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RSS icon Comments on A Funny Thing Happened on Our Way to Last Week's Story About KC's Prosecution of a Teenage Prostitute

1

King County Superior Court Judges don't always do the right thing. It is a political gig, after all. Thank you for taking note, here on SLOG.

BTW, the justices on the Supreme Court don't follow the rules all the time either. For them as well, political expediency can trump rights.

Posted by trust me on this one | March 26, 2007 7:00 PM
2

Josh...

Who are you kidding?

The Stranger has a long history of being irresposnible in their writing.

The judge was 100% correct in what he did. In fact, he should have banned the Stranger from him court room.

As I write this, there is the Castle Super Store employee who was fired for allowing you to use his name in an Article.

Need you be reminded of you escorting Dan Savage into the Mayors office with drugs and a replica gun to prove a point?

The only reason your new intern was in that courtroom was to spin how this 3 time concicted criminal was a victim.

Let's face it, you were in Judge Schpira's court room, not the other way around.

Try and act accordingly.

Posted by He knew who he was dealing with | March 26, 2007 7:02 PM
3

Judge Carol A. Schapira.

Posted by Damien | March 26, 2007 7:49 PM
4

Issuing a gag order in juvenile court could also be seen as an attempt to protect a child. It sounds like the Judge might have been trying to minimize the ongoing victimization to the child in the courtroom. Even if it meant stepping out of line to do it.

Presumably, the Judge understands that a teenage prostitute is a 'per se' abuse victim. Presumably, the Judge has seen this kind of horrorshow before. And as the reporting shows, the court has little to offer in its 21st century role as the social service agency of last resort.

I'm not convinced that the Judge lacked the authority to issue a gag order under the circumstances. Perhaps a local lawyer could comment? Unpaid interns shouldn't have to find out the hard way what violating a court order could mean.

Just a thought.

Posted by r | March 26, 2007 8:02 PM
5

Yeah, I'm going to with the judge on this one. If that's all it takes to intimidate your intern (and to be fair to the intern, I rather doubt that it is) then he'd better find another line of work.

It's also, if I'm not mistaken, up to a newspaper whether or not they want to publish the name of a rape victim. But I'm not going to get too bent out of shape if a judge fibs about the law to keep a newspaper from doing it. And if you want to be technical about it, judges are, as far as I'm aware, under no legal obligation to tell courtroom observers the truth.

Posted by John Lilburne | March 26, 2007 8:08 PM
6

Re: at 4 -- Whatever it was that judge said or did, it was not "issue a gag order."

cheers!

Posted by a lawyer | March 26, 2007 8:12 PM
7

A quick review of the superior court calendar shows that all juvenile cases are indentified only by case number and the phrase junevile court. It doesn't seem like the judge's comment was out of line with court procedure Could there be a RCW or court rule against naming junevile defendants?

BTW-I get to sit down with Her Honor this week. Thanks for giving me a good conversation starter!

Posted by CSB | March 26, 2007 8:36 PM
8

@ 7-

If you actually show up at the Youth Services Center (aka Juvie) the court dockets are available to whoever wishes to peruse them. They contain full names, attorneys, charges and I believe, case numbers. That information can then be taken to any of the county clerk's offices and all pertinent court documents can then be retrieved. Unless records are sealed (and in some cases they may be) they are open and available to the public.

Posted by Jonah | March 26, 2007 9:22 PM
9

"judges are, as far as I'm aware, under no legal obligation to tell courtroom observers the truth."

True, so true. Judges are assholes. They'll say ALL KINDS of shit if it suits their purposes. ESPECIALLY if they have those black robes on. Frigging liars, most of them . . . .

Posted by eek-a-rat | March 26, 2007 9:25 PM
10

@5,
Jonah wasn't intimidated. We'd decided not to use the teenager's name well before the hearing.
The point is, the judge tried to intimidate him. Bad form.

Oh, and CSB,
Do report back on what Judge Schapira says about this.

Posted by Josh Feit | March 26, 2007 9:37 PM
11

This surprises me. In Canada it's illegal for the media to release names or show pictures of young offenders, even after they have been convicted. I always assumed the U.S. was the same way.

Posted by Rielle | March 26, 2007 11:12 PM
12

@ 11.

In America we have this little thing called the First Amendment.

It's pretty interesting. It says this:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Judges are generally out of line when they do bullshit like this. It's nice to have a blog where you can point it out. Or why not merely write an article about the judge? Or have an editor call the judge? Or do both?

Posted by Sam | March 26, 2007 11:42 PM
13

I don't know the law but your unssupported statement is not determinative.

It might be a break with the Stranger's usual procedure of ignoring facts in favor of "advocacy journalism" but maybe, Josh, just this one time, you could cite the exact RCW or Supreme Court Case which sates the law on this point?

Posted by David Sucher | March 27, 2007 6:49 AM
14

She was wrong. That's not necessarily an attempted intimidation, however. Sure, judges are expected to know law, but then there are law libraries that judges and lawyers use because they don't memorize it all. Confusion, here, could come from the fact that juvenile judges do offender cases, dependency cases, truancy cases, termination cases and others and the law as adopted by the legislature (not judges) says some of these proceedings are open to the public and some are not. How's this: dependency cases are open to the public unless the judge determines that it's in the best interests of the child (who is alleged or proved to be abused or neglected or abandoned, which is what a dependency case is about) but the documents in the court file are sealed and not available to the public? So yeah, she erred, but I don't think she was on the grassy knoll.

Posted by Algernon | March 27, 2007 7:31 AM
15

She was wrong. That's not necessarily an attempted intimidation, however. Sure, judges are expected to know law, but then there are law libraries that judges and lawyers use because they don't memorize it all. Confusion, here, could come from the fact that juvenile judges do offender cases, dependency cases, truancy cases, termination cases and others and the law as adopted by the legislature (not judges) says some of these proceedings are open to the public and some are not. How's this: dependency cases are open to the public unless the judge determines that it's in the best interests of the child (who is alleged or proved to be abused or neglected or abandoned, which is what a dependency case is about) but the documents in the court file are sealed and not available to the public? So yeah, she erred, but I don't think she was on the grassy knoll.

Posted by Algernon | March 27, 2007 7:32 AM
16

And yes, I'm an idiot. I clicked the "post" button twice.

Posted by Algernon | March 27, 2007 7:34 AM
17

12 - And yet, free speech is abridged in all sorts of ways in the US. So don't get so cocky about it. See, in Canada, they try to rehabilitate criminals. It's this weird thing they have. One of the things that feeds into that is that they don't publish or allow to be published the names of young offenders. It's a protection for the people who are most likely to benefit from rehabilitation.


If you want to get snitty about how great free speech is in the US, I'd like to remind you about the current issues with National Security Letters. You know, those things where the government requests information and says that you can't tell anyone about even getting the letter? They don't have those in Canada.

Posted by wench | March 27, 2007 10:50 AM
18

wench @ 17 thanks for reminding us about those letters.

It is important when discussing local government democrats abusing their power to remember that national government republicans also abuse their power. All cats are gray in the dark.

Posted by we're fucked by both of them | March 27, 2007 11:26 AM

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