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The Dalles Chronicle
As of Saturday, September 7, 2013
The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom...
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It would be nice if the judiciary, the closest thing we have to royalty in America, would be as "respectful" in their comments as DA Nisley has been.
It seems interesting that neither the CHRONICLE nor the presiding judge have seen fit to comment on the routine filing of affidavits by DEFENSE lawyers in Wasco County against the other circuit judge who lives in Wasco County - Judge Wolf. His sin is that he is married to a Deputy DA. There are many, many judges married to lawyers across Oregon. Ethical rules prevent them from appearing in front of a spouse. But no-one say in Multnomah County is bothered by the fact that the former head of the Metro Public Defender Office is married to a very aggressive defense lawyer. The DA is expected to appear in front of him and does. Since judges who were defense lawyers or married to them are much more common than those who have prosecutor spouses it would seem that if Judge Wolf is tocix, so should at least a couple dozen other judges state-wide. Where's the outrage over that?
Judge Crowley could have expressed his concern about one of FIVE judges being disqualified but instead, like Judge Stauffer, launches into a personal attack on DA Nisley, something Nisley does not do in your news pages. Crowley opines that no-one elected Nisley judge. True, but no-one elected Crowley DA and in our system there aren't just defendant rights - like the 6th amendment quoted in your editorial, but since 1999 victims have Rights, enforceable by the DA, who was elected to protect victims, particularly if a judge makes derogatory comments about a case before she's heard the case. Oregon is one of a small number of states that give accused criminals the sole right to "waive jury.." most states require both sides to agree. The right to a jury trial is a community right, like the right to a public trial. How would the CHRONICLE feel if a prominent defendant wanted to "waive his right to a public trial?"
This same judge apparently doesn't like certain laws. Judges don't make laws, they referee fair trials. Legislatures change or abolish crimes.
It sounds like Nisley tried to "mediate" this dispute but half the problem failed to show up..
IF Nisley as DA doesn't think his client, the people of the state, can get a fair trial, it's his OBLIGATION to do what defense attorneys do with regularity - file an "affidavit against a judge." If a DA think affidavits against s a judge can't be fair period it would be unethical for him to simply file some but not other affidavits. If the Court staff and judge are so concerned, what about the regular practice of defense lawyers filing affidavits against Judge Wolf? Isn't that causing just as much or more problems? Why isn't THAT news?
DA Nisley is one of the most respected DAs in Oregon and was most recently the President of the state DA's Association.
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