Courtroom Antics

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#61
Accused shooter saw UFOs




R. JONATHAN TULEYA , Staff Writer
07/24/2004



WEST CHESTER -- The attorney representing the man accused of shooting two sheriff’s deputies began to lay the groundwork for an insanity defense for his client.

Walter J. Rosengarth, 64, allegedly wounded the officers who had arrived at his home on the 400 block of Pierre Drive in East Marlborough on July 24, 2003, to serve him with an eviction notice. After the shooting, Rosengarth barricaded himself into his residence during a three-and-a-half-hour standoff with state police.


On Friday, his attorney, Christian J. Hoey, filed a motion at the Chester County Courthouse to determine Rosengarth’s criminal responsibility.

Next, Common Pleas Court Judge Howard F. Riley Jr. will decide whether the defendant will get a hearing to determine if he was criminally insane at the time of the shooting.

If he is found to be insane, Rosengarth will be acquitted of criminal responsibility. He would be committed to a mental hospital and the case would not go to trial.

If Riley denies the hearing request or the hearing takes place and determines the defendant was criminally liable, the case will go to trial. Rosengarth could still enter an insanity plea at that time.

Hoey’s motion included three written evaluations supporting his claim that Rosengarth was insane at the time of the shooting -- two from psychologist Gerald Cooke and two from psychiatrist Dr. Robert L. Sadoff.

Cooke described Rosengarth as experiencing "paranoid schizophrenic psychotic delusions" during the incident.

"He did not appear to be hallucinating," Cooke wrote in a letter to Hoey on Jan. 12, "but was acting under the belief that he was the victim of a conspiracy ..(I)t is my opinion that because of his paranoid delusion, he did not know what he was doing was wrong."

Sadoff reached a similar conclusion.

"Although he appears to be competent to proceed (to trial) in that he does know the nature and consequences of his legal situation and can work with counsel in preparing his defense," Sadoff wrote in a Feb. 9 letter, "it is my opinion that he would be in a stronger position had he the benefit of treatment and improvement in his psychotic condition."

Rosengarth told both analysts stories about being poisoned by a neighbor, suffering from cancer though he never had been diagnosed and seeing a UFO hovering near Kennett Square.

"He looked up, saw the UFO and said a prayer that the UFO would reverse itself and come back and, sure enough, it did," Sadoff wrote. "He said when it did, he froze and stopped. But then, he said he saw a message in the sky and he heard God talking to him ..the message in the sky was written in large capital letters, ‘Satan is real.’"


Hoey also filed a second motion on Friday to suppress videotaped statements Rosengarth made to police after his arrest. During the questioning, the defendant admitted to shooting at state police officers.

"And when you shot those guns, did you shoot at police or sheriffs?" interrogators asked.

"At them, no ..No, it wasn’t directly at them ..It was ... to get them the hell out of here," Rosengarth replied, according to a transcript of the interrogation. "I asked them to leave several times."

"But you realized that where you were firing, there were officers nearby?" police asked.

"Yes," Rosengarth replied.

The defendant also told police he would have shot officers had they attempted to enter his home with their guns drawn.

Riley has placed a gag order on the case, preventing Hoey and Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert L. Miller from discussing it with the media.

The standoff at Rosengarth’s home began around 11:30 a.m. when four sheriff’s deputies arrived to serve the man with an eviction order. The bank had foreclosed on the property for nonpayment of real estate taxes and had sold it at a sheriff’s sale for ,000 in December 2001, according to court records.

A judge ordered Rosengarth evicted from the home in June 2003.

At first, Rosengarth refused to open the front door for the deputies. Rosengarth then allegedly opened fire on the officers from inside of the residence, first hitting Deputy Joseph Smida in the face. Deputy James Boyd drew his department-issued Glock .40-caliber handgun to return fire and was shot in the hand.

Smida had to be airlifted to Temple University Hospital and Boyd was taken by ambulance to Jennersville Regional Hospital.

Shortly after 3 p.m. the defendant ended the standoffby waving a white flag and walking peacefully from his home.

Police recovered a cache of weapons from Rosengarth’s home, including an M-1 rifle, a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.

Rosengarth has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses.
http://www.dailylocal.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12463912&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,294
Likes
33
Points
69
#62
Friday, July 30, 2004 · Last updated 7:32 p.m. PT

Woman who stole fuel ordered to wear sign

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SALISBURY, Md. -- A woman who stole .52 worth of fuel was ordered to stand outside the gas station Friday wearing a sandwich board sign that declared: "I was caught stealing gas."

Sherelle Purnell obeyed the court order, although by the time she arrived 90 minutes late to her noon sentence, the crowd of people that gathered to watch her had dispersed.


"There were parents who came with their children, wanting to teach them a lesson," said Jan Phipps, manager of Gordy's Tiger Mart, which pushed for the unorthodox punishment.

Purnell, 18, who was caught on surveillance tape speeding away from the gas pump, walked along the convenience shop's grassy storefront as passing drivers honked horns and made catcalls.

Andrew Black, who stopped by on his lunch break, was critical of the punishment and converted an old beer poster into a sign protesting high gas prices.

"What is this, the Middle Ages?" said Black.

Purnell declined to comment.

Some passers-by considered the punishment to be a good deterrent.

"Embarrassment is the best way to deal with these things," Randy Jedlicka said.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=BRF Sign of Shame
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,294
Likes
33
Points
69
#63
Public humiliation of thief is OK
Mon 9 August, 2004 22:45

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A man required to wear a signboard stating "I stole mail. This is my punishment," outside a San Francisco post office was reasonably sanctioned, a U.S. federal court has said.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on Monday a lower court's order that required mail thief Shawn Gementera to wear the sign, noting the public humiliation was intended to "break" him of an illusion he had committed a victimless crime.

Paired with requiring Gementera to write apologies and lecture at a high school, the "somewhat crude" condition he wear the signboard provided an opportunity to "repair his relationship with society," the court ruled.

