September 2, 2012
May 11, 2011
March 27, 2010
The DA on the case transmits the Offer from his Boss, the Supervisor. For all 5 robberies with a gun and my guy’s prior convictions: 19 years in State Prison.
This sounds about right. We don’t have a defense. My guy’s been id’d by just about everybody including his girlfriend for robbing a bunch of cabbies and even a guy waiting for a bus. Just to get some cash so he can get high again. He’s a 50 year old heroin addict schnook, who looks 80, a very nice guy when he’s not high, who has spent half his life in prison. He really just wants to go back home to the joint.
My guy’s gonna take the 19 years. But before we get in front of the judge the DA says – “Wait, don’t take the deal.” I go, what? “If we go to trial all your guy has to do is get up on the stand and testify how it was a bb gun not a real gun. We’re not going to be able to prove the gun. Hold out for something better.”
And the next month the DA comes back with a new Offer from his Boss, the Supervisor. 10 years. Which my guy takes.
May 27, 2009
As I was waiting in court for my case to be called, I sat there watching as three lawyers were “addressing” the court and each other. For a moment I felt like a tv viewer who happened to flip to an unfamiliar sitcom and stick around to see what it was all about. It took a minute or two to figure out that these two defense attorneys and one prosecutor were simply trying to pick the next court date for their case. There was always a problem with a particular date. “No that’s not good for me – I have a conflict on that day. What about the 4th?” “Bad day for me counsel, it’s my nephew’s grade school graduation.” And on and on. Everyone in that crowded courtroom, including the defendants in custody, the court reporter, the clerk, and the people and lawyers waiting for other cases to be called had to listen to this. Every once in a while the judge would think there was a date agreed to and eagerly say – “So that’s it? It’s Thursday, the 6th?” – but no that wouldn’t actually do for one of the attorneys – “I’m set for trial in Compton that day and Judge Cheroske … well you know Cheroske.” There’s more blither and blather back and forth. At some point it reaches some plateau where it’s clear to all that some major point of existential absurdity has been reached. The judge looks down from the bench with a look like “would someone please give me the air bubble?” Okay, I’ll admit it, I too have participated in this kind of special Olympics for lawyers event of “picking a date”. I had no idea I was so amazing.
May 20, 2009
For some reason this Judge is giving it to this young cocky DA at a preliminary hearing. I say, giving it to him because being stupid and cocky in a DA doesn’t usually get you in trouble with a Judge. But there must have been some bad shit between these two. Because she really got on his tail. She interrupts him as he questions his witness – in a voice like she was talking to a 4th grader – “Mr. So & So – look at the jury instructions before you present your case so you’ll know the elements you have to prove. I am tired of having to do your job for you.” Man she was mad. And my client’s boyfriend lets out a whoop from the audience. One for the oppressed yeah! He’s thrown out of court. I have to say I enjoyed it too. As long as it wasn’t me. And then, of course, the Judge held my client to “answer”* and put her in jail.
*answer enough evidence to hold defendant for trial.
May 3, 2009
“What are you jammin* me for?” DA says to me.
My client had refused to waive time**.
“I’m not jammin you.” I tell him. “My client wants to have his trial already.” (I’d like to add but I don’t “he doesn’t know anything aobut your plans to go scuba diving off the reefs in Hawaii next week, asshole – he’s in jail – he’s not thinking about screwing your trip up but if he knew I’m sure he would love to do just that.”
What’s wrong with some DA’s thinking is they think we’re on the same team – when we’re only in the same league – on different teams. (unfortunately alot of my clients think the same way – “You’re in bed with the DA!”)
*jammin” the act of not agreeing to a continuance for your colleague’s convenience [colleague can be co-defense counsel or DA] “jamming” is considered very non collegial – very like “civil” lawyers)
**”waiving time” means the defendant says it’s okay with him to postpone the trial