tagged w/ judicial corruption
"Prosecutors said the trove of tapes came to light after medical experts hired by two convicted defendants belatedly discovered videotapes in their cases and concluded they contradicted medical findings that sexual abuse had occurred.
"In those cases the new evidence proved crucial — one conviction has been overturned, and the second is in jeopardy...
"Though prosecutors downplay the significance of the tapes, experts for the defense say the videotapes could make a huge difference in child sex-abuse cases that rest heavily on medical evidence. Sometimes the allegations come years after the alleged incidents, making the search for physical trauma like scars, tearing or notching on the hymen or anus that much more challenging.
"Additionally, in many cases children recant their accusations before trial — so medical evidence is even more critical."
Agustin Uribe’s conviction for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl was overturned by California’s Sixth Court of Appeals last year. Why? The San Jose Mercury News reports that the hospital at which the girl was examined maintained a videotape of the examination which showed that no abuse had occurred. Read the story here.
Now it develops that the hospital has some 3,000 newly-found videotapes of similar examinations in child abuse cases since 1991. As you might expect, defense attorneys in pending and closed cases are seeking access to those tapes.
So far we don’t know what was on the tape in the Uribe case that caused his conviction to be overturned. We also don’t know what, if anything, other tapes will reveal, but we should know soon. One defense attorney has already brought up the specter of the McMartin Pre-School case in which blatant fraud was used to accuse teachers of the most bizarre acts of child sexual and physical abuse. The methods used in that case to elicit false allegations from very young children have become the standard for what not to do in determining whether a child has been abused.
The Mercury News article suggests that Mary Ritter, coordinator of the Center for Child Protection at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center may be at the center of this controversy. An expert witness in a second case has said that his review of the videotape "clearly contradicts Mary Ritter's conclusion" that sexual abuse occurred.
These videotapes have the potential to overturn a great number of abuse convictions. That’s important enough, but they also may open a window on the ways the children in those cases are treated by authorities. Were they allowed to tell their stories honestly? Or were they manipulated into telling falsehoods by adults bent on incarcerating the accused at all costs?"Prosecutors said the trove of tapes came to light after medical experts hired by... more
WICHITA, Kan. — A homeschooling mother whose daughter was removed from their home following a mistaken truancy report was jailed for contempt Friday after refusing to say where the 14-year-old has been since fleeing state custody in October.
Bambi Baker-Hazen said she was invoking her right to protect her daughter, Ashton Baker, from what she called abuse in the state's child welfare system. The girl had spent 47 days in the Wichita Children's Home before running away Oct. 6.
Baker-Hazen told Sedgwick County Juvenile Court Judge Tim Henderson that when she tried to return Ashton to the home, the girl threatened to jump out of the car. She said Ashton had lost a lot of weight and had burns on her arms allegedly inflicted by other children at the home.
"She was hysterical, upset," Baker-Hazen testified. "She said she could not take it anymore."
Baker-Hazen said Ashton is safe, but she repeatedly refused the judge's admonitions to answer questions from deputy county prosecutor Ron Paschal about the teen's whereabouts.
More in linkWICHITA, Kan. — A homeschooling mother whose daughter was removed from their... more
13 November 2008
Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes today announced a ‘Think Fathers’ campaign to dispel the myth that dads are the ‘invisible parent’. Research the Government is publishing today shows that public, health and family services across the board need to go much further in recognising and working with fathers.
Kick-starting a debate at the Family and Parenting Institute, Beverley Hughes wants to build up the expectation of fathers’ involvement within public services - from birth, through children’s centres in the early years and in schools - and within society more generally.
With research showing that children who grow up with strong father figures are less likely to get into crime, take drugs; grow up with mental health problems or struggle to form relationships, the Children’s Minister announced that the Government will be working with the Fatherhood Institute to look at how to better support dads and encourage them to play an active role in their families.
