Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MontanaSupreme Court orders Judge to be suspended from the bench and a re-sentencing in the case where he gave a rapist 30 days in jail.

Montana judge to be censured over rape comments


HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday will publicly reprimand a judge who gave a lenient sentence to a rapist after suggesting the 14-year-old victim shared some of the responsibility for the crime.
District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings is scheduled to appear before the court in Helena, where one of the justices will read a censure statement prepared in advance. Baugh will likely get an opportunity to address the court, and the censure will then go into the record, state Supreme Court clerk Ed Smith said Monday.
The censure is a public declaration by the high court that a judge is guilty of misconduct.
"It's a process basically to publicly reprimand them for their conduct bringing dishonor on their position and the court's judicial system," Smith said.
The judge sent Stacey Dean Rambold to prison for just 30 days last year after he pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.
Rambold was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. The victim was one of his students. She committed suicide while the case was pending trial.
Baugh said during Rambold's sentencing in August that the teenager was "probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant" and that she "appeared older than her chronological age."
Under state law, children younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual intercourse.
After a public outcry, Baugh apologized for the comments and acknowledged the short prison sentence violated state law. He attempted retroactively to revise it but was blocked when the state filed its appeal.
The Supreme Court ordered Baugh to be censured on the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, and also ordered him to be suspended for 31 days. Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote in the order that Baugh had eroded confidence in the court system.
The last Montana judge was censured by the Supreme Court was District Judge Jeffrey Langton of Hamilton in 2005. Langton had pleaded guilty to a drunk-driving charge, then was placed on probation for violating the terms of his sentence.
Rambold has been free since last fall after serving the original sentence. After his release, Rambold registered as a sex offender and was to remain on probation through 2028.
Prosecutors appealed Baugh's sentence, and the Supreme Court in April ordered a new sentencing in the case by a different judge. The re-sentencing is to take place on Sept. 26 by District Judge Randal Spaulding of Roundup.
Baugh, who is the son of former Washington Redskins quarterback "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh, plans to retire when his term expires in December after three decades on the bench.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heartbreaking Statistic of the day.....

More than 4% of death row inmates wrongly convicted, study says

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Corruption in our Justice System- Former Utah Attorney Generals arrested for taking bribes

Two former Utah attorney generals arrested for corruption

A combination photo shows Utah's former attorneys general Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow in police booking photos in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - FBI agents arrested two former Utah attorneys general at their homes on Tuesday and charged them pair with felonies stemming from a two-year investigation into claims of bribery and corruption, prosecutors said. Republicans John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff are accused of establishing a pay-to-play culture in office, and of taking bribes to look the other way or offer protection when donors to their political campaigns ran into legal trouble.

"This has been a complex, nuanced, large investigation and there are multiple players in it," Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference. "We have filed what we think are appropriate charges. We could have filed more." Both men deny any wrongdoing. They were booked into Salt Lake County jail and released by midday.

Swallow told reporters outside he would clear his name. "I absolutely maintain my innocence. I look forward to being able to confront my accusers and to have my day in court," he said. Shurtleff planned to hold a news conference later. Messages left for both men's attorneys were not immediately returned.

Shurtleff was Utah's attorney general for 12 years, leaving office in 2012. He hand-picked Swallow to serve as his chief deputy and then backed Swallow in the 2012 election to be his successor.
Tuesday's arrests in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy were carried out by the FBI and agents from Utah's Department of Public Safety. FBI agents searched both homes last month.
Shurtleff and Swallow were the subject of a 2013 investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section.

That office declined to bring charges but FBI agents who worked on the case are working with Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, who pursued the investigation together.
Court papers filed in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court charge Shurtleff with 10 felonies, including a pattern of unlawful activity, receiving or soliciting bribes, compensation/loan when prohibited, improper use of an employee's position, witness tampering, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

Seven of the charges are second-degree felonies and carry a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. The remaining are third-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to five years.
Swallow faces 11 felonies and two misdemeanors, court papers show, including receiving or soliciting bribes, misuse of public money, obstruction of justice and altering government records. Five of the charges he faces are second-degree felonies.
Gill said the investigation remains active and more charges could be brought.
(Reporting by Jennifer Dobner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The new Casey Anthony- Can the DA prove that Georgia dad intentionally left child in car??

No bond for Georgia dad accused of sexting while son in hot car

The Georgia dad accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son in a hot car had read articles about living a child-free life and was sexting with six women the day his son died of heat exposure, police said at a court hearing Thursday in which a judge denied bond and ordered the case to trial.