libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Exonerated Canadians

Canadians exonerated after being wrongfully convicted include:

Guy Paul Morin: Tried twice for 1984 killing of nine-year-old Christine Jessop in rural southwestern Ontario. Acquitted in 1986; convicted at retrial in 1992 and imprisoned. Exonerated in 1995 on strength of DNA evidence and awarded $1.2 million in compensation.

David Milgaard: Sixteen years old when convicted in 1969 murder of Saskatoon nursing aide Gail Miller. Spent 23 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence in 1997. DNA evidence also helped catch Miller's real killer, Larry Fisher, who was convicted in 1999. Milgaard awarded $10 million in compensation.

Donald Marshall: Nova Scotia man convicted in 1971 of murdering Sandy Seale. Spent nearly 19 years in prison before being exonerated by royal commission report in 1990. Compensated with lifetime pension of $1.5 million.

Rodney Cain: Nova Scotia man spent nearly two decades behind bars after being convicted in 1986 of murdering a man outside after-hours club in Toronto. Justice minister ordered conviction overturned in May 2004, citing new evidence that strongly suggested Cain was acting in self-defence. Currently free on bail while Ontario court decides whether to order new trial or exonerate him.

James Driskell: Winnipeg man spent more than 12 years behind bars after being convicted in June 1991 of killing friend Perry Harder. Was released on bail in November 2003 after new evidence showed key witnesses were paid for testimony and given immunity from prosecution for other crimes. Convicted without confession, witness or murder weapon.

Deadbeat Moms

Single dads are sick and tired of being labeled "deadbeats" when it comes to paying child support. And data suggest they have good reason to be upset.

The percentage of "deadbeat" moms is actually higher than that of dads who won't pay, even though mothers are more consistently awarded custody of children by the courts.

Census figures show only 57 percent of moms required to pay child support -- 385,000 women out of a total of 674,000 -- give up some or all of the money they owe. That leaves some 289,000 "deadbeat" mothers out there, a fact that has barely been reported in the media.

That compares with 68 percent of dads who pay up, according to the figures.

Men who are due child support are also getting tired of deadbeat moms' excuse that they can't pony up the money, and some courts have responded.

California lawyer Eudene Eunique in February was denied a passport because she was $30,000 behind in child-support. Instead of spending money on visiting her family in Mexico and on business contracts, the appeals court ruled Eunique's money should go to her kids.

(adapted from Fox News article appearing Friday, August 09, 2002)

Friday, September 23, 2005

It Never Happened

TORONTO -- A man who spent more than a third of his life in prison for a rape and murder that may have never taken place stepped into the sunshine Wednesday, freed on bail from a 12-year "hell" while Ottawa decides whether he fell victim to another Canadian miscarriage of justice.

William Mullins-Johnson fought back tears as he emerged from a Toronto courthouse just minutes after an Ontario Superior Court judge set him free on $125,000 bail pending the results of a federal review of his case.

The 35-year-old Mullins-Johnson, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, was convicted in 1994 of sodomizing and strangling his four-year-old niece Valin Johnson, who was found dead in her bed on the morning of June 27, 1993.

No forensic evidence linked him to the crime but he was found guilty based on testimony from pathologists, one of whom was Dr. Charles Smith, whose handling of 40 suspicious child deaths since 1991 is currently under review.

Two experts, including Ontario's chief pathologist, now say Valin was never sexually abused or strangled. They argue she in fact died of natural causes, possibly from choking on her own vomit caused by a chronic stomach ailment.

It now falls to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler to decide whether to quash the guilty verdict and order a new trial, hand it back to the Ontario Court of Appeal, or simply dismiss the application.

"I hope that my family comes to understand that nothing was done to my niece - not by me, and not by anybody else," said Mullins-Johnson. "I loved that little girl and she loved me."

(adapted from an article appearing in The Canadian Press, Wednesday, September 21, 2005)

It Wouldn't Have Caught This Guy

A sheriff's department in Louisiana yesterday declared an emergency order to force the American Red Cross to turn over information on thousands of evacuees and volunteers in its shelters to locate registered sex offenders within its parish.

