Sunday, October 31, 2010

Len "The Narcissist" Gregor -- Again

Remember when Len "the man-Racist-Misogynist" Gregor made hay of Tonya Craft having a photo taken of herself in an evening dress? Remember his "narcissist" accusation because Tonya was a fitness instructor and worked out at a gym?

Well, it seems that "the man" loves to have his picture taken with women in scanty dress, and, as we see below, apparently he believes this enhances his image. Just who is the conceited narcissist? We present, you decide.



No doubt, those women were waiting in line to be photographed with "the man." Since these women are wearing outfits MUCH more provocative than Tonya's evening dress (which, actually, is quite classic and lovely), no doubt, in the future he will find a way to charge them with child molestation. (Hat tip to Jason Whiteside)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Because We Were Lying Then Doesn't Mean It Wasn't True

In his Reason column today, Radley Balko writes about the release of Anthony Graves from death row in (Where else?) Texas. According to the Houston Chronicle:
After 18 years of incarceration and countless protestations of innocence, Anthony Graves finally got a nod of approval from the one person who mattered Wednesday and at last returned home — free from charges that he participated in the butchery of a family in Somerville he did not know and free of the possibility that he would have to answer for them with his life.

The district attorney for Washington and Burleson counties, Bill Parham, gave Graves his release. The prosecutor filed a motion to dismiss charges that had sent Graves to Texas' death row for most of his adult life. Graves returned to his mother's home in Brenham no longer the "cold-blooded killer," so characterized by the prosecutor who first tried him, but as another exonerated inmate who even in the joy of redemption will face the daunting prospect of reassembling the pieces of a shattered life.

"He's an innocent man," Parham said, noting that his office investigated the case for five months. "There is nothing that connects Anthony Graves to this crime. I did what I did because that's the right thing to do."
Not surprisingly, the man responsible for putting him there, former DA Charles Sebesta, still holds to Graves' guilt despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Why should we not be surprised, given that Sebesta engaged in misconduct. (Yeah, pull yourselves from the floor, folks, as I know you are shocked, SHOCKED to hear that.)

It turns out that Sebesta depended upon a "star" witness, yet another person whose testimony was not believable. Sebesta also withheld exculpatory evidence which, again, is par for the course with U.S. prosecutors. Notice that Sebesta never has had to face a second of penalty for pushing what he knew would be a questionable case.

Not that the State of Texas was particularly honorable. The Chronicle notes:
The evidence against Graves was never overwhelming, depending mostly on Carter's earlier accusation and jailhouse statements purportedly overheard by law enforcement officers. Even Sebesta acknowledged it was not his strongest case.

"I've had some slam-dunk cases," he said in 2001. "It was not a slam-dunk case."

Graves' appellate attorneys, Jay Burnett and Roy Greenwood, knew it was far less. They soon were convinced their client had no knowledge of or participation in the crime, just as he had claimed since the moment of his arrest.

Over the years, there was increasing evidence raised to doubt the validity of the conviction. Students in a University of St. Thomas journalism class worked with The Innocence Project at the University of Houston to review the Graves case in detail.

Nicole Casarez, the journalism professor who taught the class, and one of her students interviewed Carter's brother, whose affidavit along with other evidence they gathered helped persuade the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to order a hearing, which eventually led to the new trial.

"I think the dismissal motion filed this morning says it best: There is no credible evidence to inculpate this defendant," Casarez said Wednesday night. "I’m just thrilled that it has finally come to this. I think it was a lot of people working very hard, perhaps even divine intervention, so that it all worked out today."

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Graves’ conviction in 2006. A three-judge panel said he deserved a new trial after ruling that prosecutors elicited false statements from two witnesses and withheld two statements that could have changed the minds of jurors.

Graves eventually was returned to county jail with a bond set at $1 million, and Parham began to reassemble the case and review the evidence. He hired former Harris County assistant district attorney Kelly Siegler as a special prosecutor. Siegler soon saw that making a case against Graves was all but impossible.

"After months of investigation and talking to every witness who's ever been involved in this case, and people who've never been talked to before, after looking under every rock we could find, we found not one piece of credible evidence that links Anthony Graves to the commission of this capital murder," Siegler said Wednesday.

It was not that the case had gone moldy over the years, she said, but that it never really existed in the first place.

"This is not a case where the evidence went south with time or witnesses passed away or we just couldn't make the case anymore," Siegler said. "He is an innocent man."
In other words, prosecutors wanted to try him again and only gave up when the man's innocence became obvious, and even then they did not lightly drop charges. After all, the State always is right, even when it is wrong.

Until Americans are willing to stand up to this tyranny and bullying by the Len Gregors and the Charles Sebetas of the prosecutorial world and demand that these liars be held accountable for what they do, there is not much hope for this country. (And how many innocent people did Sebeta manage to convict without their verdicts being overturned? Who knows. A dishonest man is a dishonest man.)

In Tonya Craft's trial, the State of Georgia held that the testimony of Joal and Sarah Henke -- which differed 180 degrees from their earlier testimony under oath during a deposition -- was absolutely true, while the State of Georgia simultaneously claimed that Dr. Nancy Aldridge was telling bald-faced lies. The State of Georgia refused to let jurors see signed and printed evidence that would have proven that Sandra Lamb and Sherry Wilson committed perjury.

So, as we move into the upcoming elections, let us remember that the politicians and the courts that govern us are unwilling to make sure that those associated with the State who commit crimes in broad daylight are even lightly disciplined, let alone have to face real consequences for lawbreaking. Somehow, I doubt that these elections will change the real problems we face.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Troll Time

One of the standard characteristics of those who make false accusations is their adherence to a "Heads I win, tails you lose" set of rules. Whenever a troll visits this blog, we generally see that person demanding that such rules be applied to the Tonya Craft case.

The logical (I used that word carefully) construct they give usually goes something like this: O.J. Simpson was acquitted and we think he was guilty. Therefore, Tonya Craft was guilty.

Yes, this is what logicians call a non sequitur ("that does not follow"), but given that our friends in the LMJC are fond of using the non sequitur as "evidence" during trials, we should not be surprised when the trolls do it as well. Don't forget that Chris "Alberto-Facebook and Cruisemaster" Arnt and Len "The Man-Misogynist-Racist" Gregor were fond of using this rhetorical device all through Tonya's trial, and some of their examples included:
  • Tonya Craft was a fitness instructor;
  • That makes her a "narcissist";
  • Therefore, she molested children.
  • Tonya Craft was photographed wearing an evening dress;
  • Therefore, Tonya Craft is a child molester.
Now, I will say that coming from a prosecutor who wrote on a public website that being a prosecutor lets him be "the man," accusing someone else of being a narcissist is pretty rich. Likewise, Arnt's showing off before refereeing -- get this -- a KIDS' soccer game is prima facae evidence this guy is narcissistic to the core.

Furthermore, prosecutors are supposed to be able to discern what is real evidence and what is not, and they are not supposed to lie nor fabricate false "evidence" to try to win. Unfortunately, those who run the LMJC and who sit in seats of authority approve of lies, fabrications, and outrageous behavior on behalf of the "public servants" employed in that sorry excuse for a "justice" system.

Well, enough about the dishonest prosecutors. Let us now turn to our faithful troll who has been willing to share his/her wisdom with the rest of us. So, I will include some of the latest comments below:
just because Tonya Craft was found innocent does NOT mean that she didnt molest these little girls. young kids dont make that kind of stuff up. maybe all of the people on here, her "cronies" need a reality check yourself. what if it were your child who had been molested? you wouldnt be posting these ruthless comment on here then would you? i hardly believe so. its sad that all you people have to do with your lives is look at this web site to see what the latest gossip is. find something better to do with your lives than sit and stare at the computer all day. o.j. was found innocent at first as well wasnt he, but where is he now? once a child molester always a child molester.
Then there is this:
the fact of the matter is, you people have nothing better to do than sit on the internet and talk about/read about all the gossip going on in certain communities on this website. anon @ 5:39, i agree with you to an extent. yes, kids do lie, i agree with that however it is rare, if ever, that they could come up with something such as this at the age they are at. i do not believe parental influence had anything to do with this. as to the mcmartin case, i am sick of hearing about that. yes, maybe people do get accused of things they didnt do and get punished for it but at the same time people who are actually guilty are found innocent. i do not know TC or SL but this sounds to me like TC got lucky this time.
It is hard to know where to begin, but I must start somewhere. First, the person tells us that the McMartin case is irrelevant, although there were similarities in the interviewing techniques by people like Stacy Long and Suzi Thorne. That is interesting; the O.J. Simpson is relevant because he was acquitted when people believed his was guilty so, therefore, Tonya also is guilty.

