A Good Day For The First Amendment

Jailed Blogger Darren Chaker Wins First Amendment Case

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 12/27/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — A California Blogger , Darren Chaker , recently reversed his conviction in federal court on First Amendment grounds where he said “Ms. Leesa Fazal, an investigator with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, was “forced out” of her previous post with the Las Vegas Police Department.”  See Cato Institute article. Supporters included Cato InstituteACLU of San DiegoElectronic Frontier FoundationFirst Amendment Coalition, and Brechner First Amendment Project at University of Florida. ?

After spending months in jail, Mr. Chaker imprisonment was found unjust. The Ninth Circuit, Case. No. 15-50138/ No. 15-50193, found, see opinion “Chaker’s blog post, which claimed that former police investigator Leesa Fazal “was forced out of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department,” does not qualify as harassment.” The court continued to state in relevant part, “The government also failed to prove that Chaker’s blog post satisfied the elements of defamation, including falsity and actual malice. See N.Y. Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 279–80 (1964).”

In this instance Nevada Attorney General Investigator Leesa Fazal of Las Vegas made multiple reports about the blog to her own agency, Las Vegas Metro Police Department, and FBI. None of them took any action to file charges.  Until she contacted Mr. Chaker’s probation officer alleging defamation, which people are typically sued for in civil court. Mr. Chaker was on probation for a white collar crime.

The Human Rights Defense Center published an article saying in part, “The First Amendment protects the right of everyone to use the Internet to criticize government officials – including people on supervised release from prison,” noted Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Adam Schwartz.

As reported by the Cato Institute in a post appeal article, “Chaker notes on his personal blog that he is “only one of 4,708,100 people are on probation or parole.” Millions of individuals’ political speech could have been swept up under the precedent set by the lower court’s outrageous decision…. The decision in Chaker v. United States is thus a victory for First Amendment advocates and political activists everywhere. It protects the rights of even the most downtrodden and implicitly applies the correct defamation standard to political speech aimed at public officials.”

During oral argument on June 10, 2016, it was conceded the speech was non-criminal. The Ninth Circuits YouTube Channel, shows oral argument where the former chief judge did not appear happy about restricting non-criminal speech:

23:16 Judge Kozinski to AUSA – “You managed to bamboozle…I mean the United States, managed to fool the district judge imposing the condition…”;

26:31 Judge Kozinski, “It’s okay for the district court to say obey all laws…but this is not at all limited to criminal conduct…this is conduct that is not illegal…agree this is conduct that is not illegal?”, reluctantly Government attorney said “agreed that the condition reached conduct that is not illegal.”

Jailing a blogger for non-criminal speech for criticizing government is precisely what sets America apart from oppressive regimes who seek to control the media and thoughts of those who govern its population. In this instance, the government lost, but sets a dangerous precedent of how resources can be used to silence critics.

Additional information may be found at, http://darrenchaker.com/darren-chaker-wins-appeal/

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Darren Chaker
Full Name: Darren Chaker
Phone: 213-915-6804
Email Address: darrenchaker@gmail.com
Website: http://darrenchaker.com/

BACK FROM THE BIG HOUSE

So. . . there’s 120 days of my life that I’ll never get back!

Most of you know that my trial was scheduled from September 26th-September 29th, 2016.

The trial went forward despite my arguments regarding witness tampering and obstruction of justice due to illegal withholding of a portion of my evidence. Also, the evidence I did receive was not disclosed in time to afford me the opportunity to make beneficial use of it. (Received on September 1st and trial was scheduled for September 26th).

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Judge Asphaug also demonstrated prejudicial judicial conduct by granting the State’s motion to have substantial exonerating evidence not introduced in the trial.

I did not have a settlement conference and was offered a plea deal on the first day of my trial. As I’ve said numerous times before, the goal was always to have me plead guilty or be found guilty without access to all of my evidence. After I declined the plea deal, the attitude of the prosecutor and the judge changed significantly and became quite hostile. Here’s the thing, a statement must be free and voluntary, not extracted by any sorts of threats or promises, however slight. Judge Asphaug indicated that if I lost by having a jury trial, she would have the ability to impose a harsh sentence which is exactly what happened. Plea bargaining extorts guilty pleas and the trial tax is just another way to tilt the playing field in favor of the state.

