Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whether you are for against punishing juveniles, the court has ruled that underage killers deserve a second chance by providing them parole.  The article below is excellent for juvenile justice class.

Justices rule for underage killers sentenced to life without parole

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

updated 2:54 PM EDT, Mon June 25, 2012

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that two men convicted of killings committed when they were 14 cannot be sentenced to life in prison without at least the possibility of parole.

The 5-4 ruling is a victory for defenders of juvenile offenders, affirming recent high court rulings against harsh criminal sentences.
Justice Elena Kagan said it would be wrong for states to ignore the chance that these now-adult inmates may someday be rehabilitated.
"The mandatory sentencing schemes before us violate this principle of proportionality, and so violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment," Kagan said.
Justices mull whether life without parole appropriate for underage killers

The high court in 2005 banned the death penalty for those under 18 who commit aggravated murder. Then, five years later, the justices said juveniles found guilty of non-homicides could not receive life without parole.
The spotlight has now turned on the youngest of killers and the question of whether a national consensus has developed to treat them differently regarding a lifetime of incarceration.
The separate appeals involved an Alabama boy who, with an accomplice, robbed a neighbor and then beat the man to death and set his house on fire; and an Arkansas youth who was part of a group of teens who robbed a video store where the clerk was blasted to death with a shotgun. Both defendants are now adults serving their sentences.

Both were tried and convicted as adults and received the minimum sentences allowed under state law for felony capital murder.
About 2,500 prisoners are serving life sentences without parole for crimes committed as juveniles, at least 79 of whom were 14 years or younger at the time, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, which is representing the two men before the high court.
In his argument to the court, Attorney Bryan Stevenson had urged the justices not to "give up" on child offenders, who he said are fundamentally different from adults. He said that while they must be held accountable for their actions, youths are also works in progress, emotionally and developmentally.
Stevenson said firmly that all those under 18 at the time of their crimes deserve the chance for parole someday. He said the often-terrible facts of a murder can overwhelm any mitigating factors like a defendant's age, especially for jurors who may be unaware that a young person's brain and self-control are often not fully developed, and their living environment can play a role as well.
"You would say that a person of 17 years and 11 months who commits the worst possible string of offenses -- and demonstrates great maturity -- still cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole?" asked Alito during oral arguments in March.
He wrote the tough dissenting opinion, supported by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
"When the majority of this court countermands that democratic decision (by state legislatures), what the majority is saying is that members of society must be exposed to the risk that these convicted murders, if released from custody, will murder again," said Alito, who delivered his dissent from the bench, a rare privilege typically granted in only the most contentious of cases.
Alabama Solicitor General John Neiman told the court that states deserve discretion to set punishments for the worst of offenders, even teenagers.
Complicating matters, several justices at argument noted differences between the two cases before them. Neiman said the murder committed by Evan Miller in Alabama was especially "gruesome." The boy and his accomplice had smoked marijuana with the victim in his trailer. The 52-year-old man burned to death after the mobile home was set ablaze.
In Kuntrell Jackson's case, he was outside acting as a lookout when the Chickasaw County, Arkansas, robbery took place. It was a 15-year-old boy who shot the female clerk when she refused to turn over money. The actual shooter later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

Stevenson said there was a real question whether Jackson had an "intent to kill" during the botched robbery, perhaps allowing for a lesser sentence.
But Arkansas Assistant Attorney General Kent Holt said the sentence of life without parole was still appropriate, arguing the defendant could have received the death penalty if he had been an adult at the time of the crime.

"A legislative judgment has been made with regard to drawing a baseline for all murderers, whether they are juvenile murderers, whether they are getaway drivers," Holt said. "And when you counsel or aid or do anything that gets you liability for being a capital murderer, then that is the minimum sentence" -- life without parole, with no exceptions.

The cases are Miller v. Alabama (10-9646) and Jackson v. Hobbs (10-9647).
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/25/justice/scotus-juvenile-life-sentences/index.html?iref=allsearch

Monday, June 25, 2012

This article shows that no matter how old the case might be it is still possible to be convicted even if the crimes is not murder

June 24, 2012

Sandusky found guilty of sex abuse
By Mark Scolforo and Genaro C. Armas

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- For years, the children Jerry Sandusky had preyed upon kept quiet about what the former Penn State assistant football coach did to them in echoing shower stalls, empty hotel rooms and the muffled confines of his basement bedroom.

