Brother can you spare a C note and a “Not Guilty” vote?

Goliath love the courthouse. Today the ‘low profile’ Robbery case of State v. John Ingram finished it’s jury trial.  The jury found  the defendant ‘Not guilty of Robbery’ but guilty of “Theft”.

The prosecutor (New Chief Deputy Tim Gray) may have had a warning things weren’t going so well for the State earlier this morning though.  According to reports, one of the jurors brought a hundred dollar bill and gave it to the bailiff and asked that the bailiff give the money to the defendant. It turns out the juror felt sorry for the defendant and felt he was ‘in a desperate situation’.

This stuff REALLY HAPPENS at the Courthouse peoples.

Congratulations to Attorney Mitch Harlan for the win.

SECOND BEST LOCAL BLOG AWARD- BAT BLOG

Well,  Goliath had a plan to announce a competition and build up some suspence and what not with a new competition for winner of “Best Local Blog”.

Sadly, many of the good old blogs of yore have done dried up and blown aways…like dust in the winds.  The Oracle,  The J Pol,  Katoanon Commentaries,  Abbysnana, F.Y.I. Clark County,  JeffAllmylifes (notable for excellent weather coverage), The Coliseum Forum, the Sockpuppet Forum, Matt Chinn’s Blog,  The 411 and others.

These days we are down to only a precious few.  Gawnews,  The Batblog, the Clark County Chatter and various municipal ‘sites’.  If you wanted to you could include some others Roger Baylor’s  N.A. Confidential ,  and he highlights some local nutjobs and wails away at the crusty establishment that is New Albany.  Goliath enjoys Jimmyknives … a Clarksville psychopath,  and no doubt there are more.

So, for achievements in the blogging art,  this year Goliath gives the coveted “GOLIATH AWARD” to HT and his “Batblog”.   (note; Goliath had previously mentioned this possibility and HT immediately latched onto the idea and claimed he had won. Goliath toyed with the idea of reversing on old HT and awarding it to CCC just for fun. But that would go against every staunch principle of Goliath. Also, remember that Gawnews is NOT in this competition. It would be a conflict of innerst to give the award to Goliath’s blog.) In any case, as noted, HT done a good job ever since he got his ass banned from the CCC stirring up all kind of crap on his blog.  Many time this year Goliath is asked “Who is Hoosier Taxpayer?”  Well, Goliath not tell!  In fact, Goliath don’t actually know. But this year the answer will be “Hoosier Taxpayer? Why he’s the winner of the 2015 GOLIATH AWARD for best local blog!”gawaward2

His Highness, Lord Meridian, Mike Pence, Duke of Marion, Governor of Hoosierland to commence New Publishing

Link

Goliath announces the big news that Lord Meridian, Mike Pence635570053369672256--03election110414.jpg20141104(His royal majesty. Photo courtesy of INDY STAR. Note, Mike Hutt on scene in the background of this photo….NSHBM is EVERYwhere)  revealed his plans for commencing a news outlet run by the Indiana Gummit.  When we last checked in, his Highness was flouting the federal aid to sustain hoosier peasants desire for healthcare claiming gummmit had no bidness in the healthcare bidness.

It is refreshing to see that he is more broadminded about Gummit gettin in the NEWS BIDNESS.  Go your majesty!

Here the big INDY STAR news.   Goliath just on the verge of issuing the 2014 “Best local Blog” award for the second time to Hoosiertaxpayer for the livelyied up “Batblog” now re-christened “The Jeffersonville Clark County Blog”  (to make it more high tone and what not ….however at GAWNEWS we still prefer to old moniker…plain old “Batblog”)  The Batblog got all hard hitting on stuff to pick up the slack left when Gawnews stringers got the late fall and early winter fan tods and stopped contributing and Goliath was hog tied because the GSL was involved in many of the controversies that otherwise would have been fodder for the Gaw.  Good on ya HT!The Jeffersonville, Clark Co. Blog (TheBatBlog

But Goliath must reconsider and take a look at what his majesty, Lord Meridian Mike Pence will unveil in the way of a blog.  It’s sure to be thrilling dad blasted stuff!  This is so much reminding Goliath of back in the day…almost a hunnerd year ago when good old Joe Goebbels and Adolf got their hands on some ‘media outlets’.  That State run news is some good old stuff!  Goliath sure to be sending in his application for big writer on this here.  Goliath know how to ‘toe the line’ and put out the “party line” for the good Duke, his royal highness, Lord Meridian Mike Pence.  Goliath also recommend Lord Meridian look at bringing in some CCC veterans to ‘moderate’ the ‘comments’ section on the stories what is published.  Them fellars and knows how to smack down the ne’er do wells that troll and stir the fecal material.

County Courthouse MIA-POW flag.

