Thursday, July 19, 2007
On Wednesday morning, after deliberating for a little more than a day, jurors in Sacramento Superior Court convicted James Allen Schanrock, 26, of first-degree murder and burglary in a crime shocking for both its violence and its randomness.
"It could happen to anyone," jury forewoman Nancy Hartman said after the verdicts were read. "You just don't know when you could come home, your house would be ransacked and the perpetrator would still be in your house. "Your life could be taken in a heartbeat without any reason."
Monday, July 16, 2007
We welcome you to Cocke County Tennessee where your natural adventure is waiting!I'm not 100% sure about the pronunciation, but just the name alone is enough to get my two year-old mind giggling for a minute. It's funny, until you realize that there is more to the news story I just finished reading than just the name.
Nestled in the shadows of the majestic mountains, Cocke County is full of hidden treasures - all waiting to be discovered!
The player's involved?
The Cocke County Public Defender and (ahem) a Public Defender Investigator.
Apparently, an Investigator with the Cocke County Public Defenders Office has been indicted as part of an undercover probe into illegal gambling in Cocke County!
William Glen Almany and Jason Grooms were among five Cocke County residents who had been arrested as of Thursday afternoon, and more arrests were pending, said 4th Judicial District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn.
The indictments stemmed from “an intense undercover operation” by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation into the Sportsman’s Club, also known as the Sportsman’s Cafe, on West Broadway in Newport, Dunn said.
Almany, an investigator for the Public Defender’s Office, was charged with four counts of aggravated gambling promotion, a felony, for allegedly operating the club along with his brother, Lee Emory Almany, Dunn said.
What can I say? I'm hoping that justice is served but I'm also hoping the charges don't involve any serious time for any of the future gambling moguls. I'm personally a big fan of gambling and just GUESSING that in the scheme of things going on in Cocke County, gambling is not at the top of most serious and pressing issues affecting the region BUT of course I'm just an outsider.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
It involves sex, politicians, and 46lbs of telephone records.
Meet Deborah Jeane Palfrey:
You can read about Ms. Palfrey at her own website (here) or you can click on a few recent news stories (here and here). Basically, she was arrested late last year and charged with essentially running a prostitution ring in Washington D.C. from her home in California.
The REAL big news is that she threatened to release her telephone records which had the possibility (likelihood) of revealing the names and organizations of some interesting "customers."
A court order restricting the release of her own records was recently lifted and now she has them posted on her site.
Here is her most recent posting explaining why she was posting them on her site. Originally she was going to release them only to bloggers and members of the news media who met certain criteria (I was one of them):
I'm working on criss-crossing these telephone records with the help of a a few other investigator friends of mine. I will post any interesting results on this blog (after complete verification) and provide whatever background information I can and if possible, show how I found the information. This research my result in nothing or it may really fuck some things up...time will tell.
Why the Records are Being Publicly Released
I have reason to believe the disk - containing a full set of the telephone records for the 13 year operational history of “Pamela Martin & Associates” - already has been pirated. Despite our very best intentions to maintain control of the information, our efforts seemingly have been for naught. I am concerned about manipulation of the database with false and misleading information. Even though such falsifications can be refuted in time by comparing an altered copy with the original, my attorney, Mr. Sibley and I fear that in the intervening time period, considerable damage can and will be done to the reputations of individual and entities with no connection to the business. Additionally, the overall validity of the records’ contents will be diminished when one false accusation after another begins to manifest. Therefore, to thwart any possible distorted version and to ensure the integrity of the information, the records – in their entirety -- are available for downloading. Deciphering this voluminous amount of data – some of which is well over a decade old will not be an easy task. Frankly, this likely is understating matters. It will take a small army of people skilled in computer and phone technology, investigation as well as factual knowledge regarding the significance OR non-significance of identified persons. No one individual or entity will be able to connect all of the dots. The overall endeavor easily could take many months, if not years to research and report conscientiously.
I'm doing this mainly because of reasons like this...the first hypocrite shaken loose from the high and mighty tree of politicians:
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Now, getting a bit more serious...
I was given the gift of a topic for my next post when Magmann posted the following in the comments to my last post on accused killer, James Schanrock:
First, lets look at what a technicality can do:
A technicality can lose a football game.
A technicality can blow up a space shuttle 2 1/2 minutes from lift-off.
A technicality can kill you with the wrong medication at the pharmacy.
A technicality can cause your car to go careening over a cliff because some asshole didn't tighten the lug nuts at Jiffy Tire.
A technicality can impeach a President. IS oral sex considered SEX?
And yes, a technicality can send an innocent person to prison for life...or death.
So you ask me if I would feel successful knowing that a client got off on a technicality.
The answer is...yes, I would.
I would feel more successful with a full acquittal at trial. I would feel more successful if in the course of my investigation I discovered the identity of the real killer and all charges were dismissed against my client.
Lets call a technicality what it is...a fuck-up. We ALL avoid fuck-ups at all costs. Our job as Public Defenders is to defend the rights of the accused...simple as that. Sometimes it means pointing out the many technicalities that were committed by law enforcement in the course of the prosecution's investigation. Sometimes the technicalities deserve a slap on the wrist to the prosecutor or detective and sometime the technicalities are so egregious that the only sensible answer is to dismiss a case because it has been so fucked up by technicalities that there is no way to prosecute the case cleanly.
What Joe or Mary Public doesn't understand is that on the RARE occasions that major criminal cases are dismissed in criminal court, its not usually because someone misspelled a name in a warrant or someone forgot to fill out a proof of service on a subpoena to a witness that decided not to come to court. It usually takes more...a hell of a lot more.
I've seen cases where the case against the client was dismissed because of a technicality like....police misconduct and sloppiness. This misconduct/sloppiness tainted the case so badly that the District Attorney was put into a position that they couldn't take the case to a jury and get the result they wanted...a conviction.
Law enforcement needs to be held to an extremely high standard because their fuck-ups have have habit of unleashing devastating effects on the lives of the victims AND the accused. We must point out/highlight the mistakes and technicalities of the prosecution, this has a habit of making them adhere to their own rules a little bit more. It insures that they follow the law that is written...to protect them and us, the citizens.
I have absolutely no hard feelings against a police agency/DA that conducted a completely thorough and legal investigation of a client that is later convicted and sent to prison for life. Thats THEIR JOB! If for some reason their case is full of technicalities then its our job to point them out and ask...Why? Why should we take this case full of mistakes and send a man/woman to prison on evidence that was obtained illegally or incorrectly?
I'm going to lose the most sleep (and quite possibly hair) over the idea that someone innocent of having committed a crime has been sent to prison.
Oh, and for the record, I don't care who did the raping or killing. If it happened to my family, of course it would be devastating. Such a silly question.