What they don't want you to know about the criminal justice system in Sussex County, New Jersey...
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On the Exclusionary Rule
A Summary of Recent Events that have Occurred Thus Far...As noted previously, defense attorney Evan F. Nappen had filed a Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Motion to Suppress Nunc Pro Tunc at Tom's court appearance of June 19, 2000. So what does that mean? What are its implications? And why does the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office object to this motion? Prior to answering some of these questions, it shall prove useful to briefly review what has occurred since this website has just scratched the surface at exposing the illegal and unconstitutional actions of officials within the Sussex County Justice system.
Since the debut of this website, the "cover charges" that were filed against Tom by Newton Police Detective Anthony Virga have since been dismissed. "Cover Charges" that were filed approximately 2 weeks after the Newton and Stillwater Police Departments had conducted their midnight warrantless search and seizure.
These are the very same "cover charges" that:
Despite all of the above illegal and conspiratorial conduct of Sussex County Justice officials, they are currently racing toward bringing Tom to trial for the alleged possession of "assault firearms". Whatever they [assault firearms] may be. Indeed, even officials throughout the puzzle palace of the State of New Jersey are unsure of what an assault firearm is, but they "know one when they see one"!
As you have readily observed throughout this site, one can see how vague statutes (such as New Jersey Assault Firearm Law) have succeeded in enabling State officials to harass those who may be "the object of official displeasure".[N.1]
"[T]he [exclusionary] rule's prime purpose is to deter future unlawful police conduct and thereby effectuate the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures..."
Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Motion to Suppress Nunc Pro Tunc:A Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Motion to Suppress Nunc Pro Tunc was filed by defense counsel Evan F. Nappen on June 19, 2000. Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Francis Koch stated that he will object to this motion. So, you may be asking yourselves what does that mean, and how does it affect me? Why does the Prosecutor object to such a motion? Below, we shall briefly explore some of these issues.
As noted above, the fabricated "cover charges" have finally been dismissed. Cover charges that had been placed against Tom 2 weeks after police had violated the Cassidy home in order to cover up their illegal conduct. Finally, the Sussex County Justice officials conspiratorial web has slowly become unwoven after four long years. With the "cover charges" now removed, we are left with the original facts of this case which had led to the illegal search and seizure that officers had embarked upon in the middle of the night of March 14, 1996- "Verbal Harassment".
When Newton Police Officer Neil Casey and Stillwater Police Officer John Schetting arrived at the Cassidy home at approximately 1:20 a.m. of March 14, 1996, they had stated that they were at the residence to conduct a search and seizure in accordance with a supposedly valid search warrant. A document that had actually been signed by Newton Police Officer Casey, and not a judge, as is required by law. The officers stated that the reason that they were conducting this search and seizure in the middle of the night was due to an alleged act of verbal harassment which was to have occurred at the Newton Memorial Hospital.
After more than four years of court testimony, documentation, etc. the only "verbal harassment" that has materialized seems to be that in which 3 persons had engaged in an act somewhat analogous to that of the schoolyard game of "telephone". (Perhaps this may explain the imposition of "cover charges" two weeks after this game had occurred). It appears that 79-year-old Newton Memorial Hospital security guard, Anthony D'Avino, had initiated the game of "telephone" at some point during the evening of March 13, 1996. D'Avino apparently had whispered some bit of information into the ear of Natalie DeGennaro-Holley. Armed with this tidbit of hearsay, DeGennaro-Holley had then invited the Newton Police Department to participate. When the Newton Police arrived at Newton Memorial Hospital, DeGennaro-Holley had then whispered some message into their aroused ears. As you may well remember from your childhood years, each time that the message is passed on in the game of telephone, the message will invariably become more and more distorted with each and every additional participant to the point that the message becomes so wildly distorted that it no longer resembles that as was originally intended.
