Racism alive and well inside King County Washington Superior Court

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
Muhammad Ali


Most attorneys in Washington State have taken and passed Constitutional law while in law school.  For me, the right to a fair trial under the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution is one major component against judicial discrimination.

 

The Sixth Amendment requires juries and fact finders such as judges to be impartial. Impartiality has been interpreted as requiring individual jurors to be unbiased, well stated, 

In Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado (2017), the Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires a court in a criminal trial to investigate whether a jury’s guilty verdict was based on racial bias. For a guilty verdict to be set-aside based on the racial bias of a juror, the defendant must prove that the racial bias “was a significant motivating factor in the juror’s vote to convict.” 

According to the Washington State Judicial Ethics Commission,  Judges, while performing bench trials, are under the mandate as a jury to not discriminate.


Discrimination alive and well inside King County Washington Superior Court

 

On May 25, 2017, Washington State Judicial Ethics Commission received a complaint against King County Superior Court Judge Douglas North.

Judge Douglas North on October 21, 2015, during a murder trial involving two defendants,  presided over a hearing (outside the presence of the jury) to determine whether certain text messages found on the victim’s phone from a person known only as “Charisma” would be admitted. Their relevance and admissibility turned, in part, on whether “Charisma” was a gang member and likely to carry out the threat in the text messages.

During the course of this hearing Judge Douglas North said: “But we don’t have any information, of course, about Mr. Charisma, so we don’t know whether he’s some white guy like me making a threat or somebody who’s actually, you know, more likely to be a gangster.” 

 

The last thing we need is a Judge who is a racist here in Washington State. The right to a fair trial should never be infringed upon for any reason.  The Sixth Amendment does not say ” only white guys like me.” The Sixth Amendment has no race, and applies equally to all Americans, whether you’re African American, Native American, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc and a Judge that doesn’t understand this basic Constitutional provisions afforded to all Americans must be removed from office.

In my opinion, King County Superior Court Judge Douglas North must resign without collecting a single welfare check from the taxpayers of Washington State.  Washington residents taxpayer monies should not be spent to inflate a racist Judge.


Judge Douglas North plead guilty for making racist comments by Washington State’s Judicial Ethics Commission.  A copy of the complaint is provided below.

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Defense counsel in Oso mudslide case ask trial court to illegally seal public records

The strange just got stranger yesterday in the Oso mudslide trials when the Washington State attorneys asked the court, by Motion, to illegally seal public juror questionnaires.

Reason claimed is: there’s some personal information contained in the juror questionnaires.

Today the Gold Bar Reporter and Snohomish County Reporter filed a joint ” objection” opposing sealing the entire juror questionnaires because by doing so violates Washington State’s Public Records Act ( RCW 42.56) and our legislature’s intent that broadly favors public disclosure and all exemptions be narrowly tailored to favor disclosure.

Sadly, the Seattle Times, Kiro news, Komo news,  King 5 T.V., and Snohomish County Daily Herald have yet to file any objection in this matter.

Our Legislature’s intent was clear when it held  “ The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. This chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy and to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In the event of conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other act, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.” See RCW 42.56.030.

Further our court held ” the PRA reflects a strong public policy favoring the disclosure and production of information, and exemptions are to be narrowly construed. RCW 42.56.030. Moreover, a party opposing the production of public records must establish that production would “clearly not be in the public interest and would substantially and irreparably damage any person, or would substantially and irreparably damage vital governmental functions.” RCW 42.56.540; see Soter v. Cowles Publ’g Co., 162 Wash.2d 716, 756-57, 174 P.3d 60 (2007).

Snohomish County journalists, jointly, objected to sealing juror questionnaires because we cannot see how sealing, completely, juror questionnaires would damage a juror. Furthermore, by doing so violates that Public Records Act.

Snohomish County journalist Anne Block and Brandia Tammu jointly requested that King County Superior Court Judge Rogoff narrowly tailor any redaction to any of the jury questionnaires in this case and adhere to our legislature’s intent which favors disclosure broadly, and narrowly tailors exemptions in favor of the public’s absolutely right to know.

Will corruption prevail in violation of the public’s trust or will King County Superior Court Judge Rogoff adhere to our Legislature’s intent which favor disclosure?

 

 

 

 

 

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