Corrupt Federal Judges:

(1) JudgeCorrupt as an adjective is defined in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as:  “1 a: DEPRAVED, EVIL : perverted into a state of moral weakness or wickedness . . . b : of debased political morality: characterized by bribery; the selling of political favors, or other improper political or legal transactions or arrangements.”

It is best to have agreed upon definitions of words when considering ideas.  On occasion I have people commenting here who accuse the federal judges in Massachusetts of being corrupt. I assume they are not referring to the more limited definition found when one asks Google for the definition which is gives as: “having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.”

The reason some suggest the federal judges are corrupt is that they don’t understand that corruption is inherent in our judicial system. That comes about because of the other phenomena that I’ve written about which is the disparate treatment of what I call poofs, which is the acronym for people out of favor.

There’s a gang-up effect in our natures which makes us want to go along with the crowd. Judges are no different from the rest of us. When they see something they have a visceral reaction to it that tells them the thing is good or is bad. They then construct from that reaction their reasoning to a result.

I have mentioned this many times before. I’ll do it again. The law is what the judges decide that it is.

I learned that from a very bright lawyer who I worked for. I struggled for hours trying to reconcile two different legal conclusions from facts that were almost identical. Frustrated I went to him for an answer. That’s what he told me. It means for poofs the judges will always find a reason to find against you.

We know that in our everyday experience when we read that the Supreme Court has decided a case by a five to four margin. If one judge in the majority had a change of mind because of an outside factors such as a spousal spat or a bad breakfast then the law would be different. We also see that when a prior decision is overturned. What we thought was the law the judges have decided is no longer the law.

This is difficult for many to grasp. Because of it, some people assume that there must be some other reason for a particular decision. Unable to find it, they suggest the judges are corrupt. They assume that it was motivated by some “other improper political or legal transactions or arrangements.”

People who are interested in the matters concerning the Whitey saga are especially susceptible to assuming there is corruption among the judiciary. That’s because so many of the players on the outside, those who have not curried favor with the Government prosecutors, are looked upon with disdain. The mention of names such as James “Whitey” Bulger, or Retired FBI Agent John J. Connolly, or Catherine Greig bring out in the judges an immediate dislike for them and anything associated with them.

These people calling the federal judges corrupt point to the cases involving the Deegan trial where Joe “the Animal” Barboza testified. The judges have concluded that because he lied about one person being involved the murder and left out another person that three other individuals, Mafia types, were also innocent. They were awarded over 100 million dollars.

I assume this was done, now please forgive me but I’m using a Latin maxim but I do so because the federal courts are fond of doing this to show their supposed erudition, “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.”  For those of you who either didn’t take Latin or took it and soon forgot it like me, it means if you lie about one thing you’re probably lying about everything.

Get it, Barboza lied about his buddy Vincent “Jimmy the Bear” Flemmi not being among the murderers and included an innocent guy who owed him some dough, Joseph Salvati. The judges assume he lied about them then he lied about the other three without much more to support that conclusion.

Then these people point to the case involving the much poofed John Connolly. Talk about having no chance! Judge Bruce Selya the First Circuit Court of Appeals starts off the decision with this line: “The federal courts are by now painfully familiar with the Winter Hill Gang and its corrupt relationship with the Boston office of the FBI. . . [Connolly] has been prominently featured in several such opinions.’

You don’t have to go any further than that to know the outcome of the opinion. People familiar with what happened in the Deegan and Connolly cases though can only scratch their heads. In the Connolly case one of the three main gangster witnesses against him was Frank Salemme, former head of the New England Mafia. He lied during his testimony when he denied being involved in murders while being Mafia boss. Unlike the Latin maxim coming into play, the court found this was a “minor moment.” It said the jury was “aware of Salemme’s nefarious past and had good reason to believe that his every word was not deserving of unqualified respect.”  This same thing could have been said of Barboza but wasn’t.

These people also know there was even a better reason for Connolly to have received a new trial. Salemme testified at Connolly’s trial that he gave money to Stevie Flemmi to give to Connolly. (See Don’t Embarrass the Family, p. 231). He told an FBI informant CS who was in prison with him that he “never gave CONNOLLY anything, including money.” He said the prosecutors pressed him to say he did. They also told him it was his chance to get even with Connolly. There was much more that showed Salemme’s testimony was falsely motivated and full of lies including the prosecutors giving him the book Black Mass to refresh his recollection.

Judge Selya analyzed the information from the CS. He wrongly labeled it as a recantation. It wasn’t. It was never intended to go beyond the CS. He went on to conclude that if Salemme’s testimony was a complete lie “it would not prove very much. In his musings to the CS, Salemme gave no indication that the appellant was innocent of the charged crime.” In other words witnesses can commit perjury if they believe a person is guilty.

Think of these cases when you wonder why people suggest the federal courts are corrupt. In one case the perjury leads to freedom and 100 million dollars, in another case it amounts to no relief.

