Wednesday, May 05, 2010

So, from the mailbox, from the Gallegos campaign:

First, the emails from George Shieman, who, it appears is working on Gallegos' campaign doing phonebanking, and who is on his endorsement list - and who also appears to be the source of comment and material on the Humboldt Herald. I imagine many of the local bloggers received it. Then the letter from Gallegos' campaign manager Natalynne Delapp....

There will be many accusations of negative campaigning made, and the implication will be that anyone who criticizes Gallegos' record is mean and indulging in negative campaigning.

For what it is worth:

From: gshieman@(redacted)
Subject: fr: George Shieman Friday April 30th note re: DA Campaign
Date: April 30, 2010 6:20:01 PM PDT

This is a letter sent out by a super-experienced prosecutor who is running for
election in Mendocino County. You can see by his website...that he is not fluff
when it comes to prosecutorial experience with major cases...and major convictions.

His letter speaks for him about his thought on one of the contenders for Mr.Gallegos'
job. It is here..below....complete. Also his candidate website link.
I think that time and time matter what you might think about Paul
Gallegos personally... that you will find that he is the most-complete candidate.
He is articulate, has the background that our high-technology time requires, and
puts his office in the "sunshine" to the public inspection. He promised
he would try cases in court personally.. he is lawyers and citizens can see
him at work...and can have complete access to him...and the office.

I want to see my District Attorney working publicly in the courthouse. I do not want
to go back in the old boy network that we had. Let's not go backward.

George Shieman Eureka/San Francisco gshieman@(redacted)
LifeTimeVoiceMail: 415-(redacted) Cell: 415-(redacted)
scroll down:

-----Original Message-----
From: gshieman@(redacted)
To: gshieman@(redacted)
Sent: Fri, Apr 30, 2010 11:29 am
Subject: David Eyster letter and campaign website

David Eyster is running for District Attorney in Mendocino

It was a surprise to read that the Sierra Club, an organization that I respect, has endorsed Paul Hagen to be Humboldt County's District Attorney. As a former prosecutor also currently seeking public office in Mendocino County, it is my belief that the elected DA of any county should be a lawyer who has demonstrated a special aptitude and fitness for prosecution work and can set forth on the campaign trail a track record of personal success in handling serious and complex criminal matters. Most elected DA's have shown exceptional trial and management skills that promote public safety, job one of any DA. I don't believe Mr. Hagen has these qualities or experience so any endorsement by any entity of Mr. Hagen comes, of course, as a surprise.
I was the senior supervisor and lead criminal trial attorney for the Mendocino County DA's Office when Mr. Hagen started as a prosecutor many years ago. As an aside, I was the prosecutor who personally prosecuted and convicted former Humboldt County District Attorney Bernie DePaoli of felony misconduct that ultimately landed him in prison. I consider myself a good judge of young legal talent and it was never a secret that I opposed Mr. Hagen's hiring. While certainly engaging at times, I found Mr. Hagen to be one of those people who only talked a good game. I still chuckle when I recall how he became terribly angry that he was not invited to a criminal procedure training session that I routinely held for our summer law clerks, volunteer interns who had only completed their first year of law school. None of the office attorneys had ever attended or even asked to attend -- this law clerk-oriented training session. No self-respecting attorney who has passed the Bar exam and is working in a DA's Office should require such a beginner's course but, unfortunately, Mr. Hagen was the exception.
So there is no confusion, I have not had any contact with Mr. Hagen since 1996 so, perhaps, he has improved his legal skill set in the intervening years. Maybe he has finally developed jury trial skills, or now has experience with developing and managing office budgets. Maybe he has served as the supervisor of a felony trial team, or personally handled notorious and violent cases like those we read about that give us chills. The District Attorney is a very important position in any county, especially these days when it comes to public safety and tight budgets. Before you cast your vote for the June 8th primary, I encourage all of my neighbors to the north to take a critical look at Mr. Hagen to make sure he still isn't a one-trick environmental pony who has no real experience with the important business of public safety.