To push forward the debate on active fatherhood, the campaign will:
- For the first time to bring together employers, children’s services, practitioners and voluntary organisations to look at what more can be done to give dads the support they need
- Publish a ‘Think Fathers’ guide to help children’s services to improve the way they work with dads
- Hold a ‘Think Fathers’ summit to encourage public services, professionals and the voluntary sector to look distinctively at fathers – not just generically at parents
- Launch an online ‘Dads Dialogue’, with fathers, mothers and children creating a user-generated collection of views, feelings, anecdotes and memories about fatherhood, family policy, challenges and successes.
Beverley Hughes said:
“All children need active and engaged fathers and we must do all we can to make sure they get one. Today I want to start the debate about what we can all do to help get dads more involved. The ‘Think Fathers’ campaign is a fantastic start and over the coming months I am looking forward to building up a coalition who can help us drive this forward including Government, the Fatherhood Institute, practitioners and children’s services.
“Together, we can bring home the messages to families, public services and the voluntary services that parental responsibilities should be shared equally among parents and we can reverse the outdated and out of touch assumption that dads a bolt-on family accessory – nice to have but not essential.”
This press notice relates to 'England'
Research published today entitled ‘How Fathers can be Better Recognised and Supported through DCSF Policy’ is available from www.dcsf.gov.uk
Public Enquiries 0870 000 2288, email@example.com
Press Notice 2008/025413 November 2008
Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes today announced a... more
A Greenport woman said yesterday that she is scared of what might happen once Clay Bennett is released after serving nearly three years in prison for the rape of her young daughter, while Bennett's family was expecting him to be able to return home today after his indictment was dismissed last week.
"We were moving past it. We're Christians, and [we knew] he had a higher power to deal with than us," said the woman, 34. "Our world kind of came crashing down."
Bennett was found guilty in a 2005 nonjury trial of raping his ex-girlfriend's daughter, 7 at the time of the alleged crime. He was sentenced to 20 years. But a state appellate court last week dismissed his indictment, finding that prosecutors had not proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bennett's attorney and family were trying to get him released from prison last night.
Unless prosecutors successfully appeal the decision, Bennett cannot face new charges.
"Prosecutors only have one chance to prove their case," said Richard Klein, a professor at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip. "They don't get a second bite at the apple."
Suffolk prosecutors have said only that they are reviewing the ruling and weighing their options. A spokesman for the district attorney's office declined to comment further yesterday.
Newsday is not identifying the girl, now 15, or her mother because the girl says she was a victim of a sex crime. The woman said yesterday that she hadn't yet told her daughter that Bennett is being released. "It's going to be rough," she said. "I don't know if it's going to be anger. I don't know if it's going to be fear. I don't know what I'm up against."
The appellate court's decision found that prosecutors' failure to narrow down the dates of Bennett's two alleged attacks on the girl any further than within a seven-month span were unreasonable.
The girl's mother said yesterday that pinpointing the exact dates was impossible, in part because her daughter was 7. She did not tell authorities what happened for more than two years.
The woman also denied allegations from Bennett's attorney that she prompted her daughter to make up the story - in part motivated by a six-figure personal injury settlement that Bennett had come into. She said she first learned of the money from prosecutors.
"She doesn't lie," the woman said of her daughter. "She's a good girl."
Bennett's attorney, John Ray of Miller Place, said yesterday that there was "nothing credible" about the woman or her daughter, and said he believed the two concocted the rape story. Ray also said that there was no reason for anyone to fear Bennett's return to society.
"This man is as harmless as a fly. He's never hurt a person in his life," Ray said. "He's a gentle character, actually."A Greenport woman said yesterday that she is scared of what might happen once Clay... more
Most parents will never forget the details of the day their children were born. For those who divorce, there's another day—equally vivid, totally different—that etches into memory: when they have to tell their children their mother and father are splitting up. What I remember is pacing through our apartment the night before, watching my girls sleep. The older one was 8 and still slept as she had when she was a newborn, arms thrown high above her head. The little one, just 4, was curled at the top of her bed, leaving two thirds of it empty.
