December 2016 Archives
A defendant may not be punished more than once for a single physical act that violates multiple provisions of the Penal Code. The charging document in this case identified the same forceful taking of a vehicle as the physical act completing the actus reus for both robbery and carjacking. Where the same physical act accomplishes the actus reus requirement for more than one crime, that single act cannot give rise to multiple punishment. Because that is precisely what happened here, Corpening's one-year robbery sentence must be stayed.
Over 800,000 Illegals Get CA Driver's LIcenses: Tatiana Sanchez of the San Jose Mercury News reports that in the two years since Governor Jerry Brown signed a law (AB 60) allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses 806,000 have been issued. Supporters of this law argue that people in the country illegally have learned to drive more safely while obtaining licenses and that they can now drive without fearing the police. Some fear that under the incoming Trump Administration, the information made available to law enforcement through the licensing process may be used to deport illegals. This is unlikely because, according to the California DMV, the information law enforcement agencies can obtain -- such as name, gender/description, address, date of birth and driver license number -- doesn't indicate a person's immigration status or whether they received licenses under AB60.
Maryland Cop Shot: Fox News reports that a Maryland sheriff's deputy was severely wounded in a shootout this morning. Deputy Warren Hogan had transported a female from headquarters to her home to pick up clothing after a domestic violence incident, when a yet unidentified man fired on him with a shotgun. The injured deputy returned fire, fatally wounding the shooter. The deputy was life-flighted to a hospital in critical condition.
Chicago Gun-Deaths Rival Iraq War: In the past few years, Chicago Illinois has gained considerable notoriety as a hub of gun violence despite it highly regulated gun-control policies. Awr Hawkins of Breitbart News reports just under 4,230 Americans lost their lives in the Iraq War during George W. Bush's time in office. Nearly that many-3,903- have died in Chicago alone since Barack Obama took office in 2009. Violent crime seems to be a persistent problem for the city.
With less than a month remaining in office, President Obama is racing to free 19 more detainees from the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. If history is any guide, this means that dangerous jihadists will be released to countries ill-equipped to handle them.The correct path to emptying Gitmo seems rather obvious. The lesser detainees have already been released or transferred. The major ones, for the most part, have been in custody long enough as to no longer have value for interrogation for intelligence purposes. What do we do with them, if we don't want to keep them in Gitmo or transfer them to foreign governments?
While many wondered whether Mr. Obama would fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Gitmo by breaking a bipartisan law barring him from bringing detainees to the U.S., the House Foreign Affairs Committee has remained focused on the president's push to empty out the prison through reckless transfers to other countries.
They should not be on American soil; they should be in it. Why is KSM still alive?
The military tribunals were set up to be swift. Unlike the independent Article III judiciary, they are under the command of the commander-in-chief. So order them to get it done.
Violence Breaks Out at Shopping Malls: J.J. Gallagher, Joshua Hoyos & Michael Edison Hayden of ABC News report that fights broke out Monday at shopping malls in at least nine states. Police suspect that social media may have contributed in fights at malls in Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee which resulted in police responses, arrests, and in some cases evacuation of malls.
DC Woman's Body Found: A popular actress and DC area yoga instructor has been found and homicide is suspected. Peter Hermann of the Washington Post reports that Tricia McCauley, 46, went missing on Christmas Day as she was driving to a friend's home for a holiday dinner. Police later spotted McCauley's car driven by someone else at several locations in the DC area and eventually tracked it to a CVS store. An unidentified suspect was arrested in the store and later, the woman's body was found in her car. Police reported that the body had blunt-force trama.
The [Center's] report also recommends a reduction in sentences for major crimes that account for a majority of the prison population -- aggravated assault, murder, nonviolent weapons offenses, robbery, serious burglary and serious drug trafficking. (Under such a system, the typical inmate convicted of, say, robbery would serve 3.1 years, as opposed to 4.2.) If these reforms were retroactively applied, the authors estimate, more than 200,000 people serving time for these crimes would be eligible for release.
Under a saner system, the report says, nearly 40 percent of the country's inmate population could be released from prison without jeopardizing public safety.
CNN is making a desperate pitch to further inflame the ideological war on cops while it still has a sympathetic ear in the White House. The CNN website is promoting a laughably incomplete study of police use of fatal force under the headline "Black men nearly 3 times as likely to die from police use of force, study says." Utterly ignored in the study and in CNN's write-up is any mention of violent-crime rates, which vary enormously by race and which predict officer use of force. Absent such a crime benchmark, analysis of police actions using population data alone, as this latest study has done, is worse than useless; wielded as a bludgeon in the current anti-cop crusade, it is dangerously irresponsible.
