Plenty of drama at the Mirkarimi hearing

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I’m glad I got to the courtroom early; by the time Judge Susan Breall called the case of People v. Ross Mirkarimi, there wasn’t a single seat available, and Her Honor wasn’t allowing standing room.

What followed was a quick “not guilty” plea to three misdemeanor charges – and then a session that lasted more than two hours, with a long interruption, as the prosecution and defense argued over whether Mirkarimi was such a threat to his wife and two-year-old son that he should be forced to stay away from them and avoid any form of contact until after what is expected to be an early March trial.

In the process, Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, made a passionate plea against the restraining order and Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Aguilar-Tarchi introduced new evidence to support her claims that the newly elected Sheriff is not only guilty of domestic violence but too dangerous to allow into his own home.

In the end, Breall – who once worked as a prosecutor in domestic violence cases – issued the order forbidding the sheriff from any contact with his wife and child, and told Mirkarimi and his attorney, Robert Waggener, to return to court Jan. 23 to set a trial date.

Breall angered Lopez – and some courtroom observers – by saying she was concerned that the 36-year-old Venezuelan soap opera star was new to the country and lacked fluency in English and a family support system. Waggener noted that the length of time Lopez had lived in the United States and her language skills weren’t part of the evidence in the case and had nothing to do with the need for a protective order. He later told me that it was unusual for a judge to mention or consider that sort of information in a restraining order.

In fact, Breall noted that she had learned about Lopez’ background from reading the newspapers, leading Waggener to insist that the judge stick to the facts before her and not rely on news accounts that the attorney said were inaccurate.

At times, the proceedings turned bizarre: After Lopez had been identified by her full name and discussed at some length, her attorney noted that the last name and address of a domestic violence victim should not be in the public record. Breall agreed, and from then on referred to her only as “Eliana L.”

A little late for that, of course: The local news media have put her picture and full name on the front pages and the airwaves repeatedly in the past week.

Early in the proceedings, Breall asked if Lopez had seen a victim advocate in the District Attorney’s Office, noting that such a visit was part of standard procedure in these kinds of cases. Shortly afterward, Lopez left the courtroom; we later learned she had walked down the hall to the D.A.’s Office and met with the advocate.

Waggener asked repeatedly during the afternoon that statements from Lopez be taken in a closed courtroom, citing her privacy rights. Breall declined, and refused to put any documents under court seal.

After delaying the case for roughly an hour while Lopez had her meeting and Waggener read over the documents that had already been published in local newspapers but had only that day been provided to him, the judge came back and heard arguments on the stay-away order – and we learned more about the evidence that the D.A. will be presenting in the case.

Waggener noted that after reading the documents he had received, he saw nothing that would justify barring Mirkarimi from seeing his family. Aguilar-Tarchi started to discuss what the now-famous videotape that neighbor Ivory Madison made of Lopez showing a bruise and discussing a confrontation with her husband, but Lopez’s lawyer interrupted with an interesting new claim: She said that when Lopez had met with Madison, who is a lawyer, she believed that everything she said would be protected by attorney-client privilege and thus shouldn’t be admitted as evidence.

That will no doubt come up later – but for now, Breall wasn’t interested.

Then Lopez took the stand.

Speaking in English – relatively fluent English – she first chided the judge for the comments about her language skills and her residency in the U.S. “This idea that I’m a poor little immigrant is insulting,” she said. “It’s a little racist.”

She said that, rather than being adrift without a support system, she was someone who had been living on her own for 16 years, had her own career and her own apartment in Venezuela (one larger and nicer than her home in San Francisco). She said she’s spent time in Los Angeles and New York and had traveled in Mexico, London, Tibet, Europe and all over Latin America.

“I don’t need the support of my (extended) family,” she said. “I support my family.”

She also said that the press coverage, while unfair, was nothing she couldn’t handle: “I’ve been working in TV for 15 years,” she noted. “Check out the press in Venezuela. This is nothing.”

Then she got into her point: She saw no need for a protective order, didn’t fear her husband and found the whole idea abhorrent. “The violence against me is that I don’t have my family together,” she said. “This country is trying to pull my family apart, and that is the real violence.”

