Is the oddly high success rate a result of frightening innocent people into pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit?
“Did you know of the more than 16,000 felony charges filed San Diego County in 2011 – there were only 33 which resulted in ‘NOT GUILTY’ verdicts?”
A few days ago, we blogged of an Enicinitas family in need of help from what appears to be continuing malicious prosecution by DA Bonnie Dumanis’s office. She is intending to take a case, the People v. Burleson, to trial for a second time on October 2nd of this year.
A March 18, 2014 appellate opinion found that in the prior December 2011 trial, the father of the Burleson family, Jeff Burleson, had been wrongfully found guilty of the misdemeanor of brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner.
The misdemeanor conviction was over-turned by the March 2014 appellate opinion. The trial itself was a result of DA Dumanis attempting to intimidate and coerce Mr. Burleson into perjuring himself and pleading guilty to the felony of assault with a deadly weapon — with an unloaded shotgun.
Mr. Burleson is North County real estate broker, husband, and father of three young children. He refused to make the false plea under threat by Dumanis’ office that if found guilty of the felony in trial, he could have been sentenced to fourteen plus years in prison.
According to a 2013 San Diego Reader article, it came to light in the 2011 trial that the Complainant, a process server for the Burleson’s homeowner association, most likely embellished his complaint against Mr. Burleson. This is a fact that remains in evidence to which Dumanis’ office has had access for nearly three years. Yet, she continues to prosecute.
The Reader article states,
…defense attorney Gerald Smith’s retrospective on the trial. “The reason why we went to trial in the first place,” he says, “was that the DA had not offered a whole lot of negotiation. They wanted Jeff to plead to a charge that would have had a serious impact on his life.”
What did Smith think most convinced the jury not to convict his client of assault with a deadly weapon? Since there were no third-party eyewitnesses to the alleged crime, the verdict had to be based largely on which version of events came off as most credible.
“Here was the major credibility issue,” Smith says. “Gruytch [the process server] had already said he was very familiar with shotguns, that in fact he owned one. So I asked him, ‘What happened when, as you allege, Jeff pointed the shotgun at you?’ His reply was that he’d stepped forward. So I asked, ‘You’ve got a shotgun pointing at you and you step forward?’ When I was giving the closing argument and brought that up, that’s when most of the jury nodded their heads and rolled their eyes. It was a telltale sign.
Thank you very much for your encouraging words of support Mrs. Sharon Noonan Kramer.
‘We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose ANY foe in order to ensure the survival and success of liberty.’ – John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961
On March 29, 2011, I was falsely accused of committing a violent felony simply because I protected the lady in this photograph (my beautiful wife and three young children). Facing 14.5 years in prison, I would not plead to a crime I didn’t commit. I took the matter to trial and was acquitted of the felony accusation but was convicted of a misdemeanor due to a minor technical mistake.
Multiple jurors told my attorney I’d done nothing wrong, that I was simply protecting my family but because they weren’t given an opportunity to consider ‘self-defense’ or ‘defense of others’ they simply had no choice but to convict.
As a professional with three licenses which could be subject to revocation and/or denial as a result of a misdemeanor conviction, this case affected me greatly BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, it was a great miscarriage of justice; I didn’t commit any crime to begin with.
To appeal, I hired a former deputy District Attorney [Richard Huffman Jr., son of Appellate Justice and former chair of the Executive Committee of the California Judicial Council, Richard Huffman Sr.] who told me I had an excellent case for self-defense and that he himself was even better positioned to make it because he knew the District Attorney personally.
That should have been a warning to tread carefully. Unbeknownst to me he had been fired from the San Diego DA’s Office AFTER his THIRD DUI.
He’d LITERALLY been prosecuting DUI’s in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office WHILE collecting them himself on his motorcycle (replete with James Bond themed license plates.)
This former deputy DA did nothing whatsoever to protect my legal rights and as a result was later humiliated by the California State Bar Association when he was castigated for leaving me alone to fend for myself – serving nearly three months in custody simply because he failed to file a simple one page ‘Notice of Appeal’ form.
Fearing the worst and facing a trial in California State Bar Court, He ADMITTED abandoning me in custody AND failing to communicate that he’d dropped me as a client before it was too late. He also admitted failing to return my file.
Why didn’t he file the form? (He blamed a number of personal ‘issues’ INCLUDING the stress and anxiety he suffered from organizing his James Bond themed wedding in Rancho Santa Fe.)
After nearly three years (including nearly three months in custody) and incurring more than $340,000 in expenses, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal o March 18, 2014 REVERSED my misdemeanor criminal conviction, noting in fact I had independent, corroborating evidence proving my self-defense claims and that I should have been able to make my case to the jury.
