Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bob Bregory_ProsecutorObligations

This is rather surreal. Bob Gregory on prosecutor obligations - Lawmen Google GroupsProsecutors are officers of the court and their
principal obligation is to justice. They are obligated to reveal to the
defense attorney any exculpatory evidence. I am convinced that many if not
most of them place such obligations in last place, behind winning for the
sake of winning and building a strong record of success as a stepping stone
to higher office. In Illinois they are apparently attempting to intimidate
students working for justice and possibly to avoid allowing proof of the
innocence of long term convict.

Most of them seem to forget such court rulings as these:

Hurd v. People, 25 Mich 405, 416 (1872).

Hurd v. People,25 Mich 405 - Google Search
" The prosecuting officer represents the public interest, which can never be
promoted by the conviction of the innocent. His object like that of the
court, should be simply justice; and he has no right to sacrifice this to
any pride of professional success. And however strong may be his belief of
the prisoner's guilt, he must remember that, though unfair means may happen
to result in doing justice to the prisoner in the particular case, yet,
justice so attained, is unjust and dangerous to the whole community"
Peasley,90 P.3d 754(Ariz.2004) - Google Search

In re Peasley, 90 P.3d 754 (Ariz. 2004).

Prosecutor's interest in a criminal prosecution 'is not that it shall win a
case, but that justice shall be done; courts generally recognize that the
ethical rules impose higher ethical standards on prosecutors.

Jeschke v. State, 642 P.2d 1298,1303 (Wyo.1982 - Google Search

Jeschke v. State, 642 P.2d 1298, 1303 (Wyo. 1982).
Prosecutors must always keep in mind that duty is to seek justice, not
merely to convict, "which is most certainly a difficult duty to be carried
out carefully and cautiously."

Do you remember the old radio and, later, TV program called "Mr. District
Attorney? Weekly his oath was a part of the show's introduction:

" And it shall be my duty, not only to prosecute to the limit of the law all
those charged with crimes within this country, but to defend with equal
vigor the rights and privileges of all its citizens."

Those were the good old days (on radio and TV, that is).

Prosecutors Turn Tables on Student Journalists


Published: October 24, 2009

EVANSTON, Ill. - For more than a decade, classes of students at Northwestern
stern_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org> 's journalism school have been
scrutinizing the work of prosecutors and the police. The investigations into
old crimes, as part of the Medill Innocence Project
, have helped lead to the release of 11 inmates, the project's director
says, and an Illinois governor once cited those wrongful
convictions as he announced he was commuting the sentences of everyone on
death row.

David Protess, director of the Medill Innocence Project, says prosecutors
are overreaching.

But as the Medill Innocence Project is raising concerns about another case,
that of a man convicted in a murder 31 years ago, a hearing has been
scheduled next month in Cook County Circuit Court on an unusual request:
Local prosecutors have
subpoenaed the grades, grading criteria, class syllabus, expense reports and
e-mail messages of the journalism students themselves.

The prosecutors, it seems, wish to scrutinize the methods of the students
this time. The university is fighting the subpoenas.

Lawyers in the Cook County state
<> 's attorney's
office say that in their quest for justice in the old case, they need every
pertinent piece of information about the students' three-year investigation
into Anthony McKinney, who was convicted of fatally shooting a security
guard in 1978. Mr. McKinney's conviction is being reviewed by a judge.

Among the issues the prosecutors need to understand better, a spokeswoman
said, is whether students believed they would receive better grades if
witnesses they interviewed provided evidence to exonerate Mr. McKinney.

Northwestern University <> and David
Protess, the professor who leads the students and directs the Medill
Innocence Project, say the demands are ridiculously overreaching, irrelevant
to Mr. McKinney's case, in violation of the state's protections for
journalists and a breach of federal privacy statutes - not to mention

John Lavine, the dean of the Medill School of Journalism, said the
suggestion that students might have thought their grades were linked to what
witnesses said was "astonishing." He said he believed that federal law
barred him from providing the students grades, but that he had no intention
of doing so in any case..

A spokeswoman for Anita Alvarez, the Cook County state's attorney, who was
elected last fall, said the prosecutors were simply trying to get to the
bottom of the McKinney case.