Aguilar-Tarchi wasn’t done, though. After Lopez finished, she repeated some of the allegations in the video, but then described text messages that Lopez had allegedly sent to Madison. “She told a neighbor that she was afraid,” the prosecutor said. “She asked if she could change the locks on the door. She asked if she would have to go to the police or if the police would come to her.”
The text messages also stated, Aguilar-Tarchi said, that Mirkarimi was scared and didn’t want the story to come out and that he had taken Lopez and their son, Theo, on a vacation to Monterey in an effort to prove that everything was fine. “My little Theo is so confused,” one of the messages allegedly said.

Waggener argued that the case wasn’t yet on trial and that much of the evidence was hearsay. And, he said, “in terms of what this court sees all the time, broken bones etc., this is on the low end.” He explained that the couple had been together from the day of the incident – New Year’s Eve – until the day the original protective order was issued, “with no complaints or evidence of violence.” He called the description of the videotape (which hasn’t been shown in court) “highly distorted.”

Breall said some nice (if somewhat condescending) things about Lopez, who she called “charming,” but wasn’t swayed. “I am going to treat this case like any other case,” she said, issuing the order that would keep Mirkarimi away from his wife and child until the end of the trial. Waggener later said he would come back to Breall to seek a modification in that order next week. Breall said the trial would start no later than March 5.

(In an interesting side note, the prosecution demanded that Mirkarimi give up the three guns in his possession. I never knew he kept guns in his house. At any rate, they’ve already been turned over to the authorities.)

I walked out thinking: This is just awful. There’s really nothing positive you can say about it.

I’ve known Ross Mirkarimi for years; I’ve never seen any hint of violence in his behavior. Of course, I’m not that close to him, and I don’t know anything about his marriage. Still, somebody who has been part of the progressive community for a long time has been accused of something really terrible, and it has a lot of us shaking our heads and, frankly, wondering what to think. You want to stand by a friend who’s in trouble (and lord knows, I have plenty of friends who’ve been arrested and charged with all manner of crimes, and some of them were guilty as sin, and they’re still my friends).

But I’ve also helped a close friend through episodes of domestic violence, and I can tell you it isn’t a minor deal, or a private family affair (as Mirkarimi foolishly and inappropriately stated). It’s a serious crime, and for many years, the cops and the courts didn’t treat it that way. And because it used to be really hard for women to get stay-away orders (and in some areas, it still is), women have been badly hurt and sometimes killed.

It’s only because progressive political leaders (the same progressives my blog trolls love trash at the slightest provocation) demanded changes in the law that the rules now allow for prosecution even if the alleged victim doesn’t cooperate. It’s only because of progressive reforms that a case like this is even in court.

And I agree with those reforms. As I’ve said before, there’s no excuse for intentionally injuring anyone – and there’s less than no excuse for injuring your spouse. If that’s what Mirkarimi did, he should be held accountable. It doesn’t matter what side of the political divide he’s on. If he’s guilty of domestic violence, I’m not going to make excuses for him.

More than a misdemeanor charge is on the line. All Mirkarimi has done professionally is progressive politics and law-enforcement, and by most accounts, neither one has much room for someone who has a DV rap. (Although I have to say – there are an awful lot of cops who have DV allegations against them and are still on duty.)

If Mirkarimi weren’t the elected sheriff, this case might well have been handled a lot differently. He could have accepted a misdemeanor plea, taken DV courses, gone into therapy, tried to put his marriage back together. That’s pretty standard in first-offense cases. But to do that would be to admit something he can’t easily admit to and remain in office.

So Mirkarimi knows his only real chance is to win a “not guilty” verdict and then try to rebuild his reputation. Given the stakes, I can’t imagine that he would so much as raise his voice half an octave against Lopez over the next few weeks; one more allegation it would be the end of everything. But Breall must be worried (as any modern judge would be in any prominent DV case) that if she refused to issue the restraining order and something bad did happen, her ass would be very much on the line. So she did the obvious thing.

And the media circus continues.

