Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Breaking News: Federal District Judge Gladys Kessler Removed from Palfrey Case
SIXTH AMENDMENT - "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
Washington D.C.--In an extremely belated administrative move, Judge Gladys Kessler has been removed from hearing the case of the accused Deborah Jeane Palfrey. This is likely due to a recent order by the jurist that was not only improper, but out-of-character based on the previous arc of the case. Also contingent is the fact that Judge Kessler was contributing greatly to an overlong pretrial process, while placing the blame almost solely on the defendant.
This would be a peculiar denial of due process (as guaranteed under section 1 of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution) if it weren't for the obstructionism and shenanigans of the prosecution and Palfrey's previous court appointed criminal counsel that has been damaging to the defendant. What's interesting is that many of the rulings of Kessler and the behaviors of her former criminal counsel played-into-the-hands of the prosecution. Presumably, the removal and replacement ('transferred') of Kessler with fellow District of Columbia Federal Judge James Robertson is from a motion by the defendant and her counsel regarding both the criminal and civil cases.
A new trial date will be set at a scheduled December 14th hearing by Judge Robertson, and will also cover other aspects of the proceedings. These could include motions for removing injunctions by Kessler and the prosecution regarding public release of information on former clients of Pamela Martin & Associates. The action begins at 10:00 am EST in federal courtroom 23A in the District of Columbia. Unlike Judge Kessler, Judge Robertson ruled that the Guantanamo Bay tribunals were illegal as constituted back in November 8th of 2004 in 'Salim Ahmed Hamdan v. Donald H. Rumsfeld.'
What's been implicitly clear in the previous pretrial proceedings is an unwillingness to address the defendant's Fourteenth (and by inclusion) Sixth amendment rights to due process and the basic American right to confront one's accusers. Poorly-intentioned federal trial procedures-be-damned. It should be noted that Judge Roberston was also a FISA court judge, resigning from it in late-2005 once the New York Times ended its year-long suppression of the warrantless surveillance story. Some commenters believe that Judge Robertson is one of the primary leakers in the story of the Bush administration bypassing the FISA courts through a secret NSA program. [Ed., 08.28.2008--I now believe Judge Robertson to be a Trojan Horse who was brought in to crush the defense, and that he's just another "star chamber" freak. Sorry Jeane, he was a fascist clown.]
The leak concerning the illegal surveillance of the American public under the umbrella of the NSA by the White House is interesting as nobody knows who unmasked it, though the Justice Department began an investigation that appears to have gone nowhere. All of this is interesting since Palfrey's case could have begun under such illegal surveillance programs, possibly in-conjunction with SWIFT in Europe.
December could be that month where a number of gifts to the American public are exchanged: a return of several of our embattled liberties. Kessler had scheduled the criminal trial of Palfrey for February 19th. It's unclear until the scheduled hearing this month when that date will be, and even then we may not know.
On Judge Robertson's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: