National District Attorneys Association Newsclips August 20, Don t Miss Out!

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1 National District Attorneys Association Newsclips August 20, 2010 Prosecuting Drug Cases September 12-16, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada Don t Miss Out! Experienced Prosecutor Course September 26-30, 2010 Marco Island, FL Today s Clip Headlines Alabama DA-Elect Is Being Paid to Study Case Backlog Kennedy Favors Civilian Courts In Terrorism Cases ACLU Challenges Illinois Eavesdropping Act 7 Arrested in Probe of Courts Sentenced State Offers Judges More Information DHS May Take Some People Off Child Abuse Registry Editorial: Truth Be Told. Senate Bill That Would Rewrite Criminals History Should Hit The Trash Bin SD Court Upholds Drunken Driving Conviction Perry: Toughen Penalties For Human Traffickers Scott Calls For Evidence-Based Crime Fighting, Prevention Work Mo. Auditor Finds Improvement In Sex Offender List Audit Of SBI Finds 230 Cases Tainted, Mishandled Nail Salons Accused Of Human Trafficking Ohio On Dirty Dozen List For Lax Sex-Trade Laws Texas Faces Rising Cost For Illegal Immigrant Care $124 Fine For Texting/Driving: Too High? State s Proactive Approach Drives Down Prison Violence Editorial, 8/14: At Last, Congress Corrects Mistake Is Life Sentence Too Harsh For Man Convicted of Ninth DWI? Clip Synopses and Links Montgomery Advertiser Alabama DA-Elect Is Being Paid to Study Case Backlog Baldwin County s district attorney-elect is being paid $10,000 a month to study the county s backlog of cases even though the incumbent has the job until January, an arrangement that one judge in the county calls unethical. Presiding Circuit Judge James Reid signed a contract with Hallie Dixon that pays her

2 $10,000 a month to study the backlog. I am analyzing our system, Dixon told the Press-Register in an interview Wednesday. I m being paid to develop a proposal, suggesting different processes that could improve the efficiency of our operations in moving cases through. Circuit Judge Robert Wilters sharply criticized the contract, saying it was unethical and a breach of the separation of powers. We have a district attorney now, and she will remain the district attorney through January. The contract hire is improper, it s wrong and it s too much money, Wilters said. Reid said he decided to hire Dixon for the consulting work as a way to help her prepare for the job that she inherits Jan. 16. He said he doubted that outgoing District Attorney Judy Newcomb would give her an interim staff position. A-elect+is+being+paid+to+study+case+backlog Honolulu Star-Bulletin Kennedy Favors Civilian Courts In Terrorism Cases Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said Thursday that most terrorism cases should be tried in civilian courts. Kennedy addressed participants in the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference on Maui, where a panel discussion earlier this week reached a consensus in favor of using civilian courts instead of military commissions in most terrorism cases. Article III courts are quite capable of trying these terrorist cases, Kennedy said, agreeing with the conclusion. Kennedy also praised the hundreds of attorneys attending the four-day conference at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa for taking up one of the most crucial, dangerous and disturbing issues of our time terrorism. It was clear, he said, that an attack on the rule of law has failed, referring to the use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects, often before panels in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 19-US-Judicial-Conference-Kennedy/id-a0eb9db2600f4e0ca9de9425e32e2bbe Chicago Tribune ACLU Challenges Illinois Eavesdropping Act Lawsuit cites cases of people charged with breaking the law for making audio recordings of police in action 2

3 It s not unusual or illegal for police officers to flip on a camera as they get out of their squad car to talk to a driver they ve pulled over. But in Illinois, a civilian trying to make an audio recording of police in action is breaking the law. It s an unfair and destructive double standard, said Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago challenging the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which makes it criminal to record not only private but also public conversations made without consent of all parties ,0, story The Advocate (Baton Rouge) 7 Arrested in Probe of Courts Sentenced Judge says victim was Baton Rouge Seven people snared in the FBI s investigation of corruption in city and state courts in Baton Rouge described by a prosecutor as one of the most systemic and pervasive corruption schemes in this district received sentences Thursday that ranged from three years in prison to probation. I feel the victim in this case was the city of Baton Rouge, U.S. District Judge James J. Brady said before sending former senior City Prosecutor Flitcher R. Bell to prison for three years and fining him $2,000. Brady said Bell received more than $30,000 in bribes for dismissing cases. The judge ordered Bell to report to federal prison on Sept. 20. This is probably one of the most systemic and pervasive corruption schemes in this district, Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson told Brady prior to announcement of the sentence. Without Mr. Bell, there is no scheme, Amundson added. I am outraged by this. Amundson added FBI agents discovered more than 100 traffic and criminal cases dismissed in return for bribes shared by several employees in the state and city court systems. This was a daily enterprise, Amundson said. He (Bell) chose time and time again to take the bribe. The Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) 3

