When Will They Ever Learn…

By Jean F. Andrews

In their popular 1960’s folk song, Peter, Paul and Mary sing the ballad, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” In the ballad, is the echoing refrain, “When Will They Ever Learn,” that points a firm finger at a society engaged in the Viet Nam War, wondering sadly, Where have all the flowers, soldiers and graveyards gone?  This sweet refrain, can also be applied to the many police departments across the country in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Colorado who repeatedly refuse to give deaf suspects and inmates sign language interpreters during questioning as well as during important events during the arrest and jail intake, processing, orientation and during needed educational and rehabilitation services. Consequently, across the country, police departments have repeated lost legal cases and have had to pay hefty settlements costing the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mary Travers' obituary page. Examiner.com

Mary Travers’ obituary page. Examiner.com

There is an easy solution.

Simply make it the police department policy to do the following as recommended by the Department of Justice.

A police officer, upon discovering an individual is deaf, by law, must offer the individual an opportunity to request a sign language interpreter. One way the officer may do so is by providing the deaf individual with a visual representation (illustrated below) allowing the deaf individual to make a choice. It depicts the ADA recognized symbol for sign language and includes two hands signing “yes” and “no”. The deaf individual can select “yes” or “no” by pointing to, circling, or signing the choice.

Picture in when Will They Ever Learn.doc

Deaf individuals too would be wise to copy this visual and keep in their wallet in the event they are stopped by a policeman.

 

 

Jean F. Andrews is a Reading Specialist and Professor of Deaf Studies/Deaf Education at Lamar University.

Deaf Suspect Gets Settlement

By Jean F. Andrews

Englewood, Co.

English: A Video Interpreter sign used at vide...

The Video Interpreter symbol. Photo: Wikipedia

On August 13, 2011, William Lawrence was arrested for an outstanding warrant. Lawrence has been Deaf since birth and had diminished English capability. He was handcuffed and questioned with no interpreter present. Lawrence went several days, unable to communicate with anyone, and didn’t receive an interpreter until he was eventually transferred to Jefferson County Jail.

Englewood police used hand written notes, and spoke to his roommate as their methods of communicating with Lawrence, both of which are inadequate and violations of the ADA.

The settlement amount is undisclosed, but a condition of the settlement is that Englewood Police Department is now required to provide a certified ASL interpreter to Deaf suspects during arrest and questioning.

Englewood Police Department has made no statement but conditions for the settlement cleared them of any wrongdoing or further liability.

Jean F. Andrews is a Reading Specialist and Professor of Deaf Studies/Deaf Education at Lamar University.

My 1st incounter with l.a.’z finest

By Moorbey

[ Editor's Note: Moorbey'z Blog has been an asset and a help to DeafInPrison.com. He has graciously offered to provide us with this Supporter Contribution post. I have left it in his own unique writing style, and have added only some images. I see his writing style as the literary equivalent of what graffiti is to visual art. If graffiti is how the people paint, then - love it or hate it - this may be how they write. Nonetheless, this is a powerful and tragic story, and it deserves your attention. --BitcoDavid]

It waz summertime we had just moved in a brand new house in a upper middle class white neighborhood. Momz sent me age 10 to the store and my 2 brotherz age 9 and the baby of the boyz age 7, came along so we could play some space invaderz at the 7-11 which just happened to be 2 1/2 blockz away from home.

We purchase the itemz that momz wanted and we played space invaders 4 about and hour and we started walking back to the house. We get 1 1/2 block from the house and we see a black & white cruise by uz and all of a sudden they whip a U-turn and cut uz off. Now we have grocery bag in hand and we are just walkin and talkin. The 1st officer sayz what are u doing in this neighborhood. My baby brutha sayz we are coming from 7-11.
Cop #2 sayz niggerz can’t afford to live in this area, so we must have ran away from tha Boy’z home that iz 3 milez away. So I sayz  take uz around tha corner and speak with our mom. Cop #1 sayz that iz not our job and out of the clear blue he slapz tha baby.