Goliath see  the good old POW MIA flag waving proudly at the Clark County Courthouse. 

I was wondering about that POWMIA flag.  It’s been up there a long time. This is a shout out for information on HOW did it become a feature of the Clark County Courthouse?

It has been there as long as I can recall.  Goliath remembers that some believed that when the USA left Vietnam,  some POW’s who were reported only as MIA were ‘left behind’ and that this is the origin of the flag.  But, these days nobody seems to believe that.

So Goliath just wondering if this is an artifact of an old and discredited conspiracy theory?  Who decides what flags fly at the Courthouse?  Is it just me or is it kinda weird the Indiana State Flag isn’t flown?

Does Clark County have a flag? What’s it look like?

Meanwhile..the flag is controversial: “It’s a mark of national insanity,” says American cultural historian and Rutgers University professor H. Bruce Franklin, who has written critically about the POW/MIA movement. “There weren’t any POWs left in Vietnam after Operation Homecoming. So how did this happen? … Because people manufactured the POW issue. Ross Perot and [Richard] Nixon sat down in their office and manufactured the issue,” he says. See US NEW story: 

GAW Updated

We’re updating GAW.

We’re going to go through a few options and ultimately settle on something WE like.

If there is something, a feature perhaps, that you would like for us to add to the site leave a comment and let us know.

Have a good week everyone.

-YMC

photo source

A story about a fly

Bzzzzz.

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I saw a vague dark smudge move.  I just stepped into our walk in shower and had hit the wonderful lever that causes hot water to spew forth and I caught the motion in the corner of my eye. Some spray had fallen on the window sill where the shampoo and body wash bottles sit.  A small, discrete, but real, dark smudge moved behind one of the opaque bottles.

I reached over and turned the bottle to gain a better view and there he was.  A fly.

Mind you, this was a fly in mid  January. Dead of winter.  I don’t reckon I had seen a fly since….well,  at least since late September. (not that I was keeping track).  I started to squash him as he was just sitting there and he looked a bit done in.  Then I thought better of it. That makes a small gooey mess. And what would I do with the fly carcass? Instead, I splashed some steaming hot water from the spray on him. Soaked him good.

As the water hit him and the white tile sill, he squished up against the block window pane and waved one or two legs. It did not look as if it had done him any good.  I watched as he pushed himself further behind the bottle.  “Aha!”  I thought…’that will do you no good….I can just move this aside’.  And, I did. I moved the bottle aside. Now the water had come about half way up about him and something happened when I moved the bottle that flipped him almost all the way over.   I realized ….from his movements…his feeble waving of just one leg…he was dying.

He is a January fly….living on too long….and now he is dying.  “Well…” I thought,  “that is just in the nature of things.” How long DOES a fly live anyway?  I had no idea. Though I thought probably not very very long. A few months perhaps. This one looked as if he had had a good long life. He was rather a large fellow for a common house fly.  But now…he looked  well done in.  Like some old man dying on a pallet in the desert in Afghanistan or something….if the old man was covered with good dose of water.

Is he in pain?  I wondered.  Maybe the poor thing is suffering agony? The water had been hot. Can a fly sense heat like that?  Then I thought, maybe the ‘humane’ thing to do is to squish him. Yes.  Dad blast it, I’ll pick the blighter up and toss him into the toilet and flush him right down into the sewer lines and there’s an end of it.  (I felt a twinge of guilt that I had  purposely splashed hot water on him when all he was doing was trying a nice sunny spot to die here in the middle of winter. He probably had outlived all his brothers and sisters and all his old friends. It was just him. This rather large, lonely old fly whirring about in our house. Taking pains I suppose to not be noticed. (That must be how he’d survived so long.)

My god! Look at him now!  Is he dead?  He was absolutely still.  “He’s died”,  I thought.  Well,  there certainly is a difference between a dead fly and a live one isn’t there?  Still, to be sure I blew on him.  His one leg that was sticking up then moved…just a little bit. (or was it my imagination?).  “Well,”  I thought, “that might have been a movement or it might just be involuntary reflex.  I’m sure he’s dying.”

As I turned to my shower …scrubbing the right places,  lifting my arms… getting my scalp scrubbed and all the rituals and routines,  I wondered, “why  did he come up here in the bathroom?”  Then I thought, well, maybe it’s because we eliminate waste here.  Perhaps the smells of that attract him. Yecch!   Have to scrub the toilet better perhaps. We ran a very clean house but SOMETHING must have attracted him. But why was he in the shower?

***************************************************************************************

Of course,  I didn’t think or ponder the lifetime of a fly any more. Soon I was out…about. Dressed and concerned with my very much more important life.  No more musings on Mr. Fly. My last thought of him was that I will have to remove his carcass….later.