4 State Offers Judges More Information Missouri judges are getting more information to consult when they decide on sentences for criminal offenders. Missouri does not have strict sentencing guidelines. But the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission, created by a state law, publishes a guide to recommended sentences based on actual practices by trial judges around the state. The commission has now added information on the costs of incarceration, probation and enhanced probation and the likelihood that person convicted of a certain crime will someday go back to prison. Des Moines Register DHS May Take Some People Off Child Abuse Registry State human services officials will consider removing certain people from the child abuse registry if they appeal their case. The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that the Iowa Department of Human Services is not authorized to put people on the registry for neglecting their children by failing to supervise them. Worried that they d have to remove all 26,988 people on the registry for that type of neglect, the agency asked the court for a rehearing. For now, DHS staff will offer to remove names only if alleged perpetrators appeal the agency s finding within six months, or if they already have a case on appeal, Director Charlie Krogmeier said. Only those believed to pose a low risk of future harm to a child will get the offer, Krogmeier said. If the agency believes there is a moderate or high risk of reabuse or that other types of abuse, such as physical or sexual abuse, were also alleged the staff will defend the registry placement, he said. HS-may-take-some-people-off-child-abuse-registry Columbia Dispatch (OH) Editorial: Truth Be Told Senate Bill That Would Rewrite Criminals History Should Hit The Trash Bin Society can talk about ways to help people with criminal records turn their lives around. But a bill in the Ohio Senate that would attempt to scrub the public record of inconvenient facts - in effect, to subject society to a mass memory cleanse - is plumb crazy. 4

5 A bill sponsored by state Sen. Shirley A. Smith, D-Cleveland, would allow nonviolent criminals with multiple convictions to ask to have their police and court records sealed after they ve gone five years without any legal trouble. That s troubling enough: Society is entitled to know when someone repeatedly has broken the law, violently or not. But Smith s bill goes much further: Incredibly, it would require that individuals and private businesses destroy any records they have of the convictions of people whose records have been sealed. Newspapers and other news media would have to delete old stories from their archives and the Internet. Should one slip up and fail to alter these histories, the penalty would be steep: a $250,000 fine. Someone who intentionally told others about an expunged conviction would be hit for $500,000 and $1 million if the information went out over the Internet. Rapid City Journal SD Court Upholds Drunken Driving Conviction A Rapid City policeman had sufficient reason to stop a car and conduct an investigation that led to the driver s conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The high court unanimously upheld Alvin R. Sound Sleeper s conviction for driving or being in control of a vehicle while having more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. Sound Sleeper argued the police officer violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure because the officer had no reasonable suspicion of a legal violation to justify approaching the vehicle. The Supreme Court said Detective Kelvin Masur had reasonable suspicion that a passenger in the car had opened a large bottle of beer, which would be a violation of a state law barring opened alcohol containers in vehicles. That gave the detective sufficient reason to detain the car and investigate, the high court said. abc fd11a.html The San Antonio Express News Perry: Toughen Penalties For Human Traffickers Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday proposed new laws to stiffen penalties for human trafficking in the state and renewed his criticism of the federal government for failing to keep the Texas-Mexico border secure. The governor wants state lawmakers when they reconvene in January to make the worst 5

6 of these traffickers subject to first-degree felony charges that could carry up to 99 years in prison. Texas enacted a human trafficking law in 2003, and last year Perry signed a measure creating a statewide human trafficking task force attached to the Texas attorney general s office. The law took effect in January. Perry said his office was making $500,000 in grants available to counties and cities to help victims of human trafficking. His office s criminal justice division also will provide the attorney general with nearly $300,000 to expand the trafficking task force to aid in prosecution of cases. The Crime Report Scott Calls For Evidence-Based Crime Fighting, Prevention Work House Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) took his case for evidencebased anticrime programs to the American Probation and Parole Association this week in Washington, D.C. Scott, addressing the 35th annual association training institute, said in prepared remarks that what works in fighting crime are not emotion-based, but evidence-based, practices. So, even in the face of the political games that are being played in Congress and the state legislatures, it is critical for you to remain committed to learning, implementing, and developing practices that are based in what actually works, and not what just sounds good. Scott used part of his appearance to promote his Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education proposal, with the acronym PROMISE. Scott wants to create local councils that assess the local youth crime problem and plan crime prevention efforts. He said studies have shown that on average, evidenced-based prevention and intervention programs save about $5 for every $1 dollar spent. Scott said that if PROMISE organizations were established in the 10 states where incarceration of African Americans is at a rate of 4,000 persons per 100,000 and we got the rate down to the point where we incarcerated people at a rate of no more than 500 per 100,000, we have savings enough for $10,000 per at-risk child. The proposal has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee but its chances of enactment are uncertain. Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) Mo. Auditor Finds Improvement In Sex Offender List Missouri is doing a better job at getting sex offenders to register but still has work to do to meet federal requirements, a state audit released Wednesday concluded. Despite the progress, Missouri does not substantially comply with federal sex offender 6

