by ALTON H. MADDOX JR.
Originally posted 2/21/2008
Michael Vick was prosecuted for slaughtering pit bulls. He was
shipped off to a federal prison. Meanwhile, he is awaiting a trial on
similar charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is double
jeopardy. When the defendant is Black, animal rights are taken seriously.
On the other hand, three members of the New York Police Department
pumped 50 bullets into the vehicle of an unarmed Sean Bell and
others. The three cops are about to walk away from a rigged and
toothless indictment. Blacks have neither civil nor human rights.
These cops were never in harm's way. Two days after this inhumane,
wanton and reckless shooting, Mayor Michael Bloomberg summoned Black
selected leaders to City Hall to write a script to pacify the Black
community and to exonerate the cops. Bloomberg had studied the
pitfalls of the Koch administration.
Without blinking an eye and before Bell had been buried, these
leaders were behaving like house servants who had been summoned by
their master to sip tea with him in the Bighouse. This is the state
of affairs in New York. No Cameras! No Peace!
Within the past year, this column has correctly predicted the
outcomes in the cases of Henry Richards, Don Imus and the "Jena 6."
The outcome in the Sean Bell case is pending. I take no solace in
being a legal forecaster. Blacks were not allowed to lay a glove on
any of these malefactors. A protection racket is afoot.
I did have help, however, from our revered ancestors. In "The
Mis-Education of the Negro," Dr. Carter G. Woodson referred to Black
leaders, in 1933, as "racial racketeers." This was seventy-five years
ago. Their modus operandi is still intact today. Of course, Malcolm X
had a solution.
During January 2008, the three assassins of Sean Bell filed a sham
motion in People v. Oliver et. al. for a change of venue because of
supposed, prejudicial, pre-trial publicity. This was part of the
script. Predictably, the Brooklyn Appeals Court said that the motion
was premature. The motion was a cover for the conspiracy.
Before demanding a mock trial with only a judge, the cops had to make
it appear as though they had exhausted their legal remedies. This
criminal prosecution was already compromised when no effort was made
to secure a special prosecutor. After a defendant chooses a bench
trial, a new trial judge should be chosen by lot.
In making the motion for a change of venue, the Detective's Endowment
Association made Rev. Al Sharpton the primary, but not the exclusive,
villain. Every time that Rev. Sharpton posed for the cameras, cops in
New York City would add another notch to their claim that the
assassins were the victims of prejudicial, pre-trial publicity.
The New York Police Department gladly gave Rev. Sharpton a permit to
march down Fifth Avenue during the height of the Christmas shopping
season. The media was an accessory. The white media encouraged Blacks
to march down Fifth Avenue. "Shopping for Justice" became the rallying cry.
It is customary for an intermediate appellate court to deny a motion
for a change of venue before the commencement of the voir dire unless
the questioning of potential jurors would clearly and unquestionably
constitute an exercise in futility. This is a rare occurrence.
No criminal defendant waives a jury trial unless the trial judge has
given the defense a wink. In any case, where a question of fact is
involved, a jury trial is preferable to a bench trial. A hung jury is
not an option in a bench trial. A defendant needs an option.
Within the past thirty years in New York, People v. Katherine Boudin
et. al. is the best example of a motion for a change of venue. An
interracial group of revolutionaries, including members of the Black
Liberation Army, were accused of robbing a Brink's armored truck in
Rockland County, NY and killing a Brinks armored guard and two police officers.
The federal government opposed attorney Chokwe Lumumba's pro hac vice
admission in order for him to represent one of the Brinks defendants,
Samuel Brown. Lumumba was from Michigan. The government had described
Lumumba as a "terrorist." His potential client, Samuel Brown, had
been nearly beaten to death by policemen after the bank robbery on
October 20, 1981.
Brown was paralyzed and, afterwards, was denied medical treatment by
federal and state law enforcement agents. Subsequent to a federal
hearing and appeal, I secured Lumumba's admission to the New York bar
pro hac vice. After I filed and argued a writ of habeas corpus, Brown
was given medical treatment.
The defendants then moved for a change of venue. Like in People v.
Oliver, et. al., the Brooklyn Appeals Court found that the
application was premature. It is customary for an appellate court to
await the outcome of jury selection before deciding the motion.
