Posts belonging to Category judges



Three judges I would support for the Supreme Court.

NBC4:

Three Frederick County judges have doubled a man’s sentence for sexually abusing two young girls after he asked the judges to reduce his sentence.

Donald Fox, 62, asked Judges Edward Dwyer, Julie Solt and Theresa Adams to reduce his 40-year sentence Tuesday.

But within 20 minutes, the three judges came back and decided to double his sentence to 80 years. Whenever judges review a sentence, they have the option of reducing the sentence, leaving it the same or increasing it.

The judges ruled the sentence should be increased and said there’s no reason to go below the state sentencing guideline of at least 60 years.

Kill a newborn? Get eighteen (18) months in jail.

From NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Woman Gets 18 Months In Newborn’s Death:

A Bethesda woman has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for killing her newborn baby last summer.

Ellen Griever, 22, was sentenced Wednesday on her guilty plea to a charge of child abuse resulting in death.

Griever brought the body of the full-term baby girl to Holy Cross Hospital in June 2006 and told workers there that the baby was stillborn. She later told police that the baby was born alive in the bathroom of her boyfriend’s house.

Prosecutors asked Montgomery County Circuit Judge Eric Johnson for a term of 12 to 20 years. The judge said he imposed the shorter sentence so she would go to the Montgomery County jail to receive some meaningful treatment.

More disturbing details from The Washington Post: Woman Gets 18 Months In Death of Newborn:

Yesterday, reality came into sharp focus for Griever, a former child-care worker, as a Montgomery County judge sentenced her to 18 months in jail for delivering a full-term baby girl into a toilet last summer and doing nothing to keep her alive as the newborn made “gurgling” noises and moved around.

[…]

Investigators called Griever’s behavior before the birth unfathomable and her calm demeanor afterward bewildering. She told detectives in videotaped interviews that she kept the pregnancy from her boyfriend, Joey Piemontese, because she was afraid he would leave her.

“She is not remorseful in those videotapes,” Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah W. Feinstein said. “She was not sad. It was chilling watching those videotapes.”

Prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum that Griever was at Piemontese’s house June 25 last year when she delivered the baby on his toilet about 5 a.m.

Griever told detectives that the baby “like gurgled” for less than a minute, prosecutors said. According to the memorandum, when a detective asked why the baby stopped moving and making noises, Griever said, “I don’t know, unless it was choking on its own mucus or whatever.”

Her boyfriend came to the bathroom shortly after the delivery and helped Griever move to the shower, prosecutors said. She told detectives that she left the baby in the toilet most of the day before placing her in a plastic bag that night, they said.

Griever called Holy Cross Hospital that evening and spoke to someone who encouraged her to come in with the baby. Early the next morning, Griever placed the baby, in a bag, in the trunk of her boyfriend’s car.

Griever and Piemontese then drove to his father’s house, where Griever took a bath and the two watched the animated film “Finding Nemo” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The baby’s body was left in the trunk, prosecutors said.

That afternoon, Griever went to Holy Cross, where she told hospital workers that she hadn’t known she was pregnant and that the baby was stillborn. Medical examiners later determined that the baby’s head was in a position that prevented her from breathing and that she was asphyxiated.

Later, Griever told homicide detectives that a previous pregnancy had resulted in an abortion. “I was mostly worried, also, because I was like, I was afraid Joey would leave me,” she told detectives, according to the memorandum.

I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 13, I’m getting sick of writing about this…

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: ‘Rational basis’ for driver law at issue:

Was the General Assembly rational when it exempted residents of other states from Virginia’s new and controversial driver-fees statute?

Obvious jokes aside, both the lawyers and the judge homed in on that issue yesterday in the Richmond Circuit Court appeal case that challenges the constitutionality of the driver law.

Judge Walter Stout heard brief arguments from Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring, who defended the law, and from lawyer N. Barton Chucker, who is representing a traffic-court defendant.

(Anyone know if Walter Stout is related to a Neil Stout of Stout, Billy, & Seli?)