Their dad and I had read the divorce books and rehearsed our speech about how none of this was their fault, that we loved them. All of this was true, but it seemed insufficient. He and I made a big calendar, as advised, with mom days in red and dad days in purple. In the half-light of that sad morning, I opened the calendar and realized that this crazy quilt would be a map for our lives from now on.
In the morning, we sat the girls on the sofa and told them. They cried, and were confused, but they didn't ask the big questions we thought they would. They wanted to know where they'd live, and whether they would still have the same last name. When we showed them the calendar, our older girl turned it a few pages ahead to her birthday month, which we hadn't colored in yet. She panicked. "But Mom, is my birthday red or purple?" Her dad and I looked at each other and said, "Both. We'll both be there." She would not rest until we filled the day in with red and purple. And with that, our new family life was born.
Birthdays had been part of the initial conversations my ex-husband, Jorgen, and I had had about how the schedule would work. When his parents divorced in the 1970s, they adopted the standard every-other-weekend-with-dad setup. He remembered missing his father tremendously and didn't want that for our kids. We talked about sharing time with them more equally—legally it's called joint physical custody, as opposed to the more common joint legal custody, where the child may live primarily with one parent, but both parents make big decisions, like which school the child goes to, together.
Joint custody meant that the girls would be spending several nights a week with their dad. Switching would require collaboration and communication about homework and school projects and the thousand other things that kids need from day to day. To make it work, we'd have to live near each other for the next 13 years, until the youngest girl was off to college. It was a commitment not unlike marriage, and, given that feelings were still raw post-divorce, neither of us thought it would be easy.
MUCH MUCH More in the link (5) pagesMost parents will never forget the details of the day their children were born. For... more
SYRACUSE -- A father's quest to reunite with his son has apparently come to an end -- the Utah Court of Appeals has ruled against the man whose son was placed for adoption against his wishes four years ago.
One judge noted, however, that the law cited to terminate Nikolas Thurnwald's paternity rights is vague, illusory, highly problematic and invites fabrication.
He urged the Legislature to clarify the law.
"... (S)evering an unmarried biological father's parental rights based on such technicalities serves to reinforce traditional notions about gender and childrearing -- i.e., that women are biologically better suited for raising children," Judge James Z. Davis wrote in his concurring opinion released Thursday.
"(Those) notions are antiquated and harmful to both men and women."
The technicality to which Davis referred is a state law that requires an unmarried biological father who wishes to parent his child to file within at least one business day of the child's birth a sworn affidavit that "set(s) forth his plans for care of the child."
The law states an unmarried father must strictly comply with that requirement, meaning almost good enough is not good enough.
There is no legal definition of what a "plan for care" is, and even though Thurnwald had an attorney write a multipage affidavit, the court ruled that the affidavit did not contain a plan.
Thurnwald is planning to end his quest for his son, for now.
"I've done everything in my power, under the sun, that anybody can do as far as fighting this out, fighting to be his father and raising my child," he said.
"Whatever happened was completely out of my control, and I did everything -- everything -- I could. This is a sad situation. I'm going to wait for the day he's in my arms, united with me -- hopefully sooner rather than later."
Thurnwald plans to place his name on Utah's Mutual-Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry, which one day might help his son contact him.
In the absence of specific details written by legislators, the two other appeals judges who heard the case, Russell W. Bench and Carolyn B. McHugh, wrote that a father must state in his sworn affidavit at least "that he has a source of income and identify who will care for the child while he is working to earn that income."
There is no requirement under Utah law that an unmarried mother detail a plan to care for her child or risk losing custody.
Thurnwald's attorney, Dan Drage, said Utah adoption law seems to assume all unmarried fathers want the child placed for adoption to avoid the heavy burden of child support payments.
He said when the occasional responsible and interested unmarried father comes along, his rights are often trounced.
"You've got more of a protectable interest when someone wants to repossess a vehicle or collect on a debt. They have to give you notice and give you a hearing, and all you're talking about is a television or an automobile," he said.
