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Archive for December 2008

Judge Sheila McGinnis to Plead Guilty to DUI

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Cook County Judge Sheila McGinnis’ attorney revealed in court that she plans to plead guilty to drunken driving. According to a Sun-Times report her attorney, Jeff Aprati, told Judge Ed Burmila, during a hearing December 12, 2008, at the Markham Courthouse that McGinnis will plead guilty to the DUI on Jan. 20, Judge McGinnis, assigned to Bridgeview courthouse refused to take a Breathalyzer test when she crashed her 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer into the back of a family of five’s minivan in Tinley Park on May 9. She has been re-assigned to a desk job since her arrest. Possible sentences include up to a year in jail.

This latest incident proves to me that Judge McGinnis does not have the temperment or self-control to be a judge. I have personally observed her demeanor and conduct on the bench and find her to be arrogant, incompetent in having a poor understanding of legal principles, and unwilling to hear pro se defendants. More later.

Of note: The husband of Judge McGinnis also named McGinnis is a relative of Mayor Daley and was on a  panel informed of the illegal hirings at city hall by Sorich.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/hired/31458,cst-nws-hired241.article

Judge McGinnis plead guilty on January 20, 2009 to DUI. She had refused to take a field sobriety test. She was fined $1000 and sentenced to 18 mo probation. She will now be referred to the Judicial Inquiry Board who should refer her case to the Judicial Commission for disciplinary action.

Written by Linda Shelton

December 17, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Illegal Political Trials (Hits) – Alive and Well in Illinois

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Protecting Defendants Charged for Political Reasons

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE DOUGLAS IN 1970 – “Does the answer to the problem of political trials involve defining the procedure for conducting political trials or does it involve the designing of constitutional methods for putting an end to them? . . . . It will be time enough to resolve those weighty problems when a political trial reaches this Court for review.”

THE TIME MAY BE NOW!

The State of Illinois through first Attorney General Jim Ryan and now Attorney General Lisa Madigan along with incompetent, ignorant, and/or corrupt officials in Illinois Medicaid including Bill Bradley, Investigator Reibel in the State Police, and Patrick Keenan in the State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with tacit approval by many other corrupt officials in the State of Illinois, have perpetrated a scheme for ten years to deny mental health services for persons on Medicaid in violation of the Federal Medicaid Code. See my other posts on Medicaid at:
http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com/2008/10/criminal-scheme-of-il-attorney-general.html.

In order to falsely advertise that she is “tough on fraud” so that she can advance her personal political ambitions, Lisa Madigan continues to fraudulently and without legal authorization indict outstanding providers of mental health services to Medicaid patients. Judges Schultz, Fox, Pantle, Alonso, and others have participated in these void and illegal prosecutions and done great harm to the citizens of Illinois in their illegal acts of violation the United States Constitution, in aiding and abetting this violation of federal law and civil rights.

I have been one of the persons illegally indicted and defamed, presently awaiting trial over a period of four long years. The harm to me, my patients, and my family is immeasurable and painful. I have persistly legally and appropriately through the legal process of at first representing myself and filing scholarly motions proving that higher court precedence (stare decisis) does NOT PERMIT this kind of persecution for political gain, and that my case is null and void ab initio (from the start).

I have been punished for vigorously advocating for my constitutional rights to redress of grievances and due process (including the right not to be tried for something that is not a crime) for four years with four incarcerations for contempt (two thrown out by the Illinois Appellate Court – pepetrated by Dishonorable Judge Pantle), one presently before Hon. Judge Coar in federal district court on a habeas corpus petition (asking the court to vacate and expunge the conviction on the basis of violation of constitutional rights and voidness – pepetrated by Dishonorable Judge Pantle), and one in limbo – dismissed for want of prosecution, but potentially can reinvigorate the appeal later (perpetrated by Dishonorable Judge Alonso).