On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted a Red Cross volunteer in Monroe, La., on indecency chages. The man, a convicted armed robber (emphasis added, but one hopes unnecessarily), is accused of asking a 13-year-old girl to perform a sexual act and fondling a 15-year-old girl, Deputy Davis said.

"There are hundreds of children in those shelters and we don't want some pedophile out there with all these children," Deputy Davis said.

Nearly 7,000 sex offenders are registered with the Louisiana State Police. A spokesman there said he has not heard of any other parish using emergency orders to re-register offenders.

Adapted from an article in the The Washington Times, September 22, 2005.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How Many Women Teachers are Paedophiles?

Have you ever thought of the enormously popular move "Summer of 42" as a story about a paedophile? Why not? Because the paedophile in this case is a woman. The teacher in that movie repeatedly raped her student. That is a fact. But because of our inbuilt anti-male bias no one thought of that movie as portraying and gloriifying a criminal. But consider what the reaction would have been had a male teacher raped his female student in a similarly presented story?

Rape of students by female teachers is slowly coming to the forefront as a very common crime. Just as child molesting priests have finally been exposed after centuries of silence, women teachers are finally beginning to be exposed for what they are. Not all women teachers, but you can bet that child rape by female teachers will be exposed as a major problem in our hate male, sexist, all women are good, all men are bad society.

Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered than woman and be the victims of homicides in Canada. In 1999, 363 men were murdered compared to 173 women.

Of those, 91 males died from beatings compared to just 32 women. 97 males and 47 females were stabbed, 121 men were shot versus 47 women.

Over the 11 years from 1989 to 1999 an average of 421 men and only 218 women were killed each year. Twice as many men are murdered as women.

Only in the domestic violence area did the number of women killed (109) exceed the number of men killed (77). However the feminists ignore the high rate of women killing men in domestic violence cases and act as if only women are the victims.

Women who kill can count on getting off completely or getting substantially lower sentences than men in similar situations. So much for feminist propaganda and justice for men in Canada.

Let the lady speak . .

"Disabusing the Definition of Domestic Violence: How Women Batter Men and the Role of the Feminist State"

by Linda Kelly

Florida State University Law Review
Vol.30, No.4, Summer 2003, pp791-855

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Boy Brains, Girl Brains

By Peg Tyre

Sept. 19, 2005 - Three years ago, Jeff Gray, the principal at Foust Elementary School in Owensboro, Ky., realized that his school needed help—and fast. Test scores at Foust were the worst in the county and the students, particularly the boys, were falling far behind. So Gray took a controversial course for educators on brain development, then revamped the first- and second-grade curriculum. The biggest change: he divided the classes by gender. Because males have less serotonin in their brains, which Gray was taught may cause them to fidget more, desks were removed from the boys' classrooms and they got short exercise periods throughout the day. Because females have more oxytocin, a hormone linked to bonding, girls were given a carpeted area where they sit and discuss their feelings. Because boys have higher levels of testosterone and are theoretically more competitive, they were given timed, multiple-choice tests. The girls were given multiple-choice tests, too, but got more time to complete them. Gray says the gender-based curriculum gave the school "the edge we needed." Tests scores are up. Discipline problems are down. This year the fifth and sixth grades at Foust are adopting the new curriculum, too.

Most schools are girl-friendly, says Michael Gurian, coauthor with Kathy Stevens of a new book, The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life, "because teachers, who are mostly women, teach the way they learn." Seventy percent of children diagnosed with learning disabilities are male, and the sheer number of boys who struggle in school is staggering. Eighty percent of high-school drop-outs are boys and less than 45 percent of students enrolled in college are young men. To close the educational gender gap, Gurian says, teachers need to change their techniques. They should light classrooms more brightly for boys and speak to them loudly, since research shows males don't see or hear as well as females. Because boys are more-visual learners, teachers should illustrate a story before writing it and use an overhead projector to practice reading and writing. Gurian's ideas seem to be catching on. More than 185 public schools now offer some form of single-sex education, and Gurian has trained more than 15,000 teachers through his institute in Colorado Springs.

