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Opinion | People Irate Over Why Ohio Judge Ordered Red Tape On Man’s Mouth – Do You Support This?

What do you think?

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A Cuyahoga County judge is finding himself in hot water for his unusual methods of handling defendant who refused to be silent in his courtroom recently drew national attention. Judge John Russo ordered a convicted robber to have his mouth taped shut during a sentencing hearing in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday sparking outrage.

32-year-old Franklyn Williams was convicted of three armed robberies, misusing credit cards and more in the suburbs of Cleveland. Throughout his sentencing, Williams refused to stop talking despite being warned more than a dozen times over the course of a mere 30 minute period. Since Williams refused to silence himself in the courtroom, interrupting the judge and even his own attorneys, Judge Russo ordered Williams’ mouth to be taped shut by six deputies.

SCREENSHOT: FOX 8

Even after the red tape was applied across Williams’ mouth, he persisted in his attempts to continue speaking. Fed up with Williams’ refusal to comply with even this most basic of requests,  Judge Russo angrily stated, “Mr. Williams, I’m the judge of the matter, shut your mouth, and I’ll tell you when you can talk!”

Trending: Judge Who Let Compound Muslims Walk Free Before Trial Exposed For What Else She Did

Williams’ replied – “You tryna take my life, and you not letting me tell you what’s going on.”

In response, Judge Russo then instructed more pieces of tape be put over Williams’ mouth so court proceedings could continue unimpeded.

According to Clevescene.com – “After Russo ordered the tape to be placed on his mouth, a deputy can be heard saying, ‘If you spit on, attempt to bite or injure any of my deputies, you’re going to have a bad day.’

‘Just put the tape on me man and get it over with,’ Williams said. As Williams was in contempt of court, Russo was well within his legal rights to order Williams to be gagged in the courtroom.”

Judge Russo defended the decision to Fox 8 stating – “I will say knowing Mr. Williams due to my handling of his four cases, Mr. Williams was someone who liked to speak. To speak and interrupt. When lawyers were talking, witnesses were talking. More importantly when I was talking,” said Judge Russo.

Judge Russo says he gave Williams more than a dozen warnings to stop talking over the course of 30 minutes, but Williams refused.

In fact, he even interrupted his own attorney.

“Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter. But we can’t do it at the same time or yelling over each other. My intent was never to silence Mr. Williams,” said Judge Russo.

But Judge Russo says he was forced to extreme measures to keep a clear record and maintain courtroom decorum.

“I gave him an opportunity to speak at the appropriate time. More than not, he continued to speak over me and others in the courtroom,” said Judge Russo.”

Williams was eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison by Judge Russo.

“Williams was convicted in December 2017 on three counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability, according to court documents. While his trial began late in 2017, Williams was present for the opening arguments but as the trial progressed unexpected delays occurred when Williams chose to cut his ankle bracelet and fled to Nebraska. While in Nebraska, Williams attempted to claim amnesia, stating he was hit over the head and subsequently lost his memory.

However, prosecutors played phone calls Williams made to his family in court on Tuesday proving there was no amnesia and he remembered everything. Additional information was also recovered from Williams’ phone demonstrating Williams was attempting to research how he could potentially beat the criminal charges levied against him.

This was actually Williams’ second trial stemming from the original charges. He was found guilty at the first trial and sentenced to up to 14 years in prison, however, he was granted an appeal on a technicality after it was determined he was misinformed about when he would be might eligible for early release from prison.

Despite all of the opportunities Williams was given and the fact Williams was clearly in contempt of court, as well as Judge Russo’s right to have him gagged due to Williams’ refusal to cease speaking when told to do so, outrage, accusations of railroading, and cries of racism swiftly followed.

One man posted on Instagram stating – “In slavery news, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John Russo sentenced 32-year-old Franklyn Williams to 24 years in prison on Tuesday for his role in three armed robberies, but not before he asked his deputies to tape Williams’s mouth shut.
Williams reportedly would not stop talking when Russo warned him to stop more than a dozen times over 30 minutes. The suspect allegedly interrupted his attorneys as well as the judge because he said didn’t know the court appointed attorney. Looks like he recognized he was being railroaded and wanted to at least go down fighting. #30yearsofControversy”

Another woman claimed gagging Williams in court was a “human rights violation.”

Another man claimed Judge Russo’s actions almost brought him to tears while claiming “human rights are starting to become a mere memory.”