This remarkably unusual game of "telephone" that was played at the Newton Memorial Hospital on the evening of March 13, 1996 appears to have been what had led the Newton Police Department to embark upon their journey into the Township of Stillwater several hours later to conduct a search and seizure at 1:20 a.m. under the guise of possessing a valid search warrant. And of course, the Stillwater Police had been subsequently invited along to accompany the Newton Police to the Cassidy home. After all, every child knows there is much more fun in playing with your friends, rather than playing all alone.
Certainly by now it has become obvious to you why the Sussex County Prosecutor has indicated that he will object to this Motion. What we are dealing with here is the "meat and potatoes" of "what they don't want you to know about the criminal justice system in Sussex County, New Jersey...". Triple hearsay "verbal harassment", warrantless searches and seizures in the middle of the night, and of course, the imposition of "cover charges" over a four-year-long-period to cover all of this up!
How does all of this affect you? Where does the exclusionary rule fit into all of this? The primary purpose of the exclusionary rule is to deter illegal searches and seizures.[N.6] Deterrence strategy operates through the communication to individuals of a threat of unpleasant consequences if the individuals engage in one or more prohibited acts.[N.7] In this case, the warrantless searches and seizures in the middle of the night in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey State Constitution.
Thus far, no unpleasant consequences have been communicated to local police agents. Therefore, there is no disincentive for police to stop engaging in illegal conduct by violating the civil rights and civil liberties of the citizenry.
The intended beneficiary of the exclusionary rule is you- the public at large. The public benefits from the exclusionary rule by virtue of the disincentive it provides for police illegality.[N.8] As things currently stand now, the Sussex County Judiciary has thus far provided local police agencies with their rubber stamp of approval to shockingly egregious conduct.
Throughout this case the Sussex County Judiciary has been reluctant to sanction police misconduct and illegality. Indeed, for more than four years they had actually embraced police and prosecutorial misconduct by facilitating the wrongful conviction on the "cover charges", and subsequently utilizing all of this to justify the original warrantless search and seizure! The Sussex County Judiciary should be reminded that they too have have taken oaths to uphold the United States and New Jersey State Constitutions. Constitutional safeguards, rights, and protections must not be forfeited in favor of police misconduct and the misapplication of domestic violence law.
In light of the April 3, 1997 Motion to Suppress Hearing, there currently is no deterrent for the police within Sussex County to stop engaging in illegal searches and seizures in the middle of the night! There is nothing deterring future acts of police misconduct within Sussex County. If the Sussex County Judiciary continues to refuse to sanction this misconduct, then there is no disincentive for local police agents to bring a late night game of "telephone" into your home! The filing of the Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Motion to Suppress Nunc Pro Tunc provides the Sussex County Judiciary with the opportunity to redress these many wrongs.
Case Update- On July 14, 2000 Judge Lorraine C. Parker, J.S.C. denied the Motion for Reconsideration of Motion to Suppress Nunc Pro Tunc. At this hearing, Judge Parker refused to observe that Newton Police Officer Neil Casey had signed his own search warrant- authorizing himself to conduct a midnight search and seizure! Judge Parker refused to observe that the above "game of triple hearsay" does not meet the requirement of probable cause. Hence, the subsequent imposition of cover charges and this four-year-long cover up! Indeed, the alleged "verbal harassment" has never been addressed! Yet "verbal harassment" is what the police had indicated was their reasoning for raiding the Cassidy home in the middle of the night of March 14, 1996!
This unwillingness to review the case documentation is incomprehensible when even the State has acknowledged that the constitutional requirements for issuing search warrants have not been met! Moreover, the State has also conceded that their alternative theory- "domestic violence law"- has not been adhered to either! Despite all of this, Judge Parker, who is supposed to take on a role of neutrality, refuses to reconsider the Motion to Suppress. Even as the State acknowledges non-compliance with the law! By refusing to review case documentation, Judge Parker has engaged in a willingness to cynically destroy Cassidy in order to save face for the Sussex County Justice system.