Letters from jail

July 24, 2008
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If there’s ample evidence you wrote threatening letters to the president of the United States and chief justice of Canada, and you happened to include a white, powdery substance that could be mistaken for anthrax, then don’t try to appeal your convictions.

One inmate in the Westville Correctional Facility, Kerry Magers, decided while he was incarcerated to send these letters using his name and the correctional facility’s address.

He was convicted based on the evidence, but he appealed. His attorney smartly moved to withdraw because he thought any appeal would be frivolous.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the attorney’s motion today in USA v. Kerry Magers, finding all of Magers’ argument for appeal would be frivolous.

Kudos to Magers’ counsel for not attempting to file an appeal. I’ve read several opinions from the 7th Circuit in which the justices take attorneys to task for filing frivolous appeals.

Magers was found to be competent to stand trial, but there’s got to be something off about his way of thinking for him to send threatening letters stating, “enclosed is anthrax, Sincerely, Die,” and then to think that he could appeal his sentence when the evidence was overwhelming that he sent the letters.

Inmates have a lot of time on their hands, and they sometimes use it to write letters. Indiana Lawyer gets a few letters from inmates. Have you ever received a letter from an inmate and what’s the strangest letter you’ve received or heard about?
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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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