When the historic black church in Greenville, Miss., first burned last month, many, including the city mayor, speculated that the intentionally lit fire was a hate crime.
It was a particularly tense time in America, just a week before the bitterly divisive 2016 presidential election came to a close. Then-candidate and now President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and banning Muslims from the United States -- or, at the very least, aggressively vetting Muslims seeking entry to the country. A prominent newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan offered a de facto endorsement of Trump and he secured the support of the KKK's former grand wizard, David Duke."Secured" is an exceptionally poor choice of words there. It implies that Trump sought this endorsement when the truth is nothing of the sort. But let's go on.
Among African Americans, Trump polled with low support.Turns out it wasn't.
All this led church and community leaders to believe that, when they found the words "Vote Trump" spray-painted on the outside of the charred, 111-year-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, the fire was a political act.
It should surprise nobody that a Monday "news" story on CNN bolstered the racist police narrative, citing a report from The American Journal of Public Health which found that nearly three times as many black males died during encounters with police than males of other races. The "disturbing data" were raw numbers comparing deaths by race during "legal interventions." These numbers are correct, but without consideration of the differences in violent crimes among racial groups, no legitimate conclusion about racial bias can be made.
Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald has this piece in the National Review providing a litany of reasons why the promotion of the racist police lie by CNN and others is not only evidence of stupidity, but also the worse kind of racism. News stories fueling racial hated against police preserves the urban criminal war zones where six times as many blacks, including women and children, are murdered than the members of other races and almost all of the murderers are other blacks. This false narrative also provides black criminals with a justification for assassinating cops.
President Barack Obama made one of the final moves of his presidency appointing Debo Adegbile, the lawyer for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to a six-year term on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In 2014, President Obama's attempt to appoint Adegbile to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division was rejected by the United States Senate, with eight Democratic Senators among those opposing his confirmation.
The antipathy of President Obama towards law enforcement has been reflected from his first days in office all the way through this appointment. From his earliest days in office, when he accused a Cambridge police officer who was simply doing his job of "acting stupidly" and continuing with quick condemnations of use of force immediately after incidents occurred, despite lacking knowledge of the underlying facts, President Obama has by his words and actions made clear his disrespect for law enforcement. Now President Obama has taken his final parting shot at law enforcement through his appointment of Debo Adegbile, a man, found unfit by the United States Senate to head the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, in large part because of his representation of a convicted cop killer.
Sac Sheriff Expedites Concealed Carry Permits: Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, has recently issued a statement regarding his intention to institute a new process which will reduce the amount of time and effort that is required for a citizen to attain a concealed carry permit. 350 in 2010. With Jones's proposed changes, we are sure to see the number of armed citizens in Sacramento County rise in the coming years.
The next day, a story buried in the same paper reported that drug overdose deaths have increased by 33% over the last five years, according to the CDC. A more thorough story on this issue was written by Michael Casey of CNS news. A 2015 report by the Urban Institute found that 99% of drug offenders in federal prison were convicted of trafficking. Anyone familiar with criminal trials understands that virtually all of the dealers got a plea bargain.
In California, as a result of Proposition 47, which converted felony drug possession to a misdemeanor, drug arrests are down dramatically. Under the state's Realignment law, most drug dealers do not go to prison anymore and users, if police even bother to arrest them, are cited and punished with a few hours in a local jail as reported in the Desert Sun.
There has been much debate on this blog regarding whether drug dealers should be considered violent criminals. Assessing the hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed by the illegal drugs they sell, I would say yes. Mr. Rhee and others who think like him would likely disagree, as I am sure that they would be quick to deny any connection between the mass release of federal and state drug dealers and the increase in overdose deaths.
But some states have made it "illegal" for you to vote any other way than for Trump. If you don't vote for him, your state will fine you $1,000. So here's my offer to you: I obviously can't and won't give you money to vote tomorrow, but if you do vote your conscience and you are punished for it, I will personally step up pay your fine which is my legal right to do.Stepping up and paying someone's fine might be a legal right, but is promising to do so in order to influence that person's vote a legal right? I think it's a legal wrong.
