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  • Gobierno Nombre: Eric Van Buren
  • Número de registro: 11044-068
  • Edad:42
  • Tiempo de servicio:14 años
  • Home Town:Washington D.C.
  • Frase:VIDA
  • Corriente de carga:Drug Conspiracy
  • Alias:Big Erk, Freckle Face, Beezer
  • Fecha de la versión:Clemency Candidate
  • Prisión Afiliación:Another Chance 4 Legal (AC4L)
  • Círculo de Influencia:Marcus Martin, Another Chance 4 Legal
  • Institución:USP Canaán
  • There is no honor in coming to prison. It does NOT make you a man.

No Oversight, No Balance

Judge's Bench and gavel

As a blogger on Live from Lockdown, my job is to write on interesting subjects from a unique and fresh perspective that appeal to a target audience. I am an advocate for criminal justice reform, the Co-Founder of The TAWL Foundation, the author of (among other books) The Art of Winning Litigation. I consider my audience to be broad and multi-dimensional. Their realities and individual concerns drastically differ from their collective concerns. It is my job to transcend these different ideals. Especially when their varied antecedents equal the same consequent. That consequent being Justice. Harmony. Equality. Fairness. Balance. My job is always critiqued. As it should! Your oversight corrects any of my oversights. This is what we call BALANCE. All things need balance.

Words are POWERFUL. We know this from our religious texts. Our thoughts create. Good or evil. Right or wrong. Balanced or imbalanced. Fair or unfair. Our thoughts create. Due to this, we must be each others guardians, so we can have balance in all things.

Balance is the key to oversight.

The Law
Today’s judiciary is corrupt – como The Art of Winning Litigation explains. Not due to some mass-conspiracy afoot, but due to the thoughts of those in the legislative and judicial systems. Their thoughts and biases created imbalance. Our judicial and legislative systems are imbalanced because in large part they go unchecked.

Law creates exceptions for law enforcement and certain people in society. Someone put their thoughts into words and created this law. This allows the court system to speak to the community via their judicial decisions. Por ejemplo: To be indicted, the Grand Jury must find a probable cause. When cases like Eric Garner’s DO NOT get indicted the law states “there was not even a probability of criminal wrongdoing by law enforcement to indict”. So basically, as we witnessed, a big black man strangled to death on camera while being restrained by several officers and not resisting; per someone’s thoughts we should believe this is RIGHT by law. As the thought of exceptions for police officers exists, it has re-created other thoughts. These thoughts have created a culture and environment for law enforcement officials and the entire criminal justice system and judicial process.

Another great example of this created culture is when a group of police officers in Ohio shot up an unarmed black couple. The cop who was indicted JUMPED on the hood of the car and emptied over 25 shots into both individuals. The judge who heard the case stated simply he could not find the police did any criminal wrongdoing because he could not determine that the shots the cop fired into the bodies of the unarmed suspects caused the actual death of the victims. He reasoned, using the doctrine of causation, that the victims may have died from the bullets of one or more of the other unindicted police who fired over 110 shots at the victims. No I’m not making this up.

Lastly, la recent acquittals of the Baltimore City police officers in the Freddie Gray case and all charges dropped against the offices yet to face trial. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby spoke passionately about the judge’s reluctance -in spite of the evidence- to find ANY of the police officers guilty is a perfect example of corruption from a created culture and environment. According to the judge’s ruling: 1) There was no evidence of a “rough ride” 2) There was no evidence of criminal negligence by any police involved; y 3) The police where improperly trained, therefore they were insulated from conviction as they were just carrying out their duties learned and proscribed. These are the judge’s thoughts, and he found the law to back such thoughts. These thoughts have now created a seismic division between law enforcement and minority communities. These findings insinuate that Freddie Gray killed himself or helped kill himself during the arrest. To all of us who seek balance, we find this to be utterly ridiculous. There will be no independent judicial oversight of the judge’s decision. No balance was struck for the killing of this young black man. Besides the heartache of the black community, NOTHING seems to have changed.

Trump and Brady
You may know that Tom Brady of the New England Patriots recently dropped his appeal against the National Football League (NFL). The National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA) allowed the NFL certain legal authority over egregious or inflammatory player conduct. This allotment of authority is dictated by the Labor Management Relations (LMR) laws.

At the time this bargain was struck, the players all thought that ceding unchecked arbitrary authority to the Commissioner of their sport was no big deal, maybe even a great idea. It seems the players believed that when ceding unchecked authority to the NFL’s Commissioner to arbitrate player infractions, the Commissioner would NOT abuse this power. This is not far-fetched or unrealistic to assume. Being fair and objective is knowing you have the power to think or do differently, but instead yield to reason, fairness and compassion. Tom Brady, ironically the poster-boy for the NFL elite, found out that the LAW is unforgiving and most of the time does not yield to reason, fairness or compassion. A lot of people could care less about Tom Brady. They believe he is just upset that he got treated like the rest of us. Wow!

