Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nuremberg

Swastiki destroyed I had the opportunity last month to visit Nuremberg, Germany and a particularly moving exhibit entitled Fascination and Terror, at the Documentation Centre on the old Nazi Party Rally Grounds.

I arrived almost exactly on the 53rd anniversary of opening statements for the International Military Tribunal (IMT), in November 1945. As the son of a refugee from Nazi Germany, as a prosecutor and as a thinking human being, the significance of Nuremberg has always held particular importance to me. It was the site of the incredibly huge National Socialist (Nazi) Party rallies of the 1930s; and the racist laws that stripped German Jews of virtually all their rights were known as the Nuremberg Laws.

Although it should have been poetic justice that brought the International War Tribunal to Nuremberg's Palace of Justice, like so many things the choice was made for more banal reasons. Between the British and the American bombings, much of Germany had been reduced to rubble. The Palace in Nuremberg, built from 1910 to 1916, was largely undamaged and contained one of the few working courtrooms large enough to accommodate the trials.

I strongly recommend Stanley Kramer's 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, with its amazing cast including Spencer Tracy, Marlene Deitrich, Judy Garland, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximillian Schell, Montgomery Clift, Werner Klemperer and William Shatner. Shot in black-and-white the film is a fictionalized account not of one of the more famous trials of 1945 but of a 1947 trial near the end of the International Military Tribunal's commission. The film explores the issues of law, responsibility, duty, and good and evil in all its intercises.

I was particularly interested in visiting the exhibits at the Nazy Party Ground War Crimes Documentation Museum. I felt I was bearing witness for my father and my family, much as he and I had done when we were the first in our family in 60 years to visit his grandparents' graves in the Weissensee Jewish Cemetery, in Berlin, in 1993. (Hitler left the cemetery unmolested, afraid of the unknown occult repercussions.)

Robert Jackson at NurembergI also wanted to walk the path of Robert H. Jackson, a personal legal hero, sometimes referred to as the most famous or important American no one has ever heard of. Jackson was chief American prosecutor at the IMT, a position for which he had stepped down as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, likely sacrificing his shot at Chief Justice. Jackson notably wrote that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact" and many other profound and eloquent statements, particularly those he delivered in Nuremberg. (photo by Ray D'Addario)

Those who believe in Jung's concept of synchronicity -- a oneness of the universe -- will appreciate the phone call I received a few days before I left for Nuremberg. Charles Lane is an editorial writer for the Washington Post who writes mostly about the Supreme Court and the judicial system (and whose most recent book, The Day Freedom Died, about the 1873 murder by a white militia of 80 freed men in Colfax, Louisiana, and the resulting Supreme Court case, is one of the most compelling true-crime tales ever written). Chuck, as he is known, writes on crime and punishment in America, Japan, Germany and other places , and had called to ask me a question or two. When I mentioned I was en route to Nuremberg, Chuck told me about John Q. Barrett, a St. John's University School of Law professor who is finishing a book on Robert Jackson -- and who might be in Nuremberg at the same time.

Barrett maintains a listserve that contains the following remembrance, recorded on Thanksgiving 1945 by Major Frank Wallis, Assistant Trial Counsel.

Thursday, Thanksgiving day—I was reached. It is difficult to attempt to record any emotions as I stood up in the courtroom—before the prisoners dock—and the 8 judges—before some 350 newspaper men and women, the cameras and more cameras—and started to present the 1st phase of the American case—the common plan and conspiracy—the seizure of control by the Nazis, the consolidation of that control—in short what happened in Germany during the pre war era—the terror, the ruthless purge of the opposition—the destruction of organized labor, the persecution of the churches, the persecution of the Jews, the militarization of the youth and of the country—all in preparation for a gigantic war of aggression aimed at the domination of Europe. As I looked at them [the defendants]—it was with a feeling of scorn and contempt—mixed with a bit of awe—when I remembered how close they came to success in their mad undertaking. Next I was conscious that I was speaking to the world—not only the world of today—but the world of future generations—as this was history that was being made and recorded, history that would be in the school books, history that would be a source of study for years to come by International lawyers and students. However, I did not have much time or opportunity for reflection—I had a job to do—to drive a few nails into the coffins of the bastards with words—and for the next four hours I proceeded to do it to the best of my ability. I don't think that I will ever forget Thanksgiving 1945—and I doubt if I'll ever spend another Thanksgiving—in a strange country, in an International Court Room prosecuting such low level scoundrels—I certainly hope not.

Barrett's epilogue to Wallis's presentation reads:
As Thanksgiving approaches, I wish for each of you --American and not, religious and not--a Nuremberg perspective that includes gratitude, peace, justice and human alliance.
I think of my father. Lucian Marquis escaped the Nazis at age 12, fought them as an American infantryman and interrogator in Patton's Army, and went on to teach for almost 50 years, leaving legions of devoted students.

I reflect on the nature of my job, the necessity of accountability and responsibility, and my father's warning, drawn from another Nazi survivor, Italian writer Ignazio Silone, who worked for the OSS during World War II: "Never make fun of a man in jail."

If one agrees with Jung that coincidence is trumped by synchronicity, then I was particularly fortunate to visit Courtroom 600, where the most famous of the IMT trials took place. The courtroom was enlarged to accommodate the Nazi trials and then returned to its original size, after which it remained in use for court sessions. Even though I was unable to stay in Nuremberg a couple extra days to attend a ceremony in the courtroom with Whitney Harris, the last living of the Nuremberg "podium prosecutors," now 96, I did visit on the very last day the courtroom would be open to the public until sometime in 2010, when it will reopen as a memorial site for the trials.

In the words of one of my favorite lines from a movie, "Is it possible that there are no coincidences"?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Measure 57 is the better choice





Guest Column
For The Daily Astorian
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As your district attorney for more than 14 years, you elect me to protect you from the small number of criminals who break the law.

Oregon is a state that gives voters the right to make substantial changes in state law, and in this election such a choice is before the voters. Voters have the opportunity to make three possible choices on the November ballot concerning property crime.

There are two essentially competing ballot measures - 57 and 61. The latter was drafted by Kevin Mannix and proposes mandatory prison sentences for several first-time property offenses, including burglary and identity theft. Measure 57 was referred by the Legislature and is supported by a broad coalition ranging from criminal defense attorneys to almost every elected Oregon prosecutor. Measure 57 gives judges the power to sentence drug dealers, thieves and burglars to up to three years in prison and to order treatment.

