Jun 26, 2013

Connecticut's Secretive,Dysfunctional Court "Practices" Rarely Exposed......

Taken from The Register Citizen, written by Andy Thibault; writer, columnist, whistle - blower extraordinaire.

The first thing I thought of when the title of this article immediately caught my attention was a little  addendum I personally would have added to the characteristically unflinching honesty of Mr.Andy Thibault,

I would have tagged on....." and long- immune to Media or legislative microscope 
(We could start with some genuine oversight.)  

 It’s got to be rough diving in to the intricacies of a politically-driven, self-serving and unjustifiable murder prosecution.

Suppose you are diligent and discover the case was used primarily as a career enhancer, a stepping stone – and a human being was stepped on for no other plausible reason.

The easy thing is to look away – or not to look at all. Far too many of those who swear to uphold justice in Connecticut are practiced and extremely talented in this regard. If you actually do your job, you might offend colleagues. If you do your job, you might even read the trial transcript and learn something about a case in which, like Caesar in the Coliseum, you alone decide whether a person is free or given the ultimate thumbs down.

Couldn’t the judge, Hadley W. Austin, have at least read the trial transcript?

Here is an exchange between Austin and Dr. Evan Stark, a professor at Rutgers and an expert on domestic violence, on April 9, 1996:

Austin: “How about the – Did you ever have an opportunity, or were you exposed to, or did you have occasion to look at or review the transcript?”

Stark: “Yes, I did.”

Austin: “Of the trial?”

Stark: “Yes, I did, your honor, quite carefully.”

Austin: “All right. No small task I observe.”  

Stark: “That’s correct, your honor.”

Austin: “ … Dr. Stark, you understand of course as counsel do that I have not had any opportunity to read the transcript.”

Stark: “Then you have a formidable task as well.”

Austin goes on to say that at least Stark read it and then the judge stumbles through a series of questions that a diligent person would have researched beforehand.

The scene was New London Superior Court, April 9, 1996, Bonnie Jean Foreshaw versus Commissioner of Correction, CV94-0530489. Judge Austin, who died 10 years later, had just admitted he didn’t do his job. Austin would go on to rule that Foreshaw actually had a fair trial, despite compelling evidence and arguments by attorneys John Williams and Diane Polan.

For mysterious and perhaps diabolical reasons, the notorious 5-page “Blue Note” – delineating “disturbing” and “shocking” malpractice by Foreshaw’s trial lawyer – had not surfaced.

Was the Blue Note
http://tinyurl.com/k7wmd2w hidden in a file? Was it removed for a time? How many state employees – robed and unrobed – dropped the ball on the Blue Note while Bonnie Foreshaw rotted in jail?

Anyone and everyone who knew of the Blue Note had an affirmative duty to produce it. Otherwise, let’s not pretend that we’re practicing any level of justice here in Connecticut.

Just last week, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles cited the Blue Note as the reason to reverse a decision
http://tinyurl.com/mntf87o and grant Foreshaw a clemency hearing in October. Board Chair Erika Tindill told the Associated Press: “Had it not been for the surfacing of that memo, which we had no idea about, we would not have reconsidered her case.”

The memo was written by then-public defender Jon Blue at the request of the agency’s chief appellate lawyer at the time, Joette Katz. I reached out last week to Katz, who went on to become a state Supreme Court justice and is now commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families. Now off the bench, Katz is free to do some explaining. Continued...

Foreshaw, 65, has served more than 27 years for what many legal experts – including Blue and perhaps Katz – believe should have been a manslaughter charge. Had she faced a manslaughter prosecution, Foreshaw would have been free years ago. Instead, Foreshaw faced a charge of first degree murder for shooting at a man she had just encountered and who was harassing her and threatening to [f---] her up on March 27, 1986. At the last moment, the man admitted he pulled a pregnant woman in front of him as a human shield. A fatal shot entered the upper left chest and traveled toward the lung of Joyce Amos, who had been trying to restrain Hector Freeman.

Foreshaw wrote of her remorse in a volume of redemptive memoirs, “Couldn’t Keep It To Myself,” edited by the novelist Wally Lamb
http://tinyurl.com/l3nkvxu and featured http://tinyurl.com/jvmtuef on 60 Minutes: “I never lost sight of the fact that I still had my life and Joyce Amos, the lady who tried to help me that night, had lost hers. She had been someone’s mother and someone’s daughter, same as me. A powerful sadness was closing in. I began to ask myself how I could survive – or if I even wanted to … .”

Foreshaw, a battered and abused woman, gave birth to her first child after being raped at age 12. The abuse has continued throughout her life.

“A great deal of [this] relevant material was never produced [at trial] at all,” Blue wrote. “ … A former husband had beaten Foreshaw on the head with a baseball bat … and she had spent two weeks in the hospital. No hospital records were produced ... She did not have an effective defense.”

Katz and others must explain how and why the Blue Note was buried. Why did Katz request this memo? What did she do with it upon receipt? Who dropped the ball? Why?

The commissioner’s spokesman said she was out of state Friday and was expected to return Tuesday. He sent her an email about the case.

Andy Thibault is a contributing editor for Journal Register Co.’s Connecticut publications and the author of Law & Justice In Everyday Life. He formerly served as a commissioner for Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission. Reach Thibault by email at tntcomm82@cs.com. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice. 


Jun 16, 2013

Dad Inadvertantly Beats His Daughters Rapist to Death.

This Article about child rapist has been given a straw poll and everyone thus far feels that the father should receive no charges as he was simply defending his 7 year old daughter in the middle of a child rapists attack.

