Attorney for Fullerton Cop Manuel Ramos: Kelly Thomas Was Responsible for His Own Death

The attorney for former Fullerton Police Department officer Manuel Ramos attempted to have his client's charges dismissed yesterday by arguing that Kelly Thomas, the homeless man Ramos helped beat to death, was asking for it: 

Seeking to have charges dismissed against a Fullerton police officer in the death of a mentally ill homeless man, his attorney contends in a motion filed Tuesday that Kelly Thomas could "have avoided a physical altercation" by simply complying with the commands of the officer who wanted to take him into custody.

Defense attorney John Barnett in his filing just days before his client Manuel Ramos is due back in court argues Ramos' action did not cause Thomas' death.

When a "recalcitrant" Thomas did not comply, Ramos was entitled to use force and the threat of force to complete his arrest, Barnett contended in his 80-page motion.

"Rather than use actual force, Officer Ramos employed a lawful, conditional threat, to use force," he wrote. "The death of Kelly Thomas was not the natural and probable consequence of that lawful threat."

"What happened (during the encounter) did not and could not constitute a crime," Barnett said.

That "Lawful, conditional threat"? 

[District Attorney] Rackauckas said Ramos triggered the sequence of events that led to the fatal fight when he snapped on latex gloves, turned to a sitting Thomas and threatened, "You see these fists? ... They are getting ready to f--- you up."

The Orange County Register has more on Barnett's attempt to have the charges against Ramos dismissed. His whitewash is almost as infuriating as that of Jay Cicinelli's stepfather, a retired cop who claims that what happened to Thomas "wasn't a beating; it was a struggle." 

The video from that night contradicts both men's claims. 

Reason.tv on Cops Vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media:

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  • John||

    The cop is entitled to a fair trial. And that means he is entitled to a defense. The right to due process doesn't say "but your attorney can't make ridiculous claims on your behalf".

    Come on Reason, what is the guy's lawyer supposed to say?

  • Tman||

    I agree that if the guy is going to plead innocence that sure, the attorney can and should make some ridiculous claims on your behalf, but the sheer audacity of the cop to do this is what's so infuriating.

    It's just unfathomable the depths of selfish cowardice involved in the defense of this atrocity.

  • John||

    Reason wants Ramos to admit to murder. Hell, I do to. But that is not how it works. Ramos doesn't have to admit to anything. And he has every right to a defense and to make whatever defense he wants.

    And Reason has no right to go with the "how dare he" tone. That is how the system does and should work.

  • Tman||

    Reason absolutely has the right to take the "how dare he" tone. The claim Ramos is making is patently absurd. At no point is Riggs arguing he shouldn't be allowed due process, but he certainly has the right to call a spade a spade.

  • ||

    And Reason has no right to go with the "how dare he" tone.

    Fucking 1st Amendment, How does it work?

  • John||

    They can make it. But doing so makes them look like vindictive hypocrites.

  • Tman||

    Why hypocrites?

  • robc||

    What hypocrisy?

    I dont see anything wrong with, "You are allowed to make an inane argument for your client, but we will mercilessly mock if for being insanely stupid".

  • John||

    We will find out Rob. That is why we have a trial.

  • robc||

    Its an inane argument even if it succeeds.

  • GILMORE||

    John| 8.22.12 @ 11:52AM |#

    Reason wants Ramos to admit to murder. Hell, I do to. But that is not how it works. Ramos doesn't have to admit to anything. And he has every right to a defense and to make whatever defense he wants

    jESUS, YOU'RE AS BAD AS A LAWYER SOMETIMES....

  • Enough About Palin||

    Come on Reason, what is the guy's lawyer supposed to say?

    Well, for one thing, John Barnett could say that all of those rumors going around that John Barnett fucks sheep are false. But he isn't saying a thing about these allegations. Makes one wonder if it's true that John Barnett fucks sheep.

  • robc||

    Come on Reason, what is the guy's lawyer supposed to say?

    In private: Dude, you are guilty, plead guilty and throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

    In public: What he said. I was gonna make the same point as you.

  • robc||

    That said, you say something stupid in public, you deserve to be mocked.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, as much as I detest every cop ever (except Robo- and Super-), John's right.

    Can't argue that the cop didn't do it, there's too much evidence. So about all that's left is arguing that it was the victim's fault.

    'Course it's not going to matter since the prosecutor is only going to halfheartedly prosecute and there won't be any witnesses.

  • ||

    Come on Reason, what is the guy's lawyer supposed to say?

    How about "My client pleads guilty and throws himself on the mercy of the court."? The bastard deserves a reciprocal death sentence equal to the one he imposed upon Thomas, but I'd settle for a lethal injection or maybe even life behind bars.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Your lawyer doesn't have the right to plead guilty on your behalf. That's your call, no matter how serious the alleged crime.

  • ||

    No shit. I wasn't making the claim that his lawyer should throw him under the bus. It was an attempt at mocking John while at the same time expressing my contempt for lawyers in general. Obviously not a very good attempt since you missed the point of my comment which was that this pig deserves to die. My apologies.

  • John||

    Fine. Let's make a new rule that cops have no right to due process and have no right to a defense and must plead guilty if the mob so deems.

    Good luck with that.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Because that's exactly what Dragon was arguing.

    Come on, John - this is when you go into MuNG-level stoopid. Stop it - you're better than this. I think...:)

  • John||

    Then WTF is he arguing. Either this guy gets a trial with a defense or he doesn't. And if he does, that means his defense gets to argue things that the prosecution and the victims and their advocates may not like. Tough shit, that is how an adversarial process works.