Our citizens are extremely frustrated that a small number of criminals continues to commit the majority of the property crime. Oregonians are so frustrated that they are going to pass both Measures 57 and 61; the question is which deserves the most votes and will be enacted into law? If both measures pass, the one which gets the greater number of votes takes effect and the other one that "passed" by a lesser amount does not go into effect.

Because of this, your vote is even more critical, and I hope you will join me in voting yes on Measure 57.

In the 14 years I have served as Clatsop County's chief prosecutor, no one has ever accused me of being soft on crime. I support Measure 57 not only because it is much less expensive but also because it covers a much broader number of repeat property crimes than Measure 61. It gives judges the authority to impose prison, but doesn't make it mandatory, and offers treatment that is often critical for offenders who are overwhelmingly involved in substance abuse.

Since 2005, I have served on the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission which reviews Oregon's sentencing guidelines. This gives me a unique perspective on Oregon sentencing policy. Since 1994 when a judge sentences a rapist to eight years in prison, they actually serve eight years in prison. But while violent crime has dramatically decreased over the last 10 years, property crime rates have remained high, in large part because judges have been prevented from giving significant sentences.

One recent vivid example was the theft and destruction of the statue of Sacagewea at Lewis and Clark National Park. The criminal who vandalized and cut the head off the bronze statute had a criminal record that included misdemeanor and felony convictions. He was convicted of aggravated theft in the first degree, which on paper carries a possible 10 years in prison. What was the actual sentence?. Twenty days in jail. The judge said he wished he could give him more time, but sentencing guidelines forbade it.

Under Measure 57 he could have given this repeat criminal up to two years in prison.

Under Measure 61 this particular crime isn't even covered, so the judge would still be stuck with a maximum of 20 days.

For a justice system to work, there needs to be proportionality and flexibility. Not all crimes are the same and not all criminals are the same. Under Measure 61 anyone convicted of residential burglary would be automatically sentenced to three years in prison. Some burglars deserve that, but I have prosecuted many cases where a young person with no criminal record breaks into a vacation home and steals liquor. While this is a serious offense, forcing a judge to impose a three-year prison term makes little sense.

By the same token, if we fail to pass Measure 57, Oregon will remain the favorite place for identity thieves and burglars to ply their trade.

If you have questions about these ballot measures, feel free to contact me at (coastda@aol.com) or call me at my office at (503) 325-8581.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prosecutors for Obama


I have almost always voted for Democrats for President (I think I voted for John Anderson in 1980), but party affiliation is less important than the content of a candidate's character, intelligence, and what they bring to the office. Several months ago, after Bill Richardson dropped out, I decided that the best candidate for the next President of the United States was and is Barack Obama.

The federal government's role in crime control is largely that of leadership and funding. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that justice is best served by leaders who are "tough on crime and tougher on the causes of crime." Barack Obama has said that it's not enough to be tough on crime, we must be tough and smart.

The concept of being tough and smart and fair is consistent with Obama's repeated calls for personal responsibility. "I believe that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up," he has repeatedly said. "[People] know government can't solve all their problems, and they don't expect it to. They believe in personal responsibility, and hard work, and self-reliance."

Your local prosecutors have the job of bringing accountability with fairness into the community. State and local prosecutors handle about 95% of all criminal prosecutions in this country. Several months ago I started gathering other elected prosecutors to endorse Obama and to help spread the word that, contrary to what might be conventional wisdom, career prosecutors are enthusiastic about Barack Obama.

The biggest failure of the Republican administration has been the abandonment of the federal Byrne Grants, which provided money to fight interstate and interagency crimes -- including funding for DNA databases, sex offender registries and gang task forces -- as well local drug prevention, rehab and enforcement programs. Rural and small towns were particularly hard hit, and many of their drug task forces simply closed up shop.

The Bush administration has all but eliminated its funding to the National Advocacy Center, in Columbia, South Carolina, for the training and continuing education of local and state prosecutors On top of that, there is almost no communication between the federal prosecutors in the Department of Justice and the state and local prosecutors. Injustice flourishes best when the person standing at the gateway of the justice system -- the prosecutor -- doesn't or can't do the job well. All the more reason to make sure that those men and women are adequately trained and valued for their work.

Federal sentencing laws should involve rational drug control policies, giving out tough sentences to those who are major traffickers in drugs and humans. Obama promises to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder-based cocaine, in which the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence is required for 5 grams of crack cocaine and 500 grams of powder cocaine.

We need foreign policies that address international drug production, whether that is heroin in Afghanistan, cocaine in Colombia, or methamphetamine in Mexico. Those polices should address the truly responsible - traffickers - and not simply implement quotas which only encourage the use of valuable federal prosecution resources on end-users.

We also need to stitch up holes in the system, like the current policy of providing nothing more than a bus ticket back home to someone illegally crossing the Mexican-American border with 499 pounds of marijuana.

In the same vein, the Bush administration has paid too little attention to human trafficking and the horrible toll it takes on women and children.

It's perhaps particularly important that the Department of Justice be de-politicized. The firing of eight US Attorneys, seven in one day, in 2006 -- most of whom were presiding over public corruption trials at the time -- undermined the integrity of the Department. Obama has pledged to end ideological litmus tests at DOJ, even requiring new hires to affirm that they weren't offered the job based on political affiliation alone, and employees who make hiring decisions to certify that they did not take political affiliation into account for career positions.

The ethical failures of the Bush administration at the Department of Justice and its indifference to the needs of local law enforcement working amidst a worsening economy call for CHANGE.

Crime is not a liberal versus conservative issue, and for too long it's been a code word for failed policies designed to curry favor with one extreme or the other. Changing the old rhetoric means creating new alliances that can create communities -- and not just gated communities -- where parents are not afraid their children will be shot on the street. The victims of crime are, out of all proportion to America, women, and children, and people of color.

"It is up to us to create a better America," Obama says. As the Broken Window theory proved, that starts with the little things -- some of which are little only on a national level. Your neighbor beat his wife last Saturday night? That won't make the news. The local flower shop was vandalized? No news at eleven. But it matters to those people, their families. That's where your well-trained, well-valued local prosecutor steps in.