"At the end of the day, all we're seeking is the same thing these students
are: justice and truth," said Sally Daly, the spokeswoman. She said the
prosecutors wished to see all statements the students received from
witnesses, whether they supported or contradicted the notion of Mr.
McKinney's innocence.

"We're not trying to delve into areas of privacy or grades," Ms. Daly said.
"Our position is that they've engaged in an investigative process, and
without any hostility, we're seeking to get all of the information they've
developed, just as detectives and investigators turn over."

If the courts find that Mr. Protess and the journalism school must turn over
the student information, they risk being held in contempt if they refuse,
said Dick O'Brien, a lawyer who is representing Northwestern.

But if the school gives in to such a demand, say advocates of the Medill
Innocence Project and more than 50 similar projects
<> (most involving law schools
and legal clinics), the stakes could be still higher, discouraging students
from taking part or forcing groups to devote time and money to legal

"Every time the government starts attacking the messenger as opposed to the
message, it can have a chilling effect," said Barry C. Scheck, a pioneer of
the Innocence Project in New York, who said he had never seen a similar
demand from prosecutors.

In October 2003, Mr. Protess's investigative journalism classes began
looking at the case after Mr. McKinney's brother, Michael, brought it to the
attention of the Medill Innocence Project - one of more 15,000 cases the
project has been asked to consider investigating over the years.

Mr. Protess, who has been on the faculty at Northwestern since 1981 and
began leading his investigative reporting students on such cases in 1991,
created the Medill project in 1999, the same year he and his students drew
national attention for helping to exonerate and free Anthony Porter, an
inmate who had come within two days of execution.

The McKinney case took three years and nine teams of student reporters, all
of whom have since graduated from Northwestern. In the end, the teams
concluded that Mr. McKinney had been wrongly convicted of killing Donald
Lundahl, a security guard, with a shotgun one evening in September 1978 in
Harvey, a southern suburb of Chicago.

The students said they had found, among other things, that two eyewitnesses
had recanted their testimony against Mr. McKinney and could not have seen
him commit the killing because they were watching a boxing championship
(Leon Spinks vs. Muhammad Ali). The students collected an affidavit from a
gang member who, they say, confirmed Mr. McKinney's alibi that he was
running away from gang members when the shooting took place.

The students have also suggested alternative suspects in the case and
offered witnesses who said they had heard the others admit their

In 2006, the students took their findings to the Center for
<> Wrongful Convictions at
Northwestern's law school, and by late last year, the claims were being
considered by a Cook County Circuit Court judge and were described in an
article in The Chicago Sun-Times <> and
on the Medill <> Innocence Project
Web site.


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Robin K.Magee Hamline law_Tax Evasion

Hamline University law professor charged with state income-tax evasion -
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Hamline University law professor charged with state income-tax evasion

Hamline teacher accused of failing to pay, file returns

Hamline University Law School associate professor Robin K. Magee, an expert in criminal law and a frequent critic and commentator on police and justice issues, has allegedly run afoul of the law herself.

Magee, 46, of St. Paul, has been charged in Ramsey County District Court with 11 felony charges of state income-tax evasion, including failure to pay taxes, failure to file tax returns and filing a false or fraudulent tax return, during the tax years 2004-2007.

According to the criminal complaint, a Minnesota Department of Revenue investigation found that Magee filed her Minnesota income-tax return on time only once in the period from 1991 to 2003 and that she failed to timely file returns for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

In those four years, Magee's wages from Hamline University ranged from $86,872.83 to $112,217.51 a year, according to the complaint.

The amount of taxes owed to the state for 2004-2007, not including penalty and interest, was estimated at $4,938, according to the complaint.

When Magee did file returns, she omitted interest, dividend, capital gains and pension income in the years of 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003, the complaint says.

The complaint also says Magee claimed eight exemptions on her W-4 form, even though she is single and has no dependents.

Magee could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Magee told Revenue Department staff that she has due refunds from overpaid taxes.

But Revenue Department records showed that Magee owed taxes most years, according to the complaint.

On Nov. 25, 2008, Magee faxed a message to the Revenue Department saying she would submit her 2004-2007 returns in a week to 10 days, according to the complaint.

