NOTE: This is satire from "The Onion!"
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Naked, distraught man falls to death from NYC building after police shock him with stun gun
An officer appears to have violated police department guidelines when he used a Taser stun gun on a naked, distraught man teetering on a building ledge, officials said Thursday.
Inman Morales, 35, was pronounced dead at a hospital after his nearly 10-foot fall Wednesday. Police said he suffered serious head trauma when he hit the sidewalk.
"None of the ... officers on the scene were positioned to break his fall, nor did they devise a plan in advance to do so," said chief department spokesman Paul Browne.
The lieutenant who directed the use of the stun gun was stripped of his gun and badge, and the officer who shocked Morales was placed on desk duty as the investigation continues. Their names were not released.
- What? Why is the 2nd man only on desk duty? Yes, he got the order from another cop, but is he not a human being who can think for himself? He should be fired as well, and both brought up on murder charges!
Witnesses and neighbors said Morales had become distraught and threatened to kill himself earlier in the day. When police arrived in response to a 911 call, he fled naked out the window of his third-floor apartment, clambered down to a ledge and began jabbing at officers with an 8-foot-long fluorescent light.
- So he threatened to kill himself, and the cops felt compelled to help him out, apparently!
An amateur video posted on the Web site of the New York Post shows one of the officers raising a stun gun at Morales, who freezes and topples over headfirst as the crowd screams.
The man's death renewed focus on the use of stun guns by the NYPD. Thousands of city police sergeants began carrying Tasers on their belts this year after the department expanded use of the weapons. The pistol-shaped weapons fire barbs up to 35 feet and deliver 50,000-volt shocks to immobilize people.
- REMOVE THE TASERS FROM ALL COPS!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THEM ONLY WHEN NECESSARY, TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE THEM LAZY!!!
Browne said guidelines specifically prohibit the use of stun guns when the subject may fall from an elevated surface.
INDIANAPOLIS - A convicted sex offender has lost again in his bid to overturn a town ordinance that bans him from Plainfield's parks.
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the 2002 ordinance banning people on the state's sex and violent offender registry from the town's parks.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit in 2005 challenging the ordinance on behalf of a man known in court documents as John Doe. The ACLU argued Doe has completed his punishment including probation and that banning him from the park effectively adds more punishment and violates the state constitution.
A Hendricks Superior Court judge in March ruled the ordinance was constitutional, rejecting Doe's arguments. The Court of Appeals rejected them again Wednesday in a 20-page ruling. ACLU Legal Director Kenneth Falk said he would discuss with Doe whether to take the case to the Indiana Supreme Court.
- Take it to the Supreme Court! This is unconstitutional!
The three-judge panel found that the ordinance's main purpose was to protect park users from sex offenders, not just to punish sex offenders. They also found that the use of public parks was not a "core value" protected by the constitution and disagreed with Doe's argument that being excluded from public parks was a form of banishment.
- So you see here, even this three judge panel admits the laws are punishment, therefore, they are punishment after they fact, and they are basically shredding this persons contract they signed when they were convicted, so it's unconstitutional in more than one way!
Doe was convicted in 2001 of child exploitation and possession of child pornography. He was released from probation in 2004 and is on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry, the ruling said.
Doe was visiting the Splash Island water park with his young son in June 2005 when police warned him not to return because he was on the sex offender registry.
View the article here
By Sharon Coolidge • email@example.com
A College of Mount St. Joseph student is accused of making a false rape report.
Brittani Elfers, 18, of Reading, was arrested on charges of making a false alarm Wednesday evening, a day after she made the false report, according to a Delhi Township police report.
Elfers told officers she was raped Monday night. She later admitted she willingly had sex with the man she accused, according to Delhi police, who said in a report that Elfers made the allegation because she was "afraid her reputation was ruined.''
Hamilton County Municipal Judge Ted Berry released Elfers on a promise that she return to court. The misdemeanor charge carries a sentence up to six months in jail.
- Six months in jail, when she could've potentially ruined this kids life forever!
ANCHORAGE (CNN) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (Contact) hometown required women to pay for their own rape examinations while she was mayor, a practice her police chief fought to keep as late as 2000.
Former state Rep. Eric Croft, a Democrat, sponsored a state law requiring cities to provide the examinations free of charge to victims. He said the only ongoing resistance he met was from Wasilla, where Palin was mayor from 1996 to 2002.
"It was one of those things everyone could agree on except Wasilla," Croft told CNN. "We couldn't convince the chief of police to stop charging them."
Alaska's Legislature in 2000 banned the practice of charging women for rape exam kits -- which experts said could cost up to $1,000.
Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, often talks about her experience running Wasilla, population approximately 7,000, and that has prompted close scrutiny of her record there. Wasilla's practice of charging victims for their rape exams while she was mayor has gotten wide circulation on the Internet and in the mainstream media. Video Watch CNN's Jessica Yellin check the facts in Wasilla »
Some supporters of Palin say they believe she had no knowledge of the practice. But critics call it "outrageous" and question Palin's commitment to helping women who are the victims of violence.
For years, Alaska has had the worst record of any state in rape and in murder of women by men. The rape rate in Alaska is 2.5 times the national average.
Interviews and a review of records turned up no evidence that Palin knew that rape victims were being charged in her town. But Croft, the former state representative who sponsored the law changing the practice, says it seems unlikely Palin was not aware of the issue.
"I find it hard to believe that for six months a small town, a police chief, would lead the fight against a statewide piece of legislation receiving unanimous support and the mayor not know about it," Croft said.
During the time Palin was mayor of Wasilla, her city was not the only one in Alaska charging rape victims. Experts testified before the Legislature that in a handful of small cities across Alaska, law enforcement agencies were charging victims or their insurance "more than sporadically."
One woman who wrote in support of the legislation says she was charged for her rape exam by a police department in the city of Juneau, which is hundreds of miles from Wasilla.
But Wasilla stood out. Tara Henry, a forensic nurse who has been treating rape victims across Alaska for the last 12 years, told CNN that opposition to Croft's bill from Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon was memorable.
"Several municipal law enforcement agencies in the state did have trouble budgeting and paying for the evidence collection for sexual assault victims," Henry said. "What I recall is that the chief of police in the Wasilla police department seemed to be the most vocal about how it was going to affect their budget."
Croft has a similar memory. He said victims' advocates suggested he introduce legislation as a way to shame cities into changing their practice, and Wasilla resisted.
"I remember they had continued opposition," Croft said. "It was eight years ago now, but they were sort of unrepentant that they thought the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for that."
He does not recall discussing the issue with then-Mayor Palin.
The bill, HB270, was before the legislature for six months. In testimony, one expert called the practice of billing the victim "incomprehensible." Others compared it to "dust[ing] for fingerprints" after a burglary, only "the victim's body is the crime scene."
During a rape exam, the victim removes her clothing and a medical professional gathers DNA evidence from her body. There is also a medical component to assess her injuries. That component has led some law enforcement agencies to balk at paying.
Henry, the forensic nurse, said charging victims "retraumatizes them."
"Asking them to pay for something law enforcement needs in order to investigate their case, it's almost like blaming them for getting sexually assaulted," she said.
The Alaska Legislature agreed. The bill passed unanimously with the support of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the Alaska Peace Officers Association and more than two dozen co-sponsors.
After it became law, Wasilla's police chief told the local paper, The Frontiersman, that it would cost the city $5,000 to $14,000 a year -- money that he'd have to find.
"In the past, we've charged the cost of the exams to the victim's insurance company when possible," Fannon was quoted as saying. "I just don't want to see any more burden on the taxpayer."
He suggested the criminals should pay as restitution if and when they're convicted. Repeated attempts to reach Fannon for comment were unsuccessful.
Judy Patrick, who was Palin's deputy mayor and friend, blames the state.
"The bigger picture of what was going on at the time was that the state was trying to cut their own budget, and one of the things that they were doing was passing on costs to cities, and that was one of the many things that they were passing on, the cost to the city," said Patrick, who recalls enormous pressure to keep the city's budget down.
But the state was never responsible for paying the costs of local investigations. Patrick was also a member of Wasilla City Council, and she doesn't recall the issue coming before council members, nor does she remember discussing the issue with Palin.
She does recall Palin going through the budget in detail. She said Palin would review each department's budget line by line and send it back to department heads with her changes.
