Judge Frank F. Fasel Slammed By Appellate Court For Illegal Sentencing of OC Meth Dealer

Mr. Fasel: How many times do I have to tell you?
For eons, Orange County Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel has run his courtroom with military precision and zero tolerance for cheap antics or insubordination.

Who knew Fasel--who has an ideal, stern poker face and the demeanor of an overworked mortician--is also a rule breaker?

This month, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana slammed the veteran criminal judge for lazy conduct.

According to a three-justice appellate panel, Fasel has repeatedly botched the 2008 sentencing of methamphetamine dealer Cesar Velazquez Rodriguez, who also illegally possessed a weapon.

The judge gave Rodriguez two, 16-month prison terms on the meth count and the gun count but did not supply an adequate reason for requiring the punishment to be served consecutively.

In 2009, the appellate panel ordered a re-sentencing hearing to clean up the mistake.

But Fasel declined to follow the instructions of the higher court.

He didn't hold a hearing.

Outside the presence of anyone but himself, he wrote a terse, sloppy minute order confirming the consecutive prison terms and closed the case again.

It didn't delight the appellate justices or the California Attorney General's office that the judge also decided to ignore Rodriguez's right to be present during all major court actions in his case.

CESAR VELASQUEZ RODRIGUEZ mug meth.jpg
Rodriguez
On June 13, Justice Richard Aronson (for himself and justices William Rylaarsdam and Richard Fybel) again reversed Fasel's sentencing determination, again ordered a new sentencing hearing and again told him to adequately explain the justification for the punishment.

Well, Frank?

Rodruguez, 48, is housed in California's second oldest, maximum-security penitentiary: Folsom State Prison.

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6 comments
Ericsalasr
Ericsalasr

I dont think meth was the case here

Galileo1251
Galileo1251

I apologize, you're a reporter at OC Weekly = good grief, ha ha

Galileo1251
Galileo1251

You’re a fool Moxley.  How about giving substantive details of the alleged reason for the reversal?  You have provided none of the pertinent legal justification for it other than the Appellate Court “said so”.  Brilliant analytical skills Scotty!  It sounds more like the Appellate Court was over-stepping its bounds for an absurd liberal objective instead of following the plain meaning of the law (no such reason or hearing is required under the law).  Those justices have made a series of horrific non-legal based opinions, only to be reversed themselves.  Also, what is the source of your information that the minute order was “sloppy” or the Judge was “lazy”.  You’re a blogger for the Register!  Surely such was not your own observation, as your writing certainly dictates you have neither the intellect, nor the education to make such determination.  You sound very poorly versed on the law and your attempt to get cute is pathetic.  Seriously Scott, clean up your act! 

Devon Rémy
Devon Rémy

Maybe it was because 16 months just isn't long enough to discourage someone from dealing meth. Especially considering time off for "good behavior." And then there's the illegal possession of a gun.

Ali Hussain
Ali Hussain

It's funny how everyone ignores what is happening these days. It's like there is too much information and we just all don't have enough time to process it all, so we can't take lessons from even the small stuff anymore. If we tried to read everything that was published every day we couldn't even do that. Like this massive Cornell clinical study that benefits Chromadex (CDXC) that no investor knows about. http://weill.cornell.edu/news/releases/wcmc/wcmc_2012/06_14_12-2.shtml

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