Mr. Markus reports on his blog that a member of the Federal College of Cardinals had to be rescuced from an elevator today. This is just too good to be true.
Apparently the elevator was one of those that speak and when the Judge ordered the elevator to open its doors the elevator replied that it was denying the motion and informed the Judge he had ten days to appeal and that if the Judge didn't have the money to file an appeal, s/he could proceed informa pauperis.
The Judge wanted to file a complaint with Building and Zoning but was told the US Supreme Court made the Building and Zoning regulations discretionary and therefore the elevator was within its rights to let the judge out on the floor he/she wanted, let the judge out on a lower floor (a downward deviation) let the Judge out on a higher floor (an upward deviation) or keep the judge in for 360 floors to life.
Rumpole heard that when the Judge called for help s/he was told that they needed to text their call for help in a PDF format to the electronic help desk, which would review the matter and get back to them shortly.
There is no truth to the rumor that the call for help was referred to a magistrate who reviewed the matter and denied it without a hearing.
Sometimes you just get a hanging curve ball.
BACK TO THE ORIGINAL POST:
Does anybody else feel like they are buying a car when they enter into plea negotiations with a prosecutor?
It goes something like this:
ASA: It's 3 years prison.
Defense Atty : How about a withhold and a year probation?
ASA: No way.
a few calendar calls later...
ASA: OK..I see your point about the bad stop. I agree the depos aren't great for me. Let me go talk to my supervisor. (At which point the ASA goes into that fabled backroom).
ASA. Well, I've never seen this before...you must be really good. It's 364 but you have to buy the extended warranty and the undercoating.
The point is that there has to be some discretion given to individuals who have managed to graduate from law school, pass the bar, and be hired as a prosecutor.
Granted, discretion comes from experience, but perhaps there is a better way.
It now truly feels like a bad car buying experience trying to get even the most simple part of a plea changed. It also slows down the entire court process, and turns the prosecutor into a glorified messenger.
Perhaps the answer is to have the supervisor in court more often. I remember a young ASA being given a hard time about not breaking down a DUI many many years ago. The Judge called Janet Reno, and Reno asked to speak with the ASA. A few moments later the ASA hung up the phone.
"What did she say?" asked the Judge.
"That she'd be right down to try the case with me." responded the ASA in the days when the SAO was on the 6th Floor of the Justice Building.
The point is that Judges and defense attorneys find it very annoying when trying to resolve a case, to deal with some nameless/faceless all powerful "supervisor" that skulks the hallways of the SAO saying "no deal" every time someone hands them a phone.
There is obviously another side to this story, and any prosecutor who wants to fashion a response will get it published in the comments section. If it's good enough, we'll post it on the front page.
See You In Court, waiting for a supervisor to say no.
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