Now we have been taught a fair fight iz a fair fight, do not ever let an adult put handz on u unless they are family or a friend of tha family. So it waz on. We did our best to break this cop off but now we are just some happy kidz digging life until this life changing experience. Cop #2 makez a call on tha radio officer in distress call an within minutez 3 other unitz appear. They handcuff uz and start to beat on uz like we are grown men.

Now at this point we have been gone 4 about 3 hourz,and popz comez home from the golf course and momz sayz go find tha boyz they been gone to long.
He goes to 7-11 and they tell him we have been gone 4 hourz and pullz over to talk to copz and noticez we are bloodied, bruised and in the back seat of separate squad carz on the way to tha infamous Rampart Division Station. Popz goes to get momz to head down to tha station, they take a good look at uz and popz loses it and he iz arrested. Momz had to bail him out. I had never seen my momz cry till that day. Chargez were dropped against everyone except me. I had 3 felony chargez of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest at 10 yearz old.
***
You can see more of Moorbey’s work at Moorbey’z Blog.
–If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.”Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible” Ernesto “Che” Guevara

There But For the Grace of God…

By BitcoDavid

Picture this. You’re on your way somewhere, when a police cruiser comes speeding up from behind you, and lunges up onto the sidewalk, cutting you off. Just as you stop in your tracks, another cruiser does the same maneuver, behind you. A third, boxes you in by stopping curbside, on your left. In unison, the cops jump out of their cruisers, guns drawn, and yelling. “Freeze! Get on the ground! Face Down!”

Website delivered a "404." Unable to cite photo credit.

Website delivered a “404.” Unable to cite photo credit.

You’re standing there, completely stunned and unable to move – unable, even to make sense of their commands. “I said get down! Get down on the ground NOW!” You hear one say, “if you don’t lie down you scumbag, I’ll blow you in half!”

“What’s going on, Officers? What did I do?”

“Shut up! Shut up and lie down or we’ll shoot!”

You lie down. Face down on the frigid sidewalk – you lie down.

“What did I do?” You feel one large man sit on top of you, his knee digging into your back. Your arms are violently pulled behind you, and with crystal clarity, you hear the ratcheting click of the cuffs as they lock into place.

Nobody has told you anything. Nobody has even asked your name. Someone or some thing is droning out your Miranda rights. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to…”

“… Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?”

“I didn’t do anything. I don’t want a lawyer. I don’t want to remain silent. I didn’t do anything.”

“Just answer yes or no. Do you understand your rights?”

Defeated even before the bell, you nod your assent, accompanied with a croaked out, “yes.”

Now you’re in the back of a police cruiser. The only clear memory you have is how much it hurt when they picked you up from the ground, by pulling at your cuffed arms. A searing scorch shot through your shoulders and upper back. You thought they were pulling your arms out from the sockets.

“Can you at least tell me what I did?” You ask, as the cruiser rolls on for what seems like hours.

“Please sit back and be quiet, sir. You’ll get all that information.” You hear him lean over and say to his partner, “God, I hate the talkie ones.”

News coverage showing the number of arrests in one day in one county in Florida.http://baycountypress.com/2013/01/29/arrest-logs-and-mug-shots-for-bay-county-florida-jan-28-29-2013/

News coverage showing 40 arrests in one day in one county in Florida, 12 of which were drug related.
http://baycountypress.com/2013/01/29/arrest-logs-and-mug-shots-for-bay-county-florida-jan-28-29-2013/

A few more jokes, and good-natured conversation between them – as though you didn’t exist at all – and you’re at your first booking destination. You’re walked past rows of desks and computers, and finally placed in a cell. “Turn around,” somebody barks, and through a small slot in the barred door, your cuffs are finally removed. You feel like you just got off the Rack. Your only thought is how grateful you are to have those cuffs off.

Scared yet? If you’re a young Black male, in an urban environment, you stand a 1 in 4 chance of this happening to you.

You’re alone. You’re alone and although this nightmare has only just begun, you’re already broken. You’d say or do anything, if you thought it would help end this.

