Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Not Prosecutors in Virginia.

In the State Of Virginia’s relentless pursuit to execute a retarded man (See, Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 (2002) ) we now know the reason the prosecutor’s are so angry: Mr. Atkins may well be innocent of the accusation that he was the trigger man in a robbery. The death penalty in Virginia is only available for the person who pulled the trigger unlike Florida (motto: “we like to execute accomplices too”).

And in Virginia, getting a conviction means never having to say you’re sorry.

Attorney Leslie Smith who defended a co-defendant in this case, encountered the type of ethical dilemma that is a criminal defense attorney’s nightmare- the requirement that he keep his client’s secrets to the detriment and possible life of another person.

What occurred was that while Smith’s client was being debriefed by the prosecutor: one Cathy E. Krinick, the prosecutor stopped the tape, and pointed out the troubling fact that Smith’s client’s testimony that Atkins was the trigger man was not supported by the evidence. Being a good prosecutor (not!) Krinick did what the homicide cops should have done- coached the witness to give testimony matching the evidence. Once that small problem was cleared up, it was home sailing through the trial and the death penalty.

But Smith was wracked by his conscience: while representing his client, he probably witnessed the prosecution assist his client in giving perjured testimony that was necessary to put Atkins to death. But to speak up would be to reveal a client confidence and put Smith’s own client at jeopardy. And Smith didn’t want that because it was clear that ol’ Cathy Krinick was not going to rest until she killed someone in this case.

The NY Times article is

After several attempts, Smith was finally able to get a state bar ethics lawyer to agree that because his client’s case was over, he was free to come forward with his statement.

No word on whether the Virginia prosecutor’s office, having been denied their bloodlust in this case, is seeking the death penalty against Smith for having the audacity to tell the truth.

Speaking of telling the truth…

Canada has added the United States to a list of countries that includes Iran, China, Israel, Egypt, and Mexico as a country that tortures its prisoners.

The AP reports that the US Ambassador to Canada had this to say:
“Damn right baby. However, I would take slight issue with China and Mexico, only to the extent that we employ much more technologically sophisticated torture methods. A bullet to the back of the head is just so crude, don’t you think?”

Actually, the Ambassador had this to say:
''We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it's absurd,'' U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins told The Associated Press. "For us to be on a list like that is just ridiculous.'' (Notice Israel and Egypt were missing from the Ambassador's statement. Why? Well both are allies, and the CIA uses the threat of releasing prisoners to Egypt for torture as a way to get captives to speak.)

Ridiculous? Yes.

Sad? Absolutely.

Not true? No way.

We torture people, pure and simple. And what President Bush and President Cheney don’t understand (because they never served in the military) is what Senator McCain and Collin Powell (former combat military officers) have said : that by using torture we are putting our own military at risk, because sure as you’re reading this, there will be another war, US soldiers will be captured, and we will have no right to complain when they are water boarded and held in the Iranian or North Korean (Or Canadian) equivalent of Guantanamo.

But since neither Bush nor Cheney nor their children are in the military,

c’est la vie (that’s Canadian for “The US is run by thugs and idiots.”)

Anyway, not many White Hats worn these days where they’re supposed to be.

See You In Court. It’s Tuesday after a Monday off. Yuck.


Anonymous said...

President Cheney? It can't be that late, hope I read that right otherwise its a scary world!

Anonymous said...

Hey Rumpy, your time stamp is off since I'm reading ths post at 11:47pm on Jan 21, 2008.

Anonymous said...

Good point. I'm sure the Iranians wouldn't even think of torturing our soldiers if we hadn't tortured Iraqis.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Yep, we torture:


Anonymous said...

The Feds are worse any day

Anonymous said...

Are you at all aware of the decline in credibility of the once exalted New York Times? The far leaning left, liberal air head son of the former esteemed publisher has had his own agenda since taking over. And that agenda has been to take down the curent administration. Notice how it hasn't worked? You rely on seriously flawed "information."
And since when do you have the inside track on what goes on behind the closed doors during enemy interogations? Your foolish position regarding "torture" is exactly what aids an abets the terrorists because people like you make us (Americans)appear like a bunch of bleeding heart ninnies. Perhaps, when there is another, significantly larger attack in this country you may, all too belatedly, sing a different tune. Until then, look for a wider variety of viewpoints. It may help to round out you thinking.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between slitting the throat of someone on the battlefield and torturing a prisoner.

