Florida (and I assume almost everywhere), I don't think that there is a single canidate that I can vote for if I judge them strictly on the integrity of the attack adds that they are running.


wv: rofer, It's getting deep on this side, rofer the other side.

Borepatch said...

Here in Massachusetts, our Attorney General (Martha Coakley) is notorious for her involvement in the Amirault case. The Amiraults were convicted on many counts of child abuse in the 1990s, based on "recovered memories" from pre-school age kids who attended their day care center. Pretty quickly, everyone realized that this was a huge miscarriage of justice, a latter day Salem Witch Trial.

The parole board unanimously recommended releasing him from prison pending his appeal that everyone expected he would win; Martha moved heaven and earth to keep him behind bars.

Looks like your guy here is cut from the same cloth.

staghounds said...

Depends on what one's view of lawyers is.

If you think of lawyers as pure technicians, then you are right.

Defense lawyer, prosecutor, it's all the same.

You know, like Wehrner von Braun.

That's a pretty extreme outlook, that as a citizen I want a mercenary to be my lawyer.

Prosecutors aren't supposed to be morally neutral technicians, we are charged to do right and justice.

Alas, the magic ability to KNOW right doesn't appear with the paycheck. (Only judges get that.) One has to constantly be willing to listen and learn, to accept the possibility that one might be mistaken.

Forgetting that, the other extreme, is bad too. That's how one ends up rehiring DUI DAs, and avoiding the truth about crimes by people inside the system, and extorting.

But representing a particular client is a moral choice, just like putting on a particular uniform is.

Maybe Mr. Curry represented Mr. Young without charge out of a sense of duty, because he believes that everyone is entitled to a defense. Maybe Mr. Allen had his price. Maybe he did it because he believes that the age of consent ought to be four. Maybe the Court appointed him, and he didn't have a choice.

I don't know. I don't like the style of the advert, and from where I see it Gen. Mazza isn't fit for the job. But it's not an irrelevant fact.

And I note that Mr. Curry uses lots of babies in his sales effort.

Brad K. said...

Aside from the moral issues - remember, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

And the courts have nothing to do with right and wrong. The courts are impartial - almost impervious to the truth, by design. The courts act on evidence as presented.

When a lawyer sympathizes and identifies closely with a client's plight - there is a risk, that like a psychologist, important facts and considerations will be overlooked.

This is a mud-slinging ad, and reprehensible. So, how much union money did it cost?

Anonymous said...

"So, how much union money did it cost?"

Massa is a Republican--it is Chamber of Commerce money.

"But representing a particular client is a moral choice, just like putting on a particular uniform is."

The uniform is in service to the Constitution.

Shootin' Buddy

Mick Havoc said...

Tam, I am one of your biggest fans, but I have to respectfully disagree.
Terry Curry is on record stating "there are too many guns"
Mark Massa has prosecuted bad cops in the past. He is also on record stating that law-abiding citizens with guns are "not the problem."
I think the ad simply raises a question regarding Mr Curry's objectivity were he to be elected to the post.

I definitely have a bias here, as Mark is my brother. In the 49 years I have known him, his integrity is beyond reproach.

Please check ADVANCE INDIANA for Mark's opinion re: P.O. Bisard.

Matt G said...

I put child abusers in jail, and when I do so, I fervently hope they go to prison. I put together evidence into lengthy cases so that the District Attorney will have plenty to nail the bastards, and nail them good. This year submitted multiple such cases.

But I also expect that the defendant will get a spirited defense, and hope that he receives one. Everyone deserves their day in court, and a legal defense. Now, I've been beaten up on the stand pretty heavily, by unscrupulous defense attorneys who are trying to impugn the state's main witness against their client. (I once had a DWI attorney roar a warning at me of the penalty for perjury, to grandstand to the jury. He later tried to shake my hand outside the court room, and I couldn't do it. It's one thing to try to cast doubt, but when he called me a liar, I didn't owe him that courtesy.)