The only possible bright side (and I always look for a bright side) is that a lot of people who weren’t talking about domestic violence are now discussing it, on the front pages. They’re talking about how a lot of women are trapped by batterers, how they’re afraid to testify and can’t (or don’t want to) leave, how all of us, particularly the police and the courts, are responsible for protecting victims who can’t find a way to escape. And that’s a whole lot of women.

All of that said, we have to remember that Mirkarimi is still innocent until proven guilty. The mayor has no business removing him from office at this point; he hasn’t been convicted of anything. It’s only a few weeks until his trial (Mirkarimi has made it clear he wants this over as quickly as possible, so by law he has to face a jury within 45 days). After that, if he’s guilty, the mayor and the supervisors can worry about whether to vacate the Sheriff’s Office – unless Mirkarimi makes that decision himself.

Comments

And it's one I really don't know the answer to:
Just how do they decide which judge hears your case?

When Michael Nava ran for judge, he promised at one point that, if elected, he would publicly reveal the process by which they decide. Well the whole legal community ganged up in unison and torpedoed his candidacy (he didn't even get Judge Sandoval's endorsement!), and that was the end of that.

Well now, it appears that Gascon got just about the most friendly judge he could have asked her. I don't think he coul've done better if he handpicked her himself! Aw shucks, I guess he's just lucky! Funny how luck has a way of coming down on the side of the powerful.

Still, though, I'd like to know. Perhaps someone knows the answer.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

Don't try it more than once though.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 7:51 am

Generally at the beginning of the year, the Presiding Judge makes assignments. Assignments can change during the year for a variety of reasons - retirements, burnout, conflicts etc.This year, a number of assignments were made in November, after adjustments were made to accommodate the new, vastly reduced, state budget. Assignments are not on a case basis, they are on an area of management responsibility basis. Typically assignments are:

"Judge X is assigned to Complex Litigation; Judge Y will remain at Juvenile Court; Judge Z will do Felony Trails," etc. In addition to the broad, general categories of Civil Litigation, Felonies, etc, the Court has a variety of specialized courts. For example, there are the therapeutic courts: Drug Court, Mental Health Court, the Community Justice Center, and the quasi-therapeutic court, the Domestic Violence Court. Juvenile Court and Family Court also, by their very nature, tend to be at least partially therapeutic courts.

Judge Breall was assigned to be the judge of the Domestic Violence Court last November. Among other domestic violence-related actions, all domestic violence arraignments go to her.

Within the larger categories -- e,g, Felony Trials, decisions on which judge hears your case are almost always made on the basis of which judge is available.

It is hardly a mysterious process.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

I believe attorney/client privilege exists if the attorney actually represents the client, or if a person goes to see an attorney for a consultation, and therefore exists regardless if the attorney takes the client's case or the client agrees to representation by the attorney

Please note: I am not making a statement against Lopez or Mirkarimi, I am inquiring if the claim by the defense attorney has legit merit.

Posted by Michael W. on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

thread is, for some reason, being designated as spam. So apologies for going off topic, but I wanted to respond to your claim that Frank has always supported full human rights for the LGBT community.

Barney Frank has not always supported full human rights for:

LGBT community, especially when it comes to transgender community. Frank argued that rights for transgender individuals in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act needed to be dropped so the bill could pass.

Frank also, as I wrote earlier blamed the failure of Kerry's presidential bid on gay marriage issue. Frank also voted for the defense bill that included Don't Ask Don't Tell. Wow, what a friend and supporter to LBGTs everywhere!

You are welcome to rationalize or excuse Frank's comments and measures, but to me it demonstrates that Frank is less interested in supporting the full rights of LGBTs then making sure that members of the Democratic Party continue to get reelected, therefore maintaining the status qou, and that Frank is willing to throw human rights under the bus in order to do so. Exactly as Clinton did with with the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell, and as Obama continues to do with his nonsense about "evolving" on gay marriage. (I am sure Obama will make some vague statement that he is "evolving" more on the issue during his reelection bid, throwing the GLBT a few crumbs to tempt them into voting for him.)

The above is the hypocrisy I am speaking of, not about how Frank ultimately admitted to being gay, and I believe that Frank's hypocrisy is just as bad as Craig's as both through their own actions and their involvement in political parties that actively suppress LGBTs.

