Re: Now Walk it Back

1

As far as I know, prosecutors working in adversarial kind of court situations always over-charge, because that gives them a stronger opening negotiating position to get the plea they want.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:15 AM
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Somewhat unrelated, but I was the only person going to the end of the line of a certain bus route last night. The bus driver pulls over at the 2nd to last stop, says that he's got to make an appointment and will be back in about 3 minutes.

He turned off the engine and shut off the lights and walked out. I was freaking out, because I couldn't open the back door, but luckily, the front door was open ajar, and I was able to push my way out, and I walked the last few blocks

Oh MBTA, where is your accountability?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:19 AM
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2: Call them. There must be a complaints number, and the time and bus line will unambiguously identify the driver.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:21 AM
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Normally they don't, and I hadn't looked to get his ID number.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:23 AM
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Apparently I can write or e-mail the superintendent of that particular line.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:25 AM
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Sue for false imprisonment!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:29 AM
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Oddly enough, a chunk of what I do professionally is, roughly, appeals from traffic tickets. In NYC, traffic violations are adjudicated in an administrative hearing, rather than in court -- no prosecutor, just an Administrative Law Judge. If the driver doesn't like the result, they can appeal inside the DMV, and if they don't like the result of the DMV appeal, they can bring a special proceeding in a real court (in NY, the lowest level court of general jurisdiction is the Supreme Court, which confuses people from other states.) And one of the things I do is represent the DMV in these special proceedings.

So I read a fair number of transcripts of the administrative hearings (although a selected set, because the only ones I ever see are the ones where a driver was pissed off enough to go to court over it). And I don't see automatic writedowns. Sometimes a tendency to find an excuse to knock a couple of mph of a charged speed, to get it into a lower offense category, but not much more than that.

(I'm not sure why I got presidential over that -- it's not as if anything I said was confidential, I just don't want my pseud unambiguously attached to my exact job.)


Posted by: Abigail Adams | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:30 AM
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And of course, this is going to be one of those 'different in every state' deals. It's even different in NYC and upstate -- I think the admin hearings deal is NYC only, and in the rest of the state the regular courts handle traffic tickets too.


Posted by: Abigail Adams | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:32 AM
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in NY, the lowest level court of general jurisdiction is the Supreme Court, which confuses people from other states

It is, of course, totally absurd.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:36 AM
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Well, yes. We try not to think about it too hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:36 AM
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After that, you've got the Court of Appeals. What's the name of the top court?

In MA, our legislature is called the General Court. That's why our top court is called the Supreme Judicial Court and not just the Supreme Court.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:42 AM
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A guy I know from out of town got a mistaken parking ticket and went in to the Brooklyn administrative law place to appeal. He ended up drawing a judge who was literally blind but somehow could tell from just hearing his voice that he was an honest man and his case should be dismissed. My acquaintance was delighted to have a Real New York Story® to take back to Seattle.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:44 AM
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Actually, the Appellate Division is the first layer of appellate review. The Court of Appeals is the highest court.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:44 AM
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12: Jest another case of Ammmmerican Bliiiiind Justice! </Arlo>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:45 AM
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resonates with other people's traffic-court experiences

Yes. Like a complete sucker, I just mailed in my speeding fines for years. Turns out (at least in NC) they'll almost always knock it down to a level that won't raise your premiums, unless you were going drag racing speeds or got popped in a work zone.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:46 AM
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You kniw, I was taught that ince, and it's easily googleable.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:46 AM
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A classics prof friend of mine had a run in (of which she is not especially proud) with one of those administrative ticket judges, who was very, very elderly. I don't even know what the offense was, but the judge immediately started in with the "OH HO! A professor! I bet you think you're really smart, but not smart enough not to end up here, hahaha. Oh, look! A classics professor! Well, what would Plato say, do you think?" To which she replied, "You can ask him. You'll be seeing him long before I will." Eep.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:48 AM
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Yes. Like a complete sucker, I just mailed in my speeding fines for years. Turns out (at least in NC) they'll almost always knock it down to a level that won't raise your premiums, unless you were going drag racing speeds or got popped in a work zone.

You've been given speeding fines by jurisdictions less than 150 miles from where you live? That sounds unusual.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:51 AM
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17: I'd think the percentage play would be something like, "Good point, sir. Probably something like [Shut the fuck up, asshole]" with the bracketed text delivered in Greek.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:55 AM
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I'd really like to know the historical reason the Supreme Courts in NY are the lowest-level. Wikipedia points to the erstwhile Supreme Court of Judicature in England, but further research suggests that name only dates to an 1873 reorganization.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:55 AM
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17: !!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:57 AM
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I don't actually know. If I were going to make something up, I'd guess that it relates to the fact that it's a court of general jurisdiction -- there are all sorts of different goofy little courts that can handle subsets of litigation -- Civil Court, various town and village courts, I don't know what all is out there -- but Supreme Court has jurisdiction over pretty much everything that can be brought to a court at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:58 AM
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In Pennsylvania It goes

Superannuated Court
||||||||||||||||||||
Supernal Court
||||||||||||||||||||
Superlative Court
||||||||||||||||||||
Supreme Court
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Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:00 AM
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18: All my speeding tickets have been within 50 miles of my house. I'm not sure what you mean.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:03 AM
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Like a complete sucker, I just mailed in my speeding fines for years.