Nancy Grace did her usual indignant, overly emphatic disgusted spiel with the message being loud and clear; finally some justice in the world"  This I was treated to via a video clip of her new HLN/ Crime and Trial Network/Program which she shares with "Dr. Drew"( former addiction specialist to the rich and or once famous, As he weighs on on these very traumatic and terror filled crimes which have victims at their very embodiment, behaves as if he is speaking as a pundit on a gossip TVshow, his entire carriage utterly inappropriate for the subjects at hand!

That said, I have to admit that  I felt a surge of thank god, a despicable child rapist got his, when watching the video and attached post.

However there is still a damaged little girl out these who was  abducted and sexually assaulted in the middle of what traditionally was considered a safe a neighborhood barbeque!

I keep getting flashbacks to the book/movie 'Bastard out of Carolina"  which had a scene whereupon the family of the little girl being beaten and unbeknownst to them at that point raped by her sadistic stepfather,  beat the living daylights out of the stepfather at a family barbeque when an aunt inadvertently saw signs of severe beatings on  her nieces thighs back etc.

As satisfying as that familial group beating of the child abuser was, he actually pressed on to yet again beat and rape that same little girl for getting him " in trouble" and tossed from the wife/child's

That movie haunts to this day as it never had a resolution and being simple river people the advice given to the little girl who was understandably angry at the world in the months following was quasi chastised by one of her favorite aunts for " holding on to anger"

While it was supposed to be an accurate depiction of that part of the country ie  The River People in Backwoods Carolina, and their mores values and atypical temporal reaction to such things as child abuse ...this particular scene stood out among many disturbing scenes such as a hospital visit whereupon the ER doctor tells the mother of this abused little girl your daughters ass is broken lady!!! Now who did it ?"

 They'd given the Dr. the usual she fell out of a tree story.

And after taking the girl aside and questioning her softly as to who was hurting her she looks at her mother who is giving her a please keep quiet honey look' the girl deflated whispers I just want to leave"

Fathers Day and Men's Role Preventing and Combating Domestic & Intimate Violence

Fathers Day Brings Focus to Father's Role Preventing/Combating Domestic Violence

Because fathers have a special role in their children's lives, they also have a remarkable opportunity to share lessons that can influence and impact their sons and daughters in significant and enduring ways. But how many of us have actually taken time to sit with our sons and daughters to discuss a subject of tremendous consequence -- how to have healthy relationships?

Proudly, I join fathers around the country today in urging dads to have serious and substantive conversations with their sons and daughters, not only about the perils of drugs and alcohol or the importance of education, but about what it means to have healthy relationships.

Too often, we see the horrific results of the mistreatment of women and children on the evening news and in crime statistics. Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused by her partner. Nearly three out of every four Americans knows someone personally who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Sex trafficking -- especially of young children -- is increasing at alarming rates across our country.

And while we stand tall and proud with those men and women who have served and continue to serve in our military, we have seen even those institutions shaken by the scourge of sexual assault -- 26,000 members of the Armed Forces were sexually assaulted in just one year.

For two decades, The Michael Bolton Charities has been dedicated to responding to the needs of children and women at risk. It has been encouraging and inspiring to be joined in this effort by people who believe, as I do, that we must end the cycle of domestic violence and the lasting damage it inflicts on our families and our communities. Providing effective responses that offer real, life-changing opportunities is at the heart of our work, and our commitment has not wavered.

It has been estimated that as many as 10 million children witness assaults by one parent against another each year. We recognize that domestic violence places children, as well as women, in harm's way. Our determined efforts continue across the country, most notably in Connecticut and Nevada, where visionary leaders and everyday citizens are coming together to advance effective strategies, legislation and solutions that work, and that matter.

For all of these reasons, I support a new initiative called NO MORE. It aims to get men talking about these serious issues. New data from a NO MORE survey, sponsored by the Avon Foundation for Women, shows that on this subject, fathers have been virtually silent.

Three out of four men nationwide say they have not talked about domestic violence or sexual assault with their children. And so, as fathers, we can wait no more. We must all begin the conversation, close to home, with each of our children. As fathers, we must continue the conversation with leaders in business and our government. And, as fathers, we must fully engage with our educational system so boys can be taught in the developmental stages that you can never be a real man and be violent with a woman.

As fathers, we must fight to keep VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) fully funded and declare war on human trafficking in our country and everywhere it exists. We need to evolve in our perception and treatment of young women everywhere. It is important to say, free of ambiguity or hesitation, that violence and abuse, power and control, are never acceptable. That's precisely where dads come in. I am firmly convinced that we can cause a chain reaction of hope if our children hear directly from us precisely why healthy relationships must be a priority. Every day. Every night. In every way.

Such a conversation may be difficult to start. here are resources to help, and they are included at www.michaelboltoncharities.com and www.nomore.org. Your involvement has never been more meaningful, or more necessary.

As the son of marvelous parents, the father of three daughters and the grandfather to two magnificent granddaughters, I am very fortunate. Yet, the magnitude of this issue surrounds me every day.
This Father's Day can be remembered as the day when we fathers turned a collective corner, reducing domestic violence and sexual abuse to an aberration, not an everyday occurrence. Together, we can articulate NO MORE through conversations started, voices raised and actions taken. By doing so, this will truly be a Father's Day worthy of every father and every child because the greatest gift we can offer our children on their fathers' day is the ability to have and sustain healthy, mature relationships, built on respect and trust.

Multiple Grammy Award winning songwriter and recording artist Michael Bolton is Chairman of The Michael Bolton Charities, Inc., which recently marked two decades of providing support to children and women at risk.