Obama Refuses to Deport Criminal Illegal Immigrants: Recent reports reveal some shocking numbers regarding the frequency with which criminals who are in this country illegally are flying under the radar under Obama's immigration policy. Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart News reports that recent reports reveal that an estimated 820,000 illegal immigrants in this country are currently avoiding deportation under the policies of the Obama administration regardless of their criminal history. Many of these immigrants have been convicted of serious crimes such as murder, sexual assault, and various drug offenses.
How Trump can end the war on cops: Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald has this piece in the Wall Street Journal outlining how incoming President Donald Trump can turn around the ongoing assault on police officers inspired by the fake news narrative that white officers are indiscriminately shooting blacks. First on the to do list is to put an end to the promotion of this thoroughly disproved fiction by the White House and the Department of Justice. Not a WSJ subscriber? Goggle "Trump can end the war on cops, Heather MacDonald" and you should get a working link.
Chances are that at some
point over the last few weeks you have heard talk of fake news and
how it was used as a tool for the Republican Party this election
cycle. Claims of Russian hackers and illegitimate elections fill
headlines across the nation, but this raises the question, why is
it that claims of fake news emerge only now when the information
no longer serves the liberal narrative?
What about when the "hands up don't shoot" headline synonymous
with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson inspired hundreds
of thousands of people to take up the mantle of the Black Lives
Matter movement, touting the misguided belief that African
American citizens were under constant threat of murder and abuse
at the hands of the police? When the Grand Jury decided that the shooting was a lawful one, and that based on the
evidence in the case, the story that Michael Brown was shot with
his hands in the air in surrender was a falsehood, the left was
silent. The entirety of the BLM movement which has incited fear
and hate that has often erupted into violence, was based on this
bit of fiction and yet we hear no dissenting opinions from the
Ohio Execution Moratorium Coming to a Close: Next month, at the top of 2017, Ohio plans to resume executions of inmates that have been siting on death row in the state. Mariel Padilla at Patch reports that the beginning of 2017 will mark the end of Ohio's three-year moratorium on the death penalty initiated after a botched execution in January of 2014. Twenty-six condemned murderers have received execution dates through to the year 2019.
Ohio Court Upholds Another Death Sentence: Gary Shaffer of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that in a 6-1 decision announced today, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentence of Dawud Spaulding for the double-murder of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend exactly five years ago. Spaulding, an habitual felon, was also found guilty of shooting the boyfriend's nephew, which left the victim paralyzed from the neck down. The high court rejected 14 error claims raised by Spaulding, including the standard "ineffective assistance of counsel" and that he should have been tried separately for each murder. At trial, the evidence included proof of Spaulding lying about his whereabouts on the night of the murder, and two witnesses who put Spaulding at the crime scene at the time of the shooting, including the paralyzed nephew. The lone dissenter, Justice William O'Neill wrote, "I have grave concerns that the jury reached its verdicts in this case for the wrong reasons."
The high court rewrote the question presented as simply, "Whether petitioners' convictions must be set aside under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1983)." This is highly unusual. Application of settled rules of law to particular fact patterns is something the high court generally leaves to lower courts. Characterizing a case as "fact-bound" is what you do when you won in the lower court and don't want SCOTUS to get involved. If you can get the Supreme Court to accept that characterization, it's usually the kiss of death for the other side's request to take the case up.
What is different about this case? Is the court worried that this is a case of actual innocence injustice so compelling that it must break its usual pattern to intervene? The justices usually defer to trial court judge's judgments on such matters, and that is certainly not how the district court judge saw this case.
Death Sentence Upheld in Chino: The California Supreme Court denied the automatic appeal of a man on death row Monday. According to Brian Rokos at the Press Enterprise, Daniel Landry, 48, stabbed inmate Daniel Addis to death at the California Institution for Men in Chino on Aug. 3, 1997. Due to the circumstances of the stabbing, Landry was sentenced to die based on a recommendation from the Jury as he was already serving a 70 year sentence for the attempted murder of a police officer. Landry's automatic appeal was unanimously denied Monday.
According to a recent report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today's teens are actually better behaved than the generations which preceded them, relatively speaking.
According to the annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) fewer teens are having sex and using drugs or alcohol. In fact, today's teenagers actually have the lowest rates of ecstasy, heroin, and meth use on record.
I don't know the extent to which the criminalization of these dangerous drugs has contributed to the decrease in their use by young people, but I do know two things. First, attaching costs and risks to the use of X will reduce the use of X; and second, the law is a teacher as well as an instrument, and its lesson that drug use is bad is one we should preserve.