I have been beaten, tortured, and medically neglected during these incarcerations and when I protested, a correctional officer, Sgt. Anthony Salemi, came into my cell and committed assault and battery against me. He falsified his records and I was charged and convicted of aggravated battery to an officer for allegedly “ramming him with my wheelchair” causing a skinned shin, and “kicking him in the chest with my RIGHT leg” causing soreness. This was impossible for me to do do to a partial RIGHT hemiparesis and extreme weakness secondary to dehydration caused by mendical neglect. I was sentenced to two years despite no criminal record and was released from Dwight penitentiary after being tortured on March 31, 2008. I was punished and placed in solitary confinement for 6 months because I refused to walk (I was unable to due to my disability) and forced to swim in my diarrhea on a 2 inch mattress with no sheets or clothes for days, except for a roughly quilted velcro smock and blanket, without toilet paper, without water (I was too week to get myself up to the water fountain at the sink or the toilet). The United States Attorney has been informed and so far has done NOTHING! My weight dropped from 171 lbs to 127 lbs and by the time I was released I couldn’t even sit up because of severe dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. I was immediately taken to an emergency room and treated. The incompetent and barbaric sadists and psychopaths in Dwight’s medical department had insisted I was faking my medical problems.

Due to my protests, all reasonable and responsible and polite, I have been illegally and immoraly denied self-representation by Judges Pantle and now Alonso without legal authority in violation of my constitutional rights. I am being prosecuted for political reasons as a whistle blower. I testified against now convict and ex-Governor George Ryan in a class action suit for illegally denying 73 million dollars in funds for the care of handicapped children. I have won suits against Sheriff Sheahan in C[r]ook County for violating the American with Disabilities Act. I have won suits against the State of Illinois for failing to investigate barbaric and illegal abuse of mental health patients/inmates at Cook County Jail, and I have numerous pro se civil rights, mandamus, and injuctive suits pending in federal and state court against these corrupt officials. I am a target of the corrupt cabal in Illinois and C[r]ook County.

Justice Douglas in Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S.337 wrote the following in a concurring opinion, which is very much on point. My case is ripe for Hon. Juge Coar to address in this manner in the federal district court. It is a political case! This quote, by Justice Douglas in his opinion, about Penn is fascinating and you everyone should enjoy it!.

HOWEVER IT IS SAD THAT IN THE 21ST CENTURY IN ILLINOIS, CITIZENS WHO ARE DOING NOTHING BUT PROVIDING MUCH NEEDED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO THE NEEDY, WHO HAVE DEVOTED THEIR LIVES TO SERVICE, AND WHO VALUE OUR CONSTITUTION, ARE STILL THE TARGET OF POLITICAL ATTACKS IN A MOST VICIOUS AND BRUTAL MANNER!

THIS IS WHY I ASK FOR THE HELP OF THE PUBLIC TO FUND MY DEFENSE AND TO HELP ME CONTINUE TO HELP OTHERS DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. See link at the right on this blog if you wish to help.
________________________________________________________________________
QUOTED FROM CONCURRING OPINTION BY JUSTICE DOUGLAS IN ILLINOIS V. ALLEN, 397 U.S. 337 (1970):

Our real problems of this type lie not with this case, but with other kinds of trials. First are the political trials. They frequently recur in our history, [Footnote 2/2] and, insofar as they take place in federal courts, we have broad supervisory powers over them. That is one setting where the question arises whether the accused has rights of confrontation that the law invades at its peril.

In Anglo-American law, great injustices have at times been done to unpopular minorities by judges, as well as by prosecutors. I refer to London in 1670, when William Penn, the gentle Quaker, was tried for causing a riot when all that he did was to preach a sermon on Grace Church Street, his church having been closed under the Conventicle Act:

“Penn. I affirm I have broken no law, nor am I Guilty of the indictment that is laid to my charge, and to the end the bench, the jury, and myself, with these that hear us, may have a more direct understanding of this procedure, I desire you would let me know by what law it is you prosecute me, and upon what law you ground my indictment.”

“Rec. Upon the common law.”

“Penn. Where is that common law?”

“Rec. You must not think that I am able to run up so many years, and over so many adjudged cases, which we call common law, to answer your curiosity.”

“Penn. This answer I am sure is very short of my question, for if it be common, it should not be so hard to produce.”

“Rec. Sir, will you plead to your indictment?”

“Penn. Shall I plead to an Indictment that hath no foundation in law? If it contain that law you say I have broken, why should you decline to produce that law, since it will be impossible for the jury to determine, or agree to bring in their verdict, who have not the law produced by which they should measure the truth of this indictment, and the guilt, or contrary of my fact? ”

“Rec. You are a saucy fellow; speak to the Indictment.”

