Letters (April 10, 2019)

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ABREU CASE UPDATE

Dear People,

Here's where we stand right now:

As expected District Attorney David Eyster has submitted his opposition to my SB 1437 petition. He is attempting to decry it as unconstitutional which I am confident will be overthrown by the appellate courts which are already reviewing other cases where this argument has been raised.

Hedging his bets, District Attorney Eyster has also argued that I simply "don't qualify for relief based on the record at trial."

Hmmm.

Even assuming this is correct (and it might even be so) this is but one of many theories which were initially considered. More importantly, this statute DOES NOT restrict us to original theories. We are allowed to introduce new evidence in addition to that which was previously presented. Combined with the fact that the burden of proof lies with District Attorney Eyster, I am confident I will prevail.

Jessica Hoagland (of the Public Defender's office) has until May 6 to draft and submit a response. After that, Mr. Eyster can make a reply by May 28. (It should be noted that nothing in the statute allows Mr. Eyster this opportunity and I object to its allowance.)

After these events a "hearing on constitutionality" is set for June 13. This is when we will argue whether SB 1437 is even legal. We will see if that gets any traction and go from there.

As for myself, I am doing well here at the Low Gap Inn. Suffice it to say that I've seen more drama here in the last two weeks than I ever did in my 17+ years in level 4 and level 3 prisons. Go figure.

Thanks to Walter Miller for the wishes. Tell everyone I said "Wazzup!" And please make sure Bubba knows what's going on.

I encourage public interest and involvement in these proceedings. It doesn't take but a few minutes of conversation with me to realize how much of a waste it is to keep me incarcerated any longer.

Onward!

Tai Abreu, #92781

951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, California 95842

PS. You guys can write directly to me here at the jail and I can slingshot you a response!


ED NOTE: I just re-read the transcript of Abreu's confession to Detective Kevin Bailey, then of the Mendo Sheriff's Department, presently lead investigator for the DA. Bailey's interrogatory makes it clearer than clear that Abreu was indeed twice advised of his right to have an attorney present. But Abreu's public defender, also the Mendocino County Public Defender, Linda Thompson, convinced the 19-year-old that he had not been properly Mirandized, and that she would take this evidence-free argument to a jury and Abreu would soon be free. No rational person, let alone a defense attorney, could read this transcript and then tell a kid looking at Murder One that he had a winnable case on a Miranda basis. Apart from being found guilty after a one-day trial and subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Abreu was defrauded by Thompson, persuaded to take a non-existent defense to a jury. The transcript also establishes that Abreu did not participate in the murder of Donald Perez. At a minimum, one would think that Thompson would offer to testify to her ineffective assistance of counsel. Nope. A personal note: Some years ago, one of Thompson's oafish attorneys out of the Public Defender's Office, had the nerve to tell me that not only was Thompson a great attorney, I was "homophobic" for criticizing her "work" for Abreu!

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HOW DARE THEY?

Editor,

Katy Tahja is upset that filthy subhumans and their ratty camps besmirch her view from the train. How glad that this is not allowed in Texas, where poverty is a felony. Yes, all of them should be “disbursed” immediately. I mean, how dare they even exist? They wouldn’t be tolerated in Comptche, no doubt. Philbrick would just herd them all into the ovens straightaway. There’s a man for the times!

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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WHY US?

Editor: 

It seems odd that, once again, commercial fishermen are singled out for season closures while sport fishermen are allowed to fish for crab, with pots left in the ocean until June 30.

More than 1.75 million sport fishing licenses are issued yearly in California, and many participate in the ocean crab fishery. No one wants to have whale entanglements, and if there is really a serious concern about this issue, then why is the sport fishery, including commercial passenger fishing vessels (party boats), still allowed to fish?

The news media is using photos that show whales caught in ring nets, which are used solely by the sport fishermen. What is wrong with this picture?

Cathy Beck

Bodega Bay

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VAPERS VAPING VAPED

To the Editor:

Driving down Low Gap recently I observed 4 or 5 high school age boys sitting around a picnic table shooting the breeze. Minding their own business and bothering no one, they were just making memories like we all did. Difference was that over them hung a huge cloud of smoke (vapor) from an e-cigarette being passed around.

This is the latest nicotine delivery system being touted as a healthy alternative to smoking and quickly hooking our kids to life-long addiction. Curtis Driscoll’s excellent March 22 article that showcased students cleaning up after smokers on “Kick Butts Day”, quoted the Surgeon General’s report that e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product used by kids. It’s called Vaping.

While only sold legally to those over 21 the most popular vaping flavors include Gummi Bear, Banana Nut Bread, Cotton Candy, Pink Spot, Black Mamba and Frozen Lime Drop. There’s even a flavor called Unicorn Puke. You can’t make this stuff up. Any doubt that the target is kids?

Smoking rates are declining as vaping sales soar. To that end, in Dec. 2018, tobacco giant Altria (Phillip Morris, Marlboro, Skoal and others) bought a 35 percent share of San Francisco based Juul, the nation’s largest e-cigarette maker, for 12.8 Billion. Big tobacco wants this market.