Gementera had argued the signboard served no purpose other than to humiliate him.
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=5915848&section=news
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#64
Death sentences again overturned for man who used aliens defense


Associated Press
Aug. 9, 2004 04:54 PM


The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday again overturned the death sentences of a man who said space aliens were in control of his body when he killed two Tucson women in 1993.

However, the Supreme Court also upheld the convictions of Robert Joe Moody, a former financial planner and real-estate agent who was convicted twice of murdering Michelle Page Malone, 33, and Patricia Magda, 56.

The ruling was the latest in which the state high court has reviewed death-penalty cases after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said juries, not judges, must decide whether factors exist that could warrant a death sentence.

A jury could have decided some sentencing factors differently in Moody's case, the court said in Monday's ruling.

With the ruling in Moody's case, the state has now reviewed 19 cases, upholding one man's death sentence and ordering resentencings for 18 others.

Moody's initial convictions and sentences, in 1995 and 1996 respectively, were overturned by the state Supreme Court in 1998 on the grounds of inadequate legal representation. He was convicted again in 2001 and resentenced to death in 2002.

Moody contended during both his trials that his actions were involuntary because space aliens were controlling him when he killed the women five days apart. He also said he had consumed crack cocaine in great quantities before the killings.

Malone was an acquaintance of Moody and Magda his next-door neighbor. He took money and credit cards from each victim, and prosecutors maintained Moody killed to support a drug habit.

The victims were killed at their respective homes. Malone was shot to death; Magda was bludgeoned.

Malone's family won a million civil judgment against Moody in 2002 in a lawsuit that the family's lawyer said was motivated largely by a desire for closure.

---

The case is State vs. Moody, CR-02-0044-AP.

---

On the Net:

Arizona Supreme Court: http://www.azleg.state.az.us
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0809az-aliens09-ON.html

PDF of court summary:
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/opin/pdf2004/CR020044AP.pdf
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#65
Emperor said:
Accused shooter saw UFOs




R. JONATHAN TULEYA , Staff Writer
07/24/2004

............

Cooke described Rosengarth as experiencing "paranoid schizophrenic psychotic delusions" during the incident.

..........
Rosengarth told both analysts stories about being poisoned by a neighbor, suffering from cancer though he never had been diagnosed and seeing a UFO hovering near Kennett Square.

"He looked up, saw the UFO and said a prayer that the UFO would reverse itself and come back and, sure enough, it did," Sadoff wrote. "He said when it did, he froze and stopped. But then, he said he saw a message in the sky and he heard God talking to him ..the message in the sky was written in large capital letters, ‘Satan is real.’"
http://www.dailylocal.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12463912&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6
and a follow up:

Posted on Wed, Aug. 11, 2004

Hearing set today on insanity plea in eviction shootings

Walter J. Rosengarth of E. Marlborough fired at deputy sheriffs last year, wounding two of them.

By Kathleen Brady Shea

Inquirer Staff Writer



The East Marlborough man who responded with gunfire to deputy sheriffs armed with eviction papers a year ago said he saw UFOs and writings from God decades ago, according to evaluations submitted to court.

To support the insanity defense of Walter J. Rosengarth, his attorney has submitted multiple psychological reports to Chester County Court President Judge Howard F. Riley Jr., who is scheduled to preside at a hearing today.

Christian J. Hoey maintains that Rosengarth, 64, should not be held criminally responsible for his actions on July 24, 2003, when he opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon on deputy sheriffs serving him with an eviction notice for failure to pay taxes.

Deputy Sheriff James "J.J." Boyd, 61, was shot in the hand, and Deputy Sheriff Joseph Smida, 40, was grazed in the right cheek and nose. Rosengarth held police at bay for more than three hours before he surrendered.

Two evaluators hired by Hoey, psychologist Gerald Cooke and psychiatrist Robert Sadoff, found Rosengarth delusional, obsessed with issues ranging from being poisoned to being the victim of a conspiracy, according to reports filed with Hoey's petition.

Hoey also has offered notes by Chester County Prison psychiatrist Robert Davis.

In prison reports, Davis said Rosengarth refused to take medication after his admission on July 24 until blood work determined whether he had been fed tainted sandwiches seven years ago.

Sadoff cited Rosengarth's refusal to believe otherwise even though a doctor told him he had not been poisoned.

"A delusion is a fixed false belief that one cannot be talked out of," Sadoff wrote. "Clearly, he has these delusions."

Sadoff said Rosengarth kept looking for recording devices to prove that their Dec. 17 interview at the courthouse was "bugged."

Both Sadoff and Cooke made reference to a defining moment in what they view as Rosengarth's unraveling: his claimed 1973 sighting of a UFO flying over North Wilmington or Kennett Square that prompted Rosengarth to become a born-again Christian.

Sadoff wrote that Rosengarth saw a message in the sky in large capital letters: "Satan is real."

Continuing his delusional behavior, Rosengarth "acted upon a fixed false belief" that his life was in danger, and that he was protecting his house on July 24, Sadoff said.

He and Cooke both concluded that Rosengarth met the legal standard of insanity.

Hoey wants Riley to determine that Rosengarth should not be held accountable for his actions and should be placed in a psychiatric facility until he is deemed fit to return to society.

If Riley does not make that ruling, the case would proceed to trial. Rosengarth could still pursue an insanity defense, and the judge would have to rule on Hoey's request to suppress a videotaped interview Rosengarth had with police after his arrest.

Hoey argues that Rosengarth's "bizarre behavior" indicates that he was not capable of waiving his right to remain silent. As a result, he wants to prevent Deputy District Attorney Robert L. Miller from using the statements to rebut the insanity claim.

Rosengarth faces four counts of attempted homicide and related offenses for each of the deputies at his property when he began shooting. Deputy Sgts. John Freas and Ed Clemens escaped injury. Rosengarth also faces numerous weapons charges.

Police said they removed a cache of firearms from Rosengarth's home in East Marlborough Township that included 13 semiautomatic rifles, 13 handguns, and assorted boxes of ammunition.

Chester County Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh said yesterday that both injured men have returned to full duty but continue to experience some medical difficulties. Smida still needs minor plastic surgery, and Boyd is not able to bend his thumb.
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/9369038.htm?1c
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#66
Bizarre Victorian trial on show

Photographs, letters and legal documents from one of the most bizarre and famous trials of the Victorian era are to go on show for the first time.

After Roger Tichborne, the son of a wealthy Hampshire family, vanished when travelling in 1854, a man claiming to be him turned up at the family home.

A lengthy and expensive trial saw him exposed as an impostor.

The documents will be displayed in Hampshire's museums after they were bought thanks to a lottery grant.

When she got word that her son's boat had sunk in bad weather, Lady Tichborne refused to believe he was dead.

She placed adverts around the world appealing for him to get in touch and come home.

She accepted an Australian butcher's claims that he was her son, even though he had somehow become shorter and fatter and entirely lost his prominent French accent.

Several other members of the family refused to accept him, however, and after Lady Tichborne's death a trial began which kept Victorian high society enthralled.

Over 100 days and £200,000 later, Arthur Orton from Wapping was sentenced to 14 years for perjury.

Touring exhibition

The story was made into a film, The Tichborne Claimant, in 1998.

Hampshire County Council has now bought the record of the trial from the Tichborne family solicitor with the aid of a £43,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Grant.

An exhibition will be created and will begin touring Hampshire's museums in 2006.

Hampshire's head of recreation and heritage, Cllr John Waddington, said: "This is one of the most significant acquisitions made by the Museums and Archives Service in recent years.

"The Heritage Lottery Funding will play an important role in ensuring that we are able to make this fascinating story from Hampshire's history available to all."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/3556118.stm

Published: 2004/08/12 09:35:32 GMT

© BBC MMIV
The film:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0127933/

There was another similar case more recently where a Spanish orphan travelled to the States and was accepted by the family as their missing son depsite his accent and not looking like him, etc. - it tells us a lot about grief and our desire to belive in things despite the evidence.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#67
Women kill rape suspect in court

A man standing trial for rape was killed by a group of women and children in court in the city of Nagpur in central India on Friday, reports say.

Initial reports said about 14 women and several children forced their way into the courtroom and knifed the accused, Appu Yadav, to death.

The attackers then escaped from the scene of the crime.

Police, who have launched an investigation, admit that they were caught unawares.

Second case

However, the BBC's Zubair Ahmed in Bombay says they also admitted they had to throw a security cordon around the defendant last week when he was jeered by angry women as he arrived in court.

Yadav was facing 24 counts of molestation and rape.

Six months ago there was a similar incident in Nagpur, in India's Maharashtra state.

A member of a criminal gang was killed by other gang members on court premises.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/3562236.stm

Published: 2004/08/13 14:57:38 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

filcee

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
516
Likes
6
Points
49
#68
Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
Judge Suspected of Masturbating in Court

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma state judge frequently masturbated and used a device for enhancing erections while his court was in session, charges a petition by the state's attorney general seeking his removal...
The judge is getting off now...
Thursday August 19, 05:52 AM

Judge accused of masturbating resigns

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (Reuters) - An Oklahoma judge facing removal over charges that he masturbated and used a device for enhancing erections under his robes during trials says he will retire from the bench.


Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson, 57, wrote to Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry resigning effective September 1, a move that will allow him to retire with a full pension.
More here...
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#70
Please forget I'm a Satanist

Article Last Updated: 08/25/2004 10:41:05 AM

Killer claims devil worship proved bad for his image

Court appeal: He says a judge violated his right to freedom of religion by taking his beliefs into account

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune



Killer Michael Munson does not claim the devil made him do it.

But his Satan worship should not have played a part in determining his punishment for a botched burglary that left his grandmother savagely beaten and her husband dead from multiple stab wounds, according to a motion Munson filed in court.

In a request for a new sentence, the Utah State Prison inmate claims 2nd District Judge Pamela Heffernan violated his right to freedom of religion when she handed down a term of life in prison with no possibility of parole.

"The trial court was informed that plaintiff worshiped Satan and that [Munson] considered God Satan and Satan God," wrote Munson, who is representing himself. "Such information presented to the trial court or jury has a negative effect on most people in society, thus, this is highly prejudicial."

Munson, 32, was the ringleader in the 1996 murder of Edward John Anderson, 67, and an assault on Wanda Lorraine Anderson, 72, in North Ogden.

Under a plea deal, Munson and Robert Austin, then 17, who was accused of stabbing the victims, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated burglary. In return, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty, and both defendants were sentenced to life. Robert's sister, Aletha Austin, then 16, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served two years in jail.

The Utah Supreme Court upheld Munson's conviction in 1998, but he has continued to argue for a lighter sentence.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court, he insists devil worship should not be a factor calling for life behind bars. He also claims Heffernan already had a bias against him because she had sent him to jail in 1995 for helping vandalize more than 65 headstones at the Ogden City Cemetery.

His request for a new sentence had been languishing in federal court for more than four years when he renewed it in May. U.S. District Magistrate Sam Alba last week ordered the Utah Attorney General's Office to respond to Munson's request by Oct. 4.

A spokesman for the office declined comment until after the response is filed.
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2399306

He sounds a real treat too.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#71
Charge: Judge insulted unwed mom


A panel is investigating whether the Orange jurist called a deputy a tramp and spoke rudely to several court workers.

By Anthony Colarossi
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted August 26 2004


Orange County Judge Alan C. Todd criticized a female deputy sheriff for having a child out of wedlock and said any woman who has sex before marriage is considered "a tramp," according to a panel that oversees judges.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission on Wednesday released a notice of formal charges detailing a series of "rude, intemperate and demeaning comments" Todd allegedly made to several people working in the Orange County court system.