What I found to be the most appalling aspect of the Commissioner’s authorized unchecked power was one of the caveats, which allows that even if he gets the evidence wrong, his decision is FINAL. The only appeal you can make is back to him. Not even an Appeals Court can correct this factual oversight, per the LMR. This too happens in criminal Habeas Corpus cases.

Recently Donald Trump made one of the most racist and bizarre comments of his entire campaign. The oversight came when NO ONE spoke on it! Trump stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not respect Obama, and it was evident because he called Obama the “N” palabra. Posteriormente, to get respect from Putin, Americans should elect Trump. As a consequent, the world would regain respect for America. According to Trump, respect was lost for America, the world over, when we voted in a “N” word as President. This is one aspect of his mantra to ‘Make America Great Again’.

The implication is that it is axiomatic the world over that Blacks are not respected. The entire room of people he spoke to and the news broadcasters who commented on this afterward never spoke to the ridiculous racial overtone of Trump’s comments. One CNN broadcaster stated Trump’s comments were “strong comments and persuasive”. More clearly put, there seems a very tangible and real foregone conclusion about blacks that doesn’t even register in the minds of the public as being racist. THIS I FEAR is the worst sort of racism. This I fear is what permeates our judicial and legislative process. This I fear is the systemic racism Hillary Clinton is speaking about. This I fear is the biggest oversight in presidential campaign and race-relations rhetoric of late. This I fear is why there is no balance between law enforcement and minority communities.

Judicial Oversight
Judges will argue my claim has no merit. They will state the Appeals Courts (more judges) oversee the Lower Court’s rulings. Let me clarify one thing. The trial judge is allowed “broad discretion” in many of its rulings. The Appeals Court DOES NOT review the material facts of a case. Appeals Courts do not make credibility determinations about evidence. Por otra parte, the Supreme Court has ruled that there is error in all court proceedings, HOWEVER, most errors are harmless. Lastly, if not objected to properly, in the trial court, the Appeals Court is without jurisdiction to even hear certain issues.

If Wall Street needs oversight outside of the Security Exchange Commission (SEC),

then why aren’t we afforded the same when it comes to judges who deal in our life, liberty or property?

I am a strong proponent of the Prisión Noticias Legal (PLN). PLN reports on a range of subjects from prisoner abuse to environmental issues where new prisons are being built. Most often PLN reports about corrections officers or prison administrators abusing or violating prisonersrights. Monies in small amounts, compared to the loss of life or physical ability, are awarded in some cases. But more than likely the official who violates a prisoner’s rights go unpunished or receives a slap on the wrist. More likely the pro se petitioner is told by a judge that his petition fails to state a claim and is summarily dismissed.

One such incident, which I found to be the culmination of what is wrong today, is when a Warden made all the inmates coming into his facility strip naked and sitnuts to butts” on
a bench. If you did not comply you got a beating you were likely to remember for life. In the end, the Warden got promoted. No criminal action was taken and the prison was ordered to place underwear on prisoners when they implemented their “nuts to butts” programa. One of our great leaders stated, “to strip a man of his dignity is to rob a man of his life”.

Community Oversight
So why should we care about Tom Brady, or Eric Gardner, or Freddie Gray, or Donald Trump, or judges who allow cops to kill in our communities with no consequences? How does this effect all of us?

Without someone checking for judicial integrity, judges will continue to deny winning claims, allow the innocent to be found guilty – based on non existent crimes or evidence, (en 1 de cada 4 exonerations, the crime never happened.) and let cops who lie on, vencer, robar, or kill citizens continue to do their jobs. Por otra parte, it creates a culture where people RULE BY LAW. Like the NFL Commissioner, who because he was given the power to issue a severe punishment, felt vindicated and justified in doing so.

I applaud judges who stand up and speak out against other judges and prosecutors. One such judge, Alix Kozinski, who wrote an opinion about rampant prosecutorial misconduct. He called it an epidemic. Sin embargo, most judges are reluctant to stand up for justice. As I have witnessed, many judges state that they do not want to be the judge who was reversed the most by the Appeals Court. Huh? Peer pressure? Statements like these show peer review is more important than justice to most judges.

This term Supreme Court Justice Breyer stated very sternly that he can’t believe when the Supreme Court has ruled that a statute is no longer constitutional, defendants who are sentenced under those statutes are still in prison. Yet they are still in prison. No judge wants to be seen as the judge who lets criminals back into the community, even if the individual(s) was unjustly incarcerated in the first place.

A judge’s job at sentencing is to take into account the message sent to the community by the sentence or non-sentence they give. There is a list of things a judge must consider like like the safety of the community and the deterrence of other people who might want to commit these crimes. Sin embargo, because most law enforcement officials do not get convicted, judges do not have to, by law, take into account these factors. . .so they don’t. This too sends a message to law enforcement and those in and outside minority communities. I do not have to say what it is. Usted ya sabe.

If you are like me and tired of the imbalance today – Stand up! Contact me here so we can form a joint effort to push our initiative for balance, for oversight, for justice!

Eric Van Buren
Después de la condena estratega / Consultor


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