Thursday, December 20, 2007

Double Standard Applies to the New Jersey State Police

Having represented many defendants accused of sexual assaults, I am at a loss to understand why the Morris County Prosecutor, Joseph Bocchini, feels it necessary that he conduct a full inquiry into the truthfulness of the allegations made by a 25 year female that a number of New Jersey State Police Officers sexually assaulted her at her home in Trenton on December 7, 2007.

Those in the criminal defense bar are at a loss to understand when was the last time that a prosecutor doubted an alleged victims accusation of sexual assault until such time as law enforcement did a full inquiry into the matter. In fact, as we all know, such investigations are rarely, if ever done. Rather, the sworn statement of the alleged victim is enough for an arrest warrant. Normally, the time frame from statement of the alleged victim, to arrest warrant, varies from a few hours, to a day, at most.

As we all know in the criminal defense bar, and for the ones unfortunate to have been accused of such crimes, a simple statement that he or she was sexually assault (whether true or not) is enough for law enforcement to issue an arrest warrant for the suspect, and request a high bail.

Remarkably because the Morris County Prosecutor's Office has received a complaint that a number of New Jersey State Police Officers are involved in this alleged crime, does the prosecutor take the position, as reported in The Star-Ledger (December 20, 2007) that the investigation is "a nightmare" and a "complex puzzle where investigators likely won't reach any conclusions until well after the first of the year."

In all of 18 years of being a criminal defense attorney have I ever seen a prosecutor or law enforcement agency attempt to test the veracity of an alleged victim with an investigation? Would prosecutor Bocchini extend this caution to the average citizen? I think not. When, if ever, does law enforcement challenge the truthfulness of an alleged victim that he or she was sexually assaulted? This alleged victim should not be treated any different than any other alleged victim, just because she made her complaint against cops.
It is time that prosecutor Bocchini handle this case like any other, and not show any favoritism to these troopers just because the defendant/suspects are members of the New Jersey State Police. Such behavior by our prosecutors (law enforcement officers who are attorneys) reaffirms to the citizens of this state that there is a double standard in the State of New Jersey and that cops are treated differently and that cops cannot investigate other cops.
Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
December 20, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What is Justice, and does it have have anything to do with the Law?

One ancient philosopher defined the law as being the objective manifestation of justice. Meaning in the simplest form, that if the law is not just or does not seek justice, it cannot, and is not law.

In fact any government, whether it be a dictatorship or democracy can enact laws. Thousands of laws are enacted everyday throughout the world. The enactment or pronouncement of a law in of itself means nothing in terms as to whether the law is just.

Before a law can be a true law, in the true sense, it must be based on the principals of justice. If the law is not based on the principals of natural law, the laws of God, it is not true law, but rather enforcement of capricious whims of the government, which enacted it. No true law, if it comports with justice can hurt the innocent, destitute, the disabled or vulnerable. If it does, it is a cruel distortion of the law.

Interesting, many people argue. that even in a democracy, if the people want a law, regardless of the harm, it is the will of the people, and accordingly, it is the law. This is not so, even in a democracy, democratic laws are passed which are evil, and are not true law. This of course was the philosopher of the famous English philosopher John Austin, who was the father of "positivism", a philosophy which has long been discredited by the likes of Adolph Hitler, who enacted, along with the Nazi parliament the "Nuremberg Laws", which legally made Jews and others non-citizens for purposed of German law. This of course was no different than the "laws" in this country, passed by the "democratic legislature" that delegated the African-American to non-citizens.

History has taught us all to often of laws being passed, both in a democracy and dictatorship which are evil. Without just laws there can be no peace and harmony in the world.
All to often we find laws in the United States, which do not reflect in anyway justice. Whether these laws were passed for political expediency, vengeance or retribution, nonetheless they are not just. Mandatory sentencing for one, which do not take into consideration the individual and his or here disabilities, or other factors which could, and should, reduce their period of incarceration. Continuing to build more and more jails, and incarcerating more and more people in this country is not the answer. Especially, when we spend less and less on schools and education, vocational training, medicine and health care, drug rehabilitation programs, and the creation of real jobs.
In New Jersey for example we have "drug free school zones", and "drug free park zones", which mandate mandatory incarceration for defendant's arrested within any of these zones. The problem is that entire cities are one drug free zone. Example, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, Paterson, Paterson, Camden, and Trenton to name a few. Accordingly, any defendant found to be in possession with intent to distribute in any of these cities will likely do mandatory time. Again, who are the people who live in these cities, most minorities and poor. No wonder they make 70-80 percent of the prison population.

It is no surprise that the fast growing industry in this country is law enforcement. A segment of society that feeds upon itself like a great title wave. More and more unjust laws, more and more cops, and more and more prisons and prisoners. In the State of New Jersey, no different than any other state in the nation, if a politician wants to get elected, or reelected he will introduce another harsh and unjust law.
If we want peace in this country, we must seek justice, and the only way that we can do this is with just and fair laws. As Pope John Paul I declared, "If we want peace we must work for justice."

Passing more unjust laws and putting more and more people in prison is not the answer. It is time that we attempt to reverse this title wave of destruction with laws that are just for all, and heed the words of the ancient philosopher, that a law cannot be called a law, unless it manifests justice for all.

Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
277 North Broad Street
P.O. Box 261
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
(908) 354-7006

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Federal Civil Rights Suit Against Corrupt Newark Cops Continues

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Federal Civil Rights Case Continues Against Indicted Newark Cops.

Terrence Worthy v. City of Newark
The Federal civil rights case against the City of Newark and four former and current Newark police officers continues with the deposition of Ismaell Lespire who took the Fifth Amendment over 20 times while being deposed by Worthy's attorney, Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., as to the illegal activities of his former partners, and his involvement with the three disgraced Newark Police Officers, Darius Smith, Lawrence Furlow and Tryone Dudley who were indicted by a New Jersey State Grand Jury for planting drugs on citizens, stealing their money, making false arrests and filing false police reports.

In 2003 Mr. Worthy was falsely accused of participating in an armed robbery by Smith, Dudley, Lespire and Furlow. Mr. Worthy who was forced to take a plea, later had his conviction overturned by the Superior Court, and spent time in state prison because of the officers illegal actions.

The federal court has entered defaults against Furlow, Dudley and Smith who all failed to answer Worthy's federal complaint. Tyrone Dudley who already plead guilty to the charges is currently on the state's witness protection plan and is waiting to testify against his former partners, Smith and Furlow, at the upcoming criminal trial in Superior Court, Newark.

Amazingly, police officer Lespire continues to be employed by the Newark Police Department without explanation from that department.

Mr. Worthy is represented by civil rights and criminal defense attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
(908) 354-7006