"Sarah is a fiscal conservative, and so she had seen that the city was heading in a direction of bigger projects, costing taxpayers more money, and she was determined to change that," Patrick said.
Before Palin came to City Hall, the Wasilla Police Department paid for rape kits out of a fund for miscellaneous costs, according to the police chief who preceded Fannon and was fired by Palin. That budget line was cut by more than half during Palin's tenure, but it did not specifically mention rape exams.
In a statement, Jill Hazelbaker, communications director for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, said that "to imply that Gov. Palin is or has ever been an advocate of charging victims for evidence gathering kits is an utter distortion of reality."
"As her record shows, Gov. Palin is committed to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice," Hazelbaker said. "She does not, nor has she ever believed that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence gathering test."
Those who fought the policy are unconvinced.
"It's incomprehensible to me that this could be a rogue police chief and not a policy decision. It lasted too long and it was too high-profile," Croft said.
The rape kit charges have become an issue among Palin critics who say as governor she has not done enough to combat Alaska's epidemic problem of violence against women. They point to a small funding increase for domestic violence shelters at a time when Alaska has a multibillion-dollar budget surplus. Victims' advocates say that services are lacking and that Palin cut funding for a number of programs that treat female victims of violence.
In the past week, Alaska's challenges with sexual assault have been in the spotlight again -- in connection with an ongoing inquiry into whether Palin abused her power by firing the head of Alaska's Department of Public Safety. Palin's office released e-mails showing that one area of disagreement between her and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was his lobbying in Washington for $30 million to fund a new program of sexual assault response teams.
The McCain-Palin campaign insists that fighting domestic violence and sexual assault are priorities for Palin. And they say she has been looking at other programs to support. As governor, Palin approved a funding increase for domestic violence shelters -- $266,200 over two years. And she reauthorized a Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
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City of Sheboygan Common Council members are hoping to ban sex offenders from being placed essentially anywhere within city limits.
The official vote is scheduled for Oct. 6.
Monday night, the council, acting as the Committee of the Whole, voted
14-0 to recommend a proposal to keep sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet from any school, licensed day-care center, place of worship, park, trail or playground.
Ald. Cory Bouck, chairman of the Committee of the Whole says "we're not going to let Madison dump these sex offenders in our city anymore."
- So where do you propose to "dump" them?
The 2,000-foot ban blocks out almost the entire city limits from sex offenders moving in, unless the council's Public Protection and Safety Committee approves their residency.
Sex offenders already registered in Sheboygan will not be affected.
See this item as well:
Prison outside of prison!
In defending their decision to house homeless convicted sex offenders in a trailer in the parking lot outside the Suffolk County jail in Riverside, county officials have been assuring the public that the offenders were in a secure, fenced-off perimeter behind barbed wire.
But the location might not be as secure as it was made out to be, The News-Review learned yesterday.
A Riverhead Town assessor with knowledge of the layout of the property -- and who said he was tired of reading misrepresentations about the trailer from the county -- led a reporter and several elected leaders on a five-minute walking tour to the jail's grounds yesterday.
- And I'm sick and tired of reporters and the politicians now showing the FACTS about sex offenders, and using sex offenders for stories and ratings.
The culmination of the tour, which was taken on a path through the woods that surround the jail, revealed a 20-foot wide, opened gate in the fence that encircles the lot where the trailer is parked.
- Yeah, so? If these people are not on probation or parole, then they are entitled to come and go as they please, regardless of what you think!
The gate has not been closed in years, a correction officers union representative said. It is overgrown with weeds. But even closed, it still leaves a large enough gap in the fence to walk through. The gap opens to several trails in the woods that lead to county routes 24 and 51.
"This isn't the secure location they are making it out to be," said assessor Mason Haas. "So why isn't one of these trailers located on the ground of every police station in the county?"
County Legislator Ed Romaine, who has been publicly skeptical of the county's handling of the trailer program, expressed shock over the revelation.
"I'm surprised," he said after first peering at the gap. "Just, surprised."
A spokesman for the Department of Social Services, Roland Hampson, noted that the offenders are not prisoners and could walk through the parking lot's front gate if they wanted, though the county would arrange for a cab ride.