It seems Williams’ history of violence and complete disregard for the law are not on trial in the court of public opinion, nor is Williams complete lack of respect for the court or his refusal to heed multiple warnings to cease to speak. Instead, Judge Russo has been convicted in trial by social media, where facts are neither relevant nor do they matter.

 

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Colorado Christian Cake Shop Owner Exonerated By Supreme Court Just Got Really Bad News

This is outrageous!

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Here we go again. I’m sure you are familiar with the Colorado Christian cake shop owner who just won a huge case in front of the Supreme Court this last June. Jack Phillips is the Christian baker who made history by prevailing in front of the High Court after he refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of religious beliefs. Most of America celebrated with Phillips when he won the case and it provided a glimmer of hope for religious freedom once again here in the United States.

At the time of Phillips case, the Supreme Court admonished the state’s attorney who was standing against the baker for religious intolerance. He allegedly made a number of comments that gave the court pause on First Amendment grounds. The Supreme Court issued a powerful rebuke to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its “religious hostility” toward Christian baker Jack Phillips. They were right to think that and it has been proven even more to be true this week as this baker just got really bad news. Phillips just filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. From what I am seeing he is being set up to be taken down in a different legalistic move… this time it involves gender issues.

Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom contend that the Commission has revived its campaign against him following June’s High Court decision, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs. It’s like deja vu all over again.

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, who is an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney that represents Phillips. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

The person allegedly behind all of this is an attorney named Autumn Scardina. She reportedly called Phillips’ shop the day the decision in his favor was rendered and asked him to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. The caller asked that the cake be blue on the outside and pink on the inside. Over several months after that, Phillips received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, s******y explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. He’s convinced that Scardina was the one who made all of the requests to set him up for legal action.

From PJ Media:

“To forestall a second round of litigation, ADF filed suit against the commission in federal court. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of U.S. Advocacy and Administration, told PJ Media his firm would “preemptively file a lawsuit in federal court to try to stop what the commission is doing.”

“‘We think the circumstances are uniquely aligned to do that,” Tedesco explained.

“Especially since the Supreme Court ruled that the commission had treated Phillips unfairly on the basis of his religion, thus violating his right to free exercise, this follow-up round seems particularly noxious. “It seems like another round of targeting him and putting him through this very difficult process simply because he wants to be faithful in his business in what he creates through his art,” Tedesco said.

“The commission could have decided not to pursue this second case against Phillips. The ADF lawyer explained that, when a Colorado citizen thinks he or she has been discriminated against, they file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division, which then conducts an investigation and determines probable cause.

“When Autumn Scardina filed this complaint, Tedesco would have expected the civil rights commission to reject it. “After Masterpiece came down from the Supreme Court, we expected Colorado to take that into account and realize that it was a bad decision to keep targeting Jack for his religious convictions,” the lawyer explained. “Instead, they found probable cause.”

“‘He’s going to be fully investigated again, there will be hearings from an administrative law judge,” Tedesco said. “It’s restarting the entire scenario.”

“‘It’s appalling,” the lawyer declared. “It’s unconscionable that they would go after him again right on the heels of losing a case because they were openly hostile to his religious beliefs.'”

Scardina has now filed a complaint with the civil rights commission. She is alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The complaint was held aside while the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ other case. Just three weeks after Phillips won his case, the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination. This sure looks as though it was all planned out this way. “Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit states. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”

The freedom of religion is sacrosanct in this nation as a First Amendment right. Weaponizing lawfare to take it apart is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable. I sincerely hope that Phillips prevails once more and that a more solid ruling by the Supreme Court puts an end to this form of religious bigotry.

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Judge Who Let Compound Muslims Walk Free Before Trial Exposed For What Else She Did

She supported Obama of course!

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The New Mexico judge who on Monday set a ridiculous $20,000 bail for five defendants arrested at a remote New Mexico compound where authorities say children were being trained to conduct school shootings seems to have a history of issuing low bail to violent offenders, especially when it comes to crimes against children.

Judge Sarah Backus (let’s remember the name), who is an elected Democrat is the judge who ordered the two men and three women to wear ankle monitors, have weekly contact with their attorneys and not consume alcohol or own firearms while on bail, after paying the 20k. And what’s possibly the worst part of all this is she actually said that although she was concerned by the “troubling facts” in this case, prosecutors failed to make the case for any specific threats to the community. What????

Here is more on this case via NBC News:

“A 3-year-old boy died — allegedly during a religious ritual. Children said they were being trained to commit mass shootings. A large weapons cache was found, with practice targets.