One of the cops – you recognize him. He more or less took the point on your arrest – keeps coming back to your cell and asking you pointless questions. “How old are you?” “What kind of car do you own?” “Do you live alone?” Finally, at one of his stops, you ask him, “Hey, can I go to the bathroom?”

“Gimme a few minutes, and we’ll get someone to take care of that for you.”

You wait for what seems like another hour. Finally, someone comes and tells you to turn around for cuffing. “I have to go to the bathroom,” you say as he clicks the cuffs home, and unlocks the cell door. “Yeah, yeah. We’ll get you there. Just be patient and don’t make any trouble.”

He brings you to a desk, where he removes one of the cuffs and locks it to an eyelet. You’re chained to this desk. After about 10 minutes, another officer shows up. Moving like a glacier, he takes a form out of a drawer and inserts it into a 1960s vintage, whirring and clanking, typewriter. “Name.” It’s not a question. It’s a monosyllabic utterance, drenched in boredom. You give him your name.

After you’ve given this man your address, your phone number, your identifiable marks and tattoos and the name of the first girl you ever got to 2nd with, you tell him that the other officer promised, you could go to the bathroom. He looks askance at you – his face, silently calling you a pain in the ass – and gestures to another officer. This one takes the cuff out of the eyelet, and walks you down the hall to a large lavatory. He leaves the one cuff on your wrist, but lets you go in, alone.

It’s been a good 4 hours since you were arrested.

After you’re done in the bathroom, you’re brought back to the cell. Still, no one has told you what you’re being charged with, or given you any pertinent information. To them, this is all business as usual, but to you, it’s the scariest day of your life. A simple nugget of friendly information might go a long way toward assuaging that fear.

More time passes. Eventually, someone comes, cuffs you up again and puts you in a van. You’re on your way to your second booking destination.

Entrance and egress is provided through back doors and special causeways, so you don’t even know the addresses of the places their pin-balling you in and out of. Now you’re in a much larger facility – a holding pen of some sort. Other people are in there with you. You’re actually more scared of them than you are of the cops, so you just sit quietly in your little corner and wait. They are all doing the same.

It’s now been 8 full hours since you were arrested. You’re tired, hungry, lonely, cold and afraid. Your Wallet, cellphone, car keys, watch and other personal effects were all taken from you. Your belt and shoes were taken from you. You’ve been given some foam rubber slippers, and other than pants, shirt and underwear, you have nothing. A cop comes to the door of the pen and barks out your name. You stand up, and he tells you, “You’ve been ID-ed. You’re moving into interrogation.”

Here’s where you get your proverbial one phone call. He takes you – cuffed – into a room with a large number of pay phones. He removes one of the cuffs and clicks it into another eyelet, this one anchored to the phone stall. He hands you a coin, sufficient for a 3-minute local call. Not knowing any alternative that makes sense, you call your BFF. In response to her natural question, you yell to the four winds, “Hey, where am I?” “_______________ County detention facility. _____________ ____________ Street,” someone replies from the ether. After you hang up, you wait for someone to come and unchain you from the phone.

You’re stripped, cavity searched, and issued an orange jumpsuit. You’re put in a small, ill-lit, windowless room with a large mirror on one wall. Other than 2 chairs and the table you are chained to, there is nothing in the room. You wait.

You wait.

Finally, a team of interrogators comes into the room.

It seems, the more they talk – the more trouble you’re in. They deluge you with questions, show you mountains of unrecognizable photographs, badger you and accuse you. They tag team you with the good cop/bad cop routine. They threaten you with unfathomable torments, and try to convince you that confession is your only hope. They lie to you. They use your own body’s physical needs, such as food and sleep, as weapons against you. They eat in front of you, and drink coffee. They blow cigarette smoke in your face. It may be 12, 13 even 14 hours since you’ve had anything to eat. Sign this, and we’ll go get you a sandwich.

You don’t sign. Not because you’re some sort of staunch individualist who knows that his own innocence will eventually win out, but because you don’t have a clue what the hell they’re talking about. On the way back to your newest cell, they – jokingly – threaten to throw you down a flight of concrete stairs.