7 requirements and risks losing federal funds after July Few states are considered to substantially comply with the federal requirements, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is responsible for maintaining the state sex offender registry. To meet those federal requirements, Missouri lawmakers could add some new offenses that force registration and require people on the list to report more frequently if convicted of certain crimes. The Charlotte Observer Audit Of SBI Finds 230 Cases Tainted, Mishandled Attorneys to re-examine cases, some decades old The North Carolina justice system shook Wednesday as an audit commissioned by Attorney General Roy Cooper revealed that the State Bureau of Investigation withheld or distorted evidence in more than 200 cases at the expense of potentially innocent men and women. The full impact of the disclosure will reverberate for years to come as prosecutors and defense attorneys re-examine cases as much as two decades old to figure out whether these errors robbed defendants of justice. Some of the injustices can be addressed as attorneys bring old cases back to court. The Columbus Dispatch Nail Salons Accused Of Human Trafficking What is described as a multimilliondollar human-trafficking scheme is operating out of nail salons in Ohio, with immigrants from Southeast Asia, many of them illegal, being forced to work as indentured servants in exchange for passage to the U.S. Kevin L. Miller, executive director of the Ohio Board of Cosmetology, said he expects indictments and arrests statewide in the next 60 days or so. State and local law enforcement are investigating, along with the FBI, Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he said. The problems involve human labor trafficking, identify theft, fraudulent license testing and potential national security threats, Miller said, adding that he could not provide specifics because of the ongoing investigation. Dayton Daily News Ohio On Dirty Dozen List For Lax Sex-Trade Laws 7

8 Ohio may be cracking down on the sex trade and slave labor, but the efforts fall far short of what s needed, according to a national report released Wednesday, Aug. 18. State ratings from the Washington, D.C.-based Polaris Project made Ohio part of the Dirty Dozen states that have failed to adequately address the growing crime of human trafficking. Human traffickers constantly look for places where they can make high profits and where they feel like there is little chance of getting caught, Bradley Myles, Polaris Project CEO and executive director, said in a press release. States that fail to provide critical deterrents strong penalties, asset forfeiture laws or trained law enforcement are at heightened risk. The San Antonio Express News Texas Faces Rising Cost For Illegal Immigrant Care The cost of keeping illegal immigrants in prison and providing them with medical care exceeded $250 million last year in Texas, according to state health and corrections officials. The testimony before the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday came as lawmakers faced a projected state budget shortfall of up to $18 billion. We want to focus on what the real costs are for state services, said Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, the committee chairman. There s really not a lot of wholly accurate data. Jerry McGinty, the Texas Department of Corrections chief financial officer, said state prisons held 11,766 offenders who are foreign citizens in July. He said it costs the state about $171 million per year to hold them, although the federal government reimburses about 10 percent of that total. Rick Allgeyer, director of research for the Health and Human Services Commission, said illegal immigrant health care mostly emergency hospital care cost the state nearly $100 million last year html Puget Sound Business Journal $124 Fine For Texting/Driving: Too High? Some Washington state drivers think the $124 fine for drivers who get caught texting or 8

9 using a hand-held cell phone is too high. In a recent poll, 17 percent said that $124 fine accompanying Washington state s new law that prohibits using a cell phone while driving is too high. And 11 percent said the similar $124 fine for those caught texting when driving is too high. In June, the state law changed to allow police officers to ticket drivers they see texting or using a hand-held cell phone. Previously, officers could write the tickets only if the driver was pulled over for a more serious offense. The Seattle Times State s Proactive Approach Drives Down Prison Violence Efforts by the state Department of Corrections, including holding intense one-on-one interviews with incoming inmates and keeping gang members separated, has resulted in reductions in violence behind bars. Roughly 20 percent of the state s 16,000 inmates are gang members, but they re responsible for 46 percent of prison violence, said Dan Pacholke, the acting prisons director for the Department of Corrections (DOC). Over the past two years, violence at the state s five largest prisons in Monroe, Aberdeen, Steilacoom, Shelton and Walla Walla has dropped as much as 20 percent. Statewide, violence has gone down 5 percent in each of the past two years. That translates to approximately 200 fewer violent infractions each year, Pacholke said. Much of that decline is attributed to intense one-on-one interviews with inmates when they are first sent to Shelton, where an estimated 500 prisoners arrive each week from county jails. During the screenings, many are proud to admit their gang affiliations and show off their tattoos, and that information is logged into a growing database. The prison system now has a policy of mandatory separation to keep rival gang members apart, he said. There s also a great deal of sorting to separate hard-core gang members from the wannabes, who are often younger prisoners who haven t yet shown the same propensity for violence, Pacholke said. Journal Star Editorial, 8/14: At Last, Congress Corrects Mistake It s been obvious for years that Congress made a mistake back in 1986 when it set mandatory prison sentences for crack cocaine. Since then, experts, including the U.S. Sentencing Commission, have concluded that fears that crack cocaine was instantly addictive and more dangerous than powder cocaine 9