However, when we point out the similarities between Tonya's case and what happened in California and elsewhere with false accusations, that does not matter. Those cases had nothing to do with this one.

I'd be willing to dismiss all of this as the ranting of a troll, but I suspect that we are hearing the same stuff with prosecutors, police, and judges in the LMJC. To a person, all of them lined up behind Buzz Franklin when he declared that the jurors were guilty of misconduct because they acquitted Tonya Craft. Not one judge, not Ralph Van Pelt, Bo Wood, nor Christina Graham, has said one thing about the blatant misconduct that went on in Brian Outhouse's courtroom. Their silence is a sign of their support.

Not one person has said anything about the (alleged) unreported ex parte meetings between House and prosecution witnesses and House and the prosecutors even though these actions violate the Georgia rules of judicial ethics (not that any judges care about ethics these days). No one tied to the LMJC has pointed out that prosecutors in Tonya's case openly suborned perjury, and no one in a position of authority seems to care that Sandra Lamb, Joal and Sarah Henke, along with Sherry Wilson, Suzi Thorne, and Tim Deal outright lied on the stand -- under oath (as though that means anything to judges and the Georgia State Bar these days).

No, instead, we get the same old message from everyone in the LMJC: O.J. Simpson was acquitted; therefore, Tonya Craft is guilty. And, then there is this most interesting LMJC syllogism:
  • There were abuses that occurred in the investigation of the McMartin and other day care cases that clearly demonstrated that children were being coached to testify to things that had not happened;
  • Investigators in the Tonya Craft case (who openly claimed they knew nothing about the McMartin case) engaged in many of the same abusive interviewing techniques that got innocent people sent to prison in other cases;
  • Therefore, Tonya Craft is guilty of child molestation.
Does this syllogism make sense? No, but then why should we be surprised. When Sandra Lamb knowingly files a false police report that I have in my files that absolutely is contradicted by the video that first was run by Channel 3, nothing happens, but the person who was assaulted, Eric Echols, is the one who is arrested. Brad Wade still sits in prison, wrongly convicted, thanks to lies told by Len "The Man" Gregor and Stacy Long. That is not due to over-zealousness; it is due to the absolute lawlessness that is firmly entrenched in the culture of the LMJC. The slogan of the LMJC is "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation," but maybe we need to have a contest to see if there is a better slogan that can fit what goes on in there.

Maybe, it could be something like, "We lie, you cry," or "Abandon all truth, ye who enter here." I'm sure readers might have some other ideas in mind.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good News (For a Change) from Maricopa County!

I have been informed that the 14-year-old son of Carola Jacobson has been released to the custody of his mother and at least will be out of juvenile detention, after having been held there for more than 40 days. While I don't have all of the details of the hearing, it is clear that the boy's attorney, Brian Russo, was aggressive and challenged the prosecution at every point.

This is important, for it is the first time that the courts there have recognized that maybe, just maybe, this boy is not a monster who is terrorizing his neighborhood. From what I have been told about the hearing, one of the parents told the judge that last year, the boy GOT ON THEIR ROOF! Of course, they did not add that other children (including their own) also were on the roof at the same time.

To make matters worse, prosecutors (I'm shocked, SHOCKED!) lied during the hearing. Mr. Russo had requested that prosecutors give him all of the discovery material, including ALL of interview transcripts and tapes. However, prosecutors only gave him some of the material.

Mr. Russo challenged the prosecution and emphatically noted that he had not received everything he was supposed to get. The prosecution denied holding back, but then was forced to admit it had done just that. In other words, officers of the court in Maricopa County lied in court, which surprises no one.

(Hey, this is the state that gave us Janet Napolitano, our erstwhile head of "Homeland Security" who insists that we mundanes go through airport porno scanners -- while refusing to do the same herself. The law is for little people, and Arizona prosecutors and politicians fancy themselves to be Big People.)

Anyway, the boy is home, and while it will be challenging for him to deal with all of this while at school, he still no longer has to sleep in a cell. This is round one. The next step is to take apart this false case and deep-six it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Antics of "Mommie Dearest"

When we last left Sandra Lamb, she was prevailing upon the principal of Chickamauga Elementary School to place letters of reprimand in the folders of teachers who had the audacity to testify in favor of Tonya Craft at her trial.

(Yes, these are private letters, but their being put in the folder of teachers by the principal is tantamount to an official reprimand. I can guarantee you that this is legally actionable. Interestingly, no one from the local Georgia Association of Educators affiliate stood up for the teachers. One wonders just why these teachers bother to pay dues if their union sells them out.)

Well, it seems that Lamb has outdone herself, which is a mighty big feat, given what we know about Mommie Dearest. No, she has not gone into professional wrestling or challenged Tonya Harding to a fight, although we already know that Lamb is a tiger when it comes to her fists.

Instead, she is known to carry around a picture of, get this, her daughter's vagina (which was used as "evidence" during Tonya Craft's trial). Furthermore, she shows it to people as "proof" that Tonya molested her child. I'm not kidding.

Now, for the record, Dr. Nancy Fajman, who really does know more about the vaginas of children than does Mommie Dearest, testified that this little girl had a normal you-know-what. Nonetheless, Lamb insists on carrying around this picture.

Given that she has run of the prosecutors' offices in Catoosa County (during the trial, Lamb and Sherry Wilson spent several hours a week in those offices), Lamb does not have to worry about being charged with possession of child pornography. Nonetheless, the idea of a woman carrying a picture of her daughter's vagina -- and waving it in front of other people -- is sick, just sick.

As we said many times during the trial and its aftermath, you just cannot make up this stuff.

Future Posts and the Direction of this Blog

When I first started this blog in the spring of 2009, I envisioned an eclectic blog in which I would comment on law, economics, and other subjects that I liked, especially music. (I am pretty hardcore in my belief that music started to go downhill after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695, although I have my doubts that too many people will jump off that same cliff.)

Two things have happened since then. First, I launched my Krugman-in-Wonderland blog late last year in order to concentrate generally on economic subjects and specifically on Paul Krugman's missives from the New York Times and elsewhere.

Second, the Tonya Craft trial and aftermath happened, and things have not been the same since then. Because the trial involved people where I used to live (and where I still have family), and because it was about a false accusation, all of my anger about what has been happening in U.S. "justice" for many years was channeled into that one case. It did not take long for me to see that Tonya was innocent of these charges, and when it became absolutely clear that the witnesses against her, along with the prosecutors, were lying with impunity, I believed that I had no choice but to attack and take no prisoners. I still believe that.

Since Tonya's acquittal, I have heard from many people who have faced similar issues, and right now, Maricopa County, Arizona, has become a favorite target. Think of the DA's office there as being full of Chris Arnts and Len Gregors. Think of the police force being full of Tim Deals and Steven Keiths. Think of the LMJC on steroids, and that is what is happening there.

This only is the tip of the entire morass in this country. When the Supreme Court upheld the immunity given to prosecutors, police, and judges, it created a huge moral hazard that has been very predictable in its outcome. People who face no consequences for lying are going to be tempted to cut corners. Over time, like an embezzler who takes a little bit of this and that until he or she becomes a full-blown robber, prosecutors have found that lies here and there enhance their conviction rates, and even when the lies are discovered, nothing happens.

Judges like Brian Outhouse then ally themselves with prosecutors, and engage in breathtaking amounts of misconduct. (Just Outhouse's ex parte meetings with prosecutors -- none of which were reported to the defense, as the law requires -- were enough to demonstrate that he is nothing but a lawbreaker in black robes and is not fit to be a judge or even a lawyer.)

Thus, we should not be surprised when liars and bullies self-select into the above professions. Yes, there are honorable police, prosecutors, and judges, but because the law protects the wrongdoers, none of us should be surprised when wrongdoers rule.