“Penn. I say, it is my place to speak to matter of law; I am arraigned a prisoner; my liberty, which is next to life itself, is now concerned: you are many mouths and ears against me, and if I must not be allowed to make the best of my case, it is hard, I say again, unless you shew me, and the people, the law you ground your indictment upon, I shall take it for granted your proceedings are merely arbitrary.”

“Rec. The question is whether you are Guilty of this Indictment?”

“Penn. The question is not whether I am Guilty of this Indictment, but whether this Indictment be legal. It is too general and imperfect an answer, to say it is the common law unless we knew both where and what it is. For where there is no law, there is no transgression, and that law which is not in being is so far from being common that it is no law at all.”

“Rec. You are an impertinent fellow, will you teach the court what law is? It is ‘Lex non scripta,’ that which many have studied 30 or 40 years to know, and would you have me to tell you in a moment?”

“Penn. Certainly, if the common law be so hard to be understood, it is far from being very common; but if the lord Coke in his Institutes be of any consideration, he tells us, That Common Law is common right, and that Common Right is the Great Charter-Privileges”

“Rec. Sir, you are a troublesome fellow, and it is not for the honour of the court to suffer you to go on. ”

“Penn. I have asked but one question, and you have not answered me; though the rights and privileges of every Englishman be concerned in it.”

“Rec. If I should suffer you to ask questions till tomorrow morning, you would be never the wiser.”

“Penn. That is according as the answers are.”

“Rec. Sir, we must not stand to hear you talk all night.”

“Penn. I design no affront to the court, but to be heard in my just plea: and I must plainly tell you that, if you will deny me Oyer of that law, which you suggest I have broken, you do at once deny me an acknowledged right, and evidence to the whole world your resolution to sacrifice the privileges of Englishmen to your sinister and arbitrary designs.”

“Rec. Take him away. My lord, if you take not some course with this pestilent fellow to stop his mouth, we shall not be able to do anything tonight.”

“Mayor. Take him away, take him away, turn him into the bale-dock. [Footnote 2/3]”

The Trial of William Penn, 3 How.St.Tr. 951, 958-959.

The panel of judges who tried William Penn were sincere, law-and-order men of their day. Though Penn was acquitted by the jury, he was jailed by the court for his contemptuous conduct. Would we tolerate removal of a defendant from the courtroom during a trial because he was insisting on his constitutional rights, albeit vociferously, no matter how obnoxious his philosophy might have been to the bench that tried him? Would we uphold contempt in that situation?

Problems of political indictments and of political judges raise profound questions going to the heart of the social compact. For that compact is two-sided: majorities undertake to press their grievances within limits of the Constitution and in accord with its procedures; minorities agree to abide by constitutional procedures in resisting those claims.

Does the answer to that problem involve defining the procedure for conducting political trials or does it involve the designing of constitutional methods for putting an end to them? This record is singularly inadequate to answer those questions. It will be time enough to resolve those weighty problems when a political trial reaches this Court for review.
_______________________________________________
[Footnote 2/2]
From Spies v. People, 122 Ill. 1, 12 N.E. 865, involving the Haymarket riot; In re Debs, 158 U. S. 564, involving the Pullman strike; Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U. S. 103, involving the copper strikes of 1917; Commonwealth v. Sacco, 255 Mass. 369, 151 N.E. 839, 259 Mass. 128, 156 N.E. 57, 261 Mass. 12, 158 N.E. 167, involving the Red scare of the 20’s; to Dennis v. United States, 341 U. S. 494, involving an agreement to teach Marxism.

As to the Haymarket riot resulting in the Spies case, see 2 J. Commons and Associates, History of Labour in the United States 386 et seq. (1918); W. Swindler, Court and Constitution in the Twentieth Century, cc. 3 and 4 (1969).

As to the Pullman strike and the Debs case, see L. Pfeffer, This Honorable Court 215-216 (1965); A. Lindsey, The Pullman Strike, cc. XII and XIII (1942); Commons, supra, at 502-508.

As to the Mooney case, see the January 18, 1922, issue of The New Republic; R. Frost, The Mooney Case (1968).

As to the Sacco-Vanzetti case, see Fraenkel, The Sacco-Vanzetti Case; F. Frankfurter, The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti (1927).

As to the repression of teaching involved in the Dennis case, see O. Kirchheimer, Political Justice 132-158 (1961).

