Arresting Alex Sanchez Courts Crime and Punishment Criminal Justice LAPD

Tom Hayden on Alex Sanchez & the Power of Judges


Tom Hayden opens his latest column
in The Nation magazine as follows:

I never expected to write anything like this, but the federal judge in the Alex Sanchez case, Manuel Real, is even worse than Judge Julius Hoffman, who presided over the 1969 Chicago conspiracy trial in which I was a defendant.

Such a judgment, I realize, disqualifies me from being taken seriously as a reporter in some circles, but somebody has to say it. Alex Sanchez simply has zero chance of either bail or a fair trial as long as his case is before Judge Real. The evidence follows.

If you are interested in the Alex Sanchez case at all, wherever you stand on it, it is very much worth reading the rest of Hayden’s piece.

I was at that same hearing. And I didn’t come away with quite the same apocalyptic perspective as did Tom.
But, then, unlike me, Tom has read and reread the whole of the transcripts of the FBI’s four wiretap conversations that are presumed to be the center of the government’s case. He has also been privy to other pieces of information that I have not.

In any case, this account is filled with facts and insights
that are important to consider. I don’t agree with all of his interpretations of events. Yet his step-by-step description of what went on the courtroom during Alex Sanchez’s last bail hearing reflects what I witnessed.

Please read on.

Also, for an opposing view, keep reading Tom Diaz’s coverage of the Sanchez case. Diaz and I assuredly disagree on many points as he leans very strongly toward the prosecution’s side of things. Yet he is very knowledgeable and knows some of the players involved, such as Det. Frank Flores. Most importantly, despite the deliberately provocative nature of his posts, he has an open mind about the matter and, in the end, really just wants to get to the truth.

Also, like me, Diaz thinks that—beyond our respective personal leanings— this is an important case, which points beyond itself to many issues of consequence.

As to why the LA Times seems to find the case of Alex Sanchez beneath their interest…You got me. I don’t get it.

PS: Last week, Alex Sanchez’s lawyer appealed Judge Real’s verdict to the 9th Circuit.


  • I read Hayden’s piece and it really means zero without a response from the prosecution and you know that can’t happen Celeste. Won’t even try to argue his Real statements, everyone in the L.A. judiciary that’s ever seen him in action knows he’s way out there. The 9th Circuit is known for its own high reversal rate so their take on just about anything can be pretty much tossed.

    Bottom line is Cameron has a conversation with Sanchez, sounds to me like Sanchez is pissed about what Cameron has been putting out about him (probably with good cause) and Cameron is murdered a week later.

    Haydens little take on the Chicago 7 Trial, even the mentioning of that idiot Weinglass was self serving and people should read up on the trial themselves rather than listen to Hayden. The actions of Weinglass in the Mumia trial are enough to show what he’s all about.

    The trial should be quite the show.

  • I really don’t know how you get around the judge’s false assertion that none of the letters addressed whether or not Sanchez is a flight risk. That seems like really bad behavior. I may be wrong about this, but can’t a defendant request a new judge? Certainly his not reading those letters seems like grounds.

    As a side note, I think Hayden is making a mistake turning the government’s case against Sanchez into a political crusade. He just doesn’t have the evidence to make that kind of very serious accusation convincingly. It’s not like there’s a question whether or not there were real crimes committed, only whether Sanchez is guilty of being involved.

  • SureFire,

    I wish we had something from the prosecution. The closest I can get is Tom Diaz’s blog, because he seems to be privy to much of their stuff and leans toward the prosecution’s POV as he knows some of the players on their side, like Det. Frank Flores.

    Diaz and I are in touch regularly on this. But, now that I think about it, I’ll link to his latest blogpost on the matter.

    It still won’t give you (or me) the info we want to adequately assess what is what. All that will have to wait for trial.

    About Judge Real…. He’s quite…um…something. Really, even some veteran prosecutors who stopped in to watch the last hearing found his actions this last time to be “extraordinary,” as one put it to me in an email. And he didn’t mean this in a good way.

  • “Braun noted tiny but crucial moves by Real that can cripple any semblance of a fair judicial process, such as prohibiting jurors from taking notes or asking that courtroom testimony be read back to them while debating a verdict.”

    This guy should be impeached…

    Also, Hayden should have just left the Chicago 8 trial out of his piece. The current trial is not about him and his own trial is ancient history that muddies the waters.

  • Even though Tom Hayden is having a déjà vu experience, I think it does not help Sanchez’s case to bring up the comparison, since this does not appear to be a political case, but instead an attempt by law enforcement to arrest M13 leadership and any sympathizers.

    Because, the M13 gang has been responsible for numerous brutal murders (leaving a dismembered corpses and decapitated heads, as their calling card) and surprisingly also appears to have ties to Al Qaeda and the Drug Cartels, law enforcement is treating M13 as terrorists and an enemy of the United States

    From the FBI’s/LAPD’s point of view Alex Sanchez is providing Aid and Comfort to the enemy, but since M13 isn’t an official enemy the FBI had to settle for the conspiracy charges.

    Judge Real seems to have bought in on this rationale and so had already concluded that Alex Sanchez would not be released ever on bail irrespective of any evidence presented.

  • We should have a mandatory retirement age for all government employees, no 85 year old fart should still be working. The old fart should retire and let a younger person, who needs the job sit on the bench. With our high employment rate, the old fool should be spending more time in his rocking chair and not a judge’s bench.

    I rarely meet anyone over 80 whose mental capicity has not diminished.

  • MS 13 is the most dangerous gang in America! They have been proven to be involved with marijuana sells. That right there is enough reason to classify them as terrorists, and declare war on them. Have you seen what pot does to people?

  • Tony – I thought the AVE’s were the worst gang in America. How many worst gangs does America have?

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