"But we're talking about a child here."
Drage said the court acknowledged that it was obvious Thurnwald expressed his desire to be a father at the time of his son's birth.
"He filed (an affidavit), he has fought hard, and there's no doubt what his intention all along was: 'I want to be the dad,' " Drage said.SYRACUSE -- A father's quest to reunite with his son has apparently come to an... more
The Anna Mae He Custody Case....Was there Parental Alienation?
The custody case of AMH made national headlines and if you have not heard about it, all I can suggest is to go ahead and google it. You will find several articles written about it. Some support the He's, Anna Mae's natural or birth parents and others support the Baker's, the foster parents. Whatever your opinion is about this case, it was a case fraught with accusations, tensions and a very lengthy legal battle over who should be allowed to care for Anna Mae.
I do not know either family and have no personal experience with either of them. All I "know" is what was written in the media, which I think slants articles and persuades the public right or wrong when needed. The case was presented as the He's, a Chinese family attempting to make their way in America, had a baby girl who was premature. Jack He, the father, was fighting his own legal battles and they needed help. According to written articles they placed Anna in foster care until they could get on their feet financially. This was to be temporary and later I read until Anna reached the age of 18. This sounded odd to me, but I also had to remember that there is a language barrier as well. I wish not to argue whether the He's could speak and write in English or understand, but what concerns me is the legalese that is used. I speak English and was brought up in the US and for the life of me, I can not always understand the legal wording of documents.
As I would read the stories presented in the media, I did not feel inclined either way towards which family would be best for Anna. The media painted a picture though. The Bakers were wealthier than the He's and could provide more for Anna. That does not make them better parents. From one news media article they print: "The Bakers live in a five-bedroom, 4,800-square-foot home in the Davies Plantation area east of town. Their $414,000 house sits on more than an acre of rolling Tennessee hills. There are colorful play sets in the well-groomed backyard. Inside there is a media room with surround sound and a 53-inch TV, a Jacuzzi and a central vacuum system." I think, "who cares?" Obviously the media and the courts care. In the same article this is printed: "The Bakers began caring for Anna Mae on Feb. 23, 1999, and the Hes say they visited their daughter at least once a week. When the three months ended, they still were not able to care for Anna Mae. Mid-South Christian Services could no longer handle their case because the agency's supervision is limited to 90 days in temporary custody cases. So the two couples negotiated the next step on their own." And this: "Over the next year, the Hes say they continued to visit Anna Mae and told the Bakers they wanted her back. They say Jerry Baker asked that the arrangements stay in place until his then-pregnant wife gave birth to her own child." and this: "But the Bakers say in court documents that the Hes abandoned Anna Mae by not visiting enough and failing to pay child support. For the past year, the Bakers have refused the Hes' official requests to give Anna Mae back. Last month, the Bakers insisted, through Parrish, that Mister He take a DNA test to prove that he was Anna Mae's father. The test proved that he is."
More in linkThe Anna Mae He Custody Case....Was there Parental Alienation?
The custody case of... more
by Dr Les Sachs (Dr Leslie Sachs)
In the headlines are the appalling news stories of Americans carrying out murderous attacks on judges and their families. In a matter of days, one judge was shot and killed in his own courtroom, while another judge had family members brutally murdered in their home.
These news stories are, however, related to another news story, which is the most taboo subject of the American media - the expanding crisis of corruption among American judges and lawyers. At question is whether the deepening despair of Americans about their own legal system, is fueling some of these violent attacks on judges.
Much is written now about how America's economy is resembling that of a banana republic, given how America is sunk in preposterous debt, and how the US dollar currency is sinking toward a possible collapse in the near future.
But there is another way that America is also like a banana republic, in that its legal system - contrary to its Hollywood image - has become a sinkwell of secret proceedings, the jailing of the innocent, and political misconduct; and how it is sullied with documented corruption, fake trials and court fraud.