Posted by Michael W. on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

@Michael. This 'glitch' is fairly common, just fill in the CAPTCHA at bottom of the post in question.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:29 am

Frank supported full civil rights protections for LGBT. He had to compromise and only seek employment protections for LGBT. When the votes were not there for transgender folks, he had to compromise and seek employment protections only for lesbians and gays and maybe bisexuals.

Why were the votes not there? Whatever steps needed to secure them were not taken for reasons best known to those closest to the process. But for me that is not as important a question to ask as why, in the intervening 4 years, have advocates for trans inclusion in ENDA not been burning down the barn to work with the LGB community to make finding those votes a priority? The time to find votes is not right before an election but between elections. We are between elections now.

In politics, it is always your fault when you lose.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

Frank supported full civil rights protections for LGBT. He had to compromise and only seek employment protections for LGBT. When the votes were not there for transgender folks, he had to compromise and seek employment protections only for lesbians and gays and maybe bisexuals.

Why were the votes not there? Whatever steps needed to secure them were not taken for reasons best known to those closest to the process. But for me that is not as important a question to ask as why, in the intervening 4 years, have advocates for trans inclusion in ENDA not been burning down the barn to work with the LGB community to make finding those votes a priority? The time to find votes is not right before an election but between elections. We are between elections now.

In politics, it is always your fault when you lose.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

I didn't bother responding to Michael because yes, we are getting off topic, and you can't respond to everything that's wrong on the internet. But I concur with the above.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 8:19 am

How DARE Barney Frank abandon all LGBT who are facing housing discrimination by showing his contempt and hatred for us by not pushing a Housing Civil Rights bill!

Posted by marcos on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 10:47 am
Posted by Michael W. on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

Ross has an ego as big as his voice and arrogant attitude. His personal aspirations exceed any concern for San Francisco or elected offices he has held here. Mirkarimi is yet another in a long line of Outsiders who come to SF for a short time with their own agendas and live off public salaries. If he is guilty of DV then he should not be continued in any public office in SF. Not kicking him while he is down, I have always felt this way after meeting him, and following his public statements and actions for years now.

Posted by Guest A long time SF res on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

Mirkarimi has been here for more than 20 years. That's no short term, you idiot. His ego has absolutely nothing to do with this current issue. In fact we all know your ego is as big as a pumpkin but does that automatically make you a bruiser?

Yroll, go climb back under a very heavy rock.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

I find it to be very interesting that Mr. Mirkarimi is the owner of three guns. In all the time that he was a supervisor he dedicated a lot of time trying to take away privately owned firearms from San Francisco citizens. Also trying to tell firearm owners how to store their guns and what types of ammunition they cannot use. Please record this issue as another one of Mr. Mirkarimi's hypocritical double standards.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 12:22 am

is fucking nauseating.

Photographed bruises, Lopez crying on video tape recounting the incident, statements that this is not the first time, text messages inquiring about changing locks out of fear for her safety, and documented threats of using political power.

And we get your tired, embarrassing, pseudo-inquiries as to why this particular judge had to be picked. Because that's the real issue, right?

You've been nothing short of a cartoon this whole time. Never seen a guy get so owned on a single subject and keep coming back for more. Garbage.

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 1:28 am

excessively? It's not like other Progressives haven't behaved badly, selfishly, angrily and hypocritically. So why is Greg all bent out of shape about Ross, whose no longer in a policy-making position, but rather in an administrative role? Baffling.

And of course he ends up merely trying to belittle the crimes committed. It's a mystery.

And I wonder what kind of job allows him to spend all day posting here under his various aliases?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 7:54 am

I never got into these pissing contests about who's who. For all I know Longtime Lurker, H-Monk Brown, Chromefields, Anonymous, and numerous "Guests" may well be the same person. I've never gotten into it because I don't care much.

I post under "Greg" because I've always thought that having a consistent handle helps keep track of who you're talking to, but the ad hominem attacks are really getting out of hand. I've never done it, but maybe I should start posting as "Guest." It would put the focus back on the substance of the post, where it belongs.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 8:35 am

"I've never done it" - like Clinton and lewinsky eh?

