Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World

Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World - Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

When A Lovely Flame Dies Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

1978_Virginia_Slims_adI’ve been intrigued by the lack of input by women on some issues I’d have thought would pique their interest. I think I’ve figured out why this has happened. I recognize that since I was around during the great revolution I expected more of women; I expected to see some sparks from them. I remember the days when the attitude toward anything though inimicable to a woman was “this too shall not stand.” Those were the times when a man who dared refer to a female as a girl was putting his life in great peril.

Two matters of recent interest had me thinking that women would be interested in them. One is the story about Patricia Campatelli who is clearly being deprived of her job because she is cut from a different jib than other women; the other is the story of young college women who are shut out of the criminal justice system by the unwillingness of the state to mandate that their complaints to college officials about being sexually assaulted be passed on to law enforcement authorities.

MA Supreme Judicial Court Strange OK To Upskirting

skirtThe Massachusetts highest court is the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). Understand that justices on that court have an ethereal existence which sometimes affects the way they decide cases. Their interaction with the rest of us is quite limited and they spend most of their time talking to each other reinforcing the righteousness of their ideas. Two recent decisions that it pronounced makes one wonder where the judges hearts are. These decisions suggest to me that they need to spend a little time finding out how the rest of us live.

Judges should decide things with the understanding of the effect their decisions have on the lives of us individual blokes who go about our way rubbing shoulders with others like ourselves. What we need, which these SJC justices seem not to grasp, was spelled out by Judge Elijah Adlow, the long serving judge who handled the first session of the Boston Municipal Court where he encountered the smell, spell and swell of everyday city life. He summed up his philosophy in a few words: “the whole point of culture [is] to give everyone peace, quiet and the right to enjoy life.” He made his decisions based on that ideal.

A Warning for Those Indicted in Boston’s Federal Court

Florida JusticeEarlier today I wrote about how the judge in the federal court, Judge F. Dennis Saylor,IV, seem to be dismayed because defense counsel John Amibile and others are putting up a real fight on behalf of their clients. He noted he was unhappy. Apparently defense counsel must perform in such a way so that they do not do anything that would upset the judge. The client is supposed to be satisfied with everyone playing nicey-nicey and end up going off to prison happy that the judge did not have to referee what Judge Saylor found to be offensive and what he called a prize fight.

It must be that in the great majority of the criminal cases in the federal court in Boston the defendants are represented by those like the federal defenders who buy into the idea that a criminal trial is some type of preliminary exhibition match. Blows are thrown but most are pulled because the parties know they will be soon be matched up again in the same pit before the same referees. If that is the case, then one has to wonder about the effectiveness of their representation.

Does An Aggressive Defense Prevent Justice Being Done? Appointing Lawyers Who Play Nicely

Florida JusticeLast Friday several newspapers wrote about the case involving the head of the Massachusetts probation department and two of his top aides who are in federal court facing penalties in excess of twenty years. The prosecutors indicted them not because they hired unqualified persons but because they did not hire those who the prosecutors believe are the most qualified. Instead, they hired those recommended by judges, legislators and others, practicing the time-honored tradition of patronage.

The three defendants in the case are middle age or over. None had a criminal record prior to the time on March 23, 2012, when as dangerous felons they “were led into their arraignments in Worcester federal court Friday handcuffed and shackled.” Over a year later in April 2013 the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston increased the charges and penalties O’Brien and his co-defendants were facing when it became clear they would not plead guilty. This is a common tactic in that office. It likes to frighten people into facing enormous amounts of time in prison unless they plead guilty or in some cases if they cooperate with the government.

Denying The Obvious: Boston Bar’s Aid for Tsarnaev the Terroist

DSC_0541According to news reports last week  the Boston Bar Association (BBA) has come out against the federal death penalty. The BBA has had a long history of over 40 years of opposition to the death penalty in Massachusetts but the recent report was the first time it addressed the federal death penalty. One may inquire what prompted this new study of an old topic. In addition, one might ask why if it had never done so in its 250 year history it has suddenly decided to include in its report the federal death penalty.

Paul T. Dacier, elected to be president of the BBA in September, 2013, had ordered this review of the organization’s stance on the death penalty upon taking office. He included in it a request to determine whether the BBA should speak out against federal capital punishment. Dacier, the in-house counsel for EMC, made his request within five months of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Dacier’s view is that “without equivocation, the death penalty has no place in the fair administration of justice and makes no sense on a practical level. Regardless of how heinous the crime, we stand strong against the death penalty in federal and state cases.”

The Edward Snowden Affair: Hero or Malcontent?

SnowdenEdward Snowden turned 30 last year. He dropped out of high school in his second year and never graduated. Somewhat later he acquired a GED  degree. He did not graduate from college. He took some college courses yet he never seemed to have the sticktoitiveness to complete anything. I suppose he was bright because his computer skills were such that he was hired by the CIA to do computer security work and eventually stole our country’s secrets using those skills.

His inability to stick to things followed him as he seemed to jump from job to job. He worked in Switzerland for the CIA, left that and went to Japan working for an NSA contractor; then in January 2013 we find him in Hawaii. At this time he reaches out trying to peddle intelligence community information.

An American Crime Story – Rewarded for Having a Man Murdered

smoking-gunIn Boston and its environs two cruel groups of men existed. They preyed upon others, most of whom were involved in illegal businesses themselves. They developed a system whereby they would oversee the illegal activities of others and provide security and protection for them in exchange for tribute payments. One group, LCN, consisted of men from a specific ethnic background, had relations throughout the USA with other criminal groups. The other, WH, open to all ethnic groups, confined its relations and doings with the local area. The two groups worked together when necessary but stayed out of the business of the other on most occasions.

Whitey Weekend Wrap: June 15, 2013: Photos, Guns, Bookies, Dreams

prosecutorsI truly think as strange as this may sound that the prosecutors have already won the case. I’d suggest they go back and review what they plan to do, cut it to the core and move on as rapidly as they can to the end so that the jurors will not forget what happened this week. prosecutor could rest and walk away with a big win.

Are The Birds Coming Home To Roost?

martinMartin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

He wrote:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

You see how it all begins, very slowly. Nothing is taken from us quickly it seems it is always taken from the other person. As long as it is the other, we sit back content to let it happen.

Jury Nullification: It’s A Grand Old Tradition

cropped-district-court.jpgI was going through an FBI list looking to see if I could find any information on Arthur Flegenheimer. I didn’t find it under that name. So I went looking under the pseudonym he used. I didn’t find him there. I thought perhaps because he was a big gangster back in 1935 the list wouldn’t include people back in those days.

I checked for Baby Face Nelson who was killed in 1934, he wasn’t there. I found Kate “Ma” Barker who was killed in 1935; Pretty Boy Floyd killed in 1934; John Dillinger also killed in 1934.

You may know of Flegenheimer as Dutch Schultz who was a big time hoodlum and bootlegger out of New York City. I was looking for him because I heard that a criminal jury did for him what one had done for OJ Simpson, who by the way is back in the news.