  • robc||

    How about this, present whatever you want, but be prepared to be ridiculed for the stupidity of your defense.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Judges limit what arguments the defense can make all the time when it is a citizen on trial. Nothing wrong with limiting this cop too.

    And all of the cops on the scene deserve public hangings with their bodies left on the gallows for the ravens to eat.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    We're actually having a trial, and each side gets to vigorously advocate its position. If you want the death penalty, then fine, I suppose you would advocate even more protection for the defendant to avoid the risk of a wrongful execution.

    What's to mock in John's remark? That a person accused of crime by the state, and whom the state wants to put in a cage/execute, should have the right to a full defense? That it's the govt's job to prove guilt?

    A criminal defendant doesn't have to prove shit, and he doesn't have to admit shit. If he's a cop who killed someone, then if you're going to defend him, you pretty much have to lay down the position that he was acting within the scope of his duties, and defy the prosecution to prove otherwise.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    We've discussed the possibility that the prosecution might not zealously advocate its position - if that's the case, then an acquittal would be tainted by the fact that one side didn't actually fight for its position.

    What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander - if the defense doesn't put up e real fight, that would cast any conviction into doubt.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I read the transcript of the Gary Powers trial - the US pilot who flew into Soviet airspace. His "defense lawyer" did what people on this forum are advocating - tell the court that of course his client was guilty but asking for leniency.

    If you don't want the officer to put forward a full defense, you're basically advocating for Soviet-style justice.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Powers was traded for Soviet Spy Rudolf Abel, whose lawyer put up a full and vigorous defense, barely losing 5-4 in the Supreme Court.

    Which country's legal system came off better in this situation?

  • ||

    That a person accused of crime by the state, and whom the state wants to put in a cage/execute, should have the right to a full defense?

    You seem to forget that Ramos was an agent of the state and that he was responsible for protecting the rights of Thomas. So perhaps beating him to death without a trial wouldn't be so unfair after all.

    Let's make a new rule that cops have no right to due process and have no right to a defense and must plead guilty if the mob so deems.

    I'm not completely opposed to that. Though I'd be more inclined to simply advocate that agents of the State should be held higher standards and be forced to face a higher burden of proof than CITIZENS.

    The part you guys seem to be missing is that Ramos was not just some schmuck who beat another man to death. He was a COP with powers and authority to do things far beyond you and I. So, no, the same rules apply to citizens shouldn't apply to agents of the State. And argue how unfair that is all you want or how that would discourage people from becoming cops because, quite frankly, that's a good thing. It would give monsters like Ramos pause before considering to become a cop in order to have the opportunity to fuck people up.

  • John||

    Sure Red Dragon.

    We will just decide who gets due process based upon who they work for. That will never get out of hand. No slippery slope there.

    Jesus you guys are as bad as liberals sometimes.

  • $park¥||

    Jesus you guys are as bad as liberals sometimes.

    Well, he's got the bit in his teeth now and there's no stopping him until he's tired himself out.

  • Chris Mallory||

    No slippery slope at all, it just applies to government employees. There needs to be some punishment for being a government employee. Losing the rights enjoyed by citizens seems about right.

  • Mensan||

    Not necessarily losing the rights, but I would have no problem applying an extra set of laws to only government employees. I'm thinking something in line with how the UCMJ applies to servicemembers.

  • ||

    We will just decide who gets due process based upon who they work for. That will never get out of hand. No slippery slope there.

    Jesus you guys are as bad as liberals sometimes.

    First of all: Don't lump me in with anyone else in here... That's a good way of offending everyone else. I don't make any claims of allegiance with anyone here. I speak for myself.

    Secondly: I'm not claiming to have perfect answers and I certainly don't have the time to rewrite the constitution today in a way that would please both of us. But I do believe that if you are going insist on elevating police officers to some holy status in our society, then they should be judged accordingly. When someone puts on a badge and uniform and runs around with official power to kill people then they should be required to prove that they were justified in doing so. If that burden is too great for some people then they shouldn't become cops. If you can't see that then we can agree to disagree.

  • ||

    We will just decide who gets due process based upon who they work for. That will never get out of hand.

    I'm not say he shouldn't get any due process, just a different kind. And if you think this is unjust then consider a military court martial. We prosecute soldiers under different rules all the time. Why not cops?

  • SugarFree||

    So, no, the same rules apply to citizens shouldn't apply to agents of the State

    I disagree. Just holding them to the same standard of conduct as everyone else would be an unimaginably huge leap forward.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "You seem to forget that Ramos was an agent of the state"

    Not any more he isn't.

    Shall we say that a defendant accused of murder had so much power at the time he committed the crime that he doesn't deserve the same benefits as any other defendant?

    So a person accused of a gang killing doesn't deserve a full defense because at the time of the crime he was powerful?

    Or if a political regime puts its predecessors on trial it's OK to have an unfair trial because at the time of the alleged crimes, the defendants were in the government?

    Government can be unforgiving to its former employees, and there are numerous instances of miscarriages of justice where the defendant used to be a big shot with the govt, but isn't any more.

    Without the right to a vigorous defense, the govt could judicially lynch any former govt employee who has become unpopular.

  • robc||

    IMO, the standard for guilt should be the same, but as Ive argued before, any crimes committed in a state sponsored role (such as a police officer) results in trebled penalties.

    So if he got 20 years, for example, that converts to 60 years.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's fine, because the penalties are only triggered after conviction.

