Former Texas District Attorney Ken Anderson Gets 10 Jail Sentence For Prosecutorial Misconduct for Withholding Evidence that Sent Michael Morton to Prison for 25 Years for Murdering his Wife
Hmm, a sentence for 10 days vs. 25 years or 9125 days … doesn’t quite seem like justice, does it?
The NY Times has an interesting editorial regarding prosecutor misconduct. Now although we have always been a victim’s rights advocate and pretty much side against defense attorneys, their sleazy tactics, and their even worse clients, it has to be said that to maintain justice and our legal system prosecutors need to be help to a high standard. Thus we are presented with the situation where former Williamson County, TX District Attorney Ken Anderson was found guilty of prosecutor misconduct. Anderson “intentionally” failed to turn over evidence, even after the judge had ordered so, of a transcript of a phone conversation revealing that the Mortons’ 3 year old son had described his mother’s killer as a “monster” who was not his father. Michael Morton was found guilty of beating his wife to death and sentenced to life in prison. However, in 2010 DNA testing confirmed that Morton was not the killer, but not after he spent almost 25 years in prison. However, for his act of “prosecutorial misconduct” that sent a man to prison for nearly 25 years, Anderson got 10 days in jail. HUH? I guess the public can take solace in the fact that he can never practice law again, but 10 days, really?
For what may be the first time on record, a former prosecutor in Texas is going to jail for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence in a murder trial. The 10-day jail sentence for the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, is insultingly short — the victim of his misconduct, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years in prison. But because prosecutors are so rarely held accountable for their misconduct, the sentence is remarkable nonetheless.
In 1987, Mr. Morton was convicted of beating to death his wife, Christine, and sentenced to life in prison. He maintained his innocence, and in 2010 DNA testing confirmed that he was not the killer.
Even before a Texas court vacated Mr. Morton’s conviction, his lawyers alleged that Mr. Anderson, the prosecutor in his case, had deliberately withheld evidence that would have exonerated him. During Mr. Morton’s trial, the judge had ordered Mr. Anderson to turn over any such evidence and received only a few documents in return. In fact, Mr. Anderson possessed many documents he did not turn over, including a transcript of a phone conversation revealing that the Mortons’ 3-year-old son had described his mother’s killer as a “monster” who was not his father.
Anderson resigned his office of district judge in September, a job he’d held since leaving his post as Williamson County’s top prosecutor in 2002. Faced with a civil lawsuit and criminal charges stemming from the Morton case, he accepted a deal to satisfy both issues Friday.
As part of the deal signed off on by District Judge Kelly Moore, Anderson pleaded no contest to a 1987 criminal contempt of court charge for lying about evidence that could have cleared Morton. He’s ordered to serve 10 days in jail, pay a $500 fine and complete 500 hours of community service over the next five year.
Anderson has also volunteered to resign from the state bar and give up his ability to practice law. As a result of the deal, he will not be charged with any criminal offense.
As we said above, it is important for prosecutors to be held to a high standard, our legal justice system counts on it. Unfortunately prosecutorial misconduct occurs far too often as some DA’s lose sight of legal ethics to a must win at all cost. Just recently during the George Zimmerman murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin, we saw that the defense, Mark O’Mare and Don West, were accusing the prosecution of withholding evidence.
53 Year Old Nudist in Palm Beach County, FL Arrested … Claims Pics of 3 Daughters not Child Porn, But Instead “Regular Family Portraits of a Naturist Family”
Child Porn or Nudist pics, you make the call …
53 year old Brian Martens has been arrested and charged one count of producing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography after having taken “pornographic” pictures of his 3 young daughters and sharing them with other men. It appears that Martens is proving a different and pathetic kind of defense stating that the pics were not child porn, but instead the pictures “are regular family portraits of a naturist family.” Hmm, Brian Martens may also have land to sell you in the Everglades … Martens is a former resident of the Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee Groves, FL. However as reported at ABC News, federal magistrate Judge Bill Matthewman said in court on Wednesday that the images of the girls, aged 8 to 12, were suggestive enough that Martens should stand trial. Judge Bill Matthewman said that many of the photos the court has reviewed are lascivious and they are, in the court’s opinion, sexually explicit.” If convicted Martens faces a maximum sentence of 30 years for producing child pornography and an additional 20 years if convicted of receiving child porn.
