Federal death row inmate wants to be re-sentenced by a judge who is not drunk

If you thought the drunken debauchery of former U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. of Waco, Texas was old news, think again.  A motion filed this morning by a federal death-row inmate asks the court to set aside his sentence on the grounds that the alcoholic judge was too impaired to pass judgment.

In the motion filed by attorneys Robert C. Owen of Northwestern Law School and Asst. Public Defender John R. Carpenter of Tacoma Washington on behalf of Brandon Bernard, they cite records from a judicial misconduct complaint that I filed against Smith in 2014, including the deposition testimony of a former deputy clerk who says she was sexually assaulted by Smith in the federal courthouse in 1998 while he was drunk (I have uploaded the motion’s evidentiary exhibits below).  Bernard was sentenced to death for his role in the 1999 murders of Todd and Stacie Bagley, a married couple who served as youth ministers for a church in Iowa.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a pro bono co-counsel for one of Bernard’s co-defendants in the murder cases. Although I normally do not practice criminal law, and I certainly do not dispute the horror of the Bagley murders, I happen to think that defendants have a right to be sentenced by a judge who is not drunk. Is that really such a radical idea? … Read more

Top Texas cops investigated for forgery, and it’s all because of Snoop Dogg

A top commander in the Texas Department of Public Safety forged a signature and tampered with government records in an attempt to fire a whistleblower, according to a federal lawsuit that I filed this morning, and the commander probably didn’t act alone.  Meanwhile, an East Texas DA has referred the case to the Texas Attorney General for further investigation and possible prosecution.

You may recall that Trooper Billy Spears made international headlines in 2015 after he was reprimanded for allowing himself to be photographed with Calvin Broaddus, a.k.a. the Doggfather of rap, a.k.a. Snoop Dogg. You may also recall that we obtained an email from DPS Director Steven McCraw complaining that Billy allowed himself to be photographed with a “dope smoking cop hater.” DPS brass took a beating in the press, and shortly thereafter we filed suit against Billy’s superiors for retaliating against him (both before and after the Snoop Dogg photo).

Things have only gotten worse since then.

In 2016, someone in Billy’s chain of command post-dated a memo and cut-and-pasted Billy’s signature onto it in order to deny him a medical waiver for an on-duty knee injury.  Billy submitted the original memo in late May of 2016, but the date was changed to June 2, 2016 to make it appear untimely (and the altered memo included facts that had not occurred as of the time that the real memo was written). … Read more

Maryland’s high court protects Hillary Clinton’s lawyers

Here’s some news you won’t see in the New York Times or the Washington Post: In an order dated November 17, Maryland’s highest court temporarily blocked a lower court order that required bar prosecutors to investigate Hillary Clinton’s lawyers for destroying evidence. At the same time, the Maryland Court of Appeals denied my request to appoint a special counsel to investigate the crimes that bar prosecutors keep trying to bury.

The appellate court’s stay order will remain in effect until oral argument in March, but the handwriting is already on the wall: the left-wing court intends to protect attorneys David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson at all costs, never mind the law and the facts.

How do I know the case is rigged? Let’s start with the stay order itself.  Normally, when a party asks an appellate court to temporarily stay a lower court’s order, that party must first request a stay from the trial court. If the trial court denies the request, then the appellate court will then consider it. In this case, however, the bar prosecutors never requested a stay from the trial court, but the Court of Appeals granted a stay anyway.

Similarly, appellants normally must raise arguments or objections at trial before those issues can be raised in the Court of Appeals. In their petition asking the Court of Appeals to hear the case, the bar prosecutors asked the court to apply an amended rule retroactively in order to bury my complaints against Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers, but they had never presented that argument in the trial court.  Even though bar prosecutors offered no excuse whatsoever for failing to raise the argument at trial, the Court of Appeals decided to hear it anyway. … Read more