[Footnote 2/3]
At Old Bailey, where the William Penn trial was held, the baledock (or baildock) was “a small room taken from one of the corners of the court, and left open at the top, in which, during the trials, are put some of the malefactors.”

Oxford Eng. Dict.

Confirmatory Bias and Harassment of Intelligent, Intense, Activists, and Pro Se Litigants – Shelton Judge’s Manual Part I

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Judges in the Circuit Court of Cook County have great difficulty understanding how to interact with very intelligent, overly enthusiastic, self-made “legal experts”, activists, and pro se litigants. They tend to make irrational knee-jerk assumptions about such litigants and order knee-jerk fitness exams will nilly, and often illegally, without basis. Perhaps some judges should be charged with practicing medicine without a license.

They are very arrogant and end up being quite unfair due to their confirmatory bias. Confirmatory bias is when a person has preconceived ideas that taint their interaction with the person. In this case their ego will not allow them to acknowledge a non-attorney quoting cases or statutes which they either are not aware of or do not understand. They fail to acknowledge to themselves that they are NOT omnipotent repositories of all law, that they are ignorant of much law and rely on the attorneys to educate them on areas where they are weak through motions quoting case law. This is why they “defend” their egos and arrogance with “shoot-from-the-hip” irrational and unconstitutional rulings in fits of unconscious emotion. They unconsciously, through arrogance, ignorance, and inexperience, selectively listen to and absorb only misinterpreted facts and unverified hearsay that support this bias. This is the nature of the beast called confirmatory bias. Once a judge recognizes and understands this, he is better able to keep it in check.

MY RECOMMENDATION TO THE JUDGES IS TO BACK OFF, TAKE A DEEP BREATH, AND QUESTION WHETHER HE REALLY UNDERSTANDS THE ISSUES OF THE CASE OR ARE SUBJECT TO EMOTION AND CONFIRMATORY BIAS WHEN CONFRONTED WITH A VERBOSE, EMOTIONAL, INTELLECTUAL, OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC DEFENDANT. MAYBE HE HAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY BUT THE JUDGE CAN’T SEE THE FOREST AMONG ALL THE TREES THE DEFENDANT IS POINTING OUT. IT IS THE JUDGE’S JOB AS A JUDGE TO TAKE CONTROL OF AND CLARIFY THIS EXCEEDINGLY (TO THE JUDGE) ANNOYING SITUATION.

There is a great mismatch between the style of judges/attorneys and physicians. Judges/attorneys are taught to narrow the issues and make statements using the least words. Decisions are based on as few issues as possible. Physicians are taught to cover every issue (don’t miss a possible diagnosis in their differential and see the global health of the person). Self-taught legal experts tend to have difficulty with prioritizing issues and consider everything exceedingly relevant. When physicians are wronged they tend to mix together the two issues of criminal law and civil law. In a criminal case they will try to discuss every irrelevent but connected issue so, as they perceive, the “court” will understand motive and circumstance. They are not aware that the “court” doesn’t care about motive and circumstance in all its details but just wants to limit the testimony and discovery to issues concerning elements of a crime. They are not aware that criminal courts are not the place to litigate torts or air grievances.

Judges/attorneys falsely believe that every pro se litigant is a rambling, irrational, incoherent nut. Therefore, they don’t even try to listen to or read the pleadings of a pro se physician or self-taught, ragged, and, to the uninformed and unwilling to listen, seemingly confused “legal expert” no matter how factual and accurate their statements and arguments may be, hidden among the chaffe. It is simply too much for their inflated egos to handle. Instead through confirmatory bias the judge will immediately order a fitness exam and ignore the defendant.

Judges simply do not comprehend the fact that many defendants are “normal” but on the fringe in terms of extremely adamant positions on social and civil rights issues. For example: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Ghandhi, anti-war protesters, civil rights activists are not all mentally ill. They are just determined, passionate, and adamant. Failure to accommodate these people in the courts, treating them like raving maniacs, harassing them and defaming them is a great injustice. The courts should have RESPECT and TOLERANCE for defendants with extreme and adamant social viewpoints.

Fitness for trial has a very low bar. All that is needed is an understanding of the players (what is a judge, jury, etc., and what do they do), the charge, the possible sentences, and the consequences of conviction, as well as an ability to interact with his attorney or tell the story and answer questions in some meaningful but minimal fashion. The defendant can be florridly psychotic, but if he meets these criteria he is legally “fit” although mentally ill. A full mental health evaluation is not necessary to make this basic determination regarding fitness.

