There are rulings entered by judges in courts of law throughout the nation everyday in this country. Usually, such judicial authority typically is accompanied by supporting facts derived from evidence, decisions from jurors, and case law previously adjudicated based on similar merits. Rarely are cases resolved based on opinionated rhetoric or frivolous unsupported findings by the court’s highest officials. That’s of course if an official is mindful of established law, while avoiding having their rulings overturned by higher courts. In the state of North Carolina it appears, in it’s Superior Court at least, judges are making rulings in court cases based on personal bias, spontaneous ill advised decisions, and irrelevant arguments not pertinent to the merits of court cases.
Just weeks ago the mother of Shannon Nyamodi filed a Habeas Corpus on his behalf challenging whether her son’s detention for over a year at a Franklin County jail was in fact lawful, while citing serious infringements upon his 6th and 14th amendment constitutional rights. The judge who ruled on that document (Hobgood) came in at 8:25 that day and left at 8:28 after having denied the habeas. It’s important to note that the official never even granted the mother a hearing, while outlining in his decision that she nor Action for Justice (a criminal justice advocacy group who assisted in developing the habeas) weren’t parties to the case, and expressed his apprehension in even accepting the document from the mother because she wasn’t an attorney. I’m not certain whether the judge is incompetent or whether his actions were nothing more than a smoke screen to dismiss the mother’s efforts, but an attorney isn’t required during a habeas proceeding.
In fact the entire process was designed to prevent unlawful detention of criminal defendants, permitting anyone to present a habeas to the courts, to make certain that states are not violating citizens constitutional rights, and Hobgood (the most senior Superior Court judge) should have known this. Fortunately the mother was resilient, never left the court house that day, and ran into the judge in the hallway. Hobgood was presented with the habeas’ supporting documentation and said he agreed with it, directing the mother to get the habeas back in front of a judge with an attorney. Despite his admission to possible constitutional rights violations, Hobgood didn’t alter his ruling at that time which which was entirely his discretion, rather punting the issue off to another colleague for adjudication. The judge did indicate in writing that she should present the document before another judge again.
Today Ms. Crudup did just late, presenting the habeas before Superior Court judge Johnson. Johnson was completely unprofessional, yelling, refusing to read the document, and even threatened the woman with jail time if she spoke again. All of her arguments were refuted while he continuously talked over her. She repeatedly requested to be heard unsuccessfully, and the only rationalization Johnson gave for his action and ruling was that, “I’m not going to overrule judge Hobgood’s decision.” She implored him to simply read the document for him to take note of Hobgood’s instructions. Johnson continuously refused to read it stating “there is an indictment in here somewhere.” The judge’s belligerent and unprofessional behavior regarding such a critical document during court didn’t go unnoticed. A court official who witnessed the entire incident followed Ms. Crudup outside of the courthouse and encouraged her to find help from an attorney. The official expressed complete outrage in the manner in which the judge spoke to her, and said “what judge Johnson did was wrong.”
Furthermore, Johnson’s actions in my opinion is simply detestable considering he is a sitting judge entrusted with upholding the law for the people of the state. Since the case of Shannon Nyamodi developed, there have been a volume of instances where rulings, motions, and other peculiar movement in the case have originated from nasty, incompetent, and simply despicable officials who more than likely operate from a position of racism. It’s unconscionable that these are the kinds of people that the citizens of North Carolina have elected into public office. Fortunately, this arrogant bastard will more than likely be compelled to revisit this matter again in a civil court of law. State law outlines sanctions for this kind of official misconduct related to a Habeas corpus matter, and it might serve judge Johnson well to read North Carolina General statue on judicial responsibility. Additionally, Johnson’s actions opens the door for the habeas to be presented to the state court of appeals, a separate branch of the state’s judicial process, and a higher court which could rule against the Habeas’ rejection from the state’s kangaroo superior court.
A state appeals court may hear the habeas on the grounds that a judge’s decision to deny the request was based on frivolous reasons or arguments unrelated to the case. It appears that this is exactly what happened when the the habeas was presented to both judge Hobgood and Johnson, as their decisions were void of any supporting facts or case law to justify not granting the habeas. When judge Hight ruled to have the case taken off the court’s management docket system, he erred by not establishing a timetable for which the case’ prosecution would resume, and Shannon Nyamodi still languishes in a county jail with no court date. This is clearly a violation of his constitutional rights, and whether the state of North Carolina courts corrects this injustice, his charges will more than likely be ordered dismissed by a Federal Court down the road.
Moreover, it has always been suspected that Shannon Nyamodi landed in jail because of trumped up charges after the Franklin County Sheriff Office tried to frame the youth. Strange things have happened since the youth was taken into custody, like his having been placed on some sort of Administrative segregation for his protection. Sources familiar with the way things are done in North Carolina, advised TPC that it’s a tactic utilized to wear a detainee down to get him to cop out with a deal (plead guilty for lesser sentence in return). Shannon has been denied access to his family on multiple occasions, and in one instance, Ms. Crudup was told by Captain Gill at the Franklin County jail that her son didn’t want to talk to her or anyone else when she tried to visit him. Today she found out that statement was a complete lie. A law firm working in stealth mode in the background actually notified the sheriff today directly, and advised that the mother was coming to the jail to see her son. She was granted acces to Shannon for the first time in weeks.
Ms. Crudup while visiting her son learned that he never told anyone that he refused to see his mother. Shannon even communicated to his mother that jail officials never even notified him that she had attempted to visit him. These revelations establish as a matter of fact that jail officials are also involved in some of the very bizarre and strange occurrences related to this case. Denying Shannon visitation is at the jail’s discretion, but there must be a valid justification for not allowing him visits when he hasn’t violated any jail rules and other detainees similarly situated are being afforded such privileges. Why did Captain Gill lie to Ms. Crudup when Shannon never conveyed to him that he didn’t want to see his mother? The youth expressed to his mother that they (jail officials) were giving him “a really hard time.” He told his mother that the state prosecutor has been to visit him and has been pressuring him into taking a deal.
The fact that a state counsel prosecuting a criminal case has actually visited a defendant in jail who is a party to a criminal case without the presence of the defendant’s legal counsel is not only unheard of, but completely improper, and may even result in sanctions from the state bar and the Attorney General’s office. That’s taken a hell of a risk, putting a license to practice law on the line, and clearly shows the desperation of the district attorney’s office related to this case. Since day one, Shannon Nyamodi’s own attorney has been pressuring the teen to take a deal, and because he has repeatedly refused to cop out to a crime for which he didn’t commit, his attorney has abandoned him, threatened him, and has been a complete non factor in aiding his defense or securing his release from jail. Now the pressure is coming from both sides, and there is no justification why a state attorney would actually seek a deal from a criminal defendant with out first obtaining consent from his attorney.
If it’s proven that Klinkosum (Shannon’s current lawyer) in fact had knowledge that a prosecutor visited his client, without his client’s consent, he also could be sanctioned by the North Carolina state bar. So, what is really going on here? I have never seen a case where a prosecutor was more bent on obtaining a plea deal from a criminal defendant juxtapose to going to trial and getting a conviction. The state is desperate, don’t have a case, and explains exactly why they wanted this case hidden from the public and taken off the court dockets. When it’s all said in done, I believe there will be some criminal charges filed and they won’t be against young Shannon Nyamodi.
To Be Continued ..
The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams