Mk10ART Portrait of Jeffrey Epstein

Appellate Ruling Dooms Epstein’s Appeal on Denial of Bail – Will Likely Be Held at MCC Until Trial

July was a really shitty month for Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeffrey Epstein Mug Shot (2008)

August is starting out much the same.

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that wealthy people who have been charged with crimes have no right to be freed from jail and watched at home by private guards while they await trial.

The ruling came in a case involving Jean Boustani, an executive at the Privinest maritime companies who is awaiting trial for his role in what prosecutors allege was a $2 Billion fraud and money-laundering operation.

Jean Boustani

Boustani was appealing the denial of his proposed bail package that included private armed security guards to ensure that he did not escape from his residence.

Epstein had proposed a similar arrangement that would allow him to remain at his Manhattan mansion while he prepared for trial.

Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan Mansion

No Two-Tiered Bail System

U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes, who was one of the three judges on the panel that heard the appeal in the Boustani case, made it very clear the Second Circuit was not going to have different bail standards for wealthy defendants.

“The Bail Reform Act does not permit a two‐tiered bail system in which defendants of lesser means are detained pending trial while wealthy defendants are released to self‐funded private jails,” Cabranes wrote for the unanimous opinion of the three-judge panel.

The ruling pretty much put an end to the types of arrangements that had previously allowed uber-rich defendants to remain in their homes while they awaited trial.

Among the defendants who were previously accorded such arrangements are Bernie Madoff, who headed-up the largest-ever Ponzi scheme; Marc Dreier, the New York law firm founder who was charged in a $400 million fraud scheme; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was accused of sexual assault by several women (Charges were eventually dropped against Strauss-Kahn but Madoff and Dreier both pleaded guilty and were given lengthy sentences).

Bernie Madoff

The appellate court in the Boustani case quoted from a prior case in which U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman had denied bail to another uber-rich defendant who had proposed similar terms and conditions (Berman is also the presiding judge in the Epstein case).

Granting bail to defendants because they can afford to pay for private armed guards is unreasonable “because it helps to foster inequity and unequal treatment in favor of a very small cohort of criminal defendants who are extremely wealthy”, Berman wrote.

*****

“Danger to the Community” Was Another Factor in Epstein Case

In Epstein’s case, Berman noted that his denial of the proposed bail deal was also due, in part, to the fact that he considered Epstein to be a “danger to the community”.

Although the lower court did not cite the “danger to the community” factor in the Boustani case, it did note it was concerned about the seriousness of the charges he was facing, the strength of the evidence against him, and his frequent travel to countries that don’t have evidence against him.

As a result, it is unclear whether the Second Circuit has entirely done away with the notion that an uber-wealthy defendant could be granted bail that included private armed guards.

*****

Still Concerned About the Witness Testimony at Bail Hearings

There is one aspect of Epstein’s bail hearing that still bothers me.

And that’s the fact that Judge Berman allowed two of Epstein’s alleged victims to testify at his bail hearing – each of whom indicated that they still considered him to be “dangerous” (It’s pretty obvious they were coached to use that particular word in their testimony).

Although I think Epstein is a slug who needs to be incarcerated for the rest of his life – and have his dick cut off before he’s assigned to his permanent prison – I’m bothered by the fact that the judge relied on the testimony of two unchallenged witnesses for his finding that Epstein was a “danger to the community”.

Jeffrey Epstein

I would much prefer that we adopt fixed standards for bail determinations than rely upon the testimony of unchallenged witnesses (This is basically the same bullshit that goes on in Grand Jury proceedings – which I would prefer be replaced by Magistrate Judges who would decide whether someone should be indicted).

How about we just adopt the standard that says if you’re facing more than 25 years in prison, you’re not getting bail?

Wouldn’t that be much fairer than letting the testimony of unchallenged witnesses determine whether someone gets to stay at home while they await trial?

Had my proposed standard been in place, Keith Raniere and Allison Mack would have been incarcerated while they awaited trial but their co-defendants would still have been eligible for bail.

And what would have been wrong with that?

Whether a defendant has money – or access to money – should not determine whether someone is granted bail.

Nor should an unchallenged witness who testifies on behalf of the prosecution…

*****

About the author

K.R. Claviger

32 Comments

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  • Krclaviger,

    Regarding Epstein passing out & blackout

    Questions:

    How did Epstein pass out ?
    Why were there no real strangulation marks?

    Answer:
    It’s probably the rear naked choke….