In fact it is a gross waste of resources to constantly refer defendants who are clearly fit to forensic clinical services (a department with notoriously incompetent and arrogant psychiatrists who blanketly deny even the defendants’s request to tape record or write down the interview on paper, which denies the defendant a record of the interview to have another psychiatrist of his choosing review for accuracy of the diagnosis – even the Supreme Court has implied through dicta that it is not unreasonable to record the interview – and professional psychiatric organization ethical rules do not bar such a recording).

For the judges to constantly defer to the Director of Forensic Clinical Services in Cook County’s Dr. Markos’ innane rule barring any recording and other psychiatrist’s self-serving (to prevent proof of their malpractice, which shouldn’t be a concern as they have total immunity from malpractice torts) rule of not even allowing note-taking by the defendant is obscene in my view and firmly denies the write to confrontation when information from the interview is used against a person regarding sanity.

I recommend that judges when faced with a verbose, overly intense and emotional intellect in a defendant, especially a physician, should satisfy their curiosity about defendant’s fitness by asking some simple question and making the following statement to inform the person that courts are apples compared to the oranges in the practice of medicine (or other professional field) in the way they approach issues.

“I am going to give you some basic instruction about courtroom procedure and how attorneys and judges approach the practice of law to make your hearings run smoothly. I am not here to solve your personal issues regarding retaliation against you or harassment of you by rightful or wrongful conduct of others against you. The purpose of this court is to decide if you committed a crime. A crime is defined by elements. For example with the crime of trespass the State only has to prove you were told to leave a place and you refused to leave. Some crimes require that the element called intent also be proven such as in the crime of criminal contempt. Any arguments between you and the owner of the place on a trespass charge are irrelevant to the determination of you innocence or guilt. They may however later be introduced at the sentencing hearing if you are found guilty as mitigating or aggravating factors. For the same reason, this court will find irrelevant and not allow the introduction at trial of any factors that occurred before or after this incident of an alleged crime. The issues in criminal court are narrowed to the elements of the crime and I will not allow this court’s time to be wasted or the court to be distracted by irrelevant materials. Many pro se defendants have difficulty understanding the concept of relevance, and the concept of elements of a crime. Please think about these issues carefully and how your defenses will address them when you present evidence or witness testimony. The court does recognize that under unusual circumstances factors that may superficially seem irrelevant may be actually relevant. Therefore, for purposes of efficiency and judicial economy, I ask both sides to put these issues in writing in a motion for leave to present them at trial.”

This would be a start in ending the war between pro se litigants who are not nuts (physicians, self taught “legal experts”, etc.) and moving cases along more efficiently and rationally. Careful thought by the judges about the above issues may reduce bias and allow cases to proceed more efficiently and smoothly.

It is my hope that this web site and the companion sites:

http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com/ and

http://prosechicago.wordpress.com/

will be used both by judges/attorneys and the public (particularly pro se community) to reduce tempers, calm nerves, bring understanding, encourage justice, and move cases along more efficiently and less traumatically for all involved.

Behavioral Clinical Exam (BCX) or Exams to Determine Mental Fitness for Trial – Shelton Judge’s Manual – Part III

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AMICUS BRIEF OF LINDA SHELTON CONCERNING FITNESS EXAMS

             Non-Attorney and physician/scientist/civil rights activist/expert, Dr. Linda Shelton, respectfully offers to the court the following factual information, which supports defense motion to vacate the order of this court to raise bail for alleged violation of bail because defendant refused to answer questions at a BCX exam. This refusal to answer questions at the exam is defendant’s statutory right as follows

1.     Court determinations of fitness are made by a court hearing and not by the forensic examiner. The examiners report is merely evidence.

2.      Fitness by statute and case law is determined by the judge, if jury is waved, or the jury in a fitness hearing per 725 ILCS 5/104-11(c):

     (c) When a bonafide doubt of the defendant’s fitness has been raised, the burden of proving that the defendant is fit by a preponderance of the evidence and the burden of going forward with the evidence are on the State. However, the court may call its own witnesses and conduct its own inquiry. [emphasis added]

3. A fitness order is NOT evidence of a bonafide doubt per the First District Illinois Appellate Court in People v. Hill, 345 Ill.App.3d 620, 803 N.E.2d 138 (2003).

