The Court of Public Opinion: the Defense of Sexual Misconduct charges against Women

November 12th, 2012

Recently Sarah Jones has been in the spotlight because of accusations of sexual misconduct. Jones was a teacher in Kentucky while also a professional football cheerleader for the Bengals. She was accused of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old student while in a position of authority over him. She had been in the media before, when a website (TheDirty.com) slandered her name, saying she had had sex with all members of the Bengals Football team. Eventually Jones’ plead to a lesser charge, giving up her fight prematurely, likely in part because of the mainstream view of her as a sex kitten. In looking only at the public facts of the case, it can be called into question whether or not Jones’ was in a direct position of authority over the victim at the time the alleged crime was committed.

The public is always quick to judge the accused, but the case seems more severe for a teacher. The public has easy access to photos of Jones dressed in a provocative way: in her Bengal’s cheerleader uniform which emphasizes her cleavage and her toned mid-section. When the public sees a woman dressed in such a way who is in a position of authority over children, they immediately assume guilt without asking for any more information. In Sarah Jones’ case, it has even led to jokes that she is the “female Sandusky,” which she vehemently denies. When public opinion is stacked so hard against you, it can make a case seem impossible to win. In Sarah Jones’ case, it meant pleading to a lesser charge because both the victim and the victim’s family denied she had done anything wrong. When the media takes control of the story, it never allows for the accused to speak out in their own defense. If this has happened to you, understand that you are not alone and your case can be won. Look for a lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to trial and who will stand up for your side of the story.

Links

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/former-cheerleader-sarah-jones-bengals-female-sandusky-_n_1727967.html
  2. http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_21731936/nfl-ex-cheerleader-sarah-jones-pleads-guilty-sex
  3. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000078627/article/sarah-jones-excheerleader-pleads-guilty-to-sex-with-student
  4. http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-bengals-cheerleader-sarah-jones-20121009,0,581598.story
  5. http://abovethelaw.com/2012/10/ex-bengals-cheerleader-who-took-a-plea-deal-on-sexual-misconduct-charges-is-now-considering-law-school/#more-198078

False Accusations of Molestation: Is it possible Jerry Sandusky is innocent?

November 9th, 2012

In light of the sentencing that took place today, giving former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky 30-60 years in prison for a conviction of child molestation, the discussion should be opened: is it possible that Sandusky is innocent? He has stood by his position of innocence from the beginning of the investigation, even saying that he “know[s he] did not do these alleged disgusting acts.” Those who have come forward accusing Sandusky do stand to gain financially by suing Penn State, but that aside, what else could allow this to happen to an innocent man? When men are friendly, involved and active in the development of youth they can set themselves up as targets for accusations. Should men be afraid to be active in helping the youth of their communities? In 1995, an incident involving Jerry Sandusky and a boy in a locker room had both the alleged victim and the victim’s mother “confused” as to what had taken place. They were unsure if Sandusky’s behavior had crossed any lines, and investigator Jerry Lauro, the caseworker assigned to the incident by the Department of Public Welfare in Harrisburg, thought that the incident fell into a “gray” area concerning “boundary issues.” The boy was then evaluated by a counsellor named John Seasock, who concluded, “There seems to be no incident which could be termed as sexual abuse, nor did there appear to be any sequential pattern of logic and behavior which is usually consistent with adults who have difficulty with sexual abuse of children.” Seasock didn’t think Sandusky was grooming the boy for future sexual assult. Someone, he concluded, should talk to Sandusky about how to “stay out of such gray area situations in the future.” It is possible that many men accused of sexual misconduct toward minors are falsely accused, not because of menacing children who seek to ruin the adult’s reputation, but rather because of a misinterpretation of the situation by those in authority. Those who genuinely care for children will show affection and offer help to those kids. This is where we enter into a gray area. When does the affection go too far?

Links

  1. http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/09/24/120924crat_atlarge_gladwell#ixzz28pZIQLX8
  2. http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/09/24/120924crat_atlarge_gladwell?currentPage=4
  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2012/10/09/jerry-sandusky-i-know-i-did-not-do-these-alleged-disgusting-acts/

Can the Government Use GPS Tracking Data without a Search Warrant?

November 8th, 2012

Recently, USA v. Jones has landed in judicial limbo. First the conviction and the life sentence that resulted were thrown out in appeal by the Supreme Court on these grounds:
The Supreme Court tossed out GPS data that led to Jones’ conviction, along with Jones’ conviction and life term on Jan. 23 in one of the biggest cases in recent years dealing with technology and a citizens right to avoid unreasonable search and seizure.

“We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search,’” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the five-justice majority.

That decision, the Obama administration claimed, is “wholly inapplicable” when it comes to cell-site data.

USA v. Jones will soon be re-tried and prosecution will now try to use cell phone records to show where the accused was when making phone calls in 2005. The prosecution had 28 days worth of GPS tracking thrown out of their case because they did not receive a warrant for this information.

Cell-site data has been likened to bank records that can be obtained without a search warrant because they are public documents belonging to a “third party.” The verdict is still out on cell-site data. Will the information stand up in court?

