Friday, January 22, 2010

El Paso judge caught on tape accepting bribe

The evidence coming out in this El Paso corruption trial sounds pretty damning. The El Paso Times reported yesterday that:
Jurors today watched a videotape of an FBI informant paying money to state judge Manuel Barraza in return for favorable treatment in her sister's drug case.

The exchange occurred in Barraza's courthouse office while he was the presiding judge of a drug court.

The tape was one of five played in U.S. District Court during Barraza's corruption trial.

Jurors heard a total of five taped conversations between Barraza and Sarai Valencia, sister of criminal defendant Diana Rivas Valencia. Sarai Valencia and Barraza talked about his getting paid in money and sex for helping Rivas Valencia, who was arrested in September 2008 and charged with possessing 2 kilos of cocaine.

Jurors also watched a videotape of a meeting between Barraza and Sarai Valencia inside Barraza's office. She made the recordings at the behest of the FBI.

Given the evidence against him, one wonders how in the world did this guy not choose to plea out?


Anonymous said...

Because like most politicos, they don't believe that they did anything wrong or that they'll be able to bribe their way out of it.

Old Salty said...

Because, like most judges, he is arrogant, only in this case his arrogance has expanded to hubris. Look at Keller, look at the former Ombudsman from TYC.

yvette99 said...

I agree with the comments made....The justice system is so corrupt, there is no truth or justice its always been about the money......
If you have the money your walking .....No money no bail just jail.....
So this judge probably believes he's got the its no jail.....just bail.....and maybe he can bribe the presiding judge and keep walking.

Anonymous said...

There just seems to be this culture of low standards and no accountability, in Texas (not that this doesn't exist elsewhere), in which this type of arrogant behavior can exist. There's an imbalance of power and it's very dismaying.

Anonymous said...

Can we look at this case in a different manner? No one that commented so far was sitting in the courtroom and actually heard the tape, right? Although I agree with Scott, that the press' account sounds pretty damn awful, why should this limited part of the case make us believe a plea should have been accepted. Consider for a moment the burden on the jury in this case: they are required to remain impartial while they listen to this in the courtroom and are required to wait till all the evidence has been presented before making their minds up. If we're persuaded by the limited coverage of the trial in the press, how can we expect the jurors in this case to follow the law? And if we cannot, and more importantly, they cannot, then a fair trial is not available to the accused in this case.

In the federal system, one is penalized for taking the case to trial, for testifying in one's defense, and if there were any co-defendants, in not snitching on them. Of course, this occurs if the accused loses. And if s/he does, the judge, no jury, decides the punishment. Moreover, the judge follows guidelines that the USSCT said a couple of years ago were only "advisory," but almost every downward deviation challenged to date has been tossed out on appeal. The punishment for going to trial in the federal court system is a higher guideline sentence; the same for testifying in your own defense; the same for not snitching on co-defendants.

I'm amazed that our country permits such retribution for exercising one's constitutional rights to a jury trial, to present a defense, and to remain silent or not.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to go trial when the government marshalls its resources against an accused. Importantly, but especially, the guilty are entitled to a fair trial too.

I know the evidence we've been told about appears damning, but let's allow the jury to decide whether he's guilty or not. It's their charge, no matter how difficult it might be. Maybe there's more to the case than what we're being told by the El Paso Times, a paper notorious for looking for criminal cases from other jursidictions to write about when it cannot find enough in its own backyard.

yvette99 said...

I think in most cases there is more to them than we see reported. A report is just a reporters view, this is just one more aspect where American justice can become unfair!
Too many cases get won and lost in the media. I am all for free speech but sometimes I think the reporting should be limited until after the case has been heard.
There seems now to be so many sides to a case, the defenses version, the prosecutors version, the reporters version and of course the truth which rarely gets told in the courts.
Justice really is just another commodity in Texas, if you can afford it you can buy it, the more money you have the more justice you will get!
The severest punishments are saved for those with no money! These cases are not necessarily the worse cases deserving such severe punishments, no its severity is the only thing dished out for free and the system wants to show its tough on crime. But in reality its only tough on those who cannot afford justice
Sadly there is no truth or fairness, justice and consequences are dictated by your finances!
The more money you have the more justice you will receive, no money....... severe punishments!

GOOD DAD said...