      [W]e find that the trial court’s decision to appoint an expert to examine a defendant has no bearing on the court’s ultimate conclusion as to whether a bona fide doubt as to the defendant’s fitness to stand trial has been raised.

4. A Court may order a fitness exam if there is a bonafide doubt of defendant’s fitness per 725 ILCS 5/104-11. This doubt must be specific and not a general statement and must be expressed in open court on the record. It is not sufficient for a judge to state that a defendant’s behavior or writings suggest a fitness exam is needed. The judge must specify the nature of the behavior or the details in the writings that suggest fitness is absent. Absent such detail the order is insufficient.

5.      725 ILCS 5/104‑14(c) mandates that the Court inform the Defendant that he has a statutory right to refuse to answer questions at the BCX exam:

Use of Statements Made During Examination or Treatment.

(c) The court shall advise the defendant of the limitations on the use of any statements made or information gathered in the course of the fitness examination or subsequent treatment as provided in this Section. It shall also advise him that he may refuse to cooperate with the person conducting the examination, but that his refusal may be admissible into evidence on the issue of his mental or physical condition. [emphasis added]

 

6.      725 ILCS 5/104‑13(d) mandates that the Court MAY not revoke bail if the Defendant is ordered to undergo a BCX exam in order to accomplish the exam:

Fitness Examination. 


      (d) Release on bail or on recognizance shall not be revoked and an application therefor shall not be denied on the grounds that an examination has been ordered.

     7. Therefore, defendants have a statutory right to refuse to answer questions at a BCX exam and this act does not permit the Court to revoke or alter bail for violation of the condition of bail to appear at a BCX exam and answer questions.

8.      The report of the fitness examination ordered from Forensic Clinical Services is due within 30 days of the date of the order per 725 ILCS 5/104-15.

     9. The fitness hearing must be held within 45 days of receiving the report of the fitness exam, regardless of the results of the report per 725 ILCS 5/104-16:

      (a) The court shall conduct a hearing to determine the issue of the defendant’s   fitness within 45 days of receipt of the final written report of the person or persons conducting the examination or upon conclusion of the matter then pending before it.

     10. This Court must therefore schedule a fitness hearing in this case no later than 45 days after receipt of the report of the fitness exam received by the Court on November 25, 2008 (January 9, 2008).

     11. The details of the forensic examiner’s report have no bearing on scheduling the fitness hearing. A judge may not continue to re-order the BCX until he obtains a report of fitness or no fitness, in order to delay a hearing. The hearing is a statutory right.

     12. The defendant has a statutory right to continue to refuse to answer questions. In general if a defendant refuses to answer questions, it is futile to re-order the fitness exam. The result is that there will be no forensic examiner’s recommendation as to whether or not the defendant is fit. The fitness hearing will have to proceed without professional opinion based solely on other witnesses called by the court, which may include the transcript of statements made by the defendant and pleadings written by the defendant.

[T]he trial court’s decision to appoint an expert to examine a defendant has no bearing on the court’s ultimate conclusion as to whether a bona fide doubt as to the defendant’s fitness to stand trial has been raised. Hill 803 N.E. 2d 138, at 145.

     13. Courts may still determine fitness even though the forensic psychiatry examiner is unable to determine fitness based on defendant’s unwillingness to cooperate:

Courts determine fitness based on three factors: the defendant’s irrational behavior, the defendant’s demeanor at trial, and any prior medical opinion on the defendant’s competence to stand trial.  Hill 803 N.E. 2d 138, at 145.

 

 

Although the . . . [the expert] was not able to “come to [a] definitive opinion in regards to defendant’s fitness to stand trial,” this failure was due to defendant’s lack of cooperation. Hill 803 N.E. 2d 138, at 145.

 

The ultimate decision as to a defendant’s fitness must be made by the trial court, not the experts People v. Bilyew, 73 Ill.2d 294, 302 (1978) [emphasis added]

 

In Hill case the court concluded that the defendant was fit to stand trial. A previous, though not contemporously timely exam had determined defendant was mentally ill but fit to stand trial and the judge’s observations in court led him to conclude the defendant understood the players in the court and the charges against him.