"They're not in jail, but we do have three security guards there, and in the event that someone attempted to leave, unauthorized, they would call the deputies," he said. "If someone were to leave the trailer area, they would be apprehended by sheriff's deputies."
- If they are not of probation or parole, then what right do you have to detain them if they want to leave?
Backed by County Executive Steve Levy, social services officials decided to locate a trailer by the jail in early 2007.
The decision caused an uproar among local residents, who showed up in two busloads for a session of the County Legislator to argue that such a concentration of high-risk -- and homeless -- sex offenders would put their children at risk.
This month, as reported by The News-Review, the county replaced the original eight-person trailer with one that is 20-feet longer and can fit more than 20 people.
According to the state's sex offender registry, 15 sex offenders list the trailer as a home address, 13 of which are Level 3 -- deemed the most likely to re-offend. Nine were convicted of victimizing children.
James Milowski of the Suffolk County correction officers union, which is tangling with county government over labor contracts, scoffed at the notion that the offenders were under lock-and-key at night.
"I work out here on occasion, when [offenders] come in at night and get dropped off. A lot of them are sitting in cars or wandering around before they walk in," he said. "The corrections officers are concerned as well, because the public believes that we're watching them. If something happens, it falls back on us.
"This is the outer perimeter," he continued, speaking of the lot where the trailer sits. "This is not the secure perimeter."
South Fork County Legislator Jay Schniederman, who also joined yesterday's tour, said he was "shocked."
"I thought they were behind barbed wire too," he said. "I thought that they couldn't get out of there without going through security checkpoints. I'm very disappointed."
- My God, if they are not on probation or parole, then you have no right to do this. They should be able to come and go as they please, it is a free world, or was, and they are citizens now, so GET A LIFE!
Mr. Hampson was quoted in The News-Review last week as saying the offenders were behind barbed wire. "It was pointed out to me that's it's not barbed, it's a fence," he said yesterday, adding that it was an innocent misstatement.
County officials often tout the homeless sex offender program because of the security measures it provides, including a location manned by security guards as well as the proximity of a 24-hour police presence.
At the conclusion of the walking tour, and an impromptu meeting between elected officials that followed, Mr. Romaine called for the county to at least move the trailer to the side of the jail, in a cordoned off area, behind barbed wire.
- So they want to put them back into prison each night, basically!
"And assign a correction officer, 24 hours a day, as a checkpoint," he added.
"This trailer is on the wrong side of the fence," fumed Riverhead Councilwoman Barbara Blass, speaking of the larger, barbed wire fence that secures the jail's inmates.
- Well Ms. Blass, these people are not jail inmates, now are they?
"We agree that this is probably the best place to put them," noted Mr. Milowski. "But if it's going to be here, there should be proper control, whether it's under us [corrections officers] or the deputies."
Mr. Haas, who has spent many years as a volunteer emergency responder, said he had no political motivations for blowing the whistle on the county.
"It's a matter of safety," he said.
Burlington - The top three candidates for governor, and one minor party candidate, met for a debate Wednesday night, in Burlington. The debate was sponsored by Vermont Public Radio, and touched on topics from health care, to sex offender laws, to transportation infrastructure.
Republican Jim Douglas, Democrat Gaye Symington, and Independent Anthony Pollina were also joined by Liberty Union Party candidate Peter Diamondstone.
After a round of questioning from moderators and VPR listeners, the candidates had a chance to ask questions of each other.
Symington used her opportunity to question Douglas about his support of Vermont Yankee.
"Mister Douglas, it seems to me you have been as tough on Entergy as George Bush has been on Wall Street," she quipped. "Why do you justify, how do you justify treating Vermont Yankee with a tax that is three times lower than any other electric generation facility in the state, especially wind?"
"We don't need to increase the cost of electricity," responded Douglas. "That's an important part of not only living in a home but also for the cost of manufacturing, which is increasingly difficult to compete with with other parts of our country. So we don't need more taxes on any energy source at this point."
Douglas in turn fired back with questions about Symington's stance on sex offender policies.
"Every year, two or three untreated sex offenders are released into our communities and yet you've resisted my call for civil confinement law that 17 states have and more are considering to keep these predators locked up until they are safe to be released, why is that?" he questioned.
