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Dysfunctional judiciary

Illegal immigrant's 145G 'deport gift' - May 9, 2010

"An illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet got a $145,000 parting gift from New York City taxpayers before he was deported, after city lawyers decided his civil rights had been violated when he was held too long on Rikers Island."

9/11 billable billions - February 7, 2010

"Lawyers in the legal battle over Ground Zero worker compensation could bag up to half of the billions available to pay 9/11 recovery workers for toxic injuries."

Impeachment imminent for federal judge - December 19, 2009

"Witnesses in the congressional impeachment case against U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. paint a jarring portrait of the former Louisiana state judge appointed to the federal bench in 1994 by President Clinton."

Man can sue store he robbed - November 4, 2009

"A Michigan judge says a man who claims he was chased, shot and beaten by workers at a store he'd just robbed can sue the men."

Crack thugs sue city - October 11, 2009

"Members of a brazen Brooklyn crack gang raked in more than $500,000 in taxpayer money by repeatedly suing the city for civil rights violations, records show."

Judge rules against Prop. 8 backers - October 3, 2009

"A federal judge has ordered sponsors of California's Proposition 8 to release campaign strategy documents that opponents believe could show that backers of the same-sex marriage ban were motivated by prejudice against gays."

Home-schooler ordered to attend public school - September 4, 2009

"A New Hampshire court ordered a home-schooled Christian girl to attend a public school this week after a judge criticized the "rigidity" of her mother's religious views and said the 10-year-old needed to consider other worldviews as she matures."

Grandmother arrested for buying cold medicine - September 3, 2009

"When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs. Now, Harpold is trying to clear her name of criminal charges, and she is speaking out in hopes that a law will change so others won’t endure the same embarrassment she still is facing."

Pesticide cases could be upended - July 12, 2009

"Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney dismissed the claims, ruling that U.S. lawyers and their Nicaraguan partners had concocted the cases through an audacious fraud, recruiting plaintiffs who had never worked on banana plantations, training them to lie on the witness stand and then waging a campaign of intimidation to prevent the scheme from being uncovered."

Plea deal could set pervert free - June 30, 2009

"A pervert who faced 50 years in jail for having sex with two boys he'd lured to his Brooklyn home could be freed as early as this year."

Cop losing everything for bad memory - June 29, 2009

"Detective Perino has found himself in a "nightmare," standing at the precipice of "losing everything" -- perhaps even his freedom. Perino's world collapsed last week, when the father of four was convicted of perjury for testifying in 2007 that he did not recall an unremarkable conversation 15 months earlier..."

Supreme Court overrules Supreme Court nominee - June 29, 2009

"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge."

SF judge rules that Justice lawyer can be sued for opinion - June 13, 2009

"A prisoner who says he was tortured while being held for nearly four years as a suspected terrorist can sue former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo for coming up with the legal theories that justified his alleged treatment, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Friday."

South Carolina governor must take stimulus money - June 4, 2009

"South Carolina's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Mark Sanford must accept $700 million in federal stimulus money, ending the only formal effort by a governor to reject funding intended to jump-start an ailing economy."

SF Zoo thugs settle for $900,000 - May 29, 2009

"The San Francisco Zoo agreed Thursday to pay $900,000 to two brothers who survived the fatal attack by an escaped tiger on Christmas Day 2007, sources familiar with the case told The Chronicle."

California Supremes issue contradictory ruling - May 26, 2009

"The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed."

New London regrets eminent domain fiasco - March 10, 2009

"The battle led to the Kelo v. New London decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court essentially said that governments have the legal power to displace property owners for economic development -- that is, people can be booted from their homes and businesses if anybody else can be found who would pay higher taxes at the site. New London never actually received those taxes. The case's notoriety dampened interest in doing business at the stolen property, and then the economic downturn killed the project. Journalists visiting the scene have found the land to be "barren.""

Justice Dept. involved in coverup in Berger burglary - February 21, 2007

"The commission's former general counsel, Dan Marcus..., separately expressed surprise at how little the Justice Department told the commission about Berger and said it was "a little unnerving" to learn from the congressional report exactly what Berger reviewed at the Archives and what he admitted to the FBI -- including that he removed and cut up three copies of a classified memo."

Border agent acquitted after prosecutor lied to judge - February 19, 2007

""The government stated in writing the aliens were allowed to remain and work in the United States pending trial and specified that 'no other promises or advantages' had been given," the court said. "That was not true.""

Commentary about Libby prosecution - February 18, 2007

"There's a reason why responsible prosecutors don't bring perjury cases on mere "he said, he said" evidence. If we accept Fitzgerald's low threshold for bringing a criminal case, then why stop at Libby? This investigation has enough questionable motives and shadowy half-truths and flawed recollections to fill a court docket for months. So here are my own personal bills of indictment:"

Sen. Fred Thompson rips Libby prosecutor - February 13, 2007

"When you put too much power in the hands of unelected, unaccountable people who have every incentive to focus massive resources onto one particular person — who gets the plaudits in the media for doing so — it's a bad thing. And many, many times an injustice can occur."

Prosecution witnesses in Border Patrol case fired - February 10, 2007

"All three agents gave sworn testimony against Ramos and Compean for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which successfully prosecuted the shooting case in March. The agents were given immunity in exchange for their testimony despite changing their accounts of the incident several times."

Prosecutor and judge hide drug smuggler's second arrest - February 1, 2007

"The judge in the high-profile case of two U.S. Border Patrol officers imprisoned after shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler allegedly sealed key testimony and issued gag orders preventing the defendants, their families and trial participants from discussing the smuggler's involvement in a second drug bust – for which he again was granted immunity in order to testify against the agents."

Commentary on property rights abuses - January 31, 2007

"Unfortunately, Americans have permitted governments at every level to become increasingly destructive of the ends they were created to serve. Under the color of law, government often does to us what thieves and crooks do, and like a nation of sheep we stand by and take it, and what's worse, sometimes we ask for it."

Mike Nifong faces numerous ethics charges - January 24, 2007

"The North Carolina State Bar Wednesday filed new and more serious ethics charges against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence and misrepresenting the truth to the judge in the Duke lacrosse case."

Limbaugh prosecutor Barry Krischer - May 1, 2006

"Krischer ought to be ashamed of himself, and the people of Palm Beach County ought to be frightened by what passes for law enforcement in their neck of the woods."

History of bungles by Libby prosecutor - March 27, 2006

"As the Libby cases progresses, it has underscored the pattern seen in other recent cases Patrick Fitzgerald has supervised. Fitzgerald is good at creating elaborate facades which tart up the ramshackle huts to which they are affixed, like Potemkin Villages. Once those facades are removed, it is obvious the cases behind them are rickety, and the prosecutor more adept at hiding than ferreting out the truth."

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