Upon learning in January that Orange County Deputy Sheriff Mindy Hood was an unwed mother, Todd chastised the woman and told Hood "it is acceptable for a male to have sex before marriage, but if a female does so, she is not respected and considered a tramp," according to the notice of charges.

He also questioned the kind of family Hood came from and said her family "obviously had no morals," according to the six-page document.

According to the other allegations cited by the JQC, Todd said:


Hood's child was a "bastard."


Followers of the Baptist denomination "think there is no sin in the world and have no morals."


Women who have children out of wedlock should not be married by a pastor or priest because those actions are morally wrong and sinful.


A pastor or priest should not marry a couple who have been living together because it is morally wrong to live together outside of marriage.


Children who are raised in single-parent homes normally go to jail when they grow up.

Reached late Wednesday, Hood, 33, confirmed that she had been interviewed as part of the JQC investigation. But she said she did not want to comment further on the case until speaking with her supervisors.

"I'm just not comfortable commenting on it," she said.

Todd, 63, would have no comment on the allegations made in the JQC complaint Wednesday, according to Karen Levey, spokeswoman for the 9th Judicial Circuit.

Todd's attorney, Chandler Muller, said judicial rules prevent him from responding to specific allegations but added that "the JQC process will afford a full opportunity to defend [against] the allegations.

"Judge Todd has been a respected judge for the last 14 years," said Muller, who has defended and prosecuted past JQC proceedings.

"Judge Todd has the full support of his family, friends and the legal community," Muller added.

Asked whether the judge had thought of stepping down, Muller said, "He's not going to resign."

Todd qualified for re-election unopposed in May, meaning a new six-year term would start in January.

The Florida Bar, the organization of all lawyers licensed by the state Supreme Court to practice law here, lists Todd as a member in good standing on its Web site.

He was admitted to the Bar in August 1967, according to the site.

Todd's alleged statements to Hood took place during two conversations, the notice said.

He told Hood in the second conversation on or about Jan. 30 that she was a "disgrace to society" and "had no morals," according to the notice.

The judge's statements were not limited to Hood, the report said.

He referred to another female deputy as a "deputite" and said only a male deputy assigned to his courtroom was a "real deputy." Those statements came between October 2002 and October 2003, the notice said.

Todd asked the deputy about personal matters, inquiring, "What are you girls doing tonight? What do you do as lesbians?" according to the complaint.

He also expressed his displeasure with a Hispanic public defender and said, "That's what you get with affirmative action," the complaint states.

In 2001, Todd asked sheriff's detectives whether a female courthouse administrator "was taking good care of the detectives." When the detectives affirmed she was taking care of them, Todd allegedly said, "Well, that's what the men's bathroom wall says . . . I just wanted to make sure."

The Judicial Qualifications Commission's Investigative Panel voted at a meeting in Tampa in May that probable cause existed to begin formal proceedings against Todd based on allegations of his comments.

The notice says that if the statements occurred as alleged, they "would also impair the confidence of the citizens of this state in the integrity of the judicial system and in you as a judge."

The acts would represent violations of the judicial canons governing Florida judges and would "demonstrate your unfitness to hold the office of judge."

Such violations would warrant discipline, including Todd's possible removal from office, the notice states.

Muller said the JQC process is similar to a civil-court process. The Todd matter could result in a trial-like proceeding in which a nine-member JQC panel hears the case, acts like a jury and makes a recommendation.

The Florida Supreme Court will have the final say on any discipline.

Todd graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School with a major in economics. He then received his law degree from the University of Florida.

Todd is the second sitting judge in the 9th Circuit currently under review by the JQC. Orange Circuit Judge Jim Henson is facing charges that that he accepted private legal work while sitting as a county judge and encouraged clients to flee to avoid prosecution.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/lo...4aug26,0,4645152.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

See also:

http://www.local6.com/news/3682551/detail.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#72
Courthouse Pot

September 8, 2004

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Sheriff's officers had marijuana growing right under their noses - or at least right outside their headquarters - before discovering and removing the illegal weed.

FOX 11 reported Tuesday night
that it received a tip and alerted the Brown County Sheriff's Department about the greenery in a planter on the south side of the courthouse.

Chief Deputy John Gossage wasn't sure of the plants' identity, but a drug officer confirmed the presence of marijuana.

"Obviously, as a prank, somebody planted this or dropped some seeds into the plants," Gossage said.

The drug officer pulled the six small plants, which were to be destroyed.

"It's a good thing it was brought to our attention because someone may have realized what it was and could've taken it and used it," Gossage said.
http://www.wluk.com/common/article.shtml?article_id=1094645467017698
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#73
This seems as good a palce as any - it shows you really can't win and someone will always find a way to drag you to court:

Hand It To Him

Norfolk: Thomas Passmore was working at a construction site when he thought he saw ‘666', a demonic sign, on his hand. Recalling the instruction in the Bible, "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off," he did just that - with a circular saw. Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital wanted to re-attach the hand, but Passmore refused to let them do so, saying that he would go to hell if he agreed. The doctors contacted a judge, who advised them to follow Passmore's wish and not re-attach his hand. Later, Passmore sued both the hospital and doctors, claiming the hospital should have contacted his parents or sister to overrule the judge's decision and the hospital didn't tell the judge that he was incompetent.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/847049.cms
 

marslight

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
139
Likes
1
Points
34
#74
all rise!

Love the stories about judges loping their mules under their robes while hearing cases, but veteran lawyers agree about the evidence: it will never stand up in court.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#75
There'll be no bail jumping here!!

Published Friday
September 10, 2004

Suspect jumps bail, winds up in sticky situation

BY JOHN FERAK



WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

An Omaha man who jumped bail in Iowa was delivered to the Harrison County Jail - beaten and wrapped in duct tape - by the woman who originally posted his bail, authorities said.

The woman and another man now sit in the jail, accused in the beating, and the woman might not get her money back.

The 40-year-old Omaha woman forfeited ,000 after the man failed to appear at a court hearing on an attempted burglary charge, Sheriff Terry Baxter said Thursday. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

But authorities said someone else got to him first.

