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Murder for Hire In Santa Cruz – The Curious Career of Irwin Joseph

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Many in Santa Cruz, California refer to Commissioner, Irwin H. Joseph as, “Junk Justice Joseph.” On a local forum his many errors, omissions and habits are discussed, the details striking the reader as simple sloppiness.

Those who complain about the rulings coming from Joseph also note that he seems completely ignorant of the Constitution, ignoring the rights secured to individuals through the documents that, presumably, every American should understand. In a recent case involving the rights of the homeless in Santa Cruz Joseph ignored the law suit brought by local civil rights attorneys Paul Sanford and Kate Wells announcing that he had, “made up his mind,” regarding the rights of homeless to free expression, ignoring the previous opinion of the appeal court.

That issue was thrown into high visibility in Santa Cruz when one homeless man, Robert Wagner, died sitting up in his wheelchair, unable to lay down and so save his own life. While the onlooker is tempted to lay all of the blame on Irwin Joseph that is a condemnation that should be more carefully apportioned.

Irwin Joseph is only a Commissioner. The role of commissioner has been described by one judge slightly south of Santa Cruz as, “a rent a cop; sort of like comparing real police to the guy who walks around the parking lot.” Additionally, Irwin Joseph, formerly a real estate attorney, has no oath on file at the Courthouse, unlike those elected to judgeships. This was ascertained just today. All other such officials had their oaths on file. Without that oath, signed and dated, the person on the bench is outside the law. Regrettably, there is no reason to believe that will bother those who control the courts in Santa Cruz either.

Why do real judges, the local council and others, presumably better informed, tolerate the presence of Joseph on the bench acting in all ways as one of them? That is one question that needs answering. But one answer immediately suggests itself.

Greed explains many things.

In Santa Cruz, where Robert Wagner died on the street, another man is locked in a struggle involving Irwin Joseph. The second man may well be murdered through the active participation of Joseph.

Joseph managed to acquire the position of Commissioner in Santa Cruz not through his demonstrated excellence but through his willingness to do as he is told. His lovely home and comfortable life style mean everything to him. He let Wagner die, one kind of murder for hire. Now his comforts and status are threatened if another man is able to invoke the protections of the Constitution and stay alive.

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Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father (more...)
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