After a swift trial and less than two days of deliberations, a jury issued an emphatic verdict late Friday: Sandusky was guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse, meaning the man once considered a successor to coach Joe Paterno will likely die in prison.

The verdict is not the end of the scandal that took down Paterno and deeply shook the state's most prominent university. It will play out for years in courtrooms and through a set of ongoing investigations.

But the trial did present one piece of finality: Sandusky was taken away in handcuffs to the county jail. Sentencing will be in about three months, but mandatory minimums will keep him behind bars for life.

"One of the recurring themes in this case was, 'Who would believe a kid?' " Attorney General Linda Kelly said. "The answer is, we in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid."

Sandusky, a retired defensive coach, showed little emotion as the verdict was read, giving his wife, Dottie, and family members a half-wave as the county sheriff led him away.

There were only three acquittals among the charges related to 10 victims, eight of whom took the stand to describe fondling, forced oral sex and anal rape. Many of the accusers testified that they had told no one of the abuse that dated as far back as the mid-1990s -- not parents, not girlfriends and not police.

The accuser known in court papers as Victim 6, whose mother alerted authorities in 1998 after Sandusky took her son into a shower, broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts in the courtroom. Afterward, a prosecutor embraced him and said, "Did I ever lie to you?"

The man, now 25, testified that Sandusky called himself the "tickle monster" in a shower assault. He declined to comment to a reporter afterward. His mother said: "Nobody wins. We've all lost."

One of the three counts for which Sandusky was acquitted concerned Victim 6, an indecent assault charge. The man testified that Sandusky had given him a bear hug in the shower but at one point he just "blacked out."

The other acquittals were an indecent assault charge related to Victim 5, who said Sandusky fondled him in the shower, and an involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge regarding Victim 2, the boy graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw being attacked in a campus shower.

That charge resulted in an acquittal because McQueary did not see penetration, juror Joshua Harper told NBC's "Today" on Saturday. But, Harper said, McQueary made it apparent he saw something "that was wrong and extremely sexual."

Almost immediately after the judge adjourned, loud cheers could be heard from a couple hundred people gathered outside the courthouse as word quickly spread that Sandusky had been convicted. The crowd included victim advocates and local residents with their kids. Many held up their smartphones to take pictures as people filtered out of the building.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola was interrupted by cheers from the crowd on the courthouse steps when he said, "The sentence that Jerry will receive will be a life sentence."

Source: http://www.delmarvanow.com/print/article/20120624/SPORTS/206240332/Sandusky-found-guilty-sex-abuse

Here is an article where the prosecutor, DA, and the grand jury refuses to charge due to the nature of the incident.

June 19, 2012

Father Not Charged in Killing of Man Molesting His Daughter, 5


SHINER, Tex. (AP) — A young Texas father who beat to death a man molesting his 5-year-old daughter will not be charged, the authorities said Tuesday as they released a 911 tape of the father frantically pleading for help before the man died.

A Lavaca County grand jury declined on Tuesday to indict the 23-year-old father in the death of Jesus Mora Flores, 47, a hired ranch helper.

Prosecutors said the grand jury had reached the same conclusion as the police after reviewing the evidence: The father was authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.

Mr. Flores was killed on June 9 on a family ranch so remote that the father is heard profanely screaming at a dispatcher who could not locate the property.

“Come on! This guy is going to die on me!” the father yells. “I don’t know what to do!”

The Associated Press is not identifying the father, to protect the daughter’s identity. The A.P. does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The nearly five-minute 911 call begins with the father saying that he “beat up” a man he found raping his daughter. The father grows increasingly frazzled, cursing and crying into the phone so loudly at times that the call often becomes inaudible.

At one point before sheriff’s deputies finally arrive, he tells the dispatcher that he is going to put the man in his truck and drive him to a hospital.

“He’s going to die!” the father screams.

The attack happened on the family’s ranch off a quiet, two-lane county road between the farming towns of Shiner and Yoakum. The authorities say a witness saw Mr. Flores “forcibly carrying” the girl into a secluded area and then scrambled to find the father.

Running toward his daughter’s screams, investigators said, the father pulled Mr. Flores off the child and “inflicted several blows to the man’s head and neck area.”

Emergency crews who responded to the 911 call found Mr. Flores’s pants and underwear pulled down on his lifeless body.