The Revenue Department received faxed copies of Magee's 2004 and 2005 returns Jan. 15 and the 2006 return Feb. 23, according to the complaint. But the returns failed to report income from capital gains, dividend and interest and claimed unsubstantiated business expenses that had been previously disallowed, the complaint said.

The complaint states that the 2007 return remains unfiled.

The charges filed against Magee allege she failed to file tax returns in a timely manner and failed to pay taxes owed for the tax years of 2004-2007. She is also charged with filing a false or fraudulent tax return for the tax years of 2004, 2005 and 2006 because of failure to report income and because of falsely claimed losses from previously disallowed business expenses.

Phillip Prokopowicz, chief deputy attorney in the Dakota County attorney's office, which is handling the case, said he is not aware of any investigation of Magee for federal tax evasion.

The Dakota County attorney's office is handling the case instead of the Ramsey County attorney's office because of a potential conflict of interest because Magee has been a critic of the handling of criminal cases in Ramsey County.

For example, in an opinion piece that appeared in the Pioneer Press in 2007, she criticized the handling of allegations that a juror in the trial of the man accused of killing St. Paul police Sgt. Gerald Vick made racist statements.

The opinion piece sparked angry responses from St. Paul police.

Over the years, Magee has been frequently quoted in newspaper stories about criminal issues and has written opinion pieces on topics including the Rodney King verdict, the O.J. Simpson trial and Tasers carried by St. Paul police in schools.

According to her Web site biography, she was involved in the Committee Seeking Equal Justice for the Minnesota Eight, a support group for the defendants charged with the murders of Minneapolis police officer Jerome Haaf, a Minneapolis police officer who was ambushed by members of a street gang and shot to death on a coffee break in 1992, and Vice Lords member Ed Harris, who was seen talking to Minneapolis police investigators about the Haaf slaying.

A law review article by Magee cited in the bio is called, "The Myth of the Good Cop and the Inadequacy of Fourth Amendment Remedies for Black Men: Contrasting Presumptions of Innocence and Guilt."

The bio also includes a quote from Magee that reads: "I believe, as the founders of this country espoused, that the greatest threat to law and order, peace and liberty is tyranny, not crime. I, therefore, believe that the highest calling of the lawyer is the call to fight against tyranny and government-sponsored or tolerated oppression."

Hamline University spokeswoman Jacqui Getty said Magee is teaching a criminal-law class and a race and law seminar this fall.

Of the tax evasion charges, Getty said, "We feel that this is a personal issue and it wouldn't be appropriate for us to comment on this at this time."

Richard Chin can be reached at 651-228-5560worked at Hamline University for 17 years as a law professor but is not familiar

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cammarano,Elwell,NJ Mayors Corruption

CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

On The Waterfront: Hoboken, Secaucus Mayors Arrested Along with Brooklyn Rabbis

No TrackBacks

Peter Cammarano, III, the Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor (inset, left and center), and Dennis Elwell, Mayor of Secaucus, New Jersey (inset, right), face high-level political corruption charges, along with more than 40 other people who were also charged with crimes ranging from corruption, extortion, money laundering, illegal money transmitting, to conspiracy to transport human organs.

Cammarano was allegedly caught by the FBI on tape in June telling a government cooperating witness, Solomon Dwek, "I stopped being a lawyer last month, um, hopefully for good." The FBI allegedly recorded a conversation that the Hoboken Mayor had with Dwek in a Hoboken diner where Cammarano is said to have conspired to extort $5,000 from Dwek, and bragged before his election that "[r]ight now, the Italians, the Hispanics, the seniors are locked down. Nothing can change that now. . . . I could be, uh, indicted, and I'm still gonna win 85 to 95 percent of those populations."

You can read these and other fascinating allegations of political corruption in the federal charges here:

The list of more than forty defendants accused in the charges spans a wide variety of individuals in New Jersey and New York. They range from New Jersey local and state politicians and officials, to a number of Rabbis in Brooklyn.

You can read the names of other accused individuals here:

According to the Asbury Park Press, the government's reputed cooperating witness is believed to be Solomon Dwek (inset, left), who was arrested and charged with federal bank fraud in May 2006 after passing a bad check of more than $25 million at a PNC Bank branch in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

He is said to have posed as a real estate developer for the FBI and allegedly tried to bribe from New Jersey officials to see if they would be willing to engage in criminal wrongdoing while in office.

