Archive for the ‘criminal justice system’ Tag

School board disgrace – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor   Leave a comment

School board disgrace – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor.

A tutor in the Fairbanks School District has been accused of sexual molestation of a high school student. There were accusations that the Schools Superintendent did not act quickly enough to remove this man from employment, so he was fired. Now this … which I hadn’t heard … about removing his name from diplomas.

I don’t know if the tutor molested this teenager. I didn’t know for certain that another teacher 25 years ago did not molest the teenager who claimed it either. That teacher (whose name I won’t use because he’s had plenty of grief) insisted he didn’t and the laws were different back then. He didn’t go to jail, but he did lose his job. He’s gone on to other fields and there never been any mention of sexually immoral behavior, with or without teenage boys.

Which is my way of saying that the tutor should be treated as innocent until PROVEN guilty, and I am ashamed of our community and our nation for treating him otherwise. It’s time to stop the insanity of just assuming that an accusation is proof of a crime. Until a jury decides the facts of the case, he is NOT GUILTY of sexual molestation of a student.

Pete Lewis, the superintendent, is challenging his dismissal in court and we’ll see where that goes. In the same way, this should be a jury decision, not left up to unelected judges or bureaucrats and if the school board is found to have been out of line, we the people should consider a recall election.

Yes, that is a drastic move. These sorts of witch hunts are highly destructive of our society and they do not prevent sexual molestation. We need a more reasoned response that returns to the concepts of liberty represented in our Constitution. We the people can bring us back to that place, if we will start demanding our elected representatives make decisions based on those principles or be removed from office by their employers — us.

Police should have acted on confession – sort of   Leave a comment

Police should have acted on confession – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor.

Mr. Vent Palmer is no doubt a relative of Eugene Vent, one of the Fairbanks Four. I agree with him that the police should have looked into the “confession” a bit quicker than they did, but let’s think about this a moment.

First, Mr. Holmes is a black man, so that word “racism” is ridiculous. The Fairbanks Four are Native. If the confessor had been white, do we think the police would have jumped more quickly to the bait?

Second, the Fairbanks Four were convicted in three different trials by three different juries. Do you really expect us to believe that out of 36 individual jurors hearing three sets of evidence that not one of them ever said “Hey, this is a crap case” and voted to hang the jury?

Third, and I’ve said this before — Mr. Holmes is serving a double life sentence already. He’s got nothing to lose by confessing to this. What does he have to gain? There’s big money out there for anyone who can get the Four freed. Mr. Holmes himself won’t benefit, but I understand he’s a baby daddy and he’s got a mom and ….

That’s why the police shrugged.

-Prosecutor Nullification vs. Jury Nullification   Leave a comment

The next time someone speaks up against jury nullification, ask their position on the FAR MORE COMMON prosecutor nullification.

via -Prosecutor Nullification vs. Jury Nullification.

The prosecutor is employed by the state. In Alaska, the judge is an appointed official subject to decadal voter retention — employed by the state. In many cases, the attorney is a public defender — employed by the state. In a trial, the only people who are not taking a paycheck from the same outfit that is prosecuted the defendant is the jury.

But the fact that most cases go to sentencing without ever being heard by a jury should concern us even more than that. An entire system conspires against the accused. We may think the public wants these laws that make certain activities criminal because our elected representatives enact the legislation, but that is not necessarily the case. If they knew that some of these laws would put their kids in jail for simple things like — for example — deciding to sleep in their car rather than drive home drunk — would they be that in favor of the law? But there’s no way to say it’s a bad law. Once it’s been enacted, good luck changing it, even if you know about it — until you get to the jury room and then you hold the power to nullify the law … assuming the case ever got to you.

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