Baxter said that when the 38-year-old man came to the woman's Omaha house late Wednesday, he was beaten, blindfolded and driven about 35 miles to the jail in Logan, Iowa.

The man was found when a Logan police officer was called to the jail about 11 p.m. Wednesday on what sounded like a routine call: Someone had dropped off a fugitive.

The officer found the man.

"He was in the back seat, completely restrained in duct tape, all across his head and facial area," Baxter said. "He looked like he had been beat up pretty badly."

The man was treated at a hospital and returned to the jail.

Although authorities were pleased Thursday to have the burglary suspect in custody, they weren't giving out any pats on the back.

The woman and a 30-year-old Omaha man were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, serious assault, and aiding and abetting a fugitive.

Officers said there may be more suspects in the beating.

"In 26 years in law enforcement, I've never seen anything like this," Baxter said. "You might say it was vigilante justice, but this isn't the proper way to handle anything."

-----------------------------
Copyright ©2004 Omaha World-Herald®.
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1638&u_sid=1199086
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#76
Bizarre Claim Prompts Courthouse Search

LAST UPDATE: 9/14/2004 3:43:40 PM
Posted By: Jim Forsyth

A bizarre incident caused the John H. Wood Federal Courthouse and the adjacent federal training center to be evacuated and forced the closing of Durango Boulevard for almost an hour today.

"An individual arrived at the courthouse and said he had been receiving signals from the CIA and they were going to blow up one of the buildings," FBI agent Rene Salinas told 1200 WOAI's Rosalinda Montero.

The San Antonio Police bomb squad was called in to sweep the building and the area, and the all clear was sounded after about one hour. Officials say the man, who never claimed to actually have a bomb, vanished.

"This individual was observed getting onto a Via bus and departing the area," Salinas said.

Salinas said there were no unusual or dangerous items found in the courthouse during the sweep.
http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=95928DF5-6820-465E-A157-FB511BA2602C
 

SoundDust

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,679
Likes
17
Points
69
#77
Driver humiliated by Texas judge

A driver involved in a fatal accident in the US has been given a string of humiliating punishments by a judge.

Frank Dorsett was jailed for a year and must then drive a low-powered car and carry a photo of the wreck he helped to cause outside Dallas in June 2003.

Texas District Judge Keith Dean was not satisfied with a jury's decision that Dorsett should only face probation.

Dorsett was racing along a highway with another driver who hit and killed a 16-year-old girl in a third car.

The parents of Rachel Blasingame, the victim, praised the judge's unusual sentence.

"We feel the terms of his probation will make up for anything the jury had taken away from us," said her father, Guy Blasingame.

Besides carrying the photo and being banned from driving a car of more than 130 horsepower, Dorsett must also take daily medication that will make him sick if he drinks alcohol, and carry a bumper sticker asking other motorists to call the probation department if he drives recklessly.

Jason T Scott, the other driver involved in the chase, is awaiting trial.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#78
Dad enters plea while jury voting not guilty



By SHEILA BURKE
and HOLLY EDWARDS
Staff Writers

After hours of anguish waiting for a jury to come back with a favorable verdict, a former attorney accused of sexually exploiting his young son pleaded guilty yesterday to a lesser charge that will keep him out of prison.

Just after he entered his plea, the jury came down the hall. It had reached a decision: not guilty.

''You never know what the jury is going to do,'' said Nashville attorney Richard Dumas, who represented the man who he said had faced up to 24 years in prison for photographing his young son bending over with bare buttocks.

The father had said the ''mooning'' photo was innocently taken and had been misconstrued by his ex-wife to gain advantage in a custody dispute — something another court had determined. He said he mailed the photo to his ex-wife seeking an explanation of their son's behavior.

Prosecutors said it was child pornography and there was nothing innocent about it.

Jurors took hours sorting through the case before deciding to exonerate the father of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. However, that decision means nothing legally because the court had accepted the father's guilty plea to child neglect, a lesser charge for which he will have to serve two years of supervised probation.

There was no evidence presented at trial that the child had ever been sexually molested.

Jury forewoman Diane Repasky, 51, of Nashville said she was the last member of the jury to decide the man was not guilty and is relieved that he decided to plead.

''I really believe in my heart of hearts that justice was served,'' she said. ''Not guilty isn't the same as innocent, and I don't believe the guy acted in innocence.

''I'm not entirely convinced the photograph wasn't staged or posed, and he did exploit the child by sending the photograph.''

The jurors first had to decide whether the photograph constituted sexual activity and then determine whether the father had knowingly involved his son in the activity, she said.

''What finally convinced me to vote not guilty is that we weren't really convinced he did this to cause sexual activity to occur,'' Repasky said.

''We thought there might be other motives.

''Maybe he wanted to get even with his wife, or he wanted to find out where his son learned this behavior. Or it could have been father and son potty humor.''

The father decided to take the plea agreement because there was uncertainty as to what the jury would do after having deliberated part of Tuesday and most of yesterday, Dumas said.

The father declined to comment.

He is not a former Nashville attorney, as previously reported.

He had practiced law in Rhode Island but was disbarred in 1987 after pleading no contest to embezzlement charges, according to the Office of Disciplinary Council for the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

The Tennessean does not usually identify alleged victims of sex crimes, so names of the father and mother are being withheld to avoid identifying the child.

The mother said she was disappointed that 12 people were about to acquit her ex-husband but felt vindicated by the guilty plea.

''The whole point of this for me from the beginning was just to protect my son,'' the mother said.

The guilty plea allows her to go back to family court and not be presumed to be a mother ''who can be painted as someone who is being vindictive'' if there are other problems or similar photos taken in the future, she said.

The mother said she felt like the defense portrayed her as the vindictive ex-wife when all along she was trying to protect her son after her ex-husband sent the photo in the mail.

The 2001 photo in question portrayed the couple's son, then 5, standing on a bed with his underwear around his ankles and his head bent between his legs.

