In Louisiana jail, inmate deaths mount as mental health pleas unheeded – This should NOT be happening in America! kra
Another excellent article about the deplorable state of mental health care in our prisons! This one highlights the needless deaths of five young men, all arrested on minor infractions. In one Louisiana parish alone, 25 have died in recent years. The story is similar all over America. I get the calls, weekly, from mothers whose seriously mentally ill son has had his medication stopped suddenly, for no reason. In one instance, her son had been given 9 different meds in 6 months, because they have no clue how to treat the mentally ill. And yes, I get the calls from the Moms whose sons already have been killed by this atrocious “health care”.
Who do you think is paying for the inevitable lawsuits? YOU, the taxpayer are. You pay the costs for all defendants, and in many cases, the plaintiffs too. This crappola – the neglect of our mentally ill – is costing YOU about $444 Billion every year!
Across the U.S., jails have become the first line of treatment for many of the mentally ill. The cost: Patchwork care and inmate suicides. One Louisiana jail reveals the human toll.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, a squat brick building with low-slung ceilings and walls sometimes smeared with feces, is the face of a paradigm shift: penitentiaries as mental health care providers. Across the United States thousands of jails are sheltering a wave of inmates accused of crimes and serving time while suffering from illnesses ranging from depression to schizophrenia. The shift is a byproduct of the plunging numbers housed in psychiatric inpatient treatment centers, a total that fell from 471,000 in 1970 to 170,000 by 2014. In Louisiana, the fallout exacerbated after a former governor shuttered or privatized a network of public hospitals that provided medical and psychiatric care to the accused.
East Baton Rouge Parish Prison is where Louis Jonathan Fano, afflicted with bipolar disorder and haunted by demons, found himself on Halloween Eve 2016 after fleeing a Greyhound Bus and wandering city streets naked and crazed.
Booked into the jail on six misdemeanor charges, Fano, 27, slit his wrists hours later. Then he was sent to solitary confinement, where he spent 92 of his 94 days imprisoned with his thoughts. Midway through his jail ordeal, the parish handed responsibility for inmate medical care to a for-profit firm that decided Fano was “exaggerating his condition.” On January 18, 2017, it ordered him taken off his antipsychotic medication.
Two weeks later, the onetime veterinary student, who crafted letters to his mother in longhand, hanged himself.
His family rushed from California to find him unconscious in a hospital intensive care unit, where he lay until his death.
“We touched his cold hands. I talked to him but he had no life – it was just machines,” said his mother, Maria Olga Zavala. “Even with all that, they had him there handcuffed with a guard.”
A MOTHER’S LOSS: Maria Olga Zavala, whose son, Louis Jonathan Fano, committed suicide while in custody at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
Replaying that image inside her Southern California home, she asked: “Why wasn’t that guard in the jail, looking after my son before he took his own life?”
It’s a question asked often of the parish jail, where 25 inmates died from 2012-2016, at least five of whom were diagnosed with a serious mental illness or showed signs of one, jail and court records show. Fano became the sixth inmate since 2012 to die amid a mental health crisis; none had been convicted of the charges that jailed them.
From 2012 to 2016, the jail’s rate of death was 2.5 times above the national prison average, a Reuters analysis found. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail, blamed most deaths on drug use, “poor health and pre-existing conditions,” and noted Louisiana has long ranked low on public health metrics.
A private consultant hired to assess treatment found the jail was substantially understaffed, with 61 percent of the psychiatric staff hours found in comparable jails. Isolation units, transformed into de facto inpatient mental health wards, were “woefully inadequate physical environments for the most unstable mentally ill.”
Men on suicide watch were given paper gowns and no sheets or blankets, but the unit was kept so cold some inmates risked hypothermia. One sought warmth by squeezing himself inside the plastic covering of his mattress.
Earl K. Long was part of Louisiana’s network of 10 public charity hospitals that provided medical and psychiatric care to the poor and the imprisoned. It cost the state $76 million a year to treat prisoners in these hospitals. In the spring of 2013, former Governor Bobby Jindal began privatizing or closing nine of the 10 and that $76 million cost has since been cut by two-thirds, said Raman Singh, until recently the corrections department’s medical director.
