Suneel: I would like you to examine something significant. I have evidence that the judge was biased in the trial of Keith Raniere.
Frank: Evidence? I’m still waiting for the evidence of tampering.
That’s coming. But this is significant. I have more than 20 examples of plain, outrageous, egregious bias.
It’s not going to overturn the case, Suneel.
Not by itself, but with the tampering and other evidence—.
I’d rather see the tampering evidence.
Yes, I promise you, it’s coming soon. It isn’t very easy: Evidence tampering, executed by experts — at covering their tracks. But we have experts too. Meantime, unless you think I am really the Baron of Baloney, please publish an account of judicial bias that even the most biased anti-Raniere person will see; at least they would see it if it happened to them.
By Frank Parlato
So Suneel wants me to publish his, what I am sure is an attack on a US District Court judge, one of the most powerful positions in America. In this case, the judge who presided in the trial that put Keith Raniere, my adversary, away.
The Honorable Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis presided over USA v. Raniere. It was a six-week trial, and Raniere was convicted on all counts. Most people celebrated the conviction, but at least three people, Raniere, Suneel Chakravorty, and Eduardo Asunsolo, did not.
They were convinced that Raniere was unfairly prosecuted, unfairly tried, and his 120-year sentence a travesty.
I have been waiting for the evidence of tampering, and I continue to wait. Time is running short. The deadline for Rule 33 is three years from the date of conviction – June 19, 2022.
So why am I considering publishing Suneel’s various arguments – the non-tampering arguments, such as that the judge was biased and that is part, or most, of the reason Raniere was convicted?
As I thought about it, I determined that I think the right way to ask is, “Why not?”
Suppose the judge was biased against Raniere; why not discuss it? Suppose he was not biased. How can it hurt to discuss the topic? Why not hold the government to every manner of scrutiny? Whether you, who love authoritarianism, know it or not, the judge works for the people.
As such, he is subject to scrutiny.
Aristotle said, “to go to the judge is to go to justice.” A judge should not be human when he is on the bench; he should shed the emotions of humans and their petty biases and desires; the judge should be great as the ocean – deep in one concept of his will — to be, as Aristotle said, “justice animate” — the embodiment of justice. The concept of justice.
Justice can move and speak and wear black robes. Still, It should have no preference, no prejudice, no opinion – except to be fair and impartial, to hear all, to referee the law – and to commend the jury to their duty without the jury having the slightest clue as to whether the judge thinks the defendant is innocent or guilty – and, for a fact, the greatest of judges will not make that determination – not even in their minds.
They shall not judge, for the jury alone must consider the guilt or innocence of a defendant The judge is impartial.
The judge then must never show emotion or favoritism if he strives to achieve what Aristotle said.
He cannot take sides; he must think in terms only of fairness. It is not his job, no, not at all, to judge the defendant. His job is to make sure the trial is fair, and the jury gets to hear all the evidence without bias.
Even the judge of a most hated man, such as Raniere was, should strive to achieve this standard.
I see no reason why we should not review the judge’s conduct – if, for nothing more than to judge for ourselves, we, the people, for whom he serves, if he has upheld the trust we placed in him.
We are not here to judge Nick Garaufis, the man. We are here to see if, while presiding over the trial of the most hated, where any decision he made in siding against this man will be applauded, if he still was not swayed.
I see no harm, and possibly some great good, in letting Suneel take a shot at proving something, or seeing if the judge held to this standard. I also see no harm in all manner of rebuttal either.
Suneel may be biased himself, maybe a lot, and only sees the judge through his own bias. So be it. That’s why the readers are, in a sense, the jury. We will judge Suneel as much as we will judge the judge.
On top of that, before anyone gets too biased, none of this judge-bias talk is going to set Raniere free. If it should be true, only the FBI tampering, something I have yet to see evidence of, might set him free. Even then, it is a long shot.
Now, of course, there are some rascals out there, naïve souls, who will say I am only doing this for clicks. Of course, I am doing it for clicks. That’s what every publisher does – goes for readers. What should I do? Go for bland, boring stories that no one reads?
Sure, it might make you mad, but I don’t care. Anger is better them apathy. Come here and be angry and write your anger in the comments section, attack Suneel, or me, or anyone. Even the judge.
Nick Garaufis doesn’t tremble at noises.
Do it anonymously if you like.
You might say I am mad — many people have said it, but, as Diogenes said of himself, “I am not mad; I just have a head different than yours.”
Sure, I think government can always stand scrutiny, and I believe that Suneel has a tall order to prove Raniere is a victim, But let the man try.
We have to be a little tough like Garaufis. He can’t possibly be afraid of a lowly citizen fighting an unpopular cause – or tilting at windmills.
Maybe the judge was biased. Perhaps he was not. I know I was biased against Raniere and probably still am, and I call myself an investigative journalist, but, for one thing, I am a pretty good one, for I don’t mind hearing the opposite side. I love it.
Go for it, Suneel. Let’s see your list of purported biases, but be prepared for rebuttal.