As it turns out, Joshua Marquis—the guy who wrote that idiotic letter about the Fisher profile—is a highly regarded spokesman for the prosecutorial lobby—the National District Attorney’s Association.
So I thought it might be interesting to see just what it is that these guys believe. And so with a little help from our friends at Google, I bring you:
THE GREATEST HITS OF JOSHUA MARQUIS (De SADE):
In an article about mental retardation and the (now forbidden) execution of the mentally retarded:
"Those (guidelines) are extraordinarily subjective. IQ tests themselves are subjective," said Joshua Marquis, district attorney in Astoria, Ore., a state that now must craft a ban. "IQ tests . . . can vary by 20, 25 points. It's going to be a very difficult road."
Huh? Does this guy just completely make shit up? Is he a complete idiot, or, given his national status as a bigwig prosecutor can we conclude that these guys don’t care about the truth?
Just to be clear—IQ tests are incredibly delicate psychometric instruments, and 20 points on an IQ test standardized at 100 is a full standard deviation. A 25 point variance is more than a SD. Does this guy think anyone would use such an instrument? This is foolishness on the order of Holocaust denial.
In an article on the sorry state of indigent defense, a major newspaper began it’s story like this:
MARKS, Miss., April 11 — Diana Brown met her court-appointed lawyer for the first time on the day she pleaded guilty to several serious crimes five years ago. They spent five minutes together and have not spoken since.
"You are guilty, lady," the lawyer, Thomas Pearson, told Ms. Brown, according to her sworn statement, as he met with her and nine other defendants as a group, rattling off the charges against them.
He told her she was facing 60 years in prison for assault, drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and should accept a deal for 10 years, court papers say. He gave her five minutes to decide. Offered no other defense, she took the deal.
What does Marquis say in this same article in response?
"We are looking at a completely different world than Clarence Gideon saw," Joshua Marquis, district attorney in Astoria, Ore., said. "In noncapital cases, indigent defendants get anywhere from an A to a C defense. I think they're entitled to a C-plus level defense."
Huh? Does this guy READ? Again, is this ignorance or do DA’s not really give a shit about indigent defense—sorry was Thomas Pearson a C+ defense? The point is, again, these guys don’t care about process, they just want to prosecute, win and incarcerate.
Ready for more:
On sequential lineups—something I know a fair bit about having been the (or maybe one of the) first in the country to file a motion seeking a double-blind sequential lineup, Marquis says this:
"it will be much more difficult for the [witness] to offer any identification," says Joshua Marquis, district attorney of Oregon's Clatsop County, best known as the home to the town of Astoria. "What we're trying to do is find the truth. We ought to make it easier, not make it more difficult."
While he agrees that lineups shouldn't be suggestive, Mr. Marquis says the research supporting reform is "thin"; indeed, some psychology experts question whether existing studies provide enough support for sequential lineups.
Sorry Charlie—that’s more bullshit. Go read the science. And as for the experts—the DA”s have found only TWO EXPERTS IN THE ENTIRE WESTERN HEMISPHERE (and only one in the US) who agree with them. One of them—Ebbe Ebbeson is a notorious prosecutorial hack who testifies for them constantly. And even Ebbesen doesn’t dispute the core findings of Wells et al—he just thinks we should do some more research.
Again, what’s going on here is the reason I hate prosecutors—they do that republican thing—they spout lies as if they are truth—they deny science and employ lies in the service of a profoundly corrupt agenda.
I know you’re getting bored but it goes on and on.
Marquis doesn’t believe that most people exonerated by DNA are innocent: Really.
When a newspaper reports that:
A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are thousands of innocent people in prison today.
Almost all the exonerations were in murder and rape cases, and that implies, according to the study, that many innocent people have been convicted of less serious crimes. But the study says they benefited neither from the intense scrutiny that murder cases tend to receive nor from the DNA evidence that can categorically establish innocence
Marquis says in the same article:
“that many of the people exonerated under the study's definition may nonetheless have committed the crimes in question, though the evidence may have become too weak to prove that beyond a reasonably doubt.”
Did I mention he want’s to kill Kids?
"Juries recognize, in some cases, that those under 18 are not the children we might want to believe they are," said Joshua Marquis, a longtime prosecutor in Astoria, Oregon, and a member of the board of directors of the National District Attorneys Association. "They don't benefit from the juvenile justice system, and can be held fully responsible for their actions."
Or that he want’s to bar possibly innocent inmates from being able to demand the DNA tests that might exonerate them?
"If we had unlimited resources, you might say, 'So, there are a couple hundred more people who want DNA testing. What's the harm?' " said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Astoria, Ore.
"But there are 500,000 rape kits [containing evidence] sitting on the shelves of police stations across the country right now, untested because we don't have the resources."
So basically, Astoria Oregon has a District Attorney who believes that IQ tests can’t reliably establish mental retardation, that poor people don’t deserve good lawyers, that the police shouldn’t use a kind of lineup that results in fewer innocent being wrongly convicted--that we should allow the execution of juveniles but prevent wrongly convicted people from proving their innocence through DNA.
And this guy speaks for the National Association of District Attorneys. Do you STILL wonder why I hate them?