Here’s a Really Bad Idea!

A VIEW FROM HERE - Let’s allow criminals give themselves absolute immunity for their criminal acts.

MS-13, for example, will issue a declaration: “Hear Ye, Hear Ye,  MS-13 members shall henceforth and forevermore have absolute immunity for any crimes done as members of MS-13.” 

When we allow narco-drug trafficking gangs to confer upon themselves absolute liability, it will save us taxpayers a ton of money.  No longer will the FBI and other law enforcement waste taxpayer dollars to investigate drug lords. Instead, the police can revert back to the pre-officer Rafael Perez days when the LAPD was free to steal drugs from street pushers and then use and sell the drugs for their own benefit.  Remember Rafael Perez? He’s the cop who insisted on stealing more than his share of cocaine from the police evidence stash so that his fellow officers could not get enough cocaine and other drugs.  Perez’ greed touched off the Rampart Scandal. 

OK, I see a problem with allowing MS-13 to grant itself immunity. The LAPD and all other law enforcement will whine, “Why not us? Why can’t we give ourselves immunity?”  Instead of conferring absolute immunity, the US Department of Justice placed the LAPD under a consent decree, which is legalese for putting them on parole. 

The Judiciary Gives Itself Absolute Immunity 

Judges grant themselves absolute immunity.  (Judge Raymond Mireless vs Attorney Howard Waco 502 US 9 (1991)).  The Mireless Case was a big step in advancing the judiciary along the road of its increasing corruption to the point that the courts have become our most dangerous institution. 

The Path to Judicial Immunity 

The original purpose of judicial immunity was two fold: (1) to protect the judges from harassment and (2) to protect’s society’s interest in justice.  

Since everyone makes mistakes, no one seriously questions the type judicial immunity which prevents judges from being personally sued if they make a mistake.  Judges, however, have gone beyond reasonable immunity to protect their personal finances from attack to “absolute immunity” for criminality. 

Most people believed that judges had only qualified immunity similar to police officers.  When a police officer uses excessive force, the department may be sued and the victim may recover damages from the city’s police department.  The same should apply to judges. When they engage in behavior beyond the scope of their judgeships, then the injured party should be able to sue the judge but the state who employed the judge would have to pay any judgment.  

Non-corrupt Judicial mistakes have a remedy. The injured party can appeal the judge’s decision and have it overturned.  Judicial review, however, is inappropriate when the judge has engaged in criminal conduct.  Often judges and justices conceal their criminal behavior by altering the written record and by doctoring transcripts.  Higher courts are limited to a review the record to assess the judge’s behavior.  There is no remedy when the judge intentionally harms someone while exercising his judicial duties.  A judge, for example, could reach over and bang a witness on the head with his gavel if his dislikes the testimony and no one can do anything about it. 

Mireless vs Waco Applies Judicial Immunity to Criminal Conduct 

This case expanded immunity to cover criminal behavior. When Judge Raymond Mireless discovered that Attorney Howard Waco was in another courtroom, he ordered two LAPD police officers to forcibly bring Attorney Waco to his courtroom and to batter the attorney in so doing.  Battery is a criminal act.  An alert attorney will catch a discrepancy – police officers?  The LAPD does not provide the bailiffs for the courts.  So right you are eagle eye. Judge Mireless commandeered two cops, who were witnesses on another case in his courtroom, to drag Attorney Waco out of Judge Haber’s courtroom, adding: “Bring me a piece” or “body part” of Waco.    

Daily, attorneys have simultaneous appearances in different courtrooms.  The practice is to check in with one clerk and then go to the next courtroom for check in.  Depending on where their cases are on the courts’ calendars, the attorneys coordinate their conflicting appearances.  Judge Mireless’s bailiff had told Attorney Waco that his case would not be called for hours.  Thus, he had time to attend to a case in Judge Alan Haber’s courtroom.  (If Mireless needed Waco, the custom was for his clerk to call Haber’s clerk and coordinate the two judges’ needs.) 

When Attorney Waco sued Judge Mireless, the US Supreme Court ruled that Judge Mireless had judicial immunity despite his criminal behavior.  Before the Mireless case, people assumed that criminal conduct fell outside judicial immunity.  A judge’s ordering cops to batter an attorney is the same as a mob boss having his henchmen beat up someone he dislikes. 

If Criminal Battery Is Covered by Judicial Immunity, Non-violent Felonies Are Also Protected 

When judges have absolute immunity to batter people, non-violent crimes must also be immune.  Why can’t a judge have parties pay money to him or his wife in order to avoid an adverse ruling?  Extortion is a crime.  In California, it turns out that extortion and battery both now fall under judicial immunity.  (California has a complex set up to help judges engage in corrupt behavior.) 

The Courts Give Themselves Absolute Immunity 

Matters have been deteriorating since Colonial times where people had a writ of scire facias which allowed an abused person to hold judges accountable for bad behavior, but that remedy is gone.  Instead, absolute judicial immunity leaves victims powerless. 

The courts excel at shutting up people about the judges’ predatory behavior.  Most newspapers will not publish stories for fear of retaliation as all large newspapers like the LA Times have cases before local judges.  Attorneys who object to corruption will be blacklisted so that they must file cases under other attorneys’ names. If that does not work, then the judges will have the State Bar disbar an attorney who refuses to pay “the corruption game.” No local district attorney will file charges against a judge who engages in criminal behavior as a part of his judicial functions since the DA knows the judges will retaliate against his office. 

The wide range of evils which judicial immunity visits upon our society requires future articles.  Should, for example, the US Department of Justice place the California courts under consent decree as it did with the LAPD? There were 9,000 cops but only 1,800 judges. Numbers-wise it is doable.


(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch. You may email him at RickLeeAbrams@Gmail.com )