"The emphasis needs to be on what really works to keep our community safe and that is on special investigative units that work with victims and work with offenders to make sure we end up with convictions and to make sure that we fully fund prevention," Symington answered. "To fund civil confinement diverts resources, significant resources away from the programs that actually work to keep the communities safe."
Pollina used the debate to focus on healthcare and the need to take care of working families. He and Douglas had a brief, slightly heated exchange after Pollina accused Douglas of backing out of a handful of debates.
Peter Diamondstone several times called for Vermont to secede from the United States.
eAdvocate Article and Comments
You can already find out where they live, now the government is about to share even more information about sex offenders.
They bag your groceries, sell and service your vehicle, even prepare your food. Chances are you've run into a sex offender while he or she was on the job, and didn't even know it.
Come January, that could all change, as nationwide, states list employment locations on sex offender websites.
"It will be new information to the public. It won't be anything new to us because we already collect this information anyway," said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Eddie Carmon.
Until now, states just didn't publish it; unlike an offender's address and picture which are already available.
Troopers say its just more information to help you make wise choices about yourself, and your kids.
"Thats the best thing that can come from this, is self protection because the police can't protect you at all times," said Carmon.
"I've got my little girl, so that's definitely something I'd definitely want to know," said parent Richard Pitzer. "I think that's a good thing. If they're gonna be allowed out in the public they should definitely have to say where they live, where they work, everything."
The website won't just be handy for parents, co-workers could use it too.
"Definitely I would," said Brenda Williamson. "I wouldn't want to work with them. That may be not right, but they did wasn't right either."
However, not everybone thinks disclosing that much information about a sex offender is a good idea.
"Entitled to their privacy no matter who it is," said Michelle Manriquez. "Everybody deserves a second chance. Doesn't matter if you're a murderer, everybody deserves a second chance."
Not only will you be able to see where a convicted sex offender works, but the new law mandates that state websites provide information on an offender's convictions in other states.
'AN UNSUITABLE INSTRUMENT' FOR SEX OFFENDERS
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wants to pass a law that would impose "chemical castration" on pedophiles. Politicians at the European Parliament in Brussels have raised their objections to the proposal, but there is little the EU can do to stop it.
At first it appeared to be just an overly emotional lapse in judgment on the part of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, but now it's official. The Polish government wants to pass a law that would force convicted pedophiles to be chemically castrated.
An incest case in the outskirts of the eastern Polish village of Grodzisk triggered the current debate. Police recently arrested a 45-year-old man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter for six years. His 21-year-old daughter claims she gave birth to two children sired by her father.
- And here is another case which proves most sexual crimes are against family, and not from strangers.
The news appalled Tusk. "I don't believe that such individuals, such creatures, can be called human," he said. "In this case one can't even argue on behalf of human rights." He wants to impose "chemical castration" as a punishment in Poland. In his words, castration would not come "at the request of the convict, but rather as a part of the verdict." The forced punishment would apply "mainly to pedophiles, particularly those who have no hope of reform."
Poland's Health and Justice Ministry is currently drafting the needed changes to the country's penal code, and Tusk hopes to have a forced castration bill prepared for parliament by October. "I want to introduce the toughest possible laws against criminals who rape children," Tusk said last week.
- This is not going to work. It's another "feel good" law. A lot of sexual crimes are NOT about sex, but control. Why don't you read up on sexual crimes, before deciding to pass something to make you temporarily feel better or look better to the sheeple?
Christoph Joseph Ahlers views the Polish plan as the product of "pure populism." The clinical sexual psychologist is co-founder of the Dunkelfeld Prevention Project at the Institute for Sexual Medicine at Charité Hospital in Berlin, Germany and works there as a therapist consultant.
It's also still unclear who Prime Minister Tusk is actually targeting with his bill. One minute he speaks of "pedophiles" and of "criminals who rape children" and the next it's "convicts" who need forced castration.
Sexual psychologist Ahlers warns against convulting the terms. "Pedophilia isn't a criminal act, it's an illness in which sexual interest is directed at children," he says. "But that doesn't mean that every pedophile automatically abuses children."
Studies conducted in the United States have shown that only one-third of convicted criminals who have abused children are pedophiles. Two-thirds assaulted children for other reasons including illnesses like alcoholism. The left-leaning Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, which opposes the government proposal, has published such statistics repeatedly. The newspaper also reported that the 45-year-old arrested in eastern Poland hadn't even been assessed to be a pedophile.
