The Failure of House Arrest and Electronic Monitoring

Bureaucrats never admit they’re wrong. County prosecutor: How many ‘have to die’ to end house arrest in violent crimes?.

Court officials, judges say ankle monitors are safe, less expensive.

Cheaper? Sure. Safe? Not so much.

Travion Montgomery cut off his ankle bracelet while under house arrest on a robbery charge. Montgomery had prior convictions for aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and kidnappng.

The court monitors issued a warrant, but didn’t notify law-enforcement. And so when he was picked up by police he was released. Then another warrant with the wrong SSN. And then…

Montgomery was arrested Sept. 10 after allegedly choking a woman and leaving her on life support. He is now in jail on a $500,000 bond.

Yeah, that sounds like a safe system to me. At least I’m sure it’s cheap.

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43 Years In Prison For Wrongful Conviction

JusticeThe Criminal Justice System’s obsession with winning is not a new thing. He’s spent 43 years in prison. Now judges call his murder conviction a ‘miscarriage of justice.’.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has granted Finch a new hearing on his case, citing problems from the 1970s so strong that jurors today would doubt his guilt. In its ruling, the three-judge panel noted trouble with the murder weapon, eyewitness testimony, an “unduly suggestive” police lineup and pressure to implicate Finch.

“The totality of the evidence would prevent any reasonable juror from finding him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” the court wrote, “such that his incarceration is a miscarriage of justice.”

A sloppy autopsy. Pressured (unreliable) witnesses. Alibi witnesses discounted. That is apparently what passed for Justice in the 1970s.

“The State has sincere concern for the safety of the public.”

JusticeJudge Chris Morton, not so much. Pasadena police chief furious after repeat armed robbery suspect released twice by same judge.

I do get that people shouldn’t be held in jail because they are poor, but whether this guy is or is not poor is beside the point; he is dangerous.

Chief Bruegger said Jones committed two armed robberies on Jan. 4.

On Jan. 6, he was arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle. He was released on a personal bond.

On Jan. 13, Jones allegedly committed two more aggravated robberies in Pasadena. He was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated assault.

Jones was again released from jail on another personal bond, which is a signature that guarantees his promise to appear in court at a later date.

Armed robbery is not too far away from shooting someone. And while if this guy does shoot or kill someone, it will be his fault, the judge in the matter will still hold some responsibility. If you are not going to hold this guy without bond, then who does qualify?

20 Years for Wrongful Conviction

JusticeAnd cops/prosecutors won’t admit it was wrong. Bronx man convicted for 1989 murder of mother cleared — 30 years later.

Eager to make an arrest, detectives forced Burton, then a sophomore at Evander Childs HS, to confess to the slaying, according to a two-year, joint investigation by the Bronx district attorney’s Conviction

Integrity Unit and the nonprofit Innocence Project.

The sleep-deprived teen copped to investigators’ theory — that he was a crack addict who exploded in a rage when his mom refused to give him $200 to pay his dealer.

When they arrested someone 6 days later with the woman’s stolen car, that was just a “problem.” The case was already closed.

Prosecutors said they supported Burton’s exoneration because the three detectives who interrogated him used what research now considers “psychologically coercive techniques” to elicit his false confession.

It was “the way things were done then.” So does that mean that every confession from that time period was coerced? Probably. Don’t expect the prosecutors or the cops to admit that.

Oh, and for icing on the justice-not-served cake, the defense wasn’t told about the car thief, and his past convictions.

The Criminal Justice System: Often criminal. Not interested in Justice.

Expecting “The System” to Protect You Is a Losing Proposition

JusticeBecause in the case of domestic violence, The System doesn’t give a damn about you. Kill or be killed shouldn’t be only option for battered women: Andrea Simakis.

He broke into the house where she was staying. He was armed with a .380 ACP pistol. He was charged with various things. The judge gave him a $1000 fine, but suspended it and gave him probation. As if that was going to stop him from doing anything.

“Tell me who walks into a bank and holds a gun on people and walks out with probation?” asks Nancy Grigsby, director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s Legal Assistance Program. “Nobody does! What we’re saying is, when you do this to women and when you do this your family, it’s a different crime for some reason.

“Courts set community norms,” she continues. “And they tell everybody – the kids in that house, the survivor and the perpetrator – what is normal and acceptable in Cleveland.”

Light sentences tell abusers that nothing they’ve done is so terrible to merit imprisonment – or even a fine.

Now complaining about the state of reality is fine. (I do it all the time.) But wishing won’t make things change, and actually changing The System will take time, if it ever happens. (I have been writing about stories like this one since I started blogging in 2004.) Sure, work for change, but in the meantime recognize the state of reality and make your plans accordingly.

In the case of this story, unlike so many others, the bad guy is dead, and his intended victim alive. Not a happy ending, but not the tragedy I read about all too often. More often than I put in this blog, because even when women protect themselves, they often end up charged. Because the other thing The System doesn’t care about is Justice.

Of 91 domestic violence fatalities in Ohio from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 42 were women killed by abusive men. Three more female victims were also tracked – two girls, aged 4 and 1 — and the adult step-daughter of a batterer who got in the way.

Three cops lost their lives in the same year, trying to help.

Twenty-two batterers killed themselves. A handful of others were killed by those coming to a woman’s aid

Five of the dead men were killed by women the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s Family Systems Advocacy Director Jo Simonsen believes were likely acting in self-defense. One woman was not charged. The rest are awaiting trial or have been sentenced to long prison terms, including a teen in Lima who claimed she’d killed her sex trafficker. She’s doing 10 years. A Cleveland woman got 18 years to life.

Still, would you rather be dead?

If the DA Won’t Bring Charges, When There is Video Evidence, What Happens to Justice?

Second City Cop has a disturbing story about the lack of justice in Cook County. Murderer Escapes Justice.

The background: Video shows cabbie suffering fatal blow from ’roundhouse kick’ in West Loop attack. The attack happened about a month or 3 ago, but the video has only just become available for whatever reason. (The guy was in the hospital for a while.) So the guy in question has fled the country. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) won’t issue a warrant. (That would cause him – maybe – to be arrested if he ever showed up at a US port of entry.) But nothing.

The lack of Justice? Back to Second City Cop. The family reached out to SCC – because the city/county is officially useless.

After felony review made the initial decision to release the offender without charges and the case unfolded, they presented CPD with an increasingly long list of evidentiary hurdles they would need to meet before charges would be filed. CPD satisfied each of those requests and again presented the case to felony review last night, requesting murder charges and an arrest warrant to apprehend the Uber driver if he shows up at a US port of entry.

When asked about it, the CCSAO blamed CPD (ongoing investigation), but that is BS. There is no justice is Chicago, but it isn’t (all) the cops’ fault.

So what does this say about Justice in Chicago?

Crime In Wrigleyville & Boystown also has some a piece on this story. While prosecutors seek “context” homicide suspect escapes to China, victim’s son says.

Family members of a taxi driver who was killed when another motorist apparently kicked him in the head during a West Loop road rage incident in September say the killer has fled to China as Cook County prosecutors steadfastly refuse to bring charges while forcing Chicago cops to jump through a seemingly endless line of hoops.

What more context do you need aside from a video recording of the event?

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela… The Lack of Justice

Tyranny is always the same. Venezuela: Maduro Dictatorship Uses Legal System to Persecute Political Prisoners.

The parade of people from Hollywood don’t seem to go down to Venezuela anymore to tell them what a great job they are doing. Maybe they just think that from afar, since the country isn’t too safe.

The dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, which enjoys an iron grip on the judicial branch, is once again violating citizens’ rights to legal defense, after postponing the first legal hearing for opposition deputy Juan Requesens, accused of participating in an assassination attempt against Maduro, despite a complete lack of evidence.

No legal hearing = no legal rights. He doesn’t like you, and you rot in jail.

[Attorney Joel] García warned that the Venezuelan state has demonstrated a pattern which it applies to most cases of a political nature, which consists of holding people in custody without bringing them to trial:

Socialism. Tyranny. Hard to tell them apart.