March 28, 2008

CFAF "deemed" criminally inept: Part 4

Let's get into the cases now. This is how you do it, you read the cases, and have a look at what Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler actually did in each one. Here we go, with the first ten. Enjoy, and please pay close attention, local reporters and editorial board members. And then go and do your jobs, and report the truth.

01. State v. Harris 2006AP882-CR

CFAF's underhanded agenda is clearly evident from the very first case on its list (which isn't CFAF's list to begin with, it's a list produced by the Butler campaign. Think about that).

CFAF claims Harris shouldn't be included in the "sided with criminals" calculation because it "came up" (I'll assume that means decided) "after CFAF Ads began." Tough. In Harris, Justice Butler voted with a unanimous court to affirm a conviction of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Why shouldn't Justice Butler get to count a case where he voted to affirm a criminal conviction? Is Butler supposed to be held to CFAF's schedule of character assassination, lies, and generally comic bumbling? I don't think so. How can CFAF and its little helpers actually suggest such a thing with a straight face? Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

02. State v. Hambly 2005AP3087-CR
03. State v. Ford 2006AP806-CR

Butler voted to affirm convictions in both cases. Ford involved three convictions. Undisputed by CFAF.

04. State v. Grady 2005AP2424-CR

Defendant Grady filed a motion to reconsider the court's earlier ruling involving two convictions. A unanimous court, led by Justice Wilcox, the court's most conservative member, voted to deny the defendant's motion. Not even CFAF can dispute this one.

Remember this case, for when you get to number 08. below. I hope you point and laugh at CFAF and all of its little helpers, because I sure did.

05. State v. Johnson 2005AP1492-CR

Another appeal from a "criminal's" sentencing. Johnson had been convicted of four counts: two batteries, one of disorderly conduct, and one of theft. Justice Prosser, another of the court's most conservative members, for a unanimous court (including Justice Butler, of course), wrote to deny the defendant any relief. Undisputed by CFAF.

06. State v. Jenkins 2005AP302-CR

"[Jenkins] had a lengthy criminal history, including two prior felony convictions, parole revocations, and incidents of violence. He was charged with selling heroin." He tried to withdraw a guilty plea. He was denied in the circuit court but the court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals, and the denial of Jenkins's motion was affirmed. Justice Butler agreed with that result, but wrote separately to make clear the distinction between plea withdrawals before and after sentencing. He was concerned that the majority opinion, which he did not join, needlessly muddied that distinction.

A colorable argument might be made that Butler's opinion potentially favors the rights of criminal defendants (heaven forbid) as opposed to the majority's conflating the separate situations of plea withdrawals, but CFAF isn't that bright, and doesn't dispute the Butler campaign's designation for this case. Maybe they should give me a call next time they need advice. Although I'd have second thoughts about taking their money, because I swore an oath of ethics.

As a matter of fact, I swore it in the presence of Justice David Prosser. Let me say something about Justice Prosser. He is an exceedingly friendly, kind, and generous man, and took his own time to ask each of us something about ourselves on that day.

Justice Prosser is regarded as one of the "conservative" members of the court. Sometimes, I don't agree with Justice Prosser's reasoning. But I'm glad he writes for the court, and if I had a disagreement with Justice Prosser's reasoning, I would explain why. I wouldn't just attack it baselessly, or misleadingly, as CFAF and even Mike Gableman has done to Justice Butler.

Justice Prosser, for example, got it really wrong in State v. Stenklyft. But that's cool. I'll let him stay on the court and see if he improves!

07. State v. Bannister 2005AP767-CR

Bannister is a case where Justice Butler reasoned that the defendant's conviction should be reversed, that's true. But Butler would have ordered a new trial, not let Bannister walk away scot free. And there is a purpose to why the Wisconsin Supreme Court has seven members. It's because there are different approaches to the law, in this case, the law of evidence, and the procedures that State prosecutors need to adhere to in order to protect every American's constitutional rights.

Butler disagreed that some evidence should have been admitted at trial, and he explains very clearly why. And if you read his dissenting opinion, you'll see that Butler gave the majority every benefit of the doubt as to whether or not the presentation of that evidence prejudiced the jury, which is the ultimate test on questions of admissibility of evidence.

Finally, dissenting opinions are practically a public service, because anybody can go and read these opinions. Even reporters, and editorial board members. Dissenting opinions give you a chance to compare their reasoning with the reasoning of the majority. And sometimes you might even agree with the dissenting opinion.

What's that? Did a conservative Republican mention the dissents to, for example, Roe v. Wade? Oooh ... good catch!

Nevertheless, Justice Butler would have ruled for a new trial — not the release of a "criminal" — and we can count this case "against" Justice Butler. Butler agrees, and CFAF doesn't dispute this case.

For obvious reasons. By the way, you'll notice that CFAF never disputes the interpretation of a case that Butler counts "against" himself. Never. Over the course of nearly 70 cases, given the complexities and subtleties inherent in these opinions, you'd think such a situation would arise at least once, wouldn't you?

Haha. You're funny.

