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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Mass. Judge Accused Of Helping Immigrant Evade ICE To Face Trial On Conspiracy, Obstr

    Mass. Judge Accused Of Helping Immigrant Evade ICE To Face Trial On Conspiracy, Obstruction Charges

    July 27, 2020

    Shannon Dooling and Deborah Becker

    District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph, center, departs federal court, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Boston after facing obstruction of justice charges. (Steven Senne/AP)

    Suspended Newton District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and retired court officer Wesley MacGregor will face trial on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice after a federal judge denied their request to dismiss the charges.

    In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Leo Sorokin said the the case could proceed against Joseph and MacGregor "because the indictment complies with the governing legal standard" and their constitutional challenges do not provide "an avenue to dismissal."

    The pair face accusations that they helped an undocumented immigrant evade arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April 2018 by allowing the man to exit the courthouse through a back door. More than a year later, Attorney Andrew Lelling's office charged Joseph and MacGregor with three counts of federal obstruction of justice, saying at the time that the case was not about immigration enforcement but about upholding the rule of law.

    Lelling, appointed to the office of U.S. Attorney by President Trump, faced criticism by some attorneys for his decision to charge a sitting judge with a federal crime.

    In arguing to dismiss the case, Joseph's attorneys said she made a lawful decision not to assist ICE, and she is shielded from prosecution by judicial immunity.
    Judge Sorokin ruled that judicial immunity is not determined, saying "it is not within this Court’s province on a motion to dismiss to determine whether judicial immunity, even if its reach encompasses criminal liability, provides a viable shelter for Joseph in the circumstances alleged here."

    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, issued a statement in 2019 calling the indictment a "radical and politically-motivated attack on our state and the independence of our courts."
    A trial date was not yet set.

    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 07-28-2020 at 08:50 PM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Lock up these Judges, Mayors and Govenors!

    This is out of control.


  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Mass. Judge Who Obstructed ICE Appears to be on an Unobstructed Path to Trial

    By JENNIFER G. HICKEY July 29, 2020

    A federal judge this week rejected attempts by Massachusetts District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph to avoid going to trial helping an illegal immigrant defendant evade Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. In denying her motion to have charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy dismissed, U.S. District Court Judge Leo Sorokin on Monday effectively cleared the path toward a trial for the presently-suspended judge and trial court officer Wesley MacGregor.

    Judge Sorokin, an Obama appointee, did not rule on the “judicial immunity” claim Joseph has made because, he stated, “it is not within this Court’s province on a motion to dismiss to determine whether judicial immunity, even if its reach encompasses criminal liability, provides a viable shelter for Joseph in the circumstances alleged here.”

    As a reminder, the actions that are more than likely leading Joseph to the inside of a trial courtroom were triggered by the arrest on March 30, 2018, of Jose Medina-Perez by Newton, Mass., police for drug possession. The Dominican national also was arrested because he was a fugitive from justice in Pennsylvania and had been previously deported in 2003 and 2007, and was the subject of a final order of removal.

    Those factors led to ICE lodging a detainer for Medina-Perez with the Newton Police several days later. On April 12, 2018, Newton Police sent him (and the ICE detainer and warrant) to Newton District Court and, more importantly, to the courtroom of Judge Joseph, which is where an unusual and outrageous series of potentially illegal actions took place.

    According the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, Joseph told ICE officers who were legally in her courtroom to leave and wait outside, adding that if the defendant were to be released, it would be through her courtroom. But that is not what happened. After some discussion with the defendant’s lawyer court officer and Joseph’s co-defendant Wesley MacGregor used his security access card to open the rear exit and release the defendant out of the sight of ICE agents. The man was arrested by immigration officials almost a month later.

    Joseph, who was suspended but is still being paid, rejected a plea deal almost a year ago, and has been filing motion after motion in an effort to have the charges tossed. While she denies being aware of the plan to free the criminal alien, Joseph and her lawyers insist that even if guilty, she enjoys “judicial immunity” and cannot be held to account for her actions inside her courtroom. For good measure, both she and MacGregor claim prosecutors are driven by politics and animus toward her views on immigration.

    Thomas Hoopes, her lawyer, alleged in court papers that the charges are “part of a larger campaign by the federal government, led by the President of the United States and supported by various federal officials, to punish those whom they viewed as being too ‘soft’ or lenient in their treatment of undocumented immigrants.”

    But the prosecutor who is directing the case against the two officers of the court strongly disagrees. United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling says. “The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime. We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law.”

    Politics certainly has impacted the case, but not from the prosecution’s side. Defense lawyers in the state launched a campaign claiming that prosecuting Joseph would dissuade illegal immigrants from going to court or cooperating with law enforcement. She also became a cause du jour among left-wing activists and pro-sanctuary politicians who launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay her legal fees after charges were filed.

    Before her indictment, Massachusetts’ taxpayers were left to pick up her legal bills, which amounted to $127,000, according to the Boston Herald. But Massachusetts taxpayers and the criminal justice system will pay an even greater cost should Joseph and her co-conspirator be allowed to evade accountability.
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