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Forfeiture-Abusing Prosecutor Rejected For Judgeship

As former Reasoner Radley Balko has painstakingly documented, prosecutors often face few consequences when they abuse their power. Knowingly send an innocent man to death row? No problem.

With that in mind I direct your attention to Massachusetts, where a prosecutor’s abusive practices have rendered consequences.

From the ­Patriot-Ledger:

Objecting to her work on drug forfeiture cases as a federal prosecutor, the Governor's Council on Wednesday rejected [Shelbey] Wright, Gov. Deval Patrick's pick for a seat on the … Boston Municipal Court.

… In two separate cases, Wright chose to pursue property forfeitures from innocent wives of drug suspects, despite knowing the women had no knowledge of the criminal activity.

In one case, the widow had lived in the house for 30 years, and there was no evidence that any drug money was used to purchase or pay for the house…. Her husband, who was the subject of the federal charges, had committed suicide.

[Councilor Robert Jubinville] said Wright acknowledged she had the discretion to drop the case after the husband’s death, but decided not to.

In another case, an innocent women’s son committed suicide while the government pursued taking the family home, he said.

“What’s troubling to me is the fact that in the two cases, and I asked her this, I said ‘What was the point of forfeiting the house after the husband committed suicide? You knew she had nothing to do with the crime. Doesn’t the government have enough houses? Don’t they have enough money?” Jubinville said.

It’s not exactly a retreat from absolute immunity. But hopefully prosecutors who aspire to a seat in the judiciary will take note. People don’t like it when you steal.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons | Pam Roth

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  • SQRLSY One||

    Looks like some of our "public servants" rejoice every time one of us who are supposedly being "served" by them, commits suicide... It clears the way for them to steal more of our stuff! Can y'all just FEEL the Love of Government Almighty?!?!?

  • Duke||

    "Doesn’t the government have enough houses? Don’t they have enough money?”

    You'll never hear that question asked from another government employee again.

  • RightNut||

    To be fair he's been on the council less than a year. I'm sure he'll get with the program soon enough.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Don’t they have enough money?

    1. Not according to the budget.

    2. Enough will never be enough.

  • Dweebston||

    I... guess this is good news? It's like a silk stocking over the gorilla foot driving into your 'nads.

  • Wizard4169||

    I agree it's not nearly enough, but I just try to think of it as a slight improvement over business-as-usual.

  • Matrix||

    “What’s troubling to me is the fact that in the two cases, and I asked her this, I said ‘What was the point of forfeiting the house after the husband committed suicide? You knew she had nothing to do with the crime. Doesn’t the government have enough houses? Don’t they have enough money?” Jubinville said.

    Fuck you! That's why!

    Seems apropos here.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Q: How are Satan and his demons similar to some of these rotten "government servants"?

    A: They all get a huge boner when some of us are overcome by their evil, and punch our own tickets! Beware! Don't let them win!

  • Alan||

    Well, the word "Satan" does come from the Hebrew word for "prosecutor".

  • John||

    Being a judge is a big deal to most attorneys. This women has no doubt spent years sucking up and networking to get that appointment. I know it is not the II d of justice she deserves. But trust me that women is debistated over this. Her tears are undoubtedly many and very yummy. Just remember that and let it make you happy for a moment.

  • Duke||

    I noticed a couple of typos in your post which made it a bit hard to follow your train of thought. First, you spelled it “most” when it’s actually “moast.” And your “remember” is actually “rememember.”

    Other than that, I agree with you completely.

  • John||

    Sorry using smart phone.

  • prolefeed||

    Should be "smart" phone, given how the typing turned out. An even moderately smart phone would have auto-correct for spelling.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have the autocorrect turned off on my phone, mostly because of things like this.

  • Duke||

    Where does the autocorrect get its suggested slang and idioms? Mine always wants to insert HIV and other such nonsense too when I have never ever typed that in the message before. And don't get me started on how it will capitalize "IPhone" but not other proper names that are generally capitalized.

    Seriously, won't anyone get me started?

