30 November 2006

getting railroaded louisiana style: state of louisiana v leslie otto ordodi

pre-crimes & thought crimes now prosecutable in louisiana!

theres an old spanish proverb that goes "laws, like the spider's web, catch the fly and let the hawk go free;" we can certainly see here, here and here that is the case in louisiana. we can also see it in a louisiana state supreme court decision issued yesterday (29 november 2006) in it we see how someone can be charged and sentenced to prison on the whim of the louisiana criminal justice system. take the case of leslie otto ordodi formerly of iberia parish, louisiana. mr. ordodi found himself down on his luck, he had just went through a devastating separation and divorce, lost his job and his home was about to be repossessed. so, somehow "suspicious behavior" translates into (according to the state) robbing a bank, we guess because like willie sutton said "thats where the money is."

only one small problem though -- mr. ordodi never robbed a bank. mr. ordodi never pulled a gun, never passed a demand note, never asked for or demanded money from any bank clerk or teller. in fact all mr. ordodi was doing was in the opinion of a
new iberia, louisiana, regions bank employee acting suspiciously. nevertheless, this didnt stop assistant district attorney jeffrey j. trosclaire from charging mr. ordodi with violating la r.s. 14:64 and la r.s. 14:27. the third circuit, for once, [actually twice], did the right thing and reversed mr. ordodi's conviction. not to be outdone the apparently mean spirited assistant district attorney trosclaire appealed to the state supreme court.

now we ask you what possible good could it serve putting mr. ordodi in prison at hard labor for three years? he didnt even commit a crime. isnt the point of incarcerating someone to punish them and also to rehabilitate them? dont you think that the experience of being arrested and having his name splashed all over the media was enough to "condition" mr. ordodi not to do something like that again? why are we taxpayers being forced to pay to incarcerate this person?

another question that comes to our mind is who decides how long someone should serve in prison for a crime committed? in other words how do "they" arrive at a figure of three years at hard labor is a fitting sentence for attempted armed robbery? do they consult with mental health professionals to arrive at this figure? or do they just pick a number from thin air? they pick a number from thin air is more likely.

so now you can be going about your daily business and in the opinion of someone else be deemed to be acting suspiciously and be charged with a crime that you might have been thinking about committing.

there was no need to lock mr. ordodi up for three years for something he didnt even do. now these five bastards
JUSTICE JEFFREY P. VICTORY; JUSTICE JEANNETTE THERIOT KNOLL; JUSTICE CHET D. TRAYLOR; JUSTICE JOHN L. WEIMER; JUSTICE BERNETTE JOSHUA JOHNSON and thats what they are is a bunch of bastards theres nothing honorable or anything justice about them, have handed sweeping powers to louisiana's districts attorney. think of how the defense attorneys will get richer with all these new cases but then again isnt that what the law is all about -- curtailing freedoms and enriching lawyers? we certainly hope that the voters in these alledged "justices" districts remember them at election time.


La. high court: Even without threat, it was holdup attempt
11/29/2006, 3:11 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If you prepare for a holdup and walk up to a teller with a gun in your pocket, you can be convicted of attempted armed robbery even if you never ask for a penny, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

It reinstated the conviction of Leslie Otto Ordodi, who was sentenced to three years at hard labor for attempted armed robbery of two New Iberia banks on May 28, 2004.

An appeal court had overturned his conviction because Ordodi never made any threat or demand.

But the 5-2 majority ruled that there was enough evidence to show that Ordodi was planning to hold up a bank, even if he did not follow through.

He was despondent and had money troubles; went into the banks with a concealed, loaded gun; tried to hide his identity by giving a false name and wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses; took the license plate from his truck and left the engine running, and left each bank after seeing it was crowded, Justice Chet Traylor wrote.

"These circumstances support the jury's determination that the defendant specifically intended to commit armed robbery," he wrote.

Chief Justice Pascal Calogero and Justice Catherine Kimball wrote separate strong dissents.

Nothing that Ordodi did "went beyond mere preparation," Calogero wrote, quoting a state law saying that preparation is not an attempt.

Kimball wrote, "He made no threats toward anyone, he never demanded anything of value from anyone, he did not produce or brandish the gun inside the banks. Defendant never acted in a way suggesting he intended to rob either bank."

She also said that, although the majority speculated that Ordodi left because the banks were crowded, prosecutors did not present any evidence suggesting that he was worried by the number of people or went to the second bank hoping it would be less crowded.