Archive for January, 2011
Just wanted to pass along the info. This will happen at Gainey Village Heath Club and Spa:
Kids Bullying Classes
Saturday, January 29
Time: 10-11 am & 11-Noon
Ages: 5-7 year olds at 10am & 8-12 year olds at 11am
Cost: $12/members; $15/non members
Minimum of 10 kids needed for each class
Location: Kids Club
The one-hour class will touch on the myths and realities of bullying and self defense for a child. Once a child believes and understands that their confidence in dealing with potentially threatening situations depends on their level of confidence in keeping themselves safe, they are ready to learn a few POWERFUL moves. All techniques taught are designed for a “smaller” individual and are highly effective for blocking and escaping since the Bully usually picks on someone smaller than them.
Sign Up: Contact Shelly McGann at 480-624-9125 or email@example.com
As a criminal defense attorney I often get asked the question “How can you defend someone who is guilty?” The question no longer surprises me or catches me off guard, in fact, here is the canned answer:
“Under our Constitution everyone is entitled to an attorney, whether they are guilty or not. This is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system. Now, there are some cases that I do not want to be involved in and will not defend someone in those situations. However, in most cases there is no question of guilty and my job is to negotiate the best result possible for my client. As a criminal defense attorney I work to make sure the police and the government did their job correctly.”
When the Tucson shooting occurred, many TV and radio hosts asked me how on earth Judy Clarke could represent a monster like Jared Loughner. The answer, believe it or not, is easy…it is her job. That is what she does; part of her practice is representing high profile criminal defendants/crimes. She has proven herself to be a competent and smart attorney that gets the best possible result for her clients. This does not mean she is a bad person or that she is slimy. In fact, we as taxpayers and Americans want someone like her to represent these defendants. We want all the Ts crossed and all the Is dotted so that there is no chance the defendant can “get off” on a technicality and so the case doesn’t come back numerous times on appeal.
I was also asked if she is doing it for notoriety or for media attention. I personally do not know Judy Clarke but from what I have read, that could not be further from the truth. Apparently she doesn’t like media attention and has a very strong aversion to the death penalty. I assume that her taking these cases helps her further her personal beliefs against the death penalty. It is her way of trying to beat the death penalty. Also, most of us, regardless of what our jobs are, like a challenge. I am sure that Judy is no different. Any intellectual likes challenges and likes to “figure things out.” This is a challenge in a sense. It likely is not the biggest challenge of her career since there is no question about whether he pulled the trigger or not (after all, people saw him shoot numerous times). But there will still be challenges to overcome regarding venue and sanity.
Criminal law is not an easy field to practice in. Not only are you bombarded with the facts of the crime, some of which are just horrible, you are also given the background of the defendant who is at times, just a normal person who made a horrible mistake. In other words, the criminal defense attorney is one of the few that gets the “whole story.” This whole story often does not come out.
In my job I often have to separate my personal judgments, emotions and opinions from the job. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is difficult. As for Judy Clarke, I am sure it will be difficult to set aside the names and faces of those who are victims, but she is a professional and we are counting on her professionalism to further solidify one of the cornerstones of the criminal justice system.
By now you have heard about the tragedy that occurred in Tucson over the weekend. Unfortunately a 22 year old named Jared Loughner decided go on a shooting spree that resulted in 6 dead and 14 injured. Those murdered by Loughner were U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, 63; 9-year-old Christina Green, born on Sept. 11, 2001; Gabe Zimmerman, 30, aide to Congresswoman Giffords; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79. Congresswoman Giffords is alive and still in critical condition at the time I write this with a long road to recovery.
There are several issues that are involved in this tragic situation and I will touch on several in this post and in subsequent posts. The first question people seem to be asking right now is “why did the federal Government only file 5 charges?” Does it not care about the other victims? No, that is not it at all. What we have here is a shooting whose victims are both federal employees and some that are not. The federal government only has jurisdiction or authority to prosecute violations of its laws. The federal laws there were violated all have to deal with the fact that federal employees were killed or injured. So, the Federal government will only prosecute those crimes dealing specifically with its own laws.
Now this is where Arizona steps in. Since some of the victims were not federal employees so Arizona will take up the prosecution of Loughner for those crimes. Essentially both the federal government and Arizona have jurisdiction over this case and each will prosecute Loughner for violating each of their laws.
As of right now the federal government filed a “criminal complaint” in order to hold Loughner in custody. An indictment (the official charging document) will come down in the next 30 days or so. Since he is not going anywhere Arizona is in no hurry to file any charges against him. As such, Arizona will take its time in conducting the investigation and make sure all Ts are crossed and all Is are dotted. Additionally, there is no doubt in my mind that Arizona law enforcement, the FBI, federal prosecutors and Pima County prosecutors will all work together. I anticipate that Arizona will file charges within the next 60 days.
Stay tuned for more issues and explanations in my next posts.