    “According to Dr. Charlie, the rear naked choke is a “so-called blood choke ([one of] those that impede blood flow from the heart to the brain),” as opposed to an “asphyxia choke (those that obstruct airflow, commonly by way of windpipe compression).””

    ***
    College wrestling has no submissions but I learned this choke in high school. Back than “it” didn’t have a name and it was taught to me by an assistant coach.

    I guarantee Epstein’s cell mate knew the rear naked choke, given that today’s Police academies teach jujitsu-based self-defense courses.

    The rear naked choke is one of the the first things you learn in Brazilian jujitsu.

    Maybe Epstein was snoring too much? LOL

    • My understanding is that there were some contusions and marks on Epstein’s neck. In any event, it would not surprise me to find out that Epstein’s cellmate roughed him a little bit to convince him that he needed some “protection” while he’s in prison. And Epstein’s claim that he now doesn’t remember anything about the incident suggests to me that Epstein now agrees with that assessment.

  • The first time I saw a photograph of Epstein, he instantly became ‘Paedo Face’ to me. I can’t think of him as anything else. He looks like what he is. If you look at his face, all that can be seen is corruption and perversion. For the safety of all children everywhere, this man should never be allowed to move freely amongst us.

    25 years of actual prison time minimum.

  • The Bronfman sisters should take note that their wealth doesn’t mean that they can break the law whenever they please. That kind of arrogance could be their final undoing.

  • https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg7I_jwhszg/

    Well this is awkward…

    https://artvoice.com/2019/07/15/kristin-kreuk-was-member-of-nxivm-in-2015-2016/

    “I left about five years ago (2013) and had minimal contact with those still involved.”

    So Kristin Kreuk lied about leaving in 2013 and was still in NXIVM in 2016.

    She also insulted her friends in public by saying she only had “minimal contact” with them like they were shit to her.

    By “minimal contact”, does she mean she was not physically in the same city as them, or didn’t bother with them when she was? Either way, she both lied and insulted her friends in public.

    “Those still involved”. She was still involved too!

    What exactly are these EM’s Kreuk did in 2016 when she was still involved and lied about it?

    • The question isn’t whether there was a basis for the judge to hear the unchallenged testimony of two alleged victims – or, as you point out, whether he was required to do so. The question is whether that’s how things should be.

      As I indicated in a much lengthier comment in George Frobisher’s post, I simply do not believe that it appropriate to incarcerate defendants who have not been convicted of any crimes unless they pose a clear danger to someone else. Do you believe that Epstein would have posed a danger to anyone if he were given home-confinement and required to wear a GPS-type ankle monitor?

      • Yes. The government presented evidence of past instances of alleged attempted witness tampering, as recently as late 2018. The court’s finding was not based on these two victims’s statements alone. And the trafficking statutes have a legal presumption that the defendant should be held without bail. The burden was on Epstein and he failed to make the necessary showing. The guy owns an island, has access to private aircraft (and yachts), virtually unlimited funds, history of witness tampering, statistically speaking offenders like him have extremely high rates of recidivism — sound familiar? You make a fair point, one I agree with in principle, but this case is a poor example to use to make it.

          • Not at all. This was not an evidentiary hearing, the victims were not put on the witness stand, put under oath and subjected to direct and cross examination. They stood and gave statements about how they felt. So this isn’t a confrontation clause issue, any more than are victim impact statements given at sentencing proceedings. That’s it. Epstein was free to proffer statements from people who felt differently, and he is still free to do so in another bail proposal. I seriously doubt the judge would refuse to allow those statements to be presented. He has a right to ask to be released pending trial. He does not have a right to exclude victims, but he can certainly recruit people to give statements about what a wonderful guy he is, or whatever.

    • Yes and Yes!

      If the Shivani who wrote this post is Siobhan Hotaling, then she is clearly in NXIVM.
      “Calling Nxivm ‘Kinky’ Is Like Calling an Atomic Explosion a Cooking Contest.”

      Here is what Shivani/Shibani said in this post:

      “Why didn’t Rick Alan Ross get the joke and he could have saved himself about 14 years of Nxivm litigation and harassment?

      Mr. Tighe bitches and moans about getting railroaded into prison over some fun porn which Clare and the litigation hounds sent him as a present.”

      Justifying computer hacking that sent an innocent man to prison is a clear sign of NXIVM support.

      Calling illegal child porn “fun porn” is clearly a sign of NXIVM support.

      Supporting the abuse of the legal system to persecute Rick Ross is also a clear indication that the writer supports NXIVM.