Natasha Craft, a fourth-grade teacher at Southern Elementary School in Somerset, Ky., knows the gender-based curriculum she began using last year isn't a cure-all. "Not all the boys and girls are going to be the same," she says, "but I feel like it gives me another set of tools to work with." And when she stands in front of a room of hard-to-reach kids, Craft says, another set of tools could come in handy.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

(adapted from the source)

Monday, September 19, 2005

"It's Pink, Honey, Just the Way You Like It"

HONG KONG, September 1 -- A life of housemaids, black-tie balls and country homes that ended with a senior Merrill Lynch banker lying beaten to death on his bedroom floor produced a guilty verdict Thursday night and a life sentence for his 41-year-old American wife.

A seven-member jury here found Nancy Ann Kissel guilty in the murder of her husband, Robert Peter Kissel, on Nov. 12, 2003.   Prosecutors accused Ms. Kissel of giving her husband a pink milkshake laced with powerful sleep medications, crushing his skull by beating him with a lead ornament, then trying to cover up the crime by wrapping his body in a carpet and stuffing bloody evidence into moving boxes.

The prosecution charged that Ms. Kissel had served her husband a milkshake laced with Rohypnol, the date-rape drug, and three other sleep-inducing medications, all found in his stomach in an autopsy.

Ms. Kissel had flown with the children to Vermont in the spring of 2003, fleeing an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong.  There she had an affair with a stereo repairman.  Phone records showed that she was in daily contact by phone with the repairman in Vermont after the murder and made preparations to fly to San Francisco for previously planned minor surgery.

"She had a better way out of the marriage," said William Kissel, the dead man's father.  "You put drugs in your husband's milkshake and you kill him."

The mandatory sentence for murder in Hong Kong is life in prison, and Justice Michael Lunn handed down the sentence immediately after the jury's verdict.  Hong Kong's prisons have a reputation for being spartan, but safe.

From The New York Times, September 2, 2005.

Friday, September 16, 2005


LAS VEGAS, Sept. 15 -- Heather C. Tallchief, one of the most sought after fugitives in the U.S. after disappearing with an armored car and $2.5 million, ended almost 12 years on the run when she walked into a federal courthouse and surrendered.

"Ms. Tallchief, dressed in a gray blazer, a pink blouse and pale olive slacks, was led away in handcuffs and leg irons."

Contrary to previous reports, Ms. Tallchief said she was not the mastermind behind the crime, but rather a victim of her suspected accomplice, Roberto Solis, who brainwashed her.  Solis, who served time in prison for killing an armored car driver in 1969, eluded capture.

Ms. Tallchief, a Seneca Indian born in Buffalo, N.Y., said she lived a largely unhappy life, ostracized at school as she followed the punk rock scene and became addicted to crack cocaine.

She says Mr. Solis kept an altar in his apartment with a goat's head, crystals and tarot cards, all of which she initially found shocking.  But she came to accept his beliefs, particularly that their meeting and "spiritual journey" were predestined.

"He was reformed.  He wrote poetry.  I knew his mother.  He was a very normal person.  If you sat down and met him, you would probably actually enjoy him.  You would laugh at his jokes.  You would think he was a nice person.  There was never anything about him that you would think he was a heinous, horrible murdering con."

She took flight, she said, at first disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair pushed by Mr. Solis.  She later led a low-key life in Amsterdam as a hotel maid, affecting an English accent that she still faintly speaks with today.

"It's a lonely life, being a fugitive.  And I certainly don't go to, you know, book clubs and, you know, cake sales and stuff.  I don't have coffee morning with the girls."

From The New York Times; Friday, September 16, 2005.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Punching Begins at Home

Sen. Mary Landrieu threatened the president of the United States with physical violence on Sunday, saying that if he or any other government official criticizes New Orleans police for failing to keep civil order in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -

"If one person criticizes [our sheriffs], or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," Landrieu railed on ABC's 'This Week'.

It is illegal to threaten the president with physical violence.

The Louisiana Democrat blasted Bush for neglecting the New Orleans levees, and demanded that he stop using the disaster for "photo-ops."

"The president came here yesterday for a photo-op," Landrieu charged, while surveying the disaster scene via helicopter with 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos in tow. "He got his photo-op but we are never going to get this fixed if he does not send us help now."

Landrieu also blamed Bush for cutting funding for levee improvement, before bursting into tears on camera.

In recent days, Louisiana officials have been criticized for bungling evacuation and rescue efforts. One of those officials, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, is Sen. Landrieu's brother.