 

While these reports provide some evidence of mental illness, they are insufficient to counter the several indications in the record that defendant understood and participated at trial . . . . [and] exhibited no irrational behavior.  Hill 803 N.E. 2d 138, at 146

 

14. The Illinois Supreme Court has repeatedly held that when determining whether a bona fide doubt of defendant’s fitness exists, courts should consider the following factors: the defendant’s irrational behavior, the defendant’s demeanor at trial and any prior medical opinion on the defendant’s competence to stand trial. People v. Harris, 206 Ill.2d 293, 304, 276 Ill.Dec. 286, 794 N.E.2d 181, 190 (2002).

15. Evidence presented at the fitness hearing may include a report from forensic clinical services, or from private psychiatrists and psychologists retained by either side. The report may state that the defendant is fit or unfit for trial and the examiners detailed reasoning and clinical judgment as to why he came to that conclusion, or may simply be a statement that the examiner was unable to make this determination at the exam because the defendant was unable or unwilling to cooperate with questions.

16.  Although the Cook County Court’s Forensic Clinical Services Department has made a policy that all BCX exams will be performed without video or audio recordings, or witnesses, there is NO absolute bar to recordings or witnesses (assuming they say nothing and merely observe) according to the ethical standards of the American Academy of Psychiatry or the American Academy of psychiatry and the law. In fact, despite the statements of Cook County Forensic Clinical Services in the past that witnesses interfere with the exam, it is known in psychiatry that silent witnesses may be helpful in order to gain the defendant’s cooperation with confused, mentally retarded, or unusually intelligent and court savvy individuals to permit recordings or witnesses in individual circumstances.

17.  The United States Supreme Court in Indiana v. Edwards (2008) went beyond Faretta and stated that even if a defendant is mentally fit to stand trial, the State may deny the defendant the right to self-representation on grounds that he is mentally not competent to represent himself to the point he would be denied a fair trial. They stated that mental illness is not a unitary or static concept and that the trial judge must carefully consider this issue. Yet they set NO guidelines as to the definition of mental competency to self-representation and specifically rejected Indiana’s blanket bar on self-representation if the court finds the defendant cannot “communicate coherently.”

18.  This poses a dilemma for the court as the court must itself determine mental competency for self-representation without any guidelines at present.

19.  I recommend that the court question the defendant on the record and determine: 1) if the defendant is able to formulate questions logically that address specific issues related to his case, 2) if the defendant understands the role of the players in the court as well as the charges against him and the possible sentence, 3) if the defendant is oriented as to time, place, and situation, 4) if the defendant expresses basic understanding of the concept of legal research and the significance of statutes, codes, and case law, and 5) if the defendant is able to control his behavior and emotions so that he can effectively listen, take notes, and formulate questions including questions to a stand-by counsel regarding courtroom procedure. If all of these issues are answered in the affirmative then the defendant should be considered mentally competent for purposes of self-representation.

20.  Unfortunately, courts are left to formulate criteria for mental competence for self-representation with the United States Supreme Court holding in abeyance further decisions upon the criteria for mental competence for self-representation until further cases reach the Court.

21.  Finally, I recommend that with very intelligent and legally savvy defendants who refuse too answer questions at a fitness exam because they feel, despite the Court’s dicta in Estelle v. Smith, 451 U.S. 454 (1981), that the defendant has no constitutional fifth amendment right to have a witness present during a fitness exam or a recording of the fitness exam, the Court should ask basic fitness questions on the record to prove the defendant has the mental understanding and lack of confusion necessary to stand trial including: 1) the date, time, place, and situation, 2) the role of the players in the court, 3) the nature of the charges against him, and 4) the possible sentence if convicted, as well as 5) the meaning of being convicted and sentenced.

22.  The answers to these questions can then be utilized by the court in lieu of a professional’s fitness exam report to determine the issue of fitness, but not the issue of mental illness. A professional forensic psychiatric exam is not really necessary to determine fitness, but is necessary to determine if the defendant suffers from mental illness.

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                                        Dr. Linda Shelton

Written by Linda Shelton

December 8, 2008 at 6:05 am

Illinois Supreme Court Violates Statutes and Their Oaths of Office – Corruption at Its Best!

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Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Judge Maddux’s Blatant Violation of Law

 

On November 26, 2008 the Illinois Supreme Court in a Motion for Leave to File Complaint for Mandamus with attached Complaint for Mandamus denied Leave to file without explanation.