Ridiculous. I am sure that there just happen to be multiple people with stalker level fascinations with the hayes white case while also demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the role of the DA in bringing charges.

Now let me post another post as "guest2" commending myself on my astute observations.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:04 am

Why is it so hard to believe that more than one person can hold an opposing pov? I can disagree with someone -strongly -and yet still recognize that there's a diversity of opinions out there. You seem to be so set in your own righteousness that it's actually unfathomable to you that a large number of people may disagree with you. If you're truly so narcissistic as to believe that your own worldview *must* represent virtually unanimous agreement, then you need some psychological help.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:37 am

I fully understand that there are multiple opinions out there.
What I am saying is that its just unusual that multiple people as guest have been posting basically the SAME opinions. Its not an opposing POV thing - its multiple guests posting the same exact POV and in some instances immediately posting a commendation on said POV.

Its pretty clear.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:58 am

The hatred the rightwingers had for that guy is just amazing - all because he called himself a Democrat (though did huge favors for the Republican Corporate class like his support for NAFTA, Telecommunications Act of 1996). I think it makes their blood pressure shoot up 40 points but the adrenoline charge they get is too much to resist.

So anyone that disagreed with your position is Greg as if only one person could disagree with a nutcase like you? You really must be a nutcase.

And talk about having a paranoia-filled mind - it'd be hard for one to have more paranoia than you. Anyone who disagrees with you or your opinion that mentions the double standard of a fire chief has "stalker level fascinations with the hayes white case."

Either take your medicine or go see a doc and get some medicine! And stop watching Faux "news" - studies have repeatedly shown it makes people more ignorant. As for your anger issues, I hope you're not married because I worry about your wife if you have one.

And though you'll never believe it, I'm not Greg nor know Greg.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

Actually, sorry. I've had a change of heart. I am Greg. I have also been posting as guest about 60% of the time while also posting as Greg.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 10:36 am

Maybe it's time for the moderators to step in. The "Greg" above is not me. This is starting to get into the territory of vandalism.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

The question of how judges are picked is emblematic of the whole US justice system. There's this attitude of "American exceptionalism" about this, as about so many other things. We love to say how our system is unique and the best in the world, something impressed upon us by the judge the last time I reported for jury duty. Well as an observer who's lived outside the country, let me restate the obvious: a country that incarcerates more people per capita than any other, does NOT have the best justice system in the world. It may be "exceptional," but not in a good way!

Perhaps this is exactly what Eliana Lopez is talking about when she says "at times like this, I really miss Venezuela."

The above notwithstanding, this is of course the system that Mirkarimi and Lopez are being put on trial in. Anyone watching this with a bit of detachment can see that the system is in no way fair, from the political nature of the prosecution, to the choice of the judge, to the behavior of the judge, who in the scope of two hours made a half dozen rulings indicating a firm bias in favor of the DA. In the process she exhibited behavior well outside of the norm for such cases; if there were any doubts as to her neutrality, those doubts can now be put to rest.

Mirkarimi and Lopez can't change the system, but they do have a few recourses within it. Changing the judge might be a start, but I don't think that's enough. Given the nature of the press coverage, I don't think they can really get a fair trial in this city at all. If I were the attorney, I'd get a change of venue ASAP.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 8:58 am

It's the norm to renew TRO's until the trial.

It's the norm to give the benefit of doubt to the prosecutors for DV cases, as there is a real risk of harm otherwise.

I see nothing that this judge did that was out of the ordinary EXCEPT that the eharing took two hours. Usually each case at this point takes a few minutes.

So if anything, Ross is getting special treatment in his favor. Most DV perps aren't allowed two hours at an arraignment.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:46 am

of the rights complaining about the Dover Pa. evolution case.

After the right wing creationist lost, they complained that it was another instance where the liberal courts trampled on their rights to indoctrinate other people's kids with pseudo science.

Then it turned out that some of the people who brought the case were republicans and considered themselves conservative. The judge that Ann Coulter howled about in Greg Fashion was a republican Bush appointee and fairly conservative.

"We have to suffer these arrows because people will disagree with our opinions ... She foments a kind of civic stupidity in my opinion."