These prosecutors from across America have declared their support for the candidate of Change, Barack Obama: Stan Levco, Evansville, Indiana; Everett Fowle, Augusta, Maine; Bob McCulloch, St. Louis, Missouri; Kamala Harris, San Francisco, California; John Sarcone, Des Moines, Iowa; Barry Kirscher, Palm Beach, Florida; Jim Fox, Redwood City, California; Barbara LaWall, Tucson, Arizona; and many, many others.

Let's be frank: Some voters are afraid that Barack Obama will head an administration that tolerates and excuses crime, particularly among the African-American community. Yet Obama calls for accountability that starts with the family and the community. It is a message not of excuses, but of responsibility.

Barack Obama's life story personifies the American dream. His election has the promise of bringing America into a post-racial era of politics from which everyone would benefit, and make real the Langston Hughes plea that "America must be, America will be, America to me."

For every American.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tom Kelly sentenced to 36 years in prison

Astoria man sent to prison for 36 years





The Daily Astorian
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2008 12:00 am

His gray beard was cut short and his hair slicked back when 57-year-old Thomas Michael Kelly of Astoria entered a Clatsop County Courtroom Monday morning.

He wore a bright yellow jumpsuit with CLATSOP COUNTY INMATE stenciled across the back. Shackles on his arms and legs forced him to shuffle as he entered Courtroom 100.

Flanked by two brown-uniformed Clatsop County deputies at all times, he stood quietly as Circuit Court Judge Cindee Matyas listed the penalties she would impose for the crimes of which he was convicted.

Six imposing-looking deputies lined the low wall that separated the gallery from the well of the court. Sheriff Tom Bergin and five others were spread throughout the gallery.

Matyas sentenced Kelly to four consecutive 100-month sentences - more than 33 years in prison.

"There was overwhelming evidence - there truly was," Matyas said. "In the face of overwhelming evidence, you deny responsibility. There is some mindset - when you justify some sort of sexual interaction with children - that's disturbing."

A 12-person jury found Kelly guilty of 12 counts each of first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse for ongoing abuse of a girl between July 2004 and May 2006. The girl is now age 10.

Ron Brown, Clatsop County's chief deputy district attorney, sought eight consecutive 100-month terms.
Threatening lettersDozens of close friends and family members of Kelly's crowded the courtroom during both his trial and the sentencing. They contacted numerous media outlets, crying injustice.

And one sent threatening letters to Brown, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, Kelly's Portland attorney Susan Reese, and other people involved in the trial.

"The man who sent you hate mail is out there, would you like an escort?" asked a county deputy as Reese prepared to leave the courtroom.

Reese declined the offer.

As she departed, she told a reporter, "I would like to say that he's profoundly sorry," adding that she believed the sentence was disproportionate to similar cases in other parts of the state.

Strict security

And, by many accounts, there were numerous unusual events in this sentencing.

Bryant Baehr, the trial court administrator, said the Sheriff's Office only asks the court to use metal detector wands to check people entering the courtrooms four to five times per year, and they did for this hearing.

The victim and her family were brought into the courtroom before other gallery attendees and the press.

Then Kelly was led in.

Kelly's wife, Lilly, was one of the first of his supporters allowed into the courtroom. She gazed around the room.

She looked to the corner where the victim's father sat, with tears in his eyes and fists on his lap.

Kelly's family and supporters shot frequent, elongated glances at the the victim and her parents, who sat at the wall in the back corner of the gallery, across the court from the judge.

"The whole trial, in my opinion, was a 25-cent Vaudeville act," said Richard Kelly, Kelly's father. He rocked back and forth in his seat as Matyas announced his son's sentences, staring for nearly 10 minutes at the family of the victim.

Kelly's family spoke to the court with emotional voices. Some declaimed Kelly's conviction, while others spoke of his innocence.

"I just want to say that you'll never find a better son. Never," said his mother, Gloria Kelly.

Supporting his body against the rail of the courtroom, the victim's father spoke tearfully to the defendant in a courtroom filled with dozens of Kelly's supporters.

"My family is ruined," he said. "We're never going to get over 

Kelly did not divert his eyes from the victim's father while he spoke. When the 10-year-old victim stood to address the court, Kelly leaned back in his chair. "I feel bad for him, but I can never forgive him either," the youngster said.

When he spoke the court, Kelly did not express any regret for the crimes he was convicted of, but told the victim and her father that he loves them. Kelly made a joke, and before he sat down, burst into song with his wife and daughter.

"To know, know you is to love, love, love you. Just to see you smile..." Kelly sang, breaking off the Phil Spector song in mid-sentence.

"... it makes my life worthwhile," his wife, Lilly, and daughter, Aime, continued.

Many of Kelly's supporters still believe in his innocence, and think that his sentencing is not the end of the road.

"The bottom line is we will pursue an appeals process and we believe in my brother's innocence," said Kelly's sister, Kathy Zimmerman, of Portland.

During the sentencing, Judge Matyas said the evidence against Kelly was overwhelming.

"I can't say that the jury's finding was disproportionate to the evidence," she said.

After Kelly was removed, the victim and her family left the courtroom first, escorted by Clatsop County deputies. Kelly's family and supporters shuffled out of the court room, lingering in the parking lot.

At 10:30 a.m., a Clatsop County deputy asked the group to leave the courthouse parking lot, saying they were intimidating.

Brown said he was proud to be a part of the prosecution and praised the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office after the hearing. He said the investigators did a good job of seizing a chair which had Kelly's DNA on it, which was a key piece of evidence.

"It's nice to tell the victim (the conviction) doesn't all ride on them," Brown said. "He got what he deserved.

"I do feel sorry for his family. In big, significant cases, people refuse to look at the evidence objectively."


Friday, June 20, 2008

Knight of Rosaria

Honor bestowed on DADaily Astorian, June 20, 2008, "In One Ear" feature

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis can now claim to be a knight ... sort of. Marquis, pictured above kneeling, was named a "Knight of Rosaria" at a ceremony as part of the Portland Rose Festival this year.

He joins several prominent Astorians who have been so honored in the past, as well as actors Jimmy Stewart, Red Skelton, and others deemed worthy by the Royal Rosarians in annual ceremonies since 1921.

