Dec 08 2010

Phil Mocek trial postponed again; no hearing Thursday

Yesterday, as we’ve reported, Phil Mocek and his attorney were ready for trial, but the prosecution asked for a delay to allow them more time to review the video evidence of the events at the TSA checkpoint — despite defense counsel’s statement to the judge that the prosecution had already been aware of this evidence. and that it only depicts facts that should have been known to the prosecution.

The trial was originally expected to take two to three days. Judge Kevin Fitzwater continued the start of the trial until Thursday, but also said that he is doing military reserve duty next week and the following week. So a trial that started this Thursday would have had to go to the  jury by the end of the day Friday, or be interrupted for two weeks in mid-trial, with unpredictable effects on jurors’ memories of testimony. It’s also possible that whatever issues the prosecution has with the defense video evidence will lengthen the time the prosecution will take to present their case or question defense witnesses.

Not surprisingly in light of all this, we’ve been told by Mr. Mocek that the trial is being postponed to a date to be determined later (probably in January or February), and there will be no further court hearing or appearance by Mr. Mocek on Thursday or any other day this week.

We’ll post the new trial date as soon as we have more information, but that may not be for several weeks. [Update: The trial has been re-scheduled to start Thursday, January 20, 2011.]

This trial remains important, and Mr. Mocek continues to need our support. These delays and repeated trips from his home in Seattle to court appearances in Albuquerque will only increase his legal and other expenses of defending himself against this frame-up. He’s hired private counsel, and you can contribute to his legal defense. (Note that the Paypal donation receipt will read, “Canabis Defense Coalition”, as this is the group that volunteered to collect donations for Mr. Mocek’s defense. But all funds donated will go to Mr. Mocek’s defense. Contributions by cash, check, or money order can be sent directly to Mr. Mocek’s lawyers: Phil Mocek legal defense, Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Ives & Duncan PA, 20 FIRST PLAZA CTR NW STE 700, ALBUQUERQUE NM 87102-5802.)

At this point, it’s hard to tell whether the continuing prosecution is motivated more by the desire of the TSA to intimidate travelers into silent submission, the desire of the police to retroactively justify having made themselves the TSA’s enforcers in spite of the absence of any crime on Mr. Mocek’s part, or by some other animus. But faced with additional exculpatory video evidence showing that Mr. Mocek didn’t do what he is accused of, the prosecution is continuing to press these false charges, rather than dropping them.

Standing up to the TSA is not a crime. Phil Mocek is not a criminal.

10 thoughts on “Phil Mocek trial postponed again; no hearing Thursday

  1. I would not be surprised if the prosecution withdraws. I’m sure they are beginning to realize they have a lot riding on a win here. On the other hand their sheer arrogance and thirst for power may drive them on, I for one hope it does.
    If they do withdraw, it will reduce any chances of Mr. Mocek counter suing for civil rights violations or damages. It seems to be the modus operandi with New Mexico law enforcement. If you are in the right, have the time and willingness to burn your resources to fight them, they will eventually withdraw.

  2. It wouldn’t surprise me if the prosecution were trying to deliberately lose this case on some unrelated technicality (like a violation of speedy-trial rights) so as to avoid litigating the main issue.

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  4. I’d think it likely that the outcome will be that Mr Mocek’s legal and financial resources will be exhausted, that he will be assigned incompetent counsel from the public defender’s office, and that he will plead guilty for want of any reasonable alternative.

    Should that happen, a majority of my countrymen will think that justice has been done, because we must preserve order at all costs, and who was Mr Mocek to rock the boat? All he was doing was trying to make an example of himself and that short of grandstanding shouldn’t be tolerated.

    I’m not sure there is a way out at this point. We have put into place the government that we deserve.

  5. Opps, I accidently hit the send key before I was done there.
    Anyway, I did win my case, but the city attorney admitted to me on the phone later that he could not come up with any documentation on the laser gun, only an owner’s manual. I also get a copy of the officer’s certification, but it was produced and signed off by an employee of the manufacturer. It shows nothing in relationship to APD.
    The police oversight commission eventually ruled, conveniently after the time limit had passed for an appeal, that the citation was indeed invalid.
    So, APD is still running around giving folks speeding tickets using laser guns without any documentation as to their calibration or repair. And denying “laymen” their rights to discovery.

  6. I don’t know what I did. I was saying that I went through months of attempting to get discovery, with this same police department, in a “speeding ticket” case. Never did get it and was denied access (have them on tape saying so) because I wasn’t an attorney. A SPEEDING TICKET!!!!!!!! I bet the city easily spent $5,000.00 running around in circles until they all fell down.
    From that experience, I can understand why this case has dragged on so long. I mean it has been going on for over a year and the prosecution acts as if they are going to finally bring Phillip to trail (Phillip was forced to be here for this) – then they show up asking for a continuance to look at evidence they’ve had all along – and the court goes along with it! Typical New Mexico (3rd World) justice.

  7. I didn’t mean to go off on a rant, sorry. Mike, I looked at the events in this case and I can’t tell where the time limit stands right now. If you do a case lookup and hit the print button (it won’t print) you can see all the events with abbreviated notations. I see that a one Judge recused herself, I think she had a conflict of interest concerning a prosecution witness, and there have been a number of time continuances on the defenses side. I suspect, and that is why I was relating what happened to me, that the prosecution was playing games with discovery. Kevin maybe right as far as Philip’s funding goes. I hope that doesn’t happen. Where the heck is the ACLU?

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