  • Ted S.||

    I'm trying to figure out what the "II d of justice" is. :-)

  • John||

    Kind of justice she deserves

  • BuSab Agent||

    Is it an electron orbit?

  • Dweebston||

    Hah! 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6... I took my ACS gen chem final on Thursday.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I noticed a couple of typos in your post

    It wouldn't be a proper John post otherwise.

  • prolefeed||

    It's a limited victory -- note that the prosecutor only got into trouble for stealing from the widows -- apparently no one with the government had any problem with stealing from men who were engaging in acts of mutually beneficial capitalism involving selling chemicals to consenting adults.

  • shamalam||

    +1.

    Civil asset forfeiture needs to be outlawed entirely.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Thou shalt not steal - for if thou dost, thou might be denied that promotion that thou wantest.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Another Massachusetts judge who lost his job (but he got another job soon after):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_G._Loring

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I asked her this, I said ‘What was the point of forfeiting the house after the husband committed suicide? You knew she had nothing to do with the crime.

    Unfortunately, the venue was not such that the question could be followed up by stabbing her in the eye with a red hot poker, and then setting the pyre beneath the stake alight.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Apparently citizens being victimized by resume-pumping prosecutors must start committing suicide to stall government attorneys' march to more power.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Oh Yeah?!?! And just how many millions of us would have to (Vietnamese-war-Buddhist-style) immolate ourselves in order to arrest the ascension of Emperor Obozo to becoming The Supreme Inter-Galactic Uber-Master?!?! And putting remote control units on our heads, Robo-Rat style? They’re still working on it, you know, see http://news.nationalgeographic.....orats.html ...

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Prosecuter gets fucked by his own property-lust boner.

    But golly heck, he'll probably get nominated for a federal judgeship by Obama as a political payoff to Patrick and the Senate will vote 99-1 to confirm.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "he'll probably get nominated"

    She's a she. If she has kids, I wonder if, after her death, the widow she persecuted would try to take the family home away from the children - you know, asset forfeiture.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Doesn’t the government have enough houses? Don’t they have enough money?"

    "What's this word 'enough' which I keep hearing bandied around? I'm not familiar with that concept."

  • Brian D||

    It's a word that's usually applied to the serfs in reference to how much money they're allowed to have. Whatever that amount turns out to be is defined as 'enough'.

  • Sevo||

    OT. Maybe Hyperion is on to something. According to AP:
    "Surveillance debate intrudes into Obama's agenda"
    ..."Obama finds his fifth year in office beset by distractions, perhaps none with broader implications than the revelation of secret government surveillance programs."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol.....722237.php
    So even if it doesn't end up causing him the harm it should, it seems to be protecting us from more of his harm.
    BTW, the IRS crap really needs to be tossed in his face.

  • Redmanfms||

    ."Obama finds his fifth year in office beset by distractions...

    Distractions? Fucking seriously?

  • Killazontherun||

    Reid says Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/new.....tual-sing/

    “What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

    When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

    Pretty galling they get away with calling us extremist when they are willing to destroy entire sectors of the economy that people depend on and install an unworkable bureaucracy to replace it. Now that's ideological commitment.

  • Sevo||

    "Pretty galling they get away with calling us extremist when they are willing to destroy entire sectors of the economy..."

    More galling that they were accused of this as we were called crazy alarmists for saying so.
    'Don't worry, affirmative action will never lead to quotas!' Lying assholes.

  • Dweebston||

    Yes, let's abandon insurance for accessing all but the most egregious health complications. You know, the way insurance works in every other market imaginable.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Me: "He's using the right words but somehow I suspect me and him mean different things when we use them."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    the IRS crap really needs to be tossed in his face.

    I saw an MSNBC promo recently, in which the talking point was, "We need immigration reform, in order to collect more taxes from more people!" The White House Press Corpse won't turn that rock over.