The “civil remedial fees” statute is meant to generate revenue from dangerous drivers — people convicted in court of certain traffic violations ranging from drunken driving to manslaughter.

At least they’re honest, I wonder what the average speed of the legislators is on I-95. I sure hope it isn’t about 80 MPH…

Chucker argued that the law is unconstitutional on due-process grounds because it applies only to Virginia residents and exempts others who drive in the state.

But the law could pass constitutional muster if the assembly had a “rational basis” for deciding the fees would be imposed only on Virginia residents. Proponents of the law as written say the fees would be too difficult and costly to collect from people in other states.

Yesterday, Stout wondered: “Isn’t the cost of collecting from out-of-state drivers a rational basis for making the distinction [between Virginia residents and others]?”

If you’re an out-of-state driver and you fail to pay your fine (not fee) when found guilty, your license will be suspended by your state; how much does that cost?

He decided he will make his ruling later.

Herring said he shares some of Chucker’s concerns about the law. “As an officer of the court and commonwealth’s attorney, I think the statute as it stands is constitutional,” Herring said. “It could be improved.”

[…]

Chucker represents Joseph C. Fields, on whom the law would impose a $1,050 driver fee for his reckless-driving conviction in Richmond General District Court.

Judge Thomas O. Jones of Richmond General District Court convicted Fields on July 7 and fined him $100 plus court costs. Chucker appealed the automatic driver fee, which was to be paid in three equal annual installments.

At a hearing Aug. 3, Jones sided with Chucker when he ruled that the law is unconstitutional.

“For me, it’s an absolute no-brainer,” Jones said from the bench.

Apparently, not for everyone else.

Herring, noting that every commonwealth’s attorney is obligated to defend state laws in court, appealed the case.

It’s pretty ironic that he had to note that.

What a freakin’ joke…

From the AP via NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Former Va. ACLU President Gets 7 Years For Downloading Child Porn [emphasis mine]:

A former president of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has been sentenced to seven years in prison for downloading child pornography.

The prison term imposed on Charles Rust-Tierney, 52, of Arlington, is one year less than the minimum sentence suggested under federal sentencing guidelines. But it’s more than the five-year term requested by defense attorneys. Rust-Tierney also received 10 years of supervised release following his prison term.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III gave Rust-Tierney credit for what he said was “an otherwise exemplary life” that included decades of service as a public defender in the District of Columbia representing the mentally ill. Several dozen people wrote letters to Ellis on Rust-Tierney’s behalf, and more than 20 people attended Friday’s hearing in support of him.

[…]

According to court documents, Rust-Tierney started accessing child pornography online as early as June 2004. He used his home computer to access child pornography Web sites at least five times between March 2005 and October 2006. In a two-week period in January 2006, he accessed more than 850 digital images and videos of child pornography from one Web site. About 560 images and 137 videos of child pornography were found on computers and digital media taken from Rust-Tierney’s home.

Ellis said Friday that the pornography downloaded by Rust-Tierney “was of the most abhorrent kind,” including torture and sexual assaults on children as young as 6.

[…]

Prosecutor Edward McAndrew urged Ellis to impose an eight-year sentence, in line with federal sentencing guidelines. He suggested in court papers that many of Rust-Tierney’s supporters would be less likely to stand with him had they actually seen the type of pornography that Rust-Tierney was receiving.

“The children of this country are at maximum peril when their guardians exploit them,” McAndrew said.

More details from The Washington Post: Va.’s Ex-ACLU Chief Gets 7 Years for Child Porn [again, emphasis mine]:

A former Arlington County youth sports coach and civil rights lawyer who once headed Virginia’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for buying child pornography that prosecutors labeled sadistic and masochistic.

Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, pleaded guilty in June to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children as young as 4. Authorities said Rust-Tierney used a computer in his 11-year-old son’s bedroom to view the files, which included a six-minute video that depicted sexual torture of children, set to a song by the rock band Nine Inch Nails.

