(#140) 16 September 2016, Vol.3, No.27 > THANKS PUBLIC DEFENDERS – GREAT WORK!
Welcome to Pocahontas County
– the Rain Forest of America –
A place where Rainbows end!
The POCAHONTAS CRIER
‘When the Righteous succeed the people rejoice,
But when the bad govern, men groan!’ – Proverbs 29:2
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THANKS PUBLIC DEFENDERS –
Once upon a time Pocahontas County did NOT have an organized legal-defense-system called the ‘The Public Defender Corporation’ – instead the legal system relied upon local attorneys who were assigned by a judge to handle a given case if and when the local attorneys could devote some time towards assisting a defendant with low-income who could not afford to pay the hourly fee of the same attorney being assigned if hired privately. As a result, the defendant usually found himself caught between the proverbial ‘rock & hard place’ and badgered & scared into making some kind of ‘plea-bargain’ that usually resulted in pleading guilty to something the defendant had NOT DONE yet resulting in a fine & court costs or imprisonment or both anyway! Believe it or not – PLEADING TO SOMETHING NOT DONE IS A VIOLATION OF LAW and can get you sentenced to the maximum of the crime you admit to at any given time!
At first, attorneys assigned low-income defendants were paid a flat-fee of between $3K - $4K, compared to whatever the attorneys received per/hour or per/case as private attorneys – but that all changed when attorneys assigned to work for low-income defendants like Lewisburg attorney Douglas Arbuckle ran up his travel expenses account to such an extent that it was more economical to put into effect an entire PUBLIC DEFENDER NETWORK! As a result, we now have a group of attorneys that work full time for the Public Defender Corporation, including for cases appealed to higher courts, which are professional, knowledgeable and efficient.
Locally we have Laura Spadora with an office in Marlinton, and Joshua Edwards with an office in Lewisburg, but active in Pocahontas County pursuant to the ‘Circuit Court’ of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court system covering both Greenbrier & Pocahontas County! These two attorneys have proven themselves time and again to be honorable, efficient & trust worthy and a pleasure to work with! This county is fortunate to have them assisting our community!
To qualify to have a Public Defender assigned to any given case, the following chart below, issued by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, sets the financial standards that have to be met for the assignment of an attorney. As can be seen below, anyone that is Single and making LESS THAN $17,500 a year can have an attorney assigned to them if & when that person is accused of a felony charge; and, Married couples accused of a felony charge jointly making less than $24,000 can qualify – and so forth down the list on the chart below!
See this website:
< http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/fee-waiver/index-fee-waiver.html >
See this website:
< http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/fee-waiver/index-fee-waiver.html >
As seen above, this chart can also be used for anyone involved in a Civil Action for the WAIVER OF FEES for court costs, including filing fees, and for obtaining TRANSCRIPTS following a hearing, bench or jury trial, needed for appeal purposes, and for obtaining a Case Index that must show a listing of all hearings and court documents filed in any given case that is also required for the filing of an appeal.
Whenever a person charged with a criminal charge qualifies for a court appointed attorney – ACCEPT THE ATTORNEY – since by law the assigned attorney has to do what YOU wish them to file and accomplish on your behalf. And keep in mind that if you have a bench-trial in Magistrate Court – and LOOSE – then you are eligible for a jury-trial in Circuit Court and the case starts over ‘de novo’ – MEANING FROM THE BEGINNING!
Prior to the establishment of The Public Defender Corporation, far too many defendants were left holding an empty-bag when they had EITHER a bench-trial or a jury-trial in Magistrate Court only to find that the cassette tapes were either blank or filled with ‘white noise’ or both and therefore denied further justice when appealed to Circuit Court. The most notorious of these cases lasted in court for more than ten (10) years – and still was never properly settled and technically still remains open due to having NO ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE ON RECORD – thanks to the shenanigans of former assistant county prosecutor Tony Tatano along with former magistrate Dosche Webb.
