Crime/Courts
ICYMI: The New York Times: Sexual Violence and the Military PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Crime/Courts
Written by Kira Ayish   
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:48

In case you missed it…

 

This refers to Rep. Braley’s bipartisan Holley Lynn James Act, which he introduced last year, named for a Dubuque woman who was killed by her husband while both were in the military:

 

A bill from Representative Bruce Braley, Democrat of Iowa, would strengthen military penalties for rape, sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence and end the practice of giving convicted attackers nonjudicial or administrative punishment. It would ensure that allegations of rape and assault are referred to higher-ranking officers to address concerns that lower-level ones are too close to the accused and the victims. It would also allow service members to seek redress in federal court for the military’s failure to investigate or prosecute a sexual crime.

 

 

Editorial: Sexual Violence and the Military

The New York Times

March 8, 2012

The rate of sexual assaults on American women serving in the military remains intolerably high. While an estimated 17 percent of women in the general population become victims at some point in their lives, a 2006 study of female veterans financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that between 23 percent and 33 percent of uniformed women had been assaulted. Those estimates are borne out in other surveys, and a recent Pentagon report on sexual assaults at the service academies found that in the 2010-11 academic year, cadets and midshipmen were involved in 65 reported assaults.

Too often victims are afraid to come forward. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta estimated that the number of attacks in 2011 by service members on other service members — both women and men — was close to 19,000, more than six times the number of reported attacks.

The problem has outlasted decades of Pentagon studies and task forces and repeated vows of “zero tolerance.” Mr. Panetta has promised that this time will be different. In February, he told Congress, “We have got to get our command structure to be a lot more sensitive about these issues, to recognize sexual assault when it takes place and to act on it, not to simply ignore it.”

Mr. Panetta has announced welcome reforms, including more money for training military investigators and judge advocates to prosecute sexual assault cases, more opportunity for victims to report crimes and request transfers and a system to collect and monitor assault cases. The director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, or Sapro, Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog of the Air Force, has pledged to enact the reforms and provide more outreach and support for victims.

There is a lot of tough work ahead. A continuing poster campaign by Sapro, which had started before General Hertog took over, is disturbingly clueless. It carries the tag line, “Ask Her When She’s Sober,” as if predation could be combated through a grotesque parody of an etiquette poster.

The Defense Department’s record of prosecuting assault cases is dismal. In 2010, fewer than 21 percent of cases went to trial, for a number of reasons, including decisions by commanding officers not to prosecute or to impose nonjudicial or administrative punishments. About 6 percent of the accused were discharged or allowed to “resign in lieu of court-martial” — quit their jobs. Only about half the cases prosecuted resulted in convictions.

There are also serious problems in the civilian world. It is even harder for military women to get away from abusers they work with or for; they can’t just quit their jobs or leave a combat zone. They must rely on commanding officers who act as investigators, judges and juries, in an extremely tight-knit workplace.

Members of Congress of both parties are trying to address these problems.

A bill from Representative Bruce Braley, Democrat of Iowa, would strengthen military penalties for rape, sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence and end the practice of giving convicted attackers nonjudicial or administrative punishment. It would ensure that allegations of rape and assault are referred to higher-ranking officers to address concerns that lower-level ones are too close to the accused and the victims. It would also allow service members to seek redress in federal court for the military’s failure to investigate or prosecute a sexual crime.

The Pentagon insists that it can reform itself, and we are aware of the perils of civilian intrusion into the military justice system. But for “zero tolerance” to become a reality, Congress may have to push reform forward.

 
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions March 9, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Crime/Courts
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:47
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions

March 9, 2012

Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 09–0141

STATE OF IOWA vs. WILLIAM ARTHUR DEWITT

No. 10–0971

MARK D. HALL vs. BROADLAWNS MEDICAL CENTER

No. 11–0488

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff, vs. IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR BLACK HAWK COUNTY

 
Senate Foster Youth Caucus Panel to Focus on Sexual Trafficking of Girls in Foster Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Crime/Courts
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 19 March 2012 10:58
WASHINGTON – A Senate Foster Youth Caucus speakers’ series started by Senators Chuck Grassley and Mary Landrieu continues tomorrow morning with a discussion on the sexual trafficking of girls in the foster care system.

 

Landrieu and Grassley will host the March 8 event, and panelists will include survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse, a placement service specialist, a legal advocate for foster youth, a prevention specialist, and a child and family services agency leader.

 

The event is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. (ET) in SVC-209 of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.

 

The senators created the Caucus to educate policy makers about issues facing older children in the foster care system and in the early years after those young people age out of the system.  The Caucus is committed to providing a platform for those who grew up in the foster care system to describe their experiences, identify problems and suggest solutions.

 

Here is more information about the panel speakers.