However,  tonight,  when I came home,  I went up to the bathroom.  It has a laundry room off it and I had left some shirts drying in the clothes dryer that morning I needed to hang them up.  As I stepped into the bath…Bzzzz!  A black speck flew past my eye. Very fast.  It dissappeared. I know not where. I stopped for a moment. I walked back to the shower and flipped on the light. Peering at the window sill I searched for the dead old fly.

He was not there. 

He’s flown past my eyes- into the dark….victorious!

 

GAWNEWS VICTORY!!!

Goliath very happy indeed to report that  he got confirmation that at least ONE of the COURTHOUSE REFORMS  proposed by Gawnews’ legal expert J.W. Hardin is about to be instituted at ye olde Clark County Courthouse.  Word went forth from the Clark County Prosecutor Office that we were about to enter a new era of using ‘short form’ plea agreements.

As all and many may know, formerly,  the felony cases  in Clark County Circuit Courts 1,2 and 4 were all done by ‘Long form” plea agreements and these usually were  about 20 pages of legalese  left over from 1985.   But now, Clark County  will move into the 1990’s and beyond as we use the simple, straightforward and equally effective short forms as used in so   many other counties.

Here is what the dishonorable J.W. had to say when we first addressed this issue:

C.  ELIMINATE LONG FORM PLEA AGREEMENTS:  You need to toss the long form plea agreement for 99 percent of the cases.  The way it works now,  the prosecutor and defense orally strike a deal.  This is concluded by the defense saying “we’ll take it” Then, instead of writing up the short form PA (as is used in Floyd, Harrison and other counties)  the process grinds to a halt as the Prosecutor now has to generate a long form plea agreement.   This can take quite a while.  It’s easy for the busy prosecutor to not get “right to it” .  Even if he/she does…it has to go to a secretary.  She has others she is working on or other tasks. So it gets ‘stacked’ in her pile.  Finally she gets to the file….she can’t read the note. She does her best but something gets garbled. It goes to the defense lawyer. Now he/she has to send it back or mark it up. Get the client to sign it…that means a trip to the jail or getting the client into the office. TIME PASSING. Once signed, back to the prosecutor.  Then it’s in a stack.  Finally get to it review it. If nothing is wrong….sign and file. TIME PASSING.   Now it goes to the judge’s office …stacked. Once the clerk gets to it is either assigned  plea date or ….sent to the judge for review.TIME PASSING.

I believe the Long forms we are familiar with were an innovation in the late 1980’s in response to some cases that were attacked on PCR petitions for procedural failures. If you look at the long forms, they contain ALL the advisements the Courts now routinely give and THEN some. But,  after those PCR cases were ended circa 1990 ALL the judges and prosecutor’s learned how to take an iron clad plea. So we are using the long forms to protect against a problem that no longer exists.  In addition, the Courts are now using their OWN advisements and waiver forms that duplicate the warnings. FINALLY most of the judges ORALLY advise the defendants of their rights ANYWAY so what we have is a two-fold or three-fold duplication of  warnings (actually fourfold considering your Defense Bar actually knows it’s job and has advised the client before signing the plea of what they are doing and giving up.)  And why are we doing this Long form business?  To ‘solve or prevent’ a problem we NO LONGER HAVE.”

See: COURT REFORM   (published on Gaw news June, 2013)

In case you is not enmeshed in the intricacies of courthouse process, let Goliath assure you that this will speed up and make much more efficient the processing of felony cases.  This is good news and we thank Jeremy Mull for taking Goliath’s excellent advice and      going forth with this move.

 

Now,  time to turn to the other BRILLIANT PROPOSALS!!!

-Goliath

Here are the other improvements that could be made:

A.   ARRAIGNMENT COURT SESSION:  Everyday, every court seems to conduct arraignments of whatever new cases have been filed in THAT court.  This is duplicative. Now that ALL the Courts are Circuit Court (Just divisions of the one court)  The day’s “haul” of newly caught alleged criminals could be brought up and arraigned.  This could be done by a magistrate and the session could be a regular session, every day at 1. This would free the judges (and their courtrooms) up to do actual hearings and reviewing their motions and petitions and all that other cool judge stuff.

Once arraigned,  other pretrial hearings would be conducted by the assigned judge. But really,  ANYBODY can conduct an arraignment. This is duplicative waste of judge’s time. Plus, it also burdens the sheriff’s deputies that guard the prisoners.  This way we don’t have guards in Four, Two and One all at the same time. (Well, at least not just for arraignments).