So, given that I never can begin to cover all of the prosecutorial, police, and judicial misconduct in this country (the supply is greater than I can ever cover in this tiny blog), I am going to concentrate on the subject of misconduct. True, I will make a lot of enemies in the process and, no doubt, will be the target of someone in the future who believes that all of us should bow down and worship these Children of Satan. (If Jesus said in John 8 that liars "are of their father, the Devil," then when Chris Arnt lied in his closing arguments to the jury, he simply was telling the jurors his paternal lineage.)

Nonetheless, someone has to speak out, even if speaking out is costly. So, I will do it. Likewise, I will confine my economic arguments to KIW, although I reserve the right to have a musical interlude, once in a while.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Few Good Apples

One of the regular criticisms I receive on this blog is that I am much too hard on cops and prosecutors. Yes, people argue, there are "a few bad apples," but most cops are honest and most prosecutors only want justice.

I wish that were true. I mean that. I believe that both police work and the roles of prosecutors are honorable. Furthermore, I have known people in both professions who fit the "honorable" category and spent time recently with a state police officer who is an investigator and who clearly has a moral compass, which he uses in his work.

Unfortunately, as Radley Balko notes in this article, the INSTITUTIONAL framework for police in this country has become something that creates incentives not only for bad behavior, but also for looking the other way when faced with wrongdoing by other cops. Writes Balko:
A few years ago, I attended a conference on the use of police informants. In one session, the "Stop Snitchin'" movement, which discourages African Americans from cooperating with police, came up. I was astonished to hear one hip-hop artist and activist say he would not cooperate with the police even if he had witnessed the rape and murder of an old woman in broad daylight. He just didn't trust the police. I told him his position was absurd: Whatever his concerns about the police when it comes to the use of drug informants (concerns I share), they shouldn't prevent him from cooperating with the investigation of an innocent person's murder. His response: "Isn't the Blue Wall of Silence really just the most successful Stop Snitchin' campaign in history?" (emphasis mine)
He gives some examples that are right out of Orwell with the ubiquitous "internal affairs" departments investigating people who stood up for the right thing. (For that matter, the original police officer in the Duke Lacrosse Case, a Sgt. Shelton, was adamant that Crystal Mangum's story was false. His reward? He was investigated by Internal Affairs. Why am I not surprised?)

This is a most depressing article, for it lays out the unthinkable: America's police departments now are run by people who stand up for what is wrong and do everything they can to crush honesty and decency. Most of the barrel is rotten.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Miscarriage of Justice in Maricopa County, Part IV: The Police Interviews

When we last looked at the Jacobson case in Maricopa County, Arizona, there was this little issue about “feeling the heat,” that is, about 140 degrees of heat in an unfinished attic where the 14-year-old Jacobson boy was supposed to have coerced three other children and “forced” them to engage in sex play. Unfortunately, the issue of excess, potentially-lethal heat is not the only point of idiocy in the prosecution’s case against the youngster.

No, it seems that the police reports themselves contain the very things that most discredit this case: huge conflicts in the stories that are told, not to mention admissions from one of the children that completely undercuts the police and prosecutorial narrative. To put it another way, had Det. Terje Boe acted like a real cop with common sense instead of the ilk in blue costumes that dominates Phoenix, he would have told his superiors that there was no case at all. None.

Unfortunately, modern police begin with a narrative, and no matter how ludicrous the account becomes, these people ride the horse over the cliff, if need be, but they ride that horse. Thus it was in the Jacobson case.

I first would publicly like to thank Kerwyn for going over the details of the reports about the interviews in fine-comb detail that covers 15 pages and almost 7,000 words. (Kerwyn and I don’t have access to the actual interview transcripts, which we suspect would further damage the state’s case, but if we do get them, we’ll flyspeck them, too.)

Kerwyn’s final product is an amazing line-by-line dissection of the reports, complete with numbering of the lines, and what she pulls out of the material really is stunning for no other reason than it demonstrates that Phoenix has stupid cops and that so-called child protective officers in Arizona are clueless, as is Jennifer Ingalls, who once again has thrown herself in front of a train.

(Ingalls, who was responsible for the false accusations of child pornography against one couple and who played a key role in a horrendous false accusation case in which the authorities actually announced their intention to execute an innocent woman, is the point person in the Jacobson case. In baseball, it is “three strikes and you’re out,” but in the “child protective” business, one can whiff indefinitely, as there are no umpires in that system to count strikes.)

Now to the content of Kerwyn’s document. The first thing that becomes obvious is that people are not getting their stories straight. Once upon a time, wildly-differing stories of supposedly the same events used to make investigators skeptical. That more sane age came before the advent of “professional interviewers” who now insist that inconsistency is “proof” that all of the stories are true (read the nonsense of the Duke Lacrosse Case and you will see what I mean).

In our examination of the various statements from the children to Boe, we will look at the different items to point out not only are the statements inconsistent, but it becomes clear that the entire narrative does not seem to fall under the rules of logic.

The Individuals Involved

Because we are dealing with minors, the real names of the children involved will not be used. Instead, we will use pseudonyms for each of the individuals:
  • "Bob" Jacobson: a 14-year-old boy who is accused of child molestation and who is being held in a juvenile detention facility
  • "John": He is 12 years old and the main source for the police report
  • "Jane": She is 9 at the time of the alleged incident, and she is "John's" sister
  • "Alex": He is 9 at the time as well, and is a friend to John and Jane
There are others who play a role (parents and "Bob's" younger brother), but we will concentrate on the children we have named above.

The Alleged Incident

The police and prosecutors claim that Bob coerced John, Jane, and Alex on three consecutive days last June to come to his house, where he forced Jane and Alex to take off their clothes and engage in sex play ("Truth or Dare"). The first two days, the coerced activity occurred in an unfinished attic in the Jacobson home, and on the third day, it was done in Bob's bedroom.

According to John, Jane, and Alex, the children were frightened of Bob, who threatened to hurt them if they refused to play along. The police and prosecutor also allege that Bob held these children against their will and refused to let them leave.

The Attic "Crime Scene"

 As noted previously, the location for the first two days of this supposed three days of horror was the attic in the Jacobson home. The pull-down ladder entrance to the passively-ventilated space is in the garage, with the room itself being over Ms. Jacobson's bedroom.

One person writing comments on an earlier post said that the 140-plus degrees to which the room probably would have been heated during any of those days really was no obstacle at all, as he cited U.S. soldiers in Iraq. He wrote: "I would say it’s easy to believe that a few kids could sit in a partially vented attic for a few hours when they are lightly dressed." He then noted that construction workers in that area don't quit for the summer.

Kerwyn answered his points:
You are factually incorrect as to heat tolerance.

Heat tolerance as in your example of military is acquired. As a matter of point, when our troops first deployed the "casualty" rate for heat exhaustion was over 70%. The military quickly learned they had to acclimate the soldier prior to front line deployment or lose them to heat exhaustion/stroke.

OSHA sets very strict guidelines for heat acclimation in industry where the adult employees regularly work in very hot environments and OSHA forbids the use of any child as a worker in those environments. Once acclimated, an adult (note the word Adult) can withstand high temperatures as long as they have several short breaks in a cooler area AND keep completely hydrated due to the base 10 to 20 mL/kg per hour passive fluid loss. Even an adult who is acclimated to high temperatures, who fails to keep completely hydrated will suffer heat exhaustion and/or stroke due to passive fluid loss.

High heat exposure affects children much differently as their bodies heat 3 to 6% faster than an adult's and lack the metabolic cooling, faster passive fluid loss (and the attendant loss of vital minerals such as potassium and sodium), smaller available sodium and potassium present in their bodies and smaller body surface area for heat loss that an adult has. You can read the landmark study done by Tsuzuki-Hayakawa and Tochihara to become educated in WHY children do not and cannot acclimate like an adult and why, in very short exposures to high temperatures become seriously compromised.

There are several excellent pediatric studies done on enclosed heat environments and how deadly they are. Automobiles are an excellent example given they have little ventilation (even with windows cracked) and heat very quickly. The unventilated attic temperatures reach these same levels with the same effects.

Prior to coming here and using an acclimated adult as your example, you really should do a bit of research on the subject. Children are NOT little adults. Their bodies and metabolism do NOT work the same way and adults who think that are plain ignorant.