There has been total mis-information about the nature of plea
bargains..and handling cases... Below the following letter is a
large variety of thoughts on plea bargains.. Mr. Gallegos actually
brought one up that alot of people never even thought of.
{ Once a judge accepts a plea bargain...the defendant is prohibited
by the agreement from ever filing an appeal. The time and $ savings
on that alone..for a county are gazillions. note- a def. tech could
appeal on some issue re an irregularity of the plea bargain itself.
When does that happen?}

Thurs.April29th.2010 UnionSquareSF 10amSFTime

Hello Natalynne.. greetings from downtown in the sunny City.

In phone calls I make...started getting constant reference to
negativity to Paul..because of so-called "case handling" or "plea
bargains." Below I listed some sources that address those issues
from other jurisdictions. Espec. the link at bottom..the Waco DA
re-election link...some of the same hits...the response of the DA
was very telling.

{deleted a paragraph here that was confidential to orig. sendee.}

From time to time I might send similar emails...not that you have
all the time in the world to study the issue..but because they might
provide quick responses..or ideas. One other issue that some have
raised...the fact that our DA tries cases personally....weird issue.
I don't think it is that unusual in smaller jurisdictions....AND in one,
Mendocino...Susan Massini..DA for approx.ten yrs until 1999 or so
{and graduate of my law school..Empire in Santa Rosa}
was actually publicly..and often criticized for not personally
prosecuting at least one major case..(the Bear Lincoln..shot&
killed deputy case...that her office lost at trial}
So can't win...will be criticized one way or the
{fact is: at that time the candidate who "beat' Massini..was the
person who actually criticized her for not personally prosecuting
the case. Norm Vroman}

that's it from here.. George 415-(redacted)
scroll down>>>>>>>and down>>>>

Sent: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Plea bargaining is a significant part of the criminal justice system in the United States; the vast majority of criminal cases in the United States are settled by plea bargain rather than by a jury trial[6][7]. Plea bargains are subject to the approval of the court,

Plea bargains are so common in the Superior Courts of California that the Judicial Council of California has published an optional seven-page form (containing all mandatory advisements required by federal and state law) to help prosecutors and defense attorneys reduce such bargains into written plea agreements.[8]

Plea bargains are generally encouraged by the court system, and have become something of a necessity due to overburdened criminal court calendars and overcrowded jails.

What is your role in a plea bargain?
Oversee it, supervise, and make sure that it's within the bounds of our community, what our community expects that plea bargain to be.

If the court feels that it's not appropriate, the court can stop that and not accept it.

The whole purpose of plea bargaining is for the prosecutor to assess what this case is worth, and then offer just a little bit less than what a jury would probably come back with, in order to move that case and dispose of the case at that time.

We have between 30 and 40 cases in our court on our docket every single day, and we're an average docket. We have 15 new cases this morning. If you spent a month on every case, again, these people would not have their case come up for years down the road. That's unfair to them; it's unfair to a lot of people who want their justice done right now.

The system right now is plea bargain, with a few cases being tried. Those few cases being tried set the standard for everybody in determining what to do with the 95 percent, 96 percent of the plea bargain cases. That's exactly right. I wish it were just the opposite, but it will never be.

Even when the charges are more serious, prosecutors often can still bluff defense attorneys and their clients into pleading guilty to a lesser offense. As a result, people who might have been acquitted because of lack of evidence, but also who are in fact truly innocent, will often plead guilty to the charge. Why? In a word, fear. And the more numerous and serious the charges, studies have shown, the greater the fear. That explains why prosecutors sometimes seem to file every charge imaginable against defendants.

- The first charge shouldn't be to win every case. It should be to see that justice is done. They should be ethical,

But you want a prosecutor mainly to see that justice is done. Their sole charge is not to win those cases for the state.

That explains why prosecutors sometimes seem to file every charge imaginable against defendants."

Plea Bargaining: An Indispensable Tool in The Criminal Justice system

One of the major advantages of plea bargaining is that it helps prosecutors and the Courts in the effective administration of justice

If the defendant accepts a plea bargain but does not complete their tasks, the prosecution is allowed to revoke the plea bargain and reinstate the original charges.

Other criticisms are due to images of plea bargaining portrayed in the media. Many associate it with intense threats or coercion aimed at the defendant in order to make them plead guilty. Or, some feel that it allows people who should be punished to get off with less prison time. In most cases, depictions of plea bargaining in movies or on television are over-dramatized. Many depictions of plea bargaining are not accurate and would violate a defendant's rights if they were to happen in an actual criminal proceeding.

Statistics vary across jurisdictions, but it would not be uncommon for half of all arrests to result either in no charges or in charges that are later dismissed,

the prosecution can avoid the expense and delay of a trial by offering modest concessions to the defendant. When the evidence is less clearcut the government can avoid the risk of an acquittal by agreeing to a plea to a reduced charge.

Criminal defendants already facing "Draconian" prison terms under federal sentencing guidelines are now routinely ending up with sentences five to 10 years longer, Walker said.
"It's all part of the government's wanting to get the highest sentence," Walker said. "It's very short-sighted."

Some prosecutors would rather risk losing a case after a hard-fought trial....rather than risk the public regarding them as soft on crime.
Harvard Law Review Plea Bargaining

"Bargaining calibrates sentences to proof of guilt so that the people who are clearly the most guilty of the worst crimes
will get the longest sentences."

Plea bargains arise from the influence exerted by the evidence...and the expected punishment after trial.

The vast majority of criminal cases are small ones where the defendant faces only modest amounts of jail time.

Prosecutors offices that are busy offer greater discounts than offices that are not.

Underfunded prosecutors' offices face more pressure to plea bargain than do those with adequate staffing,
funding, and support personnel.

Plea bargaining with budgetary constraints

• There are 2,344 separate local prosecutor’s offices.
• About 85 percent of those local prosecutors are elected for four-year terms.
• About 40 percent of chief prosecutors have served 12 years or more.
• When incumbent chief prosecutors seek re-election, they win 95 percent of the time. In comparison, incumbent state legislators win more than 90 percent of the time when they seek re-election.
• Prosecutor elections draw fewer challengers than races for other offices. In general-election campaigns, prosecutors run unopposed 85 percent of the time. In comparison, state legislators run unopposed only 35 percent of the time.
• When incumbent prosecutors have a challenger, they win 69 percent of the time.

{This was part of a series...the news articles addressed issues that are raised during
DA re-elections...especially when DA faces a challeger. Some of the same issues
that are coming up in Humboldt.}

Prosecutors facing criticism at election time:

Overall, the data show that the percentage of cases pursued by McLennan County prosecutors is within average range.
Local prosecutors either refused or dismissed 50.3 percent of felony charges during 2006-08. For misdemeanor cases, there was a 39.7 dismissal/refusal rate, and for all cases combined, it was 43 percent.
By comparison, during the same three years:
* Prosecutors in Jefferson County, home to Beaumont and Port Arthur, refused or dismissed 45.7 percent of felonies, 40.4 percent of misdemeanors and 42.2 percent of all cases combined.
* Prosecutors in Wichita County, where Wichita Falls is the county seat, refused or dismissed 46.3 percent of cases with felonies and misdemeanors combined. Data were not available broken down by felony versus misdemeanor.
Nationwide, a handful of studies on particular jurisdictions have shown that nonfederal prosecutors discard roughly 25 percent to 50 percent of cases without filing formal charges. The total number of cases not pursued in those jurisdictions would be even higher once dismissals were added in.

With 23 attorneys in the office besides himself, Segrest said, that case load means that each prosecutor is juggling between 300 and 500 cases at any given time. He noted that the county spends more on fees for court-appointed defense attorneys and experts than it does on his office.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, don’t get a case until after the action has died down, Burke noted. That gives them latitude to step back and consider the complex set of factors that govern whether prosecution is just. They also have to look at whether they can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, a tougher standard than police’s probable cause, he said.

One of the toughest parts of a prosecutor’s job, Segrest said, is having to tell a police officer who is invested in a case that it won’t proceed.
“I’ve had to tell a lot of people I really like ‘no,’ ” he said. “. . . You don’t get any thanks, don’t get any appreciation if you don’t win or you don’t prosecute. Then you’re the biggest idiot in the world.”
Segrest added, however, that he is willing to listen to officers who disagree with case decisions. For years, he has encouraged those who have a beef to call him or the prosecutor who handled the case, he said.
“Quite honestly, nobody takes me up on it,” Segrest said. “It’s easier to say it’s the old, lazy prosecutor who won’t do his job.”

The officers who tend to get the most upset are the patrol officers, the chief said. Unlike detectives, they are not usually privy to what happens with a case after the initial call. So where a detective might be aware of a problem that necessitates a case being tossed, it comes as a surprise to the patrol officer.
“They’re just kind of more out of the loop,” Stroman said.

----Original Message-----
From: gshieman@(redacted)
To: shawsle@(redacted); rvanfleet@(redacted); cvanfleet@(redacted); Richard.W.Salzman@(redacted); wbragg@(redacted)
Cc:; vialegirl8383@(redacted)
Sent: Thu, Mar 18, 2010 12:30 pm
Subject: fr: George Shieman Thurs.March.18th note re: election in Humboldt..the only vip election.
Paul Gallegos for third term
my comment in comments section..
{this campaign might be the hardest...even though it might not seem like it.. I've witnessed an
incumbent or two...lose..lose..because his or her supporters got too comfortable.. The time is now.
and the race is as important as the first one... like a car race.. just because you won the last two,
don't mean you get a free ride to this one... there is work to do.. everyday.. take time}

Well, what would old Abe Lincoln do..if he were the DA in Humboldt.?? What would Clarence Darrow do if he were to be the DA in Humboldt.??
What would Albert Einstein do if he were to be the DA in Humboldt..????
Take a guess! I'd imagine that anyone of those simiple people...would likely do something that would mirror what Paul Gallegos does..and will do.
For one thing..the term.."prosecutor" is a real misnomer.. The real job of the district attorney is to "do justice" Sometimes that means...
slow down..lay off. If Humboldt would have wanted a rabid dog prosecutor..they would have voted the dog in last election.
Think! who is likely to be arrested in your town...your brother...your sister..your best friend, your friends from high school, people you work with..people you employ, people you have had sex with.., your teachers, your mentors, your Fathers... yup...even you.
If you loosely use the 'criminal' word..we all fit it.. in some sense.. Who are they? in our society..??? the leaders, the wall streeters, the lawyers, the businessmen...the union people..the politicians...the cops.. yee!
there you go... prosecute you life away..
and just wait your turn...
Some of you seem to like the word "community"
Look closely at your "community" if it sucks..
and in my mind..Eureka does... who is to blame?
Can you blame one person...?? Would you want to? I am to friends are to are to blame.. You made this town what it is, Dudes..and Dudettes... now, you live with it.
Like my Father always said.."Look in the mirror"
The reason..and the only reason that Eureka is like it is..and Humboldt "YOU."
I read these comments..and the only thing that I can "this place must be filled with fear and paranoia."
And, in my heart of hearts.l know that it is
a false..phony fear..and an unrealistic paranoia..
Aint they all?
So, who is the phony here?
I for one..don't believe it is Paul Gallegos.
George Shieman gshieman@(redacted) 415-(redacted)
quote of the day... George Carlin...
take your pick of some of his quotes.. click the link:


  1. Okay, one of these days maybe I'll trudge through all that. Can you summarize or highlight?

  2. People hate Gallegos because he is an arrogant insensitive flake.

    Pleae vote for Paul Hagen, get someone intelligent in there.

  3. The Voices Don't Lie!5/07/2010 4:03 AM

    The Voices have assured me that I'm not delusional.

    But they say that PG is.

    He suffers from delusions of competence.

    He thinks he is a very important person.

    In fact, PG is just great, if you are partial to self absorbed egomaniacs.


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