 

Tanee Hobson is a Survivor Mentor and Group Facilitator with My Life My Choice.  A survivor of sexual exploitation who had been in Massachusetts Department of Children and Families custody since the age of two, Hobson is a former client of My Life My Choice who uses her life experience to help reach other exploited and high risk girls.  Hobson is a frequent presenter at public speaking events, and has represented My Life My Choice in panels at the Germaine Lawrence School and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's hearing for human trafficking legislation.  Currently studying Human Services at Northern Essex Community College, Hobson plans to continue working with exploited girls in the future and become a national leader in the movement to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Withlema “T” Ortiz is a survivor leader and advocate.  She entered the foster care system as an infant and endured more than 14 different placements while in foster care.  During those years, Ortiz also survived being subject to commercial sexual exploitation.  Ortiz now uses her lived experiences to teach, lead, and educate on needed reforms to the child welfare, juvenile justice and mental health systems.  Ortiz has lectured at Alameda County and Georgetown Law.  She has testified before members of Congress and shared her story on a national level as one of Glamour magazine’s 2011 Women of the Year.  Ortiz currently serves on Casey’s National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council and is a Young Woman Leader with the Human Rights Project for Girls.  She is also a mentor to other girls who have been similarly forced into the modern day form of slavery.

Michelle Guymon is currently the Director of Placement Administrative Services with Los Angeles County Probation Department.  Guymon graduated from California State University, San Bernardino where she received her master’s degree in social work.  Various positions and/or assignments throughout Guymon’s tenure include Deputy Probation Officer Treatment and Counselor at Dorothy Kirby Center, Mental Health Consultant for Probation, and Director of Camp Kenyon Scudder, an all-female probation camp, which serves about 300 girls a year.  Guymon is a frequent presenter and trainer regarding child abuse issues and strategies for working with youth in the probation system.  She is an advocate for children at risk and is currently a member of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Committee, as well as a Probation Department representative with the Innocence Lost Los Angeles Task Force.  Most recently, Guymon has been designated as the Project Manager for the newly created Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking program within the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

 

Teresa Lowry has worked for more than 25 years on behalf of abused, neglected, and vulnerable children.  She began her career investigating the physical and sexual abuse of children for the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services.  After graduating law school she maintained her focus on ensuring justice for children and joined the Special Victims Unit in the Criminal Prosecution Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.  There she secured convictions for murder, sexual assault, child abuse, pandering, kidnapping, use of a minor in the production of pornography, and statutory sexual seduction.  She then was promoted to Chief of the Juvenile Division where she worked collaboratively with the juvenile court judge, probation and the public defender’s office to create a specialized court responding to sexually exploited girls victimized through human trafficking.  She is currently the Chair of the Policy Governing Board of the Children’s Advocacy Center which oversees the multidisciplinary protocols to respond to sexual abuse.  Five years ago, in order to respond to the need for a new way to treat child victims of human trafficking, she and other juvenile justice partners and university researchers established the nonprofit Protecting Sexually Exploited Children–Nevada, PSEC-NV.  The mission is to create programs and services for high risk youth as well as a safe house for sexually exploited teens.  As the current administrator over the Family Support Division, Lowry acts as sponsor for employment opportunities and mentor for former foster youth.

 

Lisa Goldblatt Grace is the Co-founder and Director of My Life My Choice.  Since 2002, My Life My Choice has offered the only comprehensive prevention curriculum aimed at reaching girls most vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Further, My Life My Choice offers a unique continuum of services including prevention groups, training, survivor mentoring, and program consultation.  Goldblatt Grace has been working with vulnerable young people in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years.  Her professional experience includes running a long-term shelter for homeless teen parents, developing a diversion program for violent youth offenders, and working in outpatient mental health, health promotion, and residential treatment settings.  Goldblatt Grace has served as a consultant to the Massachusetts Administrative Office of the Trial Court’s “Redesigning the Court’s Response to Prostitution” project and as a primary researcher on the 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study of programs serving human trafficking victims.  In addition, Goldblatt Grace has written in a variety of publications regarding commercial sexual exploitation and offered training on the subject nationally. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Boston University School of Social Work and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and she holds masters degrees in both social work and public health.

 

Joyce Capelle has been the Chief Executive Officer of Crittenton Services of Children and Families in Southern California since 1998.  Prior to joining the agency in 1997, she worked as an administrator in public education and in hospital management for a total of more than 35 years in the human services field.  She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a Public Policy focus from California State University, Long Beach and a Juris Doctorate degree from Pacific West College of Law.  She has also served on a number of local, state and national committees on child and family welfare issues. Capelle currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Alliance for Child and Family Services.

 

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ELECTRONIC RECORD TO BE ACCESSIBLE IN THIRD DISTRICT APPELLATE CASES FROM ROCK ISLAND COUNTY PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Crime/Courts
Written by Tammy R. Wilson   
Thursday, 15 March 2012 07:02
March 5, 2012

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Rock Island County Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman announced Monday that Rock Island County joins three other Illinois counties in a pilot project to allow e-filing of an electronic trial record on appeal.

The Illinois Supreme Court Order authorized the Illinois Appellate Court in the Third Judicial District to begin a pilot project that will allow attorneys, parties and appellate justices to view, access and work from the official record of cases on appeal from Rock Island County.

