Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Depressing Ninth (9th Cir. - Sept. 17, 2014)

You don't get a very good impression of the nature of mankind if you read today's published opinions from the Ninth Circuit.

You've got one attorney who completely abandons a client who's been sentenced to life in prison and never even lets him know (despite promising to do so) that the Nevada Supreme Court has denied his state habeas petition and hence the one-year clock for filing a federal habeas petition has commenced.

You've got police officers who incarcerate an innocent man for two years by charging him with a series of crimes that were committed by someone else -- someone the officers allegedly knew had the same modus operandi, who confessed to committing these distinctive crimes in the exact same area of L.A., whose fingerprints were ultimately found at the scene of one of the crimes with which the defendant was charged, and whose arrest promptly terminated the series of crimes for which defendant was charged (which had continued unabated even after defendant's arrest).  None of which the officers disclosed to defendant or his attorney.

You've got an Indian tribe trying to rebuild itself after it was entirely dispossessed of its land by the federal government's decision to build a dam and floods the entire reservation, forcing every single family but one to leave the reservation.

And you've got a popular web site for aspiring models (with over 600,000 members) that rapists use to lure women to fake auditions, drug and rape them, and videotape the entire process for distribution to those who enjoy such pornography.  Allegedly with the knowledge of the owners of the web site.

What a world in which we live.