Many people who have the courage to fight and kill are against torture. The most prominent, presently, is John McCain. He killed on the battlefield. He was tortured. Yet he has long been against torture. Is he a ninnie?

Whether your a pansy or a hawk, here's the question to ask... does torture provide quality information? Over the course of many wars, the answer learned is clearly "NO." A man who is tortured will say anything to stop the torture. Wouldn't you?

Let's put it in simple terms. The CIA asks if you have ever been to an Al Qaeda training camp. You say no. They subject you to days of sleep deprivation, hypothermia and waterboarding. After a week they strap you to the waterboarding table and ask you again... have you ever been to an Al Qaeda training camp? What's your answer now?

Rumpole said...

I'm going to do a post tomorrow on the madness of these Tuesdays when the court is closed Monday. The current system doesn't work. Email me your thoughts.

Rumpole said...

The NY Times is not the only outlet reporting that we torture people. Certainly the Canadian government believes it. So does Amnesty International. In fact, the US government admits to waterboarding captives. So what I am saying is that when the Iranians start waterboarding female pilots shot down in combat, it will be beacuse of the narrow thinking of Cheney, et.al. And just who will we turn to? The Geneva convention? The UN?

Cheney avoided Military service. So did Bush. And I don't see their children in the military either. It tends to be the "arm chair" warrior who ignores the advice of the real warrior's- Like Colin Powell and John McCain. Why don't you read what McCain has said on our government's policy on torture? Or is he not credible enough for you as well?

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to believe that NO ONE wears a white hat anymore. The argument is being made that we must fight fire with fire. Our government argues that in order to catch the bad guys we have to act like bad guys.

We are supposed to be better than that. How do we set an example of what we are all about when what we are all about is hard to differentiate from what they are? The only difference is we have guns, missiles and bombs and they have guns and suicide bombers.

It is our plurality they despise. It is our openness that they can not tolerate. To them that is the disease, the virus if you will. They believe they must be the vaccine.

Yes it is all those things that make us vulnerable, but we have always been so. Time to leash up the dogs of war and take the dangerous road.

Rumpole said...

1:16 PM. Your argument is clearly wrong in the eyes of the Government, because it is rational and logical. You fail to account for the fact that "Jesus is with us" and Bush has "a hunch" he is right.

Furthermore, I regret to inform you that should you continue to refute government policy that is handed down by the lord and interpreted by our evangelical leaders, in a reasonable and logical manner, you will be subject to arrest and prosecution.

You are warned.

Anonymous said...


You are a sad, lonely, cynical person. I would hate to be you.

Tom said...

Dear Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:16:00 PM,

It is even worse than you lay out. In World War II the United States captured loyal members of the Nazi party who had been trained to resist interrogators. American military investigators pulled reams of useful information by careful questioning no more intrusive than sharing a cup of coffee with a prisoner. So not only does torture not work, civilized and humane questioning does.

The evil mofos demanding we torture are not only hurting America, but they should be deported to Palestine because they don't love America.

Rumpole said...

1:49- You forgot drunk; gambler; better trial lawyer than you'll ever hope to be; enjoyer of fine food and loose women; occassional jogger; and worst of all for you:
great writer that you cannot get enough of.

See You In Court Mon Ami.

Anonymous said...

...so then I will add immoral egomaniac.

Anonymous said...

With the insane construction and traffic around the MJB on Mondays
and Tuesdays after Monday holidays,
Judge Farina needs to do an Administrative Order that no defendant shall be given a warrant
for his/her failure to appear until at least 12noon on those


Anonymous said...

"Not prosecutors in Virginia".....

Amazing. Here we are, the week where we celebrate the genius and insights of MLK, and you smear ALL of the prosecutors in Virginia because of a couple of assholes. I bet if a prosecutor posted something like "all defense attorneys are lying scum" because of what one attorney did, you'd go nuts.

At least try to live by the stuff you preach.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a crap what Amnesty International says? They make Chamberlain look like a warmongering world conqueror.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the Spinner-Clerk is single?

Anonymous said...

you sure that was Virginia and not broward ?

Rumpole said...

7:24 PM: Immoral? Immoral? Why, I cross at the green, not in between. I yield. I post no bills when told not to do so. I vote. I use public urinals whenever convenient. I do not litter. I never drink before noon. I once helped an elderly nun cross the street.

Being the greatest human being I know, I humbly take offense at being called immoral.