- Judge John Jones, on Ann Coulter

- but fits these crazy conspiracy ravings of Greg

Posted by matlock on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

i've gathered the details on judge susan breall's political donations, including her donations to DA hallinan when she and ross both worked for him. check this out:
http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2012/01/mirkarimi-judge-gave-to-d.html

Posted by MPetrelis on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:11 am

Just like you sort of slowly walked away after learning Ivory Madison actually threw fundraisers for Mirkarimi.

So the judge, who you have insinuated must be a hand picked right-wing operative out to destroy Ross, actually donated to Hallinan of all people and worked with Mirkarimi.

You keep acting like you're uncovering some conspiracy, and you keep hitting a fucking wall.

Throw in the towel. Done.

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:47 am

as covered in the above article. Michael Petrelis has done some great work, as usual; the Guardian should hire this guy. I didn't know any of this, and I think it's important to know. But I don't think that's the whole story. When you devote a significant portion of your career to domestic violence prosecution, I think a certain mindset takes over... maybe because of the work you do and the mindset of the people you associate with... or maybe you went into that line of work in the first place because of your own worldview to begin with. I don't know, but I do think that mindset trumps the fact that she and Ross once supported the same candidate.

I never said (or even insinuated) that she's right wing or left wing, by the way. But I do think she's the probably the best judge Gascon could've asked for in this case, because of her mindset regarding domestic violence cases. And we see that mindset at work in the condescending way she treated Ms. Lopez. It's the same mindset that I see in many of these self-appointed domestic violence advocates. Most of them are white liberal women who see themselves as the self-appointed saviors of the poor, oppressed minority "sister." Except their "sisterhood" is constructed on a patronizing, paternalistic model rather than true solidarity and understanding. Frankly it's not that much different than defenders of white western neocolonialism who seek to impose "democracy" at gunpoint and invade and destroy nations in the name of "helping" people and liberating their women from oppression (by bombing the shit out of them).

Posted by Greg on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:30 am

"It's the same mindset that I see in many of these self-appointed domestic violence advocates. Most of them are white liberal women who see themselves as the self-appointed saviors of the poor, oppressed minority "sister."

Let's change the words a little there:

It's the same mindset that I see in many of these self-appointed civil rights advocates. Most of them are white liberal men who see themselves as the self-appointed saviors of the poor, oppressed minority "brother."

Hmmm.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Greg, if Ms. Lopez is so in charge of her own affairs and didn't want anything to happen to her husband, then perhaps she (A) shouldn't have gone and reported being abused to her neighbor, and (B) asked her neighbor to photograph the injury "just in case."

Either she is a victim who is scared and being intimidated by an abusive spouse into recanting, and also probably still in love with him despite the abuse--all of which is common with DV victims, or she is some spicy, self-assured Latina who got pissed off at her husband and thought she would get him in trouble and succeeded. In either set of circumstances, the matter is out of her hands. When you hit someone, shoot someone, rob someone, rape someone, defraud someone, etc, you don't just commit a crime against the victim, you legally commit a crime against the people of California. So, it is not all about Lopez, if Ross Mirkarimi abused her, he committed an offense against the people of California, and he should be tried accordingly--he will get his day in court like any other defendant.

Moreover, Mr. Mirkarimi has a lot of responsibility for this situation. If you don't want to be tried for DV, then don't fucking lay hands on your spouse/significant other. You are legally not supposed to touch anyone against their will, let alone someone you claim to love and are legally obligated to protect. In fact, even a fucking kindergartener understands you keep your fucking hands to yourself! Setting aside the moral concerns implicated with DV, I would be very worried about having someone in office, ESPECIALLY someone who is obligated to ENFORCE THE LAW, who doesn't even have as much common sense as a fucking kindergartener.

On a side note, I hope Mr. Mirkarimi is paying you well to post this bat-shit crazy, but admittedly fucking hilarious, defense of him (really, we are now comparing DV advocates to neo-Colonialists?) I see posts from you dated all hours of the day, all day, on any article about Ross's DV problems. Either you are unemployed and obsessed with the issue, in which case, I hope you get help, or you are employed by Mr. Mirkarimi, in which case, I hope you are getting paid well.

Posted by Chris on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:28 am

this point either way.

