Judge Leonard B. Sand, Federal District Judge, Southern District of New York

This judge has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in the federal courts. This judge has flouted separation-of-powers by presuming to make law, brought his personal biases to the bench and destroyed the lives of countless American citizens and foreign nationals alike, deprived legions of individuals of trial by jury, and taught other federal judges to render trial by jury completely meaningless.

This judge is the author of Modern Federal Jury Instructions (1993). No federal judge, especially this one, has any business making law, a violation of separation-of-powers. Modern Federal Jury Instructions has been quoted as "law" in U.S. v. Birbal, 62 F.3d 456, 458-460 (2nd Cir. 1995), U.S. v. Gigante, 94 F.3d 54, 56 (2nd Cir. 1996), Fields v. New York State OMRDD, 115 F.3d 116, 123 (2nd Cir. 1997), U.S. v. Dinome, 86 F.3d 277, 280 (2nd Cir. 1996), U.S. v. Johansen, 56 F.3d 347, 351 (2nd Cir. 1995), U.S. v. Melendez, 57 F.3d 238, 242 (2nd Cir. 1995), U.S. v. Cutler, 58 F.3d 825, 834 (2nd Cir. 1995), and U.S. v. Rossomando, 144 F.3d 197, 201 (2nd Cir. 1998).

This judge has contaminated an entire court system. The corrupt influence this judge has had in infecting an entire court system is self-evident.

In a recent Second Circuit case Judge Cabranes held that jury "Nullification is, by definition, a violation of a juror's oath to apply the law as instructed by the court-in the words of the standard oath administered to jurors in the federal courts, to render a true verdict according to the law and the evidence." U.S. v. Thomas, 116 F.3d 606, 614 (2nd Cir. 1997). His "authority" for this novel proposition is derived from The Federal Judicial Center Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges 225 (4th ed. 1996), a book authored by bureaucrats. Where the Constitutional provisions or statutes enacted by the legislature concerning jurors behaving as docile sheep for a judge who chooses to deliberately misquote law are not explained.

A central assumption of our jurisprudence is that juries follow the instructions they receive. U.S. v. Castillo, 140 F.3d 874, 884 (10th Cir. 1998), U.S. v. Linwood, 142 F.3d 418, 426 (7th Cir. 1998), U.S. v. Houlihan, 92 F.3d 1271, 1287 (1st Cir. 1996).

Even if those instructions are authored by a judge as biased in favor of the government as Leonard B. Sand. Were district court judges to tell jurors the truth-that jury instructions are not binding on the district courts-jurors would not be convicting a lot of innocent people based on a judge's instructions that they are misled to believe are the law. Jury instructions are merely helpful suggestions. U.S. v. Norton, 846 F.2d 5321, 525 (8th Cir. 1988).

To understand how a federal judge like Leonard B. Sand deprives individuals of jury trial and turns the petit jury into a rubber stamp one need only compare his book to the history and published opinions on the subject.
 

I.e., the common law directly contradicts the bureaucrats' Benchbook.

A lawyer can argue law to the jury before the court gives instructions. Stettinius v. United States, Fed. Cas. No. 13,387 (C.Ct.D.C. 1839), 22 Fed. Cas. 1322, 1333 quoting U.S. v. Fenwick, Fed. Cas. No. 15,086 (1836).

Judges in some western and southern states are not allowed to state the law (to overcome judicial interference). 5 The Law Reporter 1, 10 (1842).

Judges are not required to inform the jury of the power to nullify. Sparf v. U.S., 156 U.S. 51 15 S.Ct. 273 (1895). That is, judges are allowed to conceal law from the jury.

The jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts. Horning v. District of Columbia, 41 S.Ct. 53, 54 (1920).

The procedures of a jury trial . . . are those understood and applied at common law. See Patton v. United States, 50 S.Ct. 253, 254 (1930).

Today, while it is openly acknowledged that the grand jury is a rubber stamp in the hands of the prosecutor, no judge will admit that the petit jury is reduced to a rubber stamp via jury instructions. Law professors have been considerably more forthright.
 

 

Obviously, the lower the comprehension of jurors, the easier it is for the judge to manipulate them into a guilty verdict. In United States v. Young, 745 F.2d 733, 738 (2nd Cir. 1984) this pro-government, pro-prosecution judge convicted Tangee Afflic for conspiracy merely because she was aware of a conspiracy and associated with some of its members. Young at 764. This woman "lucked out" in her appeal.

Nelson Maldonado was not so fortunate. Maldonado associated with some members of a drug conspiracy. No one was indicted for this "conspiracy" in federal court except Maldonado. All the other members of the conspiracy had nicknames they used in communicating their narcotics business. Maldonado had none. I.e., the evidence was against Maldonado's involvement.

Maldonado was convicted on the testimony of a witness who had been "bought and paid for" by the prosecution, Susan Chang.

This judge is described as pro-government and pro-prosecution in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary. That is an understatement.

On page 6 of the September 24, 1991 Trial Transcript in case no. 90CR228 from Maldonado's trial, this judge decided to "utterly disbelieve" the testimony of witnesses who told him Susan Chang told them she would lie against Nelson Torres Maldonado to "save her ass." See e.g., United States v. Fajardo, 787 F2d 1523, 1523 (11th Cir. 1986). This is not how jurors are supposed to behave, let alone a federal judge.

Susan Chang was dying of cancer. She was willing to say anything the prosecution wanted to be able to die "on the street."

It appears that the "witness" in the federal grand jury against Maldonado was someone who had merely read Susan Chang's New York State grand jury testimony and then repeated what he thought of it to the federal grand jury. This probably fails even the federal criteria for hearsay evidence. See e.g., United States v. Ruggiero, 934 F.2d 440, 447 (2nd Cir. 1991).

Judge Sand found nothing wrong with this either. Maldonado, an innocent man, has so far served ten years in a federal prison because of this judge's bias in favor of government misbehavior, oppression, and bribed witnesses.

Maldonado was not his only victim. Others have been more fortunate. Judge Sand allows prosecutors to lie to a jury.
 

In United States v. Zappola, 646 F.2d 48 (2nd Cir. 1981) Judge Sand simply accepted a government informer's blanket assertion of the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination privilege. The motion to quash the subpoena to force the informer to testify was granted at an in camera hearing at which only the judge, the prosecutor, and the informer's lawyer were present.

How many other innocent people have been sent to prison by this biased judge that have not been corrected by the same appeals court that quotes this judge's book as law?

Separation-of-powers refers to the duty of each branch of the government-legislative, executive, and judicial-to abstain from and to oppose, encroachments on the other. See Muskrat v. United States, 31 S.Ct. 250, 252 (1911). Unless the encroaching is done by a federal judge changing the mode of proceedings in jury trials by jury instructions in order to ensure more convictions.
 

The numerous abuses by federal prosecutors unchecked by federal judges have recently been exposed by a series of articles entitled Win At All Costs written by Bill Moushey and published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in ten parts.
 

What this series fails to point out is that the reason all the prosecutorial misconduct Mr. Moushey describes goes unchecked is because judges like Leonard B. Sand allow such misbehavior to go undisciplined in their courtrooms and lead juries to believe that their mere instructions are the law.
 
 

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