  • ||

    OT: Hugo Schwyzer melts down further. This struck me as an excellent analogy and advice:

    And how about throwing some blame at Jezebel, The Atlantic, The Good Men Project, and Pasadena City College for letting Schwyzer work for them in some capacity? Good eye for talent guys. Maybe take a lesson from the Right and the critics of feminism/leftism on how to spot a charlatan. It was not at all hard. Take your skepticism for evangelical preachers and apply it to evangelical activists and professors.
  • ||

    Wow, the actual twitter feed is the most uncomfortable yet hilarious thing I can remember reading.

  • Killazontherun||

    I was never qualified to teach any gender studies courses. I talked my way into all these gigs.

    You were a total fraud which makes you perfectly qualified to teach gender studies.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yeah, I don't think there's a difference, other than self-acknowledgement, between Schwyzer and the entire fields of -studies charlatans.

    I mean, people can't honestly believe that crap after the age of 21, can they? It's just a game to make rich white kids feel guilty and pony up tuition for "courses", right?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He still has time to turn his life around. Saul/Paul wanted to kill Christians.

  • Killazontherun||

    Instead he set his sights on a more long term goal, killing Christianity and replacing it with a conventional social morality similar enough to the one he belonged for the old man to feel comfortable in.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I am familiar with the "Paul messed up Christianity" narrative.

    But it's a strange form of "conventional social morality" for a guy in the Roman Empire to preach forgiveness, living in peace, and sexual purity. Nor am I fully certain how this deviates from what Jesus was saying.

    His main "innovation" (notice I put that in quotes) was that you didn't have to be Jewish to be a Christian.

  • Sevo||

    "Nor am I fully certain how this deviates from what Jesus was saying."

    You keep claiming, and I keep pointing out there isn't a shred of evidence for this character who supposedly said something.
    WWSCD?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, let's stipulate that Jesus never existed.

    How, then, did Paul corrupt the message of a nonexistent person?

  • Sevo||

    "How, then, did Paul corrupt the message of a nonexistent person?"

    I didn't make that claim; I have no idea.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, then your comment wasn't very relevant to Killazontherun's post.

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen| 8.10.13 @ 12:22PM |#
    "OK, then your comment wasn't very relevant to Killazontherun's post."

    You'll notice I replied to your specific comment:
    "Nor am I fully certain how this deviates from what Jesus was saying."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How do I know that there's such a person as "Sevo"?

    I am aware that a Roman judge, a Roman historian, a Jewish historian, and your numerous followers all affirm that you exist, but...

    Wait, I'm thinking of someone else.

    OK, how *do* I know you exist?

  • Killazontherun||

    His main "innovation" (notice I put that in quotes) was that you didn't have to be Jewish to be a Christian.

    What was the point of Jesus asking his Father to forgive Roman soldiers if they were condemned to Hell anyway?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It was in *quotes!*

  • Killazontherun||

    I'm curious as to how you would interpret what Jesus is doing there.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I assume he was suggesting that the Romans could be saved as well as the Jews.

  • Killazontherun||

    It may even be accurate that Paul was one of the earliest followers to pick up on what that implied, but the time between the crucifixion and his conversion makes me skeptical.

  • Sevo||

    ..."but the time between the crucifixion and his conversion makes me skeptical."

    And you realize that there is zero evidence for any crucifixion, right?

  • Killazontherun||

    Except for contemporaneous accounts there is zero evidence for a lot of things we take for granted as being historically factual. Now is the story fetched far? Yup. If Jerusalem shook on that day as described, there should be more sources for that occurring. However, Romans murdered a lot Jewish religious leaders, there is no reason to believe one wasn't named Jesus and later mythologized as well. It makes more sense to build on something that can be in part verified by contemporaries than to have spun the tale out of whole cloth.

  • BigT||

    And you realize that there is zero evidence for any crucifixion, right?

    Wrong. There may be no evidence that a Jesus was crucified other than the thinly veiled propaganda called the gospels, but there is ample evidence for crucifixion in general, including a recently discovered foot nailed to a piece of wood very much as described in such gospels.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not sure forgiveness by God necessarily means the person goes to Heaven. There does not seem to be talk of Heaven in chunks of the Old Testament but there is still people asking God for forgiveness.

