I'm trying to understand this. One of my dearest girlfriends got robbed by her former roommates last week. They took over $2000 worth of stuff. Actually more because there was a whole slew of silver and gemstones for making silver jewelry, a hobby of hers. But those items were picked up here and there and she didn't have any way of listing all of what it was.
They found a tiny amount of her jewelry, not the stuff she made, because she found out where one of them pawned it at. It took the detectives 2 days to follow up on the lead. The jewelry was hers. So today they searched the house and found more stuff but none of the truly valuable things, except one small box of silver wire in the mom's room.
Here's the kicker - they arrested the boy (teenager) but refused to arrest the mom because they didn't want to have to be responsible for her medically. (Yes they found stuff in mom's room) WTF!! Crimes can now be ignored because the criminal has illnesses?!?!
In addition, she was already told that despite having prior records the son will be released without bail and most likely will only get probation.
Not understanding the justice in this at all. She was in the process of moving out and is now completely moved out but this is just wrong.
There's no justice in this, you're right. Tell her to put it behind her and take out renter's insurance (very cheap). It happened to me once when I was 21. A woman my age was the bookkeeper at the place I worked; she needed a roommate. I thought she was nice. After all, she was a preacher's daughter, lol right? Sheesh. What that girl didn't do when she thought nobody was looking. Anyway, I used to give her my share of the rent money and never asked her for a receipt. After all, we rented from our employer (he had a few houses). To make a long story short, she absconded with the rent money, went to a dept store and charged up a storm, packed it all in her station wagon and bailed for home in Mars, PA. I got fired from the job because the boss didn't believe I had paid my share, and naturally got evicted. Her creditors called me for several years looking for her because she charged up thousands of dollars. Chalk one up, eh?
You know, thinking back on that, the little creep even got my poor mother for money. Yeah, one day we're at my mom's house and while I'm in the powder room, she tells my mother she didn't have the money to renew her drivers license and my mother believed her and gave her the money for it because she felt sorry for her. She told my mom it was a loan and that she would pay her back. She never paid her back either, of course. That really ticked my mother off, let me tell you. Some people are just bums. This one had such a good act going that nobody knew anything about what she was up to until after she bailed and people started comparing notes. I bet she stole from the boss too, but I never asked and he didn't say. Why else would she bail like that???
Earth is bootcamp for eternity.
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SOURCE: Truthdig (11-3-09)
[Stanley Kutler is the author of “The Wars of Watergate” and other writings.]
Sen. Russ Feingold has called the glut of unlimited campaign contributions nothing more than “legalized bribery.” And who among his legislative colleagues deserves to be hit with this denunciation? “Not me,” say Max Baucus, the largest single recipient of health industry funds, and Joe Lieberman, the senator from Aetna Insurance, and, for that matter, just about all of the rest of Congress.
In June 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the intended effects of campaign contributions when it ruled in Caperton v. Massey that a West Virginia judge who failed to recuse himself had run a “serious risk of actual bias” because a person with a personal stake in the case had acquired “significant and disproportionate influence” over the judge by having raised funds for him and directing his election campaign. The issue, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court, “centers on the contribution’s relative size in comparison to the total amount of money contributed to the campaign, the total amount spent in the election, and the apparent effect such contribution had on the outcome of the election.”
One-time U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, now counsel for many conservative causes, insisted in Caperton that the “improper appearance” of campaign money in judicial elections was critical. “A line needs to be drawn,” he said, “to prevent a judge from hearing cases involving a person who has made massive campaign contributions to benefit the judge.”
Now comes Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, which, in a 4-3 vote, has drawn a different line and adopted a rule stipulating that campaign contributions, endorsements and paid ads are not enough to force recusal. The majority acted to “send a message that making lawful contributions is not a dishonorable thing to do and it’s not a dishonorable thing to receive.”
In a hearing on the ruling, the League of Women Voters and a retired associate justice proposed that recusal be triggered if a judge had received a contribution of more than $1,000 from a single source. In the end, two prominent lobbying groups, the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) and the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Association (WMC), persuaded the court that unlimited contributions are protected “free speech.” Two of the four judges of the Wisconsin Supreme Court are beneficiaries of the WRA and WMC’s largesse.
Wisconsin voters have seen John Grisham’s novel “The Appeal” come to life. The book portrays powerful vested interests that wage a deceitful campaign in an unnamed state, pouring millions of dollars into successfully electing a Supreme Court justice, who then works to overturn an important lower court environmental ruling. The grease of corruption pervades Grisham’s imaginary state.