4 thoughts on “Corrupt Federal Judges:

  1. ” RELAX – nothing is under control ” … a zen buddhist bit of playful word stuff I happened on recently. It is natural to want to control events at least to the extent of ordering them into some explanatory framework after they have occurred. We are all historians this way. Yet, ultimately there were only and ever the events themselves. They are subject to no ones understanding as they stand always in themselves. There is an honesty in them that does not require any ” making sense” of them. We all know a raw deal when we see one.

  2. The law can’t be what the judge says it is. If a judge said the Herald and Globe couldn’t publish a newspaper in Boston would that be the law. The Constitution specifically permits freedom of the press and no judge has a right to revoke that right. When the dishonest judges in the State Courts said you couldn’t have a traditional St. Pats parade unless you celebrated gay rights was that the law? Corruption doesn’t have to be financial. Was the sentence for the Congressman’s wife a corrupt act? ( probation). Compared to Turners’ three years for a thousand dollars. If something is dishonest and unethical it is by definition corrupt. Much of what has gone on in the Moakley Courthouse fits that definition. Is the prosecution of the Probation officials a corrupt act? Absolutely. What about the Swartz case? Were the minorities who were subjected to legal mistreatment in Dixie in the 40s and 50s not facing a corrupt system? If a citizen loses all his rights because of a single judge’s ruling isn’t that corrupt? Subjective, arbitrary and political decisions by the Judiciary not in conformity with the Law are corrupt. If the penalty for violating the Trespass Law is thirty days in jail but a judge sentences a person to twenty years he has violated the Law. He has engaged in a corrupt act. The Florida judges who have denied Connolly a written decision on his case for six years are most corrupt and in complete violation of his Due Process Rights under the US Constitution. Arbitrary and capricious rulings are not Law they are Fascism. When Nifong prosecuted the Duke Lacrosse players knowing the charges were false was that a corrupt act? 2. What did you expect from Gertner. Her husband is the head of the ethically challenged ACLU in Mass. They have been waging a legal jihad against all traditional institutions. Religion, Police, Veterans and business. Their hypocrisy is monumental. They defend the civil liberties of their political allies and try to impede everyone else’s rights. Of course she swallows the Mafia history of events. The top tier LCN types are “victims” and should be compensated. We might as well give the Gotti and Gambino families a hundred million. In the 80s the FBI did a masterful job putting the top 150 LCN types on the East Coast in the can to the chagrin of the ACLU. You are right about Selya and the 1st Circuit. Totally useless and about as naïve as BHO on foreign policy.

  3. Judges have absolute authority … those black robes confer an absolutism of power that is more than being first among equals … they are secular gods. Thus Lord Acton’s timeworn, but always somehow timely utterance, ” Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. ” Radical examples cited aside, the reality is that Judges have a great deal of wiggle room inside of those dusty black robes where interpreting points of law and enforcing those interpretations is concerned.

    That said, the John Connolly case is no radical outlier. It is an outrage. It is an excrescence upon the United States Constitution and the legal system it is ironclad guarantor of. Florida is proving itself a backwater state with good ‘ol boy … and girl … justice, that should shame us all. Screw John Connolly. I say that benignly to make a point. His case is about so much more than … ” the disgraced ex-fbi agent John Connolly ” now. All the rhetoric, history, deceit, chatter, ass-covering and institutional corruption aside, this United States Citizen has had his conviction overturned !!!!!!!! … He is held now in the Florida Gulag !!!!!!! … His status is now that of a political prisoner. These are dangerous times .

  4. Good posts all around. Corrupt also means rotten, and our judicial-political-executive systems in America today sadly are rotten to the core along many fronts. Florida gulag is an apt phrase.
    What is the law? The law ultimately is the people’s will. Here’s how: The First Law, our US Constitution, was written and approved by the Founding Fathers, who borrowed much of the concepts from State Constitutions: Virginia and Mass, homes of Madison and Adams. The judicial role in our society is supposed to be minor and marginal, working along the edges. Judges are not supposed to be Philosopher-Kings nor Social Engineers, however many corrupt judges, intellectually corrupt, play those roles. The Congress and state Legislatures enact written laws. They are the laws, too. The Executive agencies, federal and state, write rules, regulations and policies, which are the law, too. Even the meat inspector says what the law is when he visits a plant and the cop on the street says what the law is when he pulls you over for speeding. It is we the people who allow Congress and Legislators and Agencies to write laws, regulations, rules, etc, and when a judge misstates the law and misrules, other judges can overturn him, or the Congress can enact laws or constitutional amendments which supercede his decision. So, the law, only in a very, very, very narrow sense is what some judge in some courtroom decrees that it is at that moment about a very narrow fact pattern and a very minor, minor case usually. Remember, the entire legal profession generates only a very small slice of human knowledge in a very narrow area; what the legal profession says and does has little to do with, except mucking things up, Academia, Medicine, Science, Psychology, Sociology, History, Literature, Art, Music, Dance, Country Fiddling, Celtic Customs and Common Sense, and little to do with values from honesty, courage and patience to perseverance. All fields of knowledge water the river of truth which in turn nourishes all fields of knowledge. Someone, Shakespeare or Dickens, said it best: The Law is an Ass. It does some good laboring in its narrow field, and like Jefferson and others said, it is supposed to be the least important branch of government, not the Grand Inquisitor.

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