Court is back in session before the scheduled beginning of the second phase of the Izquierdo-Cubas custody trial. Magda is at it again, manufacturing evidence with the collaboration of Rafael Izquierdo. Last time around she produced phony letters for Izquierdo to copy out and Elena Pérez to claim she had received from him in the U.S. Then she tried to do the same thing with photographs, instructing Pérez to say that she had mailed photos of Elenita to Izquierdo which she had not. Now in the latest chapter of suborned perjury and obstruction of justice Montiel-Davis is accused by the little girl herself of making videos in which Izquierdo and his common-law wife prompted the child to say that she wanted to return with them to Cuba.
There really are no limits to this woman's perfidy and flaunting of the law. No limits because Judge Jeri B. Cohen has chosen to set none. The Miami Herald says that Montiel-Davis has "fended off" previous accusations of fabricating evidence. Really? I missed that part of the trial. Montiel-Davis has "fended off" nothing; she and her husband have simply not been penalized by the judge for their blatant contempt of court. Exactly how many pieces of evidence are lawyers allowed to fabricate, how many individuals (including children) can they induce into perjury, before Judge Cohen takes cognizance of their conduct and addresses it? We know already that justice is denied in her courtroom, but are crimes also sanctioned there? Does her "discretion" broadly defined permit her to aid in the commission crimes by holding the criminals immune to prosecution? Ironically, the very enormity of the crimes committed in open court by Kurzban and Montiel-Davis, who are as dirty as one would expect Castro's lawyers to be, seem to have convinced the judge that they could not possibly have committed them; for why would they endanger their lucrative careers by "fixing" the outcome of a supposedly pro bono case? Judge Cohen does not understand that ideologues will do from conviction what they wouldn't do for money, though we have no doubt that money will be an important factor in any case in which the two are involved (if a reporter at The Herald would only follow that trail!).
Judge Cohen's reaction to this latest instance of professional misconduct, at least, and criminal tampering and obstruction of justice, at worst, was to ignore it just as she had looked askance at previous attempts: "I'm not accusing anyone of anything." Of course she's not. By "not accusing anyone" [i.e. not holding anyone responsible] she is ignoring the girl's own accusations, as conveyed in a session with her therapist on Monday, and giving carte blanche again to Izquierdo's legal team to continue unhampered on the same course without so much as an admonishment. Cohen's own judicial misconduct now approaches their own and they are literally in the same boat together.
"I can't get to the truth of what happened here," concluded the judge, "I could sit here all day."
It's not as if it's her job to sit there all day trying to sort out the truth.
The word "Cuba" and Judge Cohen don't have a cordial history. The last time she invoked "Cuba" at a trial it nearly cost Cohen her job. That's when she voiced her belief in 2004 that the solution to crime in Florida would be to deport all Cubans to Cuba. Since returning Elenita to Cuba — which is what this case is all about — is perfectly in keeping with her expressed "judicial philosophy," and would, in effect, represent the most egregious case of "judicial advocacy" in history, Judge Cohen is now obliged to deny the very nature of this case by banishing the "C-word" from her courtroom. Yes, she actually called it the "C-word" in her courtroom yesterday.
Although she personally will not tolerate the word to be spoken in her presence and has asked all parties to refrain from using it in her courtroom, the judge is now insisting that the word be thoroughly rubbed in the little girl's face so that she can become acclimated to her impending fate. She has instructed the other therapist on the case — the one who didn't reveal Elenita's loathing of returning to Cuba — to "discuss in concrete terms" with the 5-year-old that ominous prospect, which she is reportedly "in denial about," preferring to take refuge in the "protective fantasy" that she will be allowed to stay here with her brother and foster parents (now called the "caretakers" by The Herald).
It seems to us that Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen is the one "in denial" and living in a "protective fantasy" of her own:
"This issue is not if she's going to Cuba, the issue is whether she's going with her father," said Cohen. "I'm not asking a 5-year-old to make an ideological value judgment on Cuba."
Why ask a 5-year old to do it when she refuses to do it herself?
Without being asked, the 5-year old has made a value judgment about life in Cuba, the kind of "value judgment" that slaves made about the South or Jews about Nazi Germany. It isn't any good for her.