The girl was taken to a hospital and examined, and the authorities say that forensic evidence and witness accounts corroborated the father’s story that his daughter was being sexually molested.

Although the father was never arrested, the killing was investigated as a homicide. The Lavaca County sheriff, the district attorney and the father’s lawyer, V’Anne Huser, did not take questions during a news conference.

The authorities said the family had hired Mr. Flores before to help with horses on the ranch. He was not born in the United States but was here legally with a green card.

A public records search did not turn up any record for Mr. Flores.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/us/father-not-charged-in-killing-of-man-molesting-his-daughter-5.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here is an example of "Tolling".

After several tries, U.S. officials finally nab Roman Polanski in 1970s rape case

Three decades after he fled the United States following his arrest for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, Roman Polanski was taken into custody in Zurich this morning and faces extradition to Los Angeles.

Polanski, the famed film director whose career continued to flourish even after fleeing for Europe, was arrested as he arrived in the Swiss city to accept an award at the Zurich Film Festival.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office learned last week that Polanski had plans to travel to Zurich this weekend, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors sent a provisional arrest warrant to the U.S. Justice Department, which presented it to Swiss authorities. On at least two previous occasions, the district attorney’s office has received reports that Polanski had travel arrangements to countries with extradition treaties with the U.S. and prepared paperwork for his arrest, Gibbons said.

“But in the end, he apparently found out about it and didn’t go,” she said.

A source familiar with the investigation told The Times that the U.S. Marshals Service had come close to arresting Polanski half a dozen times or so over the past few decades -- though several of those opportunities presented themselves in the last two years.

"For one reason or another, it just didn't work out," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing. "There are so many variables."

The source said Polanski always was very careful about when and where he traveled. But as new questions arose in recent years about the fairness of his case, the source said Polanski appeared to become more at ease about travel.

Thomas Hession, head of the Marshals Service's Los Angeles office, would not comment on specifics of the case but said authorities moved quickly on each lead. "Any time information was developed, the L.A. County district attorney's office and the Marshals Service immediately acted on it."
Asked if prosecutors
would ask that Polanski be sentenced to time behind bars if he were returned to the U.S., Gibbons said, “We’ve always maintained this is a matter between Polanski and the court. … We initially recommended prison time for him, but I can’t see into the future.”

An attorney for Polanski, Chad Hummel, declined to comment. “Right now, we’re not in a position to say anything,” he said.

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/09/after-several-tries-us-officials-finally-nab-roman-polanski-in-1970s-rape-case.html

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Deferred Acceptance of no contest

Here is an article relating to Deferred Acceptance of no contest (DNAC) where the defendant has no criminal record if the defendant completes a specified term of court supervision without further problems with the law.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fujikawa's father was jailed for assault in '06
By Jim DooleyAdvertiser Staff Writer

Professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa's father Derrick, currently facing felony charges of methamphetamine trafficking, served two days in jail in 2006 in a misdemeanor assault case, court records show.

The assault occurred in December 2005 and Fujikawa was formally charged in February 2006. A criminal complaint said he caused bodily injury to victim Nick Senckowski. No other details of the incident were available. The Prosecuting Attorney's office yesterday would not discuss it.
Fujikawa entered what is called a DANC plea — deferred acceptance of no contest — to the charge in March 2006. That plea results in no criminal record if the defendant completes a specified term of court supervision without further problems with the law.

In Fujikawa's case, District Judge Rhonda Nishimura accepted the DANC plea and ordered the defendant to serve a weekend in jail, one year of court supervision as well as completion of a course in anger management.

He was to serve the two days in jail beginning April 21, 2006, but received a one-week delay after telling the judge that he was assistant coach of the Punahou School judo team and needed to attend a judo meet the afternoon of April 21.

Fujikawa successfully completed his term of court supervision, and the assault case was dismissed in May 2007.

He was indicted in July on two felony counts of first degree methamphetamine trafficking.
Fujikawa allegedly sold more than one-eighth of a gram of the illegal drug to an undercover police officer on Sept. 24 and Oct. 4, 2007.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and faces trial the week of Oct. 20.
The trafficking charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In arrest papers filed in the drug case, Fujikawa said he is a project manager for a local construction firm.

He is free on $50,000 bail pending trial.

Ellen Higuchi, Tadd Fujikawa's maternal grandmother , said she spoke yesterday morning with her daughter, Lori, who is in Switzerland, where Tadd was playing in the Omega European Masters.

