The most recent post by Mike at C&F is notable for confirming how widespread the problem of prosecutor lying and cheating is in the United States, as he reports a situation in San Francisco while I have described my own experiences (begninning here) on the other side of the country.
And there are many, many examples in between.
You can point out that the Supreme Court is indifferent to it, and Mike does. And I have, too. Repeatedly.
And it’s been that way with the SCOTUS for years. Decades. The record demonstrates, in other words, that the SCOTUS likes it this way.
Certain naive people like me, though, and like a couple of assistant district attorneys Mike writes about in his post, figure we ought to speak up and do something before everything goes all to hell. And the reward is that you are fired or demoted or blackballed or worse and nobody gives a shit, because the SCOTUS doesn’t give a shit so why should anyone else?
Now, personal circumstances and my relatively light-hearted writing style aside, it’s important to realize that these are real things happening to real people and the situation is extremely serious and getting worse. I’ve tried to touch on this aspect of it all along, even when I was writing pseudonymously.
I don’t like whining. But I don’t like being betrayed by public officials either. And make no mistake about it, continuing to ignore proven official perfidy and looking the other way at what Mike has described in his post and I have described in my little saga here is a contemptible betrayal.
What do you do when the “highest” court in the country is a traitor, not just in some general sense but against you personally, or the person you represent as a lawyer?
You leave. You can stay and start contemplating violence of some kind, or you can leave.
The thing about the habeas corpus petition I brought in 2010 in the SCOTUS is that it was mandatory for me to do it, or at least that it be done. You might go to the SCOTUS with what you think is a good issue, but I didn’t have to think about the issue. It was the SCOTUS that told me they wanted the issue I had when they took up Pottawattamie v. McGhee in 2009. When that case settled in January of 2010 the SCOTUS was unable to decide the issue because the case and controversy disappeared. In that case. But there I was, sitting on a case with the same issue – all dressed up with nowhere else to go but the SCOTUS.
So for the umpteenth time in six years, something had to be done and I was the only guy who could or would do it. So I did. My job, that is.
And then the SCOTUS position is that while it may be mandatory for me to try, nothing is mandatory for them. I bring them the issue they explicitly said they wanted – and let us not tarry further counting the cost, both to me and my client – and so far as I can tell no one even looked at it.
Lawyering can be excruciating.
But that’s not why I’m in Canada. I experienced a lot of excruciating lawyer things before the Sephora Davis case.
It’s the line that’s been crossed. By the whole goddamned system all the way up to the top. And it’s not like it’s just been me, or my client. The SCOTUS has been incorrigible. Their conduct is willful.
I’m in Canada, on other words, for the same reason I brought that Petition in the SCOTUS last year: it’s mandatory, given what has happened and what is happening. There’s no choice involved, none whatsoever.
Footnote: Pottawattamie was a 1983 action. You could quibble about whether I had the “same issue” for that reason, but the habeas petition actually presented the the constitutional issue in a clearer fashion, which should make it a better case for the SCOTUS to hear.