CORRUPTION WATCH-In January 2015, the federal courts warned Californians that our entire state judicial system was suffering from an “epidemic of misconduct.”
The lying jailhouse informants did not start the problem. These informants were already criminals, so their lying, in return for favors from the prosecutors, did not cause the epidemic. According the federal courts, the originating culprits were the prosecutors themselves who knowingly placed perjurers on the witness stand.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg broadened the issue. In his recent commencement speech at Texas’ Rice University, Bloomberg said that the nation has an “epidemic of dishonesty.” While many pundits want to ignore Mayor Bloomberg’s actual words and pretend that he was only referring to the truth-challenged Trump, Bloomberg explicitly stated, “This is bigger than any one person. It’s bigger than any one party.”
Rather than looking backwards to lament the destructive nature of prior corruptionism, let’s pay attention to the corruptionism which we can head off right now. California is repeating the folly of the Rodney King Trial and the OJ Simpson Trial with the trial of the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo.
The public should understand the corruptionism which lay behind both of those earlier judicial disasters. The judges manipulated the location of Rodney King trial so that it would be held in a “bedroom community for cops” for the purpose of obtaining an acquittal of the police officers. The Los Angeles District Attorney moved the OJ Trial from the Santa Monica courthouse, which was the proper venue for Brentwood, to downtown Los Angeles. In both cases, this judicial tampering with trial location was a form of dishonesty. Presently, similar illicit machinations are taking place with the Golden State Killer prosecutions.
One of the four politicos who is lusting after the Golden State Killer case is Orange CountyDistrict Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Presently, DA Rackauckas is running for re-election and his record could have been held up by Mayor Bloomberg as an example of the nation’s epidemic of dishonesty and a poster child for the federal court’s accusation of an epidemic of misconduct.
Despite the Feds’ exposing the lying jailhouse informant in the Baca Case, DA Rackauckas’ office continued to use a jail house snitch in theScott Evans Dekraai Case. Dekraai had murdered eight people in a Seal Beach saloon in October 2011. In ruling that the death penalty had to be taken off the table for Dekraai, Judge Goethals said in August 2017, “If this case had been prosecuted from the outset by the Orange County District Attorney within the most fundamental parameters of prosecutorial propriety, this defendant would likely today be living alongside other convicted killers on California’s Death Row in the state prison at San Quentin.”
The Orange County Registerwent on to state: “The judge’s decision is a measure of how Orange County’s justice system has been damaged by accusations that law enforcement has for as many as 30 years secretly and illegally used jailhouse informants to cajole confessions from inmates represented by attorneys. Information about those informants was routinely withheld from the defense, courts have ruled.”
Rackauckas, Thy Name is Corruptionism
Rackauckas became OCDA in 1998. Thus, he has been the DA for 20 of those 30 years of corruptionism. In a nation with an epidemic of dishonesty and in a state whose judiciary has suffered an epidemic of misconduct, why would any sane person give Orange County the first trial of the Golden State Killer?
People Do Not Realize these Facets of Corruptionism
Corruptionism develops through its own modus operandus. Corruption invariably breeds incompetence because corrupt prosecutors habitually cheat and they do not know another way to behave. When one always wins by lying and cheating, one cannot suddenly sudden revamp one’s entire way of life and conduct a fair trial. As a result, when the prosecutors are under scrutiny, as DA Rackauckas will be in the Golden State Killer case, guilty people can go free.
Who wants to hand DeAngelno’s defense attorneys the advantage gained by being in a court with such an extensive history of prosecutorial misconduct? Remember “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit?” That was the acquitting phrase used by attorney Johnnie Cochran, a win that was just handed to him through the incompetence of the Los Angeles DA’s office when they allowed OJ to try on the crucial glove in front of the jury. Corruption results in incompetence and incompetence allows the guilty to escape justice.
Corruptionism Is Myopic
Because corruptionism is based on habitual abuse of power, the manipulators’ hubris blinds them to the downside of their tampering.
The same absurdity which set the stage for disasters in the Rodney King and OJ cases is happening again. Various law enforcement agencies are screwing with the venue.
Do not think that the decades of Rackauckas’ misconduct is behind him. Under his leadership, OC corruptionism metastasized throughout the entire OC system. Another shoe to drop involves the OC crime lab. Leopards do not change their spots: there are thousands of cases which have been fatally tainted by the OC crime lab. Why would they ever propose letting the vital DNA and other crucial evidence in the Golden State Killer case get anywhere near the OC crime lab or the OC District Attorney?
Unlike mass murderer Scott Dekraai, many of Rackauckas’ victims are innocent. The win-at-all-cost mentality is not limited to murders but applies to DUIs in which drivers were completely sober. It also applies to petty offenses where, again, the defendants were innocent. While the OC Registeralluded to a history of forced confessions, the situation is far worse. Fabricated evidence to “cajole” or to convict the “innocent” is common in OC criminal courts. For the foreseeable future, Orange County promises to be a hot bed for leveling charges of prosecutorial misconduct.
Yet, it looks as if the various DAs involved with this major case plan to hand it to Orange County in order to help Rackauckas’ re-election prospects. Perhaps Michael Bloomberg should have spoken about an “epidemic of insanity.”
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: [email protected]. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.