Wisconsin, which likes to see itself in the mirror of its century-old tradition of squeaky-clean progressive government, has had two Supreme Court elections in recent years, contests marked by the influx of WMC money. The manufacturers and commerce group carefully selected unknown, quite obscure lower court judges Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman as candidates. The WMC lavished an unprecedented $2 million on each and financed deceitful ads. For the first time in 41 years, a Wisconsin Supreme Court election—Gableman’s—resulted in an incumbent’s defeat. In the state court’s ruling on campaign contributions, both successful candidates were in the majority. Money trumps all.
For Wisconsin, the change is all too apparent. Forty years ago, the state tried a state legislator accused of accepting a $50 bribe. Later, a district attorney brought charges against a highly respected state senator for allegedly illegally making two overseas telephone calls.
Justice Ziegler stepped aside in 2007 in a case between the WRA and the town of West Point after the town noted she had received $8,625 in campaign contributions from the realtors association. The court divided and returned the case to the lower courts, which ruled in favor of the town. But several months later, Ziegler participated in a case that the WMC considered critical and she wrote a 4-3 decision favoring the organization’s position, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in business tax refunds.
After her election, Ziegler’s new high court colleagues rather gently reprimanded her for not recusing herself in cases involving a bank where her husband was a paid director. Some reprimand.
Gableman’s election brought complaints from lawyers that he had violated the judicial code by lying about his opponent’s record.
Gableman, the court’s newest judge, unabashedly supported the WMC’s position on the campaign contributions rule. Gableman ripped into the League of Women Voters—notoriously nonpartisan—calling it a “left-wing” group that advocated the regulation of campaign speech and demanded government “regulators” who would oversee judges. Gableman said the WMC’s approach properly “memorializes the First Amendment rights of the people to express their political views.” For Gableman, First Amendment rights are all about money—and probably not much else. At one point, he demanded that a spokesperson for the League of Women Voters account for George Soros’ contributions to the group.
Progressive attorney Ed Garvey, a veteran of notable run-ins with the state court on its ethical rulings, said the court’s majority served notice that “it ain’t [a fight using] bean bags—it is pitched battle. A once great court is deeply divided, with a majority that believes money is speech! Absurd but real.”
Money is awash in our politics, and it has invaded the judicial arena. Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has noted that 14 states since 2006 broke records for spending in state judicial contests. She particularly drew attention to the influx of special interest money in state judicial elections, calling it a dangerous threat to “the integrity of judicial selection,” one that could “compromise public perception of judicial decisions.”
O’Connor said she feared that the judiciary would become “another political arm of the government.” It is somewhat late in the day to lament the politicization of the judiciary, a condition that has always existed, but extravagant campaign contributions have now perilously altered the landscape.
Justice O’Connor must be appalled by the Wisconsin ruling. Perhaps it challenges the U.S. Supreme Court’s Caperton decision, which held that campaign contributions could force a judicial recusal. The Caperton majority confronted determined dissenters, led by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia. Will the Wisconsin ruling provide them with new ammunition and cover in following Wisconsin’s lead? The fight over O’Connor’s concern for “the integrity of judicial selection” is not over.
Equal justice under equal law for all, we often proclaim; but when disproportionate advantage is given to one class or one group, the damage to that tenet is profound. We struggle today with the consequences of legislation that effectively reduced government’s power to regulate unbridled buccaneering in the pursuit of wealth for individual gain, and at the expense of many. The Wisconsin state court judges denounced “regulators” and invoked the insidious notion that we should trust our watchmen to watch themselves. What happened in Wisconsin is a microcosm of our present nightmares and failures.
I'm actually amazed that the police followed up on it at all. Due to widespread budget crises, in a LOT of places in the US the police will only create a report if you pressure them. And they won't make any serious effort at followup. There's often very little money for prosecuting the "little" crimes and even if it went all the way to a successful conviction a lot of jails are overcrowded. It doesn't feel like it, but your friend should probably count herself LUCKY!
Tell her to turn the tables on the roommate and take her to civil court for what she can't recover in criminal court. It has a lower level of proof necessary than criminal cases. Then once she obtains the judgment, if they don't pay it within the allotted amount of time, stick it with a collection agent who is willing to do it on a contingency basis. They'll collect 50% of whatever they collect but what she gets back that way is more than she'd get back after a criminal case.
I like that idea Kathy. I'll pass it on to her. I don't know that she'll get any money out of them but it may let her feel at least a little bit better.
I beginning to believe that the only way to make people listen to the laws is to slam them in the pocket. I'm about to do it to a school system if they don't get their heads screwed on straight rather quickly.
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