Friday, January 23, 2009

So, How do you compel Merril Jessop to testify against himself? I thought Obama had ended torture.

I wouldn't say I'm a great legal mind, but this is not a tough concept
. For eight hours, Merril Jessop apparently DIDN'T testify leaving the Future Supreme Court of the United States Justice Natalie Malonis no choice but to "COMPEL TESTIMONY."

The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Attorneys for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints elder and his alleged teenage daughter-in-law will argue in court Monday over whether Jessop should be able to plead Fifth Amendment protection to a series of questions regarding the polygamous sect's financial structure.

'There are quite a few (answers) that are in controversy,' said Natalie Malonis, the Denton attorney representing a 17-year-old daughter of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs. 'He answered some of it. I hope that on Monday when we have our hearing, (the judge) will compel answers.'

51st District Judge Barbara Walther set the hearing, Malonis said, after compelling testimony in a 30-minute telephone proceeding on some efforts by Jessop to plead the Fifth, which protects witnesses from being forced to give answers under oath that could incriminate them."

Frankly, only Merril Jessop and his attorneys, bound by attorney-client privilege are the judges of what it is that might incriminate him. Only a truly special set of circumstances along with expansive knowledge missing a few minor details could possibly render another the judge of what might incriminate. Merril Jessop is NOT on trial, and as a result has every right to avoid saying things that might put him on trial.

Beyond threatening him with blackmail, such as the imprisonment of his children through child custody, there's not much they can do. Would Barbara Walther order him to testify or face contempt charges? How would Merril respond? I hardly think he is afraid of spending time in jail. Perhaps there are grounds for compelling testimony, but there are no racks, no iron maidens available to persuade him and Obama is closing Guantanamo.

If anything proves the puppet status of Natalie Malonis as the courtroom agent of Judge Walther, this episode is all the circumstantial evidence that we need. In 6 months Ms. Malonis' client is an adult. Teresa Jeffs need for Ms. Malonis' services is academic. Frankly the only reason that she can't apply for emancipation right now is that she has a guardian supplying a voice for her and a judge that would never listen to her own.

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ztgstmv said...

What I find baffling is how does Malonis figure she has grounds to compel testimony on YFZ financial matters? I would like her answer that specifically.

The Pharisee said...

She is a proxy for a judge with an agenda. We know that. I cannot ever recall seeing such systematic unrestrained strong arm tactics in American Justice, ever.

I'm sure it has gone on, but not this blatantly and out in the open.

Silver Rose said...

With so many people saying the same thing - how do you explain why this "systematic unrestrained strong arm tactics in American Justice" is allowed to continue?

Why isn't someone higher up telling Walther, either publicly or privately, to shape up?

Why isn't anyone stopping Malonis? Why is everyone just sitting on their hands and saying, "Gee...they shouldn't do that."

And that seems to be as far as the outrage goes.

The Pharisee said...

Rose, essentially the lower court has to finish misbehaving, so that the higher court can rebuke them.

This is also the downside of small town justice. There are some upsides. This judge is used to behaving any way she wants to and getting away with it.

Similar problems happen when Senators run for President. They're used to one level of scrutiny that goes out the window when they run for national office.

Walther has never seen anything like this before, but her habits are well developed.