To The Daily Sun,

Judge James D. O'Neill III seems to care more about technicalities than he does about prosecutors telling the truth in my ongoing case in Belknap County Superior Court. I have twice outlined serious issues of prosecutors lying on the record and pursuing an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech. Twice, he's issued rulings based on technicalities and an absolute "look the other way" mentality on the merits of my arguments.

Judge O'Neill's short-sighted save the state at all costs mentality is bred from how he got the job in the first place. It's becoming a Sununu family tradition now that Governor's Counsel John Formela is up for the attorney general job. Judge O'Neill served as Sununu Senior's legal counsel once. The original Gov. Sununu appointed O'Neill to the bench despite the Bar Association's formal objection. It is all in black and white at Sununu Senior was reportedly not fond of the bar, and Judge O'Neill's appointment was his outgoing one-finger salute to them. Why should I be surprised that he has no time for the bar administration rules or for holding prosecutors accountable for not following their own rules of conduct? It is too late for this kind of convoluted, backward-minded justice system to change by itself. The court of public opinion needs to overrule judges like James O'Neill. If the governor insists on being firmly engaged in a war on marijuana, O'Neill is going to do whatever it takes to back him. Only a jury trial can save me at this point. O'Neill doesn't want to hear the truth.

I know I am not the only one with a case that is supposed to revolve around the truth, but the people prosecuting it are doing everything in their power to bury that truth. I know I am not the only self-represented party Judge O'Neill's treated like a second class citizen. It's time to show him and other deaf, dumb and blind judges like him that the power of the court of public opinion matters more than any ruling he could hand down.

Misconduct is not something to casually dismiss with a technicality. If you're a judge who cares about the sanctity of the legal process, it looks pretty silly if you won't even punish the prosecutors for breaking rules of conduct but you'll do whatever you can to support prosecuting a guy with a clean record for six serious felonies that he was entrapped to commit.

These broken courts will not fix themselves, but if we share our stories and have a platform where people can learn about the corruption from personal experiences of facing it, we at least can paint a picture of the truth they are trying so badly to hide. Please visit my site and use the contact information in the sidebar to share stories of your own personal legal/political nightmares in this state. It's time for us to fight back the only way we can in the only court bigger than theirs is.

Rich Bergeron


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