The father testified that he inadvertently took the photo when he was trying to take a picture of the boy doing something else.

He also told jurors that the boy suddenly mooned him and he was surprised and took the picture.

The prosecutor in the case, Davidson County Assistant District Attorney General Brian Holmgren, repeatedly questioned the father's version of events.

While the father was on the witness stand, Holmgren asked why the photo, taken with a cheap camera, showed no movement if the boy had, in fact, acted suddenly.

The prosecutor also questioned why the shot of the boy, showing his scrotum, appeared to be centered perfectly if, in fact, the picture was taken suddenly as the boy dropped his pants.

The boy's mother took the photo to the district attorney's office. It earlier had been investigated in Metro's Juvenile Court and Circuit Court during previous fights over money and child visitation.

Jurors were told there had been battles in family court with the couple, but they were not told that Circuit Court Judge Muriel Robinson last year found that the mother was trying to use the photo to deprive the boy of court-ordered visitation.

The mother said she simply wanted Robinson to order supervised visitation because the father wrote her a letter denying that anything was wrong with the photo.
http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/04/09/58212632.shtml?Element_ID=58212632
 

naitaka

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 21, 2001
Messages
432
Likes
17
Points
49
#79
(Those of a certain age will recall the theme song to the 'Mr. Ed' TV series, about a talking horse.)

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
But the Vehicle Code does not divorce
Its application from, perforce,
A steed as my colleagues said.
'It's not vague,' I'll say until I'm hoarse,
And whether a car, a truck or horse
This law applies with equal force,
And I'd reverse instead."


That is Justice J. Michael Eakin of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, dissenting to this majority opinion, that ruled PA's DUI law doesn't apply to people on horseback.

Obviously, he didn't agree.

Three men were arrested for drunken driving, but two were on horseback. The prosecutors argued that Pennsylvania's laws applied to them, but the majority of the PA Supreme Court disagreed, found that the law was vague, and reversed their conviction for drunken "driving."

Justice Eakin made his point, but lost this round.

What about the Amish buggies all around Pennsylvania? If the driver is drunk (admittedly a stretch), does that mean that because they're driving a horse-drawn carriage that the DUI laws don't apply?

This case isn't going to ride off quietly into the sunset.
http://www.mayitpleasethecourt.net/journal.asp?blogid=450
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#80
Man Wears 'Cocaine' T-Shirt in Court


Oct 21, 8:53 PM (ET)

HONG KONG (AP) - It was not the best legal defense strategy: A Hong Kong man appeared in court on drug charges wearing a T-shirt that said "cocaine" and drew a stern rebuke from the magistrate, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Ho Heng-chau pleaded guilty to possession of three ecstasy pills, but while his lawyer was arguing for a lenient sentence on Wednesday the magistrate noticed the T-shirt, according to the Apple Daily newspaper.

"Do you know you're appearing in court?" Magistrate Ernest Lin was quoted as saying. "What are you doing wearing a 'cocaine' T-shirt? You might as well carry a sign that says 'I'm a drug head.'"

Ho, 20, did not respond, Apple Daily said.

The magistrate fined Ho 0, then chided the young man again over the shirt.

"Next time a police officer sees you wearing a shirt like this he'll confront you," Lin was quoted as saying. "Would you wear a shirt that says 'marijuana?'"

Judiciary spokeswoman Jaime Or told The Associated Press she had no information on Ho's case.
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20041022/D85S5JUO0.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#81
Defendant says lawyer controlled by devil


Man is accused in policeman's death
By Greg Moran
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

October 20, 2004

The lawyer for a man accused of running down and killing a San Diego police officer in June 2003 told a judge Monday his client can't stand trial because he is mentally retarded, mentally ill and thinks the lawyer is controlled by the devil.

So began a trial for Kevin Gerard Williams, 37, a transient with both a lengthy criminal history and a record of mental health problems that began when he was in elementary school.

The nonjury trial before Superior Court Judge William Mudd is to determine if Williams is mentally competent to stand trial on murder and other criminal charges.

Mudd must determine if Williams knows the basics of the court proceedings and can assist in his own defense.

He is accused of running down Officer Terry Bennett during a pursuit through Encanto on June 26, 2003. Prosecutors said Williams stole a truck and was driving erratically before being pursued by Bennett, a 38-year-old veteran officer.

Deputy Public Defender Richard Gates said witnesses will testify about the numerous mental examinations Williams has had. Examiners have concluded he is schizophrenic and is mildly mentally retarded.

Williams believes Gates, his lawer, is controlled by the devil, and that, Gates said, makes it impossible for Williams to effectively assist in his own defense.

But prosecutor David Hendren said that many mental-health examiners say Williams often feigns his mental problems.

Hendren said Williams is not mentally retarded and has been found by some experts to be cagey enough to fake symptoms to gain better treatment while imprisoned.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20041020-9999-6m20kevin.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#82
Judge throws party, hands down life sentence

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 2129 GMT (0529 HKT)



DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- A judge threw a party complete with balloons, streamers and a cake to welcome a former fugitive back to her court -- and sentence him to life in prison.

"You just made my day when I heard you had finally come home," Criminal Courts Judge Faith Johnson told Billy Wayne Williams, who had been convicted in absentia of aggravated assault after he disappeared a year ago. "We're so excited to see you, we're throwing a party for you."

Williams, 53, who has a criminal record dating to the 1980s, was accused of choking his girlfriend until she passed out. He failed to appear for his trial last November and was captured Thursday at a gas station in suburban Arlington.

Before he was brought into the courtroom on Monday, the judge directed staff members as they placed balloons and streamers around the courtroom. A colorful cake was decorated with his name and one candle to signify the year he spent on the lam.

"It seems like everyone wants to have a party, and it's fun for you people, but not for me," Williams told reporters as he was led away in handcuffs.

Seana Willing, executive director of the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, said she found the incident troubling. "It's the kind of thing I look at and scratch my head and wonder, `What was she thinking?"' Willing said.