On Monday, prosecutors detailed horrifying allegations against five adults who were found with 11 starving children in a makeshift compound in Taos County, New Mexico — but the judge said they weren’t backed by enough evidence to keep the defendants behind bars as they await their trial.

“The state alleges that there was a big plan afoot,” state District Judge Sarah Backus said in court. “But the state hasn’t shown to my satisfaction, in clear and convincing evidence, what that plan was.”

The decision stunned many, and prompted threats against Backus. But experts say the move is the result of a series of recent changes to how the state treats defendants before their trials, with “clear and convincing evidence” of being a danger to the community a legal requirement for pre-trial detention with no bail.

“These people have been charged. They have not been convicted,” said Leo Romero, a law professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico and the chairman of a committee that made recommendations on reforming cash bail in the state, which were adopted by the state Supreme Court in 2017.

“So you’re balancing individual rights versus safety of the community, and the judge is weighing that when she is determining the evidence presented by the prosecutor,” he said.

New Mexico is part of a wave of a states that, in recent years, have re-examined how they handle bail and pretrial detention.

In 2014, the state Supreme Court, in New Mexico vs. Walter Ernest Brown, deemed that even if someone is charged with a serious offense, a judge has to make an individual determination on whether to detain the defendant before trial.

“Just because someone is charged with first-degree m****r or first-degree sexual assault, that by itself is insufficient,” Romero said. “The court’s got to consider other evidence of whether the person might be a danger or a flight risk, such as the nature and circumstances, which is different than the charge itself.”

Authorities have “no excuse,” said Jason Badger, who reported seeing missing boy months ago.
And in 2016, an overwhelming number of voters agreed to a constitutional amendment that moved the state away from the traditional money-based bail system to an evidence-of-risk-based system of release and detention, in an effort to bring more fairness. The new system took effect last year.

Backus would not comment on the case because it is still pending. Barry Massey, a spokesman for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, said that “what she said in court yesterday is as much explanation for her decisions as she can provide.”

“Prosecutors have to file a motion, and then they have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that no other conditions of release will reasonably protect the public’s safety,” he said. “What the judge said yesterday is that they didn’t meet that burden.”

While Backus agreed to release the defendants from jail to house arrest, she required them to wear GPS ankle monitors and to check in weekly with their attorneys, plus cooperate with the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Division.

The decision not to hold the defendants spurred a backlash on social media, with some calling for Backus to resign. The New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts said the judge had also received threatening phone calls and emails.

State Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, a former law enforcement officer, said he felt Backus had not been tough enough.

“There’s the remains of a young child found here,” he said. “Someone should be charged with some kind of homicide or m****r. Whoever did that clearly is a violent person, and so they should be detained.”

Bail was set at $20,000 for each defendant, but Backus said she would allow the defendants to walk out on what’s called a signature bond — in which case they don’t have to post any cash.

The case has yet another twist: While the five were released to house arrest, because they were living on a makeshift compound on someone else’s property, they don’t technically have a house to go to.

Massey said that had been solved by offers from residents in Taos County to let them stay with them.

Marie Legrand Miller, a public defender for one of the defendants, Hujrah Wahhaj, confirmed her client had received such offers, but would not say from whom, other than to say the residents didn’t have any criminal problems and were in good standing.

“My client would like to obviously get out of jail and she has no desire to go back to the compound property,” Legrand Miller said. “The judge has ordered that they not return there, and she has no desire to return there.”

Fox News has reported that this isn’t the first time judge Backus has pulled a stunt like this. Just last month, she set a $10,000 bond for 24-year-old Rafael Orozco from Taos who was accused of beating his girlfriend, his newborn child and even a healthcare worker at Holy Cross Hospital in September 2016. He then prompted a lockdown at Holy Cross Hospital after allegedly attacking those 3 individuals.

Police later confirmed that Orozco prompted the lockdown at the hospital after punching his girlfriend as she breastfed their newborn in front of a male doctor, grabbing the mother by the throat and slapping the baby. Orozco then fled the hospital and was arrested in Rio Arriba County a few months later.

During his time in prison, Orozco was accused of other crimes, including obtaining Suboxone, an opioid medication, and pulling a fire alarm. A year later, he and his brother, Cristian Orozco, were charged with assaulting and threatening a guard. In September, Backus approved an order to incarcerate Orozco at the Lea County Correctional Facility until his trial.

Orozco’s defense attorney recently filed a motion arguing for his release and last month, Backus ruled in his favor.

Of course, with a little research, we here at RWN found that Judge Backus apparently gave money to Barack Obama for his 2008 campaign for president.

Figures.

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