But as many of you may recall, this Editor was arrested near midnight on or about Saturday, 16 April 2016, via a complaint filed by former assistant county prosecutor Robert Martin and former county sheriff Jerry Dale, both of whom were candidates in the May Primary, for this Editor being the author of a series of articles that began being published on or about 08 April 2016 in THE POCAHONTAS CRIER, an Internet News Service & Opinion Blog, identified under the heading of “POLITICAL SCOUNDRELS, MISFITS & PARASITES”, pointing out specific candidates running for government office that once again wanted live off taxpayers’ money! And as previously pointed out, arresting persons near midnight and having a local magistrate refuse to hear the case causes the arrested person to be taken to the Regional Tygart Valley Jail north of Elkins, and in that manner the arresting & transporting ‘officers’ get paid overtime so they can take the next day off – thus it’s two-days pay wrapped into one!
Meanwhile on the following day, a teleconference is usually held in the Regional Jail, bail is set, and the arrested person is then freed to find their own way home via friends or family, etc. It has become a sure RACKET for both the magistrate court and the office of the sheriff and just another ‘burden’ upon the backs of the general public. In fact the whole scenario is just a way of PUNISHING ANYONE TARGETED BY HOLDING THEM IN JAIL OVERNIGHT WHETHER THE CASE EVER COMES TO A TRIAL OR NOT – as in this particular matter!
The basis for this specific ‘criminal case’ was that while THE POCAHONTAS TIMES stated on 18 March 2015 that ersatz attorney Robert ‘Bob’ Martin had been ‘TERMINATED’ from the position of assistant county prosecutor by County Prosecutor Eugene Simmons, this Internet Blog known as THE POCAHONTAS CRIER, used the word ‘FIRED’ instead of ‘TERMINATED’ – howbeit that Eugene Simmons never indicated his reasons for ‘firing’ or ‘terminating’ Bob Martin! IF this instant matter had come to trial, then that information most definitely would have become public record – but as it stands now neither Martin nor Simmons have yet to be called to the witness stand to answer for their respective actions!
Meanwhile this instant case became a FIRST AMENDMENT CASE dealing with the merits of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Association and in force & effect became a sister case to one in the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, in the State of Ohio, Case No.: 1:10-cv-720 (2014), USDC, SD, Ohio, Western Division, entitled, “SUSAN ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS”, and later “SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST, et al. v. OHIO ELECTION COMMISSION, et al.”; see < http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1727316.html >. Had this case gone its limit within the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, then this case would have joined its similar case in the Sixth Circuit, and another in the Eight Circuit which struck down a Minnesota statute similar to the one in both Ohio and here in West Virginia. Both the Sixth & Eight Circuit Courts of Appeal found their respective laws similar to WVC §3-8-11(c) as not being necessary and simultaneously over broad and under-inclusive and the least restrictive means of achieving any stated goal [281 Care Comm. v. Arneson, No. 13-1229, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16901 (8th Cir. Sept. 2, 2014)].
As a direct and proximate result, this local case came to an abrupt and fitting end when the State filed a motion upon the following grounds: THE STATE WISHES TO NO LONGER PROSECUTE.
And was signed by the Greenbrier County Prosecutor, Patrick Via, and put into full force and effect on 15 September 2016, by Magistrate Carrie Wilfong.
Last but not least, had this instant matter gone to trial, some unique facts surfaced via the federal law known as THE HATCH ACT of 1939 as amended in 1940, and so forth. In short, The Hatch Act FORBIDS any federal or state employee from running for public office IF all or part of their federal salary comes from federal funding – whoever wants to run for public office has to FIRST RESIGN their federal or state employment! Well it so happens that BOTH Martin & Dale work for government & private agencies that receive federal funding – and as such it appears that neither Martin nor Dale were qualified to be on the ballot running for government office! As a direct & proximate result, neither of them had any claims or could make any claims against anything said about them in their respective checkered-past, present or future! Thus their joint complaint failed to meet the checks & balances necessary to even receive a hearing!
SO THANKS TO ALL WHO WORK WITHIN THE PUBLIC DEFENDER CORPORATION TO SEE JUSTICE RESTORED AND BECOME A CHECKS & BALANCES TO PETTY CASES JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN’T LIKE SOMEONE ELSE or what they think or say!
MAY JUSTICE PREVAIL FOR ALL…instead of ‘just-us’ for a few!
In the interim…
VOTE TRUMP & PENCE AND…
LET’S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
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