“Once Earl K. Long shut down, everything got much worse. There were people piling up in the intake unit. It was just madness.”
Dennis Grimes, the current warden, acknowledged the jail can’t properly treat those in need in a facility where some 800-900 of 1,500 inmates are currently on mental health medication.
“The prison is equipped to deal with disciplinary behavior, not mental health patients. It doesn’t have the things that it really needs in order to function for those who have a mental health problem.”
David O’Quin, a 41-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, was picked up by police after his father reported he was off his medications and behaving erratically. He was booked into East Baton Rouge jail on charges of disturbing the peace. Per jail policy for the mentally ill, he was placed in isolation, where inmates have little access to visitors and spend 23½ hours a day, court records show.
When O’Quin disobeyed orders, guards strapped him to a chair by his ankles and wrists and left him caked in feces and urine, the family alleged in a lawsuit. A jail nurse noted he suffered “serious psychosis” and needed to see a doctor. He didn’t see one for six days, the family said. Guards found him nude in his cell, ignoring orders and spitting, and stormed the cell with shields and mace, records say. A day later, the jail’s psychiatrist diagnosed him suffering from serious psychosis. O’Quin spent much of the next seven days restrained to a chair in isolation. He died in that chair February 26.
An autopsy found he had died from a pulmonary embolism from a blood clot that developed in his lower legs, likely due to the prolonged period of restraint, as well as from bacterial infection likely from contact between his open wounds and feces. O’Quin’s family has reached an undisclosed lawsuit settlement with the sheriff’s office.
ANTWOIN HARDEN: Bipolar disorder, died from blood clot
In July 2014, Antwoin Harden, 28, was picked up by police for trespassing on the grounds of the Drury Inn, telling officers he was homeless and would rather be in jail than on the streets. In jail, Harden refused to take his medication for bipolar disorder and sickle cell anemia, said his mother, Angelo Moses. He died that month from a blood clot in his lung, related to not taking his medications, she said.
PAUL CLEVELAND: Complained of failing health, found dead in his cell
Months later, on September 19, 2014, 72-year-old Paul Cleveland was arrested after verbally threatening a court clerk and booked into the jail. On his intake forms, the nurse noted he was bipolar and on antipsychotic medications, and suffered maladies including diabetes, heart pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Once inside, Cleveland was unable to stand in the hours-long line for patient medications due to his arthritis. His doctor sent a note to the jail saying Cleveland needed a wheelchair, and his family brought one to the front gates. But jailers never let it inside, according to court filings in a family lawsuit against the city, jail and sheriff.
Cleveland filed eight emergency medical request forms, complaining of chest pain, trouble walking to get medication, and suicidal thoughts. When he felt the requests went unheeded, he filed three formal grievances.
Once, a doctor refused to see him because he was behaving belligerently, his medical records show. Other pleas were dismissed as the ranting of a madman. “Banging on window,” said a nurse, who assigned him to a lockdown cell “for his own safety.”
Cleveland’s prescribed daily medications included the antipsychotic Seroquel, Metformin for diabetes, and Cardura for blood pressure. When he was unable to rise and walk to receive them, a jail nurse told him to “stop playing and come get your medication,” a guard testified as part of the family’s ongoing lawsuit.
“Look, they killin’ me,” Cleveland told his family, in his last jailhouse call. “I can’t hardly stand no more.”
At 2:32 the morning of November 12, deputies found Cleveland naked on the floor of his cell, covered in feces. He said he was too weak to shower. A nurse told guards Cleveland was faking “because he wants to get back to the infirmary,” a guard testified in a deposition. Two hours later, at 4:05 a.m., he was found dead in his cell. An autopsy found extensive gastrointestinal bleeding likely caused by cardiovascular disease. The following imagery shows guards transporting Cleveland from his cell.
LAMAR JOHNSON: Grew paranoid and committed suicide
On May 25, 2015, Lamar Johnson, 27, was pulled over by police because the windows of his Honda Accord were illegally tinted. It was a minor infraction, but Johnson had an outstanding warrant in a neighboring parish, a four-year-old charge for passing a bad $900 check.