I WANT our state to have to prove up its cases against a good defense. If we can't, then we need to not file them at all. Someone has to give that defense. Criminal litigation is an expert's game. Even bad guys deserve expert legal defense.

Anonymous said...

I fail to understand how there can be a class of suspects that are not due a good defense due to the taint they will leave on the defenders.

If we are going to demonize any who dare defend those suspected of one crime or another, why not just shoot everyone accused of child molestation?

So, which politician do we accuse first?

Roberta X said...

Mick, your brother may be of upstanding moral character but IMO, by running that ad he shows the judgment of a tick or a leech.

His opponent isn't running attack ads. It makes Curry
appear to be the better man.

Not to mention that the ad strongly implies that some accusations -- not convictions, accusations -- render the accused unfit for legal representation. Funny, I remember State and Federal Constitutions saying otherwise. Of course, I'm not a lawyer -- and I would not hire one that ignorant of the law.

Tell Mark he needs to get a better ad, fast -- and repudiate this one even faster.

Anonymous said...

"Mark Massa has prosecuted bad cops in the past."

Which is why Massa immediately resigned after Brizzi nolled the OWI/Death against Bisard.

Guilt by association for thee, but not for me.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

BTW, speaking of when law enforcement goes bad, what is your brother's position on DePrez?

Going to keep her and her sunny disposition if your brother wins the election?

Shootin' Buddy

lelnet said...

Child molesters deserve to rot in prison and then burn in hell.

But _the American people_ deserve an honest judicial system, where we can be reasonably assured that only guilty people go to prison. The adversarial process is how we attempt to get that, and it works reasonably well. Not perfectly, but better than any known alternative.

The fact that the crime is a horrible one is a concern for sentencing. Which comes _after_ a jury has decided whether or not the state has proven that the defendant is actually the person who committed it.

Prison is in the hands of the jury, and hell is in the hands of God. What elected officials have control over is their duty to the people and to the system...and the guy running this ad clearly doesn't see it that way.

Britt said...

No one is denying that child molesters have a right to be represented. No one is arguing for summary execution, and I'm disappointed in the usually quite level headed crowd here in insisting that this is the case.

Look, the courts must presume the defendant is innocent. However, the fact is that some people have a preponderance of evidence against them when they go to trial. Especially modern forensic evidence. It's one thing to represent someone who's guilt is in question. It's quite another to represent someone who you know, having looked at the evidence, is guilty as sin. I'm not talking about the system, I'm talking about an individual defense attorney, reading the case file, realizing that the accused is in fact guilty, and then choosing to defend him anyway.

Sleazy lawyers who will represent confessed serial killers or unrepentant child molesters have a place in the world. Some see representing the monstrous as a noble act, some sort of high minded belief. I do not. Defending evil is not noble. Defending the accused if there is doubt is noble, but it is not a righteous act to defend someone who gleefully confessed to a heinous act, or who has an overwhelming case arrayed against him. Those people have the right to representation, but it's a job best left for the sleazy sharks who will take any case. Moral, upstanding people do not defend evil.

Oh and if you're going to disagree with me, please don't trot out the Scopes trial, Susan B. Anthony's arrest, or the Civil Rights Movement. I'm not advocating a curtailment or removal of Miranda rights, I'm not advocating anyone be denied representation. I'm simply saying that if an attorney defends monsters, he cannot complain if someone questions his judgment or his morality. If one is seen to lie with dogs, one can expect his acquaintances to inquire about his flea problem.

Anonymous said...

"reading the case file, realizing that the accused is in fact guilty, and then choosing to defend him anyway."

The attorney has no choice, especially if a public defender, it is, as the Supreme Court reminds us continually, his duty.

"If one is seen to lie with dogs, one can expect his acquaintances to inquire about his flea problem."

Does this apply to prosecutors who refuse to resign when their boss has a flea problem? Is it fair to point out that a prosecutor whose boss defends monsters does not resign from that office in protest?

Shootin' Buddy

Brad K. said...

