A Civil Wrong

July 14, 2014

The June 30, 2014 Gazette Telegraph newspaper article titled, Civil Rights Act: Stumbling blocks of Discrimination Not a Barrier for Federal Judge, selected, of all people, federal judge Christine M. Arguello to speak on civil rights. Judge Arguello is a staunch abuser and violator of civil rights and couldn't possibly serve as a credible advocate. I personally witnessed in the IRP6 case, Judge Arguello stick a knife into the back of civil rights and twist it repeatedly. Arguello is no more qualified to comment on civil rights than Adolph Hitler is on speaking on Jewish rights. 

 

Black's Law Dictionary (9th edition), defines a Civil Right as "the individual right of personal liberty guaranteed by the Bill of Rights... [Including]...the right of due process. Black's also defines Due Process as "The conduct of legal proceedings according to established rules and principles for the protection and enforcement of private rights, including...the right to a fair [trial]". Not only did Judge Arguello deny the IRP6 a fair trial, she lied in open court about violating our 5th Amendment Right when she coerced us to testify, then, as circumstantial evidence shows, conspired with court reporter Darlene Martinez to conceal her coercive statements, which are violations of multiple federal criminal laws. How is it that over a 17-day trial, as confirmed by Judge Arguello and Martinez, the only portions of the transcript that are missing are Judge Arguello's coercive statements? Smell that? The stench you are smelling is a cover-up of her violations of our civil rights.

 

Judge Arguello, in court documents, claimed that Martinez somehow did not hear what transpired at the bench conference where she made coercive statements and further speculated that Martinez's headphones may have fell off. Judge Arguello strongly denied ever making any coercive statements but admits that she does not know what her exact phrasing was. When we asked for the unedited transcript to prove what was stated, she refused to order the court reporter to turn it over to us. As a judge, wouldn't she 1) want to protect her reputation from a false accusation, and 2) ensure that she didn't say anything improper that could be interpreted as coercive?  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Judge Arguello knew that she coerced us to testify but didn't want to take responsibility for her actions. Instead, she would rather cover it up, even it meant denying our due process right to fair trial, and wrongly imprisoning us. Skullduggery abounds with Judge Arguello ---she is a corrupt, depraved-minded judge who doesn't respect the Constitution or the rights of the accused in her court. She must be a descendant of Narcissus, choosing to send innocent men to prison before admitting she made a mistake. That is not only dishonorable, but despicable and just plain evil. Judge Hurwitz of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Judge Arguello's behavior in the Wall Street Journal.

 

In the June 9, 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal, section B6, Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, challenged members of the judiciary to own up and take responsibility for errors and mistakes they make as part of their job. Hurwitz states: "To err is human. To make a mistake and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge it --- that's judicial." In an essay written by Hurwitz in the Arizona Law Review, he encourages judges to lose their fear of fallibility and be less shy about admitting mistakes. "Confession is not only good for the soul, it also buttresses respect for the law and increases the public's understanding of the human limitations of the judicial system."

 

The Gazette article discusses a few incidents of racial prejudice experienced by Judge Arguello during her childhood and provides a career sketch of how she viewed those incidents to ultimately make it to Harvard and on to her federal judgeship. While these are worthy educational accomplishments, they can't be relied upon to conclude what type of character Judge Arguello possesses. That is best measured by her impartiality, fairness, and respect for the constitutional rights of the accused. When looking at her conduct in the IRP6 case and comparing it to her oath, she fails miserably in the categories of integrity, fairness, justice and respecting the Constitution. She took away our 5th Amendment right to make a voluntary choice not to testify by forcing us through her vial threats and intimidation.

 

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recognized that "[t]he court's failure to recognize all forms of involuntariness or coercion as antithetical to due process reflects a refusal to acknowledge free will as a value of constitutional consequence.  But due process derives much of its meaning from a conception of fundamental fairness that emphasizes the right to make vital choices voluntarily." See Colorado v. Connelly 479 U.S. 157, 176 (1986). In the case of Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722 (1991), SCOTUS stated: "Under our federal system, the federal and state 'courts [are] equally bound to guard and protect the rights secured by the Constitution'". The only stumbling blocks to Judge Arguello are abiding by law and the oath she took to uphold our constitutional rights. Retired federal appellate judge H. Lee Sarokin, after reviewing transcripts of the IRP6 case wrote on the Huffington Post that there was "uncontroverted evidence" that Judge Arguello violated our 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Judge Sarokin added "it is difficult to imagine anything more prejudicial" than [Judge Arguello] allowing a defendant to take the stand and repeatedly invoke their 5th Amendment right in front of jury after complaining that she had forced them to testify. Judge Arguello denied us our due process and violated our civil rights by denying us a fair trial. "A fair trial in a fair tribunal is a basic requirement of due process. Fairness of course requires an absence of bias in the trial of cases. But our system of law has always endeavored to prevent even the probability of unfairness." This is a quote from SCOTUS in the Murchison case, 349 U.S. 133 (1955). Judge Arguello's actions likely rises to violations of criminal civil rights laws.

 

Title 18 of the federal criminal code, sections 241 and 242, make it a federal crime to wilfully and intentionally deprive a citizen of their constitutional rights.  Section 241, Conspiracy against the rights of citizens, makes it a crime for "two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States".  Section 242, Deprivation of rights under color of law, makes it a crime to "under the color any law, statute...[to] wilfully subject any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges...secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Section 241 is punishable up to ten years and prison and 242 up to one year prison time. 

 

Justice Stevens of SCOTUS, in his dissent in Mickens v. Taylor, 535 U.S. 162 (2002), recognized the Court's previous holding that it is "the solemn duty of a...judge before whom a defendant appears without counsel to make a thorough inquiry and to take all steps necessary to insure the fullest protection of this constitutional right at every stage of the proceedings." Judge Arguello clearly violated the oath she took in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 453, "to faithfully and impartially perform all duties...under the Constitution and laws of the United States. For those who unfamiliar with Narcissus, it is a story from Greek mythology where a beautiful youth falls in love with his own image after looking at his reflection in a pool and thus became Narcissus. I would argue that Judge Arguello's hypocritical and shameful actions to brutally violate our civil rights and conceal her actions is the height of narcissism --- she is unduly obsessed with her image and career attainments that she would rather wrongly imprison us then suffer embarrassment from her petulance. Judge Arguello is hardly a pillar of respect for civil rights --- she is a towering example of civil wrongs.

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