She questioned whether the party violated standards of decorum and impartiality.

"The whole purpose of it was to mock him, to make him feel bad. I guess she could have put him in the stockade, in the pillory, in front of the town square and let people mock him," Willing said.

Willing said the commission will investigate if a complaint is filed, or can decide on its own to look into the matter. Judges found guilty of misconduct face a range of discipline, from private admonition to removal from the bench.

She said Johnson had never been disciplined by the regulatory agency.

Calls to the judge's office were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Trent Touchstone, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal, said Johnson took a special interest in Williams' case after he jumped bail that she had set following the 2002 assault.

"Put yourself in her position," Touchstone said. "She's going through a trial with a jury, with defense attorneys, with prosecutors and rolling along and one day the defendant decides not to show up, and everything comes to a screeching halt."

-----------------
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/LAW/10/26/prison.sendoff.ap/index.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#83
Harrison ruling judge: 'I meant no disrespect'

Nov 26 2004

Mark Sage


A judge who issued a bizarre ruling in the style of a George Harrison song said today he meant no disrespect.

Judge Robert Gigante issued the lyrical ruling as part of a case involving a controversial doctor who once treated the Beatles legend.

New York cancer doctor Gil Lederman is being sued over claims that he gave too much radiation to a patient, leading to her death.

Dr Lederman is also remembered as the doctor who was once accused of forcing the former Beatle to autograph a guitar while on his death bed.

Judge Gigante was ruling on the doctor's request for a change of venue.

He agreed that the doctor could not get a fair trial on New York's Staten Island because of the publicity surrounding the Harrison case.

But in doing so, he wrote his ruling as a parody of the Harrison classic, Something.

He wrote: "Something in the folks he treats / Attracts bad press like no other doctor.

He's in our jurisdiction now / He gets Beatle autographs somehow."

The Judge started the ruling with the words, in brackets, "with apologies to the late George Harrison".


Instead of keeping the case on Staten Island, the judge moved it to the New York state capital, Albany.

He concluded: "And all I have to do is move this trial / Somewhere they don't know George Harrison.

"If this case I were to keep / Defendant would gently weep."

The ruling shocked the family of colon cancer victim, Suzanne Mikul, who died after being treated by Dr Lederman and his colleagues at Staten Island University Hospital.

The family of the 66-year-old woman from New Mexico claim the doctors gave her too much radiation in December 2001, causing her death two months later.

The family's lawyer, Steven North, called the ruling-in-song "offensive".

But the judge told the New York Daily News that the style of his ruling had "nothing to do with the substance of the case" against Dr Lederman.

"I would never be disrespectful of the plaintiff," he said.

Dr Lederman was the subject of wide publicity earlier this year over claims that he made Harrison, who was dying from cancer, autograph a guitar for his teenage son.

According to the legal papers in that case, stricken Harrison answered: "I don't even know how to spell my name any more."

He died two weeks after the incident in November 2001.

The legal dispute was finally settled after the doctor gave the guitar to Harrison's family.
Source
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,294
Likes
33
Points
69
#84
'Ouija board' appeal dismissed

A murderer whose original trial was ruled unsafe because jurors consulted a ouija board has lost an appeal against his conviction at a subsequent retrial.

Stephen Young, 46, was jailed for life at Hove Crown Court in March 1994 for shooting Harry Fuller and his wife Nicola at their Wadhurst home in 1993.

The insurance broker, from Pembury, Kent, won the right to a retrial but was convicted again in December 1994.

The Court of Appeal in London dismissed his appeal on Tuesday.

A retrial was ordered after it was revealed that four jurors at Young's original trial consulted a ouija board, which some people believe can be used to contact the dead.

The jurors used an upturned wine glass on the board during a drinking session the night before finding Young guilty.

The subsequent retrial took place at the Old Bailey in London.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 076927.stm
Published: 2004/12/07 19:11:55 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#85
Ouija board murder appeal dismised

'Ouija board' appeal dismissed

A murderer whose original trial was ruled unsafe because jurors consulted a ouija board has lost an appeal against his conviction at a subsequent retrial.

Stephen Young, 46, was jailed for life at Hove Crown Court in March 1994 for shooting Harry Fuller and his wife Nicola at their Wadhurst home in 1993.

The insurance broker, from Pembury, Kent, won the right to a retrial but was convicted again in December 1994.

The Court of Appeal in London dismissed his appeal on Tuesday.



A retrial was ordered after it was revealed that four jurors at Young's original trial consulted a ouija board, which some people believe can be used to contact the dead.



The jurors used an upturned wine glass on the board during a drinking session the night before finding Young guilty.

The subsequent retrial took place at the Old Bailey in London.



Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/4076927.stm
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#86
More on the penis pump judge:

Reluctant Witness Testifies After Threat Of Jail



OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The threat of jail convinced a reluctant witness to testify before a multicounty grand jury investigating a former judge accused of sexual impropriety.

Prosecutors want Angela McClanahan of Sapulpa to testify in a case involving former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson. Thompson resigned after being accused of using a sexual device during a trial.

The Oklahoman reports McClanahan initially refused to testify and a judge cited her for contempt and ordered her jailed.

Oklahoma County Sheriff's Captain Kelly Marshall says McClanahan changed her mind while en route to the county jail.

McClanahan was in tears as she returned before Judge Robert Simms Monday afternoon and agreed to testify Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators have said a search of Thompson's computer found explicit e-mails exchanged between Thompson and McClanahan.

McClanahan has said she handled Thompson's rental property business and denies any improper relationship with him. She says she believes a hacker created the e-mails.
Source
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#87
A nice idea:

Violators to pay tickets with toys




BOSTON (AP) — For a limited time, the city of Boston is accepting a new form of payment for parking tickets: Cabbage Patch Kids, Morphibians, even Mega Blocks.

To help boost donations to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign, city officials are allowing motorists to pay their fines with toys equal in value to the amount owed. Offenders must produce a sales receipt.