CISD records, depositions, sworn statements, & other Certified/Certifiable evidence revealed a home with an AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT FELON, wrist CUTTING, daily VIOLENCE, runaway teen, destruction, criminals, drug abuse (METH, COCAINE, XANAX, OXYCOTIN, etc), many police visits & a SEARCH WARRANT confiscated drug paraphernalia, probation violations, multiple sex partners, suspensions for drugs & violence, burglary, vandalism, shootings, disease, fighting, screaming, profanity, pornography (incl BEASTIALITY), boys/men sleeping over, my daughter sleeping at men’s homes, being taught obscene language & gestures, & so much more.
Aggravated perjury, forged letters, falsified evidence, unsupported/inconsistent/unchallenged false accusations, by the mother, CPS, et al., outweighed exhaustive undisputed facts, certified evidence, sworn statements, & objective/testable/verifiable documentation, disproving the accusations, & proving neglect/ abuse by the mother.
With the knowledge &/or support of Dr Edward G Silverman, Lynn T Coleman, Theresa Burbank, & Elaine Baggerley, the mother has so thwarted my daughter’s education that, in Kindergarten, at 6½ y/o, she is below District Guidelines.
At 4 y/o my daughter could count to 29, count to 100 by tens, write her name, recognize most letters, tie her shoes, play checkers, had her own computer with games, play card games, & much more.
At 6+ y/o, she could do none of those, & now she requires special attention, & is a behavioral problem.
Well known to Edward G Silverman, Lynn Coleman, & Theresa Burbank, the mother provided & reared her young children on GRAPHICALLY SEXUALLY VIOLENT entertainment & since infancy has repeatedly exposed my daughter to the same.
Well known to Edward G Silverman, Theresa Burbank, Lynn Coleman, CPS, & several Montgomery Co Courts & Probation, the mother’s other children became violent, drug abusing criminals, who attended alternative high schools & exposed my daughter to drugs & diseases.
On their first meeting, Elaine Baggerley of CPS began diagnosing my daughter as ADHD, & more.
20 months of Theresa Burbank’s therapy & the mother’s sole parenting have resulted in my daughter being referred to a psychiatrist.
The mother’s family & friends have threatened me at my home & away, & my property has been vandalized.
I have received harassing, obscene, & middle of the night phone calls.
The well paid, well insured mother has lived rent & utilities free for 3½ years, but claims to be deep in debt from undisclosed medical expenses.
The mother has committed tax, CHIPs, Medicaid, & insurance fraud at least since 2003.
Threats, violence, drugs, promiscuity, crime, lying, etc is normal to the mother and her children.
I have neither a history of, nor is there any evidence that I have ever been violent, destructive, abusive, hostile, etc.
My increasing debt exceeds twice my gross annual income.
Fees & expenses have exceeded 4 times my gross annual income.
I have recorded nearly every contact with the mother, CPS, ad litem, & many others.
I will be presenting this case to the Texas: Bar, Commission on Judicial Conduct, Attorneys General, Appellate Courts, Supreme Court, Board of Examiners of Psychologists, TDFPS, etc. & will include:
medical & doctors records of years of mistreatment
CPS reports of violence, drugs, medical mistreatment, etc
psychological evaluations include lying, abuse, etc
depositions of lying, violence, drug abuse, sex, etc
CISD records of violence, drugs, sex, etc
police reports of violence, drugs, shootings, etc
myspace of violence, drug abuse, sex, pornography, etc
emails to/from the: ad litem, psychologist, therapist
I have always loved & wanted my daughter & always will, & I will never, ever, ever give up trying to rescue her.
Judge Suzanne Stovall: Please right your injustice & return my daughter.

GOOD DAD said...