I would also recommend you read the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics as to use of the WBGT so that you too can determine intellectually that 140 degrees for 2 hours is too long for a child.
In other words, the potential attic heat issue is not trivial, nor can one easily dismiss it, as have police and prosecutors. For now, they pretend it did not happen, just as the New York Times pretended during the Duke Lacrosse Case that Reade Seligmann had a "magic towel" and that he could be in two places at one time.

John's Account to Boe

Terje Boe clearly spends most of the time talking to John who was the main "eyewitness." Except he saw nothing. John told Boe that for the first two days, he closed his eyes, but heard what was happening. (He definitely must have heard a lot of "details" that I had no idea could be identified by sound.) However, he claims that on the third day, he sat under a table and closed his eyes.

Keep in mind that it is being alleged that Bob forced a child to molest John's sister, but John did nothing while his sibling supposedly was being molested against her will. Furthermore, he told no one until confronted by parents. This alleged incident did not come to light until John was caught telling another friend about what had happened by the friend's father. So he was so in fear of his life he didn't tell his mother or any other adult.

Jane's Revelation About Alex

According to the police, Jane was forced to do unspeakable things with Alex. However she told Boe that she and Alex stayed in the attic after the others had left and continued to do sex play. She also told Boe that she and the boy have done these things at other times, as well, since she wanted him “to be her boyfriend.”

Obviously, such a statement does not fit the "Really Mean Boy Forces Child To Do Sex Acts Against Her Will" narrative that the authorities in Phoenix seem to have swallowed (and want everyone else to swallow, too). To add to our suspicions that Boe and Ingalls really were not interested in finding out what happened, but rather just wanted to build a case against Bob, the "detective" failed to ask Alex about any of Jane's allegations. Yet, Jane's statement is mutually exclusive with the claims that Bob forced her to do sex acts.

The "Bob Threatened Us" Claim

The only way the police/prosecution narrative even can make sense is that the children claim Bob coerced them. Having seen pictures of "Bob," I can say that he is not exactly a strapping lad and I don't think that his presence would strike abject terror into many people. (I am NOT giving "Bob" a lack of respect, but rather am pointing out that we are dealing with a boy, not a monster.)

However, the tales of threats (like about everything else) are quite inconsistent. Kerwyn has been able to get the following from Boe's notes:
  • John: Bob threatened to kick Alex in the groin, but he does not recall what, if anything, Bob said to Jane;
  • Jane: Bob threatened to punch her;
  • Alex: Bob told him that "I better not get in trouble for this."
Then there is the inconvenient fact that Bob supposedly was able to force these children to leave their air-conditioned homes for two consecutive days to spend a couple of hours each day in an attic that would have been slightly more comfortable than sitting in a heated oven. For that matter, each of the three children has a different take on why they went to Bob's house in the first place, none of them involving the hint of coercion.

There is one more thing that does not make sense. The children claim to have been held against their will, but they had cell phones and when the parents called John and told him that he and his sister had to come home, they went home. Could have they called someone for help?

I also need to point out that Boe used the tactic of telling one child that another child already had "disclosed" certain information. This is smarmy in my view because (1) it is dishonest, (2) it generally is used to try to pry false information out of a person being questioned, and (3) it is a tactic one uses with hardened criminals, not 9-year-old children.

(One should note that this was a favorite tactic used by Joseph and Laurie Braga when they worked for Janet Reno in some infamous sex-abuse hysteria cases. They would tell a child that another child already had “disclosed” and that he or she should do the same thing. Once the child gave answers the Bragas wanted, the child was rewarded, while those who did not “disclose” immediately were badgered until they “disclosed,” too.)

So, this is our story. The main “witness” apparently didn’t see anything because he sat under a table with his eyes closed, but yet described what he says he didn’t see in rich detail. The girl says that she and the other boy loved to play sex games together and they did it often. (Boe and Ingalls apparently ignore those statements, as they don’t fit their narrative.)

The two boys claim that Bob threatened them, although when they give Boe reasons as to why they would voluntarily leave their houses to go to the home of a “dangerous predator” on three consecutive days, none of them involve threats. (The boys wanted to play video games, while Jane hoped that Alex would be there.)

Furthermore, they voluntarily left their air-conditioned houses in the 100+ Phoenix heat to spend hours in a passively-ventilated attic where temperatures would be upward of 140 degrees, and the Jacobson boy would not let them leave. Except he let them leave because it was time for the other kids to go home, according to the police document.

I don’t know about my readers, but some things seem to be missing here. First, we have covered the attic business, and the heat and condition of the attic itself make it highly unlikely that children could have engaged in anything up there for a couple of hours. Second, the coercive and dishonest method of Boe’s questioning clearly taints the questioning, and Kerwyn and I both suspect (we emphasize the word “suspect”) that the transcripts of the interviews would demonstrate the dishonesty of this so-called investigation.

Third, the girl’s claims that she and the other boy have been doing sex play on their own damages the “he forced us to do this” narrative that Boe, Ingalls, and the others involved in this case are trying to project. Boe’s failure to follow up on this line of questioning demonstrates to us that he saw this “revelation” as being a problem, so he just let it be.

Once again, we see police and prosecutors trying to pound square pegs into round holes – insisting all the while that the pegs are round. There is something else that is important here; not only are aspects of these accounts not believable, but the material we have seen is the basis for holding a 14-year-old boy in custody and threatening to try him as an adult and destroy his life.

This is a situation in which child-on-child touching and imitation sex play was discovered by parents. When that happened, the kids acted like, well, kids. They made up stories that Bob had forced them to do it instead of admitting that they were doing it on their own without coercion. Yes, they knew they should not have been doing it, but by accusing Bob, they could (in their minds) get off the hook.

The parents, not surprisingly, in this day of getting the authorities involved in everything, went to the police, and the police were all-too-happy to feed the fires of hysteria. In an earlier age, police would have told the parents that their kids were lying to them (and, by the way, the parents would have known that and probably not gone to the police in the first place). Unfortunately, with false accusations being the order of the day with law enforcement and "child protective" organizations, we can see that this case got legs and it was "on with the show."

One would hope that police and prosecutors would have more sense, but perhaps that is hoping for too much. Once again, we see a rush to judgment based upon flimsy evidence and a set of conflicting statements.

Phoenix advertises all around the country in colleges for new police recruits. An advertisement that was in the hall outside my office had a picture of a woman in civilian clothes looking at herself in a mirror wearing the blue costume of the Phoenix police, with the heading something like “Picture yourself as a Phoenix police officer.”

The woman in the mirror is wearing a police hat. From what I have seen in this case, like so many others in Phoenix, maybe this wannabe cop should have been wearing a dunce cap.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Richard Blumenthal, the New York Times, and Malicious Prosecution

If there is one thing I can count upon, it is that the New York Times is a cheerleader for prosecutorial lies and abuse. No newspaper did more to promote Mike Nifong's ridiculous and dishonest prosecution than that NYT, which literally claimed championed what defense attorneys ridiculed as a "magic towel" as a piece of important evidence. (This was a towel that magically made Crystal Mangum's DNA disappear.)

However, while the NYT decided that the laws of science were not fit to be applied to the Duke case, the paper gets the greatest joy in watching abusive prosecutions of business figures like Martha Stewart. (Yes, I know that was a popular verdict, but don't forget that the reason Stewart met with the FBI was that prosecutor James Comey's staff was illegally leaking grand jury information to the media in order to try to force Stewart to meet with investigators. The legal penalty for such a crime is five years in prison, but prosecutors, as we know, don't indict themselves for felonies. Just ask Chris Arnt and Len Gregor.)

Today, I briefly look at the case of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the NYT's choice to be the next U.S. Senator from that state. Please keep in mind that this was the same Richard Blumenthal who claimed time and again that he served in Vietnam in the U.S. Armed Forces when, in fact, he was never close to that country.

Like so many other AG's in this country, Blumenthal is a pathological liar, and the malicious case in which he destroyed the life and successful business of Gina Kolb is a case in point.