You can read Dwek's original 2006 bank fraud criminal charges here:

Related Resources:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JohnFinley Obit C2-97-1370 Grand Jury MS609.43

AFFIANTS: DISCLAIMER: 1989 WHEN John Finley was a Lawyer Ramsey Co. Commissioner, he Authored the Resolution no "taking" our paid for HomeStead, when the Property taxes were Paid. triggering the Heinous Murder_Death_Disabilitys of Affiants 2nd Husband Cpl.JimAnderson exploiting his Korean War Disabilitys.USDist97-1258(Montgomerys)Abuse_Denial 1stREdress
1997 Finley was indicted by the Grand Jury with the Falsification of Tax Records with Mangini's Bar and Restaurant, years ago Finley was the Lawyer for Deihl Gustaphson.
page 19 is relevant
Up to and including 62cv09-1163 alleged Ramsey Co. Tax Delinquent, the county of Ramsey has selectiviley "taken" Homestead Credits from the Average Homeowners to inflate
their Salarys,Pensions for pecuniary gain, unjust enrichment on Death,Disabilitys,Disparagement of Titles...........Olmstead v. US GovLawbreaker MS 508.80Fraud_Penaltys




John T. Finley

E-mail Visit Guest Book
Finley, Hon. John T. The Honorable John T. Finley, age 69, of St. Paul passed away unexpectedly on June 1, 2009. He was a loving husband, father and grandpa who had a smile and a laugh that lit up the world. Preceded in death by his parents, James E. (Ted) and Frances. Survived by his loving wife, Jackie; children Bridget (Rob) Layne, John C. (Molly Lynch), Michele (Mike) Laney; grandchildren, Anna and Michael Layne, Marie Finley, Shealyn and Kiera Laney; sisters, Marquita (John) O'Connor, Annette Ashton (Meg Bittersweet); brothers, Jim (Carol), Pat (Arlene), Kevin (Sally) and many loving nieces and nephews. Funeral Mass 10AM Saturday, June 6, Assumption Catholic Church, St. Paul. Visitation Friday, June 5 from 3PM-8PM at O'Halloran & Murphy, 575 South Snelling Avenue, St. Paul, 651-698-0796. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials to donor's choice.

What goes around Comes Around

Motion Vacate, Restraining Order Jesie Ventura

Other Fax's Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
tel: 651-266-3222 Fax: 651-266-3010 Office of the Ramsey County Attorney

State Attorney General Mike Hatch: 651-296-6196Fx:297-4193 Bull U.S. Corporate Home Page

US Attorney Tom B. Heffelinger 612-664-5786 Fax:612-664-5606
Complaint John T. Finley. Ramsey County Recall Mike Hatch, Attorney General. C8-01-99 United States Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota
/s/Bill Dahn Candidate for St. Paul City Council Ward 2 Dated 9/3/03
/s/ Sharon "QuiTam" Anderson,,Attorney Pro Se/




In Re: Complaint Concerning The Honorable
John T. Finley, Ramsey County District Judge.


WHEREAS, by order of this court filed on August 26, 1997, the petition of the Board on Judicial Standards for an interim suspension with pay of the Honorable John T. Finley, was "denied at this time as premature;" and

WHEREAS, by letter to this court dated December 19, 1997, the Honorable John T. Finley now has requested a "voluntary administrative leave, with pay," until final resolution of pending criminal and disciplinary proceedings;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that in furtherance of this court's inherent authority and responsibility to protect the integrity of the judicial office, effectively immediately, the Honorable John T. Finley is placed on interim suspension with pay until final disposition of any pending criminal and disciplinary proceedings or until further order of this court. Rule 4(b), Rules on Board of Judicial Standards. See, e.g., In Re Kirby, 350 N.W.2d 344 (Minn. 1984) and In Re McDonough, 296 N.W.2d 648 (Minn. 1979).