    The discussion of "OMG shocking defense arguments" goes to guilt, not punishment.

  • robc||

    The discussion of "OMG shocking defense arguments" goes to guilt, not punishment.

    And our mockery of the defense arguments goes to neither, so not sure why John or you or anyone cares.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Because unless the defense lawyers get to zealously advocate for their client, any conviction will be tainted and will give no assurance that the right result was reached.

    In contrast, if the defense gives their clients zealous advocacy, and the jury hears the best arguments the defense can make and still convicts, we can have more confidence in the verdict.

    Or we could have the judge rule out certain defenses in advance and give a "hanging charge," turning the jury into a rubber stamp.

  • robc||

    Or we could have the judge rule out certain defenses in advance

    Which happens all the time, unfortunately.

    While its not very libertarian, the two wrongs make a right, goose/gander type argument has appeal.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's hard to applaud sauce being prepared to cook the gander if it's a legal precedent for sauce being prepared to cook *you.*

    Jury trial is *meaningless* unless defense lawyers can rebut prosecutors' arguments with what observers may consider ridiculous defenses. I trust juries in most cases to weed out the bad defenses and accept the good ones.

  • Randian||

    Jury trial is *meaningless* unless defense lawyers can rebut prosecutors' arguments with what observers may consider ridiculous defenses.

    I am not on the jury.

  • gulo gulo||

    I am not on the jury.

    Thank you.

    our mockery of the defense arguments goes to neither, so not sure why John or you or anyone cares.

    Agreed, and not answered.

    We know the defense has to make a case. I doubt anyone here is ignorant of that.

  • robc||

    Jury trial is *meaningless* unless defense lawyers can rebut prosecutors' arguments with what observers may consider ridiculous defenses.

    Then jury trial is already meaningless.

  • ||

    Not any more he isn't.

    So because the department was smart enough to fire his ass for this that means he was not a cop when he committed the crime? Fucking stupid.

    Shall we say that a defendant accused of murder had so much power at the time he committed the crime that he doesn't deserve the same benefits as any other defendant?

    Yes. We do it everyday. Consider a military court martial. If soldiers can be convicted under different rules then why not cops?

    So a person accused of a gang killing doesn't deserve a full defense because at the time of the crime he was powerful?

    Proof that your reading comprehension sucks or a poor attempt at redefining "power" to mean something other than my obvious definition in order to refute my argument. I'm talking about powers granted by the government.

    Without the right to a vigorous defense, the govt could judicially lynch any former govt employee who has become unpopular.

    I'm not saying he shouldn't have a vigorous defense. I'm saying that Ramos, as a police officer sworn to protect the rights of people like Thomas, should be forced to prove that he was justified in killing the man, not that the prosecution should prove he wasn't.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Let me give some examples of former govt employees railroaded by unfair procedures:

    Alfred Dreyfus - member of the French General Staff at the time of his alleged crimes. He turned out to be innocent, but the French establishment for all practical purposes wanted him to prove he *wasn't* a traitor, convicted him with secret evidence - yay, a blow against statism!

    When there's a regime change in certain countries, their first step is to try and hang/lock up the leaders of the previous regime. If they can't prove to representatives of the regime that overthrew them that they are innocent they get to be executed/imprisoned. Yea libertarianism!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    or *worked for* the French General Staff. Still a govt position.

  • ||

    Let me give some examples of former govt employees railroaded by unfair procedures:

    Alfred Dreyfus -

    Jesus Christ. Really? The fucking French? That's your example?

    Let's agree that the government screws people of all flavors over in the name of it's own self interests. All the more reason to hold those in Government accountable.

    He turned out to be innocent, but the French establishment for all practical purposes wanted him to prove he *wasn't* a traitor, convicted him with secret evidence - yay, a blow against statism!

    Where did I claim that we should railroad Ramos into a phony conviction with secret evidence? You're grasping for straws. There is already plenty of evidence to convict him. But for his attorney to claim that Thomas is to blame for his own death is a fucking insult to anyone with two braincells to rub together.

    When there's a regime change in certain countries, their first step is to try and hang/lock up the leaders of the previous regime. If they can't prove to representatives of the regime that overthrew them that they are innocent they get to be executed/imprisoned. Yea libertarianism!

    This is not about regime change moron. I'm not advocating for the establishment of a kangaroo court to convict him. I'm say that as a cop, the burden of proof should be on him to prove that he was justified in killing Thomas. This is not some rebel state trying a former member of an ousted empire.

  • John Thacker||

    I'm saying that Ramos, as a police officer sworn to protect the rights of people like Thomas, should be forced to prove that he was justified in killing the man, not that the prosecution should prove he wasn't.

    I'd settle for cops and everybody else to be on the same level first. We've got a ways to go to reach that sort of equality before trying to discuss whether cops should be held to a higher standard.

  • GILMORE||

    Come on Reason, what is the guy's lawyer supposed to say?

    !!!!!STOP RESISTING!!!!

  • $park¥||

    If he didn't want to be raped beaten to death, he shouldn't have been acting like a slut mentally ill homeless man.

    See how much sense it makes when you put it that way.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    If he would have just complied and consented, the rape never would have happened.

  • ||

    Hilarious!

    This pig's gonna burn.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I think you vastly over-estimate the effort the prosecutor will put into this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He already put more effort in than I expected.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Meh, not me yet, for some reason there's actual media heat on this right now. Probably because they thought the guy was a minority and their instinct kicked in, and then they had to stick with the story.

