Archive for June, 2011

21
Jun
11

S. Yanum & A. Schultz, 5/25/11

Master Calendar/Bond Hearings May 25th
General courtroom conduct: professionalism of judge, attorneys, staff, etc. .
Judge DiMarzio seemed pretty respectful and professional. DHS Atty. Wong was actually pretty disrespectful when he was asking questions of Luis, the second respondent who had an outstanding cocaine charge. He asked sarcastically why Luis didn’t show up for court – “just because you didn’t feel like it?” Luis didn’t seem to understand the sarcasm (was through interpreter) or the significance of the question. It was obvious that Atty. Wong was making Luis out to be someone who was going to flee and just didn’t care. In my (limited) experience, it could just as easily have been that he didn’t realize or understand how/when he had to go back (he’d spent time in jail b/c he couldn’t pay bond – he thought he just got let out after a few days and that he’d basically “done his time.”) So without making any moral comment on Luis’ character, I did think that Atty. Wong could and/or should have been more professional/less sarcastic.

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21
Jun
11

Susan Yanum & Anne Schultz 5/25/11

It was interesting to note a small example of how Court Watch appears to be regarded in this building, (101 W. Congress) at least by the first person I encountered. When I had to go through Security to get into the building, the guy who checked me through noticed my yellow button, said “oh, you’re with Court Watch”, looked directly at me, smiled, and said “thank you.”

ASLYUM HEARING, JUDGE Sheila McNulty, May 25, 2011
Respondent,Cosimo ____, a Guatemalan born on 9/27/65
Hearing excerpts from Court watcher exemplifying the challenges in fulfilling the law and in receiving a positive outcome, inspite of a Judge with integrity.
The Judge asked him if he had the originals of the documents and he said no. She said – and repeated a number of times – that he must have the originals when he comes back to Court – they will be very important to his case.
He said that he didn’t know how long it would take him to get them, because they are all in Guatemala, and she said she would allow for this.
The respondent said that the police had lost his documents before.
He also said he hopes there will not be a problem in his receiving the documents when they arrive – it has happened before that he was not given documents that were sent to him. The interpreter said he didn’t know why there would have been a problem, and the Judge said that she would talk to the Guard to make sure he gets them.
She gave him a continuance til June 28th, 2011.

I was very glad that we were still in the courtroom to hear the conversation between the Judge and the translator/interpreter after the hearing because it showed the deep interest on both their parts that justice be done. I was very impressed by the general tone of courtesy, respect, and obvious real caring that was shown towards Cosimo______ by both Judge and the t/i, and pleased and relieved that the Judge had made a point of setting the continuance date at a time when she knew she would be there. As much as it could be called a pleasure to sit in on a hearing of this nature, it was a pleasure because of the integrity with which it was conducted by all concerned, certainly including the respondent. From the very beginning, when I asked through the interpreter for his permission that I be present for his case, he looked directly at me to answer yes, and his eyes were very clear. Throughout, he was articulate and obviously highly intelligent, asking his own questions, participating on his own behalf in a dignified way, always respectful and self-assured. When he got up to leave, under the armed escort of the guard, and I saw the handcuffs for the first time, I felt sick to my stomach. The orange jump suit was bad enough, but now the handcuffs.
This case was as good as it could be, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this man should not have been here at all.