Rosarian Prime Minister Peter Glazer made a point of honoring a number of people in the justice community this year including Oregon Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer and Portland District Attorney Mike Schrunk. Marquis said he was honored to be in such company.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Debunking myths about Measure 11




Friday, May 30, 2008

In 1994 Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed Measure 11. An effort to repeal the law in 2000 was rejected by a resounding 75 percent of voters. You'd think the message would be clear: Oregonians want there to be truth in sentencing. Still, opponents of the law want to take another swipe.
Oregonians are again facing an onslaught of propaganda that seeks to persuade us to believe several myths, frightful urban legends that have been pressed in many a newspaper editorial, including in The Oregonian.
First myth: Measure 11 squanders our children's future by turning Oregon into a penal colony. We spend more money locking up people than educating them. One recent study by the Pew Center found that Oregon spends more money on prisons than higher ed -- more than any other state.

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The truth: About 58 cents of every state tax dollar funds education (K through higher education), and about 9 cents funds our corrections departments and facilities. Barely 2 of those 9 cents are spent on Measure 11 offenders. The Pew Center study included the nearly quarter-billion dollars the state of Oregon spends to fund local probation -- a cost that's picked up by municipalities and counties in most other states -- and it didn't include the state's support of Oregon Health & Science University or its many community colleges.
Second myth: Measure 11 has filled our prisons with doe-eyed first-time pot smokers.
The truth: More than 60 percent of all the 13,000-odd inmates in state custody are there for violent or crimes against people. Fewer than 25 percent of people convicted of a felony are sentenced to prison; the rest are put on probation.
Measure 11 offenses include the higher degrees of homicide -- excluding criminally negligent homicide -- and more serious sex felonies such as rape and child molestation. It doesn't include any degree of burglary, even home-invasion burglary, nor any drug offenses, not even furnishing methamphetamine to minors.
Third myth (as claimed in the 1994 effort to defeat Measure 11): Measure 11 will overwhelm Oregon's prisons with 6,000 new prisoners by the year 2000.
The truth: Measure 11 added about 2,600 prisoners by 2000, largely because of judicious charging decisions by Oregon's 36 elected district attorneys. Even today only 4,000 more prisoners have been added. Read the Metro section of The Oregonian, and you'll see articles in which thugs and gang-bangers are receiving sentences of 12 to 20 years. These sentences are the result of our judges using their discretion to make Measure 11 sentences consecutive because they believe some crimes merit more than the mandatory minimum.
The doctrinaire opponents of incarceration, those who believe every prison sentence is a failure of the system, didn't prevail in last week's Democratic primary. Attorney General-elect John Kroger won a stunning victory because he had broad support, from almost every elected DA in Oregon to labor leaders and supporters of equal rights for gay people. Opponents should quit trying to repeal Measure 11 and work together with Kroger and other Oregonians to find sensible solutions to crime that offer effective treatment to those willing to accept it and incarceration to those who won't. No one is doing hard time for smoking a doobie in Oregon.
As the economy contracts and violent crime declines, there will be ever greater pressure on states to cut back on incarceration. The next great criminal justice policy debate in America will not be about the death penalty, a perennial and eternal discussion, but about sentencing policy.
Joshua Marquis is district attorney of Clatsop County and serves as a member of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

John Kroger has vision

Letter to the Editor, the Daily Astorian
Published Friday, April 25, 2008

On May 20, registered Democrats will choose Oregon's next attorney general. There is no Republican candidate, so the winner of the Democratic primary, between John Kroger and Greg Macpherson, will be the state's top lawyer.

I strongly endorse the candidacy of John Kroger. Kroger is a law professor at Lewis and Clark, a former prosecutor and not part of any political establishment. Kroger is the only candidate who has actually tried a jury trial, the only candidate who has put corporate criminals in prison and the only candidate endorsed by a wide diversity of groups, from the Sierra Club, to the labor unions, to former Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Many voters are anxious to get away from the old politics that have dominated state and national politics. Kroger has a vision for enhancing the environmental and consumer protection enforcement divisions of the Oregon Department of Justice.

He understands that Oregonians value the justice system, expect it to protect their quality of life and want it to maintain a balance between treatment and incarceration. Kroger knows that drug treatment is particularly needed, as Oregon ranks in the bottom third in the nation in access.

John Kroger has prosecuted Enron executives, Mafiosi and major drug dealers. He understands that law enforcement needs the support of an attorney general who knows their needs and challenges.

For the past quarter century, Oregon's attorney general has enjoyed a good working relationship with the 36 independently elected district attorneys who serve across the state. An overwhelming majority of those district attorneys endorse John Kroger for attorney general.

For all these reasons, I urge you to vote for John Kroger for attorney general in the May election.

Joshua Marquis
Clatsop County District Attorney
Astoria

DA's stipend reinstated

Clatsop County commissioners restore Marquis' $13,500 pay addition; issue was a key controversy last year

By JOE GAMM
The Daily Astorian
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nearly a year after the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners stripped the district attorney of a county-paid stipend to his salary, it has reversed its decision.

Saying county District Attorney Josh Marquis has complied with its requirements of providing performance-based budget measures, Commissioner Ann Samuelson suggested the stipend should be reinstated.

The board voted 3-1 to reinstate the $13,500 stipend - retroactive to April 1 - with Commissioners Samuelson, Sam Patrick and Chairwoman Patricia Roberts in favor and Commissioner Jeff Hazen opposed during Wednesday night's meeting in the Judge Guy Boyington Building.

"I'm very pleased with this," Marquis said. "It was a very unwelcome distraction for everyone."

Hazen - who made the motion to strip the DA of his stipend last May during a budget hearing - said he still has concerns about the county paying part of a state employee's salary.

"I still feel strongly that the state should be paying in full on this," he said. "I'm going to remain firm in my decision."

The conflict over the DA's stipend began at the May 14, 2007, county budget hearing, when Hazen made his motion to strip the DA of the stipend. Budget committee members favored this in a 7-2 vote. During the Board of Commissioners' regular meeting June 27, members voted 4-1, with Patrick opposed and Hazen, Samuelson, Roberts and former commissioner Richard Lee in favor, to eliminating the stipend.

