[act-ma] Rumseld protest trial delayed to MARCH 7

Defend Shaun Joseph defendshaun at bostonsocialism.org
Wed Dec 5 10:48:53 PST 2012


Friends, unfortunately my trial--on charges already well over a year
old--has been delayed to March 7, 2013. If you were planning to attend
court today, tomorrow, or Friday, there is now no need. My sincerest
apologies to those of you will be inconvenienced by this extraordinary
delay caused by the District Attorney's latest display of
incompetence; and my deepest apologies and thanks to the many who came
out to support me today.

Today's experience may be worth recounting for those of you who--like
me before this incident--have not experienced the "workings" of of the
judicial system first hand. It may also be amusing even for those who

I first suspected something was amiss when Susan Terrey, the chief
prosecutor, walked by my lawyer and me on the way into the courthouse.

"Hi," said Ms. Terrey to my lawyer, "It's tomorrow, right?"

"No, today," replied my lawyer.

"Oh...OK," replied Ms. Terrey.

Now I happen to know that prosecutors deal with a lot of cases, both
because a lot of things are needlessly criminalized, and because they
seem to think it's their job to uphold police lies and misconduct, no
matter how absurd. But surely they are expected to keep track of when
they are actually supposed to try a case? Apparently not--for as I've
been discovering, a defendant's notional right to a speedy trial is
always in practice trumped by prosecutor excuses and the "slack" that
judges are always willing to cut the state (but never the defense).

In a courtroom packed to overflowing with people charged mainly with
drug offenses, Judge Annette Forde dealt "swift justice" to defendants
who, for whatever reason--traffic? kids? work? using the
bathroom?--missed their call-up, issuing warrants and seizing their
bail. Yet when my case came up, and Ms. Terrey announced that the
prosecution wasn't ready because one of their police witnesses had
"childcare issues," suddenly the burden was on us to explain why the
state shouldn't be given another three months to, I guess, help a
policeman find a babysitter.

Finding decent childcare is indeed a difficult problem in our society,
but I find it difficult to believe that, in the first place, a
well-paid police officer couldn't manage it with three months' advance
notice. (The trial date was confirmed by both sides on September 5.)
More importantly: what would Judge Forde have said if we had asked to
delay the trial with the same excuse? It's not hard to guess.

My lawyer moved to dismiss the case because the prosecution didn't
have it's act together, despite having over a year to prepare. This
was denied by Judge Forde, who commented with righteous distaste:
"This young man struck a police officer!" Now for those of you playing
along at home, you will recall that this is precisely the matter at
issue at trial. Thus Judge Forde seems to have decided to allow a
delay in my trial on the basis of (false) allegations that can only be
legally established...at the trial. Once again we see that a trial is,
under our present noble system of "justice," not a means of
determining the truth of allegations, but itself a kind of punishment
for the "crime" of having allegations against you.

One silver lining in this otherwise very gray cloud: Judge Forde did
grant our request that there be no continuances after March 7.
Therefore if the state remains unready in March, the case will be
automatically dismissed.

For what it's worth, the prosecution offered me the same "deal" as
last time; and, like last time, I refused it. Maybe they thought they
had worn me down? Alas, my determination to outlast them, to drag them
however slowly to the point where they have no choice but to concede
my total innocence, is more impenetrable than ever.

Thank you all again for your support.

Shaun Joseph

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