This cracked me up. Can't keep me down, North Carolina Highway Patrol!

||
No more masturbating to Editor & Publisher.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:06 AM
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Hm, I'm looking at a history of the system -- it might have the answer buried somewhere. So far, it seems there was a reorganization in 1847, and before that (perhaps after that too) there was just one Supreme Court - maybe the reorganization copied that type of court into every county.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:07 AM
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In Maryland, the highest court is the Court of Appeals. Which takes cases, on cert, from the Court of Special Appeals. That is, the Court of Special Appeals will take any old appeal, but only special appeals go to the Court of Appeals.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:08 AM
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Thomas Hoving is dead. Thanks for the Euphronios krater, you scoundrel.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:11 AM
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So how far west do you have to go before states start naming their courts sensibly?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:14 AM
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Iowa, if you want to avoid places where one appeals from a Circuit to a District.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:21 AM
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I'm giving up. I keep reading descriptions of the current system that make it seem like there's only one Supreme Court in New York.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:28 AM
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22 is what I always sort of thought based on nothing. It actually made perfect sense to me the first time I heard it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:33 AM
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only one Supreme Court in New York.

Well, kind of. I mean, there's Supreme Court, NY County, and Supreme Court, Rockland County, and so on, but it's all the same court.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the Euphronios krater, you scoundrel.

Too bad the Met couldn't keep it. I'm sorry to hear the news, as I've always found Hoving enjoyable, despite the massive ego and all. The last quote in the Observer's item shows him right in character to the end.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:58 AM
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I should note that this thread has cleared up an ongoing minor confusion I've always had with Law & Order. ("This case is just going to trial; why are they in the Supreme Court? Meh, must be some NY thing.")


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:59 AM
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A listserv I used to follow had one very active member who was an Administrative Law Judge in NYC and complained about it all the time. Apparently spending all day every day adjudicating parking ticket disputes is not much fun.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:02 PM
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I think 22 is probably right. Those local judges upstate are kind of notorious; there was a big article in the NYT a couple years ago about how corrupt and incompetent they are. Most of them apparently aren't even lawyers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:04 PM
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28: It was my favorite thing in the whole damn place.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:05 PM
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I'm heartbroken to learn that the father of my sister's childhood best friend, and the host of Crestwood, NY's best all-night Xmas Eve bash, was only a Supreme Court judge, not a Supreme Court judge.

I think I'd read something to this effect long ago, but ignored it so I could hold on to my precious childhood memories.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:07 PM
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it also carries the inscription "Leagros is handsome." on the reverse. This inscription has allowed art historians to date the krater to approximately 520-510 BC, because at this time Leagros was considered the handsomest man in Greece.

Perhaps Euphronios was unusually perceptive (or pervy), and it actually dates to ca. 530 BC. Or perhaps he was loyal to the hunks of his youth, and it's post-500.

So literal-minded, the archaeologists!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:11 PM
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38: Mine too, except for when they had that giant Vermeer show a few years ago and brought The Art of Painting from Vienna. I was very fond of the story behind its acquisition, which was probably colored by hearsay from my friend who spoke to both Hoving and Hecht about it at various times.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:16 PM
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40: Like, half the pots (this is not literally true) from that time period bear the incription "ho pais kalos" -- the boy is beautiful -- pretty much no matter the subject matter of the pot. Wacky Greeks.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:22 PM
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+s


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:23 PM
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I don't know how archaeologists do it. I like those pots and can look at them for a while, but even with a fairly small collection, I don't manage to look over every pot in a museum visit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:25 PM
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42: Luckily, SCIENCE proves that men have a biologically fixed sexuality, uninfluenced by society, while women have a fluid sexuality and changeable sexual orientation. So all those inscriptions on Greek pots mean that we can do research and discover what it was that was commoner in ancient Greece than in the modern world that is the physical cause of teh Ghey.

Right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:26 PM
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...we can do research and discover what it was that was commoner in ancient Greece than in the modern world that is the physical cause of teh Ghey.

Sequestration of women in the literate classes?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:29 PM
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what it was that was commoner in ancient Greece than in the modern world that is the physical cause of teh Ghey

Hot Greek men, perhaps?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:56 PM
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33: In what sense? There are different judges, dockets, courthouses, etc., county-by-county, but technically in an institutional sense it's all the same court? That seems odd.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:34 PM
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48: You got it. There's some standard boilerplat in Illinois along these lines for the appellate court. There is only one appellate court, though made up of 5 districts, and a trial court is obligated to follow the pronouncement of the appellate court even if issued by a district of the court other than the one in which the trial court sits. (I butchered that, but am too lazy to go look the exact language up.) This is distinct from the federal system where the district court for the middle district in Florida is free to conclude that the 7th Circuit can go get stuffed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:40 PM
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For instance, a police officer who's used to a judge walking back his charge might err on the more severe side of possible charges, knowing full well that the judge is just going to march it back anyhow.

As Sifu said, it's prosecutors negotiating with defense attorney's rather than merely judges walking it back, but yeah, there's definitely situations where you try and hang as many charges on the person as possible.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:15 PM
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There are different judges, dockets, courthouses, etc., county-by-county, but technically in an institutional sense it's all the same court? That seems odd.

"Are you saying that all these different traffic courts are the same? But they all have different judges and courthouses!"
"It's a Platonic thing. All the traffic courts are of the same substance, but each one has different accidents."
(rimshot)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 5:15 AM
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