Ohio Murderer's Death Sentence Upheld: The Ohio Supreme Court voted 6-1 to uphold the death sentence for Steven Cepec, convicted of the brutal 2010 strangling murder of a 72-year-old man during a robbery. The Associated Pres reports that Cepec's attorneys failed to convince the court of several error claims including that his statements to police should have been excluded from trial. Facts outlined in the court's decision indicate that on May 28, 2010, Cepec was released from prison to a drug rehab program, which he abandoned the next day. On June 3, he visited his girlfriend's father's barn. Hours later police responded to a 911 call to the father's house. When they spotted Cepec in the garage, he ran into the woods where he was caught and arrested. Inside the house police discovered the father's beaten and strangled body. An autopsy revealed that the victim had been beaten severely with a claw hammer before being strangled with an electric cord. The keys to the victim's car and pickup were found on the backseat floor of the police car where Cepec was held following his arrest. The victim's blood was found on Cepec's clothes. Another non-violent drug offender who deserved a second (or third or fourth) chance.
I have more sympathy with Tyler's claim than I do with most ineffective assistance claims. There is a fundamental principle in the attorney-client relationship that the client chooses the goals and the attorney uses his professional judgment regarding the best way to achieve the client-chosen goals. I have letters from death row complaining that, on appeal, the client has chosen a "give me liberty or give me death" goal, directing the lawyer to focus solely on the guilt verdict, and the lawyer has ignored the direction.
In the Tyler case, though, some of the reporting is leading people to believe that the guilt case against Tyler was thin and his lawyers effectively conceded the guilt of a person who might well be innocent. After the break, I will quote a portion of the state's brief in opposition on the actual state of the evidence.
Federal law makes it a crime to defraud a bank. Shaw obtained a customer's bank account numbers and used them to transfer funds from the customer's account to his. Convicted of bank fraud, Shaw argued that the statute makes it a crime only to "defraud a financial institution," not one of its customers. In a unanimous opinion by Breyer, the Supreme Court upheld Shaw's conviction. The Court stated that either the bank deposits are the property of the bank as well as the customer (which is why the bank can earn interest on the funds) or the bank is the custodian of the funds for the customer (which gives the bank a possessory interest in them against everyone except the customer). That neither the customer nor the bank suffered any financial loss is immaterial, because the statute does not require any such proof. Cheating a person or a bank out of insured funds is still fraud. Nor does it matter that Shaw had no purpose to defraud the bank, since the statute requires only that he had knowledge of the fraudulent scheme, which he clearly had. Finally, the statutory text is clear so the Rule of Lenity does not apply.
During the 34-minute execution at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Smith heaved and coughed for about 13 minutes and underwent two consciousness tests to make sure he couldn't feel pain.We have known for some time that the single-drug method with thiopental or pentobarbital is the way to go. Texas has done dozens of these without incident. The incoming administration should take steps to make sure the states can obtain these drugs, both to reduce the chance of an actually inhumane execution and to ensure that justice is not defeated by a complete unavailability.
There are a number of possible routes to a fix. The erroneous decision that prevents states from importing thiopental from willing sellers overseas could be abrogated by statute or taken up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The government could itself import the drug or the ingredients from which it is compounded and distribute them to the states. A government entity with the capability to do so might manufacture the drug. One way or another, a permanent fix to this problem should be a priority.
At the root of the case is the decision last term in Hurst v. Florida. Under the post-1976 capital sentencing system mandated by Supreme Court precedents, courts must find the defendant guilty of murder plus at least one factor from a list of aggravating factors defined by state law before the death penalty can be considered. In Ring v. Arizona (2002), the Supreme Court overruled its own precedent and said the jury, not the judge, must make that latter finding. In Hurst v. Florida (2016), the court applied Ring to strike down the Florida sentencing system that it had repeatedly approved multiple times against the very same attack.
Does Hurst extend further, to require the jury and not the judge to make the additional findings that state law requires before a "death-eligible" defendant is actually sentenced to death? In my opinion (and that of the Alabama courts), the answer is clearly no. However, the Delaware and Florida Supreme Court think it does.
The U.S. Supreme Court needs to take this issue up and resolve the split, and an Alabama case would be the cleanest vehicle to do so. The high court has sent several Alabama cases back to the state courts, and it presently has several on its docket pending decision on whether to take them up. The Smith case last night, however, was not a clean case.