(To give an example of another "hero" state AG, a guy who threw people in jail after Hurricane Katrina because he disapproved of the prices they charged for some consumer goods, read about Jim Hood of Mississippi, who is about to have a man executed based on testimony that everyone -- including Hood -- knows was utterly fraudulent. THAT is what we have in this country when it comes to prosecutors.)

Here is more about the heroic Blumenthal:
In 2007, the Competitive Enterprise Institute rated Mr. Blumenthal the worst state AG, beating Mr. Spitzer, which takes some doing.

He was the only AG to get failing grades in each of the four categories: using his office to "promote personal gain or enrich cronies or relatives"; "fabricating the law" by asking courts to "rewrite statutes or stretch constitutional norms"; bringing lawsuits "that usurp regulatory powers granted to the federal government or other state entities"; and "seeking to regulate conduct occurring wholly in other states."

Which does not mean Mr. Blumenthal can't show prosecutorial discretion when he wants to. Last year, he went on television to announce that he wouldn't investigate Countrywide Financial's sweetheart loans to Senator Dodd, nonetheless declaring without any probe that "there's no evidence of wrongdoing on [Mr. Dodd's] part."
So, once again, we see that the most "Progressive" people among us -- and few states are more Politically Correct than Connecticut -- are also the people who support malicious prosecution for political reasons. I hate to sound pessimistic, but that is our system of "justice" in the U.S.S.A. There really is none other.

(Hat tip to Ben Shaw)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taking a Day Off

My day job beckons today, which means I am taking off a day from the blog. I still have the discrepancies from the police interviews in the Jacobson case to publish this week (thanks to Kerwyn), and I also want to do a feature on some good cops who have been wrongfully punished by the system. My apologies, but I do have to remember that Frostburg State is paying me to do certain things, and I need to do them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jeff Tucker on Drug Laws

Jeff Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has an excellent article, "All Laws Have Teeth," in which he looks at the real results of the laws regarding purchase of Sudafed and many other products containing pseudoephedrine. As I often have pointed out on this blog, more and more laws in this country criminalize conduct that used to be legal.

A "troll" commenter on this blog continues to claim that these laws are necessary because the country is full of criminals and the government needs to snare them. No doubt, he will defend the attempt to imprison the people mentioned in Jeff's article. I will include the story of two people who are law-abiding but, in the view of the law and our "troll" commenter, they are vicious criminals who need to go to prison:
In doing some internet research, I came across your article "Free the Clogged Nose-25" and I want to thank you for showing me that I'm no where near alone in my way of thinking and that the current situation that my husband and I find ourselves in is most certainly not uncommon. You see, we have 3 teenage children still living at home. In April of this year, their ages were 17, 16 and 15. Both my husband and I, along with our 3 teenagers suffer from terrible seasonal allergies and we have tried every over the counter medicine available as well as a few prescription meds. The only one that offers us any relief is Sudafed or the generic equivalent.

So, as you already know, my husband and I are the only ones in our family who can buy Sudafed. I will and have been the first to admit that in order to keep enough of the medicine for all of us, both my husband and I made purchases from more than one drug store. I knew we were exceeding our allotted amount but I also knew that the code of Alabama stated that purchasing over the allowed 6 grams per month was only unlawful "with intent to manufacture." So, since we had no intent to manufacture anything, I didn't see it as we were breaking the law.

In March of this year, local news media released word that a law was passed that would create a statewide database for all businesses selling pseudoephedrine so that customers could not bypass the limit by going from one pharmacy to another. That was the extent of the press release related to that new law. About the middle of May, my husband and I learned the hard way that they had conveniently left out a very important part of that new law when announcing it to the public. Apparently, "with intent to manufacture" had been dropped from the Alabama law regarding pseudoephedrine purchases. I'm sure you can easily guess the rest of the story. He and I were arrested for "buy/sale precursor chemicals" which on the first offense is a Class C Misdemeanor. My husband is a USMC veteran so he has a criminal record (bar fights, etc.) but never any drug charges. I have never had so much as a speeding ticket and I'm a criminal justice major in college.

Even after explaining the situation to the judge and pointing out that we are law-abiding citizens just trying to offer some comfort to our kids during allergy season, the judge still found us guilty. We have appealed that decision and will go back to court in December. We cannot hope to beat this with just the truth because obviously the truth doesn't matter, so I am going to pray that "mistake of law" will get us a not-guilty verdict this time around … or I'm going to have to find a new major!

At the time we were arrested, our oldest daughter (not living at home) was a 4.0 GPA college student majoring in forensic investigation, our middle daughter was just days away from graduating historian of her high-school senior class after already having lettered in softball and volleyball and serving as secretary in the Beta club, our youngest daughter was finishing her 10th-grade year and an A–B student who had just days before made the color guard drill team for the fall, and our son was finishing his 8th grade year, an A–B student and hard working Junior Varsity and Varsity football player. We are very very proud of our kids and hate the fact that they have had to endure any negative associations that have come from our arrest. They are so resilient, though! They know that we weren't actually doing anything wrong so they hold their heads up high and keep going.
As you can see, these are "dangerous" people who (most likely, according to our "troll") probably had a meth lab somewhere in their house. Yeah, I am sure they are major drug dealers. The law -- and certainly the police -- never can be wrong!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Miscarriage of Justice in Maricopa County, Part III: Feeling Even More Heat

In an earlier post, I pointed out something that should have been obvious to the police and so-called child protective workers in Phoenix, but conveniently was ignored by authorities: an unfinished attic with passive ventilation/cooling is NOT going to be a place where young children are going to be engaging in sex play for at least two hours in June in that city. Why? No one is going to be playing around in temperatures upward of 150 degrees F.

That's right; authorities are alleging that the Jacobson boy was able to coerce three other children into an attic where temperatures would be at a level to where they easily could cause death for anyone who stayed up there for two hours, let alone children in the 9-12 range. To give further evidence, the authorities allege that one of those days was a Monday, and according to Accu-Weather, the Monday temps in June in Phoenix were 108, 101, 105, and 112.

Kerwyn called a number of companies in the Phoenix area that do attic ventilation and they told her that even with the light-colored tiles that people have on their roofs in that area (as opposed to black asphalt shingles), temperatures in a passively-ventilated attic would get to about 150 degrees or so. In other words, the Phoenix police and the "child-protective" bureaucracies want us to believe that children could "play" in that atmosphere for a couple of hours with no harmful physical results.

This, of course, is nonsense. Sheer nonsense. Utter nonsense. This is something that ordinary people can understand without having to own a degree in this or that. However, the so-called experts of Maricopa County, the same people who tried to convict an innocent woman of murder, complete with wanting to have her executed, only to be confronted with hard evidence that she did not kill anyone.

Not surprisingly, we see that Jennifer Ingalls, the same "child protective worker" who played a role in the Randall case is involved in this one. This is a woman who cannot tell the difference between a harmless picture of a child in a bathtub and outright child pornography.

(I would love to do a major article on the fact that the "law enforcement experts" in this country today are less capable than ever of being able to deal with evidence and make sense from it. Where everyone else sees white, these people insist on seeing black. Watching the so-called experts in the Duke Lacrosse Case try to engage in outright Harry Potter Forensic Science, including a belief in things like "magic towels" that could make some DNA disappear while leaving traces of DNA of others, tells me that we now are in an age in which the authorities prefer fantasy to the truth.)

So, we are supposed to believe that somehow a 14-year-old boy was able to coerce children from their own homes, force them into an attic where temperatures were 150 or so degrees, and force them to do disgusting things for a couple of hours while rolling about on a dusty floor of particle board. Furthermore, we are supposed to believe he was able to do this at least two days in a row, and having these children being exposed to temperatures that often result either in death or serious health effects in other children resulted in no appreciable effects upon these particular children.

This, people, is nothing more than Harry Potter Forensics. This is utter fantasy, the very kind of thing that so-called experts are supposed to be able to discern as being nonsense. Instead, we have police and prosecutors wanting us to believe the unbelievable.

I wish this were just an isolated incident. However, don't forget that most prosecutors and police lined up to support Mike Nifong even when bloggers and attorneys were blowing huge holes in his evidence. Don't forget that police and prosecutors line up behind lies and forgeries in the Tonya Craft case, in which we were supposed to believe that Ms. Craft was molesting little children in front of other children and adults -- yet they saw nothing.

