Judge tosses Douglas, Zanotti manslaughter charges
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 08/27/2008 01:30:57 AM PDT
Judge throws out involuntary manslaughter case
By KAREN WILKINSON, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Aug 26 2008, 11:03 PM · Updated: Aug 27 2008, 12:06 AM
Everyone that sees "DISMISSED" knows in his or her heart that Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney legally granted every police officer in Humboldt County the licence to kill with impunity.
When "Feeney began Tuesday's hearing by saying he believed the grand jury indicted without sufficient probable cause to establish that the defendants had committed an illegal act or a lawful act in a criminally negligent manner" he superimposed his judgments over the findings of the people. He made the Grand Jury system a mockery. He also put this community on notice, you are all on your own when you can be gunned down on a mere "belief."
The most disgusting and disingenuous statement observed to date that defines the "police" attitude justifying this whole tragedy was a quote by "William Rapoport, who was representing Zanotti in the matter. '(This case has) destroyed a huge part of these men's lives for the last nine months, and it's time they go some relief. ... They've had a cloud hanging over their heads for no good reason other than someone's political aspirations.'" The report goes on to say: "Douglas and Zanotti were not immediately available for comment." I would guess not!
Not when this clown, Rapoport can dismiss life and law with such casual and calloused disregard.
ADDENDUM: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 :: Comments in The Eureka Reporter as reported by Karen Wilkinson. Note: "Attorney William Bragg, who along with William Rapaport and Greg Rael, represented Douglas and Zanotti, said he expected the dismissal, adding the case shouldn’t have been one in the first place. He cited overwhelming case evidence on the defense’s side and said Feeney made the decision based on the law." HOWEVER, Mr Greenson for The Times Standard quotes the Judge to say, "The court's sympathies are extended to the friends and family of Ms. Moore for her tragic death, but the court cannot find evidence of any criminal conduct by Chief Douglas or Lt. Zanotti." The Judge didn't quote "law." He acted on his opinion. Judges are NOT the law.
Karen Wilkenson continues: "The defense attorneys filed motions starting in June seeking to have the case dismissed. The motions stated Gallegos misrepresented the law to the grand jury and didn’t provide evidence that would have helped justify the men’s decisions in the standoff." Joe contends that if Mr. Gallegos "misrepresented the law to the grand jury and didn’t provide evidence" he did so deliberately; he's hardly that stupid, incompetent or politically motivated.
His concluding statement in The Eureka Reporter indicates that he has his priorities or legal responsibilities a bit sqewed. Note: "While he understands the support the former EPD leaders received from others in law enforcement, Gallegos said there’s also an obligation to Moore’s family. He hopes the judicial determination will bring closure to her family, the community and those involved." If his sworn Oath of Office means anything, his first priority is to the Law and then to the community. While it is a tragedy for the Moore family it is a bigger tragedy for the community. No "judicial determination" in and of itself "brings closure." JUSTICE brings closure!