Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Curious statement from anonymous commenter suggests "justice" should involve pressuring innocent people to plead guilty because it's good for prosecutors

Carol Tovich Shuler
A reader recently took me to task for stating in a comment that my wife, Carol, will not be pleading guilty to the bogus "assault" charge brought against her in Greene County, Missouri. In the process, I think the reader revealed that the case against Carol is nonexistent, but in the "prosecutorial mindset," someone should plead guilty to something she didn't do -- even if the state can't remotely prove its case.

In my view, the comment reflects several inconvenient truths about prosecutors: (1) Many of them are lazy and want a plea, any plea, to keep real work at bay; (2) Many of them are about scoring a "win," even if it means an innocent person is pressured into admitting guilt; (3) Many of them don't care one iota about justice, and they often do their best to obscure facts that don't play into their desired outcome.

The comments become particularly curious in the wake of public defender Patty Poe's efforts to withdraw from Carol's case and prosecutor Nicholas Jain's notice that he will not seek jail time in the matter.

We have come to say the missives are the "work product" of one or more "clown commenters" -- frauds who have tried to twist facts and law to sow confusion about Carol's case. These legal giants seem obsessed with the notion that the term "caused contact" in the relevant Missouri statute does not mean "initiate contact," even though we've found case law that shows the two terms mean the same thing.

We also have seen signs that these commenters have a horse in the race, suggesting they are in, or have ties to, the office of Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson. Did these comments foretell Poe's efforts to exit the case, and Jain's Waiver of Jail Time Notice? Very likely.

The guilty-plea issue arose in an Oct. 23 post about the Greene County Public Defender's Office, which represents Carol, being so overwhelmed with work that it had to decline representation in a recent first-degree murder case. A commenter noted that in such a slammed "justice system," Carol likely will receive pressure to plead guilty. I don't disagree with the commenter on that, but my response indicated Carol isn't prone to cave in to such pressure:

They've already offered a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), which was rejected in about .00001 seconds. If they think Carol will plead guilty to something she didn't do -- which their own "victim" says she didn't do -- they are out of their minds. Why?

(1) Carol is not prone to taking the blame for something she didn't do; neither am I;

(2) If Carol were prone to plead guilty, she would have to climb over my dead body to do it;

(3) This is Roger talking -- not Carol -- but Carol will go to jail before she cops a plea in this case. (We now know that jail is off the table, so Carol doesn't have to worry about that.)

(4) Neither of us is prone to letting bad actors get away with abusing us. We soon will be filing a federal lawsuit for the wrongs Missouri cops, lawyers, and a landlord have committed against us.

This must have offended someone's sensibilities because the following anonymous comment soon appeared:

Your insistence that Carol go to jail before working out a deal where she will not only not be incarcerated but the verdict eventually vacated is the most supremely selfish thing I have ever heard you say. She has been martyr enough to your delusions. You have remarked on her occasional confusion and inabilitynt to make herself understood. I think the attorney and judge need to know about the pressure you intend to put on your wife if she should ever disagree with you, and appoint a guardian for her as well as a lawyer.

Note the curious language highlighted above. First, the commenter seems to know the kind of plea Carol might be offered and provides specifics about it. What kind of individual, other than a prosecutor or a member of a prosecutor's staff, thinks that way? Then, the reader comes up with the loony idea that Carol needs a guardian to protect her from my "selfish interest" in making sure she doesn't plead guilty to something to she didn't do. After all, I was present for the event in question -- saw the whole thing -- and I know she didn't assault a law enforcement officer. What kind of husband (or citizen) would I be if I encouraged her to plead guilty anyway -- just so the system can chalk up another win, at her expense? Basically, I would be encouraging her to be dishonest, and I'm not going to do that.

We know that lawyers seem to love the notion of guardians, so that suggests (at least to me) this commenter has a legal education of some sort. It must not be a very good one because the husband-wife privilege likely would prevent any court from interfering with communications between Carol and me.

Now that we've established part of the commenter's likely identity, let's look at my response:

You're the same clown who claims to know what "caused contact" means? Don't think I'll be taking advice from you, legal or otherwise.

I've said multiple times here that this case can't go to trial, by law, so going to jail cannot be an issue. Of course, I know courts can be corrupt, and if someone thinks they can get away with corrupt actions by threatening Carol with jail time . . . my view is that's not going to work, and they had best rethink it. If you want to know Carol's thoughts, you can ask her; she has the same contact info as I do.

You seem to have no concern that the system in Greene County might be corrupt, which suggests to me that you are part of it.

I don't recall remarking on Carol having confusion or inability to make herself understood, but if I did, it probably was in the context of GCSO deputies giving her a concussion that has gone untreated. But I guess she is supposed to say it was her fault that her head was banged against a wall?

As for your last sentence, that is so laughable to almost be off the charts. No. 1, you are putting words in my mouth I didn't say. No. 2, I think maybe the judge and attorney need to be a bit more concerned with corrupt sheriffs and prosecutors who bring bogus charges to protect their own asses. No. 3, Carol has a mind of her own, and she isn't a martyr for me or anyone else. Again, if you want to know what she thinks, you are welcome to contact her.

Did the reader take my advice and contact Carol to see what she thinks? Of course not. That would involve courage and integrity, which the reader apparently does not have.

He does, however, reveal a lot about his own badly broken moral compass. This is someone who apparently went to law school, we assume because he had an interest in the administration of justice. And yet, he thinks "justice" should include pressuring innocent people into pleading guilty because . . . well, that's convenient for prosecutors.

Is it any wonder our courtrooms are dens of utter decay?

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