The decision started a protracted public battle that eventually led to supporters of reinstatement of the stipend putting a measure on last November's ballot. The measure would have changed the county charter to tie the DA's salary to a percentage of that of circuit court judges, thus reinstating the stipend.

It failed by 66 votes.

The bad feelings remained and many critics said Lee's leadership in opposition of the stipend played a role in his March 25 recall.

Wednesday's decision didn't completely satisfy stipend supporters.

Patrick asked that the stipend include an annual 3 percent cost of living increase. He made a motion to do so, but it failed for lack of a second.

The board also asked County Manager Scott Derickson to amend the 2008-2009 budget proposal to include the stipend.

"I'm asking that you put it in the budget for next year, but that it be a fixed amount at $13,500," Roberts said.

Derickson told the Board that it doesn't have authority to set the budget for next year. But the commissioners said they wanted it amended for the Budget Committee.

Hazen said he'd be willing to support the motion because it would be going to the Budget Committee for discussion.

Following the meeting, Marquis reiterated that he was pleased with the decision.

"They recognized the DA's role as a department head," Marquis said. "I'm very appreciative for Commissioner Samuelson for raising (the stipend decision) on her own."

(c)2008 The Daily Astorian

see also:

Pay restored to Oregon prosecutor with national reputation
4/24/2008, 12:31 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — District Attorney Josh Marquis has a paycheck made whole.

After a long political quarrel, the Clatsop County commission has voted to restore the local supplement to his state salary.

Marquis is a prosecutor with a national reputation as a death penalty advocate. His speeches and articles have brought him to the attention of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who cited him in a 2006 death penalty case.

Last year, the county commissioners voted to cut the local money augmenting the $84,360 in state pay for district attorneys in the 27 Oregon counties with populations of less than 100,000.

A ballot measure followed, sponsored by his allies to restore a supplement. It narrowly failed.

After that, commission Chairman Richard Lee, a foe of Marquis, was ousted in a recall election.

The spat had a history.

In the mid-1990s, Marquis unsuccessfully prosecuted Lee on a charge of violating dog licensing requirements at a breeding operation. In 2006, Marquis' wife ran unsucsessfully against Lee.

In the pay debate, Lee cited Marquis' activity outside the county and pressed him to set performance measures.

On Wednesday, the commission voted to restore $13,500 in county funds to the base salary.

Commissioner Ann Samuelson said Marquis has provided performance-based budget measures, so she could support the local stipend.

The vote was 3-1, with commissioner Jeff Hazen saying he continued to believe that the state government should provide all the pay for prosecutors.

Many counties add a local stipend to their prosecutors' salaries, although some have been cutting them as a response to budget pressures.

"I'm very pleased with this," Marquis said. "It was a very unwelcome distraction for everyone."
from The Oregonian

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Counting the Guilty

Adam Liptak, "Sidebar" columnist and legal report for the New York Times wrote an interesting column this week called "Consensus on Counting the Innocent: We Can’t."

The column arose from a detailed opinion from US Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, in Kansas vs. Marsh, in which Scalia cited a series of writings by me on the subject of innocence and the death penalty. I pointed out that the justice system may very well be operating with a success rate (meaning rightful convictions) of about 99.973 percent.

It is certainly thrilling to be cited by a Supreme Court Justice. But, as with any research, the most gratification comes from sparking a robust discussion. The opinion, like most of Scalia's work, was pointed and controversial, and it begat a furious series of rebuttals both in academia and on opinion pages.

Many people believe that any error is unacceptable. I would agree that we strive for that, but the policy issue is: At what cost?

Cass Sunstein, law professor at the University of Chicago and noted progressive, set out the issue quite eloquently in a highly controversial article entitled "Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs." From the abstract:
Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many eighteen or more murders for each execution. This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death. Capital punishment thus presents a life-life tradeoff, and a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life may well compel, rather than forbid, that form of punishment. Moral objections to the death penalty frequently depend on a distinction between acts and omissions, but that distinction is misleading in this context, because government is a special kind of moral agent. The familiar problems with capital punishment - potential error, irreversibility, arbitrariness, and racial skew - do not argue in favor of abolition, because the world of homicide suffers from those same problems in even more acute form. The widespread failure to appreciate the life-life tradeoffs involved in capital punishment may depend on cognitive processes that fail to treat "statistical lives" with the seriousness that they deserve.
My writing on the subject began a few years back when Liptak sent me a study by Professor Samuel Gross of the University of Michigan that purported to document a startling number of wrongful conviction. Not long after that I was invited to be a presenter and writer to a symposium on the death penalty held in the November of 2004 at the campus of the Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. Prof. Gross was also on one of the panels discussing capital punishment. As it turned out, my article called "The Myth of Innocence" (not to be confused with the article of the same name that appeared in the National Review), was published in the Winter 2005 issue of Northwestern's Journal of Criminal alongside Prof. Gross'sarticle about "Exonerations in the United States, 1989-2003."


The central thesis of Professor Gross's study is his belief that wrongful conviction, particularly in murder cases, is epidemic; that the roughly 400 cases he could identify were merely the tip of the iceberg and that far more innocents remain undiscovered behind prison walls.

Only a fool would claim that our justice system is infallible. There were likely many false convictions before the exclusionary rule, mandated counsel for the accused, and the criminal jurisprudence that grew out of the Warren Court in the 1960s. The question is whether in modern America wrongful convictions are epidemic or episodic. The machinery of justice requires constant tinkering, but if it is hurling innocents into prison at a rate of 2 or 3 percent I would agree that such a system is dangerously flawed.

I took a close look at Gross's numbers and also at a list of cases he listed by state in which he claimed the defendants were exonerated. Some were from Oregon and others were cases I recognized and knew the background. It quickly became clear Gross considered exoneration to include reversal of a conviction and a not guilty verdict upon retrial.

Such a definition would seriously wound if nor torture the true definition of "exonerated," a word of great power that most people equate with actual innocence.

I agree with Prof. Gross that more than 400 innocent people probably were convicted in the United States between the 15-year period he studied, from 1989 to 2003. If that is in fact the number, the error rate would be so low as to barely merit notice, unless of course you or someone you cared for were one of the 400. But we should not make major social policy by anecdote. If we did, we would ban elective surgery and grossly restrict the ability of people to drive cars or receive medical prescriptions, all of which have a failure rate that results in tens of thousands of deaths annually.

