Judge Kenneth Post Outed: Dangerous
JUDGE POST: (to the defendant) When they give you a drug test today, are you going to be clean or dirty?
MILLARD: (My client) is going to stand mute to that question, your honor.
POST: He's not going to stand mute. He's either going to answer the question or I'm going to remand him to jail.
MILLARD: Your honor -
POST: You can have a seat.
MILLARD: Your honor, I'm -
POST: Sit down.
MILLARD: I'm Counsel, your honor.
POST: I'm encouraged. Both of you sit down.
MILLARD: I'm his attorney, your honor.
POST: I'm encouraged.
MILLARD: (My client) has a 5th Amendment right.
POST: Counsel, I'm setting bond. There's two ways we can do this. I can give him 30 days from the date that he last used to be clean, or I'll remand him to jail until such time as he's clean and then we'll go from there.
MILLARD: And I -
POST: Would you please be quiet? I really appreciate that. Thank you.
MILLARD: I apologize.
POST: (to the defendant) When was the last time that you used controlled substances? Let me have the date please.
MILLARD: Your honor, (my client) has a 5th Amendment -
POST: I'm not charging him with using controlled substance, Counsel. He's not charged with that charge. I'm interested in getting a clean, honest bond response. Now, if you don't want to do that, you can leave. Your call.
MILLARD: (My client) has a 6th Amendment right to assist, effective assistance of counsel.
POST: That's right. And that's not what he's getting at the moment.
MILLARD: Your honor, I strongly disagree with that.
POST: I'm glad.
MILLARD: I've been nothing but respectful and I will always be respectful to the bench.
POST: Then would you please let him answer my questions?
MILLARD: (My client) has a 5th Amendment right not to make admissions, and, your honor, the manner in which this proceeding is being conducted, strongly has the, at least I'm getting the sense that it threatens to tread on that 5th Amendment right.
The judge and the attorney went back and forth for a bit on the 5th Amendment, the court's ability to order drug testing and the attorney's suggestion to set a date for his client to take a drug test. Then —
POST: I'm not interested in what you think. Haven't you gotten that yet?
MILLARD: I have gotten that, and I... understand that, and your honor, the court fully, certainly has the right to not care what I say. How —
POST: Thank you. Then be quiet. ... (Then, to the defendant) When was the last time that you, the date that you last used controlled substances, sir?
Millard interrupted and stopped his client from answering.
POST: One more word, and I'm going to hold you in contempt.
Soon after, as Millard continued to bring up the constitutional protections his client had, Post cited him in contempt and fined him $100. Millard continued to speak up on his client's behalf.
Every once in a while, a story like this, of an attorney who was given a choice of whether to risk his own skin or sacrifice his client, comes along. Few lawyers will show the guts to take the contempt, to refuse to allow their clients to be bullied. They won't sit down. They won't shut up. They will take the bullet.
Awards are given out by criminal defense bar associations to lawyers who have the ability to fill a table with warm bodies. They should be given to lawyers like Scott Millard for having the guts to risk his own wonderful life in order to protect his client from a judge like Post. It may not be much, but Millard gets the Simple Justice Lawyer with Balls Award.
And Judge Kenneth Post, filled with self-importance and god-like power, wins nothing, and hopefully the powerful folks in Michigan will swiftly make certain that he is never in a position of power over anyone again. May he choke on his robes.
H/T Tim Farhill (the Australian one)
12/9/2011 5:08 PM
Nashville Criminal Law Report wrote:
Drug Testing in the criminal justice system is currently a hot topic . My last post was on drug testing for Tennessee judges. Last week Michigan criminal defense lawyer Scott Millard was jailed when he stood up to a...