      The headline of the article says one thing but the heart of the article clearly supports the criminal behavior of NXIVM.

      • Okay smarty pants… does she use a strap-on? Does she smear peanut butter on a bull dyke’s snatch a lick it off? Does she 69? C’mon Shadow! Details!

      • Good heavens. Your discernment would improve, so far as what’s real and what is not, if you would scrub off that mental grime. However, it looks to me that you are very attached to your garbage. Could that smoggish gluck which you’re spouting be the flotsam and jetsam from obsessiveness, rotted into paranoia? The symptoms DO look to be rather severe.

        “Get well soon,” although it is standard greeting card politesse and a phrase which is overused, feels appropriate to offer you. You poor thang. As we say down south, bless you heart. Your only enemy appears to be yourself. And you have just disqualified yourself as being anyone who is looking for the truth here.

        You don’t seem to recognize it anymore, if ever you did.

        It is most likely that my comment was not misinterpreted by anyone except you. The reaction is a miscomprehension similar to that of someone who is suffering as a paranoiac. (This is not a diagnosis.)

        Nor was the comment’s use of sarcasm highlighted and taken out of its context by readers and then obsessed over for a couple of days, to be printed here just to try to distort it. But that’s what you have tried to do. What’s in it for you? More embarrassment?

        • Yup, I don’t know who you are irl, Shivani, I’m only interested in the wit and wisdom you print here. Not sure how Shadow comes to the conclusion you are one of those below-mental-par Nxium shills, Siobhan, in this case, I think he’s just hyped he knows the Irish pronunciation of that name and, y’know puts two and two together to make.. I dunno.. waffles or something..

    • “…does she still scissor with other muff divers?” I’ve never heard this one before! Wow! Highly imaginative I must confess! 😁

  • At bail hearings it isn’t unusual for people to speak up, to vouch that the defendant can and will be able to obey any bail restrictions. For example, a family member can say to the judge that the defendant will be staying within that family member’s household. “The defendant is not going to flee or try to flee.” So people do come to court for bail hearings and get the opportunity to speak for the defendant’s benefit. Attorneys arrange for this to happen, if the influence would help a client make bail.

    Why not allow someone to speak to the court about how and why a defendant should NOT be afforded bail? I don’t know, but how’s that for an equilateral justification? It is interesting what New Jersey has been applying to bail situations since 2017.

    • Sometimes, I don’t do a great job of putting into words the thoughts that are running around in my head. This is one of those times.

      To begin with, I am a strong proponent for totally eliminating cash bail – which is SLOWLY being done in New York State. Doing so will do away with some of the inherent inequities in the current bail system – and greatly reduce the number of people who are currently incarcerated (Example: 78% of the prisoners in New York City jails — including Rikers Island – are there because they couldn’t make cash bail).

      Once you eliminate cash bail, there are only two factors that should be considered in deciding whether a defendant must be incarcerated while they are awaiting trial: (1) Is the defendant a flight risk? – and (2) Is the defendant a danger to society?

      Unfortunately, both of those factors allow judges to make decisions that often reflect their own biases. And decisions based on those biases can generate results that are almost as unfair as our current cash bail system.

      Can’t we pretty much resolve the flight risk issue by requiring ALL pre-trial defendants to wear a GPS-style ankle monitor? Except for the few that will be dumb enough to cut off the monitor, this would let us know where all the pre-trial defendants are 24/7.

      The “danger to society” factor is much harder to resolve. The point I was trying to make is that it’s not fair for a judge to listen to the UNCHALLENGED testimony of a witness who has likely been coached to say the magic words – “I would be fearful for my life if the defendant were allowed back on the street” or words to that effect – and then remand the defendant back to jail to await trial.

      Why can’t we put anyone who is considered to be “dangerous” on home-confinement? Wouldn’t that be a fairer way of dealing with a prisoner who has not been convicted of anything?

      I find Jeffrey Epstein repugnant – and I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison. But keeping him locked up at MCC for the next year is both unnecessary and unfair.

      *****
      All of my thoughts have to do with defendants who do not have prior convictions.

      I would not object to different standards for those who have prior convictions – especially if those prior convictions involved violent crimes.

      But we can get into those nuances another day.

  • “How about we just adopt the standard that says if you’re facing more than 25 years in prison, you’re not getting bail?”
    Krclaviger

    Krclaviger,

    What ever happened to the presumption of innocence?

    Is it fair to keep someone in prison in horrid conditions that could adversely affect their health? What do you think would have happened to Roger Stone?