    Now a year from now when the trial is actually going full scale, and no media coverage is there, and the prosecutor still executes his duty to the full extent of his ability, THEN I would be surprised.

  • Mike M.||

    I'm glad that I'm not the guy responsible for trying to defend these cold-blooded murderers. How do you defend the indefensible? I don't think that even Dunphy can justify what these guys did.

    I couldn't do it, but this is how our legal system works; even the lowest scum of the earth get defense lawyers who have the job of putting forward the best defense they possibly can.

  • Mike M.||

    And John beat me to it.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    He beat you like a Fullerton hobo.

    Too soon?

  • Lord Humungus||

    as Rumpole would say, lawyers are just traveling taxis, offering their services to anyone.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Cue dunphy in 3...2...

  • nipplemancer||

    IIRC, Dunphy has always been conspicuously absent from Kelly Thomas threads. I don't blame him though, it's just asking to be abused by the 'bigorati' as he calls us.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Is this the real talk version of "force continuum"?

  • OldMexican||

    "Rather than use actual force, Officer Ramos employed a lawful, conditional threat, to use force," he wrote. "The death of Kelly Thomas was not the natural and probable consequence of that lawful threat."


    Glossary:

    Actual Force: Force applied by anybody not wearing a badge.
    Lawful Force: Not actual force, but force that's lawful because the originator of the force wears a badge.
    Question Begging: The daily staple of sleazy lawyers.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Kelly Thomas could "have avoided a physical altercation" by simply complying with the commands of the officer who wanted to take him into custody.

    If you don't want to be beaten to death, just do as you're told?

    Has the whole world gone insane?

  • Mike M.||

    Has the whole world gone insane?

    More and more every day, I'm thinking that the answer might be "Yes".

  • nipplemancer||

    I don't have a problem with the defense doing their job. Now if the judge goes an dismisses the 2nd Deg. Murder charge, then I'll have a serious fucking problem.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Why would they bother? Then they don't get to go through the whole show of putting the cop on trial and getting him acquitted, just to show that they treat everyone equally?

    Is there like a term for a reverse kangaroo court?

  • fried wylie||

    Koala Court?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "What do you mean I'm not a bear? I have all the Koala-fications!"

    /Koala

  • ||

    "Rather than use actual force, Officer Ramos employed a lawful, conditional threat, to use force," he wrote. "The death of Kelly Thomas was not the natural and probable consequence of that lawful threat."

    Stan: It's just that, you know, he killed twenty-three babies.
    Man 4: Well yeah, but it was in self-defense!
    Crowd: YEAH!
    Cartman: He... killed... twenty-three babies in self-defense?
    Skeeter: Hat was attacked maliciously and unprovoked by a gang of babies in West Town Park. When that many babies get together they can be like piranha.
    Man 5: Three eyewitnesses testified that if Hat hadn't killed those babies, they'd have killed him!
    Crowd: YEAH! [the signs go up] Free Hat! Free Hat! Free Hat!

  • R C Dean||

    So, his defense is that the cop only made a threat, and never laid a glove on the deceased?

    Good luck with that.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    IANAL but I read it as saying that the hobo was fairly and legally warned, so that anything that followed was justified and completely out of the cop's hands.

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's see.

    It is plausible that had he unquestioningly obeyed the cop, the beating would never have happened.

    It is also plausible that had he not fought back, the beating would not have been so severe.

    Thus he did it to himself.

    Sad thing is, there are likely people that will be sympathetic to that argument.

  • WTF||

    In other words, it's his own fault because he gave them the excuse they wanted, which in their sick minds justified beating him to death.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's his fault for disobeying and fighting against authority.

    Had he submitted like a good serf citizen, none of that would have happened.

    It's not the knights' cops' fault. They were just doing their job.

  • Ice Nine||

    the attorney can and should make some ridiculous claims on your behalf,

    The really salient amazing thing about this is that there are actually people who can make a claim like that in a case like this and then look at themselves in a mirror.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, they're called lawyers.

  • Ice Nine||

    Sort of what I was getting at.

  • John||

    Because everyone deserves a defense. And who the hell are you to decide what is a "ridiculous" claim is what is not? Maybe that is what his client actually believes. Do you really want a system where only "reasonable defenses" are allowed? And if so, who decides that? And if not, then who is supposed to make the defense if not the defense attorney?

    Defending criminals is not an easy job. It is like cleaning the sewers in some cases. But we can't have a system if people are not willing to do it or consider it beneath their morals to do it.

    How fucking dare libertarians claim to believe in due process and limited government power only to throw the whole concept over the side the first time there is a defendant they don't like.

  • robc||

    And if so, who decides that?

    The judge.

    They do it all the time.

    "You cant bring up jury nullification"
    "You cant bring up medical facts about pot"
    etc etc

    It happens all the time.

  • John||

    The judge is another name for the "court". You can argue it even if you lose.

    I am sure the medical facts about pot are just as stupid to the drug warriors as this argument is to Reason. And I am quite sure the drug warriors over at Free State or wherever would laugh at the audacity of any defense attorney who tried to argue pot was good. Reason is supposed to be better than that and understand that this is how the system works.

  • Randian||

    I am confused. Is reason supposed to remain silent in the face of patently absurd claims?

  • John||

    They are not supposed to act shocked when such claims are made or imply as this post does that there is something nefarious about the attorney making them.

  • Randian||

    They neither acted shocked or 'implied' anything nefarious.

    They pointed out that the claim does not comport with the facts.

  • John||

    They neither acted shocked or 'implied' anything nefarious.

    Bullshit. Read the fucking post.