@ Shootin' Buddy,

When one's boss makes a mistake, even screws the pooch a time or two, we should make the best of the situation. Whatever the boss's job is - when we work for someone, our reason for working is to make them look good. To get the job done as assigned.

When the boss is headed in the wrong direction, when the boss has no character, morals, or integrity - that we have a real choice about. If you cannot respect your boss, you have to get a new boss. Anything else and you become the enemy. "Birds of a feather flock together."

A prosecutor has an assignment, and a moral duty to self, community, and even the defendant, to do that job well and properly. If the boss is abusing the courts, his/her office, or any trust in the community - then the prosecutor either identifies with the boss's agenda, right or wrong - or (if he/she has any character, morals, ethics, and / or integrity) files charges against the boss for wrongdoing, or at the absolute least minimum - finds a new boss.

@ Roberta, thanks for pointing out that that ad is a distinct and enduring smirch on anyone's reputation.

Sigivald said...

Britt: The known guilt have the legal right to a defense.

Someone therefore must provide it - even if the Court has to order one of its Officers (ie, a lawyer) to do it.

And I see no reason to believe that the people/person he's supposed to have defended here were "definitely guilty".

Monsters must be defended lest non-monsters lose their defenses.

Therefore someone must defend them, for everyone's good.

Remember that if nobody will defend someone ("because he's totally guilty!"), then he can't be tried. That is not a preferable outcome, is it?

No? Then someone must "choose" to defend him (if only by not resigning when assigned to do so).

Thus the entire idea that not refusing to defend a monster makes you "questionable" is untenable; if every lawyer did so all monsters would go free - because they can't be tried without representation, and they can't be held forever without trial.

TheMinuteman said...

I guess John Adams was an A-Hole for defending the soldiers at the Boston Massacre.


Britt said...


So unless Terry Curry defends a child molester, we all lose our right to representation at trial? That's the kind of exaggeration I'm talking about. Miranda rights are not in question. Mr. Curry's right to defend who he chooses is not in question.

The question raised by the ad is this: Do you want to elect someone who chose of his own free will to represent the worst kind of people?

It's not a macro thing, it's micro thing. Just because "someone" has to represent these people at trial doesn't mean you should be representing them. Just because they are entitled to a defense doesn't mean you have to choose to defend them.

Blogger Barron said...

I guess John Adams was an A-Hole for defending the soldiers at the Boston Massacre.


No, because they didn't do anything wrong. John's cousin Samuel ginned up a mob and they started throwing bricks at armed regulars. Armed, 18th century British regulars. It's slightly safer to ruffle the ears of a hungry polar bear.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of turd polishing that kills libertarians. Yes, we all know you don't give a hoot about children and that your rights are far more important than their safety...but the guy did try to put a pedo back on the street. There's nothing noble about it, it's a fact and it doesn't weigh in his favour as far as I'm concerned. In the real world this guy probably did what he did for money and was not motivated in the least by morals or ethics.

Matt G said...

"In the real world this guy probably did what he did for money and was not motivated in the least by morals or ethics."

So kind of you, Anonymous, to bring those two distinctly different issues to the table.

If a defense attorney is acting on sheer morality, he will probably refuse to represent 95% of his clients. If he is acting out of ethics, he will use every tool that the law has put at his disposal to get his client out from under the government's thumb.

That's his ethical code. When you hire an attorney, you damned sure want him to follow that ethical code.

I've had guys that have gotten off repeatedly because of their great attorneys find themselves unable to wriggle out of the case that I presented to my D.A. I can think of one mature gentleman that was listed as 0 - 8 for two crimes that I charged him with. He took a Plea In Bar (they really were great attorneys; he was quite wealthy.), and copped to one of the charges that I busted him on (DWI) that he had repeatedly gotten out of in the past. No matter what kind of battery of attorneys that he put up in court, I had him dead to rights. The state could prove their case. I was fine with the fact that the defendant had a spirited defense; he wasn't getting out of this one.

And so it goes.