In the 221st State District Court of Montgomery Co, TX, Judge Suzanne Stovall massacred me in a 3¼ year custody battle for my, now, 6½ y/o daughter.
Convicted child molesters have more access to their children than I do.
Calls, letters, & gifts are intercepted, & I have no visitation.
The mother secreted her 2mo & 14mo old babies, 1200 miles from their father, & for 15½ years, her family prevented all contact.
The mother’s 18 year history & pattern of hostility, alienation, & medical mistreatment was well known to evaluating psychologist Dr Edward G Silverman, therapist Theresa Burbank, ad litem Lynn T Coleman, the attorneys,
Despite months of exams & x-rays by pediatricians & specialists, for a real & progressing condition, & prescribing increasingly invasive treatment, the mother, Edward G Silverman, Theresa Burbank, Lynn Coleman, Elaine Baggerley of CPS, & Judge Suzanne Stovall, refused to believe the diagnosis of the medical professionals & necessity for treatment.
Even after several of them spoke with the medical professionals, & were provided the records, they all persisted in their false beliefs despite the invalidating evidence.
A specialist repeatedly requested the mother & Lynn Coleman, attend the appointments, but despite weeks of advance notice they refused.
Even with the mother’s sworn statements of medically abusing/neglecting our daughter & with the doctors corroborating records of her mistreatment, Judge Suzanne Stovall took my daughter from me & placed her into the mother’s sole custody.
Symptoms have persisted, but her condition is withheld.
Since infancy, the mother has secreted our daughter to doctors, & medically mistreated her.
For at least 15 months, the mother yo-yoed our daughter on steroids.
She has deliberately neglected her dental care.
The mother has a history & pattern of medically mistreating her other children with steroids, psychiatric drugs, numerous prescriptions & OTC medicines, & they have had significant dental issues due to her neglect.
Judge Suzanne Stovall signed a Final Decree to remove me from my daughter, without a trial, without my signature, without my lawyer's signature, & without compelling the mother’s (plaintiff) discovery.
Despite 3 years of Hearings, Rule 11’s, hundreds of emails/letters/conversations, Judge Suzanne Stovall refused to compel the mother’s discovery, yet granted years of continuances because her discovery was incomplete; including continuing a preferentially set trial.
All knew how devastating her discovery would be & Judge Suzanne Stovall refused to compel.
Judge Suzanne Stovall inconsistently ruled on motions, laws, or rules to favor the mother.
My lawyers complained that she favored the mother.
Judge Suzanne Stovall ignored the overwhelming certified/certifiable evidence of violence/hostility/aggression/abuse by the mother, her family, & her friends.
Judge Suzanne Stovall disregarded 3+ years & 300+ exhibited provable charges of Contempt against the mother, including failure to pay child support, interfering with child custody, & worse.
It required my lawyer’s written threat of a Writ of Habeas Corpus for the mother to surrender our daughter to me.
I paid the jury fee, & for 3 years, pleaded, in vain, for a trial or in some way, to present a case.
Judge Suzanne Stovall punished me with over 20% plus $100, monthly child support.
CISD records, depositions, sworn statements, & other Certified/Certifiable evidence revealed a home with an AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT FELON, wrist CUTTING, daily VIOLENCE, runaway teen, destruction, criminals, drug abuse (METH, COCAINE, XANAX, OXYCOTIN, etc), many police visits & a SEARCH WARRANT confiscated drug paraphernalia, probation violations, multiple sex partners, suspensions for drugs & violence, burglary, vandalism, shootings, disease, fighting, screaming, profanity, pornography (incl BEASTIALITY)

diogenes said...

GOOD DAD, do you have something to add to the topic at hand, or are you our latest troll?

Regarding judges taking bribes: the first person who has an idea for a truly just system will be a hero... if they don't get squashed by all the corrupt people in power first.

It's easy to blame the media for skewing trials, but we have to remember that many times they are being played by one attorney or the other. Seems to me if we can find out what is wrong in law school that causes so many attorneys to have these ethics problems, we could put a good chunk of the justice problems to rest.

Anonymous said...

Proof beyond reasonable doubt, trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty, etc. These sterilized terms are all part of a judicial system that operates outside of a real world. Just look at OJ. Yes a jury found him "not guilty," but he still paid a heavy personal and professional price.

Anonymous said...

He didn't plea out because he knows well that those who take a plea get harder, stronger, longer sentences. Or, as in the case of my husband who attempted a crime, but couldn't, didnt' actually, and there was no DNA evidence, the original case was dumped; but charges re-filed with the term "aggravaged" added although there was no weapon involved and on the advice of his attny he toook the plea for what he thought was going to be adjudicated probation not knowing he'd been sold out got a 30 year sentence for a crime he didn't committ because he didn't know any better. Lesson learned too late. THIS JUDGE DOES! He's part of the corrupt systems that hoodwinks and deals. He knows better than to take a plea.

Anonymous said...

I don't trust judges.