The sensible and decent thing to do is to attempt to mold a system that minimizes as much as practical the risk of wrongful conviction. So, to give Professor Gross a fair shake, I assumed he undercounted wrongful convictions by a factor of 10 and that there were four thousand wrongful convictions for felonies in his 15-year period. In "The Innocent and the Shammed," an OpEd for the New York Times, published on January 26, 2006 and quoted by Scalia, I wrote:
So, let's give the professor the benefit of the doubt: let's assume that he understated the number of innocents by roughly a factor of 10, that instead of 340 there were 4,000 people in prison who weren't involved in the crime in any way. During that same 15 years, there were more than 15 million felony convictions across the country. That would make the error rate .027 percent — or, to put it another way, a success rate of 99.973 percent.
We must aspire towards a system that discriminates so precisely between the guilty and the innocent that the error rate is as low as possible without unleashing hordes of sociopaths on society. A prosecutor's worst nightmare is not losing a case, it is convicting an innocent person.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Commentary about Richard Lee Recall on Coast Watch, KAST-AM


I'm calling in for the first and only time on the issue of Richard Lee's recall, to make a couple points.

First is that despite repeated claims by Mr. Lee and his supporters, neither my wife, Cindy Price, who narrowly lost the race to Mr. Lee by one half a percent of the votes in 2006, nor I have been involved in the Citizens for Open Government. They haven't sought my advice. I haven't attended their meetings. As far as I can tell from reading their website, they are a diverse group of people with many reasons to recall Mr. Lee.


That said, I'm a resident of District 3 and have been for the 14 years I've been District Attorney.


I'm hopeful that Mr. Lee will be recalled. His conduct while a County Commissioner has been grossly inappropriate. I've attended many county commission meetings and in the three years he was chair there was little public discussion and it was obvious that private discussions had already decided many decisions.

There is no question now, based on statements Mr. Lee made to the Daily Astorian, that he was behind the ambush move last May to reduce my pay 15%. He helped appoint and nominated as chair of the budget committee Joe Baakensen, a man who has been trying to get my pay reduced since 1997.

As chair, Mr. Lee had to authorize the hiring of a Portland law firm to try and keep almost 3,000 voters from even being allowed to sign a petition trying to find a way to right the wrong he voted in favor of.

His extended family funded most of the opposition to Measure 4-123 and, not content with that, Mr. Lee took the step of buying large display ads in the Daily Astorian making statements about 4-123 that were simply false. I felt so strongly that I purchased ads to respond although I am not a wealthy man, as is Mr. Lee.

While Mr. Lee was chair I made repeated requests to meet with him and the commission, and never got the courtesy of an response. When I appeared before the commission and asked a simple question -- What do you want from me? -- Lee refused to respond. When one county commissioner tried to ask the county manager, Mr. Lee gaveled him into silence.


Mr. Lee authorized the expenditure of more thousands of taxpayer dollars to hire an attorney, the main purpose of which was to prevent me from speaking to county management or the Board while Measure 4-123 was on the ballot.

Recall is not meant merely for felons, but also for conduct which holds the citizens in contempt. Mr. Lee says he represents the voters of District 3 yet voters in that district (as well as those in Commissioner Roberts' district) voted in FAVOR of Measure 4-123. And, as you yourself have said, Tom, a number of people did not want to amend the charter but did not think the Commissioners had acted properly in removing my stipend.


Mr. Lee has been asked by several community leaders to start trying to heal the divisions and he has flatly refused.


Mr. Lee's conduct involving me and my office is just one of many valid reasons people have to recall Mr. Lee.


He deserves to be recalled.


Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Words Matter

In a front-page story in Sunday's Oregonian reporter Susan Goldsmith tells the tale of "innocent" people wrongly charged with driving under the influence or reckless driving who then suffer because they can't have their police records erased.

There are some problems with her story but she’s absolutely right about one thing: Oregon’s system of sealing or not sealing records is a mess.

One of the problems with the story is Ms. Goldsmith’s choice of words. In the law, words matter. Even the smallest words generally have specific definitions. The choice of those words, those specifics, in fact are the basic elements of our written laws. So it’s important first to define and understand the words. I'll start with “expungement”.

Expungement is the complete and indelible destruction of a record so that there is nothing left to be found. All records are deleted or shredded; it is as if the incident never happened. Oregon law allows for expungement of virtually any juvenile record, under the theory that children deserve a clean slate when they become adults.

Adults are subject to different rules, and the rules for traffic violations are different from other crimes.

For crimes other than traffic violations, Oregon law allows for the records of any arrest that did not result in a conviction to be “sealed”, including arrests for rape and murder, after a motion is made to “set aside” the records of the arrest. Sealed records do not appear on any public record available to anyone except law enforcement. If an employer asks, “Have you ever been arrested?” you can legally answer “No.” If you find yourself on the witness stand in a courtroom and are asked the same question, again, you can legally answer “No.”

Oregon law also allows records of convictions for most crimes, including domestic violence, criminally negligent homicide, some burglaries and most drug possession, to be sealed after a motion to set aside made three years after the conviction, so long as the person has not been in additional trouble with the law during that three-year period.

These laws are both good and bad. On the good side, they allow people who were arrested for a crime they truly did not commit to have a clean record; and they allow people who have led a crime-free life for at least three years to go forth with a record clear of misdemeanor and less serious felony convictions.

On the bad side, the laws make no difference between the truly innocent and the truly guilty who the D.A. decided not to prosecute because of some glitch in the arrest process or some other inability to go forward in court. Often enough this is a man who has been arrested for beating up his wife or girlfriend, or sexually abusing her, but the woman is so afraid of him that she won’t testify against him, and without her testimony the man cannot be successfully prosecuted. Or it’s a burglar, embezzler, drug dealer or thug who manages to keep clean for three years in between crimes. Plenty of such people are in courtrooms across Oregon right now. They are legally claiming to the judge and the jury that they have no previous record but, even though they may be only 30 years old, are in court for their fourth separate embezzlement charge.

It could be worse. A man in central Oregon murdered a woman whom he had assaulted a few years previously. At that time he had been convicted of Felony Assault, but three years later his lawyer filed a motion to set aside the conviction. By the time the man murdered the woman, his previous record was sealed. If he had taken the witness stand at the murder trial he could have legally told the judge and the jury that he had never before been convicted of a crime.

