Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Judge Says Lawyers Can't Bring Up Violence

by Louie Gilot - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - El Paso Times
The jury in the case of the two Border Patrol agents who shot a man in the buttocks last year will get to hear about the victim's alleged drug-smuggling activities but won't get a picture of the border as a violent place for law enforcement.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone partly granted the motion by the U.S. attorney -- who is prosecuting the agents -- to exclude any mention of border violence, in particular the recent standoff in Hudspeth County. Lawyers will have to advise all witnesses of the prohibition.

They will be able to ask the judge to allow mentions of border violence on a case-by-case basis, but they will have to approach the bench every time and speak out of earshot of the jury, according to the ruling issued Monday evening.

This is typical of the way Judges treat juries. After all, anyone who has not been to law school cannot possibly be intelligent enough to filter evidence and get to the truth without a Judge deciding what part of "truth" they are allowed to hear. We have a court system that is carefully contrived to make sure that "stupid" juries do not hear all the evidence. Certain evidence must be hidden so that the guilty can go free. This is a necessity of a system where the talent of the lawyer is intended to determine the outcome of the trial, not the truth of what happened.

This is the same basis for voire dire, that amazing process where anyone who reads and keeps themselves literate about what is happening in society is excluded from juries. This assumption is based on the premise that if you have heard anything about a case, and you did not go to law school, you must be biased and cannot determine guilt or innocence objectively. The same grounds can be used to exclude anyone who may have passed the defendant on the street. They cannot be allowed to be on a jury.

The absurdity of this was dramatized when someone who worked for Hertz, but had never met O.J. Simpson, was excluded from the O.J. Simpson jury because he "might have been biased based on O.J. being a spokesman for Hertz" many years before. Actually he simply seemed to be an intelligent person. Defense counsel cannot let an intelligent person on the jury when the defendant is guilty. Juries nowadays represent less than 5% of the American citizenry. That number 5% is what our courts consider a jury of your peers. 95% of American Citizens are not "peers" of the defendant. They might be peers of the victim, but victims are completely ignored by our court system.

Actually that is not true. They are not ignored. They are treated with hostility, almost as enemies of the court. They have no rights as far as Judges are concerned.

Our courts have taken suppression of evidence to such a ridiculous extreme that justice has been abandoned.


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