Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them."

I don't know who Magistrate Wallace Dixon is (apparently he's from the Middle District of North Carolina) but I he's jumped up my favorite judge list. Apparently Rudy Giuiani's son, Andrew Giuliana, got kicked off the Duke golf team and sued in federal court for breach of contract. The team countered that he got dropped because he assaulted a teammate, defied coaches, and violated "both the rules and the spirit of the game of golf." He lost, of course, but Judge Dixon had a lot of fun writing the R&R -- even citing Caddyshack*:

Plaintiff's promissory estoppel claim... brings to mind Carl Spackler's analysis from the movie Caddyshack (Orion Pictures 1980): "He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 iron, I think."

*And for those non-Caddyshack people out there, the title is another great line from the movie.


Anonymous said...

How bout this:

NEWARK — He spent a decade as a top prosecutor, trying murder cases in New Jersey, drug cases in federal court and a wide range of offenses in the military justice system.


But federal authorities charged Wednesday that the success their former colleague, Paul Bergrin, had in defending drug dealers and gang leaders was based on a brutal calculus that he had boiled down to a phrase he repeated like a slogan: No witnesses, no case.

In an indictment unsealed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Newark, prosecutors accused Mr. Bergrin, 53, of orchestrating the murder of a confidential witness by leaking his name to drug dealers who shot him in broad daylight on a Newark street corner; of traveling to Chicago to hire a murderer to kill a witness in another case; of coaching some eyewitnesses to lie; and of paying others to change their stories or leave town on the day they were to testify..


Now, I know all the prosecutors out there are thinking...Bad Guy, good to see him get this...

But, given this guys tactics, don't you think it is worth a look into his prosecutions to see if there was any tampering (obviously not murders, but perhaps a little witness "coaxing.")

I mean come on, is it such a stretch:

He is accused of:

a) Witness intimidation;

b) Coaching Witnesses to Lie;

c) Paying Others to change stories;

d) Coaxing witnesses to leave town.

How does that translate to our sterling US Atty's Office in the SD Fla?

a) If you don't testify (in a manner I believe), you or your Wife (or Husband) will be prosecuted;

b) Agent, if you say that, in light of Supreme Court precedent, the Judge may have to suppress a statement...are you sure he didn't simply say MAYBE I need a lawyer;

c) I know you are saying that to protect your cousin, but if you can come clean and tell the truth (and maybe let us record a call or two), we will sign you up as a CI (and maybe parole you in the country legally) and you can even be PAID for your trouble!;

d) Well folks, thanks for giving us your statements that it was your cousin driving the boat; Now, you will all get a free trip back to GITMO!

No question that this dude should be put away if he did these things...but let's all open our eyes a bit to the reality of the pressure the Government can (and regularly does) bring down on witnesses and not recognize that they also unduly milk testimony out that probably should never go before the jury.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a defendant that someone on this blog is ready to put away...

Anonymous said...

HA! That IS funny.

Anonymous said...

any news on the USDA replacement process? I heard POTUS appointed 6 new ones earlier this week, but haven't heard anything about our humble district, or even Middle or Northern District.