Friday, November 21, 2008

WILLACY COUNTY UPDATE

(This is today's 3rd post)

FINAL UPDATE:

Judge Banales was unable to secure advice from the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court as to how to proceed given Juan Guerra's Motion to Recuse. Under normal circumstances a judge subject to a Motion To Recuse would forward same on to the Regional Administrative Judge for hearing. In this case it would have to go to the Texas Supreme Court for assignment of a judge, assuming the Texas Supreme Court does its job.

According to press reports everything is on hold until Wednesday next. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6125528.html I do not know if these indictments are bogus, but Judge Banales, along with all of the defense attorneys have turned this into a three-ring circus. They have shown the world that the lawyers and judges of the LRGV are so accustom to their corrupt ways of ignoring the law that it would not occur to them to play by the rules at least while the world is watching.

Had the defense attorneys simply followed the rules by filing their motions and getting a proper setting, we would not be in this mess. Judge Banales has brought shame to the Texas Judiciary and South Texas for his handling of this matter. His continued presence in the matter may only serve to prolong the inevitable - the dismissal of the indictments.

ORIGINAL POST BEFORE UPDATE

I will keep this post updated as things proceed. The latest I know of, which may not be the latest is Banales stopped the hearings to consult with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. There is an unresolved question of law as to whether or not a Regional Administrative Judge is subject to recusal. While the statute is unclear the constitutional law on the issue is black and white. You are entitled to a fair and impartial judge in the first instance.

Juan Guerra has filed a Motion to Recuse Judge Banales. I have real concerns about whether or not Judge Banales is playing fair and following all rules of Due Process.

clerk here for the update.

http://www.examiner.com/a-1703964~Hearing_on_Cheney_indictment_turns_chaotic.html

Banales is making what is clearly a bad situation worse. There is no doubt that Guerra cannot be the victim and prosecutor at the same time. BUT, Banales seems to believe that Due Process (notice and opportunity to respond) has no place in his court. He ignored proper procedure when he held the first hearing, thereby making it look like the entire thing is a three ring circus. When he recused Guerra, and rightfully so, he ignored proper procedure by not providing Guerra an opportunity to respond. If the story is correct attorneys went to Banales ex parte (meaning with notice to Guerra to appear -and in a private hearing) and secured his recusal from the case. This by itself should be enough for Banales to have to remove himself from the case.

The indictments may all be bogus, but Banales' handling of the case is making it into a three ring circus. As to Judges Leal and Lopez, they know it violates the rules of judicial conduct to conduct ex parte hearings. Why did they authorize their attorneys to engage is said hearings? Their message to every lawyer in Cameron County is clear - if you are privileged you can obtain an ex parte hearing before Leal or Lopez. This in effect denies justice to everyone.It is sad how Banales and the lawyers are making a bad situation worse. Banales must recuse himself for his unethical conduct in this case. This case needs transparency - when a sitting judge grants orders ex parte there is no transparency

On the issue of the Order Recusing Guerra - the news media gets an "F" I first heard about this yesterday from a Raymondville reporter. There is way too much confusion on this issue. 5 News is reporting Guerra argued against them this morning. The press needs to get to the real facts - was there an order signed yesterday ex parte or not?

5 news failed to mention in its report Guerra's Motion to Recuse Judge Banales.

No comments: