Bob Josefsberg Rises To Jim Morrison's Defense Once Again!

It's nice to see Governor Crist do the right thing and possibly pardon Jim Morrison, whose arrest was more a product of the 60s culture wars than anything especially criminal.

The NYT takes another look this morning, and Morrison's old attorney Big Bob Josefsberg is right there continuing to defend his client to the bitter end:
“Not that I’m saying dropping your pants in public is acceptable,” Mr. Josefsberg said. “It’s not. It’s also not the worst thing in the world that ever happened.”
Hey, I thought there was a genuine factual dispute about whether Morrison drunkenly hung his schmekel off the Dinner Key or not?

Bob continues, reflecting on Jim's clemency chances:
“Jim’s a total loser, in terms of rehabilitation and what he’s done,” he said. “He’s shown no remorse, no sorrow.” 
Admirable honesty, it's true, but wait a minute -- which side was Bob on again?


  1. Josefsberg has forgotten what it means to defend a client.

  2. How about three cheers for Eric Holder's decision to try terrorists in civilian court? That's going well, isn't it? Hello, is this microphone working...?

  3. But the most important point here is that one either believes in the American system of justice or one does not. When a reviled defendant is acquitted in court, and torture-obtained evidence is excluded, that isn't proof that the justice system is broken; it's proof that it works. A "justice system" which guarantees convictions -- or which allows the Government to rely on evidence extracted from torture -- isn't a justice system at all, by definition. The New Yorker's Amy Davidson made this point quite well today:

    Let’s be clear: if time in the extra-judicial limbo of black sites, and the torture that caused some evidence to be excluded, makes prosecutors’ jobs harder, the problem is with the black sites and the torture, and not with the civilian trials that might eventually not work out quite the way everyone likes. It’s a point that bears some repeating. Our legal system is not a machine for producing the maximum number of convictions, regardless of the law. Jurors are watching the government, too, as well they should. Ghailani today could be anyone tomorrow.

    It's supposed to be extremely difficult for the Government to win the right to put someone in a cage for their entire lives, or to kill them. Having lived under a tyranny in which there were very few barriers impeding the leader's desire to imprison or otherwise punish someone -- and having waged a war to escape that oppression -- the Founders designed it this way on purpose. And they did so with the full knowledge that clearly guilty and even extremely evil people would sometimes receive something other than the punishment they deserve. Here's how Thomas Jefferson weighed those considerations, as expressed in a 1791 letter: "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."

  4. Not only was Ghailani convicted of a charge that will likely lead to life behind bars, but the track record with military commissions is pretty awful. As Colin Powell noted earlier this year, "In eight years the military commissions have put three people on trial. Two of them served relatively short sentences and are free. One guy is in jail. Meanwhile, the federal courts -- our Article III, regular legal court system -- has put dozens of terrorists in jail and they're fully capable of doing it."

  5. SFL - Party Foul.

    That quote by RJ is in the article, but is is very clear that he was talking about what the clemency board has to consider - and essentially saying that he didn't like the chances on the rehab argument. He wasn't calling the guy a looser. Here is the full question and answer.

    "How does a clemency board decide whether to issue a pardon in a case like this?

    There are some very loose criteria, which is mostly, what has the person done since? And the second part is, How have the laws of society changed? On one of these, Jim’s a total loser, in terms of rehabilitation and what he’s done. He’s shown no remorse, no sorrow. And on the second one, it’s questionable. The funny part is, he was drunk. He was loaded. That, he got acquitted of. Part of their contract was to have, I think, 48 cans of ice-cold beer in their dressing room. What do you expect? But when you got Jim alone and you weren’t with all these groupies and the people who were star-gazing, he was a very thoughtful, decent person. He was very weird that night, and he didn’t remember any of it."
    Here is another quote from the same interview:

    "Jim and I were pretty close in age, and we kind of hit off. He was a very nice person. I’ve seen the movie about him and the Doors. Oliver Stone, with all due respect, is a revisionist. In the movie Jim was portrayed as a selfish druggie, and he wasn’t. He was a very nice person, a nice, decent human being with a very good sense of humor. We spent a lot of time with notepads, passing notes back and forth to each other, and he was very perceptive, very bright. He understood everything going on around him. And for the three weeks I was with him, he was sober."

  6. I concur with Fake Glenn Greenwald. I can only add that it is a well documented fact that the Taliban use threats against loved ones as a recruitment tool. Who is to say which of these detainees was acting under coercion or not? This would be like if someone threatened everything important to swlip -- his hookers AND his Viagra, toupee, and "cigar stinking car" and forced him to do something unconscionable to him -- like volunteer at a homeless shelter -- else they all be destroyed.

    Under such threats, who could really blame him?

  7. Fake Glenn - Your comment is full of the usual moral preening that I've come to expect from the brain-dead liberals around here.

    I believe in our justice system, but think it's foolish to use a law enforcement approach to national security matters. Even Obama and Holder have tacitly admitted this by declaring that the U.S. reserves the right to detain terrorists whether they are acquitted in civilian court or not. Meaning, I guess, that their proposed civilian trials are just for show.

    The primary goal in fighting terrorists should be to capture them and gather intelligence to disrupt their plans and capture or kill more of them (which, btw, begs the question: If we can target them for death in the field of battle, why should they be entitled to civilian trials if they're lucky enough to be captured alive?).

    Your presumption that Ghailani was tortured, btw, is idiotic and beside the point. The greater evidentiary problem is disclosure of evidence that would reveal classified sources of intelligence. What if a key source of information was passed on by one of G-W's benighted, oppressed Afghan citizens? Does the terrorist get the right to cross-examine him, to learn his identity?

    And why should we elevate the rights of terrorists above those to which legal combatants, such as our own military, are entitled under the Geneva Conventions?

    The terrorists are laughing at you morons for playing this stupid and dangerous game.

  8. If terrorists are laughing at anyone, it's the insecure little pansies like swlip, who think they can be safe behind their wars and their torture regimes -- even as they subject their children to forced molestations from a government that used to obey something called "objective law."

    Well swlip, you're not safe. You will never be safe. Life on earth as a human being never was, and it never will be. It doesn't matter how many people we torture and kill. It is the path of the despot, and it leads to only one place -- our own undoing.

    Terrorists can kill us or knock down our buildings. But only we can abandon the legal and moral pillars of our civilization.

    Run like the frightened little coward you are. You have no where to go. Even now you can feel the grip of time around your neck.

    How will you be remembered? As a man that stood for something, or just another frightened animal lashing out in all directions.

    Option B, it seems.

  9. "Your presumption that Ghailani was tortured, btw, is idiotic and beside the point."

    The judge threw out the evidence precisely because it was the product of torture.

  10. Anon: The judge threw out the evidence because it was obtained under coercive circumstances that, of course, would not be permissible in a civilian prosecution. The judge made no finding that he was tortured. You know the standard under civilian criminal law - it would be enough to exclude it if the interrogation continued after he asked for a lawyer, or if he was placed in a cold room.

    Protecting our national security is primarily the job of our armed forces, not our legal system. Indeed, it is the very transparency of the civilian criminal court system--e.g., the defendant's ability to find out how the evidence against him was gathered--that makes it so unsuitable for dealing with captured terrorists.

    GW - Your stupid moral preening is going to blow up in somebody's ass, one day.

  11. @swlip,

    sorry, but you have to 'actually have' morals to understand them.

    Did I mention that you were an idiot coward? Wait, I did.

  12. I'm guessing whacker has "blown up" some dude's ass before.

  13. Josefsberg should have hung it up 10 years ago.

  14. On Twitter yesterday, Michael Goldfarb, former McCain presidential campaign flack and current adviser to former governor Sarah Palin, said that Ghailani should have been executed while in CIA custody.

    Maybe Goldfarb has taken Glenn Beck’s advice a little too seriously. The radical Fox News host once said that as President, he wouldn’t detain terror suspects, he’d “shoot them all in the head.” Perhaps Goldfarb is an avid National Review reader, where one writer once said that all Gitmo detainees should be let go and then killed. Or maybe Goldfarb has been listening to his former boss over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, who said last year of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan after his attack on the Fort Hood Army Base: “They should just go ahead and convict him and put him to death.”

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