Below is an excerpt from Trial Tax And Plea Bargaining   BY  

“There’s no law written saying that exercising your right to a jury trial and losing will cost you more. There’s this euphemism in legal land called a “trial tax.”  If you exercise your constitutional right to a trial and lose, you typically get reamed even harder than if you took a plea deal.
Why? The incredible amount of unnecessary and unjust laws you could break bog down the courts. Rather than give every defendant his day in court, plea deals are offered. Courts use the “trial tax” as an excuse to discourage jury trials.  Judges, prosecutors, and court staff perceive this fundamental right of our American republic as an inconvenience and intimidate the accused into taking deals struck in back rooms.
Remember this next time it is presumed that our courts and laws are fair: Court personnel consider due process a punishable offense.”

Also, I was originally charged with two felony counts and four additional charges were added. This dirty trick is called charge stacking. Read more about this tactic below:

Prosecutors, Charge Stacking, and Plea Deals 

by  

As Attorney Michelle MacDonald once told me, “This is a process of torture where heavier and heavier weights are placed on the chest of the defendant until they either suffocate or confess.”

I did not suffocate nor did I confess to criminal behavior that did not exist.

Below are my special conditions of probation:

psipsi

Below are two additional conditions that were not in the community corrections document.

roa

roa0002It’s clear that this was a malicious prosecution and that I was deprived of the right to a fair trial before an impartial judge. This was also a manipulation of public opinion by false media reports and retaliation for putting the system on trial.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Lawless Lakeville

Scandal in ‘Lawless Lakeville’: Matt Little Illegally Elected Mayor?September 12, 2016

Matt Little, Lakeville??

Lakeville, Dakota County, MN: Mayor Matt Little is accused of committing fraud by lying about his address in order to meet residency requirements needed to run for office as council man, and later, mayor in Lakeville. The allegation, raised by Terry Dean, Nemmers includes, “City Of Lakeville Mayor Matt Little Doesn’t Even Reside In Lawless Lakeville?  2010 & 2012 & 2014 Affidavit Of Candidacy Proves Little Resides In Rosemount? 2016 Affidavit Of Candidacy & 2014 Lawyer License Info Prove Little Resides in Farmington? How Many Days Has Little Lived In The Lawless Shit-Hole Called The City Of Lakeville, Huh? Not A Single Day?” Scandal Alert! City Of Lakeville Mayor Matt Little Doesn’t Even Reside In Lawless Lakeville?

According to the Minnesota Constitution, a candidate must live in the city for at least 30 days before a city election in order to serve as a mayor. If a mayor fails to maintain a city residency, state statute provides that a vacancy in office is created. Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Elected Officials & Council, Structure and Role

Little was a former Lakeville city council member (2010). He was ran for mayor in 2012, and won as the youngest elected mayor, and was elected again in 2014. Records show during the time that Little served as mayor, he did not live in Lakeville, and did not meet residency requirements. As a law student, Little should have been aware of those requirements.This means that Little fraudulently ran for mayor, and illegally held office.

spam clip art

Records Include:

  • 2010 Affidavit of Candidacy showing Matt Little’s address as 16162 Fairgreen Avenue in Rosemount. In 2010, Little served on the Lakeville city council. Property tax records indicate this home belongs to Little’s parents.
  • 2014 Affidavit of Candidacy shows Matt Little’s address as 16162 Fairgreen Avenue, Rosemount
  • 2014 Minnesota Supreme Court Lawyer’s Office Registration Listing for Little’s law license lists his address as 17523 Freeport Ct in Farmington. Dakota County Property Tax records verify this home as belonging to Little.
  • 2016 Filing for Senate showing Matt Little’s address as 17523 Freeport Ct in Farmington.
  • The Minnesota Secretary of State business record details for “Little for Lakeville” (file #3230155-2) list Matt Little’s address as 16153 Finland Avenue in Rosemount. Little is using his brother’s Lakeville address to qualify for eligibility. However, Dakota County Property Tax Records indicate this home actually belongs to Little’s parents. “Little for Lakeville” is a Minnesota Assumed Name, which was filed on February 25, 2009. The filing status is listed as Active / In Good Standing until 2019.