If you want to understand why I no longer have any confidence in police and prosecutors to tell the truth, this is why. When these people are trying to convince us that we are supposed to believe fantasy over basic logic, then we no longer are in an age in which truth matters. When a member of the Georgia State Bar tells me that lying, forging documents, and subornation of perjury is just another day at the office for prosecutors who "are just doing their jobs," then we have to understand that the unthinkable has happened: The authorities in this country really do prefer lies to the truth, and they insist that the rest of us go along -- or else.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Criminalization of Making a Bank Deposit

A couple days ago, I wrote about Congressional hearings on the "over criminalization" that seems to be endemic in U.S. "law" these days. One of the "crimes" that has been created in the past few decades and expanded by federal agents has been "structuring," which is another way of describing a simple action: depositing money in a bank. (The slang term is called "smurfing.")

In 1970, tales began to circulate of drug dealers buying cars and houses with suitcases full of cash in an attempt to "launder" the money they had made through illicit deals. (That is, selling a product of which the government disapproves.) Congress, which always advertises itself as being "tough on crime," responded by passing the Bank Secrecy Act that required banks to report currency transactions of $10,000 or more to the government, which then "investigates" whomever made the deposit.

Since people don't like to be investigated (Imagine that!) and treated like criminals by federal officials (Imagine that!), there are times when people will either deposit or withdraw funds under the $10,000 threshold. However, Congress has a law against that, too, the "structuring" law. The idea behind the "structuring" law is that people might have something to hide, such as illegal activity, so the commission of an underlying crime (such as drug dealing) might try to deposit or withdraw money in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid detection of their illegal acts.

Unfortunately, federal officials have dispensed with the "underlying crime" reasoning and have decided just to arrest people because they are not depositing all of their money at once. Last year, I wrote about the case against Johnny Gaskins, a North Carolina attorney who had the effrontery to convince a jury not to order the execution of a man convicted of killing a cop. For that "crime" (doing his job as a defense attorney), the "Thin Blue Line" vowed revenge and the feds did their job.

Mr. Gaskins often had been paid in cash and kept the money in a safe in his house, but when he realized that he was a target for robbery, he decided to deposit his money in a bank. Keep in mind that he had reported all of his cash earnings to the IRS and had paid taxes. The money was legal, but because he did not want to have to deal with yet another federal investigation (read that, harassment because he did not willingly give up his client to the executioner), he made a series of deposits of around $9,000 each.

For that, the feds indicted him, and a North Carolina federal jury convicted him. While some people, like columnist Ruth Sheehan of the Raleigh News & Observer were highly critical of the feds, most journalists engaged in their usual worship of federal prosecutors.

The latest news of this madness comes from Baltimore, where the Korean owner of a liquor store was indicted for "structuring" cash deposits under $10,000:
According to the indictment, Park repeatedly made bank deposits from September 2008 to February 2010 in amounts less than $10,000. The deposits were generally made at bank branches in Glen Burnie and Severn for amounts between $8,500 and $9,500.

Prosecutors allege Park illegally deposited a total of $2,150,375 under this structuring scheme.
The newspaper also breathlessly reports that Mr. Park faces up to 40 years in prison, simply for depositing money in a bank. Unfortunately, people really don't understand what is happening, as is expressed in this comment from a reader named Doug Jones from Severna Park, Maryland:
First, the feds do not indict people for a one-time mistake. This guy must have been laundering money.

Second, when someone goes into a bank and plops down more than $10,000 in cash, the bank is required to notify the feds. Therefore, people who launder money, i.e., crooks, will "structure" their deposits to avoid the bank reporting them to the federal government. The crime is attempting to avoid the reporting of the transaction by putting the 10k in the bank piece-meal, instead of at one time.

Third, my understanding is that 98% of people charged federally are convicted. The feds typically do not charge innocent people. I suspect the story just lacks the details of everything this person was involved with.
This falls into the "not exactly" category, as it depends upon one's view of how federal law works. As the great Harvey Silverglate points out in Three Felonies a Day, federal criminal law is written in a way that most of us probably commit federal felonies or do something of which the feds could find a creative way to indict us. That includes the above Mr. Jones (who probably works for the government).

What about people who actually commit the underlying crimes that lead to structuring, people who "structure" precisely because they are wanting to hide criminal actions? Surely the feds will indict them, right?

Uh, ever hear of Elliot Spitzer, the erstwhile "Client # 9" who was involved in prostitution while he was first attorney general and then later governor of New York? It seems that Spitzer made bank withdrawals of less than $10,000 precisely to hide the fact that he was paying money to a prostitution ring, and prostitution is illegal, and to engage in activities with a prostitution ring that is operating over state lines clearly violates federal law.

So, surely the feds threw the book at Spitzer, given he was committing crimes in his own state and also elsewhere, violating state and federal laws. Surely the feds came down hard on the man not only for "structuring," but also for breaking the law, which is ironic, since the media feted Spitzer as a "law and order" guy, a 21st Century Elliott Ness, and he let them down.

Not exactly. No, the feds did nothing. The U.S. Department of Justice, which wants to throw Mr. Park into prison for 40 years because he deposited money in a bank in a way that the feds did not like, completely overlooked Spitzer's transgressions as though they never happened.

Why? I think we know. Some call it "professional courtesy," and some call it hypocrisy. I call it the present state of American "law," in which some are charged and convicted, while others who have the requisite government contacts or wear the appropriate government costumes are given a free pass.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lies, Brutality, Theft, and the State and Federal Courts: The Ordeal of John and Theresa Sophocleus

When I did my graduate work at Auburn University, I became close friends with an economics instructor there, John Sophocleus, as well as his wife Theresa. Part of the friendship was based upon our mutual interest in economics, but also I took an interest in an ongoing issue that began to dominate their lives.

John and Theresa lived on U.S. 280 just outside of Auburn, and before they bought the house, they asked the Alabama Department of Transportation if the place was in danger of being taken as part of a highway widening project. The Alabama DOT said it was not, so they purchased it and soon John built a spacious garage/work area so he could pursue his work of restoring classic cars.

As one might expect, the DOT double-crossed him and the Sophocleuses were told their property would be taken by eminent domain. And, as one might expect, the DOT offered him a price that would have been about a third of the fair market value. Naturally, John and Theresa appealed the low-ball appraisal to the courts, but that did not sit well with the authorities.

For about three years, the State of Alabama engaged in a series of threats and lies aimed at driving them from their home. With my wife and me being regular guests at their home, we remember what they experienced, including the harassing phone calls and strange people showing up on their property at odd hours. (The authorities even had the pipes to the Sophocleus' septic tank broken as a tactic to force them out of the house, even though the law clearly stated that until the appraisal matter was resolved, John and Theresa were legally entitled to live there.)

The courts delayed, but a few days before Christmas, 1998, the government told the couple that they either had to move out immediately or face fines of $10,000 a day. The reason given by the authorities (under oath in court, I might add) was that they needed to raze the house quickly in order to keep highway construction going apace.

What the Alabama DOT authorities said and what they actually did were two different things. The house stood for another nine months because the government used it as a place for highway workers to live. That is correct. They lied in court under oath.

To make matters worse, the authorities denied later in court (under oath, of course) that they were housing highway workers at all, essentially calling John and Theresa liars. However, Alabama Power continued to send the electric bill to the couple as though they still were living there, and there was plenty of electricity being used, but not by my friends.

Furthermore, a number of us observed seeing people engaging in the act of living in the house, and all of us signed affidavits (under oath), but the difference was that we were telling the truth. In the spring of 1999, my wife and I went to a second-hand furniture store and the proprietor tried to sell us couches that he said were being used "in that house where they kept the highway workers." We declined the purchase.

Since 280 is a federal highway, John and Theresa filed suit in federal court. As Auburn University economist David Laband (a close friend of John and Theresa and my former department chair) wrote:
Mr. and Mrs. Sophocleus sued ALDoT, arguing that the taking was unconstitutional, since the state did not live up to the expressed public purpose used to justify the seizure and that therefore ownership should revert to them. The first federal judge to consider motions in the case, Susan Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, issued three summary judgments in favor of the Sophocleuses.
The Alabama authorities were unhappy with Judge Walker's rulings and managed to go judge shopping to Judge Myron Thompson's courtroom. Thompson clearly was hostile to John and Theresa and claimed that this was a state issue, not a federal one. However, as Prof. Laband wrote:
But as Alabama State Code 18-1A-et seq. makes clear, as affirmed by Judge Walker, the correct venue for plaintiffs in a civil rights case is the federal judiciary. By an 8-0 ruling (Justice John Roberts had not yet joined the Court) the Supreme Court in 2005 remanded the case back to the district court for remedy.