He was booked into East Baton Rouge. When guards refused his request for a blanket, he cursed them, according to deposition testimony by two inmates in the family’s lawsuit against the city, parish, warden, sheriff and others. The guards beat Johnson, handcuffed him and pepper-sprayed him, the inmates testified.
Johnson had never been previously diagnosed with a mental illness, his family said. But in jail, his mental health took a turn. Eyewitnesses described him pacing and paranoid, muttering, “I don’t want to live.” The guards moved him to the jail’s isolation wing. “The further back you go, the worse it is, with the smell and the noise,” another inmate testified.
At 10:22 a.m. on May 30, Johnson was found hanging from cell bars. He died days later.
When his father, Karl Franks, sought answers, he said Warden Grimes had little to say. “Well, Mr. Franks, it is what it is,” Franks recounted.
In response, the council hired Chicago-based consultants Health Management Associates to conduct a $95,000 study of the jail’s medical services.
Before the consulting firm could finish its study, the death toll rose. This time, it was 17-year-old Tyrin Colbert, arrested in November 2015 at his high school for an alleged sexual assault of two younger boys. The waifish teen – standing 5’11” and weighing 129 pounds – reported feeling suicidal soon after he was booked.
TYRIN COLBERT: Removed from suicide watch, killed by an inmate
Placed in isolation, Colbert said he was hearing voices and told medical staff he needed help, court records show. Dr. Robert Blanche, a psychiatrist contracted to work part time at the jail, assessed Colbert through the bars of his cell. “He is not suicidal; not depressed; he was manipulating,” Blanche noted in the jail’s electronic record-keeping system. He ordered the suicide watch discontinued.
Four days later, another deputy said he found Colbert rocking back and forth and talking to a wall. Colbert said he had an imaginary friend named Jimmy. This time, Blanche concluded Colbert “may be psychotic (or he is malingering),” he wrote.
Hicks said Colbert requested to be taken off suicide watch. He returned to the general population and into a cell with another inmate, also 17, who choked him to death with a blanket on February 17, 2016. “Colbert did not report any threats or complaints concerning his cellmate,” said Hicks.
The jail had just 36 percent of the physician staff hours found in comparable facilities. Jail staff failed to distribute prescribed medications nearly 20 percent of the time. A powerful anti-psychotic was being used widely to treat routine insomnia and keep inmates docile.
HMA concluded East Baton Rouge would need to double its $5 million annual budget to meet the minimal standard of inmate medical and psychiatric care.
Instead, on January 1, 2017, the city hired CorrectHealth LLC, a private for-profit firm specializing in prison health care. The Atlanta-based firm promised to bring the jail’s medical care up to standard for $5.2 million a year, half of what the consultant cited.
CorrectHealth is among at least a dozen U.S. firms specializing in for-profit medical care behind bars. Today, it holds contracts to provide inmate healthcare at more than 40 facilities in the southeast, a spokesman said.
When it took over medical care in East Baton Rouge, Fano had been there two months.
His jail journey began as the Greyhound Bus idled at the Baton Rouge depot, amid a cross country journey from Miami to his California home. Sitting on the bus, he grew deeply paranoid.
“He said that all the people on the bus knew what he was thinking, that they were judging him, and that he felt sick,” recalled his mother. Fano, showing signs of schizophrenia, sometimes cleared his mind by walking the streets so long his bare feet blistered. “‘Just focus your mind on coming home, don’t look at anyone, stay calm,’” Zavala told her son.He fled the bus. Hours later, Baton Rouge police found him wandering the streets “naked and running around … hollering and cussing at imaginary people” and tearing down mailboxes, an arresting officer wrote.
Locked up, he begged for help. He filled out a medical request form November 25, 2016, complaining of anxiety and saying his antipsychotic meds weren’t working. “Feels as if the walls are closing in,” he wrote in December. Soon, a guard noted in all-caps that Fano “NEEDS TO SEE PSYCH.”