08. State v. Grady 2005AP2424-CR

More comedy here. CFAF didn't count this case, because they saw "State v. Grady" two times on Butler's list of 62 cases. So CFAF went, 'Buh?' "This the same case as #4" [sic]. But CFAF was very hasty in its desperation to try and support its phony misportrayal of Justice Butler's record. Because Grady's sentencing for two convictions went before the court two times. In the first Grady, Grady I, Justice Butler voted with a unanimous court to deny Grady another kick at the can. Then, Grady tried again, and in Grady II, a few months later, Butler again voted with a unanimous court to deny Grady a kick at Grady I (Justice Ziegler did not participate).

So Butler ruled against this "criminal" two times. Except CFAF doesn't want Butler to count the second ruling. How come, you might ask. Because they'll do anything they can to further their goal of character assassination, that's how come, including even allowing themselves to look really, really dumb and embarrassed and foolish.

You might say, well, okay. We'll let Justice Butler count Grady I, but not Grady II, because all Grady II did was affirm Grady I, which left Grady's two convictions fully intact. You might say that.

But here's the best part. CFAF counted Grady II, but not Grady I! Them smart, yes? Here's some helpful information for CFAF and their little friends, that might come in handy the next time they engage in a campaign of lies to attack the character of a good man, and a fine jurist: II+I=IV.

09. State v. House 2005AP002202-CR

Justice Butler voted to affirm House's conviction, together with Justices Prosser, Roggensack, and Wilcox, the three most conservative members of the court. Chief Justice Abrahamson dissented. Even the CFAF brain trust got this one right, and doesn't dispute Butler's list. One thing CFAF won't tell you, of course, is that Butler and Wilcox were in 100% agreement for affirming the "criminal's" conviction. Because Justice Wilcox was the "conservative" judge, and CFAF wants you to think that Butler is the "liberal" judge.

And, Burnett County conservative Republican Mike Gableman wants you to think he is just like Justice Wilcox, and not like Justice Butler. But in this case, Justice Butler was exactly the same as Justice Wilcox! So what the hell is Gableman talking about?

Because the truth is, in the cases that the court accepted for review, Butler voted against the defendant about 75% of the time. CFAF really, really, really doesn't want you to know this. They would rather lie. Because lying is a family value, don't you know? At least, in the conservative Republican version of family values, I guess.

10. State v. Mayo 2004AP1592-CR

I already talked about State v. Mayo right here. CFAF really and truly f*cked up royally on this case. Please go read my post. You'll be, as I am, pretty appalled at CFAF's negligence. Not to mention the negligence — or worse — committed by everybody that has been relying on CFAF's "analysis," or worse still, defending it.

I probably don't need to go on, but I will. Because I can't wait to tell you about Stenklyft. Not only does CFAF, Jessica McBride, and any other supporters and defenders of CFAF's incompetent drivel misrepresent the opinions (there are three), but so does Mike Gableman himself, in his own campaign literature.

And the misrepresentations of Stenklyft really piss me off. Because Stenklyft is another case that contains an issue that goes directly to the heart of the American system of constitutional democracy. And when people deliberately misrepresent that, it irritates me.

Okay, I say it irritates me but in some instances I'm actually laughing my ass off at the sheer buffoonery of it all. And that's another reason why the Gableman campaign's portayal of Stenklyft is entertaining.

And remember when Mike Gableman said he wasn't aware of any study that contradicted CFAF's bogus claims? Well, guess what. Here it comes. He can keep saying he isn't aware of it, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.


To part 5 ...


Anonymous said...

I understand, IT, that this analysis is necessary if for nothing else to neutralize the odor coming from McBride, et al., but rather than debate the merits of bean counting convictions or muse over how to quantify "pro-criminal" and "anti-criminal" count-by-count decisions, lets look at Setting judicial philosophy aside (although Gableman's talismanic philosophy is laughable), is there any doubt left that Gableman is UTTERLY UNQUALIFIED to sit on this state's highest court?

illusory tenant said...

Thanks for the link, Brett.

I'll also stick it here.

It says quite a lot that other judges will come forward to condemn Gableman's shameful and shameless campaign in such (deservedly) strong language. It doesn't surprise me, either, but I'm impressed to see it. Good for them.

"[I]s there any doubt left that Gableman is UTTERLY UNQUALIFIED to sit on this state's highest court?"

To my mind, no. He may well have presented himself as suitable had he not decided -- or even allowed himself to be manipulated into deciding -- to run the campaign he has.

In other words, the best argument against Gableman's suitability to the court has been compellingly presented by Gableman himself.

What I'm doing has very little to do with McBride, who has less than zero credibility. But the idea that Butler favors criminal defendants that's apparently taken hold in many quarters is so manifestly ridiculous that I almost feel obligated to demonstrate just how ridiculous it truly is.

I'm sure I could be doing other things -- and I am, apart from blogging -- but this little project is, among other hopefully important effects, making me and a few of my good friends laugh our asses off, and I enjoy that.

It's why I started the blog in the first place, to be honest. In any event, many thanks for your comments, Brett.