  • Killazontherun||

    The nullification of your soul sounds much worse to me than being covered in boils and locusts.

    'Lay off the voodoo, pops, but they aren't Jewish and they don't believe in me, so they still gotta drop in the Lake of Fire.'

  • Killazontherun||

    But it's a strange form of "conventional social morality" for a guy in the Roman Empire to preach forgiveness, living in peace, and sexual purity.

    Judaism was Hellenized even before the Roman dominance. Those ideas were not unfamiliar to them by the time Romans and Jesus rolled into town. They did compete with other concepts at odds with them, but that has always been the case.

    More than anything else, Paul made Christianity safe for family life that a traditional Jewish man could live in the daily patterns he was comported even if his outer religious convictions had changed significantly. Christ is clear that attachments to even your family over him was a threat to your mortal soul. If you be called to the desert, you go.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Christ is clear that attachments to even your family over him was a threat to your mortal soul. If you be called to the desert, you go."

    True enough. St. Paul actually had remarks which could be read as preferring celibacy to family life. And there were plenty of Christian saints who felt "called to the desert." St. Athanasius wrote a life of St. Anthony, aimed at lay Christians, and lay Christians often went to the desert monks for advice.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And from then to today, there have been widely-admired people who rejected family life who lived in the desert (or at least in Kentucky, like Thomas Merton).

    There are desert monks to this day, like these guys who got killed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A....._Tibhirine

    And a desert priest risking his life:

    http://gulfnews.com/in-focus/s.....-1.1217242

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire." - 1 Cor 7:7-9 (NAB)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The martyr St. Perpetua preferred loyalty to Christ over loyalty to her own father:

    "Her father was frantic with worry and tried to talk her out of her decision [to be a Christian]. We can easily understand his concern. At 22 years old, this well-educated, high-spirited woman had every reason to want to live -- including a baby son who was still nursing. We know she was married, but since her husband is never mentioned, many historians assume she was a widow.

    "Perpetua's answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, "See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?"

    "Her father answered, "Of course not." Perpetua responded, "Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am -- a Christian."

    "This answer so upset her father that he attacked her. Perpetua reports that after that incident she was glad to be separated from him for a few days -- even though that separation was the result of her arrest and imprisonment [and ultimate execution]."

    http://www.catholic.org/saints.....aint_id=48

  • ||

    I'm sure Schwyzer's mental recovery will be helped by learning about how he inspired a Jesus and the apostles comparison.

  • Killazontherun||

    He wants to keep teaching, so long as that's the case, let's keep him crazy.

  • Sevo||

    ..."he will only be teaching Western Civ when he gets healthy again."

    There is so much wrong with that statement, it's hard to see where to start.

  • Dweebston||

    Isn't Western Civ, with all its Old White Men and wealthy colonial countries, anathema to these lefty new-age -studies types? It's a proper punishment.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A "new report, Forced Abortion in America, documents cases of violence against women who refused to have an abortion.

    "It also highlights cases like the one in Maine, which saw a couple charged with abducting their pregnant daughter in an attempt to force her to have an abortion, and another in Georgia, where a woman forced her pregnant daughter to drink turpentine to cause an abortion.

    "[Elliot Institute director David] Reardon says the cases are just part of an epidemic of coerced and forced abortions in the U.S.

    "Reardon said that cases of women being pressured, threatened, or subjected to violence if they refuse to abort are not unusual.

    "He pointed out that studies have shown that homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women in the U.S. and that women in abusive relationships are at risk for increased violence during pregnancy.

    ""In many of the cases documented for our ‘Forced Abortion in America’ report, police and witnesses reported that acts of violence and murder took place after the woman refused to abort or because the attacker didn’t want the pregnancy," he said in a statement LifeNews.com received....