[…]

Authorities said Rust-Tierney used his home computer to purchase Internet access to commercial child pornography Web sites at least five times between March 2005 and October 2006, spending about $420. During one two-week span, he accessed more than 850 digital image and video files of child pornography on one site. Many of these files showed children under the age of 12 being forced to engage in sexual acts with adult males, authorities said.

Rust-Tierney has been in jail since his arrest.

A federal magistrate who declined to release him in March described the images she viewed as “the most perverted and nauseating and sickening type of child pornography” she had seen in 10 years on the bench.

Ellis also refused to release Rust-Tierney, saying he posed “a serious risk of harm to the community.” The judge added that “the term ‘child pornography’ does not convey the depravity” of the images that were downloaded.

Yet, more details, from WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C.: Youth Coach In Court On Child Porn Charges [again, emphasis mine]:

They say Rust-Tierney had video showing, among other things, the sexual torture of infants and toddlers. The judge said she’d never heard of child pornography that vile and said because of that, Rust-Tierney would stay behind bars until his trial.

And finally, from Bill O’Reilly (whom I can’t stand to watch or listen to): A Journalistic Cover-up [again, emphasis mine]:

Tierney apparently told the feds that he paid for the child porn using a Paypal account and then downloaded images of prepubescent girls being violently raped onto CD-Rom disks, which the authorities seized in his home.

One of the images Tierney was in possession of showed a little girl tied up and screaming while being violently raped.

Poor guy.

From Fredericksburg.com: Teen gets 3 years on drug, sex charges [emphasis mine]:

A King George County teenager was ordered yesterday to spend three years in prison for having sex with an underage girl and providing marijuana to minors.

Donovan W. Woody, 19, was convicted earlier in King George Circuit Court of statutory rape, sodomy, taking indecent liberties with a child and distributing marijuana on or near school property.

He was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison with all but three suspended.

According to prosecutor Matt Britton, Woody went to King George High School in October and met up with some juveniles, including a 14-year-old girl. Woody and four students left the school grounds and went behind a nearby building, where they smoked marijuana, Britton said.

Woody and the girl later left the group and had sexual relations behind another building and in the woods behind Woody’s home, according to the evidence.

When school officials realized the girl was not in school, the Sheriff’s Office was called.

Sgt. Chris Giles interviewed Woody–who by then was back across the street from the school–and learned where the girl was.

When police found the girl, she told them what had happened and Woody was arrested.

As part of his bond, Britton said, Woody was supposed to stay away from the girl and the school.

But in November, school resource officer Butch Norris learned that Woody was back on school grounds, again with marijuana. He had also talked to the girl.

Woody was arrested at a nearby Subway. Police said he barricaded himself in the bathroom for about 10 minutes before being taken into custody. He has been in jail ever since.

Boo-freakin’-who, maybe next time you won’t violate the terms of your bond. Have fun in prison, a-hole.

I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 4

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Henrico judge to rule on driving-offense fees:

A Henrico judge said he will issue an opinion next Thursday on whether the state’s new fee system for traffic infractions should be found unconstitutional.

In an unusual proceeding that lasted almost an hour, Henrico General District Judge Archer L. Yeatts III said he will decide in a written opinion whether a 23-year-old Henrico man facing his fifth offense for driving without a license should be subject to some $700 in fees in addition to court costs and fines.

Anthony O. Price pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge today and Yeatts found him guilty. But Yeatts said he wants more time to mull over arguments in the case about the fees.

The fee structure, which went into effect July 1, is expected to pump some $60 million into state highway funds. But the fees do not apply to out-of-state drivers. Price’s lawyers argue that the law is in violation of equal-protection guarantees in the Constitution.

“There’s no reason why out-of-state drivers should be any less subject to the fees than Virginia drivers,” said Esther Windmueller, one of Price’s lawyers.

Windmueller said multiple opinions are likely on the issue from courts across Virginia as the fees begin to come into play in court proceedings.

