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Tag: Wayne State University

Column: Criminal Justice Prof Would Sign Petition to Pressure Fed Judge to Resign Over Racist Joke

Marvin Zalman is a professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Wayne State University. He teaches classes on constitutional criminal procedure, criminal justice policy and wrongful convictions. He was commenting on a column about a  racist joke that Chief Judge Richard Cebull circulated via email.

Prof Marvin Zalman

 
By Marvin Zalman
For ticklethewire.com

I too was outraged by the racist remarks of Judge Richard Cebull.

As one who respects judicial independence and appreciates the ways in which our justice system is, in its own peculiar way, political, I would oppose any move to impeach the judge, although I believe that Circuit sanctioning is possible.

I find your comment, however, to be one that I could agree with. Namely, I’d sign a petition asking/calling for the judge to resign depending on the language of such a petition and the organization calling for his resignation.

Federal judges have to be given the widest latitude for diverse opinions and views, and in my view should never be subjected to impeachment threats (other than for bribery or other real crimes) no matter how odious their views.

On the other hand, there are lines that are so bright they should never be crossed and when this happens public pressure to resign is appropriate.

I’m not so naive as to think that calls for resignation would not be manipulated by political operatives, but that is a long way from members of Congress (from those who voted to impeach Justice Chase to Tom DeLay) trying to impose their particular ideology on the courts.

 

Edwards Case a Test for Justice Dept.’s Public Integrity Section

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — After screwing up the case against Sen. Ted Stevens, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section will get another chance — this time with ex-Sen. John Edwards– to prove it can take down a high profile public figure without any major goofs.

You might recall the Public Integrity Section convicted Ted Stevens on very-straight forward public corruption charges in 2008, only to have the whole thing tossed out for prosecutorial misconduct after prosecutors failed to turn over key evidence to the defense.

“This case is just as important for the government as it is for Edwards,” Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and co-author of “The Prosecution and Defense of Public Corruption” told the Christian Science Monitor.

The Public Integrity Section “certainly understands they’re under the microscope,” he said.

Since the Stevens case, the unit has gotten a new new chief, former New York-based federal prosecutor Jack Smith, the Christian Science Monitor reported. And the Justice Department has ordered training for prosecutors to assure that they disclose key evidence to defense attorneys.

“Will a federal prosecutor ever make another mistake in the course of complying with his or her disclosure obligations?” US Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer asked at a recent symposium, according to the paper. “Of course. We are human – and in an age when the discovery in a single case may consist of terabytes of information, the challenges are significant.”

The paper reports that the Justice Department will have its challenges when prosecuting Edwards. The two-time presidential candidate  has claimed he had no idea his aides spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars to hide his lover, campaign videographer Rielle Hunter during the 2008 bid for president.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert J. Higdon Jr. and Brian S. Meyers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina along with Deputy Chief Justin V. Shur and Trial Attorneys David V. Harbach II and Jeffrey E. Tsai of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Remembers James K. Robinson as “One of the Finest Lawyers of His Generation”

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Every young lawyer remembers the guy who gave him his first real job. For me and some others, it was a mark of distinction that that guy was Jim Robinson.

His death last Friday from cancer evokes a painful loss but also many happy memories about a man who was one of the finest lawyers of his generation.

Although Jim’s long and successful career as a litigator, public servant, author and teacher included many of the highest achievements available in the legal profession, it was for many of us his term as a 34-year-old U.S. Attorney in Detroit which we remember most fondly.

James K. Robinson

James K. Robinson

During his three-year term from 1977 to 1980, he set a framework for the modern federal prosecutor’s office and inspired dozens of young lawyers along the way.

Jim re-organized and modernized the U.S. Attorney’s Office in ways that are still followed today in this and other districts around the country.

He convinced the Justice Department to let him hire several dozen new lawyers and support staff, and he filled the positions with a diverse group, including women, African Americans and former defense counsel, three groups which had been greatly under-represented.

Read more »

Former Detroit U.S. Atty and Justice Dept. Official James K. Robinson Dead at Age 66

James K. Robinson

James K. Robinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James K. Robinson, who became the Detroit U.S. Attorney in the late 1970s at age 34, and later became a high-ranking Justice Department official, died Friday at age 66, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The Grand Rapids native died at his vacation home in Park City, Utah, the Grand Rapids Press reported. He had suffered from gastrointestinal cancer.

Up until the time of his death, he was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, the paper reported.

Robinson was dean and a professor at Wayne State University School of Law from  1993 to 1998, the paper reported. He went on to serve as an assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division during the Clinton administration and later returned to private practice.

To read more click here.