Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT DENIES PROSECUTORIAL BULLYING BY PROSECUTORS

When we left off on Friday, we were discussing the recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling regarding investigations into judicial contemplation in certain cases.

How does such an investigation get started?

How do you think it gets started?

Attorney Sam’s Take On How Judicial Investigations Get Started

You know, it is a funny coincidence. These public pronouncements always seem to come from one side and one side only.

You see, judges handle a great many civil matters. One side wins and one side loses every day. In fact, there are many entities which either sue or are sued on a regular basis, simply by the nature of what they do. Do you remember the last public spectacle of a judicial inquiry?

Neither do I.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors go at it every day. Every day there are winners and losers. Do you recall there being such a public outcry for either disciplining or removing a judge because he or she was too pro-prosecution? Gee, I have heard many defense attorneys complain about certain results, but the closest I have seen them go after the judges is to file a criminal appeal.

It seems that the only entity with the temerity to bring these public claims are prosecutors. I remind you that I am not talking about the multiple assistant district attorneys who practice in the trenches every day. I am referring to the district attorney. You know, the one who sets office policy. The one who gets the headlines (pro and con). The one who is an elected official.

The one who is an elected official at a time when, the “presumption of innocence” has all but been supplanted by the “assumption of guilt”. This is why seeming “over the top” in favor of the prosecution is considered a good thing, while any judge who seems to disagree with the prosecution is called into question.

Remember, being pro-criminal-defendant is almost as bad as being a witch in Salem’s days of yore.

There are reasons that the judiciary was not meant to be a political office. However, at least here in the Commonwealth, there seems to be a push to change that. In recent history, I have seen judges forced off the bench because of such complaints raised by the prosecution.

And Suffolk County District Attorney Conley now goes further. Now that the SJC has finally indicated that there are limits to such investigations, he blames the defense bar saying that we have influenced the court unfairly.

There is a new Spider-man movie out. This brings the motto, “with great power comes great responsibility” to mind. The Commonwealth has great power over our lives and it is not reluctant to use it.

Seen a great abundance of responsibility lately in how it is used?

I have seen plenty of cases during which I would have to say the government is simply bullying its citizens.

It is a shame to see that it also has the testicular fortitude to do the same thing to judges who are not necessarily in step with the prosecution.

“Sam, are you suggesting I should be crying about the judegES? How does this impact me?”

Because when you head to court, you expect fairness. You expect that the judge will at least be somewhat impartial. What do you think is likely to happen when the prosecution is able to hold the “get thrown off the bench free” card should a judge disagree with them?

In the balance?

Only your future and freedom.

For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/17/rape-reported-harvard-campus/0dHXBnZMK5VDzdbmUCN8KN/story.html

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