Friday, March 25, 2005

Kangaroo Courts in Missouri

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Kangaroo Courts in Missouri

Richie Adams is a listener to the show (The Derry Brownfield Show), he case is detailed below...


Quill Correspondent

Richard John Adams, 40, Branson, has filed a civil lawsuit against Judge John Hutcherson of Clay County who is hearing a criminal case in which Adams is the defendant. Adams is seeking $7 million, plus punitive damages.Adams, in talking with The Quill Tuesday, contends in the lawsuit that the judge has deprived him of his right to liberty, his right to an impartial judge, his rights to due process and a speedy trial, and his right to counsel. Adams said he does not have an attorney representing him in the case.At one time in the approximate two years the criminal case has been before the courts, Adams asked that "Jesus Christ'' be his co-counselor, a request the court denied.The case before Hutcherson involves two charges of tampering with a judicial officer. Adams' trial is set for April 4 at Camdenton. If found guilty, he could get up to seven years in prison on each charge. The charges came after prosecutors said Adams made inappropriate comments to Associate Circuit Judge John Jacobs of Ozark County during a Howell County traffic ticket case in July 2002, heard in Ozark County on a change of venue.Hutcherson is presiding over the case after being appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court. Missouri Assistant Attorney General Ted Bruce is serving as prosecutor."This is all because judges don't like to be put in check when they have done wrong," Adams told The Quill Tuesday.Adams said he "put Jacobs on notice" that he intended to sue Jacobs for violating his rights. He has been deprived of counsel, he added. Attorney Steve Privette, Willow Springs, withdrew from the case because Adams could not pay for his services. Adams said he wants counsel, and has sought but has not found a replacement. "Because the case involves a judge, they don't want to take it, because it might negatively affect their cases in the future," he said.Adams said he received an e-mail from Hutcherson informing him that he will not be allowed to ask questions of prospective jurors; rather, the judge will ask the questions. One proposed question, Adams said, asks jurors if they will hold it against him that he chooses to represent himself. "That's deceptive," he said. "I don't choose to represent myself. I want counsel."Because he has been unable to get counsel, and due to his lack of legal training, Adams said, he plans to bring stacks of law books into the courtroom to serve as reference while he represents himself. He acknowledges his efforts to refer to the books may slow down proceedings.He's filing motions asking to have the case dismissed, he said.Adam's case has been delayed repeatedly. "I have never asked for a continuance, since 2002," he said. A prosecutor or a judge was responsible for every delay, he said. "If this case was a slam-dunk, I would already be in prison. Why have there been three amended informations filed, a change of prosecutors, and so many different judges?"Hutcherson is the fourth judge to preside over the case since it left Jacobs' court. The judge saga began in February 2003 when Adams stood before 44th Circuit Judge John Moody in a hearing to take up pending motions. At that time, Moody scheduled a jury trial for March 19, 2003. A short time later Moody recused himself from the case.On March 19, 2003, Mo. Supreme Court-appointed Judge William Mauer was in the courtroom, but the trial was not held that day. Adams requested the date be changed to allow attorney Privette to join him in court. Mauer approved the request. Privette later asked to be taken off the case.On Nov. 10, 2003, before appointed Judge Daniel Darnold, Adams pleaded not guilty to the charges. Feb. 18, Darnold sat as judge for Adams' pretrial hearing. Darnold later removed himself from the case because he was appointed Vernon County presiding commissioner in Nevada, Mo., and while holding that office he could not preside over court cases. Link


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