In their second motion, venue was changed to Orange County and, in a
fourth motion, venue was changed to Westchester County for Boudin.
The defendants in Oliver et. al. jumped the gun and decided,
prematurely, to seek a bench trial. This is suspect.
Out of a group of several revolutionaries, Boudin was white and the
wealthiest of the group. The trials of most of the indictments were
moved from Rockland County to Orange County but Boudin avoided
prosecution in Orange County. Her fate became a class issue.
After most of the other defendants had been wrongfully convicted in
Orange County, Boudin's trial was moved to Westchester County. Racial
prejudice has always permeated Orange County. Those defendants
suffered a mob trial. See the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dempsey
v. Moore and the impeccable legal skills of attorney Scipio Africanus Jones.
The attorneys for Boudin included Martin Garbus, attorney for Don
Imus and Leonard I. Weinglass, former attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The convicted defendants included Sekou Odinga and Abdul Majid. Most
Blacks, committed to violent, Black struggle, have already been
co-opted, assassinated, imprisoned or exiled.
Although the worst examples of prejudicial, pre-trial publicity are
generated from trials involving Black defendants, it is only white
defendants who are able to convince courts to change the venue of a
trial. Compare, for example, the ill-fated trials of the "Jena 6,"
the "Central Park 6," Malachi York, Yahweh Ben Yaweh, Mumia
Abu-Jamal, Wayne Williams and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
The "Central Park 6" resembled the Scottsboro Boys in terms of
prejudicial, pre-trial publicity. Donald Trump took out a full-page
ad in the New York Times demanding that these innocent boys be given
the death penalty. Black and white public officials referred to them
as a "wolf pack" and "animals." A change of venue was out of the question.
The most important decision affecting New York's criminal justice
system was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2008. The
case was New York State Board of Elections v. Torres. Party bosses
attempted to ice or shakedown Surrogate's Court Judge Margarita Lopez
Torres before her nomination and election to this judicial post.
Black and Latino voters are still disenfranchised after the U.S.
Supreme Court said, last month, that its hands were tied. Party
bosses select judges and, accordingly, judges are beholden to them.
This arrangement puts justice on sale. Clarence Norman was a
beneficiary of this arrangement.
The outcome in a request for change of venue in the Amadou Diallo
case resulted from the assignment of a Black female jurist to the
Amadou Diallo trial. A change of venue was necessary to remove her
from the trial as an acting justice of the Supreme Court. Usually,
these justices play to the commands of party bosses. This jurist was
different, however. The PBA had a problem.
Black leaders are unable to connect the dots. The judiciary in New
York consists mostly of Democrats. Black and Latino voters are
political pawns. Special interest groups, like the PBA and the DEA,
supply the cash to the Democratic Party. These groups enjoy a quid pro quo.
Feb. 26 - Alton H. Maddox, Jr. will lecture on Racial Diversity and
the Law at York College, 8:00 a.m. Academic Core Bldg., 94-20 Guy R.
Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY.
Feb. 27 - UAM Weekly Forum at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman
(Fulton Street) nr. Classon Ave. in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Take the
"C" train to Franklin Ave.
March 15 - Continuing all-day advanced course on "Critical Thinking,
Legal Reasoning and Systems Analysis," taught by Alton Maddox and Dr.
Leonard Jeffries will occur at City College's NAC Building, 138th
Street and Convent Avenue in Harlem. For further information call
Alton Maddox at 718-834-9034.
The need for "Critical Thinking, Legal Reasoning and Systems
Analysis" was demonstrated in "The Great Debaters" and the current
presidential debates in the United States. "Yes We Can!" came from
the gubernatorial campaign of Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick.
Similarly the "just words" argument also came from his campaign.
Reason: David Axelrod managed Patrick's campaign and is currently
managing the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.
April 19-20 - Overnight bus trip to Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC
with tour of Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore and an "Egypt on the
Potomac" and Civil War Memorial tours in Washington, DC conducted by
Tony Browder, author of Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization.
For further information call United African Movement at 718-834-9034.
See: www.reinstatealtonmaddox.net for "Black Congresspersons Kiss
White Doll," and "UAM: Make-over or Break-up."