Combination of Psychotherapy and Medications
It also remains unclear what, exactly, Tusk means by "chemical castration." According to sexual psychologist Ahlers, there are three possibilities for the medical treatment of sex offenders. Certain anti-depressants are one option, and so-called anti-androgens are another. Both are medications that reduce sexual desire.
But a class of drugs normally administered to prostate cancer patients can also be used to treat sex offenders -- and these are the only ones that technically qualify to be described as "chemical castration." They "almost completely eliminate sexual desire, and it remains depleted afterward," Ahlers says. The medications aren't officially approved for treating sex offenders, and they can only be administered at the express wish of the patient.
Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany already offer convicted child molesters the option of "chemical castration," but only on a voluntary basis and if administered by a qualified psychotherapist. In Germany, sex offenders have the legal right to psychotherapy.
Sexual psychologist Ahlers criticizes the prevalent belief that medicines alone can do the job. "Forcing these medications on patients would not be the correct professional treatment," says Ahlers. "Medicine alone doesn't automatically lead to an improvement in behavior control." He advises a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
- Everyone is always looking for that "miracle cure" from a pill. Well, it won't come.
In Germany, the conservative Christian Democrats have pushed numerous times for the introduction of "chemical castration." The debate became especially heated in the 1970s after the death of convicted sex offender Jürgen Bartsch, who abused and killed three children. To avoid lifelong detention in a psychiatric hospital, Bartsch opted for castration. In April 1976, operating room nurses administered ten times the normal amount of anesthesia, and Barsch died shortly after the operation.
- Sounds like murder to me. How can someone make this kind of mistake to give someone 10 times the amount they are suppose to give? That was not a mistake!
Ahlers warns against expectations for castration that are too high. "Even castrated men can have relapses," he says. It all depends on whether the medication is provided together with "qualified psychotherapy."
EU Has No Authority to Prevent Castration
In Poland, the debate over the issue continues to rage. Human rights activists and legal experts point out that the Polish constitution prohibits corporal punishment. They also argue that forced drug therapy against the will of the patient would violate Polish and international law.
And even though Poland is a member of the European Union, there is little that can be done in Brussels to prevent the country from adopting the penal measure. "It doesn't have the authority because criminal law is an issue for the member states," says Klaus Hänsch, a German member of the European Parliament and former president of that body representing the center-left Social Democrats. The death penalty is the only punishment expressly prohibited by the EU, he says. At most, the EU could condemn the plan on moral and ethical grounds.
"I don't believe that this forced castration would be an appropriate punishment compatible with modern criminal law,"says the EU legal expert.
Elmar Brok, a German member of the European Parliament with the conservative Christian Democrats also views the planned law critically, describing it as "an unsuitable instrument." Both politicians said they believed it would be possible for Polish citizens to challenge the law at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
84 Percent of Poles Support Tusk's Plan
But there's a good chance Tusk will succeed in pushing the initiative through. Conservative President Lech Kaczynski backs the center-right prime minister on the issue. And that's not support Tusk can always count on -- after all, he ousted Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw as prime minister during elections in October 2007. Parties of almost every political leaning in the country are also calling for sharper punishment for sex offenders who abuse children.
A conservative attitude still prevails in Polish society today. A recent poll taken for the conservative daily Dziennik showed 84 percent of Poles supporting Tusk's plan. It's backing the prime minister and his administration haven't always been able to take for granted. Only 38 percent of Poles thought the government was doing a good job after Tusk's first 300 days in office, surveys showed.
But support for Tusk and his government has since grown. According to a poll taken for the Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza, if Poles went to the polls this weekend, Tusk's Civic Platform (PO) would garner 58 percent of the vote, an increase of 10 points since the last poll was taken two weeks ago.
Defense: Accused Were Looking To Intimidate, Not Maim Inmate
INDIO - Lawyers representing four of five men charged in the killing of a fellow inmate told an Indio jury Wednesday that their clients did not intend to kill the convicted child molester, but wanted to intimidate him into seeking protective custody to get him moved.
