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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27475
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I would like to know the number/name of the following laws/statutes

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I would like to know the number/name of the following laws/statutes and their exact phrasing. I don't want to have to hunt for them as it is too difficult for a common person like me.
The law which states a judge must be impartial.
The law that allows police to lie, deceive and manipulate anyone they want.
Also are there any government or private agencies which actually investigate police misconduct? So far I've learned the FBI does not, and the Department of Justice only investigates cases of discrimination.
Hello Jacustomer,

The right to a fair and impartial judiciary is given. It a fundamental right bestowed upon us by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It is part of the Due Process of law that every person in this country is entitled to when charged with a criminal offense.

In Ohio, impartiality of state judges is codified and discussed in the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct to which all judges are required to adhere or face severe sanctions. You want to look at Canon 3, though Canon 2 discusses impartiality at great length as well.

The fact that police are allowed to lie and use coercive and deceptive means to ferret out crime comes from the line of US Supreme Court cases that started with Frazier v. Cupp in 1969. In that case, some deception by the police caused the suspect to confess a homicide of which he was later convicted. The court ruled that, depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case, such behavior is permissible. There's a good overview of this case and what it started here.

That doesn't mean that police are required to lie and deceive or that lies and deceptions are always acceptable. Such things are challenged on a case-by-case basis, and a police officer can be determined to have gone too far and violated a defendant's rights. But the US Supreme Court formally recognizes that such activities by the police can be reasonable given their responsibility to seek out crime.

Police Internal Affairs is where police matters first get investigated, and complaints against the police are taken very seriously in this department. From there, your State Attorney General is charged with dealing with corruption in state agencies, and ultimately the FBI can does involved, but generally only when the corruption is so widespread in the aforementioned agencies that they are perpetuating or condoning the unlawful conduct. In other words, the FBI doesn't step on state toes without a very good and clear reason.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did ask for a direct quote, not all that extra information and a link which does not even go directly to what I am seeking. I mentioned I did not want to have to do any searching. Why talk to a lawyer and ask a direct question, but be expected to do something I could have done myself anyway. But doing it myself I would not know where to look, or how to go about searching for it. I figured I'd get a direct answer to a direct question. This I did not get.

Also the first thing I did learn I could do is police internal investigation. But according to everything I found, to have such an investigation, I'd have to go to the very police department I have the complaint against. What I learned is that there is no "Police Internal Affairs" separate from the Riverside, Ohio police. So can you give me PRECISE contact information to anyone who can actually do such an investigation into police misconduct?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What would be good indications a judge is not acting impartially?

Hello Lance,

Unfortunately, your question is one that cannot be answered in the format you want it. The right is derived from the Constitution. All you would have to say is that your right to a fair judge is guaranteed by the due process clause of the Constitution. I linked you to it in case you want to reference it further, not to give you a research exam. You don't need a statute to quote because there just isn't one. It's what the entire 14th Amendment stands for.

The Ohio Judicial Code spends two full chapters on what it means to be impartial. They set it out by example, which is why it's useful to read it. There may be a sentence that's particularly applicable to your situation, but since I don't know your situation I can't tell you what it may be.

In any case, it is up to the judiciary itself to determine what is fair and impartial, and it's determined on a case by case basis. Nothing is always suggestive of judicial bias. It all comes down to the facts and circumstances of each particular case.

Internal Affairs is always department affiliated. It all depends upon the jurisdiction, and I don't know yours but it's not always biased just because it's in-house. However, the state attorney general, is where you'd go if you want an outside agency to look into corruption in the police force. I have linked you to their contact information this time, which I didn't do the last time I told you where you could go.

If Internal Affairs sweeps your complaint under the rug, if the State AG doesn't act on it either, if the FBI isn't interested in interceding in a local matter, the only thing you can really do is alert your congressmen and the media about your situation.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I thought it was a simple, straightforward question. I just wanted examples of how one can tell a judge is not acting impartially. The judge I received posted a $50,000 bond (or bail) on a charge long before it went to trial, while I was still to be "innocent till proven guilty", and on a charge that my lawyer believed was did not deserve such a high amount. He also allowed the only police witness to contradict himself multiple times on the witness stand (I'd have said downright lied since only one or none of what he claimed had to be the truth). The judge ignored what should have been a clear indication I did not willingly sign the pre-interview form and consent to search form. As well as ignoring other facts which should have had the case thrown out.

Hi Lance,

Unfortunately, it isn't straightforward at all.

Judges set bail based on a number of criteria such as the seriousness of the case, the strength of the state's case, the background and history of the defendant including his criminal and any warrant history, the strength of the defendants ties to the community and whether or not there's any reason to believe that the defendant may be a flight risk. There are also recommended guidelines in many states that the judge can avail himself of.

Without knowing anything about the case or the charges I cannot tell you whether bail was high or not. In my own experience, in my own state, it would be moderate bail and either the defendant would have prior convictions or the charge would be a violent charge. But I have had bail set as high as a quarter of a million dollars and those clients pled not guilty too. The presumption of innocence sounds good -- and is -- but the process only favors the defense during trial. During trial everything possible should be done to let the jurors see that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. If that's not adhered to it could be reversible error on appeal. Before that, as you have already learned, the system is skewed in favor of the prosecution.

If during the course of the trial your lawyer objected to the judge's behavior while on the stand and asked for a mistrial because the judge was not suitably impartial, then it can be taken up on appeal. Otherwise, you can file a complaint with the Judiciary and it will be investigated.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

"Judges set bail based on a number of criteria such as the seriousness of the case, the strength of the state's case, the background and history of the defendant including his criminal and any warrant history, the strength of the defendants ties to the community and whether or not there's any reason to believe that the defendant may be a flight risk. There are also recommended guidelines in many states that the judge can avail himself of".

Now that is very useful information. As much of what you just gave is contradictory to my case.

What are the "guidelines" in the state of Ohio that a judge can avail himself of?



The judge also factors in what the prosecutor tells him during the bail application and what the defense lawyer says in response. So it's not a perfect formula, and some judges are tougher than others.

Ohio does not appear to have formal guidelines for judges, which means that judges would be free to set any bail they deem reasonable under the circumstances. Even when there are guidelines, judges are free to ignore them if they believe for any reason that the bail should be higher or lower than the recommendations.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When I was in jail for the charges, the first time I had to see the judge was through a video screen. That was when he set bail. However, I was not represented. They had a puppet from the Public Defender's office, who did nothing to represent me. Was just there to help speed things along for the courts, told me to be quiet, and in short did nothing to represent me.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In my case it was two F5s, first times. No prior record or warrants of any kind. The prosecutor did not have enough evidence. I have proven to not be a flight risk. Also the seriousness of the case allegedly had to do with two photos which allegedly came from my computer months prior to the actual arrest. But I am betting because the nature of the photos, and the judge's familial status, he set a high bail because he was allowing his familial status to cloud his judgement. In short, he was biased.

Interesting. They do not have televised arraignments in my state -- at least not in my county -- procedures can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction throughout the country. Judges all still weigh their his bail determinations on the factors I've mentioned above, though they have a great deal of discretion in this area.

If your lawyer felt the bail was way out of line, there is likely some higher authority he could have taken it to. But, of course, one runs the risk that the new judge will say, "Too high? I think it's too low," and raise the bail. It has happened to a couple of colleagues in the past.

Just tried to upload the above and saw your new post. Entirely possible. Judges may be tougher on a certain type of case. I've known one who would set more bail on a low level domestic violence misdemeanor than on some felonies.

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