CorrectHealth took over New Year’s Day 2017. On January 11, an employee wrote Fano was “faking bad or exaggerating his condition.” Psychiatrist Blanche assessed Fano through the bars of his cell, concluding he “doubts serious mental illness, will begin tapering meds.” He ordered Fano’s anti-psychotic medicine reduced to 5mg and then discontinued after a week. On February 2, Fano was found hanging from a torn mattress cover knotted to the bars of his cell. Under jail policy, the warden said, guards are supposed to check on inmates on suicide watch every 15 minutes and document what they see. But such checks didn’t come for Fano in the 11 hours before he hanged himself, video reviewed by Reuters shows. The reason: The warden said medical staff had months earlier taken Fano off suicide watch. He died three days later. His mother now visits his grave every week.
Warden Grimes defended the jail’s policy of placing inmates in isolation. But he said he had no easy answers to the jail’s challenges.
“The only way you’re going to stop someone from killing themselves is if there’s an officer there monitoring them 24/7,” the warden said. “And that’s just not possible.”
As the deaths mounted, some city leaders began to feel pressure. O’Quin, whose last breaths came in a restraint chair, was from a prominent philanthropic Baton Rouge family. His father, Bill O’Quin, former president of a financial services publishing firm, mobilized business interests who joined the city’s first African-American mayor, Kip Holden, to push for a solution.
They drafted a plan to build a new mental health treatment center that would take in mentally ill people picked up by police. The center was modeled after one in Bexar County, Texas, where the sheriff said the facility saved the county $50 million over five years thanks in part to a sharp drop in incarceration rates of the mentally ill.
The sheriff wanted the largest parish jail in Louisiana, a 3,500 bed facility, more than double the current size, attendees said. Mental health center supporters pushed back. Crime had been on the decline in Baton Rouge, they argued. Plus, the mental health center would divert many inmates from jail, citing the Texas example.
In Louisiana, sometimes dubbed the “world’s prison capital,” filling jailhouse beds means big money for sheriff’s offices. Any Louisiana sheriff with capacity to spare can house state prisoners and receive a fee of about $24 a day per inmate. Over 50 percent of Louisiana state prisoners are held in local jails, far more than in other states. Sheriffs boost their budgets by hiring out inmates as cafeteria workers at the statehouse, for instance.
“In Louisiana, anytime you want to pass a law moderating the drive to imprison people, you have this almost insurmountable opposition from the sheriffs,” said Jon Wool, with the Vera Institute for Justice, a nonprofit opposing mass incarceration.
Advocates thought they had wrangled just enough support from the council’s tax-wary Republicans to endorse a $330 million bond measure. But at the last minute came defections from key Democrats. “This was just difficult to swallow with such a large prison component,” said council member Tara Wicker. A mental health center was put again to a standalone citywide vote in 2016. It narrowly lost.
Trump is going to reform our criminal justice system?! The guy is a disaster for criminal justice! He incarcerates children. Children who have done no wrong!
Witness the tent cities – prisons – now popping up in our deserts to house nearly 2,000 kids separated by their parents, not by any law “forced upon us by Democrats”, as the Liar in Chief says, but by deliberate Trump administration policy. Sessions and Kelly have even said that this is their policy! They could end it tomorrow!
The fool does not even know what a sentence is! He tweeted that his criminal buddy, Manifort, had received an unfair sentence, when he hasn’t even been sentenced yet! Yes, that’s how bad it is: we have a president so inept, so full of self-promoting lies and BS, so clueless about the facts, the problems and how to fix them, that he does not even know what a criminal sentence is. It’s not “criminal law 101”; it’s “Do you have a brain at all 101?!”
The perfect BS artist that he is, tRump talks about criminal justice reform and prison reform. Nonsense. He is incapable or doing either because (1) he lacks empathy, and (2) he has NO understanding of the issues and has no interest in learning about them. Indeed, these two factors are largely why (in addition to his lying to the point of it being a mental illness) he is such a terrible president!