    Or other elderly defendants? Criminal cases take almost year to go to trial.

    The DOJ’s favored technique currently is to add on an insurmountable number of charges against criminal defendants so the defendants take a plea deal.

    Your suggestion would only enhance the DOJ’s current technique of squeezing plea deals out of criminal defendants.

    • Sometimes, I don’t do a great job of putting into words the thoughts that are running around in my head. This is one of those times.

      To begin with, I am a strong proponent for totally eliminating cash bail – which is SLOWLY being done in New York State. Doing so will do away with some of the inherent inequities in the current bail system – and greatly reduce the number of people who are currently incarcerated (Example: 78% of the prisoners in New York City jails — including Rikers Island – are there because they couldn’t make cash bail).

      Once you eliminate cash bail, there are only two factors that should be considered in deciding whether a defendant must be incarcerated while they are awaiting trial: (1) Is the defendant a flight risk? – and (2) Is the defendant a danger to society?

      Unfortunately, both of those factors allow judges to make decisions that often reflect their own biases. And decisions based on those biases can generate results that are almost as unfair as our current cash bail system.

      Can’t we pretty much resolve the flight risk issue by requiring ALL pre-trial defendants to wear a GPS-style ankle monitor? Except for the few that will be dumb enough to cut off the monitor, this would let us know where all the pre-trial defendants are 24/7.

      The “danger to society” factor is much harder to resolve. The point I was trying to make is that it’s not fair for a judge to listen to the UNCHALLENGED testimony of a witness who has likely been coached to say the magic words – “I would be fearful for my life if the defendant were allowed back on the street” or words to that effect – and then remand the defendant back to jail to await trial.

      Why can’t we put anyone who is considered to be “dangerous” on home-confinement? Wouldn’t that be a fairer way of dealing with a prisoner who has not been convicted of anything?

      I find Jeffrey Epstein repugnant – and I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison. But keeping him locked up at MCC for the next year is both unnecessary and unfair.

      *****
      All of my thoughts have to do with defendants who do not have prior convictions.

      I would not object to different standards for those who have prior convictions – especially if those prior convictions involved violent crimes.

      But we can get into those nuances another day.

      • Alex,

        …At the end of the day, lawyers do more good than bad.

        Do you like:

        fire escape?
        Smoke detectors?
        Airbags in your car?
        Seatbelts?
        Shatterproof windshields glass windshield so you don’t go blind?

        Lead-free paint?

        TransFats removed from food?

        Exits signs in movie theaters?

        ETC to infinity!!!!

      • I do not belong to that group, they just stick their noses in my business every once in a while. Many times they are useful and necessary, but occasionally just a pain in the a$$.

    • Sometimes, I don’t do a great job of putting into words the thoughts that are running around in my head. This is one of those times.

      To begin with, I am a strong proponent for totally eliminating cash bail – which is SLOWLY being done in New York State. Doing so will do away with some of the inherent inequities in the current bail system – and greatly reduce the number of people who are currently incarcerated (Example: 78% of the prisoners in New York City jails — including Rikers Island – are there because they couldn’t make cash bail).

      Once you eliminate cash bail, there are only two factors that should be considered in deciding whether a defendant must be incarcerated while they are awaiting trial: (1) Is the defendant a flight risk? – and (2) Is the defendant a danger to society?

      Unfortunately, both of those factors allow judges to make decisions that often reflect their own biases. And decisions based on those biases can generate results that are almost as unfair as our current cash bail system.

      Can’t we pretty much resolve the flight risk issue by requiring ALL pre-trial defendants to wear a GPS-style ankle monitor? Except for the few that will be dumb enough to cut off the monitor, this would let us know where all the pre-trial defendants are 24/7.

      The “danger to society” factor is much harder to resolve. The point I was trying to make is that it’s not fair for a judge to listen to the UNCHALLENGED testimony of a witness who has likely been coached to say the magic words – “I would be fearful for my life if the defendant were allowed back on the street” or words to that effect – and then remand the defendant back to jail to await trial.

      Why can’t we put anyone who is considered to be “dangerous” on home-confinement? Wouldn’t that be a fairer way of dealing with a prisoner who has not been convicted of anything?

      I find Jeffrey Epstein repugnant – and I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison. But keeping him locked up at MCC for the next year is both unnecessary and unfair.

      *****
      All of my thoughts have to do with defendants who do not have prior convictions.

      I would not object to different standards for those who have prior convictions – especially if those prior convictions involved violent crimes.

      But we can get into those nuances another day.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

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