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The Sun Does Not Rise at the Nightfall of Freedom
Perhaps Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will now have the latitude to do what Judge Sotomayor declined to do
: free an innocent man. Sixteen years of a man's life for a rape and murder he did not commit.
Sixteen years because of cowardly judges, including Sonia Sotomayor.
Then again, as Associate Justice Antonin Scalia once put it
, "mere factual innocence" is insufficient not to put a man to death.
Or, as appellate Judge Sotomayor put it, "excusable neglect" that a clerk of courts misinformed the wrongly convicted man's attorney, which caused a filing to miss a new, Git-Tuff-on-Crime appeal deadline by four days.
"Empathy," my ass.
"Liberal," my ass.
And one more thing:
"Change," my ass.
Welcome to dusk; the daylight is behind you.
It seems to me that the one that guy should really be upset with is his incompetent lawyer, for not filing in time.
I don't know.
But I'd much rather have a Sotomayor instead of another Scalia. Or Roberts. Or Thomas.
Good evening, Moody Blue.
The attorney did exactly what he should have: he called the courthouse to determine if delivery was by date of receipt or by date of postmark, and he was told (as has been common law for a very, very long time) that it was date of postmark. That comports with any reasonable interpretation, and the attorney had no reason whatsoever to believe that a clerk of courts would convey incorrect information.
Because other courts, in their confusion, had apparently ruled that a "mailbox rule" did not apply, Sotomayor's court ruled that this was incidental negligence on the part of the clerk of courts, and that the man's conviction must stand because the appeal was not filed on time.
That is not incompetence on the part of the attorney; that is cowardice on the part of Sotomayor, who hid with the herd, as she so frequently has, in considering procedural law over substantive matters.
She could have stood up for that man. She could have used that as an opportunity to have the original prosecutors show just what venal things they were if they dared to appeal the reversal of conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court. That is not the only time Sotomayor has tried to kill legitimate, substantive claims before they got out of a court in which she presided.
Sotomayor chose not to stand up for an innocent man.
Sotomayor showed what innocence means to her.
She is given the right under standing law to judge me and anyone who comes before her court. I have the right under natural law to judge her. This has nothing to do with "mercy," either on her part or mine; instead, this has to do with morality in justice. She wants to have her version, so I shall have mine.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
When my lawyer was denied a chance to reargue the case on the grounds that the court's decision ran counter to the law and to the facts, we moved to the Court Of Appeals, the highest court in New York. I filed a Writ Of Habeas Corpus, in which I argued that my conviction was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The year was 1997. The year before, Congress had passed Bill Clinton's Anti-Terrorism-Effective-Death-Penalty Act (often called AEDPA in legalese), which mandated that from then on, all state prisoners would have only one year to appeal to a federal court after being denied an appeal by their state's highest court. As a result, there was some confusion in the federal courts regarding the filing procedure; it was not clear how this new law would apply to cases already in the system. Different jurisdictions were answering the question in different ways; my lawyer called the court clerk and asked whether it was enough that my petition be post-marked on the due date, or if it had to physically be filed and in the building on the due date. The court clerk told my attorney that it was enough that it be postmarked. That information turned out to be false. Consequently, my petition arrived four days too late.
So, why did his attorney wait until the very last day?
Whether it was the last day or the first day has no bearing. The exculpatory evidence arrived when it arrived, and it was the court's error, not the attorney's, Moody Blue. The passage you just quoted establishes precisely that.
Even if the attorney had erred, which he did not, surely you are not claiming that an wrongly convicted, innocent man should serve a day in prison, much less 16 years.
Although I understand support for Sotomayor, in this case, the facts are clearly, plainly, and undeniably against what she did. That much is without substantive dispute.
Beyond that, and taking into account other occasions where she has used procedural law to the detriment of substantive, obvious reasoning, I find her no reformist and, in fact, quite mediocre in terms of standing up for justice.
That last paragraph represents my judgment. It goes beyond the facts to the heart of what constitutes evaluation; as such, it is open to criticism.
I'm listening to your show, and I really appreciate you pointing out the irony of Sotomayor claiming strict adherence to rule of law, when none of these people will prosecute BushCo and friends. Exactly - why is no one else mentioning that?
That, Anna Van Z, would be to speak an "inconvenient truth."
The Dark Wraith should copyright that phrase.
I don't think any person who is innocent of a crime should be imprisoned, and he spent 16 years in prison after being wrongly convicted.
Yes, he got a raw deal, and I'm sorry for that.
Welcome to dusk; the daylight is behind you.
Definitely a keeper as well.
I was very disappointed, though unsurprised, that no politician from the left was willing to buck her nomination on the grounds that you and others have pointed out; her fear of letting go of procedure and actually using that Latina mind to decide what is in the best interests of the parties in front of her.
Harriet Myers certainly moved that Overton window in a big way, but I still would like to see a jurist selected for more than just political expediency. A backbone would be nice, for starters.
I almost forgot. My names trog, and I'm the Uncle Tom of smokers. I chainsmoke like I'm on death row, yet not only do I prefer non-smoking areas in restaurants, I fully agree with the sentiments expressed towards those who smoke in proximity of other, less thinking-impaired mammals. Having admitted this, I can also appreciate the opinions of smokers who feel the scorn is a bit overdone, like as in:
When Turkey expanded a ban on indoor smoking at public places last month, the move triggered what became known as the "smoking ban murder," when a patron opened fire on a restaurant owner in southwest Turkey after the man was asked to put out his cigarette. ( From a WaPo article on iraqi smoking ban possibility.)
I'm almost positive that a smoking gun will be found.
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