And the funny thing is that if it had been Dick Cheney who was in this position, Greg would be arguing the exact opposite.

For liberals, the truth, balance and objectivity should never be allowed to inferfere with promoting a partisan, biased agenda.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:44 am

over on the "More on Mirkarimi" thread, posted by someone with more time on their hands than I have, which shows that the judge was party to a research paper in which she argued that a temporary restraining order is a great tool for prosecutors to coerce uncooperative witnesses. In other words, if the "victim" in the case isn't toeing the line, she advocates using a TRO not so much to protect the victim (who doesn't want protection), but to cause her distress by tearing her family apart, so that she could be coerced into testifying against her significant other. This is absolutely disgusting, and it's exactly what I'm talking about with her mindset.

So then again, this begs the question, how did they pick her?

Instead of lobbing more ad hominem attacks on me, how about you address the substance of the question. Those of you who are *so sure* that this is just some crazy conspiracy theory... well then you must have the answer to that question. Please, show everybody what a big "conspiracy theorist" I am by answering that seemingly straightforward question: how do they choose what judge gets what case, and who does the choosing?

Should be very simple to answer, right?

Right?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2012 @ 8:31 am

about this case being "political" have no issue with posting the judge's political contributions. Making it, er, political!

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:21 am

The judge used to work in the same office as the defendant at the same time and she did not recuse herself?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

Hand picked by Dianne Fienstein's daughter? No conflict?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

I agree, but the fallacy is in assuming that most of these characters have any interest in a substantive discussion of anything, though there are a few exceptions among the 'guests'. Once again in this latest tempest in a Tea-party-pot the majority seem to be incapable of seeing beyond the sensational headlines, engaging in character assassination, and attributing unsubstantiated motives to others. The issue here is not 'the Mirkarimi's', it is the apparent selective enforcement of the law, yet again, for political purposes.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:26 am

to beat proper English into her.

Posted by Chromefields on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:39 am

Mirkarimi needs to know that if he gets off by keeping the damaging videos and texts out of the trial he will be subjected to "So, Ross, do you still beat your wife?" for the rest of his public career.

The incidents that happened within the Mirkarimi-Lopez household are one matter, Mirkarimi's reactions to it are another. The statements about it being a 'private matter', the refusal to cooperate with police...If he gets off on what is perceived as a technicality he might as well choose a new line of work right now.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 9:58 am

Some people will always hate Ross no matter what the outcome. So what's new?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:41 am

What's new is that the 90% of San Franciscans who barely know who Mirkarimi is will now think of him as the guy who probably beats his wife. And that will be partly due to his 'hunkering down' reaction as opposed to being open and clear.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 10:55 am

and what it says and shows. We just haven't seen it.

And if Ross gets it tossed on a technicality, then he might get off the counts, but he won't have a lot of credibility.

To truly redeem himself, Ross should allow the tape to be used, and explain how it PROVES beyond any reasonable doubt that he did not assault his wife.

That's the litmus test here.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:09 am

Have you seen the video? No, of course not. All you know is what you've heard in the press. I somehow doubt that any of the reporters have viewed that video. So where are they getting their info. From the cops. And, of course, we all know that San Francisco's "finest" would never think of tampering with the evidence.

Posted by Get a clue on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

that Ross got heavy with his wife, and the whole thing is fabricated? Is that is?

Let me guess. You're left-wing, right? That's right - I'm psychic.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

If the video wasn't damaging to Mikarimi's side we probably WOULD have all heard it by now. Nobody on either side is saying that the video doesn't have bad news for Mirkarimi.

And if you are down to the OJ level of not believing anything that the cops touched, you might as well pack it in now.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

Nobody believes that the wife wasn't scared, nor that she had a bruise, nor that she ran next-door for help.

We're not arguing about any of that, only whether it is admissable in court.

Ross may get off on a technicality, but the damage will have been done. Three months earlier and Ross would not have been elected.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

That didn't happen when the fire chief was accused of DV so i don't see why it sould be any different for Mirkarimi.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

On the whole I think it's pretty balanced.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

I was expecting more "everyone's out to get Ross" non sense.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 2:15 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 3:32 pm