Denver judge rules BEING HOMELESS IS IRRELEVANT to defendants charged with violating city’s urban camping ban
DENVER, COLORADO- A hearing was held today to review motions submitted before the criminal trial of three homeless activists arrested last November for violating Denver’s Urban Camping Ban. Terese Howard, Jerry Burton, and Randy Russel featured in the infamous 2016 video that showed Denver police officers confiscating their sleeping bags and blankets on the snowy steps of city hall. Through attorney Jason Flores-Williams, fellow Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) activists have filed a civil lawsuit to halt the city’s homeless sweeps. In municipal court DHOL hopes to challenge the ordinance being used to harass, displace and imprison the downtown homeless. Already the city’s case appears to be derailing based on developments at the motions hearing. Denver municipal court judge Kerri Lombardi approved all the city’s motions and none for the defense. Lombardi approved the use of 404B evidence for the city, but simultaneously restricted Res Gestae evidence for the defense. In particular, she refused to qualify two experts on homelessness, precluding the accused from arguing a “necessity defense”. Judge Lombardi stated that being homeless was irrelevant to whether they were violating the urban camping ban. When asked to recuse herself, the judge declined, so attorney Flores-Williams declared his intent to file an interlocutory appeal to bump the case to district court. Meanwhile speedy trial was waived and a new court date was set for April 5th.
If you’ve been arrested at a protest action you’ve got more legal options than paying the fine or taking a plea deal. Whether or not your act was constitutionally protected, or should be, or whether it was civil disobedience and was meant not to be, there are a couple good reasons to fight your charges in court. First, to draw further attention to your issue, and second, to give your prosecutors more incentive to offer a better plea deal. They might even drop your charges altogether.
UPDATE: Deaf blind judge gives Shadoe Garner 75 DAYS JAIL for possession of Wicca ritual athame and for littering.
DENVER, COLORADO- Shadoe Garner was found guilty today by a judge who didn’t blink at the public defender having no time to prepare, at discovery evidence not being provided to defense, at prosecutors withholding half their witnesses and videos (depriving the defense of knowing what might have be exculpable evidence), at being forwarned that a 35C Appeal was virtually guaranteed, and despite two police videos making very clear that Shadoe’s rights were violated, if only the judge had ears and eyes to see it.
[Disclaimer: Jury duty is a service we owe our fellow citizens. It is a critical community responsibility. That said. If you really absolutely can’t. This instructional allows you to make an alternative civic contribution.]
Here’s how to get out of jury duty. GUARANTEED to work. I just did it and you can too, without getting into trouble, without feeling like you’re not being a responsible member of society, and while providing a laudable service to other prospective jurors in the courtroom, not least of all to the defendant.
I’m not sure the length of prison sentences is a measure of society’s repudiation of rape culture. If severity of punishment was a gage of our social objectives, property crimes would carry the greatest stigma. I have no sypathy, not even empathy, for rapists, nor frat boys, nor white macho crap. I think convicted rapist Brock Turner is a glaring example of white male privilege. He may also be the embodiment of its most casual excesses, and his six month sentence is an embarassment to a justice system that throws away the key for less white perpetrators. However I do loath how easily the public is made to cheer for greater punishment in lieu of a more humane perspective. Apprehending a live criminal, as opposed to killing him like so many others, should not prompt calls for equal mistreatment. Rapists should be chemically castrated, fine. There’s no evidence that longer prison terms helps reduce sexual assaults, so why automatically call for more harsh punishment?
Today 5/9/16, a small defense attorney, Katayoun Donnelly, with a powerful voice, stood up for Mark Iannicelli, an activist. She faced off against Judge Theresa Spahn in courtroom 3F of Denver’s municipal court.
In retrospect, awarding the newly elected Barack Obama a Nobel Peace Prize was about as smartly ambitious as it gets. Everyone knows humanitarians don’t do it for the reward. A Nobel Prize is wasted if there’s not some eligible sociopath who might be influenced with the pressure to behave themselves. President Obama’s Nobel medal was an experiment in paying it forward. Who knows how much more bloodthirsty Obama might have gotten with his drones had not the Nobel committee tried to extort him with its higher expectations? The Nobel award givers took a lot of ribbing for their foolishness from those of us who weren’t idealist enough. AND SO IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE when Norway’s mass murdering overachiever Anders Breivik sued his jailers for abusing his human rights because he wasn’t getting sufficient visitors in his cushy prison suite, that the Norwegian supreme court would rule Breivik was right.
Denver jury convicts homeless man of trespassing on their yuppy lifestyle. DJ Razee’s tiny house idea was too big.