Marcia Harris showed up at City Hall on Wednesday with stuffed animals, a yo-yo and other toys to pay off her $36 violation for an expired meter.

She said she was initially irritated to get a ticket just “20 seconds” after her meter ran out. The meter maid handed her a piece of paper informing her of the offer.

“I thought the paper would say I could go protest at City Hall,” Harris said. “This was much better. I would spend two-for-one, I think this is such a great idea.”

Tickets issued Dec. 1, 2 or 3 are eligible for the program, excluding those issued for public safety reasons, such as parking in front of a handicap ramp, in a crosswalk or in a fire lane. The city is accepting toys until Friday.

“I think it should go longer — maybe any ticket in December,” said Theresa Labriola, who settled a $20 violation for an expired inspection sticker with two Groovy Girl dolls. “It just takes 10 minutes out of your day, and it makes you feel better about getting a ticket.”

Zoinks!, a toy store in Faneuil Hall, just across the street from City Hall, is offering a 15 percent discount to customers who show a Boston parking ticket.

Marine Sgt. Maj. Rudy Wieners said he knew of no other city in the country that offers a similar ticket exchange to benefit Toys for Tots. Boston has been running the program since 1999.

“These toys go to needy kids. And it’s bad enough to get a ticket, but at least you feel the money is going to something that means something rather than being thrown in a big pot up there in Boston,” he said.
Source
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,432
Likes
135
Points
129
#88
More on this story:

Ex-judge charged over penis-pump incident

Fri Jan 21, 2005 02:42 AM GMT


OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A former U.S. state judge, who allegedly used a sex toy called a penis pump in court, has been charged with three felony counts of indecent exposure by Oklahoma authorities.

Former Judge Donald Thompson, 58, pleaded not guilty in the Creek County District Court in the northeastern Oklahoma town of Sapulpa. If convicted, Thompson could face up to 10 years in prison for each count.

At the courthouse on Thursday, Thompson was taken to a backroom where he provided a DNA sample to authorities.

Last year, a court reporter who worked for Thompson was fired after she said she saw the judge masturbate and use the penis pump during hearings. Other witnesses claimed they saw Thompson use the pump in court.

Thompson stepped down in August after the allegations came to light and the state attorney general acted to remove him from the bench.

Officials searched Thompson's courtroom and chambers, and performed tests on carpet, a chair, a trash can and the judge's robe.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 22.

--------------------
© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Source
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,294
Likes
33
Points
69
#89
Living room window not public, Supreme Court rules

By KIRK MAKIN

A man's home is his castle – even if he accidentally turns it into a neighbourhood peep show.

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling Thursday overturned a Nanaimo, B.C., man's 2000 indecency conviction for masturbating by his living room window.

The accused – Daryl Milland Clark – was reported to police after a neighbouring couple watched him for 10-to-15 minutes through a chink in their blinds before calling police.

”This is an important case from the perspective of defining a public place,” Gil McKinnon, Mr. Clark's lawyer, said in an interview.

Writing for a 9-0 majority today, Mr. Justice Morris Fish said the indecency law was intended to protect the public from offensive acts performed in a public place or in a private place if they are intended to offend others.

It cannot, however, be extended to those who engage in acts committed in a private place without any intention of being observed.

”I do not believe it contemplates the ability of those who are neither entitled, nor invited, to enter a place to see or hear from the outside – through uncovered windows or open doors – what is transpiring inside,” Judge Fish wrote.

Unfortunately, exoneration came too late for the married, retired defendant. Mr. Clark has already served a four-month jail sentence and seen his name etched forever in jurisprudence.

”I spoke to him this morning, and he is happy his position was accepted by the Supreme Court,” Mr. McKinnon said. ”Overall, he is very pleased with the outcome and would like to now just put this whole incident behind him.”

The court noted in its ruling that the complainants – who said they were worried for the welfare of their two daughters – had used binoculars and a telescope to observe Mr. Clark from their darkened bedroom.

After police arrived and shone a flashlight into Mr. Clark's living room, he quickly switched off the lights and left the room.

Mr. Clark's trial judge concluded that there was nothing to suggest that the defendant was aware he was being watched. In fact, his behaviour was to the contrary.

Nonetheless, the judge convicted him of committing an indecent act ”in a public place, in the presence of one or more persons.”

In doing so, Judge Fish said, the trial judge mistakenly expanded the definition of a public place to include the place where the witnesses of the act were physically situated.
Globe and Mail
 

Renigirl

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
217
Likes
2
Points
49
#90
I thought I'd read an initial report on this judge around here somewhere. At any rate, this follow-up gives enough background into what the issue of concern is.

Judge, on witness stand, describes aftermath of Herald articles
By Associated Press
Tuesday, February 1, 2005


BOSTON - The judge suing the Boston Herald for libel said Tuesday that he got piles of hate mail, including death threats that prompted him to buy a gun, after the paper ran articles depicting him as lenient on criminals.

Judge Ernest B. Murphy sued the Herald and four of its reporters after the newspaper published the series of stories including a quote attributed to Murphy -- "Tell her to get over it" -- which he allegedly told lawyers to tell a 14-year-old statutory rape victim in Bristol County.

Murphy, 61, insists he never said it. The newspaper has stood by its reporting.

Testifying for a second day Tuesday, he said he got mail from as far away as London and Los Angeles after Herald reporter David Wedge appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" to discuss the stories.

At least three death threats were included, including one featuring the judge's picture with a bullseye on his forehead and the words "you're dead." Another was stuffed with tissues smeared with feces.

Murphy said he was so traumatized that he changed the locks and installed more lighting at his home, and bought a gun.

"I was afraid that someone was going to shoot me through that window," he said.

The Herald's attorneys spent about 30 minutes cross-examining Murphy after he testified on his own behalf.

Because he is a public figure, Murphy's attorney must prove the Herald maliciously reported material its reporters knew was false - a higher standard than the requirement a nonpublic figure must meet to win a libel case.
Web version here.
 
Top