Like most of what he says.. it is not true, he says what he thinks the current audience wants to hear, he says what makes him look good, he says things that “sorta sound true” – like saying that Paul Manifort worked for him for 49 days, when, in fact, Manifort was the head of the Trump Campaign for 144 days! Trump is going to improve our criminal justice system! Balderdash! The great danger is that so many uninformed people swallow his poison: his lies and half truths, and they become full of hatred spouting the same nonsense. Thank God for Robert Mueller!
Even George F. Will, arch conservative, with whom I disagree about most of what he says, blasts tRump for the fool that he is. READ for example: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/331882-george-will-trump-disabled-by-inability-to-think-speak-clearly
Hey, this picture just happens to be perfect! I couldn’t make this stuff up. The tRumpster makes it up for us.
Why should YOU care about the monstrosity we call private prisons? 96% of all inmates will be released, and when they are, many are angry and bitter (rightfully so!) about the innumerable abuses they endured and the extreme neglect of medical needs, with nobody heeding their calls for help nor holding the criminal private prison personnel accountable! Beyond that, the cost of all the mayhem is simply your tax money wasted!
READ Apples-to-Fish: Public and Private Prison Cost Comparisons – An Excellent and Thorough Analysis by Alex Friedman
Excerpts from the Article:
- Activists are voicing concerns over a for-profit company possibly taking control of prison re-entry services in one midstate county.
Several dozen people showed up for a meeting at Tellus 360 in Lancaster Sunday night, where they heard from advocates for prison reform and former prisoners who have re-entered society. Kevin Ressler, co-founder of the Lancaster Action Now Coalition, said he wants the Lancaster County commissioners to go back to the drawing board on their bidding process for service providers.
“How do we make sure that we’re actually getting services that best represent the needs for the community and also that will ensure the highest level of quality of services provided to our incarcerated individuals and the families that surround those individuals, who are also experiencing trauma,” Ressler said.
The board of commissioners changed the process for awarding prison services contracts last year, to a request for proposals (RFP) system. After an initial round of bids was tossed out, three non-profits that were providing support to inmates, re-entrants, and their families decided not to bid on the new RFP. Recommendations for the latest round will be released by an independent commission on June 19th.
Since the nonprofits aren’t bidding, that appears to leave the door open for the for-profit Geo Group to gain the contracts. The company operates private prisons across the country, which some activists claims represents a conflict of interest.
Danny Rivera was released from prison in 2013, after serving three years on a charge he said was related to his drug addiction. He told the town hall how community nonprofits helped him get a job and restart his life. Rivera said he doubts he would have gotten the same level of support from a for-profit company. “And that’s my biggest concern, that they do not care whether we stay out. They don’t care about giving us the right tools, because to them, if we come back they’re just making more money off of us,” Rivera said.
Advocates are hoping to mobilize the community to speak out against Geo Group at upcoming Lancaster County Commission meetings on June 12th and 19th.
This AG’s policies concerning enforcement of immigration laws are unfair, unwarranted, and a national disgrace!
I could cite a dozen quotes from the Bible to contradict Sessions – many reporters have read some on air.
Excerpts from the Article:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible on Thursday in his defense of his border policy that is resulting in hundreds of immigrant children being separated from their parents after they enter the U.S. illegally. Sessions, speaking in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on immigration, pushed back against criticism he had received over the policy. On Wednesday, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church said that separating mothers from their babies was “immoral.”
Sessions said many of the recent criticisms were not “fair or logical and some are contrary to law.”
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
Last month, the attorney general announced a “zero tolerance” policy that any adult who enters the country illegally is criminally prosecuted. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 650 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border during a two-week period in May.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she hadn’t seen Sessions’ comments but affirmed that the Bible did back up the administration’s actions.
In an unusually tense series of exchanges in the White House briefing room, Sanders wrongly blamed Democrats for the policy separating children from parents and insisted the administration had made no changes in increasing the use. Until the policy was announced in April, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.
“The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close, and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade, and the president is simply enforcing them,” she said.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday that he was joining other religious leaders in opposing the government’s border policy. “Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma,” DiNardo said in a statement.