A South Florida nudist, arrested on charges that he helped take pornographic photographs of his three young daughters and shared them with other men, is putting on an unusual defense.
Brian Martens, 53, who was living at a nudist colony in Palm Beach County, is arguing that there is nothing pornographic about the pictures and that they are regular family portraits of a naturist family.
Federal prosecutors say they believe several of the photographs are clearly inappropriate and the final judgment call should lie with a trial jury. A grand jury has already voted there was enough evidence to indict Martens on one count of producing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography.
The three girls have been taken away from Martens by the Florida Department of Children & Families following Vanaman’s arrest. The children are currently in foster care; however, Martens’ attorney said the girls will be returned to their mother in Illinois, who knew about and supported their decision to live in a nudist community. Great, sounds like they are headed to another irresponsible parent.
Professional photographer, Leslie Grey Vanaman, who owned A Shade of Grey Photography was already tried and convicted of child porn and is currently serving a 60 year sentence.
Vanaman is serving 60 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography — including the photographs of Martens’ daughters and other children, prosecutors said. Vanaman already had a 2004 state conviction in New Jersey of possessing child pornography downloaded from the Internet, court records show.
For what it is worth, Marten’s defense attorney James Eisenberg, never gave his permission for the explicit pic of a close-up shot of one of the girl’s genital area to be shot. Reports say that the father cried when he was shown the pictures; however, upon review Marten’s computer shows a much, much different story.
Marten’s attorney James Eisenberg agreed that one of the photographs is child pornography — one the judge described as a close-up shot of one of the girl’s genital area — but said his client did not know the photograph was taken and never gave his permission for it to be shot. Martens hired a professional family photographer to take family portraits, Eisenberg said.
“He cried as he viewed the images,” Galler said.
Martens told the agents he only gave permission for Vanaman to take naturist photos.
But further analysis of Vanaman’s computer revealed a very different story, Galler told the judge. Martens had signed releases and received on several occasions more than 50 photographs that contained child pornography of the three girls taken between 2010 and 2012, Galler said.
Agents also found emails between Martens, Vanaman and a third man in which they discussed Vanaman’s “craft” and “the sensuality and sexuality” of the images.
In 1999 Grand Jury Sought to Indict JonBenet Ramsey’s Parents, Patricia Paugh Ramsey & John Ramsey on Charges of Child Abuse Resulting in Death & Accessories to a Crime
After 17 years, Colorado courts have released the previously sealed court documents of the grand jury indictments against the parents of murdered 6 year old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, Patricia Paugh Ramsey and John Ramsey. The Colorado grand jury looked to bring identical charges against both Patsy and John Ramsey of child abuse resulting in death and accessories to a crime. However, the indictments were never pursued by the prosecutor stating there was insufficient evidence.
Both John and Patricia Ramsey charged with felonious child abuse resulting in death
Both John and Patricia Ramsey charged by grand jury with felonious accessory to a crime
Colorado court ordered the release of the previously sealed court documents, putting new attention on the unsolved 1996 death of JonBenet Ramsey, a girl who won child beauty pageants and whose murder shocked the nation. The pages were sealed in 1999, after the grand jury in the case dispersed without charges being filed.
The court documents show how the grand jury sought to charge each parent with two identical counts.
The grand jury had alleged that Patricia Paugh Ramsey, who died from ovarian cancer in 2006, and husband John Bennett Ramsey “did … permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health which resulted in the death of JonBenet Ramsey.”
The grand jury also had alleged that each parent “did … render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death.”
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said Friday that the murder case is now considered “open,” but it’s a cold case that’s not being actively investigated.
UPDATE I: Grand jury prepared child abuse indictment against JonBenet Ramsey’s parents, newly released documents show.
Fourteen years later, a local newspaper reporter who learned through sources that the grand jury had voted on an indictment convinced a judge to unseal part of it.
There were four pages released, two John Ramsey and two for Patricia, who died of cancer in 2006. Both were indicted on two counts: child abuse resulting in death and accessory to a crime.
But the documents were short on details, raising perhaps more questions than they answered.
Although the Boulder DA had earmarked 18 indictment pages for possible release, the judge only put out those that were signed by the grand jury foreperson.
