. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
WTF, part 2

Last night, the law students who came to argue apparently forgot the memo that they wouldn't be arguing in a court of law. So they broadly asserted that all the protections granted to criminal defendants should be granted to them, especially those that prevent the Judicial Council from seeing the video until it is proved authentic. Otherwise, their due process rights under the U.S. and California constitutions would be violated. See the Gabriel case in the summer of 2006.

We could start with the point that it's not a criminal case. This isn't just the glib response that Sinanian pitched. Shaffer is not facing criminal charges, or consequences of any kind. The worst that can happen to him is that he loses the case and Moghtader isn't recalled, but that doesn't actually happen to him. In other words, the worst that can happen to him is nothing. Criminal defendants have rights because the country isn't keen on sending innocent folk to prison without due process. How much process is due when there is no risk of anything negative happening? The Judicial Council also doesn't use a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. Does this mean their due process rights are violated? Of course not. Not even the U.S. court system takes the view that criminal court protections are always due in any judicial proceeding. A bit of caselaw might have been helpful here to make their point.

We could follow up with the point that there's no jury. It's a bench trial, so hiding the evidence from the judges so they aren't unduly influenced by the evidence until the judges rule on whether or not the evidence is authentic is... nonsense. If the defense found proof that the video was tampered with, how would they plan to show the Judicial Council without showing the tampered-with video?

Finally, we could raise the point that the Oren Gabriel case of the summer of 2006 had only one real lesson in terms of how the law relates: the Alameda court wanted the ASUC to resolve the issue using internal procedures before asking the state government to intervene. After the Judicial Council reversed on appeal (using the ASUC's constitution), the court case was dropped. It's also probably worth noting that Gabriel and company claimed damages (loss of stipend, etc.), which Shaffer would have difficulty with. Couldn't they at least have mentioned the DAAP case from 2004? It seems like they'd have more luck with that.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/31/2009 05:25:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
nathan shaffer has proved to be quite a nut case. he's not the kind of person we want representing berkeley. he needs to realize that this whole thing isn't about him and its reputation. it's about restoring justice to a situation that was clearly unjust, that doesn't really even affect him. u make a good point, beetle, that he doesn't have much to lose in this case. his obsessiveness that is preventing the hearing from even taking place is only making things harder for everyone.
Sinanian made it about him and his reputation. I'm not suggesting that Shaffer should roll over and let Sinanian walk over him. I'm only suggesting he refrain from making ridiculous threats that make him look like an idiot. Moghtader has been the number one staller here, while Sinanian's case is nuttier than an Almond Joy. Giving evidence to the defense is just what you do.
Post a Comment

. . .