Monday, August 18, 2008

FLDS Begins to fight. Walther practices outcome based justice.

In a story emphasizing how many times (50) Barbara Steed Jessop plead the 5th, I found far more interesting elements than simply her stubborn (and I believe rightful) refusal to answer. The San Angelo Standard-Times;

"Barbara Jessop sat in the courtroom as her attorney, San Angelo lawyer Gonzalo Rios, peppered Walther with objections to dozens of documents CPS attorneys introduced as evidence.

The documents - bishop's records, marriage certificates and pictures recovered from the sect's temple annex at the Schleicher County compound - were obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against illegal search and seizure, Rios said.

'This evidence was gained illegally,' he said. 'At best, there's a question about whether a legal search warrant was issued.'

The warrant authorizing law enforcement and CPS to raid the ranch starting on April 3 was based on phone calls now believed to be a hoax."

Not that Judge Walther is going to hear any objection no matter how well founded. If this keeps up I firmly believe she will be forced to dig her own grave in this case. Walther's ramrod, hell bent for leather judicial style will create problems later. Get those witnesses on the stand I say, let them not testify, let them plead the 5th and let Walther ignore well founded objections to evidence. The case will blow up in some higher judicial venue because Walther is practicing a sort of outcome based justice where the goal is already scripted and all objections that might derail Walther's train, are swept aside.

"Walther overruled the objection, questioning how Jessop could have standing to dispute the seizing of documents not contained in her home."

Yes, I am no lawyer but even I can see through this one. If you're being beat up directly or indirectly as the result of illegally seized evidence you have standing. It's your Ox being gored. Walther here does not really address the objection of evidence being illegally seized, but tries instead to change the subject.

There must be no leverage they can apply to Barbara Steed Jessop, as evidenced by these specific examples of taking the 5th.

"Barbara Steed Jessop - wife of ranch leader and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints bishop Merril Jessop - refused to answer a series of questions, from as mundane as how much her husband earns each month to as pointed as whether she witnessed a marriage of an underage girl to an older man."

As pointed out, one question goes to the whole point of the cases, the other does not. Mrs. Jessop is allowed to take the 5th. This is an aggressive stance on Mrs. Jessop's part.

Judge Walther continued to steamroll the proceedings, issuing her customary ultimatims.

"(Walther) dismissed the court for lunch, telling (Jessop's Attorney Gonzalo) Rios he could have the recess to think about what he wishes to do."

Wow, that's magnamous. You'd think Walther was scolding a child and sending him to the corner to think about it while all the other kids go outside to play.

"'We're hopeful that we will have an agreement reached in this case,' said CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner, 'and that the judge will have an agreement' to sign."

Let's face it, none of the "agreements" are in fact "agreements" any more than the "cease fire" that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili was forced to sign.

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