It’s unclear if the other pages contained more details about the Ramseys’ actions or named someone as the killer.
17 Years Later after the Death of 6 Year Old JonBenet Ramsey, Murder Indictment to be Unsealed Over Family’s Objection
The unsolved death of 6 year old JonBenet Ramseyback in the news …
17 years later after the death of 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey, the murder indictment is to be unsealed. The murder indictment of her parents, John and Patricia Ramsey Ramsey, was kept secret all these years and never prosecuted. The Ramsey family has objected to the release of the indictment; however, Senior District Judge J. Robert Lowenbach said he was “sympathetic” to the Ramsey family’s position but was only allowed under law to release the indictment. JonBenet Ramsey was found dead beaten and strangled in the basement of her parent’s Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996. Patricia Paugh Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006.
Seventeen years after the nation was riveted by the unsolved murder of 6-year-old beauty-pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey, an indictment of her parents — which was kept secret and never prosecuted — will be released Friday.
It’s unclear what light the 18 pages of grand jury documents will shed on the mystery that spawned books, TV movies and countless theories about who killed the little girl found dead in the basement of her Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996.
Scott Robinson, a prominent Denver defense lawyer who has followed the case for years, said the court papers probably include a statement of supporting facts that would “give us a sense of of what the grand jury was thinking when they saw the evidence available at that time.”
It will be interesting to see what is in these court documents, more to come …
Missing 24 Year Old Danvers High School Math Teacher Math Colleen Ritzer Murdered by 14 Year old Student Philip D. Chism at Danvers High School in Massachusetts (Suspect Arrested, Held Without Bail)
24 year old Colleen Ritzer and 14 year old Philip Chism were both separately reported missing and then the unthinkable …
Twenty four year old Colleen Ritzer, a math teacher at Danvers High School in Danvers, MA who had been reported missing on Tuesday, October 22 when she did not return home from school was found dead in the woods behind the school this morning. 14 year old student Philip D. Chism was arrested for murder and is being held without bail. As reported at NBC News, the criminal complaint states authorities “learned from an interview of the juvenile suspect and video surveillance recovered at the school” that the suspect assaulted and killed Ritzer and then dumped her body. According to reports there are over 120 cameras at the school. Philip Chism will be tried as an adult.
24 year old Colleen Ritzer, RIP
Murder suspect – 14 year old Philip Daniel Chism
24-year-old Danvers High School teacher has been found dead, and a 14-year-old boy is being held without bail on a charge of murdering her.
Math teacher Colleen Ritzer’s body was found in the woods behind the school, said Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Philip D. Chism was ordered held without bail at his arraignment this afternoon in Salem District Court. Judge Matthew Nestor approved funds for a mental competency evaluation. Chism is to be tried as an adult; a probable cause hearing was slated for Nov. 22.
Chism had been reported missing Tuesday after he did not return home from school. Ritzer was reported missing at about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when she did not return home and did not answer her cellphone.
Police searched the school and found blood in a second-floor bathroom. Ritzer’s body was found later behind the school, Blodgett said in a news conference this morning at the high school.
Jonathan Blodgett, the district attorney for Essex, MA discusses the ongoing homicide investigation into the murder of a teacher at Danvers High School.
UPDATE I: Philip D. Chism arraigned in court today and held without bail (VIDEO).
Obamacare (Healthcare.gov) Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software from British Company SpryMedia
What a joke, You just can’t make this stuff up …
The Weekly Standard is reporting that the Obamacare webite, Healthcare.gov, violates licensing agreement for copyrighted software and uses a copyrighted web script for a data function for the site. UNREAL. As if the roll out of Obamacare has not been enough of an epic failure, now this. They had over 3 years and hundreds of millions of dollars and this is what was produced. Way to go Barack. I am pretty sure that violating copyrighted software and scripts is not considered a glitch. It is reported that SpryMedia said it was “extremely disappointed” to see the code used without the copyright notice, and that they’ll be looking into the issue with HHS.
Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s Obamacare website, has been under heavy criticism from friend and foe alike during its first two weeks of open enrollment. Repeated errors and delays have prevented many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers have roundly panned the structure and coding of the site as amateurish and sloppy. The latest indication of the haphazard way in which Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.
