Archive for February, 2011

She must be MADD to be driving while she’s this drunk!

Monday, February 28th, 2011

How much alcohol do you have to drink to blow .234?  Ask Debra Oberlin, a 48 year old woman who was recently arrested for DUI in Gainesville Florida. Two things make Oberlin’s arrest worth commenting on.

The first is her blood alcohol level.

According to a report posted on Gainsville.com, Oberlin supplied breath samples of .234 and.239. The legal limit in Florida is driving under .o8. For those (like me) who sometimes have challenges with math, that means her blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit. Three times!

The second thing that makes Oberlin’s arrest interesting, is that she was the former president of a now defunct chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that MADD started out as a grass roots organization with the original goal of getting drunk drivers off of the road (in my opinion, a worthy goal – who doesn’t want safer roads?). Since then, MADD has become a behemoth with (I believe) the goal of raising as much money as possible to support corporate salaries and promote abstinence. But I digress.

The point of this article isn’t to slam MADD. I’l do that in another post. The point of this article is to show that anyone is capable of slipping up. And Debra Oblerlin REALLY slipped up.

(more…)

How does an ordinarily non-violent person get charged with domestic assault?

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Domestic violence allegations take many forms.

Let’s face it. There are some people who commit spousal assault (or other domestic violence crimes) as a means of controlling the other person.

But there are plenty of other allegations that take place because of unexpectedly heightened emotions.

And, believe it or not, they can happen to anyone. Even people who are not ordinarily violent.

Take the case of Arizona state senator Scott Bungaard.

(more…)

It’s been a bad week for Manitoba judges.

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

First there are calls for a Manitoba Justice’s removal from the bench for comments he made during a sexual assault sentencing. Now a Manitoba judge has been charged with assaulting a woman.

Judge Brian Corrin, 65, was charged with assaulting and threatening a family member. According to police, the alleged assault caused minor injuries to the woman.

Corrin has been a judge since 1988. He’s been place on administrative leave, pending the outcome of this case.

Corrin was suspended from the bench for 30 days back in 1996. A panel of six judges found him guilty of misconduct. He skipped a court hearing so that he could oversee repairs to his car.

Just goes to show that judges are as human as everyone else.

 

 

 

 

Should convicted rapists automatically go to jail?

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The answer seems obvious. Someone who is convicted of rape, should go to jail.

But should that happen in every case?

If a judge decides that jail is not an appropriate punishment in a particular case, should he or she have to give reasons to support that decision?

And if that judge picks the wrong words to support that decision, should he or she be removed from the bench?

It’s a topic that’s central to a firestorm of media activity in Canada and abroad that began with a judges controversial comments in the sentencing portion of a criminal trial.

Now protesters are calling for the judges removal from the court.

(more…)

Judge apologizes after being arrested for DUI.

Friday, February 25th, 2011

New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Robert E. Robles was recently arrested for DUI.

The arrest took place in Albuquerque after he reportedly ran a red light at 50 mph and nearly crashed his car into a police officer’s vehicle. According to police he had a breath-alcohol concentration of .20, nearly 2.5 times the legal limit.

Robles apologized, and stated (in part):

“I sincerely apologize to my family, to the citizens of New Mexico, to the members of the New Mexico Court of Appeals and to the entire New Mexico judiciary for my recent personal actions. I made an egregious error in judgment that resulted in painful consequences to those who place their trust in me.”

He’s placed himself on administrative leave without pay (which, in my opinion, is a very responsible thing to do).

He, like everyone else, is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But if he is proven guilty, what should happen?

Should judges and lawyers and police officers (those who know the law, and are charged with upholding it) be held to a higher standard than everyone else?

Will criminals be happy about poorly paid prosecutors and police?

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Will criminals benefit from poorly paid and poorly trained prosecutors and police officers?

That’s what Sonia Lebel, a Montreal prosecutor said after being forced back to work by the Quebec government.

Quebec’s prosecutors were on strike when the government adopted back-to-work legislation.

In Lebel’s words:

“The criminals are maybe the only people really happy about what’s happening right now. We gave them a Crown that’s not equipped to fight them.”

I disagree with Lebel.

Underfunding prosecutors (and police) will be worse for criminals – in the long run. Here’s why.

(more…)

Judges are human- some are criminals.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Most people hold judges in high regard.

They’ve got a tough job to do, and most of them try to do it well.

That’s all I ask of  judges (and politicians). TRY to do your job well.

I understand that sometimes they get it wrong. Not everyone is perfect.

Judges are no exception.

I’ve seen judges struggle with some of the decisions they’ve had to make.

They’ve looked at a criminal defendant, and I know they’ve said to themselves: “I think you did it. But I’m not sure that you did it. Because I’m not sure, I can’t say that the prosecutor proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of that, I have to find you not guilty. But I think you did it!”

I respect those judges.

(more…)

Bruno Mars avoids prosecution by accepting a “deferred adjudication”

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Last week I wrote a blogpost about the shoplifting allegation brought against Lindsay Lohan. This week, it’s Bruno Mars who’s in trouble with the law for possessing 2.6 grams of cocaine.

What’s the similarity between the two cases?

(more…)

100% of all drivers on the road are distracted drivers, if I read the definition correctly.

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I quit using the word “should” a long time ago.

I should look like Brad Pitt. I don’t.

I should have more money than I know what to do with. I don’t.

I should be living with Angelina Jolee. I don’t (see “I should” # 1 for the reason).

And we all should pay attention to our driving 100% of the time we are behind the wheel.

We don’t, and we never will.

(more…)

Would you admit to being a sex offender if you really didn’t do it?

Monday, February 14th, 2011

What would you do to get out of jail?

Would you admit to committing a crime you didn’t commit?

What if you had a loved one waiting on the outside for you? Someone who loved you for you, and believed in your innocence?

Once in a while I read a story that blows my mind. This one involves a Texan who spend 30 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

(more…)