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Reardon said the report underscores the need for legislation requiring abortion businesses and health care providers to screen women for evidence of coercion or pressure to have an abortion before the actual abortion is done. He says they should direct such women to people and resources that can help them instead of following through on the coerced abortion."

    http://www.lifenews.com/2009/0.....ign=Buffer

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The paternalism implicit there is pretty rank.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That the government should protect pregnant girls for being forced to drink turpentine to induce abortion?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That the government would have to run every adult who is making a medical decision through 'screening' and 'direction to people and resources that can help them' before accepting their consent as sufficient. It's as absurd as some feminists saying that men should get a clear, explicit consent before every sexual encounter with a woman.

    I doubt you would demand this level of paternalism in many other areas (or at least admit to such here).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "a medical decision"

    Abortion is no more a medical decision than the execution of a criminal is a medical decision. The fact that doctors in each case may violate their Hippocratic Oath and become killers instead of healers doesn't make it a medical procedure.

    The only difference between the death penalty and abortion is that at least with the death penalty, the person being killed has been convicted of a heinous crime. What crime did the unborn child commit, except the "crime" of being inconvenient?

  • Sevo||

    First, the bleever 'stuff' you cite has zero to do with whether abortion is prohibited or not; it's a pile of innuendo.
    Secondly, you assert that abortion is something other than a medical decision, but all you have for evidence is a false equivalence to capital punishment.
    Thin gruel, there.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "the bleever 'stuff' you cite"

    Remind me - what 'bleever' stuff did I cite?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You can be sure of this - if Christians were the only ones defending the unborn, I would cite this fact as a point *in favor* of Christianity, and as evidence that the agnostic/atheist/secularist position was morally bankrupt.

    Fortunately for you, there are actual atheists/agnostics/secularists who oppose abortion. There's Nat Hentoff:

    http://groups.csail.mit.edu/ma.....ntoff.html

    There's Libertarians for Life (Google it!)

    There's the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League:

    http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html

    I repeat, if it weren't for groups like these, I would be throwing in your face the fact that atheists, etc. rejected the right to life. But in all candor, I must accept that many of your fellow atheists, etc. are on our side.

    Smooches.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The only difference between the death penalty and abortion is that at least with the death penalty, the person being killed has been convicted of a heinous crime.

    I would think the more obvious difference is that one involves a person and the other does not.

  • pan fried wylie||

    that women in abusive relationships are at risk for increased violence during pregnancy

    .....

    increased risk of violence, or increased violence at the same risk%?

    It says the latter, but the context makes me think they meant the former.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Well, it conforms to common sense - an abusive man wouldn't may not want to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood, and if not, then - being abusive - he would try to coerce his "partner" into killing off the inconvenient child.

    Google the phrase "murder pregnant girlfriend," review some of the resulting news stories, and you'll get some idea of what I mean.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And that's only when (a) the women refused to bend to the boyfriend's pressure and (b) it got reported in the media, which isn't exactly uber-sympathetic to the prolife cause.

  • Killazontherun||

    NSA White Paper Reads Like Someone Got High & Mixed Deepak Chopra Book with Criminal Procedure Manual

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVVUJSGSF3M

    Julian Sanchez has been knocking it out of the park this entire season. This is why I don't give up on left libertarians even when I have a helluva lot of cussing at them to be commenced.

  • Killazontherun||

    BTW, the Youtube side link titles are related to Defcom and they are fucking hilarious:

    Defcon 18 - Weaponizing Lady GaGa Psycosonic Attacks

    DEFCON 16: Advanced Physical Attacks: Going Beyond Social Engineering and Dumpster Diving

    For the mother lode of pure elderly hippie bullshit (listened for a minute)

    DEFCON 18: Getting Root: Remote Viewing Non-Local Consciousness (Video Only) 1/4

    And something more practical.

    DEFCON 19: Steal Everything, Kill Everyone, Cause Total Financial Ruin

    Maybe Google has been parsing my complaints about past side links with Adsense because these are winners for a change.

  • MappRapp||

    Sounds like that fool needs to be knocked out!

    www.Anon-Tactics.tk

  • DWC||

    It's not exactly news that it is the worst of us who aspire to positions of power and authority over others.

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