    His whitewash is almost as infuriating as that of Jay Cicinelli's stepfather, a retired cop who claims that what happened to Thomas "wasn't a beating; it was a struggle."

    What is infuriating about this? The defense is doing its job. It is only infuriating to Riggs because apparently Riggs thinks the defense only has a right to make approved arguments.

  • Randian||

    What is infuriating about this? The defense is doing its job. It is only infuriating to Riggs because apparently Riggs thinks the defense only has a right to make approved arguments.

    Being infuriated at what appear to be lies is what human beings do, John. I should note that "infuriated" is not the same emotion or action as "implying nefariousness" or "acting shocked"

  • John||

    How do you know they are lies? We haven't had a trial yet. Let the guy have his say and then decide. Deciding what the truth is without hearing from both sides and deciding up front what is a lie is clearly the objective and reasonable thing to do.

  • Paul Ryan||

    I heard John was in here acting like a methed out asshole again.

    Hmm, looks like it's not about me so have at it Johnny!

  • ||

    This makes me curious John. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you posted before that Casey Anthony was guilty of murder, even after the trial?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would say the jury, not the judge, gets to decide if they accept the defense, or if they were persuaded *beyond a reasonable doubt* that the defense is wrong.

  • robc||

    I would say the jury, not the judge, gets to decide if they accept the defense

    That would be nice, but that isnt the way it works. Judges shoot down defenses all the time.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Within broad limits, of course.

    There are some cases where a judge says no reasonable jury could believe such-and-such.

    This is generally in civil cases. In criminal cases, there is still room for judges keeping issues from the jury, but thank God, it is or ought to be a limited power on the judge's part.

  • robc||

    it is or ought to be a limited power on the judge's part.

    Try basing your defense entirely on jury nullification and see how far it gets you.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Nullification has to do with the interpretation of laws. Orthodox legal doctrines allow much more leeway on the interpretation of *facts,* and the issue of provocation on Thomas' part is a factual issue.

  • robc||

    John Jay claims its the defense's absolute right to argue jury nullification.

    Who the fuck am I to argue with him?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I agree with Chief Justice Jay that juries should be able to interpret the law, even if that means disagreeing with the judge's interpretation. This is contrary to modern legal dogma, but it was the unanimous view of the Supreme Court in the 1790s.

    If you want to call that nullification, feel free.

  • SugarFree||

    How fucking dare libertarians claim to believe in due process and limited government power only to throw the whole concept over the side the first time there is a defendant they don't like.

    How high is that fucking horse, anyway?

    A ridiculous defense is being called ridiculous. Calm down.

  • Applederry||

    John is overreacting, but he is mostly right. We should be hesitant to criticize defense lawyers, even when they put forth ridiculous arguments. It's only when the courts accept the ridiculous arguments that should really be infuriating.

  • Randian||

    We should be hesitant to criticize defense lawyers, even when they put forth ridiculous arguments.

    No we should not.

  • John||

    Exactly. If this guy walks on this theory, I will be the first one to be angry. But I am not going to think twice about his attorney making the argument. That is his job.

  • Ice Nine||

    Because everyone deserves a defense. And who the hell are you to decide what is a "ridiculous" claim is what is not? Maybe that is what his client actually believes. Do you really want a system where only "reasonable defenses" are allowed? And if so, who decides that? And if not, then who is supposed to make the defense if not the defense attorney?

    Easy, BigFella. We understand all that. All that was said is that it is amazing that there are people who can actually do that without abysmal shame. Most of us could not.

    And the answer to that second question is: a sentient being with a modicum of intellect.

  • John||

    I have done it. I have defended guys who stuck guns in people's faces and robbed them, child molesters, you name it. It never bothered me a bit. That guy is a human being too. He deserves a defense. And even if he is guilty of some horrible crime, that doesn't mean he is guilty of what the government says he is guilty of what the government says he was guilty of.

    Lastly, I always took pride in sticking it to a stupid government attorney. How dare he challenge me with his primitive skills or think he deserves a good result with puny court skills. I never liked other attorneys too much and always enjoyed making their lives hard no matter which side I was on. I probably enjoyed my job a little too much.

  • Randian||

    If you went on television and said "Space Aliens made my client do it", you would rightly be mocked.

    If you went on television and said "we believe we have a good defense and that the facts will bear out my client's innocence", I would say people should generally refrain.

    Somewhere in between those two is the statement that the dead homeless guy started it. I fall on the "closer to Space Aliens" side, given the facts as we have them.

  • John||

    If I went on TV and said space aliens made my client do it, you have a right not to believe me. But you have no right to claim to be infuriated by the fact that I am doing my job. And that is what Riggs is claiming to be here.

  • Randian||

    But you have no right to claim to be infuriated by the fact that I am doing my job. And that is what Riggs is claiming to be here.

    I have every right.

    Case closed.

  • John||

    You can do it Randian. You just forfeit any claim you have to being committed to due process.

  • Randian||

    Whatever you say, John. I would rather have a handful of dogshit than your meaningless 'approval' anyway.

  • RBS||

    Where has anyone said he isn't entitled to due process? Criticizing a defense does not count as denial of due process so come up with something else.

  • John||

    RBS,

    Being angry by the defense having the nerve to make the argument is not just criticizing a defense. It is saying the defense should not have been made.

  • RBS||

    No it's not John.

  • John||

    If it is not saying the defense shouldn't have been made RBS, then why be angry at the defense?