What does homelessness have to do with the criminal justice system? Plenty! Many who are released from prison – and 96% of all inmates are released – have no place to go. They have burned so many bridges that they must rebuild that one element so critical to bouncing back: trust and confidence in them. They must get a job, and prove to be a dependable worker.
Few are as fortunate as I was in landing at Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing (DIMH), one of the best homeless shelters in the country. A good homeless shelter is more than a roof, a bed, and food … it has diligent staff and volunteers who are dedicated to helping the homeless help themselves, by getting jobs, a big and essential first step to bouncing back. Many homeless need help in getting the basics: their birth certificate, a driver’s license, etc. …
When we help the homeless, whether they be ex offenders or “your neighbor” who got laid off, we help our communities. DIMH returns to the community of central Delaware ten times the cost of operations! The Chairman of the Board has all the numbers proving this so if you don’t believe me call me and I’ll put you in touch with the proof! Where else do we get a tenfold return on investment?
Everyone should call for more tax money to be allocated to fight homelessness, and you can do so by opening this article.
And, of course, YOU can donate some of your time and/or some money to a homeless shelter in your town today!
In central Delaware, you can reach DIMH at 302-736-3600 or stop by (5 to 6 PM is the best time!) at 684 Forest St., Dover, DE 19904
Code Purple Provides food and shelter for hundreds of men and women in central Delaware on all winter nights when the temperature is below freezing:
Each year, Congress passes a budget allocating funds to federal programs on the discretionary side of the budget, including homeless assistance programs. The federal government’s largest homeless assistance program is HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program.
This page provides key updates in the annual appropriations process as it relates to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program and other federal programs that serve people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
FY2019 Congressional Appropriations
Recently, the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee passed a spending bill which proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding levels for Federal programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction. This bill, which recommends funding through the end of the fiscal year ending on September 30th, 2019, included $2.612 billion for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This amounts to a $99 million increase from FY2018 and would serve an additional 15,000–20,000 households.
For a more detailed breakdown of the final funding levels for programs important to ending homelessness, read our updated budget chart. (Chart last updated June 11, 2018.)
About McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants fund local, regional, and state homeless assistance programs through the competitive Continuum of Care (CoC) program and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) formula grant program. The CoC program funds proven, Housing First interventions like permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing, as well as transitional housing in appropriate situations.
A CoC is a geographical administrative unit through which federal homeless assistance funds are distributed. Homeless assistance providers in a specific geographic area work together to apply for federal funding. HUD ranks the applications and provides funding based on the quality of the application, the performance of the local homeless assistance system, the need for homeless assistance, and the local rankings of individual programs.
The ESG grant funds emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, and rapid re-housing.
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Click the button to the right to let Congress know how important federal funding is to ending homelessness in your community! Make sure to click “I’m Finished With My Call” when you are done.
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Your voice, in this time of budget constraints and concerns, is needed more than ever. Help us get the money you need to end homelessness in your community by joining our Homelessness Funding Campaign.
I share that prediction. This clown is remarkably stupid, unbelievably arrogant, or both. Judges take a dim view of tampering with witnesses!
It won’t surprise me if he lands behind bars, and it won’t surprise me if Trump, with his total disregard for the rule of law, pardons him, as he did with that criminal Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The voters turned out Arpaio; at least they had some sense/values.
Excerpts from the Article:
He’s going to have to bring his toothbrush,” a former U.S. attorney said.
“Go directly to jail. Do not pass ‘Go.’ Do not collect $200.”
Those words from the game Monopoly sum up what former U.S. attorney Harry Litman said Paul Manafort should expect from his scheduled court hearing next Friday about revising his bail.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked a judge to revoke bail for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager over accusations of witness tampering.
With 20 indictments to date, this is no “witch hunt”. My guess is, from what we have learned so far, that Mr. Cohen will be behind bars, all thanks to his buddy, Donald Doofus.
Excerpts from the Article:
Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer and longtime fixer for President Trump, is expected to break with his current legal team that is representing Cohen in a federal investigation into his business dealings, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Lawyers Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison, at the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm, have been representing Cohen in the federal investigation that led to a raid on his home, office and hotel room. The expected split has led to questions about whether Cohen will cooperate with federal prosecutors in the ongoing probe into his business dealings.