Minnesota Secretary of State Listing: Little for Lakeville

Minnesota Secretary of State Listing: Little for Lakeville

Dakota County Property Information Search - Matt Little, owns a home, and makes his primary residence, in Farmington

Dakota County Property Information Search – Matt Little, owns a home, and makes his primary residence, in Farmington

Little is also exploiting the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case to make a name for himself politically.

Little took time from his busy schedule to publicly thank the Lakeville police department, Jim Backstrom and Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena “for bringing peace and justice to our community” after securing a guilty verdict against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Little has given special attention to the Grazzini-Rucki case while ignoring more serious crimes occurring in Lakeville. For example a Lakeville fire lieutenant recently resigned from the department after being charged with giving alcohol to a minor, and then raping him. In another recent case, a body was found dead at the side of the road. According to Little “peace and justice” was restored to Lakeville after Sandra was convicted, even as more serious crimes that pose a real threat to public safety are happening. Then again if Little does not live in Lakeville, does he really know what is happening there???

peacejustice

Also disturbing is that Little’s public applause implies that he supports David Rucki, and supports the unjust family court decisions that have caused so much pain and upheaval in the lives of Sandra and the children.

In truth, it is David Rucki who poses a danger to the community. Rucki has a long history of violent behavior, history of criminal convictions and has been connected to various financial scams. David Rucki’s Greatest Hits (Police Reports), The Provocateur Yet Matt Little remains silent, and never made a public announcement when Rucki was convicted of assault, domestic violence with OFP violations, or anything else he has done.

How can the community be safer when its own system to secure “peace and justify” is not only failing but also promoting corruption, at epic levels?

Stay tuned for updates!

https://justice4grazziniruckifamily.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/mayor-matt-little-scandal/

‘It’s time to tell the judiciary to go to hell’

WND EXCLUSIVE

Author reveals recipe for fixing federal courts without constitutional amendment

SupremeCourt2

Are you a conservative worried about losing the federal courts if Hillary Clinton is elected president?

Don’t waste your tears at this point, says Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz, the courts are already gone.

“This is like a wind-up toy: every four years, Republicans dangle in front of us, ‘Hey, you gotta vote for us, otherwise we’ll lose the courts,’” Horowitz said during a recent appearance on The Tom Roten Morning Show.

“I’m here to tell you we’ve lost the courts. They’re gone, gone, gone. We do need a Republican Congress and administration, but for the purposes of stripping the courts of that power, giving it back to Congress and the state legislatures.”

Horowitz pointed out things have gotten so bad conservatives couldn’t even get a simple voter ID law past the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, regarded as one of the least liberal circuits. Ten of the 15 judges on the Fifth Circuit were appointed by Republican presidents.

However, only four of the 13 circuit courts in the country currently have a majority of Republican appointees sitting on the bench.

Many conservatives believe all they need to do is elect a Republican president who will appoint conservative judges to the federal courts, but Horowitz noted it would take many consecutive years of Republican presidents hitting the mark on their judicial appointments to finally turn the courts in a more conservative direction.

By that point, it may be too late. Horowitz noted the courts have been moving quickly in recent years: they have mandated states fund Planned Parenthood, mangled state religious liberty laws, made transgender people a protected class, forced states to give birth certificates to illegal aliens and tossed out basic voter integrity law

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/its-time-to-tell-the-judiciary-to-go-to hell/#zGv1HGBRPDpaPMiH.99

THE FIX

August 01, 2016  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki story/The Fix.   Podcasts: Archived programs

 August 01, 2016  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki story/The Fix

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/22387094

 

Forcing the Innocent to Plead Guilty, an American Disgrace

Amaury Villalobos and William Vasquez reacted after their exonerations in a 1980 Brooklyn arson case. From left, Adele Bernhard, a lawyer, with Mr. Villalobos; Rita Dave, a lawyer, with Mr. Vasquez; and the widow of Raymond Mora, a third defendant who was cleared, Janet Mora, and their daughter, Eileen Mora. (photo: Pearl Gabel/NYT)

By John Kiriakou, Reader SupportedNews

19 April 16

 record 149 people had their criminal convictions overturned in 2015 after courts found they had been wrongly charged, according to a recent study. Nearly 4 in 10 of those exonerated had been convicted of murder, and the average newly-released prisoner had served more than 14 years in prison. Most of the exonerations came in only two states, Texas and New York. The National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School, found that there have been 1,733 exonerations since 1989, with the total doubling since 2011. More than two-thirds of last year’s exonerees were minorities. Five had been sentenced to death.