  • RBS||

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say he's angry because it insults the intelligence of anyone who has followed the story. Still does not mean he's arguing the cop should not be allowed to assert his defense.

  • John||

    I will ask you the same thing RBS

    Should the defense attorney have made this argument? Yes or No

    And I don't mean be allowed to. I mean if it were up to you, would the defense attorney had made this argument?

  • RBS||

    He should, I never said he should't. That doesn't mean I can't criticize the argument itself.

  • John||

    But Riggs is doing more than that. Why even print this? The whole reason behind it is to get people pissed this guy is asserting his rights.

  • ||

    Why are you going on about this with such vigor?

    No one is claiming that one shouldn't be allowed silly defenses. And since "ricidulous" is an inherently subjective term, every person has the right to decide what they find ridiculous.

    Commenter 1: This defense is stupid.

    John: WHAT, WHY DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED A STUPID DEFENSE?!

    No one is saying it shouldn't be allowed, they're just calling a spade a spade.

  • John||

    From the post

    The Orange County Register has more on Barnett's attempt to have the charges against Ramos dismissed. His whitewash is almost as infuriating as that of Jay Cicinelli's stepfather, a retired cop who claims that what happened to Thomas "wasn't a beating; it was a struggle."

    If no one is saying he has no right to make the defense, why is making it so "infuriating". What is there to be infuriated about? The defense attorney is doing his job.

    Since when do libertarians get angry when defendants try to defend themselves in court?

  • Randian||

    Libertarianism: A political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.

    I don't see "cannot criticize silly attorney claims" in there anywhere.

  • John||

    He is not criticizing them. He is claiming they are "infuriating", which means the mere making of them is wrong.

  • Randian||

    That's right. When you push for lies, it is wrong to do so.

  • John||

    That's right. When you push for lies, it is wrong to do so.A

    And you know they are lies even though we haven't had a trial how?

    And someone is wrong for defending themselves in court by "lies" and you get to determine what constitutes a lie before we even have a trail.

    Got it Randian. Great sense of due process and justice you have there.

  • RBS||

    This might be the single most retarded thing I've read all day.

  • SugarFree||

    This might be the single most retarded thing I've read all day.

    Which do you mean? Because I've been spitting some primo retard today and I demand to have my competition identified.

  • RBS||

    He is not criticizing them. He is claiming they are "infuriating", which means the mere making of them is wrong.
  • SugarFree||

    [grumble] I guess I lose again.

  • Randian||

    John's got a lot of energy and the day ain't over yet.

  • Paul Ryan||

    John's got a lot of energy and the day ain't over yet.

    Well, he could spend three days sucking my dick again.

  • ||

    He is claiming they are "infuriating", which means the mere making of them is wrong.

    That doesn't follow at all. I find meth addicts to be infuriating, but I would never pretend like they don't have the right to be a bunch of wasted pieces of trash.

  • John||

    So you don't consider doing meth to be wrong Jim? If you don't, why do you consider meth heads to be infuriating?

    In the end Riggs is pearl clutching over the defense actually making a defense. Sorry I am not buying it. His right to make a defense. And there is nothing offensive or infuriating about it.

  • RBS||

    Doing meth isn't wrong but blowing up my phone at 3am to tell me about it is infuriating.

  • ||

    No, I don't consider it to be wrong, and yes, I still find it infuriating (or at least the behavior of those who frequently engage in said activity). I'm sorry if you don't get how I can simultaneously hold those two beliefs, but I do.

    And I personally agree with you that there's nothing infuriating about it, but that's an entirely subjective opinion. There is no objective truth as to whether something is infuriating or not.

  • ||

    If no one is saying he has no right to make the defense, why is making it so "infuriating".

    I would hope you've been hanging out here long enough to understand that just because someone finds something infuriating, doesn't mean they are ipso facto advocating for it to be outlawed.

  • Randian||

    You are hanging your hat on Red Tony being able to divine nuance?

    I hope you have big lungs.

  • John||

    I am on here defending the due process rights of a cop. I am real team red Tony. I really don't get nuance.

    It is funny how you people call every one else "team" when you are as big of a team players as anyone. Principles? What is that? Truth? We don't need no truth. We don't need a trial. We know what happened and can say from on high what is an acceptable defense for this person and what is not.

    But you guys are all committed to principles of truth and limited government, except when the defendant is on the other them, then he can go fuck himself and it is "infuriating" that he even demands a trial.

    Come talk to me when you know something about the justice system and actually give a shit about something besides the result your team wants.

  • Randian||

    Cool story, bro.

    I assume that that to this day you think OJ was innocent?

  • John||

    I didn't make the conclusion until I heard his defense. And I certainly wasn't infuriated by him having the gall to make the government prove his case. That is how the system works. Sorry the lack of mob justice offends you so much.

  • RBS||

    Again, where has anyone said the cop should not be entitled to due process?

  • John||

    Riggs did RBS. This whole post is Riggs having a stroke over the defense council doing his job.

  • RBS||

    No, he did not. Pointing out the absurdity of a particular defense is not even close to saying he should not be allowed to make it.

  • Randian||

    I honestly can't tell if John is this dumb or if he is just trolling.

    The fervency of his objections makes me suspect he's serious.

  • SugarFree||

    I honestly can't tell if John is this dumb or if he is just trolling.

    Um...

  • Randian||

    I am self-aware enough, SF. You don't have to point it out and start all that over again.

  • sarcasmic||

    I honestly can't tell if John is this dumb or if he is just trolling.

    The fervency of his objections makes me suspect he's serious.