This means that the Illinois Supreme Court has publicly condoned Judge Maddux’s violation of statutes that require a judge to grant a Petition for indigent status and waive filing fees for a tort (lawsuit) when a Plaintiff is indigent, as well as state specifically the reason that a petition for indigent status is denied.

See details of the illegal conduct and ruling by Judge Maddux in denying a Petition for Indigent Status. http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com/2008/10/crook-county-presiding-law-judge-maddux.html

In a similar case of a transgender person Ms. Daunn Turner in early 2008 the Illinois Supreme Court granted a complaint for mandamus when Will  County Circuit Court Judge Stephen White denied Ms. Turner’s Petition for Indigent Status solely because he stated that he will not allow the State to pay for her name change due to her sexual status. Ms. Turner was an accomplished individual who had become severely disabled and according to law therefore qualified for indigent status.
This upholding of blatant violation of statutes by J. Maddux is a disgrace upon the Illinois Supreme Court and reveals that corruption permiates the highest levels of the Courts in Illinois. These two issues were identical – failure of the judge and clerk to follow the law regarding indigent petitions. Yet the Court intervened on the Turner case and denied leave to file on the Shelton case. This is clear bias and failure to uphold the law. Clearly there is no justice and American Justice is a Myth when the Supreme Court of a State can blatantly violate clear cut statutes.

I will now take this to the U.S. Supreme Court for a supervisory order. They will probably deny review, thus condoning violation of statute and due process rights as well as violation of the First Amendment right to redress of grievances and access to the courts, as well as Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process.

Thus another example of [in]justice and the Myth of American Justice!

Judge William D. Maddux

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COOK COUNTY PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE LAW DIVISION WILLIAM D. MADDUX CONSISTENTLY AND PUPOSELY VIOLATES ILLINOIS STATUTES AND HIS OATH OF OFFICE IN DENYING PRO SE LITIGANTS’ INDIGENT PETITIONS (IN FORMA PAUPERIS PETITIONS).
HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE FOR HIS ARROGANT, TYRANICAL, ILLEGAL, UNETHICAL, AND ATROCIOUS CONDUCT THAT VIOLATES CITIZENS’ FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES AND FIFTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS.
Pro se litigants in Chicago who are indigent and file petitions for indigent status to waive filing and copying fees are routinely denied this status illegally by Presiding Law Division Judge Maddux because Judge Maddux wants to inhibit access to courts to whistle blowers, civil rights activists, those filing multiple legitimate suits pro se, and those who have spoken out against corruption in the courts, police, and among elected officials. The courts in C[r]ook County are extremely corrupt.

He never reads the pleadings. His law clerk simply writes “denied due to inability to sue in good faith”.

Dorothy Brown, the court clerk refuses to accept complaints unless the judge approves an indigent petition or the plaintiff pays the filing fee.

The law REQUIRES that indigent status be granted if you can prove your assets are less than 125% of the poverty level and your complaint if not frivolous.

735 ILCS 5/5-105 [ILCS = Illinois Compiled Statutes]
“The clerk of the court shall not refuse to accept any complaint, appearance, or other paper presented by the applicant if accompanied by an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis, and those papers shall be considered filed on the date the application is presented.”

There is no requirement that the complaint must be approved by the Judge as legitimate. Courts however do have the power to issue sanctions for frivolous repeated suits.

The actions of Judge Maddux and Dorothy Brown in denying access to the courts are clearly illegal.

I invite others to inform me of their similar difficulties and join in a mandamus complaint against Judge Maddux and Clerk Brown to force them to comply with the statutes and IL Supreme Court Rule 298.

Written by Linda Shelton

December 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Judge Marie Kuriakos Ciesil

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On September 26, 2007 Judge Ciesil issued an arrest warrant for Linda Shelton at 9:05 a.m. for being late to a 10:00 a.m. court hearing. She was temporarily removed from her courtroom for this misconduct by Presiding Judge Wright, but is back at it again, acting incompetent. For more infor see:

     http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com/search/label/Judge%20Kuriakos%20Ciesil

On December 3, 2008 J. Ciesil illegally and unconstitutionally barred all non parties from the courtroom in a trial of Jose Rivas at her courtroom at 555 Harrison in Chicago. The people who wanted to enter the gallery were not disorderly in any way. This denial of a public trial is unconstitutional. She should be impeached for her pattern of unconstitutional acts. For more info see:

    ** in preparation**

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