Traffic violations, from parking tickets to arrests for driving under the influence, are subject to entirely different laws.

Oregon law doesn’t allow traffic violations or infractions to be set aside and sealed. The main reason is because of the societal interest in keeping track of people who are frequently arrested for -- and not so frequently convicted of -- driving under the influence. It’s a well-known fact that a person may drive under the influence many dozens of times before being stopped and arrested. And many of those who are arrested but not convicted are either veteran drunk drivers who refuse to provide any information to the arresting officer, or the beneficiaries of defense lawyers like Mr. Hingson, who charges over $10,000 to work his magic and persuade a judge to suppress a traffic stop, sparing his client from justice.

The secondary reason traffic violations cannot be sealed is the one stated by Ms. Goldsmith in her article: that traffic violations don’t merit the time it would take to erase all record of their happening. As a practical matter, most traffic violations automatically cycle off your DMV record after three years -- unless you are a very frequent customer.

In any case, arrests for driving under the influence and other traffic violations that do not result in conviction reside only in the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS), a highly secure database accessible only to law enforcement personnel and only for official use. Official use doesn’t mean that I can use the LEDS to find out whether someone I don’t like has committed a crime. There are only two legitimate uses -- for employment in law enforcement and for record checks by criminal justice agencies of accused criminals -- and law enforcement risks its access to the system if LEDS is used for any other purpose.

In other words, even with all the computer databases currently available, a record for a DUII on the LEDS system is not at all incapable of being deleted or obliterated -- or "indelible," as Ms. Goldsmith writes.

The people in Mrs. Goldsmith's story may indeed be embarrassed or humiliated. But their beef about being “unduly burdened” should be with their employer, not with the legal system. They work or are seeking employment with agencies and businesses that are (perhaps in some cases overly) sensitive to the law, who require their employees to report any and every adverse contact with the law, and who have rules that include immediate dismissal for not reporting or for lying. It’s the prerogative of those businesses to know when an applicant or employee has been “busted”, to use a word in the Oregonian’s headline. ("Busts stick to innocent drivers.") Anyone who has applied for a job in law enforcement or for a position that requires a national security clearance will remember the intrusive questions asked and the requirements of personal behavior one is expected to follow throughout the term of employment. It’s a like-it-or-leave-it decision for the employee.

Meanwhile, it remains true that, as I wrote at the beginning, Oregon’s system of sealing or not sealing arrests is a mess. We need to fix the laws to protect victims not from an embarrassing few minutes at work, but from thugs and thieves who manage to keep their offenses in check just long enough to get their record clean before hurting someone else.


Thursday, February 14, 2008




Let's not squander our moral capital
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The Oregonian

The Bush administration has announced it will seek the death penalty against six of the men being held as detainees for their involvement in terrorism against America.
I have both prosecuted and defended capital cases for more than 15 years, and I am a vocal supporter of the death penalty in appropriate cases. If it is proved that these men masterminded the murder of more than 3,000 people, such a crime would indeed warrant the death penalty. But I'm absolutely opposed to seeking death against these men under the terms of the military tribunals the administration has put forth.
Defending the decision on PBS' "The News Hour," former Associate White House Counsel Brad Berenson explained that for most observers the trials would look almost exactly like one that would be held in one of the 37 states that have capital punishment.
"There's only a 10 percent difference," Berenson claimed.
But in making a decision to execute someone, 10 percent is an unacceptably massive difference.
Under the terms of the tribunals, trials would take place at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at a location called Camp Justice. Each case would be decided by a panel of military officers, one of whom will have legal training. The rest will essentially act as jurors. In no way can a panel of U.S. military officers be compared to a jury of the peers of these terrorists. The rules of evidence will be "relaxed," meaning that hearsay evidence will be admissible.
The argument is that national security could be compromised if the source of some of the evidence is revealed. But that's no different from being unable to produce an informant against a Mafia killer because the witness is afraid to testify. In our system of justice, the defendant who faces death gets to confront his accusers, and hearsay is allowed only in very few situations. One of them is not that the witness is a secret agent.
Many of us among the 70 percent of Americans who believe the death penalty is appropriate for the worst of the worst killers would agree that the crimes these men may have committed are indeed worthy of death. We who support the death penalty believe it to be an affirmation of the importance of life. But the devil is in the details -- and that's "due process" in our legal system.
We squander our moral capital if we take a shortcut through Camp Justice to avoid having to prove these cases to the necessary level, and with a quality of proof that would pass muster in a trial for stealing a car. The same rules of evidence apply to the shoplifter and the murderer.
Threatening or applying the death penalty in the manner under consideration by the Bush administration will undermine confidence in the American system of justice at home and abroad. The death penalty has proved to be a deterrent, but we must ensure that every defendant is factually guilty and warrants the ultimate punishment -- even for those who might prefer to be martyred.
It may well be that the government has a valid right to detain combatants in an undeclared war and deny them the same rights as citizens. But that's a far cry from executing them without due process. It may be just to imprison these terrorists for a very long period of time -- perhaps their entire lifetime -- but it would be wrong to execute them without affording them the very cumbersome but necessary rights that the American judicial system affords people it seeks to judge.
Joshua Marquis, district attorney of Clatsop County, is a co-author of "Debating the Death Penalty."
©2008 The Oregonian

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beijing trip, May 2007

For ten days in late May and early June, 2007, three American prosecutors were guests of their counterparts in the Chinese legal system in Beijing. I was one of those prosecutors and it revealed to me not only China, but a completely different world view that made “globalization” more than just a buzz word or a curse.

China was formerly referred to as the “Middle Kingdom,” and that symbol is still used in Mandarin ideograms. Ancient Chinese emperors believed that the Temple of Heaven in Beijing was not only the center of their kingdom, but of the entire world. You can actually stand at what they thought was the epicenter of all things.
















The Imperial Vault of Heaven, encircled by the Echo Wall. Before the railing was built and the noise of tourists made it impossible, two people could stand at opposite sides of the Wall and whisper to each other.















The culture that invented fireworks and spawned a vast empire while many Europeans were living in caves has evolved into a towering economic powerhouse with a new middle class that numbers about the same as the entire population of the United States.