    He's a professional liar. Defending lies is his trade. You're just seeing him at work, that is all.

  • John||

    No Randian,

    I actually believe in shit. I actually believe every person no matter how vile has a right to a defense and to make the government prove its case. And it offends my sense of justice to see a bunch of self proclaimed libertarians getting infuriated and having fainting fits because some defense attorney somewhere made an argument they don't like for a client they consider loathsome.

    What is your point here? You don't like the defense, got it? Too fucking bad, the guy still gets one.

  • Randian||

    I actually believe every person no matter how vile has a right to a defense and to make the government prove its case.

    Me too.

    That does not mean that I am somehow limited in principle into calling bullshit 'bullshit'.

  • John||

    Me too.

    Really? Then why do you find the defense counsel so infuriating? Isn't this what he is supposed to be doing? Don't you want him to be making this argument? If it is the only one available, I do.

    That defense counsel is doing more for justice than either of us are.

  • Paul Ryan||

    I honestly can't tell if John is this dumb or if he is just trolling.

    Yes.

  • sarcasmic||

    You yourself admitted that when in court your objective is not the truth or justice, but to stick it to the other attorney.

    I think that's what pisses some of us off.

    It seems that trials have nothing to do with finding guilt or innocence.

    They're just contests to see who hired better liar.

  • Randian||

    I support the adversarial system. A "truth finding" exercise run by government agents is more dangerous than the occasional guilty man going free.

  • John||

    Sarcasmic,

    We don't have a diving rod that tells us the truth. The adversarial system is the best we have. And for that to function, both sides have to be willing to go after the other.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm just saying that I have zero respect for someone who will lie in court to defend someone they know to be guilty.

    That's not the same as saying the person doesn't have a right to a defense.

  • sarcasmic||

    We don't have a diving rod that tells us the truth.

    No we don't. However sometimes obvious bullshit is obvious.

  • John||

    That is what we have juries for. But I am not going to worry for a moment about this guy's defense counsel making the best of what appears to be a pretty hopeless case. That is what he has to do. And indeed, if he doesn't any conviction will be tainted.

  • Mensan||

    This is why I could never be a defense attorney. I'm terrible at lying. I can't keep a straight face. If I was the lawyer trying to make that argument I would literally be squirming around trying to stifle the laughter forcing its way out of me. It's the same reason I never did very well working in sales.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    by simply complying with the commands of the officer

    Even the mentally ill understand, "STOP RESISTING!" Come on - it's like he beat himself to death.

    Of course the guy's innocent until proven guilty, and is not obliged to cop (HAH!) to anything. Do your best to defend him, Cave Man Lawyer! That's your job, and you should do it.

    And with that, I hope Ramos gets some kind of wasting disease and dies a slow, painful death. The miserable prick deserves it.

  • SugarFree||

    It's a pretty dangerous defense to set a precedent on. Basically it excuses killing someone if they disobey the police.

    Beating someone to death is not a reasonable way to insure compliance.

    (Not that he should be kept from presenting this defense yadda yadda yadda...)

  • nipplemancer||

    Basically it excuses killing someone if they disobey the police.

    doesn't it already work that way?

  • SugarFree||

    There's a difference between no sign telling you not to jump in the pool and a sign telling you it's OK to jump in the pool.

  • nipplemancer||

    I don't think that it'll fly with the judge or a jury. Ramos didn't threaten Thomas with a beating if he didn't obey orders, he just told him that he was gonna fuck him up. There's a difference that even the most obtuse asshole should recognize and it's all on video and audio.

  • SugarFree||

    I hope not. But, you see, this is what infuriates me about the defense(I won't speak for Riggs, of course)... It's just stupid enough to work. The problem is not that the defense lawyer is presenting it, the problem is it will probably either work or at least be a mitigating factor. And while letting this particular vile shitsuck get away with it is horrible, setting it as a legal precedent is worse.

    Honestly, I'll be shocked if any of them serve a day in jail.

  • nipplemancer||

    I'm optimistic on this one. I really think Ramos at the very least will spend a few years in jail. Cicinelli though, I can see him getting off with a slap on the wrist - probation for a few years at the worst all while collecting a nice pension.

  • sarcasmic||

    Where I'm from "fuck him up" and "beating" are synonymous.

  • SugarFree||

    Where I'm from "fuck him up" and "beating" are synonymous.

    I can't, in my vast and pitiable mental archive of slang, come up with any other meaning. Especially when it is unemployed in conjunction with a fist.

    If anything, the statement doesn't exculpate the piece of shit, it shows intent to deliver and extralegal assault.

    Civilians get "fucked up" by the cops all the time if they threaten them verbally with a implied physical assault like "I'm going to fuck you up" while shaking a fist.

  • ||

    Beating someone to death is not a reasonable way to insure compliance.

    It depends on what you're ordering your victim to do, doesn't it?

    "Listen, either you keel over and die right now, or you start eating that trash can."

  • SugarFree||

    Typical glibster nonsense.

  • ||

    Not this ye...*glarghgle!*

  • Ryan60657||

    At one point in the longer video, one of the police officers says something like: "I tased him, and then I beat the shit out of his face." Sad.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Bottom line: If the defense lawyer *didn't* argue that the killing was unjustified, I would say he was violating his duty to zealously defend his client.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    justified

  • John||

    No Randian settled this issue above. The defense counsel is only allowed to make arguments the government deems appropriate.

  • Randian||

    No Randian settled this issue above. The defense counsel is only allowed to make arguments the government deems appropriate.

    Citation Needed.