It’s Friday night. The earliest you can be arraigned is Monday afternoon.

The arraignment isn’t your day in court, your chance to stand up and speak on your behalf – while a deeply committed, and brilliant country lawyer snaps his suspenders, and challenges a jury. It’s 15 minutes of people using a foreign language to speak about you in 3rd party dissociation.

At the end, bail is set. 250,000 dollars. Of course, you only have to pay 10% of that. Do you have 25 grand? No. So back to jail you go. You’re awaiting trial. Six months – maybe a year. You’re in jail, you haven’t been tried, and you’re innocent of crime.

If you’re a young Black male living in a major city,  the likelihood of your serving time at some point in your life is 28% . If you’re a young male of any ethnicity and poor, you are 150 times more likely to be arrested than if you’re wealthy.

Next time you post to an Internet site, about how prisoners wouldn’t be there if they didn’t do something to deserve it, I hope you think about my little story, here.

Now, as horrific and Kafkaesque as this story reads, try – just try – to imagine what it would be like, if you were Deaf.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

 

Let the Taser do the Talking, Or…

By BitcoDavid

Did you know that practically every police cruiser in this country is equipped with an on-board computer with a webcam and wireless Internet capability? Did you further know that Video Relay Services exist, virtually all across the Internet?

Imagine this scenario.

A young Deaf woman is a victim of domestic abuse. Her husband storms out of the house in a rage, giving her a few precious moments to call for aid. She uses the Relay service and calls 911. The Relay operator informs the 911 operator that the caller is Deaf, and the 911 operator passes that information onto the police dispatcher. The dispatcher puts out the 273-D call, and a cruiser is dispatched to the victim’s home.

The police dispatcher is allowed to assign the car, and give the code – a brevity that goes back to the ancient paradigm of 2-way communications. The codes were created to give the officers all the information they would need as they approached a given situation. The only thing it doesn’t tell them is that the victim is Deaf.

Upon their arrival, the victim – seeing the familiar 2 tone car as her salvation – bolts out her front door, waving her arms and screaming.

“Stop!” The police officers shout at her. She doesn’t stop, because she can’t hear them. Out come the tasers and down goes this poor woman. After they secure the scene, they have her cuffed up and sitting in the back of their cruiser – none the better for wear.

“I think she’s either stoned or retarded,” one of the officers says, trying to make some sense of her Deaf-speak. Finally, they determine that she’s deaf. Now’s where they hand her the torn cover of a match book and a broken pen. “Here. Write what you need to say.”

But if Glinda, the Good Witch, could wave her magic wand…

A young Deaf woman is a victim of domestic abuse. Her husband storms out of the house in a rage, giving her a few precious moments to call for aid. She uses the Relay service and calls 911. The Relay operator informs the 911 operator that the caller is Deaf, and the 911 operator passes that information onto the police dispatcher. The dispatcher clicks a mouse which opens a window on her computer. She quickly punches in a few radio buttons, one of which tells the officers that the victim’s  Deaf, and that the call came in via a particular Relay service.

English: A Video Interpreter sign used at vide...

A Video Interpreter sign used at videophone stations in public places where a Deaf, Hard-Of-Hearing or Speech-Impaired can communicate with a hearing person via a Video Relay Service. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The service in question has been automatically alerted – by the dispatch computer – to await a police call. The officers have been trained in the handful of necessary ASL signs – Stop; What’s your name; Do you live here; Do you have any weapons, etc., and since they go in, knowing she’s Deaf, they know they will need at least these few basic signs. They also know that they need to approach the house in a way that will not limit her ability to see them. No bright lights in her eyes, etc.

Sans Taser, they take her calmly to the cruiser where the terp is patiently waiting – online – to straighten the whole thing out.

How’d that be?