Dated: December 19, 1997


A.M. Keith
Chief Justice

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jim Backstrom'sThreatening Dr. Susan Roe

Subj:Check out State board investigating lawyer's complaint against Dakota County
Date:2/5/2009 9:26:58 A.M. Central Standard Time

Click here: State board investigating lawyer's complaint against Dakota County Attorney Backstrom - This is a must read

State board investigating lawyer's complaint against Dakota County Attorney Backstrom

Lawyer: Pathologist felt threatened by Backstrom's e-mail

A Dakota County forensic pathologist on the verge of testifying for the defense in the Nicole Beecroft murder trial unexpectedly pulled out last November, with the trial under way. The attorney for the Oakdale teen later convicted of stabbing her newborn child to death claims the pathologist was spooked by a threatening e-mail from Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom.

Now, a state board is investigating a complaint alleging that Dakota County's chief prosecutor crossed the line into professional misconduct with the e-mail.

According to Beecroft's attorney, public defender Luke Stellpflug, the Nov. 5 e-mail indirectly threatened that Dr. Susan Roe and her boss, Dr. Lindsey Thomas, would lose their jobs if Roe testified as a defense witness in the Washington County case.

Backstrom, who is in Washington, D.C., on work-related matters, could not be reached for comment Wednesday, and a message left on his work phone and an e-mail were not immediately returned. Monica Jensen, a spokeswoman for Backstrom's office, said Wednesday that he would have limited comment except to deny any allegations of wrongdoing.

At the time of the Beecroft murder trial, Stellpflug and his associate, attorney Christine Funk, contracted Roe as an expert witness for the defense to take notes on trial statements made by medical experts for the prosecution and to testify on Beecroft's behalf.

After Roe pulled out, Beecroft's defense team had to rely on other doctors and expert witnesses


at trial, without success. On Dec. 1, a Washington County judge convicted the 19-year-old of first-degree murder for stabbing her newborn daughter with a steak knife more than 100 times.

Beecroft, who was 17 at the time of the April 2007 killing, was sentenced to life without parole, over the defense's objections that the infant might have been stillborn.

Stellpflug maintains that Backstrom's e-mail did more than just hurt the defense's case. He said it amounted to coercion — a form of witness tampering. And that's illegal, Stellpflug said.

The Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is investigating a complaint against Backstrom pertaining to the Nov. 5 e-mail and two other e-mails he sent to Thomas, the appointed medical examiner for eight counties.

In at least one e-mail, Stellpflug claims that Backstrom told Thomas that if she and her employees continued to testify as expert witnesses for defense attorneys, he and Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson would not support Thomas' reappointment as county coroner.

"The effect that Mr. Backstrom's e-mail had ... was concern for her continued employment," Stellpflug said.

Thomas and Roe are privately employed by the Regina Medical Center in Hastings but provide forensic services for Dakota County and neighboring counties. Thomas said Wednesday that the justice system depends on expert witnesses, and forensic experts are hard to come by.

Stellpflug said that on or about Nov. 10, he filed a motion with the judge in the Beecroft case, calling Backstrom's e-mails coercive. In a Nov. 12 e-mail, Back-strom allegedly contacted Stellpflug, Thomas and Washington County District Judge Mary Hannon to clarify and defend his previous messages, noting that he never expected Roe to withdraw from the trial. His first e-mail on the subject was sent in September.

Stellpflug said the complaint against Backstrom was filed with the lawyers board in late November or early December by State Public Defender John Stuart and Bill Ward, chief public defender for the 10th Judicial District, which includes Washington County. He said he contributed materials to the complaint and saw it briefly before it was submitted to the board.

Stellpflug was unable to provide copies of the e-mails. Calls to Stuart and Ward were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Thomas, however, confirmed she had received the three e-mails and confirmed their general content. She declined to provide copies of them to the Pioneer Press.

Patrick Burns, an assistant director with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, said complaints regarding attorney misconduct are kept confidential unless a board panel finds probable cause for public discipline. He would not provide copies of the complaint.

"All I can do is confirm that the matter is being investigated," Burns said.

The board can privately reprimand an attorney or petition the state Supreme Court to take public action.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.



REad the Petition Backstroms Malfeasance,Misfeasance,Nonfea sance has been going on for over 20 years

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Interesting. Is this the first time Backstrom threatened witnesses?


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