    This will be at least the third time today you have lied about someone's position.

  • sarcasmic||

    Third time he's been caught and called on it.
    I'm sure that there have been plenty more that slipped by.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't know about Randian, but Chris Mallory had this to say above:

    "There needs to be some punishment for being a government employee. Losing the rights enjoyed by citizens seems about right."

    For my response, see me at 12:30 PM.

  • RBS||

    Hyperbole, look it up.

  • John||

    And of course I wasn't engaging in any hyperbole or sarcasm in the post above. Randian is not being a humorless prick at all in claiming that he has caught me "lying" whatever the fuck that means.

  • Randian||

    Look at Jon Stewart over here, saying that people shouldn't take him seriously because he's just a comedian.

  • John||

    No Randian, I am just assuming you are smart enough to understand sarcasm and hyperbole. Apparently that is expecting a lot.

  • John||

    I was being sarcastic you humorless moron. But in the end, what is your bitch here? This guy gets to tell his side. What is infuriating about that? He gets to have a lawyer and he gets to make his arguments. That is how it works. That is what is happening. So what is your point here other than to say "the defense counsel shouldn't be doing this"?

  • Randian||

    So what is your point here other than to say "the defense counsel shouldn't be doing this"?

    That's it's a stupid. fucking. argument.

  • John||

    Riggs thinks it is worse than that. He finds it "infuriating". Are you infuriated by it? Or do you just think it is wrong?

    Do you think the defense counsel should not have made this argument?

  • sarcasmic||

    Being infuriated at an defense that is obviously bullshit does not equal being infuriated that a person is allowed a defense at all.

    Holy fuck you're dense.

  • RBS||

    Holy fuck you're dense.

    You don't say?

    If it is not saying the defense shouldn't have been made RBS, then why be angry at the defense?
  • John||

    If you are not mad at the defense for making this argument, what are you mad at sarcasmic?

    And if you are mad at the defense, then isn't that because you think they shouldn't have made the argument?

    And if you think the defense should not make arguments you find objectionable, then aren't you saying he only has a right to a defense as you see it not him?

    You guys just will not admit the logic of what you are saying.

  • sarcasmic||

    You guys just will not admit the logic of what you are saying.

    No, but I'll point out the flaw:

    And if you think the defense should not make arguments you find objectionable

    Right there. You leap from "sarcasmic doesn't like something" to "sarcasmic wants to ban what he doesn't like".

    You really don't get it.

  • John||

    Sarcasmic, I am not saying ban it. I am saying "should not have done it". There is a difference.

    Do you think the defense should have made this argument? Yes or no

  • sarcasmic||

    It is the job of the defense to make some argument. I realize that. If that's the best argument they could come up with, then I suppose that that's the argument that they should have made.

    That doesn't mean I should respect them for defending human refuse, or like an argument that is obviously a load of crap.

  • John||

    And in this case, this is probably the best argument they could make. That is all I am saying. Don't hate on the defense for doing its job, especially when not doing its job taints the whole process.

  • sarcasmic||

    Holy shit you're still not getting it.

    Being infuriated at an argument that is obviously a load of crap does not equal hating on the person making the argument.

    You want to know something else that is infuriating?

    Your deliberate and consistent misconstruing what people say.

    You are really tiresome, Red Tony.

  • John||

    Then sarcasmic you agree with me that this is a non story and nothing be upset about much less infuriated about.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're doing it again, Red Tony.

  • Paul Ryan||

    John, seriously, stick to sucking my dick and faux-shilling for Obama.

  • John||

    Fuck off Mary before I write allisi and get you banned again.

  • ||

    I think I would actually take Mary as Paul Ryan over John at this point.

  • John||

    And lastly, Riggs should not be infuriated with the defense, he should love the defense. If the defense doesn't make all of the arguments available to him, any conviction is going to be overturned on appeal for ineffective assistance of counsel. This attorney is probably helping to seal this guy's fate by making this argument and litigating it now.

    But go ahead be infuriated by it. Be angry at the defense for having the gall to actually do its job.

  • ||

    I am infuriated with you being such a stubborn fool, John. I am not saying you cannot be a stubborn fool, but it infuriates me that you fail to see the logic so many have continued to present here refuting your bullshit claims.

  • John||

    It is always the other side who is stubborn. Not Libertarians. They never let their dislike of a defendant cloud their views. They are never wrong.

    Fuck you guys. I caught you with your ass showing over this and you don't like it. Well tough shit.

  • sarcasmic||

    I caught you with your ass showing over this

    No you didn't.

    You set a straw man on fire, and dug in your heals when your bullshit was shown to be bullshit.

    Just another day at H-ampersand-R.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So he's entitled to a defense. True enough, blah, blah, blah.

    However, if that defense is RESISTANCE IS FATAL and it succeeds, this country is completely and utterly fucked.

    And, of course, the question which should be asked (and won't) is, "If the cops are legally empowered to act as on-the-spot judge, jury and executioner, why do we even bother with the pretense of a legal system?" Think of all the money we could save.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I am not optimistic about the likelihood of this defense being laughed at by the members of the jury. Unfortunately, there are precedents galore. David Turner ended up dead as a direct consequence of what should have been a ten second conversation:

    "Did you buy beer for those guys?"

    "No."

    "Right- off with you, then."

    However, he was insufficiently deferential, and attempted to depart the scene without getting permission. Next stop, the morgue.

  • daltonallan||

    as Patricia explained I'm alarmed that you able to make $7823 in a few weeks on the computer. have you seen this site makecash16. çom

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