China's decision to pursue economic freedom has had profound effects on its legal system and its relationship with the rest of the world. I had expected to see a third world country with smatterings of wealth. While that may exist outside Beijing, the city I saw and visited without restriction was very much a first-world mega-city throbbing with commerce and vitality.






In one of the storefronts on a busy market street, I bought at 1 gigabyte MMC card for the camera, for the equivalent of $10.
















Hopefully the bicycle culture won't completely disappear.













Chinese prosecutors and judges are working to establish a “rule of law” which bears remarkable semblance to the system we endorse in the United States. Like so many other reforms, economic necessity will likely foster the change. There is enormous foreign investment in China. The nation's leaders understand that investment is unlikely to continue unless investors are assured that their property and rights will be respected. As a result, the highly centralized Chinese legal system is developing cadres of lawyers to provide legal aid, training for prosecutors and increasing autonomy for the judiciary, which still technically reports to China’s prosecutor-general. (Contrast China with Russia which, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, chose a form of political freedom rather than economic freedom. Early investments retreated when laws governing property and investment rights didn't materialize and/or weren't upheld by a poorly-functioning legal system, and early political freedoms are being lost as well.)

Is it the American system? No, but it revealed a different China than I had expected. I met counterparts who had many of the same problems I encountered, although I was envious of the private dining rooms, chefs, and incredible banquets all of our hosts provided in their offices.










Banquet at the Beijing Municipal Prosecutor's office.












The bird
is sculpted from a single radish.


























And the prosecutors have guards!








Of particular interest to me was the overwhelming Chinese interest in the apparently unheard of process of “plea bargaining.” We explained that if we actually tried all the cases we filed we’d need ten times the number of prosecutors, judges, and so on. The Chinese legal system is just being to be faced with having to make the sort of legal triage that has become all to common for American prosecutors.

I was fortunate to be friends with Honolulu District Attorney Peter Carlisle, who in turn was lucky to have employed the first person born in the People’s Republic of China to become an American prosecutor - Mangmang Brown. Brown helps her husband, Professor Ron Brown of the University of Hawaii, operate the US-Asia Law Institute that has for more than 15 years sponsored exchanges of judges and lawyers between mainland China and the United States. Peter, Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett and I were the first state and local-level prosecutors to be formally invited to meet our Chinese counterparts.





Honorable Chairman Honolulu District Attorney Peter Carlisle consults with Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett. Note all the bicycles.






















Left to right: Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett; me; Dr. Zhan, director of Beijing's Institute for Prosecutorial Studies; Honolulu District Attorney Peter Carlisle; Professor Ron Brown, Judy Carlisle, Aspen Carlisle, MangMang Brown holding Gracie Brown.



In China the legal system is centralized so that there are twelve different levels of prosecution ranging from the national down through provinces, municipalities down to the counties (or most local level). The Chinese were fascinated to learn of the extraordinary autonomy of American prosecutors and that we were popularly elected.

China is indeed a world, and 18 time zones, away from the West, but my first surprise was the spotless Beijing International Airport, with Immigrations Agents whose work stations had a small electronic key pad with five universal symbols of “smiley faces” in shades of green to red. The five faces ranged from smiling, to neutral, to a frown. As you completed what was about a 30-second process of presenting your Chinese visa, you were asked to punch in your satisfaction level with the agent’s service.









This is leaving China, but you get the, er, picture.


























I had been told to expect someone holding a sign with my name on to be standing in front of the “KFC”. The KFC? Yes, the Kentucky Fried Chicken! It's wildly popular in China, as are McDonald’s and Starbuck's who even have stores inside The Forbidden City.

But the incursions of Americana do not take way from the fact that you entering an ancient culture.










Preparing to serve famous Peking duck -- while avoiding avian flu?






















Acrobats.







Our first day was a 40-minute trip down a freeway jammed with Buicks and Volkswagens made in China. The highway passes from the Beijing mega-city through rice fields and ends up at one of the recently acknowledged Wonders of the World -- The Great Wall. It is, well . . . great. Built over a thousand years ago to defend the Middle Kingdom, much of it remains intact, snaking improbably for hundreds of miles up and down hills and valleys.




































There were two more days to explore Beijing, most significantly the Forbidden City, the home of many Chinese emperors. Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci was given permission to film on location the story of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, who lived from 1906 to 1967. His film “The Last Emperor” won Best Picture in 1987. We learned that Queen Elizabeth visited Beijing but was unable to visit the Forbidden City because of the filming. It stands as a remarkable story of China’s journey into today’s world and I strongly recommend watching the movie either in its original theatrical or longer DVD release formats.









Calling my wife from the Forbidden City.














All the interesting signs are slated to be replaced before the Summer Olympics this year.










The working part of our trip was a dizzying series of meetings with Dr. Ye Fen, our host and the Vice President of the International Association of Prosecutors, as well as a judge of China’s Supreme People’s Court, the Chief prosecutor in the high-tech Haidian District of Beijing to Dr. Zhen Zhen, the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Beijing. Many of our meetings were covered by Chinese TV crews and while all our hosts spoke remarkably good English (as opposed to my three words of Mandarin), we were assigned two young women prosecutors from the SPP (Supreme People’s Procuratorate). They served as our guides and translators and also helped us in our shopping expeditions.










Our guide, Ms. Li, of the Prosecutor General's Office















Supreme People's Court, ruled this day by Gracie Brown.






I had purchased a suitcase full of Josephson’s smoked fish (tuna, salmon, and sturgeon) as examples of local commerce on Oregon’s north coast and figured I could use the suitcase when emptied for return gifts for friends and co-workers. In addition to the exquisite official gifts, my favorite being the mythical lion/dragon beast that symbolizes prosecutors, I ended up buying so many local handicrafts that I had to buy another suitcase - a suspiciously low-priced Samsonite - which I jammed with Mao hats, Chinese army watches and a few pearls bought at amazingly low prices.










Outbound treats from Josephson's.














Some of the inbound treats.



























What I came to realize (once again) is that we are all much more alike than we are different, and that in a world where I could check in with my office from the Forbidden City or withdraw 700 Yuan from an ATM at the Temple of Heaven, globalization is not necessarily a dirty word.

We do, in fact live in very interesting times, and there is much to be hopeful about.






Power to the people!
(taken at the Military Museum)