"We have no comment, but Tadd is fine," Higuchi said.

Tadd Fujikawa missed the cut at the European Masters.

He had a poor start for the second straight day with bogeys on his first three holes en route to a 72 and a 3-over 145 total, three strokes above the cut.

"Small mistakes cost me the cut. You can't do that on any tour," said Fujikawa, 17. "I had a lot of chances but I couldn't make anything."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Sep/06/ln/hawaii809060319.html

Friday, July 4, 2008

4,000 years punishment-(Deterrence and consecutive Sentence)

Here is an example of punishment given as "Deterrance". There are basically two types of deterrence, general and specific. The deterrence mentioned in this article is general deterrence. However, there are those who question if 4,000 years actually reflect a "real punishment" since no person lives that long.

Since the punishment is to be served one after the other this reflects consecutive sentence.

Man Gets 4,060 Yrs in Prison for Sex Abuse
Texas man sentenced to 4,060 years in prison for sexually assaulting 3 teenage girls

WEATHERFORD, Texas July 2, 2008 (AP)

A man was sentenced to more than 4,000 years in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting three teenage girls over two years.

A day after finding James Kevin Pope guilty, jurors sentenced him to 40 life prison terms — one for each sex assault conviction — and 20 years for each of the three sexual performance of a child convictions.
At the request of prosecutors, state District Judge Graham Quisenberry ordered Pope to serve the sentences consecutively, adding up to 4,060 years. He will be eligible for parole in the year 3209, according to the Parker County District Attorney's Office.

"We believe it was a just result," prosecutor Robert DuBoise said, adding that he was "overwhelmed" with the judge's decision to stack the sentences.

Pope, 43, of Springtown, abused the girls for nearly two years. It came to authorities' attention earlier this year after Pope made several inappropriate comments to a friend, who notified Child Protective Services.

During the trial, the teens testified about the abuse, and their sexually explicit photographs were shown as evidence.

But Rick Alley, Pope's defense lawyer, told jurors in closing arguments that the victims were incapable of understanding what happened, the Weatherford Democrat reported in its Wednesday online edition.

"If it was as traumatic as they indicate, they would be able to give you (specific dates and times of the incidents). Simply because it's shocking doesn't make it true," Alley said.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, a U.S. Secret Service agent testified that while examining Pope's home computer, he found more than 200 images of child porn.
Later Wednesday, some jurors said the case was difficult because of the subject matter.
"We were careful not to make any mistakes in viewing and evaluating the evidence," said juror Dale Lewis.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/wireStory?id=5298149

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Second Chance--Is it for both adults and juveniles?

In my juvenile justice class, I stress to the students that juveniles are given second chances because society believe they are not capable of making sound decisions yet. Should this concept apply to adult as well?


HONOLULU -- A state judge Monday gave a high school athletic director, who pleaded guilty to marijuana charges, a second chance to go back to teaching.
Brad Kitsu talked about the pain the case has left him with.
"The shame and disappointment I've brought upon my parents, my family, my friends, me, students," he said in court.

Those people Kitsu talked about still supported him at a sentencing with much at stake.
Citing a prior misdemeanor assault case, the prosecutor asked for 60 days in prison and a felony conviction that could end Kitsu's career as teacher and athletic director of the Academy of the Pacific.

"He's already had a chance to keep his record clean. We oppose conditional discharge," Deputy Prosecutor Peter Marrack said.

"This has been the worst year of his life," defense attorney Todd Eddins said.
Kitsu pleaded guilty to possession of an ounce of marijuana and paraphernalia. His case got wide media attention because his friend, former University of Hawaii football player Wayne Morris Roe arranged the mailing of two pounds of marijuana to Kitsu's apartment.

Roe got probation. Kitsu asked the judge to keep the felony off his record to give him a chance to teach again.

"I've dedicated my life to a better community and being a positive influence on people's lives," Kitsu said.

The judge said he was particularly moved by letters from Kitsu's boss at Academy of the Pacific and friends and colleagues who talked about how much good he had done for students and the schools where he worked.

The judge said losing Kitsu as an educator would harm the community.
The president of Academy of the Pacific said she is pleased Kitsu will not have a criminal record. She would not say if she plans to hire him back.

Source: http://www.kitv.com/news/16691877/detail.html