Friday, October 7, 2011

The volunteer army

From: Bill Reed
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:31 AM
To: Criss, Susan
Subject: FW: Needing volunteers for Galveston County "No-Refusal" weekend for July 1,2,3 @ Dickinson Police Department: 8pm-4am
Judge: are you available? So far Lonnie and Ellisor are in. Grady is out of town. thanks, BR
From: Bill Reed
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 9:59 AM
To: Ellisor, John; Cox, Lonnie; Mallia, Wayne; Criss, Susan; Dupuy, Christopher; Grady, John
Subject: looking for volunteers for No Refusal Weekend for Labor Day: 9/2/11-9/4/11
Any takers? Thanks, BR
Looking for volunteers?

Or, are you looking for judges who will blindly sign a warrant authorizing a forcible blood draw based on a fill-in-the-blank affidavit? Are you looking for judges who buy into your notion that a person accused of driving while intoxicated has fewer rights (or at least less-important rights) than a person charged with any other offense? Are you looking for judges who agree that we should do whatever it takes to coerce people into pleading guilty to DWI?

You see the DA's Office is hand-picking its judges. They're going back to the judges who have signed, without question, warrants in the past and who are more than willing to continue to do so. The last thing the state wants is a judge who might just question this practice.

No. The deck must be stacked against the citizen accused. Even if we have to make an absolute mockery out of a document we all took an oath to uphold.

What, you think these judges are actually reading these affidavits and asking themselves if the officer has but forward enough facts to support his arrest decision?
From: Chris Paschenko
Date: Friday, Dec 31, 2010 12:01 pm
Subject: DWI arrests
To: Judge Susan Criss
We[re] you working and in what capacity when [L.B.] and [T.R.] were arrested? I'm told it was DWI. Also seeking on the record comment.
From: judgecriss
To: Chris Paschenko
Sent: Fri, Dec 31, 2010 12:39 pm
Subject: Re: DWI arrests
I was the judge at the station last night there to sign warrants worked 8pm to 4 am. Rules do not allow me to comment on the cases. Signed LB blood search warrant. Other waived need for warrant.
What else needs to be said about the mechanics of a No Refusal Weekend. There you have a judge telling a reporter that she was at the station "to sign warrants."

Not to review them. But to sign them.

Sadly, most folks don't care. They see nothing wrong with jabbing needles in someone's arm because you think they might have been intoxicated. Hey, we're out there keeping you safe. And these are the same folks who are more than willing to suffer any indignity at the hand of TSA employees just so they can board a plane. Hey, gotta keep us safe from terrorists.

Maybe we're just so self-absorbed that we simply don't care if the government is intruding on someone's rights - so long as we're not the one being trampled upon. As long as it's then that the government is after it's okay. The only problem is that at some point there will be no more them to protect you from the coercive power of the state. And, by then, it will be too late.

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