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The Perfect World >> Social Policy >> Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Jamie R. -- Monday, August 18, 2003 -- 07:48:13 PM

This thread is tagged: policy, prison, criminal
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Pincher Martin -- Sunday, May 08, 2011 -- 08:14:45 PM -- 1844 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

Here's a pretty good account of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker. It runs about forty minutes through five different Youtube videos. I think it does an excellent job of describing the fear that ran through Sacramento during the late seventies after police informed the public that a serial rapist was on the loose.

www.youtube.com

Pincher Martin -- Sunday, May 08, 2011 -- 08:18:18 PM -- 1845 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

I also found it informative on the Maggiore killing and the first Goleta assault. During the latter, he tied up a couple, but failed to follow through on his assault because it seemed as if he was working up the will to kill them -- understandable if that was the transition point for him between being a serial rapist in the north of the state and becoming a serial killer in the south.

GregD -- Tuesday, June 14, 2011 -- 08:24:59 PM -- 1846 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

RICO-style wiretaps proving quite useful in catching insider trading on Wall St.

Amaxen -- Monday, June 20, 2011 -- 09:36:13 PM -- 1847 of 3460
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

GregD -- Wednesday, June 22, 2011 -- 01:49:18 AM -- 1848 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

ATF Chief expected to resign over investigation that sold guns to Mexican drug gangs that were then used to kill US citizens, border patrolmen.

Kteemac -- Thursday, June 23, 2011 -- 07:42:26 AM -- 1849 of 3460
Sir, you are recreating.

Whitey Bulger Arrested in Santa Monica After 17 Years on the Lam

GregD -- Thursday, June 23, 2011 -- 02:00:39 PM -- 1850 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

Completely awesome. But he got away for way too long.

GregD -- Monday, June 27, 2011 -- 06:05:24 PM -- 1851 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

LA almost passes law allowing vehicle confiscation as a punishment for littering.

Is there not some constitutional standard for the scale/appropriateness of a punishment? I'd be tempted to argue that it's cruel. Lose your car to lose your job to lose your residence can be a pretty quick series of events for the type of people typically caught on multiple littering offenses.

Amaxen -- Monday, June 27, 2011 -- 09:24:37 PM -- 1852 of 3460
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

A man's nightmare made real

CalGal -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 03:29:53 AM -- 1853 of 3460
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

It's annoying how they always err against the dad in these things. Clearly, the woman lied. If she was delusional, then she still should be charged.

Nicholas Kronos -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 04:06:26 AM -- 1854 of 3460
"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?"--President Trump (tweeting)

I agree that it's terrible, but as a male I understand why the presumption is the way that it is. It's profiling.

I just wish that when it comes to people boarding a plane, for example, the same kind of statistics-based judgment could be employed.

If she was delusional, then she still should be charged.

Yep.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 05:22:15 AM -- 1855 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

I don't see a major err in this case.

A man comes home and discovers his wife badly beaten and raped. She accuses her ex-boyfriend, and father to her son, of attempting to murder her. The cops believe her story and arrest him. Based on the vicious nature of the crime, he is denied bail.

At first, the lack of physical evidence is taken to mean he was a very careful criminal. But after both the police and the ex-boyfriend's private investigator find exculpatory evidence, they abandon the case. The woman eventually loses custody of her son. She may still lose much more. And, yes, she should.

The man spent 83 days in solitary confinement. He didn't lose his job. Besides some understandable paranoia, and the loss of his freedom for less than three months, he doesn't appear to be the worse for wear.

How else should this case have been handled?

Amaxen -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 07:24:27 AM -- 1856 of 3460
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

The nightmare of a woman

The Seattle papers followed this case quite closely. Hadn't caught up on the drama until I saw this article.

CalGal -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 08:13:05 AM -- 1857 of 3460
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

She accuses her ex-boyfriend, and father to her son, of attempting to murder her.

You missed a bit: She accuses her ex-boyfriend, father of her son and currently engaged in a ferocious custody dispute, of attempting to murder her. There is no forensic evidence. Despite her incentive to lie and the lack of forensic evidence, the cops believe her and arrest him. Despite the problems with the case, he is denied bail.

How else should this case have been handled?

I'm not an expert, but I think that the lack of forensic evidence and her extraordinary efforts to wipe the father of her son out of her life should have been given much more weight. Nick talks about profiling, but the fact is that there's as much of a profile for women lying about being assaulted as there is men with no other history of assault suddenly brutally attacking their ex-girlfriends.

I don't see why they should have arrested him without something more.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 08:38:53 AM -- 1858 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

You missed a bit: She accuses her ex-boyfriend, father of her son and currently engaged in a ferocious custody dispute, of attempting to murder her.

Yes, there was a custody dispute. Probably hundreds of thousands of couples in America have custody disputes. How many of the women among those many couples fake a rape by beating the shit out of themselves, and then claim their ex- did it? The cop who first saw the woman that day said it was one of the most brutal beatings he saw in nearly two decades on the force.