There is a reason why most of the exonerations have come from two locales. District attorneys in Brooklyn, New York, and Harris County, Texas, have begun long-term reviews of questionable convictions, actions that are being watched by prosecutors and defense attorneys across the country. With 156 death row exonerations since 1973, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, this is a problem that must be addressed.

The National Registry of Exonerations report stated further that 42 of those exonerated in 2015 had pleaded guilty, a glaring indication that the current system of seeking plea bargains simply isn’t just. Indeed, Propublica found that 98.2 percent of all federal cases end in conviction, with nearly all of those a result of plea deals.

Why would an innocent person take a plea? Really, there is no alternative. First, the government uses a technique called “charge stacking.” Have you committed an actual crime? Be prepared for multiple charges, including a lot of “throwaway charges,” like obstruction of justice or making a false statement. In addition, the government will likely levy multiple charges against you for the same crime.

The point is not necessarily to convict you on everything, although prosecutors are perfectly happy to do that. The point is that prosecutors will eventually offer you a deal. Take a plea to one count and the others will be dismissed. It’s a negotiating ploy. But for the accused, the question is this: Even if you are innocent, should you take a plea and do a couple of years in prison or should you try your luck at trial, knowing that almost no defendant wins in court? Almost everybody takes the deal.

After I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, the Justice Department charged me with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. I had confirmed the name of a former CIA colleague to a reporter who wanted to interview him for a book. The name was never made public, but I shouldn’t have done it. Still, I had no criminal intent and there was no harm to the national security.

But that didn’t matter. The government added three espionage charges, as well as a charge of making a false statement. They threatened additional charges of making a false statement and obstruction of justice. Of course, I hadn’t committed espionage. Nor had I made any false statements. But that didn’t matter. Why risk a trial when you can just force a defendant to take a plea?

In the end, I took a plea to the initial charge. Everything else was dismissed. I was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison. If I had gone to trial and had been found guilty, I was looking at 45 years. Realistically, I would have been sentenced to 18-24 years. Either way, I would have likely died in prison.

That happens every day in America. So it should be no surprise that innocent people are in prison as a result of pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit. The work of the Brooklyn and Harris County district attorneys should be lauded. But innocent men and women shouldn’t have to rely on the isolated prosecutor with a conscience for justice. Justice should mean justice.


John Kiriakou is an Associate Fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC. He is a former CIA counterterrorism operations officer and former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

BREAKING: AJ Kern to Announce Primary Bid Against Rep. Emmer – Cites Endorsement Convention Fouls

UPDATE: A response from Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey is posted at the end of the story:

Republican AJ Kern intends to announce a primary bid today against United States Representative Tom Emmer (R – Congressional District 6).  Kern and Emmer sought the party endorsement at the district’s convention in April.  Emmer achieved the required 60 percent of delegates by 11 votes (212-119) and won the endorsement on April 23rd.

Kern is claiming convention misconduct led to her decision to primary against Emmer.  Kern tells Alpha News the three reasons she thought the convention was mishandled include her campaign being kept out of the ballot room, a violation of “the rules for seating Delegates and Alternates,” and there never being “a motion and vote to endorse a candidate.”

Kern says the two campaigns were “provided different treatment during ballot counting,” explaining, “The Emmer campaign was provided observer(s) in the room while ballot counting occurred. The representative from the Kern campaign, Dr.John Kern, was physically blocked from entering the room during ballot counting.”

In regards to her contention with the seating of delegates and alternates, Kern says, “Sworn statements also indicate that after the permanent voting roll had been created, Alternates were wrongly unseated for late arriving Delegates in violation of the party constitution and convention rules.”

Continue Reading: http://alphanewsmn.com/aj-kern-announce-primary-bid-rep-emmer-cites-convention-fouls/