DENVER, COLORADO- In the witness stand Delbert “DJ” Razee spoke eloquently about the Tiny House movement and Resurrection Village, a local experiment sponsored by advocates Denver Homeless Out Loud to suggest one remedy for the house-less of Colorado. Razee’s lawyer Frank Ingham made fools of the Denver Housing Authority stooge and four police officers who testified against the chronically homeless English Lit grad. Razee was charged with trespass on public land, on an empty city block which was supposed to have been used for affordable housing. Razee was among ten homeless activists arrested one night in November for refusing to vacate several very small structures they’d erected on property which the DHA was converting from a community garden to gentrified condos. After two days of trial, a jury of well-housed peers found Razee guilty, lest others of his untouchable caste darken their doorsteps or the vacant lots near them. On Thursday March 3rd at 8:30am DJ Razee reports to Judge Beth Faragher for sentencing.
I must confess, I’m no fan of the Bible, I’ve never understood how a man’s lips are moving and it is called the word of god. The same is true with the written word, the pen is in the hand of the human. But there are stories in the bible with a powerful message. One such story is of a small shepherd boy who goes down into the valley armed with a slingshot and a few small stones. The story of Eric Brandt.
DENVER, COLORADO- Weld County had twice declined to remit jailed Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro to the Denver County courts for outstanding cases, but this week authorities conspired to bus Caryn to court without giving public notice. Instead of being greeted by a room full of supporters who had twice turned up to cheer for her as she faced contrived and punitive charges, Caryn was whisked before Judges Rodarte in 3F and Farrenger in 3H. Alone and no doubt demoralized, Caryn plead guilty to both obstruction and making threats, accepting concurrent sentences of 150 days. We haven’t yet uncovered the paper trail for her off-leash citation. but the Lindsey Flanigan Star Chamber probably threw that at her too.
10TH US CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, DENVER, COLORADO- By 9:00 this morning I had been arrested by federal police for asserting a person’s right to enter a federal courthouse and observe an open court proceeding where the federal government denies any person without a valid state or federal ID.
DENVER, COLORADO- Andrian “Monk” Brown was observed on HALO camera “erecting a tent” on the spot he’d been arrested two days before inside a similar tent. He was arrested escaping the scene of the crime and or walking his dog around the block. This week Monk was tried for obstruction, the deputy city attorney prosecuted the case herself but was unable to overcome the jury’s inclinations that the charges were “silly”. Monk’s defense attorney rested her case without presenting a thing. Essentially the closing argument was this: did a three-man tent obstruct anyone in a large public plaza? NOT GUILTY.
The Denver Detention Center came under scrutiny after the county had to pay out over $6 million to the family of street preacher Marvin Booker who was killed by sheriff’s deputies while in custody. Reforms may or may not have been implemented; the deputies were neither charged nor dismissed; and the facilities remain defiant about disrespecting your rights. I had the opportunity to visit the DDC recently and I can report the experience was miserable. While the public often thinks that inmates deserve the worse the better, a county jail houses suspects not convicts, protected by the 14th Amendment from punishment before a fair trial.
Here’s our spiel for those burned out on the reformist treadmill. Jury Nullification is not about reforming the justice system or asking power to temper its abuse. This is about convincing ordinary people that as jurors they can upset the whole racist classist for-profit applecart.
Judge rules Denver Police harassment was not in contempt of injunction, but he doesn’t know the four fifths of it.
DENVER, COLORADO- US District Court Judge William Martinez found action taken by the Denver Police Department against an Occupy Denver protest to be NOT IN CONTEMPT of his federal injunction to halt arrests of Jury Nullification pamphleteers, although the judge based his ruling on only the first DPD raid, not the four next raids that happened in the interim. Obviously justice system reform needs JUDGE NULLIFICATION literature for jurists whose purview is hindered by purposefully limited scope. Judge Martinez heard only about the DPD confiscating a canopy, he wasn’t allowed to consider the eviction of our tents which included four arrests, the second seizure of our canopy, the loss of another tent with two more arrests, and the raid on three more tents, pictured above. The police based their actions on the activists lacking a permit from the Denver Manager of Public Works although no such permit exists beside which that manager’s authority doesn’t extend to the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza. Judge Martinez wasn’t informed of any of that.
BOMBSHELL: Denver courthouse anticipates black folks will be upset when Dexter Lewis gets the death penalty unlike white James Holmes.
DENVER, COLORADO- In federal court on Friday the chief of security of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse testified that recent restrictions on protest activity around the building were enacted in anticipation of black community unrest at the likely death sentence for accused murderer Dexter Lewis, who is African American. In view of the fact that James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter, is white and did not received the death penalty. This story was more likely contrived to cover for the courthouse’s ongoing effort to curtail the distribution of jury nullification pamphlets. But since they brought it up… I should think the Denver community would not want to disappoint authorities with respect to public indignation at our usual broken racist justice system.
BREAKING: Denver DA Mitch Morrissey to be subpoenaed in jury tampering case of Mark Iannicelli and Eric Brandt!