Resolution will have to come from the General Assembly or state Supreme Court, meaning that thousands off drivers likely will have to pay the fees before it is clear they are legal.

The saga continues…

Dissecting an article, line by line…

From the AP via My Way: Plame Lawsuit Dismissed in CIA Leak Case:

Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to disclose her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband’s criticism of the administration.

Poor babies, you attack someone (by lying) and you’re supposed to be a protected class. Grow up.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments.

Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove, former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Why is it the real leaker, a gossiper, is the last one named?

[…]

Plame’s identity was revealed in a syndicated newspaper column in 2003, shortly after Wilson began criticizing the administration’s march to war in Iraq.

Criticizing the administration by lying, The Honorable Joe “I didn’t even file a written report” Wilson.

[…]

“This case is not just about what top government officials did to Valerie and me.” Wilson said in a statement. “We brought this suit because we strongly believe that politicizing intelligence ultimately serves only to undermine the security of our nation.”

Politicizing intelligence like you did?

Bates also sided with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.

If it was illegal, why isn’t Armitage in prison right now? Apparently, rebutting criticism is against the law if done against The Honorable Joe Wilson.

[…]

Bates, a former Whitewater prosecutor, was appointed to the bench in 2001 by Bush.

He better hide from the media and the “nut roots“.

"The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers." Part 2

From The Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Justices dismiss ‘absurd’ sex prosecution of pregnant 13-year-old girl:

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a sex-abuse finding against a then-13-year-old Ogden girl who became pregnant by her 12-year-old boyfriend, ruling unanimously that treating her as both a victim and a perpetrator for the same act had created an “absurd result.”

The girl, identified as Z.C. in court records, was found guilty of violating a state law that prohibits sex with someone under 14. She also was the victim in the case against her boyfriend, who was found guilty of the same violation by engaging in consensual sexual activity with her.

Writing for the court, Justice Jill Parrish said the Utah Legislature “clearly could have intended some degree of simultaneous culpability for both Z.C. and the 12-year-old boy under the fornication statute in order to discourage their admittedly reckless and age-inappropriate behavior.”

However, she added, legislators could not have meant to punish both adolescents for child sex abuse. “The primary fail-safe against the absurd application of criminal law is the wise employment of prosecutorial discretion, a quality that is starkly absent in this case,” Parrish wrote in a footnote.

Matthew Bates, an assistant state attorney general, said that neither adolescent was charged with a crime.

Rather, Weber County prosecutors filed delinquency petitions against the girl and boy as a tool to get services for them, he said. “The intent from the beginning was to help these kids,” Bates said.

What a bunch of geniuses. Now if only the courts in Georgia had this much sense. And Mr. Attorney General maybe you should check the definition of “delinquency” with which these two kids were charged with.

  • From Black’s Law Dictionary (Third Pocket Edition): delinquency, n. 1. A failure or omission; a violation of a law or duty.
  • From Juvenile Justice: Policies Programs, and Policies (First Edition): Delinquent act – Any behavior committed by a juvenile that would have been a crime if committed by an adult.

There are other ways to provide services to these two kids than charging them with a crime.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ

Looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…

It must not be a duck, from Los Angeles’ CBS 2: Rape Trial Order Angers L.A. Victim’s Family:

The father of a San Fernando Valley college student said his daughter is being railroaded by a Nebraska judge who has ordered her not to use the word “rape” on the witness stand at the trial for a man accused of having sex with her against her will.

[…]

Last week in Lincoln, Neb., Tory Bowen was ordered by a judge to sign a written order that would compel her not to use the word rape at the retrial of the man accused of having intercourse with her when she was intoxicated.

[…]

A jury at his first trial could not return a verdict, and at a pretrial hearing for the retrial, Lancaster County District Court Judge Jeffre Cheuvront ordered all witnesses to avoid the words victim, assailant and rape, and to not use the terms sexual assault kit or sexual assault nurse, at the second trial.

George Orwell would be proud.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ


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