The fact I was denied the chance to do so was a fundamental denial of my right to due process of law.
Because I was VINDICATED by the California Fourth District Court of Appeal, the deputy District Attorney I hired now faces an even greater potential sanction (including possible disbarment) AS WELL AS a massive legal malpractice suit for his failure to perform, once this case is resolved in my favor. Furthermore, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office faces even greater scrutiny and embarrassment for how my case was mismanaged from the beginning.
What would you do if you were in their position? Would you admit you were wrong? Or would you go for broke?
Twice vindicated by verdict (first on the felony by the trial court, the second time by the Fourth District Court of Appeal), instead of simply acknowledging the mistakes that were made graciously and magnanimously, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office is instead pulling out all the stops to convict me – AGAIN.
Why? Because doing so enables the San Diego District Attorney’s office to save face BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY shields their former colleague from further scrutiny and embarrassment AS WELL AS CIVIL LIABILITY.
This isn’t about public safety, its about politics, plain and simple. Its also a message to those who dared to speak up against the status quo in San Diego politics – the four term district attorney is paying VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to who her friends are – AND who they are NOT.
And because I openly supported her challenger, Bob Brewer in the last election I am most certainly not going to be getting a holiday greeting card from the San Diego District Attorneys The Official Grumpy Cate, that’s for sure.
My family and I appreciate ALL of the support we have received thus-far and continue to receive both publicly from private citizens, public officials and those who hold elected office across our country and around the world.
For a public official to capriciously use her prosecutorial power again and again against a husband and father who was simply standing fast in defense of his family is wrong.
For that public official to do so as a transparent act of political retribution is beyond the pale of decency in American life; it is highly unethical, illegal and actionable at law.
Did you know of the more than 16,000 felony charges filed San Diego County in 2011 – there were only 33 which resulted in ‘NOT GUILTY’ verdicts?
My next trial starts on October 2, 2014; nearly three years AFTER my first trial resulted in my acquittal on the felony accusation.
My public defender last week told me ‘I can’t imagine you being sentenced to more jail time after you’ve already served the original sentence but after what you’ve been through, you never know!’
Let’s just say THAT was far from reassuring.
Katy’s Exposure Blog is about exposing environmental health threats and those responsible. What the Burleson matter has to do with that subject is this:
Much evidence indicates that Bonnie Dumanis serves as a “political prostitute” and guard dog for those who abuse their government positions in San Diego county. She appears to have a propensity to use the DA’s office as a means of CYA of their blunders.
In merely the latest example of this, she has wasted the taxpayers dollars by relentlessly harassing the Burleson family for a crime that obviously was not committed — while covering up for crimes that obviously were committed. (complainant perjury of lying to a jury to attempt to obtain a false conviction consistent with the conviction Dumanis wanted, is a crime).
Simultaneously, Dumanis has repeatedlyy refused to prosecute local jurists, including Richard Huffman Sr., who falsified numerous court documents in a SLAPP suit (2005 to 2013) over a matter impacting public health, nationwide. As Dumanis knows, some of the documents were falsified while knowing their courts had no subject matter jurisdiction. Under the law, court officers who falsify court documents without subject matter jurisdiction have no immunity from prosecution for the felonies.
Dumanis has also repeatedly refused to prosecute the local sheriff (also involved in the Burleson case), who falsified FBI records in the SLAPP matter while covering up for the jurists’ collusively criminal acts of falsifying court documents. This, while knowingly aiding a scientific fraud of epic proportion to remain viable in courtrooms all across the United States to the detriment of the American public.
VIDEO interview I gave with Walter Davis in 2013.
VIDEO before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, January 2014.
Mr. Burleson is not the first person in this county who DA Dumanis has attempted (sometimes successfully) to bully into falsely pleading guilty to a felony to the benefit of her friends in the local legal system. In the same vein of corruption, she refuses to prosecute her friends who are proven to have committed felony document falsifications, which harms people all across the U.S.
I have no intention of being silent until San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is held accountable for abusing the District Attorney’s office to practice politics, not law, on behalf of her cronies and her own political career. Too many lives remain at stake to allow her to play fast and loose with the district attorney’s office, under the color of law.
The Burleson family needs your help, now, to take a bite out of the perverse problem in the San Diego County “legal system”.
Please CONTACT your county, state and federal legislators to voice your outrage of this continuing harassment of the Burlesons by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Mrs. Sharon Noonan Kramer
Posted in Civil Justice, Environmental Health Threats, Fourth District Division One Appellate Court, Toxic Mold
Tagged abuse of power, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, jeff burleson, Justice Judith McConnell, Justice Richard Huffman, malicious prosecution, Toxic Mold, Veritox