DENVER, COLORADO- Denver Judge Johnny C. Barajas wouldn’t produce Eric Brandt, who’s still being held in county jail without bond, he wouldn’t commit to joining Brandt’s case with that of Mark Iannicelli, he wouldn’t commit to granting a preliminary hearing, but he has allowed Attorneys David Lane and Lonn Heymann to subpoena all complainants, including Denver District Attorney Mitchell R. Morrissey!
The target of a recent recall effort, the Denver DA won’t indict killer cops or sheriff’s deputies, but Morrissey and his cronies in the DPD will have to show up August 31 at 8:30am to account for the abridged First Amendment rights of Messrs Brandt and Ianicelli.
Come One, Come All!
Admission: FREE FREE FREE!
Where: Denver Municipal Court
When: Tues, Aug 11, 2015, 1PM.
Featuring MARK IANNICELLI in his premiere performance and David Lane as his big stick.
As the drama unfolds, Mark will be charge with seven felony counts of jury tampering for passing free information to the citizen of Denver. David Lane, a seasoned defender of human rights, will protect Mark from the Judge and District Attorney, played by two Kangaroos. You won’t want to miss the final outcome of this grand performance by the city of Denver.
Clarence Darrow’s closing arguments in Leopold & Loeb resonates today in the Denver Urban Camping Ban and Jury Nullification Trials.
“You can trace it all down through the history of man. You can trace the burnings, the boilings, the drawings and quarterings, the hangings of people in England at the crossroads, carving them up and hanging them, as examples for all to see.”
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO- Eric Brandt was so sure he was going to jail he got a tattoo. The one-man-band of protest movements had court on August 3rd before Westminster Associate Judge Paul D. Basso, who’d declined on a technicality to give Brandt a jury trial. Eric calls him “Judge Fatso” and lampoons Basso on the courthouse steps and so didn’t expect more than a brisk push into jail. Knowing they’d take his “Fuck Cops” t-shirt, Eric got a hasty tattoo. “It hurt. A LOT” said Eric, who did not intend to cease his protest behind bars. It’s the identical logo, placed just below the sleeve-length of a jail smock, faced forward on the arm he extends to shake hands. Eric’s lawyer, the formidable David Lane, joked that he was stung by Eric’s lack of faith in his attorney.
In May of 1960, I was place in the “Hole” for ten days, at that time they would feed you a bowl of spinach once a day. The “Hole” was in cell house three, which also housed death row. When the guard came to my cell, I refused the spinach. He told me that he bet I’d be eating it by the end of ten days. Directly on the tier above me was death row. One of the prisoners on death row (David F. Early) over-heard my conversation with the guard.
DENVER, COLO.- A jury reviewing the case of Marvin Booker v Denver County Sheriff’s deputies has awarded $4.6 Million to the Booker estate for the excessive force that caused his homocide. Is this justice? Not yet, but it is a huge victory against police brutality at a moment when cities across the nation are errupting in protest and police officers have yet to be charged with wrongdoing. The five deputies who killed Marvin Booker have now been found culpable. The next step would be criminal charges. BTW, after the verdict was read, the five were given an armed escort out the back door away from the courtroom audience. Next time let’s see that happen in shackles.
DENVER, COLO- Well, you’ve almost missed the most compelling courtroom drama this side of television. Although even on TV you don’t see a judge having to repeatedly admonish the audience to refrain from reacting with audible incredulity at the clueless ambivalence, awkward dissembling, and brazen lies being told on the stand by sheriff deputies and their witnesses concerning the death of Marvin Booker, 56, in their custody on July 9, 2010. National law enforcement experts have been flown in to defend the Denver Sheriff’s Department policies. It’s been quite a laugh and the jury seems wise to the scheme. Closing arguments begin Friday. If you’ve followed the Denver Post coverage you can skip the next paragraph, but those who’ve been packing the federal courtroom these past three weeks can assure you, you haven’t been treated to the half of it.
I’ll believe corporations are people when one is declined the chance to pay a fine instead of face criminal penalties. Imagine OJ Inc or Pistorius Inc or Bernie Madoff being able to pay off US marshalls instead of going to jail. Next question, who is the beneficiary Toyota’s $1.2 Billion payoff?
How about those journeyman activists throwing their social justice experience around like it’s inviolate because they’ve been at this longer than the whippersnappers trying to rock their slow boat to China. They know what works after thirty years of utter failure, and they’ll admit to not a single inkling that their nonconfrontational passivism has only accelerated injustice and war. By what aggrandized blindness to irony can they congratulate themselves for their contribution to justice and peace? I don’t care that they decorate themselves like the dumb soldiers above whom they hold themselves, but hear this: don’t you dare coopt the enthusiasm of your youngers, or obstruct their path because their fresh directions offend you.