After stalling four full years, Judge Thompson and the judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to admit the earlier call had been blown and reiterated the previously overturned position. Once again, Mr. and Mrs. Sophocleus will appeal to the Supreme Court.
One would think that once the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on something, the lower courts would obey the ruling. Think again. As Prof. Laband noted, Thompson just ignored the ruling and has refused to hear the case.

At this point, one can imagine the frustration that John and Theresa were feeling. (I often have listened to that frustration in my many telephone calls to John, and he and his wife, while being highly-principled people, nonetheless have had to deal with being given a judge's back of the hand.)

They filed a petition again, but just this past week, the Supreme Court decided that it no longer wanted to abide even by its own rulings and ignored what it had previously said. That's right. The government changed the rules without even going through the pretense of using the proper legal channels.

So, John and Theresa stand outside the gates and are denied justice. Throughout the entire ordeal, the authorities offered them money as a "settlement," and John always turned them down. He wanted his day in court. He wanted an important constitutional issue to be decided where the law says it should be decided, but the "justices" decided that they would make up the rules as they go along.

To most people, this is just an insignificant property dispute in which someone wanted more money for their about-to-be-seized home than the government wanted to pay. But it never was about the money; it was about principle; it was about right and wrong.

A few years ago, I told John that the courts really did not know how to handle men and women of principle, and he was being regarded as a foreign object in the bloodstream. Since then, I have been involved in a number of civil and criminal cases and have concluded, to my sorrow, that there are very few people left employed by the "justice" system who care about justice at all.

Where are the judges who actually follow the law? They certainly are not in federal court, and CERTAINLY not in most state courts. Prosecutors? Give me a break. This blog has documented time and again instances of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, but I hold no hope at all that our system can be "reformed."

I'm not sure what my friends are going to do. A federal judge refuses to obey the law and the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will do nothing about it.

When Judge Roy Moore placed the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building, it was Thompson who ruled that the display had to be removed because, in Thompson's words, Moore was "thumbing his nose" at previous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet, when faced with a Supreme Court ruling he did not like, Thompson did what he darn well pleased.

This is the state of law in this country. Yes, there are good people who want to see right being done, but they just happen not to be employed as judges and prosecutors. No society can survive this kind of corruption, and ours will not survive, either, at least as a place where free people can live.

Congress Looks to Close the Barn Door -- After the Horse Escapes!

Someone sent me the link to an article in which Congress actually held a hearing on the problem of "overcriminalization," or what Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia declared:
We must put an end to the notion that we need to prosecute every individual for every perceived offense. We continue to lock up people for offenses that should not even require incarceration.
I include some portions of the article so readers can get a better sense of what is happening:
Abner Schoenwetter, a Miami seafood importer, spent six years in prison, paid tens of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees and is at risk of losing his home. His crime? Agreeing to purchase lobster tails that federal prosecutors said violated harvest regulations -- in Honduras.

Now Schoenwetter, at age 64, is a convicted felon with an ailing wife, no job, no right to vote and has three years of supervised release ahead of him. But he's also a star witness for congressional efforts aimed at stemming what a growing number of legal experts and lawmakers consider ``overcriminalization'' -- the federal government's penchant for writing new laws to criminalize conduct that could be addressed with fines or other remedies.
I happened to be at a one-day seminar six years ago, with Schoewetter's attorney being one of the speakers, and I can tell you that what I heard that day was outrageous. To make matters worse, the Honduran attorney general wrote a letter declaring that Schoenwetter and his partner had NOT violated Honduran laws, but that did not matter to federal prosecutors who wanted yet another win at all costs. (Furthermore, we see once again a federal jury failing to do its duty and, instead, choosing to destroy a human life because an ambitious federal prosecutor told them to do it.)

The article continues:
Legal experts say there are more than 4,450 federal crimes on the books and as many as 300,000 federal regulations that can be enforced criminally. From 2000 to 2007, Congress created 452 entirely new crimes -- that's more than a crime a week, said Brian Walsh, a senior legal research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who focuses on overcriminalization. ``It used to be a grave statement to say someone was making a `federal case' out of something,'' Walsh said told lawmakers. ``Today, although the penalties are severe and frequently harsh, the underlying conduct punished is often laughable.''
Some of the material here is similar to what Candice E. Jackson and I had in Reason Magazine in 2004 in our article, "Washington's Biggest Crime Problem." In that article, we addressed what apparently some members of Congress only now are starting to realize: that they have created a monster, and federal prosecutors now are able to find that they can charge about anyone they want with any crime of their choosing. Like Levrenty Beria, the infamous head of the Cheka, the secret police for Lenin and Stalin, once declared: "Show me the man, and I will find you the crime."

Unfortunately, it is much too late. Congress, wanting to be "tough on crime," managed to create whole new categories of "crime," turning criminal law away from its roots that went back to the legal traditions we inherited from England, and moving it in a direction in which one did not have to commit a real "crime" in order to be a criminal.

The monster has been devouring innocent people for a long time, and there is no way that Congress can tame it. Should Congress try to do so (and I CANNOT imagine another "tough on crime" Republican Congress being willing to take this kind of a step), federal prosecutors will find creative ways to bring criminal charges against any member of Congress who wishes to roll back this legal tidal wave. Don't kid yourselves. Federal prosecutors literally have NO checks and balances in their line of work.

When the "Public Integrity" unit of the U.S. Department of Justice has liars working for it, and when prosecutors in that unit hide evidence and lie to judges -- and receive no real penalties for such behavior -- then we know that the game is over. I have watched federal prosecutors over the past decade lie, break the law, hide evidence, and engage in malicious prosecutions, yet I have not seen one person who did these things pay any kind of penalty for it.

Thus, the notion that Congress can gain control of a legal system that is out of control is like saying that Congress really is trying to shut that barn door -- now that the horse is out. It is not going to happen, and it cannot happen.

So-called Progressives promised that once we had "experts" in place in the government and they were given unlimited power, they would do good, since everyone knows that "experts" are pure of heart and have only the public welfare in mind. Well, we have Rule of Experts today, and our prisons are bursting with the world's largest prison population, our economy is in ruins (thanks to the "experts" at the Federal Reserve System), and there seems to be no end in sight to the misery these people are inflicting upon others.

Abner Schoenwetter was a decent, law-abiding citizen, and then a federal prosecutor decided to destroy the man and his family. Why? Because he could do it, and he knew that no one would stand in his way. Not even Congress.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Will the "Hanging Judge" Sentence Himself if Convicted?

Recently, an anonymous person has been making comments on this blog that claims I am some sort of anti-government character because I have the audacity to criticize police and prosecutors. I'm supposed to believe, according to this person, that cops always tell the truth, that judges always are fair, and that prosecutors do the work of the angels.

This story from Atlanta gives a different story about our so-called public servants. The federal judge arrested in this account is known for being a "hanging judge" and he especially gives stiff prison sentences to people convicted of drug offenses.

According to the story:
A longtime federal judge was freed on a $50,000 bond Monday after his arrest on federal charges that he bought cocaine and other illegal drugs while involved in a sexual relationship with an exotic dancer for the past several months.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr. was arrested late Friday night near Sandy Springs. Camp, 67, is accused of purchasing cocaine and marijuana, along with prescription painkillers that which he shared with an exotic dancer he met last spring at the Goldrush Showbar in Atlanta, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit for his arrest.

Camp met the dancer, identified in the affidavit as CI-1, when he purchased a private dance from her, according to the affidavit by Special Agent Mary Jo Mangrum, a member of a task force investigating public corruption. He returned the next night and purchased another dance and sex from her, the affidavit said. The two then began a relationship which revolved around drug use and sex.

In some cases he bought drugs from the dancer, while in others the pair purchased them from other parties, according to the affidavit. Camp sometimes took loaded guns to the deals.