10 were greatly exaggerated. The new law does not eliminate the disparity in sentencing. It reduces the disparity from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. Arrayed in support of the proposed change was a broad and diverse group of organizations, including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National District Attorneys Association and the International Union of Police Associations, as well as the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. 001cc4c002e0.html ABC News Is Life Sentence Too Harsh For Man Convicted of Ninth DWI? Texas District Attorney Says Punishment Fits Repeated Crime The ninth conviction was the breaking point for one Texas judge who earlier this week sentenced a habitual drunken driver to life in prison. This is someone who very deliberately has refused to make changes and continued to get drunk and get in a car and before he kills someone we decided to put him away, said Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley. Bradley said that in addition to the multiple DWI convictions, Stovall also had a extensive rap sheet for other crimes, including burglary, credit card abuse and supplying alcohol to a minor. But some argue that Stovall s sentence was too harsh and that the court should have considered his struggle with alcoholism. This guy has a disease, he is an alcoholic and this isn t the kind of situation where he s acting with malice to hurt people, said Lawrence Taylor, a DUI lawyer and author of Drunk Driving Defense. He has a serious problem and I hope the days are past where we think alcoholism is something you choose, said Taylor. Conferences Prosecuting Drug Cases September 12-16, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada Courtroom Technology 10

11 September 13-16, 2010 NAC, Columbia, South Carolina Abusive Head Trauma: Trial Techniques for Prosecutors September 15, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia NDAA Fall Conference: Behind the Net September 22-24, 2010 NAC, Columbia, South Carolina Experienced Prosecutor Course September 26-30, 2010 Marco Island, FL SafetyNet: Multidisciplinary Investigation & Prosecution of Technology-Facilitated Child Sexual Exploitation September 27 - October 1, 2010 Easton, Massachusetts Net_draft_agenda.pdf Prosecuting Homicide Cases October 3-7, 2010 San Antonio, Texas Prosecuting Elder Abuse Cases October 5-7, 2010 Inn at USC Columbia, South Carolina Summary Application Arson Prosecution October 4-8 NAC, Columbia, SC Unsafe Havens II October 18-22, 2010 NAC, Columbia, South Carolina 11

12 20th Annual National Conference on Domestic Violence October 27-31, 2010 Washington, DC Prosecutor Bootcamp November 1-5 NAC, Columbia, South Carolina Government Civil Practice November 7-11 Scottsdale, Arizona Prosecuting Sexual Assaults & Related Violent Crimes November San Francisco, California Trial Advocacy I November NAC, Columbia, South Carolina NDAA Fall Board & Committee Meetings November 18-20, 2010 Scottsdale, Arizona The Executive Program A Course for Prosecution Leadership December 5-8, 2010, San Francisco, California Summary Registration Forensic Evidence December 5-9, 2010, San Antonio, Texas Summary Registration Cross-Examination December 6-9, 2010, NAC, Columbia, SC Deadline: October 8, 2010 Summary Registration Courtroom Technology December 13-16, 2010, NAC, Columbia, SC Deadline: October 15,

13 Summary Registration Prosecutor Bootcamp February 7-11, 2011, NAC, Columbia, SC Deadline: December 3, 2010 Summary Check back to register Trial Advocacy I February 28-March 4, 2011, NAC, Columbia, SC Deadline: January 3, 2011 Summary Check back to register Prosecutor Bootcamp March 21-25, 2011, NAC, Columbia, SC Deadline: January 21, 2011 Summary Check back to register NDAA Summer Board and Committee Meetings July 15-17, 2011, Sun Valley, Idaho Check back for summary and registration 2011 NDAA Summer Conference July 17-20, 2011, Sun Valley, Idaho Check back for summary and registration Change, Add or Delete Addresses If you no longer wish to receive the clips or wish to add an address, please send a message to Member Benefits New NDAA membership benefits available: Need Case Assistance? NDAA can help. Send a message to NDAA s prosecutor assistance address and we will get your request to one of our program specialists or out to prosecutors around the country. 13

National District Attorneys Association Newsclips September 20, 2010

National District Attorneys Association Newsclips September 20, 2010 National District Attorneys Association Newsclips September 20, 2010 Experienced Prosecutor Course September 26-30, 2010 Marco Island, FL http://www.ndaa.org/education/ndaa/policy_management_training_schedule.html

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