The person who is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter said a switch would likely not take place until a court-ordered review of documents seized in the raid were completed. The deadline for the review is Friday.
The change wasn’t made official in federal court as of Wednesday afternoon. The court would notify the judge and prosecutors of his change in counsel. The investigation into Cohen has been heating up in recent weeks and his team has been going through millions of documents as part of the court-ordered review.
After the documents were seized, Cohen argued his team should be allowed to view them and flag any potentially covered under attorney-client privilege. Trump and the Trump Organization also jumped in, asking to view the documents before they were handed over to prosecutors.
A special master appointed by Judge Kimba Wood started reviewing the documents and had so-far identified 162 that were privileged. Cohen has until Friday to flag any other documents for review.
Also in recent weeks, two civil lawsuits were filed, one claiming Cohen colluded with Keith Davidson, a lawyer who represented porn star Stormy Daniels, in order to protect Trump. Another suit filed by Davidson targeted Cohen for allegedly recording conversations they’d had without his knowledge.
The tapes, along with other aspects of Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement, were reportedly among the documents seized by federal agents.
A good trial lawyer is one who knows the law, knows the rules of evidence, is prepared, is “sharp on his feet”, knows what “fairness” means, knows what he/she does not know, can look the jurors in their eyes and tell them the truth, takes no nonsense from other counsel nor the judge. And you’d be amazed at how few there are! 🙁
When I was learning the basics in law school – ’71 to ’73, never thinking I would become a “whiz bang” trial lawyer and then a fighter for underdogs, I joined the ACLU. At the time, many thought the ACLU was “a bunch of left wing nuts”. But the ACLU really has nothing to do with politics. They are a well organized, well funded, well lead group of attorneys and others who safeguard YOUR rights every day!
Whether you are a “gun nut”, for more gun control, black, white, brown, male, female, healthy or mentally ill, young or old, fat or fit, hated or loved my many, the ACLU champions the precious rights which too many Americans take for granted!
In most countries, you cannot call the president “a dim-witted bumbling baboon” and expect to live or expect not be imprisoned.
In most countries, if you have been seriously harmed by ignorant prejudice, and you have do not have the resources to address it, you are S O L! It is the ACLU which, more than any other organization, protects the rights of everyone every day!
LEARN about the ACLU! = https://www.aclu.org/
Lovin’ doin’ what I do!
It is a sad, sad day in America when police are so out of control that this is required! I worked with many fine cops when a prosecutor; today I would have to cross-examine many of them to ensure that the accused got a fair trial!
I just sent this to our Chief of Police – Dover, DE, the head of the Delaware State Police, and all my police contacts.
A Northern Virginia couple wants to help save lives, and they are doing it through a simple creation. It is called “Not Reaching,” and it is an identification pouch for your vehicle that holds your driver’s license, registration and insurance card – all the documents police officers ask for during traffic stops.
Jackie and Wayne Carter came up with the idea after seeing national news coverage of traffic stops that turned deadly – like those of Sandra Bland and Philando Castile. “We used to talk and talk about what was going on, but nobody was coming up with a solution,” said Wayne Carter. “Everybody just kept pointing fingers.” “It was such an unrest in my spirit that I said to my husband, ‘we have to come up with some kind of solution,'” said Jackie Carter. “So, I prayed for weeks – no, months. And one day, I woke up and I said to my husband, ‘I got it.'”
Jackie interviewed several police officers, asking what makes them nervous during traffic stops. Their response? Motorists reaching for documents.
The Carters say they simply want everyone to ride away safely if they are stopped by police.
“We are in such a tumultuous time right now that we have to be ready and vigilant on everything that we do, including traffic stops,” said Jackie Carter. “So, I thought that having the ‘Not Reaching’ pouch will at least take away one of the reasons why this was happening during motor vehicle stops.”
The Carters say the Coatesville Police Department in Pennsylvania now keeps these pouches inside their vehicles to give out to motorists during traffic stops.
The couple hopes their creation catches on nationwide.