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9th Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Again

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posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 05:08 PM
Here's a link I thought should be added here to show to what lengths the Supreme Court has to go in order to keep the 9th Circuit in check:

SCOTUS: AZ Voters Must Show ID To Vote November 7th

posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 05:51 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the 9th Circuit, but if/when the SCOTUS overturns them on the buttons case, I will consider it an act of laziness. Even DJ admits that you can't have signs saying convict him in the court room. The buttons can only be interpreted as non-expressive if one completely disowns the ability to recognize context. Show up at a KKK rally with a button bearing the face of Martin Luther King. Go to the RNC with a Che Guevara button. Images have clear positive or negative impressions- anyone who has seen a political cartoon or a wedding photo knows this. Images can constitute different kinds of information and rhetoric in different contexts. Those buttons called for jurors, who must rule on the law, to consider the case emotionally.

Justice must be blind to such things. No judge would tolerate it if a prosecutor were to repetitiously show the jury the victim's picture for want of a solid case, yet in this case observers took it upon themselves to repeatedly display emotional imagery. This is worse than if it had been repeatedly presented by an attorney. Witnesses must be subject to cross-examination. For the family to sit behind the gate, presenting "evidence" without the opportunity to cross does stack the deck.

Yes, it is ridiculous that a ten year old conviction had to be thrown out because of this, but the 9th is not at fault for that. The blame lies with the judge who let such prejudicial behavior continue throughout the course of a trial instead of ordering the buttons removed at first sight and instructing the jurors to ignore any input from outside the court.

Yes, the judicial philosophy of the 9th is not inline with the mainstream of our nation. Judges are appointed through a political process which seeks to attain political results, and that is exactly what they get in the 9th as in other places. That being said, there are infact cases where justice gets served. Sweeping changes of law in sentencing can easily be interpreted as political. Rulings in individual cases based on technicalities however may often be better interpreted as a strict adherence to the rule of law, indifferent of consequences with regard to policy: in other words, doing exactly what the court is meant to do, as opposed to legislating from the bench.

[edit on 23-10-2006 by The Vagabond]

posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 06:10 PM
I can see your point The Vagabond, but there always crying family members in the audience at a murder trial and often the jury is shown images of the dead at their murder scenes and autopsy photos which are much more gruesome and moving than the face buttons these family members were wearing.

Even if it was an error on the part of the trial judge to allow these, it was a minor error, not one that could have reasonably changed the outcome of the trial. That is usually the standard to order a new trial.

I still think the Supreme Court should overturn the 9th Circuit.

posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 05:33 PM
The SCOTUS reversed the 9th Circuit Appeals court in the buttons case in a unimous 9-0 opinion:

LA Times

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court reversed the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today and restored a California murder conviction that had been thrown out because a small photo of the victim had been worn by his family during the trial.

In a 9-0 decision, the justices said the appeals court had overstepped its bounds when it held that this display violated the defendant's right to a fair trial.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 09:48 AM
The fact remains that the 9th Circuit is the most overturned court in all the land. Recently columnist George Will humorously suggested that there should be two Supreme Courts, one for the United States, and one to overturn 9th Circuit decisions.

posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 10:18 AM
Thank God! The system just may be working. I would like to know just how long this convicted felon was allowed to walk the streets before the ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court. Was he still locked up while the ruling was appealed?

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 03:13 AM
Here's another case to keep an eye on:

Court bans Christian cross on private land in public park

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