Camp’s arrest came after a buy from an undercover agent, authorities said.
But it gets even better:
As a judge, Camp had a reputation as a tough sentencer. In 2009, he sentenced former doctor Phil Astin to 10 years in prison. Astin had prescribed drugs to Chris Benoit, the professional wrestler who killed his wife, son and then himself in 2007. Camp said that the good works performed by the doctor were outweighed by his indiscriminate prescribing of drugs that caused at least two other people to die from overdoses.

Last year, Camp rejected a plea deal of an indicted pharmaceutical executive, saying the proposed 37-month prison sentence did not “accurately reflects the seriousness of the conduct.” Jared Wheat had earlier pleaded guilty to charges in connection with illegal importation of knockoff prescription drugs from Central America. Wheat later was given a 50-month sentence.
There's even more:
The affidavit details a series of drug transaction in which Camp is described as securing Roxicodone and other drugs for his personal use and describes Camp as carrying a semi-automatic handgun to protect the stripper and himself during drug deals. Federal law carries separate charges for carrying a firearm in drug transactions.

Last Friday, in recorded telephone conversation, Camp told the stripper he would try to help her because she was having trouble getting a job with her record. The judge offered to talk to a potential employer if necessary, according to the affidavit. During the conversation, the two of them discussed having a second woman join them night but Camp at least initially thought it too risky to do drugs with someone he didn’t trust because he said his “situation was precarious.”

Later Friday, the stripper asked Camp if he could follow her to a drug deal to protect her because she was dealing with a dealer she did not know well. According to the affidavit, Camp responded: “I’ll watch your back anytime….I not only have my little pistol, I’ve got my big pistol so, uh, we’ll take care of any problems that come up.”

That evening, according to the affidavit, Camp and the stripper met in Publix parking lot on Shallowford Road and the two drove to the parking lot of the Velvet Room on Chamblee Tucker Road where they met with an undercover law-enforcement agent posing as a dealer.

Ten minutes after the 7:35 p.m. drug transaction, FBI agents arrested Camp and recovered the drugs and two pistols from Camp’s car, including a .380-caliber Sig Sauer with a full magazine and a round in the chamber.

“The hammer of the gun was cocked,” the affidavit said.
Now, in most federal cases, the presence of a firearm -- even an unloaded one that is in the trunk of a car or in another room of a house -- is rolled into the drug charges as "using a firearm" with the transaction. It will be interesting to see if this judge gets the same treatment from the U.S. Government that he gives to everyone else -- or if the feds will protect their own.

To be honest, I am amazed that the feds even pursued this case, given the way that government agents look out for one another. Stay tuned here. If there is justice, this man will spend the rest of his life in prison.

I need to let my readers know that I am NOT a fan of the Drug War. I believe that the Drug War needs to be ended yesterday. No, I don't take drugs (although I am sure that the same people who have called me a "child molester" probably will claim I am a coke fiend, too), but the harm to this country because of the "war on drugs" is greater than any harm that comes from people voluntarily using drugs.

So, a federal judge who threw away the key when other drug offenders entered his courtroom now is going to get a taste of his own medicine. I cannot rejoice when anyone is sentenced to prison for drugs, but I must admit that this case presents its own delicious irony.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jurors in Phoenix Believe Cops Always Tell the Truth

This falls into the "You have to see this to believe it" category. Potential jurors in (Where else?) Maricopa County, Arizona, are asked whether or not they would believe a police officer when he testified on the stand. The answers are unbelievable.

For example, one person declares that, of course, the police always are truthful because "that is how I was raised." Others pretty much follow suit. Thus, the very people who coined the term "testilying" to describe what they really do are seen as the Very Fount of Truth.

Some of the answers will floor anyone with even a smidgen of intelligence. For example, one persons declares: "Well, they're trained to be law-abiding servants. I don't think they'd be out there lying, would you?" Another speaks about having been brought up always to believe the police, and yet another says something similar.

Another declares: "They're public servants. They're here to serve and protect. Why would they lie?"

One would hope that people would show at least some skepticism toward the people who invented the term "testilying," but I guess not. Because jurors in Maricopa County are so prone to believe the police no matter what is said, I believe that the rest of us who believe that police and prosecutors are wrongfully accusing innocent people of crimes need to fight hard in order to counteract this worship of the Blue Costume.

While some people making comments have declared this to be an "anti-government" site, that is not true. My point is that police and prosecutors should OBEY THE LAW. They expect the rest of us to do it, so they should do it as well.

Unfortunately, the fact that I hold police and prosecutors to the standards they CLAIM to be upholding apparently makes me an Enemy of the People, according to the Tim Deals of this world. However, I don't believe I am being unreasonable. I don't condemn all cops and prosecutors, just the ones who lie and suborn perjury.

That I believe that most cops and prosecutors lie or knowingly seek dishonest testimony is not the same as being an anarchist or an "anti-government" activist. All that I am saying is that people like Tim Deal should be held to the same standards that those of us who don't wear Blue Costumes are expected to uphold.

This week, I continue to look at the Jacobson case in Phoenix. Kerwyn has put together a document that examines the various police statements regarding the interviews with the accusing children and lists them side-by-side. The results are quite revealing.

I am utterly convinced that the Jacobson case has nothing to do with child molestation or abuse. It is nothing but a sham, another fraud perpetrated upon good people by people in power who apparently are helpless in dealing with real crimes, so they have to fabricate false ones so they can arrest someone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Very Personal Statement

Today (October 1) is the ninth anniversary of when our two boys came from Ethiopia to our home in Mountain Maryland. (We got our Sasha from Guatemala on March 3, 2000.) These are moments I cannot forget, especially since our boys knew enough hardship and sorrow by age four to count for a lifetime of so many of the rest of us.

Today, I listened to Tonya Craft on WGOW and someone asked her about the custody battle and why her children have not been returned to her. Obviously, Tonya had to be measured in her response (and I know I have to be measured in what I say about that situation on this blog), but it was clear that she believes that the injustice she experienced has been magnified by the custody affair.

What do our "got'cha day" celebrations and Tonya's situation have in common to me? Both of them go to the very heart of what it means to be a parent, to have children, to love them, and to have them be an integral part of one's life. My wife and I made a choice more than a decade that changed our lives dramatically, and yet we regret nothing. This was what we wanted to do, and what we believed (and still believe) God wanted us to do, even though this was the harder path to choose. (My friends are nearing retirement and I only can hope I can live into my 70s, as I will be working the entire time.)

Likewise, Tonya could have given up and just been content to visit with her children on scheduled visits, but that is not Tonya Craft. This is a person who has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and what she must do, and what she must be willing to give up to have justice done not only in her life, but in the lives of her children. This is a mother who knows in her heart what my wife and I know each "got'cha day," and that is our children mean everything to us and we are willing to give up everything for them.

People want to know why I come down so hard on the authorities in these faux "child molestation" cases. Those who know me know the answer is easy: the idea of the authorities lying and abusing the law so a mother or a father can be separated from the ones they love the most for the rest of their lives is utterly abhorrent to me. It is not something I can accept, nor will I ever accept it.

If you want to know why I say the things I do about Len Gregor, Chris Arnt, Tim Deal, and Brian House that I have said, you only have to understand that I am a father who gave up much to give three orphans a home. Yet, I can assure all of you that these people would lie in a heartbeat if they thought I could be dragged away from my family and thrown into prison, labeled a "child molester." They are monsters, all of them, and if they wish to be Hellbound, that is their choice and their privilege.

They tried to do this to Tonya Craft, and she, too, gave up everything to fight them. Their lies and fabrications did not work, although to this day, Tonya has been without the children who rightfully are hers, all because some people knew they could get away with lying because the State of Georgia refuses to punish those who lie in the name of pursuing the state's cases.

In Apison, James and Maria Combs face the very real prospect of James going to prison for the rest of his life, and from what I have seen and read, for the life of me I cannot find any credible evidence of child molestation on his part. In Phoenix, Arizona, the authorities have kidnapped the 14-year-old son of Carola Jacobson and have charged him with unspeakable crimes, yet there is no evidence, other than what I would call "Nifong" evidence: pure nonsense.

It is worth fighting for these people, and it is personal. Very personal.