Saturday, July 11, 2009

Should Federal Judges Woehrle & Walters Have Recused Themselves? ..........On The Richard I Fine Case?


Los Angeles, CA U. S. Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle and District Judge John F. Walter considered Richard I Fine's petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for Immediate Release (09-cv-1914) and his Complaint against the State Bar of California (08-cv-2906) but according to documents filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Central District Court, Fine claims the Judges failed to disclose a serious conflict and should have disqualified themselves from the case, instead they denied his petition and his due process in their own self interest.

Fine alleges both Judges would be adversely impacted if they ruled in favor of his petition according to the motion to Recuse Judge Woehrle and the motion to recuse Judge Walter in which he describes a horror story scenario whereby legal malpractice lawsuits would result. against the Federal Judges who were former criminal defense attorneys and their law firms, comparing the circumstances as stated in his writ of Habeas Corpus petition:

"it was a violation of due process for L. A. Superior Court Judge David Yaffe, who had received illegal payments from L.A. County, to preside over a case where L A County was a party, make an order in its favor and in favor of its co-applicant for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and then preside over a contempt proceeding to judge his own actions and enforce the order."

"based upon former past practice and actions (as criminal defense attorneys) if Judge Woehrle (and Judge Walter ) "had decided to grant the writ, they would open themselves up to malpractice claims from clients for who they did not raise the issue of denial of due process and transfer the case(s)"...(of clients who were convicted by L.A. Superior Court Judges who received illegal payments from the County.)............
"knowing all of this information Magistrate Judge Woehrle (and Judge Walter) were under a duty to disclose such (and recuse themselves) but did neither and elected to conceal the information."

Watch 9-1-1 call video (9 min) from Richard Fine .

Did Illegal County Payments From 1988 to 2009 Influence The Criminal Justice System ?

This Report sent to Full Disclosure from the Free Richard Fine Website

California Legislative Analysts's 2009 Report (excerpts)
State Corrections Population in a Historical Context— Rising Caseloads and Spending

Significant Prison Growth Driven by Several Factors. As previously noted, the prison population has increased significantly over the past 20 years. The factors contributing to this increase are the (1) number of new admissions sent to prison by criminal courts, (2) amount of time served by non–lifer inmates, (3) number of inmates in prison with life sentences, (4) number of parolees returned to prison by criminal courts for new felony offenses, and (5) number of parolees returned to prison by the state’s administrative revocation process. As Figure 5 shows, most of these factors have increased significantly between 1987 and 2007.

Not Demographics or Crimes. Our analysis indicates, however, that changes in population and crime rates do not explain much if any of the growth in the number of admissions from the courts. Between 1987 and 2007, California’s population of ages 15 through 44—the age cohort with the highest risk for incarceration—grew by an average of less than 1 percent annually, which is a pace much slower than the growth in prison admissions. Moreover, the number of crimes committed actually decreased over the past two decades. Specifically, the total number of reported violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and grand theft) decreased by an average of about 1 percent annually over the past two decades.

Law Enforcement and Prosecution Help Explain the Trend. So, what does explain the increase in court admissions? Arrest and prosecution data tell at least part of the story. As shown in the figure below, despite declining crime rates, the number of adult felony arrests has remained relatively stable over the past two decades. However, the number of felony charges filed, convictions achieved, and prison sentences ordered by the courts have significantly increased during the same time period. These outcomes suggest that law enforcement has increased the percent of felony crimes resulting in arrests. In addition, prosecutors have increased the proportion of (1) arrests resulting in prosecution, (2) charges resulting in a conviction, and (3) convictions resulting in a prison sentence. As a consequence, a felony arrest is almost twice as likely to result in a prison sentence than it was two decades ago.



  1. Richard Fine is a hero for taking on this important issue. The judges should have recused themselves as it is improper for them to sit on a case in which they have an interest. This is at the very bottom of having a fair judicial system. It is unbelievable that there isn't any attorney who has come forward to defend Mr. Fine. It show that they are all scared and do not desereve to have their bar licenses as it is their requirement to defend the law. Who would trust someone who would not defend the fairness of the court and its decisions?

    Even the Federal Courts seem to have been perverted. They have also broken the law and their rules in this case. We are now an outlaw nation the way I see the situation. No better than a banana republic that we pretend to deplore. Corruption is the action of the day. The legislature even admitted that these acts were illegal in the current legislatin which forgave the illegal acts and then made them O.K. It is against our state constitution.

    There is a reason why the powers that be eliminated public access T.V. After all you can't have the public having access to the truth, nonw can you? This is what Full Disclosure does, and they do not like the truth being shown to the public.

    The prison statistics which Full Disclosure published are apalling. Crime goes down and the prison population goes up and the length of sentences goes up, make any sense? Prisons are a training ground for criminals. We seem to do nothing to try to train them to be good citizens. 25-life for stealing a bicycle or a piece of pizza? We should reserve long sentences for the most violent repeated offenders.

    It does not make financial or societal sense to put away non-violent offenders for extended periods of time.

    Let's stop the illegal and non-sensical legal system which we now have and support organizations like Full Disclosure who bring us real news which is important to a real democracy. Something which we seem to be losing. Read your history about what happened in Europe before WWII. It can happen here also. The model is known and seems to be in play now.

  2. I am a college student who has recently done a research paper on our prison system and its route to privatization. When you state that "it does not make financial or societal sense to put away non-violent offenders for extended perios of time", well, it does. However, it only makes sense to the corporations that secure the huge contracts to build or run these prisons. They need bodies to house. So we get longer prison sentences and non-violent offenders sentenced to jail time versus probation at an astounding rate of increase.

    I have a friend who was recently sentenced to 24 years for a non-violent drug charge (case 2:2008cr00240-JFW) in Judge John Walter's court. I have seen firsthand his blatant disregard for the law. My friend filed a motion for counsel and Judge Walter denied it. He was left to defend himself. My friend has since filed an appeal, but it is obvious that many officials of the court do not abide by the law.

    As a side note, I have to wonder if Mr. Fine would have attacked the system with the same vigor if he had not fallen victim to it? If the answer is yes, then he can really be called a "hero". If the answer is no, then I can see his situation as something that is being used to ignite a fire in him to help change a corrupt system that many deal with on a regular basis. In either case, I feel for Mr. Fine and hope he uses his situatuation for the greater good of all.