Pseudoephedrine Ban pushed in Southern District of Missouri counties aimed at reducing Drug Crimes

November 7th, 2012

Law officials in Missouri have been pushing to make pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the making of crystal meth, a controlled substance. This news comes along with the designation Missouri received of being America’s top methamphetamine producing state. Officials in St. Charles and Franklin counties report that there are enough votes to pass a ban on pseudoephedrine (except in cases where a patient has a prescription from a doctor). The law promises to interrupt the drug crime of cooking meth in southern district of Missouri counties, while also promising to make it much more difficult for consumers to buy the most popular decongestant on the market. Physicians warn that this measure will pack their offices during flu season, making it much easier for the flu to spread. Another worry is that while having good intentions, this law will only stop law abiding citizens from having access to this medicine for legitimate reasons. Those who wish to use the drug to manufacture methamphetamines, will likely find ways around the prescription provision.

Links
http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2011/07/pseudoephedrine_ban_missouri_counties.php

Obama Struggles with Hard Questions on Immigration Reform in Univision Interview

November 1st, 2012

While President Barack Obama has a decided lead over the Hispanic vote, that did not make his appearance easy on the Spanish language channel Univision. He was asked hard questions that Latinos are very concerned about when voting in the upcoming elections. One interesting question was posed by Jorge Ramos, about why the president had not kept the promise he made to Latinos during his first campaign of comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in office. “With all due respect, a promise is a promise,” Ramos said to Obama in English during the mostly Spanish interview. Obama’s response had to do with a lack of Republican support, the pressing issue of the economic collapse, among other excuses, but he ended by saying that his “biggest failure is that we haven’t gotten comprehensive immigration reform done.” He was also asked hard questions about the economy and the recent Fast and Furious scandal. This was a gun-running operation in which federal agents allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican gangsters in order to trace the weapons. The program not only didn’t work, but a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed, with his death linked to the failed operation.

Obama passed the blame for this scandal onto the Bush administration. He said that as soon as Eric Holder, the attorney general, was made aware of the Fast and Furious opperation, he put a stop to it. Obama’s interview took place during the event at the BankUnited Center Field House on the University of Miami campus.

Listen to the full interview and read more by following these links.

http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/obama-calls-immigration-reform-biggest-failure/story?id=17281401
http://www.policymic.com/articles/15137/obama-univision-interview-president-struggles-with-tough-questions-about-immigration-reform
http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/09/20/161495589/despite-obamas-high-latino-support-univision-puts-him-on-hot-seat

Immigration Law protested as ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Law Takes effect

October 28th, 2012

The controversial so called “show me your papers” provision took effect this week, amid much criticism. Civil Rights activists say that this provision will open the door to racial profiling. Activists gathered outside the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 calling, “No papers, No Fear!” The provision has both legal and illegal immigrants fearing for the safety of their families. It has the potential, not only to cause racial profiling, but also to cause unwarranted and unreasonably long detention for Latinos. Since the provision took effect, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office—the federal agency responsible for checking people’s immigration status for local officers, has not seen a spike in calls from authorities.

Source
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/arizona-immigration-law_n_1899594.html

The Effects of the Fast and Furious Scandal on the Gun Control Debate

October 22nd, 2012

Recently the fast and furious scandal has made national headlines. Fourteen Federal employees were cited in an internal report by the US Justice Department’s Inspector General. Kenneth Melson, former Director of the US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, has retired and Jason Weinstein, a deputy in the Justice Department’s criminal division, has resigned amid criticism after the report’s finding came out today. This report has sparked a lot of political discussion, becoming a regular political football.

The question is: how will this scandal affect the debate over gun control and gun legislation in American politics? How does this scandal change the definition of a gun crime? Federal gun crimes, in this case going deliberately unnoticed in the name of a sting operation by the ATF, have a potential to spark serious political debate. Republicans are saying this scandal could have been planned by the Obama administration as a direct threat to citizen’s second amendment rights. Republicans also suggest that democrats will seek harsher gun crimes penalties along with new gun laws. Democrats, however, are using the scandal to open the debate on new restrictions for long guns, which would force gun stores in the southwest to report those who want to purchase more than one of this type of firearm.

Sources
http://www.npr.org/2012/06/21/155513757/why-operation-fast-and-furious-failed
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/09/19/161446695/justice-department-watchdog-blasts-fast-and-furious-operation
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/15/as-predicted-fast-and-furious-scandal-gives-rise-to-gun-regulation-debate/

Sudafed Ban in Southern District of Missouri will reduce Drug Crimes

October 16th, 2012

Law officials in Missouri have been pushing to make pseudoephedrine (commonly known as Sudafed), a key ingredient in the making of crystal meth, a controlled substance. This news comes along with the designation Missouri received of being America’s top methamphetamine producing state. Officials in St. Charles and Franklin counties report that there are enough votes to pass a ban on pseudoephedrine (except in cases where a patient has a prescription from a doctor). The law promises to interrupt the drug crime of cooking meth in southern district of Missouri counties, while also promising to make it much more difficult for consumers to buy the most popular decongestant on the market. Physicians warn that this measure will pack their offices during flu season, making it much easier for the flu to spread. Another worry is that while having good intentions, this law will only stop law abiding citizens from having access to this medicine for legitimate reasons. Those who wish to use the drug to manufacture methamphetamines, will likely find ways around the prescription provision.

Link:  http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2011/07/pseudoephedrine_ban_missouri_counties.php

The All New StobbsLaw.com

August 30th, 2012

We are happy to announce the launching of the all new StobbsLaw.com.  We have spent countless hours going through the web site to make sure it is a cutting edge experience to help serve your law needs.


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