The Tobacco Control staff of our County Health Department is preparing a uniform Retail Tobacco License policy that will better prevent tobacco sales to minors and ban the sale of flavored vaping oils in Mendocino county. When presented to city and county elected leaders please voice your support of this life-saving effort.

Larry Olson

Volunteer, American Cancer Society, 

Mendocino County Tobacco Prevention Coalition

Ukiah

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PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT?

To the Editor, 

On Tuesday, April 2nd , I complied with my jury summons and appeared at 9:00 am for jury duty at the Mendocino County Courthouse in Ukiah. While I was not selected to serve on a jury, I did go through the jury selection process for a pending criminal trial, and I was absolutely appalled at what I witnessed. 

District Attorney David Eyster was the prosecutor on the case and his performance during jury selection was a disgrace to his office, and an affront to the American system of justice. 

In answer to an earlier question by the Judge if any prospective jurors had ever had a bad experience serving on a jury, one gentleman responded that in a jury he sat on in Mendocino County, he felt the prosecutor grandstanded by going well beyond a factual presentation of the evidence, and that bothered him. 

When Eyster’s turn came to question the prospective jurors, he asked the gentleman if he felt his prior bad experience with that prosecutor would prejudice him against Eyster’s prosecution of the pending case. A fair question. 

The gentleman, who appeared to be a very intelligent and thoughtful fellow, responded that while he thought he could be impartial, he was now on the alert for prosecutorial misconduct. 

Not surprisingly, this answer did not satisfy Eyster, but instead of simply dismissing the gentleman from serving on the jury with a peremptory challenge, he chose to make an example of him by trying to browbeat him into admitting that he was in fact biased against prosecutors. 

Eyster’s interrogation of the gentleman dragged on for at least 15 interminable minutes as if it was the juror who was on trial. To his unyielding credit, the gentlemen — clearly Eyster’s intellectual superior — stood his ground never wavering from his original statement, and Eyster finally gave up in a pathetic show of frustration. 

I have been through the jury selection process many times, and I have never before witnessed such a relentless badgering of a prospective juror who was simply doing their duty as a citizen. 

I have to ask myself: why would the District Attorney of Mendocino County treat a prospective juror with such open contempt? After all, jurors are hard to scrape up here in this County? 

The only answer I can figure is that Eyster has serious self-esteem issues, and that he thought he was sending a message to other prospective jurors in the courtroom not to cross him. Well for your information Mr. DA — you failed spectacularly! You, sir, are proof positive of the prosecutorial grandstanding to which the gentlemen so rightly objected. 

If I were the Judge in that courtroom, I would have hauled Eyster behind the woodshed (private chambers) and read him the riot act about proper decorum in my courtroom. Eyster’s disgraceful conduct was not only unbecoming of an officer of the court, he committed a grave disservice to the administration of justice in Mendocino County. 

Sincerely,

Jon Spitz

Laytonville


District Attorney Eyster replies:

In an apparent zeal to be critical, it appears your reader Mr. Spitz may not have fully understood the purpose of the trial voir dire process he was witnessing. Since he forgot to mention in his letter “the end of the story,” please let me do so.

First, voir dire is the act and process of questioning prospective jurors to determine which are qualified and suited for service for a particular case as part of a jury of 12.

Second, based on the information developed during voir dire questioning of the gentleman in question, the court made the decision to excuse the man from the process “for cause.” 

The legal phrase “for cause” means the court has reason to believe – based on answers to all the questions posed by both the prosecutor and the defense attorney — that the potential juror would not be able to serve as a fair and unbiased juror. Only the trial judge has the authority to excuse a potential juror for cause and then only for the reasons just mentioned. ’Nuff said.

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THE BIBLE SAYS…

Editor:

It says in the Bible in Ecclesiastics, Chapter 10, Verse 2, A wise man's heart goes to the right and a foolish man's heart goes to the left. The left! That is why the liberal, radical, rotten, Democrat liberals hate Christianity. And that's why they are trying to get rid of it. It says that right in our Bible, exactly the truth. 

California's Air Resources Board now says you have to purchase a truck that's 2010 or newer. You will have to scrap trucks older than that. Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs. Three million people will have to buy new. That's a minimum of $100,000 if people have to buy trucks that's $300 billion for the State of California to tax. But what about all those thousands of people outside the cities who have nothing to do with air pollution? They will have to go out and spend a lot of money for new trucks. A guy works a long time to buy a truck and get it paid for now he has to scrap it or buy a new one! 

This new California Democratic Party law was started by Schwarzenegger's wife, the most liberal woman that ever existed, She started this thing and turned it over to Mary Nichols who was worse than her! They want the money. It's all going to go on because Democrats control the state. We live in a one-party state, a dictatorship. 

Right now, gruesome Newsom's down in El Salvador to see why people want to come here. I hope he never comes back.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick

Comptche

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