But prosecutor Anthony Orlando disputed the defense version of what happened at Chuckawalla State Prison near Blythe on June 21, 2005, saying two of the defendants beat Michael Green so savagely that he never regained consciousness, and all five were in on the plan and "proud of what they did."
Security was tight as the trial got under way at the Larson Justice Center for Robert James Deffenbaugh, 27, Frank George Barbosa, 55, Jack Stewart Woller, 23, Reggie Allan Bullock, Jr., 25, and Johnnie Dalerae Johnson, 29.
Nine sheriff's deputies positioned throughout the courtroom of Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan.
Green suffered severe head trauma when beaten in a bathroom in the C Yard, 7 building, according to court documents. He was transported to Palo Verde Hospital in Blythe and then moved to the critical care unit at a UC San Diego hospital, where he remained unresponsive.
The 45-year-old Los Angeles man's family made the decision to take him off life support systems several days later.
The prosecutor told jurors that many offenses are accepted by the general prison population, but convicted child molesters are "in trouble."
- So my question is, how do they find out who is a child molester? I've seen and heard many times, cops tell other inmates this, which it is none of their business, so if the cops told people this, they should be sentenced to prison for involuntary man-slaughter also. Also, why aren't sex offenders, especially child sex offenders, segregated in prisons and jails? Why do they not do this? What is their reason for not doing this? Punishment?
Orlando said it's routine for prisoners to ask a new inmate for "paperwork" when they arrive in the yard, which he said Deffenbaugh and Woller did to the victim.
- So, if this is the case, why don't the police remove all paperwork from all inmates? Then it would not be a problem, now would it?
Green told them he did not have his papers, but information that he was in custody on a child molestation conviction was passed on to Barbosa, the "shot- caller," who then ordered Bullock and Johnson to "take him out," the prosecutor alleged.
- So how did Barbosa find out? I am willing to bet a cop told him, or someone else in the system!
That night after "last count," Bullock and Johnson followed Green into the bathroom and savagely beat him, Orlando alleged.
Bullock's attorney, Melanie Roe, said the case is not "black and white" and has two parts -- the assault, and what she contended was delayed -- and lacking -- medical care to Green.
"There are no eyewitnesses to this incident, and stories vary," Roe said in her opening statement.
She told jurors that "evidence will show no person charged intended to kill him (Green)." Instead, the intention was to get him moved to another facility to finish out his sentence, she said.
John Patrick Dolan, who is defending Woller, said his client was on hand when Green was approached and asked for "paperwork." Woller was silent or "maybe said a few words as he stood around," the attorney said.
Dolan said his client, who is doing time for a car theft conviction and had been due to be paroled in a few months, did nothing wrong. He was following an "honor among thieves or a code of honor," where inmates ask for paperwork to determine the bottom order -- child molesters and rapists, the lawyer said.
- Well, it's none of the prisoners business who is in for what. Why do the police give inmates "paperwork" in the first place? What is the reasoning behind that? I can tell you, it's for this very reason!
"The intention of asking (is) to get them ... to ask for protective custody," which would remove them from interacting with prisoners who consider child molesters the lowest type of criminal, Dolan said.
- That is a load of BS! They are trying to justify this killing. Murder is murder, so those involved, should remain in prison until they die, period, end of story!
James Silva, who is representing Barbosa, denied his client was the "shot caller," as alleged by the prosecution.
"Barbosa is not guilty of conspiracy with any of these individuals," Silva told jurors. "He did not give the order to assault Green."
- I don't believe that for a second. The prisoners could say ANYTHING, and there would be nobody to "hear" them. IMO, they should segregate sex offenders from the general population, actually, they should segregate everyone, then there would not be any problems.
Johnson's attorney, Cameron Quinn, said his client was a "short- timer" who, at the time of the attack, was soon to be released.
- So he should now be a "long-timer" and in prison until he dies for his part in the killing!
"It did not make sense for his to subject himself to this," Quinn said.
- Well, common sense doesn't run rampant in prisons either, now does it.
Quinn said the term used by inmates is to "roll up" someone they want moved -- but that means to "rough up ... beat someone up to get him out, and not to kill them."
Deffenbaugh's attorney did not make an opening statement.
The trial, which is expected to last five or six weeks, is in recess until Monday, when testimony is scheduled to begin.