These facts are not generally understood, because of how judicial corruption is the most un-reported news story in the American landscape. It is the category of news story which America's newspapers and media are most afraid to report, even when clear proof is in their hands.
More in linkby Dr Les Sachs (Dr Leslie Sachs)
In the headlines are the appalling news stories... more
C. Patience Summers spoke with District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra of Willacy County, Texas. He indicated that he is willing to prosecute corrupt CPS judges. She found that most CPS judges in her area have a conflict of interest. They are sitting on the boards of directors of foster and adoption agencies. This could influence them to terminate parental rights so that their agencies will have more children to adopt out.
Patience requests that all victims of CPS, past and present, in the state of Texas, contact her as soon as possible. Her phone number: (909) 567-2067.
There will be a rally at the Willacy County Courthouse on December 1, 2008. Participants are urged to bring along their families and friends to show the growing unrest in the American populous with regards to judicial corruption.C. Patience Summers spoke with District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra of Willacy County,... more
* Does anyone have an update(s) to the following story?...
Zachary W. Famuliner, 20, pleaded guilty to animal abuse for stabbing an opossum multiple times during a fraternity prank in Columbia.
Associate Circuit Judge Larry Bryson suspended imposition of a sentence and placed Famuliner on 2 years of UNSUPERVISED probation. Bryson also fined him $500 for illegal possession of wildlife and DISMISSED a 2nd count of animal abuse.
The judge ordered Famuliner to complete 50 hours of community service, 20 hours of counseling & not consume alcohol during his term of probation. If completed successfully, the court will SEAL ITS RECORDS of the case.
"Far be it for me to criticize Judge Bryson," Assistant Prosecutor Connie Sullivan later said of the suspended sentence, "but I think the conviction should have been on his record."
Bryson told her he agreed that Famuliner should not be allowed to hunt but said state law already bars him from hunting because FAMULINER HAS A PRIOR COVICTION for deer POACHING.
Defense attorney Pat Eng said after the hearing that his client understands what he did was wrong but described the incident as a "stupid college prank." "No one SET OUT to ABUSE ANIMALS in this process," he said. "That is what we hoped to make clear to the judge."
Early that day, Columbia police responded to a disturbance call and found members of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity standing around a barrel full of about 40 OPOSSUMS - half of them ALIVE - outside the fraternity house at 602 S. College Ave.
Famuliner and fraternity brother Adam P. Thomas, told police they’d COLLECTED the critters as part of a FRATERNITY CONTEST. Members drove around COLLECTING opossums and returned them to the fraternity for POINTS, getting 1 point for each dead animal and 2 points for each live one.
The fraternity expelled Famuliner and Thomas after the incident, and MU placed the fraternity on PROBATION through the fall semester. Thomas paid a $500 fine in May for illegally possessing wildlife.
* In an unrelated incident, Famuliner pleaded guilty in December to killing four deer out of season two months earlier in Boone County. He paid a $377 fine, according to court records.
When Sullivan asked her whether opossums are animals and whether they can feel pain, Eng objected, saying that he would STIPULATE that opossums are animals that can feel pain. The exchange elicited chatter and SOFT LAUGHTER from some spectators in the courtroom.
Asked by Sullivan whether she knew about her son’s poaching, Famuliner said, "If you’re trying to say I don’t know my son, you’re wrong." Then the mother said she had not known about her son’s illegal deer hunting before he was caught. "No, I don’t know what he does 24/7," she said. * Does anyone have an update(s) to the following story?...
Zachary W. Famuliner,... more
This is a brief preview of an incomplete documentary about the abuses of America's Justice system. Your donations are needed to complete the documentary which will include mind blowing evidence of case accounts.
Your donations will also serve as proof:
1. to Justice workers, that we Americans know what they're up to,
2. to broadcasters, that this is a big enough concern to us that we, the American public will not allow the press to be punished by the courts for airing the truth, and
3. to politicians that we want them to do what we put them in their positions of power for; to look out for the best interests of the American people.This is a brief preview of an incomplete documentary about the abuses of... more