Joshua Marquis, some prosecutor in Oregon writes this letter to the editor in response to my profile of Jeff Fisher in the LATM. It is a great example of why idiot prosecutors succeed as well as they do. Like so many republicans, they've mastered the art of the righteously asserted lie. And as most rhetoricians will tell you, when you're free to make up facts, it's easy to win an argument.
Here are some choice samples:
"The Blakely vs. Washington decision prohibits judges from giving anything more than a minimal sentence to felons who have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt"
--Uh dude, did you READ Blakely? That's just a complete fabrication.
"Members of the criminal defense bar are thrilled with the Blakely decision. The system is already heavily weighted toward their client, and their sole job is to get that client off the hook."
--Ah...Heavily weighted toward our clients? That's absurd. And yes our job is to get our clients off the hook--is this guy seriously implying that we should fundamentally alter the role of the defense lawyer? Oh...I know...let's make it so that if a client confesses we testify against them!! Cool, that'll work really well!! Give me a break.
"Long after Fisher becomes rich by defending America's largest corporations, those of us who devote our lives to protecting the victims of the Blakelys and Crawfords of America will be trying to explain to a battered woman or an abused child why their assailant may walk away from court with nothing but a big smile on his or her face."
First off, Jeff did most of his work on both Blakely and Crawford pro-bono, so this is just a cheap shot. Secondly, Mr. DA, don't give me that righteous bullshit--especially delivered through a false syllogism. Like thousands of others, I've personally spent almost 15 years in the trenches of the criminal justice system, giving voice to the voiceless and teeth to the very constitution you would trample in your prison-fueled zeal. And my bet is that you've made a lot more money than I have.
Either you haven't read the decisions, or you're just mendacious in your arguments: If you've lost a case because of Crawford, one of two things is true: either the complainant doesn't want to go forward and YOU CHOOSE not to force her, or you lost the case because YOU were lazy and failed to call the witnesses relying instead on inadmissible stuff. In other words, if you lost, it was because in your prosecutorial arrogance you were so used to just getting inadmissible hearsay into evidence, that you didn't bother to do it right.
And if you didn't get the sentence you wanted...well my guess is you probably haven't been charging and submitting special informations to comply with the constitutional mandate of the US supreme court. Again--it's your arrogance that's loosing the cases--you just don't FEEL like comporting with constitutional requirements so instead of bothering, you'll just whine and lie and blame Blakely or Crawford. How about just do the work and quit whining? Or better yet--take responsibiilty yourself.
If, after either Blakely or Crawford you wind up explaining to a battered woman or an abused child why their assailant may walk awake from court smiling, and if you explain it by blaming either decision, you're not only arrogant and foolish, but incompetent as well.
It doesn't surprise me that a District Attorney would blame a nice pro-bono lawyer for correctly arguing a consitutional point. (Let's bear in mind that Fisher's arguments were accepted by the United States Supreme court and both opinions were written by none other than Antonin Scalia) and it surprises me even less that instead of just working a little harder to comport with the consitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, a District Attorney would choose instead to whine and fib about how the ruling (rather than himself) will be to blame for his losses.
Can you imagine being prosecuted by this guy? God help the innocent residents of Astoria Oregon.
His Supreme Court Wins Won't Benefit 'Victims'