Former federal judge is striving for balance

He still questions laws as a teacher, advocate

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  • D.C.D.
    Dec. 8, 2007 8:33 a.m.

    Our judicial system is out of control. It's nice to see someone trying to change some of it. Our prisons are over crowded with non violent offenders at the tax payers expense.And getting worse every year. Does it make sense to allow the King Pin a 3 year sentence while others he turned over receive a much harsher sentence when they have nothing more to give the prosecuters to get their sentence reduced.
    Thank You Pro. Cassell for trying to make a difference.

  • Butkus
    Nov. 25, 2007 3:34 p.m.

    I agree with Prof. Cassell especially in regards to the ID Theft law (mandatory 2 year sentence), but federal prosecutors have had all discretion taken away with what is called the "Ashcroft Memo" that says that they must charge the highest charge - rather than use discretion to seek justice.

    I had more discretion as a kid D.A. than when I was a federal prosecutor.

  • Lowell
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    What a remarkably wise man! I wish Cassell every success in his new undertakings, and hope that our legal system will eventually be filled with many who think as he does.

  • Bill Freeman
    Nov. 23, 2007 11:26 a.m.

    I am happy to see someone standing up for the rights of unjust penalties. I have a friend Edward Gutierrez 06822-045 at Lompoc FCI who is doing 29 years for a 1st time drug conviction. Those that commit murder do less time than that especially when it is your first offense. His case began surveilence under the old law yet he was sentenced under the new law. Therefore he canot be eligable for parole. He has served over 10 years and I belive that is enough. Can't someone look at his case and find that he no longer deserves to be in prison just to let him out as an old man with no life left to live. Is there someone who can help?

    Thank you,
    William Freeman

  • JPG
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:52 a.m.

    I am grateful that U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell would give up the power and prestige of a federal judgeship to work on behalf of a generation of young black men who are spending their lives behind bars because of Congress' craven pandering to racism and voters' fears of crime.

    Because Congress stripped the federal judiciary of the ability to mete out compassion as well as justice, first-time offenders of all races have lost their freedoms and their futures.

    I just hope that by opting for activism, Cassell furthers his reform agenda more than he could have by wielding influence from the bench.

  • Sokel
    Nov. 23, 2007 10:19 a.m.

    What this judge needs to comment on is why pro se litigants are given such disrespect in the American judicial system? I have seen motions and suits filed
    by pro se litigants that use all the proper case law and make effective tenacious legal arguments. These
    cases are thrown out immediately without any consideration..The fine judge should explain why common citizens are deprived their constitutional rights and the ability to bring suit. These judges
    favor attorneys and harm citizens. They legislate from the bench and ignore the basic constitutional rights regarding parents and children. The fundemental right to care and nurture one's children is constitutionally protected and enunciated in
    Troxel v. Granville. The etheric idea that the
    state has some ('parens') superior interest to that
    of the constitutional right of a parent is a farce,
    that doctrine occurs in no place in any constitution.
    It is an idea not the law.
    These judges are a disgrace to allow our American family's to be hurt in Family Court daily for the benefit of their corrupt bretheren the domestic
    relations attorney.

  • Lindal
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    It sounds like Mr. Cassell is one of the few federal judges with common sense. Too bad he didn't stay in - he could have done more to help fix the problem - but each to his own. I wish him well as he inspires more young legal minds.

  • Mike R.
    Nov. 23, 2007 9:26 a.m.

    I was hoping that someday, Paul Cassell would be on the US Supreme Court. He would be an excellent Justice. He has the right temperment.

  • DCJ
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:25 a.m.

    Judge Cassell shows great courage and an appreciation for the proper role of the judiciary with this decision. Ideally we would have such wise, knowledgeable persons working for us on Capitol Hill, but political process makes it hard for even-tempered, objective thinkers to accomplish much.

    Even if one does not always agree with his views, we need more people to think carefully about the law and ask the right questions like Judge Cassell.

  • Dave
    Nov. 23, 2007 7:22 a.m.

    Our entire penal system is archaic and disfunctonal. It needs to be completly revamped. Our current prisons system is more like a college where minor criminals are trained to be major criminals. Unfortunatly reform is unlikely with the state of politics in the country.

  • Jim Platt
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:53 a.m.

    Even among the "off the wall" stands of our congressional delegation at time, and out state legislature all the time, I have found the attitudes of Judge Cassell, as refreshing and honest as the memories of J. D. Williams... my sincerest appreciation for at least two leaders in the community of honesty without posturing....

  • Mark
    Nov. 23, 2007 6:49 a.m.

    I like Mr. Cassell's ideas, but I wonder if he would have had more influence by remaining a federal judge. It seems that by resigning his judgeship, he runs the risk of quickly fading into obscurity and irrelevance.

  • Bob G
    Nov. 23, 2007 4:07 a.m.

    It's a welcome voice to hear there is somebody in the legal system that wants to try and fix it. Many in the profession knows is broken but those that can fix it are to cowardly and politically motivated with self interest to stand up and do any thing about it. Paul Cassell should be praised for his efforts and hope he succeeds in his efforts to repair the broken justice system. I have to agree with his dislike of the 3 party justice being handed out. Families of victims should not be heard at trials with their sob stories and given any creadance. The court is allowing statements and testimony without merit that defendants can't refute or question. Alowing prejudical unproven testimony is akin to kangaroo courts. Prosecutors will do anything to get a conviction to further their political career, and overlook and hide the truth and facts to get there. Perhaps prosecutors should be barred from any political party activity or running for any political positions for at least 2 calendar years after they leave and resign their positions as prosecutors. We need to get political manuvering out of the justice system. Go Paul and good luck.

  • Fan of Peace
    Nov. 23, 2007 12:34 a.m.

    Go Paul Cassell. I agree - the punishment should fit the crime, not somebody's political gain. Please fix it.

    And before anyone misunderstands and thinks Paul Cassell wants to be soft on crime, think again. He tried to abolish the miranda rights, before he was a judge.

    My impression is that Paul Cassell just wants fairness. Go for it, help us fix it.