Prosecutors

| May 20, 2024 | 8 Comments

 

I know the George-Soros bought-and-paid-for guys get all the headlines – here’s looking at LA. Austin, Philly et al – but there are others who fall off the narrow path sometimes. What can you do about them? Apparently – not much.

At the center of the case is Ralph Petty, whose yearslong career included work as both an assistant district attorney and a law clerk—at the same time, for the same judges. In practice, that means his arguments as a prosecutor were sometimes performance art, because, as a law clerk, he had the opportunity to draft the same rulings he sought in court. It doesn’t take a lawyer to deduce that the set-up presents troubling implications for due process.Reason.com

Here we have a woman in Midland County, TX, a nurse assistant name of Erma Wilson was with some friends in the park in 2001 when a bag containing cocaine near the group.  No evidence apparent linking it to her except proximity, and she was even offered a deal to walk if she would tell the po-po who owned the co-co.

But…when the prosecutor is simultaneously drafting the judge’s decision, what do you think will happen? Yep, guilty. And paid the price. 8 yearss’ probation.

A few years on, when a murder conviction was erased due to this same conflict of interest, Ms. Wilson decided  to try and get her conviction over-turned. Medical folks can’t afford drug convictions in Texas – she says this has limited her employment opportunities and precluded her from going to nursing school. Now we get to the nitty-gritty:

According to Wilson’s lawsuit, “Petty communicated with and advised fellow prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office” regarding her drug case and her appeal. Meanwhile, he was advising and assisting Hyde, the judge presiding over Wilson’s case. County records “show that Petty invoiced Judge Hyde for work he performed on Erma’s case while he was employed by the DA’s office,” her complaint says. That work gave him “access to documents and information generally unavailable to prosecutors.” And judging from “Petty’s unique formatting and style,” he drafted “documents affirming the jury’s verdict and imposing the terms of Erma’s sentence.”

Although that blatant conflict of interest was clearly inconsistent with due process, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit unanimously but reluctantly ruled last week, Wilson cannot sue Petty, the district attorney who hired him, or Midland County under 42 USC 1983, the federal statute that authorizes people to seek damages from state and local officials who have violated their constitutional rights.

That rule is based on the 5th Circuit’s interpretation of Heck v. Humphrey, a 1994 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court said a plaintiff cannot seek damages under Section 1983 for an unconstitutional conviction or sentence without a “favorable termination” of his criminal case. As Willett explains, that means the plaintiff has to show “the conviction or sentence has been reversed on appeal or otherwise declared invalid, such as by federal habeas relief”  Reason.com II

In a nutshell, she would have grounds if her case was vacated etc… but she served her 8 years probation already. So her problem is the guilty conviction, but Heck says it can only be handled if her punishment is essentially ongoing. No relief, no judgement in her favor. She is hoping to get a full court hearing which may help. The prosecutor cum judge’s assistant?

According to county records, Petty served as a de facto adjudicator as well as an advocate from 2001 to 2014, then again in 2017 and 2018. During this time, the lawsuit says, he “advised, performed legal research for, and wrote orders and opinions for District Judges at all stages of the criminal process.” He simultaneously “was involved in almost every case prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office in some capacity, often as an advisor on prosecution strategies and arguments.” In total, he earned more than $250,000 as a law clerk, in addition to his salary as a prosecutor.

When a new DA for Midland found Petty’s double dipping, Petty was allowed to resign – but there are still over 300 cases in which he was pivotal, in BOTH roles, one of which was the murder which galvanized Wilson’s suit.

I’m not a lawer by any means, but it sure seems that all of these cases deserve a relook. Preferably at Petty’s expense. Read the articles, there is more there than a quick summary can tell.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Crime

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KoB

“The first thing we do is, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Dick the Butcher in Act IV, Scene II, Henry VI, Part II…ht2 The Bard of Avon.

Oh…andBTW, David…you misspelled “persecutors”.

11B-Mailclerk

Tie that sonofabitch to a wagon wheel and flog him.

Shitbag.

Hack Stone

The first thing we do is, let’s issue private pilot licenses to the lawers.

Fixed it for you.

5JC

They are more inbred than a Mississippi trailer park after a tornado.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Their family tree isn’t a straight stick, it’s a wreath.

Green Thumb

Wow.

Boiling Mad CPO

My tale of Lawyers: Nutshell: Class Action, offered $5,000, settled for $175,000. Sounds great, now hee it gets more interesting: Law firm #1 in MO sent the collection to law firm #2 in TX who sent it to law firm #3 in Detroit, who I fired after no action. Back to law firm #2 in TX, who sent it to law firm #4 in Musketion, MI, who filed suit in Wayne Co which is back to Detroit. This all started in 2000. Now we are down to the wire and law firm #4 wants $9,000 before this can go forward. So law firm # 1,2 and 3 are on the side lines until #4 get his cash. I am in a situation that I can pay his fee but I prefer not toas I think it should come from the settlement. I am waiting for #1, 2 and 3 to see that #4 does the right thing. Remember, none of these firms get any $$ until #4 gets off his ass. I love it. BZ

Charles

There is always a “court of last resort” to unscrew a screwup when the law and the passage of time seems to have slammed the door closed:

Executive Clemency.

We normally think that is a process for a governor to issue a pardon — and it is — but it is also a method for reducing the disabilities imposed by a prior conviction.

In Texas: “the Texas Governor has the authority to grant clemency upon the written recommendation of a majority of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.”

So that is what I would recommend the lady do. Apply for clemency, and seek either a full pardon, or at least the ability to resume a path to nursing school.

America is in need of nurses.