Circuit Clerk Bierman said that utilizing the electronic transfer of record in Rock Island County will assist greatly in streamlining the workload in the clerk's office.

"I am very excited as we begin this project together with the Third District Appellate Court," Ms. Bierman said. "Being accepted as a part of this project for electronic transmission of appeals is going to be a way for the Rock Island County Circuit Clerk’s Office to save expenses, improve our time worked on appeals and introduce more technology into our office.

"We have always worked together with our Appellate Court and will continue to do so. I thank the Supreme Court Justices for giving us this opportunity."

Rock Island joins Adams County in the Fourth Judicial District along with DuPage and Ogle Counties in the Second Judicial District to electronically transfer and make electronically accessible the official court record of cases on appeal.

In addition, the Court announced earlier this year a pilot project for the electronic filing of motions, briefs and related documents with the Illinois Supreme Court Clerk's office. That project involves the Illinois Attorney General, the State Appellate Defender's Office and the Office of the Illinois State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor.

Chief Justice Kilbride has said making the records on appeal available electronically will bring the courts closer to eventually making e-business universal throughout the Illinois court system. Since he became Chief Justice in October 2010, Justice Kilbride has pledged to move to make Illinois court operations more economical, more efficient and more user friendly by implementing improvements in technology.

"I am delighted that Rock Island County joins others in developing a process to make appeals more efficient and more e-friendly," Chief Justice Kilbride said. "I and my colleagues on the Supreme Court have been encouraging the use of e-business in all of our courts as much as is feasible. This is another step in that direction."

The pilot project is effective immediately in the Third District. It is a joint effort between the Appellate Court under Presiding Appellate Justice Daniel L. Schmidt, Clerk Gist Fleshman of the Third Judicial District, and Circuit Clerk Bierman.

Presiding Appellate Justice Schmidt praised the announcement as an improvement in how the record is obtained, utilized and transmitted. "Well, we're certainly excited about it here," Appellate Justice Schmidt said. "This project will make the record accessible by the touch of a key on the computer. It's an improvement that will make life easier for all involved. With records instantaneously accessible to judges and lawyers, it's going to help expedite the handling of cases on appeal."

"This is a win-win for everyone."

Appellate Justice Tom Lytton from Moline said the Court's announcement paves the way to increased efficiency in handling cases on appeal. "I think this is a wonderful idea that will make for much more efficient work in the Appellate Court," Appellate Justice Lytton said. "To have the record here with little delay will help to get cases ready earlier."

Mr. Fleshman believes e-filing will bring a savings of time and resources to users across the board. "Every single appellate justice gets to view the electronic copy, potentially simultaneously, while with the paper record only one appellate justice can review it at one time. As well, attorneys will not have to wait; they can immediately work on their briefs. Authorized parties will have access to the same record all of the time.

"This is going to be a huge improvement for us, the court, the practicing attorneys and for the public."

The pilot program allows attorneys, parties and appellate justices to electronically view, access and work from the official record of cases on appeal from Rock Island County. However, the paper record will continue to be available to parties who would rather use it.

The accessible electronic record will include transcripts of the trial and associated hearings, motions, other pleadings and documents. It will exclude exhibits: i.e. photos and physical evidence such as weapons, clothing and the like.

Currently, once a notice of appeal is filed, the official record of the case is physically transported to the attorney of record on one side of the case. When that attorney concludes the filing of the necessary motions and briefs, the record is then physically transported to the attorney on the other side of the case. If additional briefs are required, the record is transported back and forth between the attorneys. After the case is argued in the Appellate Court, the record resides with the appellate justice assigned to write the opinion.

The two other appellate justices hearing the case may request the record as well, but it must be physically transported from the justice in possession to the justice who requests possession.

The pilot projects make the physical transfer of the record unnecessary, and removes the cost of repeatedly transporting the record back and forth from the District clerk's office. They provide a stream of efficiency in preparing and working on appeals that benefit not only the lawyers and the court, but the clients being served and taxpayers who fund the courts.

Under the Third District pilot project, a paper record pursuant to Supreme Court rules will remain with the Clerk and be accessible from the Clerk, but a mirror record will be produced electronically with identical pagination.

Attorneys and pro-se litigants who file appearances in the case will receive a password providing access to the record, as well as the justices in the Third District.

Attorneys for the parties, approved court personnel and justices of the Third District will have the ability to search, bookmark and make notes on their individual copy of the electronic record. Any markings or notations made by a user on the electronic record are secure and are unique to that user's copy. No user will be able to view or access another user's copy. The Third District Clerk will retain an unmodified copy of the electronic record at all times.

The electronic record will be in a format that supports searchable text, both word and phrase. Once a mandate is issued in an appellate case from Rock Island County, access to the electronic record will be terminated.

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Iowa Supreme Court Opinions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Crime/Courts
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:58
March 2, 2012

Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 09–1473

LISA KRAGNES, et al. vs. CITY OF DES MOINES, IOWA

No. 10–2117

TIM NEAL vs. ANNETT HOLDINGS, INC.

No. 11–1627

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. BRANDON ADAMS

 
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