The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data. DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement. A note at the bottom of the DataTables.net website says: “DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013.” The company explains the license for using the software on that website [emphasis added]:
The copyright is in the opening lines of the software, an example of which can be found on SpryMedia’s website, but TWS says it’s not anywhere in Healthcare.gov’s code:
Daily Commentary – Wednesday, October 16, 2013 – Ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Pleads Guilty to One Charge of False Imprisonment & Two Counts of Battery
- Disgraced Bob Filner pleaded guilty to charges involving 3 women; one charge of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery. “Filthy” Filner finally resigned effective August 30, 2013, even though back in July he did not believe he was guilty of any sexual harassment of woman. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Listen to the podcast below.
Under the plea agreement, Filner will not serve any time behind bars but will spend three months in home confinement, give up most of his mayoral pension and promise never to run for office again.
Filner will also undergo treatment as “directed by a mental health professional” during his three years of probation.
2 Year Old Son of Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson Dies from Injuries Suffered after Being Abused (Update: Suspect Joseph Robert Patterson Arrested, Charged with Aggravated Battery & Assault of an Infant
Two year old son of Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson died Friday night from injuries suffered from child abuse at a Sioux City, South Dakota hospital. Police have arrested 27 year old Joseph Robert Patterson and he has been charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. Patterson is the 2 year old’s mother’s boyfriend, who has a history of violence against women and children. Also, now that the 2 year old boy has died from his injuries as a result from child abuse injuries, Patterson will most likely see murder charges added as well. Joseph Robert Patterson made his first court appearance Friday morning in Canton, where a judge set bond at $750,000 cash only.
Police and a prosecutor on Friday refused to identify the victim or his parents, except on court documents that give the boy’s birth date and the initials T.R.R. But Peterson’s father, Nelson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the child is one of Peterson’s children
A 2-year-old boy who was reportedly the son of Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson died Friday of injuries he suffered after allegedly being abused, police said.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police said Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. If convicted on the charges, both felonies, Patterson could face up to 40 years in prison and an $80,000 fine.
Prosecutors are considering filing additional charges against Patterson in light of the boy’s death, according to police.
Soon after the news came out of the boy’s death, Adrian Peterson took to Twitter to express his gratitude to his family, fans and the “fraternity of brothers” in the NFL for their support.
“God Bless everyone and thank u so much,” he wrote.
Court records show Patterson has a history of domestic violence.
He was indicted in June 2012 on several counts of simple assault involving an ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old son, and later was charged for violating a no-contact order. He was sentenced to one year in jail for both cases but that time was suspended on the condition he attend domestic violence counseling.
As If the Death of 17 Year Old Kendrick Johnson Was Not Bad Enough … Organs Missing, Body Stuffed With Newspaper
The horrors continue for the parents of deceased 17 Year Old Kendrick Johnson. From CNN comes the following heinous story of what occurred during Kendrick Johnson’s autopsy following his suspicious death where when a second autopsy was performed it was discovered that the boy’s brain, heart, lungs, liver and other organs were missing. Instead the body was stuffed with newspaper. GOOD GRIEF!!!
The death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was awful enough for his parents. Then came the doubts about investigators’ conclusion that it was an accident.
But the discovery that their son’s body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial added a horrific new dimension to their anguish and further fueled their skepticism of the official findings.
“We have been let down again,” his father, Kenneth Johnson, told CNN. “When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick.”
Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January. State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker.
His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, never have bought that explanation. They won a court order to have their son’s body exhumed and a second autopsy performed in June.
During an autopsy, internal organs are removed and examined before being returned for burial. But when Dr. Bill Anderson, the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy, opened up the teen’s remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.
This might be the greatest irony of all times …
Illegal immigrants who have broke the laws of the United States by entering the country illegally are now allowed to practice law in California. Thanks to a bill signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, individuals who have broke the law and should not even legally be allowed to be in the United States are now allowed to practice the very laws in said country. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Illegal immigrants can be licensed to practice law in California under one of eight bills expanding immigrant rights that were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday.
The California Supreme Court, which finalizes requests of applicants to be licensed as a lawyer in California, is now authorized to approve qualified applicants regardless of their immigration status.
Other new laws prohibit law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants based on federal government instructions except in cases of serious crimes or convictions, and make it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers on the basis of their citizenship.
“While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said in a statement. “I’m not waiting.”