Ohio Murderer's Death Sentence Upheld: The death penalty imposed on an Ohio man convicted of 11 counts of murder was upheld by the state Supreme Court Thursday. As reported by Bill Mears of Fox News, Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of murdering 11 women and hiding their remains on his property was sentenced to die in 2011. Recently, Sowell's counsel brought a motion for retrial on the grounds that a videotaped confession was inadmissible and prejudiced the case. In a 5-2 decision, the Court denied that claim the death sentence was upheld. Sowell's attorneys intend to appeal.
Alabama Inmate Executed Despite Delays: A man convicted of shooting and killing a convenient store clerk more than two decades ago was executed in Alabama late Thursday night. CBS News reports that Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. after a lethal injection at the state prison in southwest Alabama. In a 7-5 decision, the sentencing jury had recommended that the defendant face life in prison, but the presiding judge overrode the recommendation and imposed the death penalty. The execution was delayed twice while the defendant's counsel argued that a judge should not have the power to override the jury and impose a death sentence, but the Supreme Court eventually declined to issue a stay. Smith was found guilty of capital murder in 1994 for the shooting death of store clerk Casey Wilson. This was the second to take place in Alabama this year.
[Paul] Singh spoke about three hours after Jaime Ramos and Pablo Ruvalcaba pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife, 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh, during Stockton's Bank of the West robbery on July 16, 2014.
Ramos, 21, will spend the rest of his life in prison. Ruvalcaba, 23, received 25 years to life.* * *Ramos had faced the death penalty. Public defender Jonathan Fattarsi, who represents Ramos, suggested it was not a coincidence that his client's case was resolved within weeks of California voters' rejection of a measure that would have abolished capital punishment in the state.
"Obviously we didn't want to start talking seriously about (a plea agreement) with the District Attorney until after we knew the fate of Proposition 62," Fattarsi said.
If voters had ended the death penalty, Fattarsi said, the motivation to accept a life sentence for his client would have been gone.
But it's a bunch of hooey. Today the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released supplemental data on Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010.
How many prisoners released in 2005 were rearrested by 2010, and for what crimes?
For those committed for violent offenses, 33.1% were rearrested for another violent offense. For those whose most serious commitment offense was classified as a property offense, 28.5% were rearrested for a violent offense.
Is that a big difference? No, it is a small, bordering on trivial, difference. The premise that "nonviolent offenders" can be released without placing law-abiding people at increased risk of violent victimization is just plain wrong.
Parolee Arrested For Discharge and Possession: A habitual criminal was arrested in Salinas, CA late Monday night following a report that multiple gunshots had been fired. Chelci Adami from The Californian reports that Armando Yslas, a 36-year-old Parolee discharged four rounds from a stolen semi-automatic pistol with the serial numbers filed off. He reportedly fired the weapon in response to an argument he was having with a woman who lived nearby. Following his arrest, the responding police found an additional 40 rounds of ammunition in Yslas's possession.
Florida Asks SCOTUS to Clarify Hurst Ruling: The state of Florida is asking the U.S. Supreme Court review a Florida Supreme Court ruling in a death penalty case. Last January in Hurst v. Florida SCOTUS held Florida's capital sentencing process violated the Sixth Amendment. After the state legislature adopted a law correcting the process, the state's highest court ruled that it did not comply with Hurst regarding requirements for jury findings of aggravating circumstances. Dara Kam from The News Service of Florida reports that state court interpreted Hurst to require that jurors find all aggravating factors, mitigating factors and weigh them before recommending a sentence. The Florida Attorney General believes that this goes beyond what was actually required by Hurst, and is asking the high court to clarify this. Timothy Lee Hurst was convicted and sentenced to death for the May 1998 murder of a female co-worker at a restaurant he was robbing. Her body was found stuffed in a freezer.
Afghan Arrested For Rape/Murder of German Student: A 17-year-old Afghan immigrant has been arrested for the rape and drowning murder of a German medical student. Victoria Friedman of Breitbart reports that the suspect, whose name was not released, entered Germany last year as an unaccompanied minor under Chancellor Andrea Merkel's "open door" policy. DNA linked the suspect to the rape and murder of 19-year-old Maria L., early in the morning of October 16 as she was returning to her residence hall after a party. Her body was found along the Dreisam River in Freiberg. Police mentioned similarities between the yet-unsolved rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman weeks after Maria's death, in the town Endigen, roughly eighteen miles from Freiberg.