The ex-boyfriend also had a history of violence against her.

There is no forensic evidence.

Yes, and she had a detailed story explaining why there wasn't any easily-detected physical evidence.

More detailed forensic reports take some time to get. They are not available the first few days of a case.

Despite her incentive to lie and the lack of forensic evidence, the cops believe her and arrest him.

They believed her because she looked like she had been beaten to holy hell, and she had a plausible story to back it up.

I'm not an expert, but I think that the lack of forensic evidence and her extraordinary efforts to wipe the father of her son out of her life should have been given much more weight.

Well, eventually that is pretty close to what happened. The timeline didn't fit. Nothing in the woman's story matched the evidence the cops gathered. So the man was let go after less than three months in jail and given custody of his son. This is not a travesty of justice.

Nick talks about profiling, but the fact is that there's as much of a profile for women lying about being assaulted as there is men with no other history of assault suddenly brutally attacking their ex-girlfriends.

There was a history. A police report was written about the incident, although no charges were filed:

In her fourth month of pregnancy, West met Gonzalez at a Denny's in Vegas. According to a police report, she said he became upset because she wouldn't go back to him. She said he slapped her and punched her stomach.
Gonzalez's version: They had gotten back together, and argued because she was seeing another man and lying about it. He admitted to breaking her windshield, but only after she "went nuts hitting him," the police report said. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence. The charge was dropped.

*****

I don't see why they should have arrested him without something more.

Because he might go back to finish the job.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 08:47:01 AM -- 1859 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

More detailed forensic reports take some time to get. They are not available the first few days of a case.

It took several weeks just to get the videos from McCarran Airport, which were key in exonerating the man because they showed he wasn't carrying a duffel bag.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 08:48:12 AM -- 1860 of 3460
"The worst enemy of human hope is not brute facts, but men of brains who will not face them." - Max Eastman

It's not like there isn't a well-established precedent for men being let go after a report of abuse or rape of an acquaintance, and then going back to finish the nasty work they started by killing the woman.

Given what the cops knew, and the reasonable possibility that this man had attempted to murder his son's mother, I think they were wise to keep him locked up for a few weeks until they could establish she was not in danger.

GregD -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 02:30:30 PM -- 1861 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

The man spent 83 days in solitary confinement. He didn't lose his job. Besides some understandable paranoia, and the loss of his freedom for less than three months, he doesn't appear to be the worse for wear.

While I wouldn't be nearly so flip about holding a guy without any evidence other than a vindictive ex-wife's say-so for three months, I agree that given they don't know the people and the situation Simi Valley PD did what they thought was right. Upon investigating, they drop the case and pursue the woman. Still, awful what he had to go through. One alternative would have been to go to the judge and allow Gonzalez out on bail as his investigation began falling apart. Leaving him in jail while waiting over a month for the TSA tape, with all those doubts already in place? Kind of too much. And note that even with all of this, they continue going to trial without any factual evidence. If ex-wife there hadn't had another moment of crazy-times, they probably would have gone right into court to fight it out, betting they could win on the testimony of an emotional rape victim. It's a good bet.

Because he might go back to finish the job.

True. But to think that you have to have some evidence that he actually did it beyond her say so. And there was never any. It would be remarkable, extraordinary, for an everyday guy to pull off that sort of assault and leave no trace. And I think the county DA was probably overzealous in opposing the declaration of factual innocence. Moreover, it was him and his legal team that had to push the DA to pursue West. They weren't interested in getting the woman once they lost his case. Even so, the custody court ends up concluding she "suffered a delusion", when it's fairly obvious she's been lying her ass off repeatedly from the start. In all, it amounts to too much deference to the woman. I'd like to know whether her husband left her; I know I'd be right the hell out of there by now.

Whole thing happened right where we used to live. FWIW, I've made the run to Bob Hope airport plenty of times; no way at all he could have gotten there in time to rape her.

MJ -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 03:32:56 PM -- 1862 of 3460
Sometimes trouble rides on a fast horse.

The man spent 83 days in solitary confinement. He didn't lose his job. Besides some understandable paranoia, and the loss of his freedom for less than three months, he doesn't appear to be the worse for wear.

Easy to be so flip when this didn't happen to you. Or, perhaps, I'm wrong in assuming you would know what kind of "wear" this would have on someone. When was the last time you were locked up without the ability to post bail, facing the possibility of being imprisoned for a very long time, if found guilty?

GregD -- Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- 03:38:10 PM -- 1863 of 3460
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

While I think the police department had basically done the right thing all along, IMO it looks like the county DA and the courts were suffering more than a little embarassment at having been led on a merry chase by a vindictive psychotic. They were evenutally happy to let him go, but didn't want their nose rubbed in their credulity afterward.

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The Perfect World >> Social Policy >> Crime and Punishment