B.  PLEA SESSIONS:  Likewise,  there is no reason not to have ONE plea session.  I propose a daily plea session.   All cases with plea agreements could be set for a plea docket AFTER the agreement was reviewed and approved by the judge. Of course, open pleas won’t work for this but there is no reason not to have ONE plea session for approved plea agreements.  I also think,  this is the sort of thing that could speed the process. For D felony and  misdemeanors and other cases that don’t have executed sentence, (requiring a PSI)  these could be set on very short notice. Put ‘em on the docket and plead ‘em out.

C.  ELIMINATE LONG FORM PLEA AGREEMENTS:  (see above)

E.  ELIMINATE PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCES    This may seem like the most radical suggestion of all.  However,  I would urge all parties to consider what the PTC has evolved into.  Back in the day, the PTC was a useful  event.  Both sides met struck a deal the client signed off and  we get a sentencing date. That was how it worked then and its why we do them today. But, guess what…everybody….IT AIN’T WORKING. First off,  the PTC as it is in effect in 1,2 and 4 is  usually a waste of time.  The PTC are set on a certain day and the cases are stacked.  The lawyers are backed up waiting in the prosecutor’s office ALL MORNING. This wait can be, literally 3 hours long at times. A huge waste of the defense lawyers time an the client’s money. Of course, the prosecutor  doesn’t have this particular problem, but they do have the problem of ‘slam dealing’ maybe dozens of cases in a morning. Forgive me, but how can you do an individual case ‘justice’?   Meanwhile for cases in 1 and 4,  even if you get to some kind of an agreement in principle,  the prosecutor USUALLY has to (under the law) check the deal with the victims.  (And that is a whole different story) In any case,  as currently structured the PTC is usually or often as not un-productive.

I also note that the IRCP and statutes do not require PTC.  This is something courts came up with to help move the cases.  I believe that most serious deals get cut while the lawyers are doing other business, or in meetings arranged outside the Court’s schedule. ..by phone call or email.   Competent Defense attorneys are going to do what it takes to get their deals made and do not need the PTC to make them have that incentive. The most important date is the DEADLINE for filing an agreement or Motion to Continue the trial. That’s when the deals get made.  So,  I propose we keep those deadlines and EMPHASIZE them and dump the PTC.   As an alternative,  maybe use the OMNIBUS date for this ‘official negotiation’ session.

F.  VICTIM NOTIFICATION:  The police need to begin gathering the alleged victim’s email or other electronic contact information as well as a phone number.  That info  should be used by the State to notify the victim of  A. proposed plea agreements B. Sentencing or hearing dates.  Of course, there will be some fraction of victims who do not have this. But, in 2013  the large majority will.  This would be a public service and assist in compliance with the State’s obligations to represent the victims.  They surely should be informed of court dates that are important to them as well as the defendant.

G. TIGHTEN PD ASSIGNMENTS  We all respect the right to counsel.  But it is a stone fact that  a portion of criminal defendants do not qualify and yet are assigned a PD.  I believe that in all cases in which the defendant has made bond,  and ALL D felony cases and misdemeanors,  the defendant should have to specifically request a PD and come to Court and show his or her indigency.   IF a defendant posts a $2,500 bond or more (for C felonys and up)  an already has a PD  there should be an immediate review of whether that person qualifies for a PD.  (1000 dollars for D felonies and $500 for misdemeanors).

In addition,  the Clark County Bar Assoc. OR the PD office should maintain a list of attorneys who are willing to take ‘discounted cases’.  (I hope I don’t need to explain that).

H.  UNIFORM POLICY FOR PROBATION AND HIP AND WORK RELEASE REVOCATIONS    I do not think there can be a ‘perfect’ solution or policy.  But their should be at least a general policy established that is uniform so that whether or not a petition to revoke is filed is not dependent on WHICH PO a defendant has.  This should not be dependent on the individual PO,  nor the individual Prosecutor, but it should be on the JUDGES and their policy should be uniform.

Well, they fired her. Medal of Valor winner FIRED!!!

A few days ago Gawnews reported on the story of Laura Schook.  Decorated as a hero by the NAPD a few years ago….she had the stuff to bring forward her claims of corruption in the City Police Department that apparently led to the resignation of Chief Sherri Knight and others.  See Earlier story 

Of course her claims were debunked by all investigating agencies which included the NAPD, the ISP and an ‘outside contractor’  to clear her brother officers…including a Detective who also came through a Grand Jury investigation of breaking into his ex girlfriend’s house without a scratch.  All innocent goings on. Not even cause for a job discipline action…but Officer Schook?

THEY JUST FIRED HER ASS.

Now, I don’t know about her claims about these guys and gals working other jobs on the city clock…but I KNOW CHIEF KNIGHT had to resign…over something and I know the Detective BROKE IN to his ex’s residence and she was terrified of ‘pressing charges’ yet he has his job…… and Schook don’t.

Forgive Gawnews for scoffing at the bullshit.