What always struck me as very odd about insider trading is that we have this enormous body of law with both criminal and civil liabilities, and at the root of it all is a very broadly worded regulation, SEC Rule 10b-5, not a statute. The statute in question, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), makes it a crime to trade securities using "any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe ...."
Should insider trading be a crime? Yes, under some circumstances. But Congress should make it a crime, not the SEC. Administrative agencies have a place in modern civil law, filling in gaps that the legislature will not get around to, but defining crimes should be a non-delegable legislative power.
The title of this post is the title of this intriguing little paper authored by Emily Fetsch for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:There is a paragraph and a half following that squib in the SL&P entry, but I stopped right there, because there is a limit on how many brain cells I'm willing to kill by reading pure tripe.One in three Americans has a criminal record. Given the significant size of this population, the ability for these individuals to attain economic success after they leave prison has tremendous implications for our economy and economic mobility...
The Secretary of State has until December 16 to certify for results for all races except the presidential election.
The all-but-final result on the Proposition 62, the death penalty repeal measure, is 46.9% to 53.1%. The margin is 845,755 votes. The 6% spread is greater than the 4% spread by which California voters rejected substantially the same proposal four years earlier as Proposition 34.
Note the wording carefully. It does not say "the freedom of speech" has no limits. The freedom of speech may not be abridged, meaning reduced from what it was when the First Amendment was adopted. "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic." Schenck v. United States, 249 U. S. 47, 52 (1919) (Holmes, J.).
Threatening people is not within "the freedom of speech." Fourteen years ago, CJLF defended Virginia's cross-burning law as applied to a cross burned in a manner that constituted a threat to specific people, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it as so applied in Virginia v. Black.*
A few years later, the Virginia Legislature added a "noose law" along similar lines. The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld the law as applied on Nov. 22 in Turner v. Commonwealth.
Illegal Arrested For Murder: An illegal alien has been arrested for the murder of a Wichita mother and the kidnapping of her baby last month. KNSS Radio reports that Yesenia Sesmas had been arrested last July and her immigration status was reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE), but the agency did not move to detain her before she posted bail and was released. According to the County Sheriff, had ICE put a detainer on the woman, she would not have been free to commit the murder or kidnap the baby. ICE responded that while they were notified of Sesman's arrest and immigration status, they did not have time to detain her before she was released. ABC News reports that the July arrest of Sesmas was for two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery for allegedly taking two Wichita children.
LA "Ban the Box" is a Jackpot for Felons: A recent measure passed by the Los Angeles City Council is good news for felons, although employers may see it differently. Doug McIntyre of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that last week in a 12 to 1 vote, the LA City Council passed the "Ban the Box" or "Fair Chance" measure which will prohibit employers from questioning prospective employees about their criminal history during the initial hiring process. Not only does this hinder an employer's ability to screen potential applicants, but it opens businesses to a wide array of litigation for every time they unknowingly turn down a felon for employment
Hundreds of criminals sentenced by D.C. judges under a...law crafted to give second chances to young adult offenders have gone on to rob, rape or kill residents of the nation's capital....
In dozens of cases, D.C. judges were able to hand down Youth Act sentences shorter than those called for under mandatory minimum laws designed to deter armed robberies and other violent crimes. The criminals have often repaid that leniency by escalating their crimes of violence upon release.
I live in the County where she was found that morning. A friend of mine was the CHP Officer first on the scene. When I got the news that she had been found alive, my first reaction was of shock and disbelief. Too often these types of missing persons cases end with a dead body. The cynic in me assumed that Sherri Papini would be found at some point in a similar manner. Thankfully for her children and family, her story did not end in a typical fashion.
Unfortunately, immediately upon her discovery, the media and public jumped to the conclusion that the whole thing was a hoax. Really? A hoax by whom? The severely beaten, branded and chained up woman who'd been thrown from a moving car onto the side of a pitch dark road in the middle of the night in the freezing cold? Why are people so quick to assume that she's lying, or her husband is lying? Perhaps I'm too trusting or gullible to believe otherwise. Or perhaps despicable people like Scott Peterson or Drew Peterson make it hard to believe the story being told.
The details will come out eventually and I hope whoever is responsible is caught. Any punishment the perpetrators receive, however, will in no way compare to the cruel and unusual torture that Sherri Papini endured and will continue to endure emotionally for the remainder of her life.