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

An Excellent Video From DeafInc

By BitcoDavid

This video is geared towards Police officers to help them communicate with Deaf individuals. It is a wealth of valuable information for all of us however. It’s extremely well made, making use of split screen and P.O.V. shots. It’s fully captioned and narrated in ASL. Well worth the watch.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Felix’s Story Serialized Pt. 1

By Pat Bliss

As many of you know, I have been publishing a series on arrest and subsequent trial of Felix Garcia on DeafInPrison.com. It has been available in standard HTML format on my pages, Bliss-1 and Bliss-2 – with future pages yet to be posted. However, our editor, BitcoDavid has recently devised a way that PDF media can be viewed on the site without having to click through. He is making many upgrades to this site, and among them will be the phasing out of these back pages. We have decided that this story belongs on the main scroll, and with his help, I’ve been able to post this first 15 page section of the series.

Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events. 

Proof of False Confession and DNA Testing Lead to Freeing of Innocent Death-Row Inmate in LA

I was hungry. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I was willing to tell them anything they wanted me to tell them if it would get me out of that interrogation room.

Constitutional Amendments 101

Constitutional Amendments 101 (Photo credit: Village Square)

This is was Damon Thibodeaux statement about his nine-hour interrogation on July 21, 1996 that resulted in his false confession to raping and killing his 14-year old step-cousin. He was set free last week after DNA testing proved this conviction wrong. The investigation also pointed to the police officers using tactics to get a false confession. For instance, Thibodeaux said that police threatened him with death by lethal injection and fed him facts about the crime scene that he added to his confession.

Interrogation

Interrogation (Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis)

Thibodeaux spent 15 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The Houston Chronicle reprinted a Washington Post article and quoting the reporter, “There was never any physical evidence connecting him to his cousin’s murder. But it took 15 years to reestablish that.” (Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, A4. “Deaf-row inmate freed thanks to DNA.”).

Police coercive tactics such as sleep deprivation, long hours of aggressive questioning, repetition of questions, setting up the suspect with facts from the case, making threats of death by lethal injection have been seen in other cases as well as Thibodeaux’s. This case and others point to the critical need for increased public awareness and vigilance to defend the Constitutional rights of suspects.

English: The Gas Chamber at New Mexico Peniten...

The Gas Chamber at New Mexico Penitentiary, Santa Fe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Individuals with Disabilities and the Issue of False Confessions

False confessions are more common than expected. The most common explanations are that the suspect experiences fear, intimidation, frustration and “just wants to go home.”

Deaf individuals as well as other vulnerable groups are at risk for making false confessions because of their communication differences and disabilities, youth, and personality characteristics.  In one case I worked on the detectives did not use a sign language interpreter with a deaf woman suspect but instead used written communication and lipreading.  The detectives were not aware that the deaf woman had a second grade reading level, could barely write an English grammatical sentence, and was guessing and reading body language to try to determine what the detectives were asking her.

Furthermore, police officers are often trained in using coercive techniques, asking complex questions, repeating questions, making false promises, or threats, or using confusing and ambiguous language to force the false confession. In this article, Individuals with Disabilities and the Issue of False Confessions, published in the Champion, July 2012, p. 34-42, Dr. Vernon and I provide recommendations that can be adopted such as mandatory video recording so that vulnerable populations such as deaf individuals are provided their Constitutional Rights and to ensure there is documentation that the confession is reliable and voluntary.

[Sadly, the link to this article is unavailable, as the Champion has chosen to place it in their protected area. I have included links to their membership page, should you want to join and access it that way. Guest memberships cannot access the protected area. --BitcoDavid]

[***Update - Dr. Andrews was kind enough to e-mail me a PDF of the full article. Here's the link. - BitcoDavid]

False Confessions

 

Justice Silenced Campaign – Re: Sept. 4th Meeting

This is a PDF letter written to General Council Greg Buzzard. This letter was written as a follow-up to a meeting that took place on September 4th.

Represented were: AdvoCare, and C.U.R.E. National (Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants), Embracing Lambs, Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), and The Justice Silenced Campaign.

DeafInPrison.com was surely there in spirit.

The injustices that Deaf and Hard of Hearing Citizens endure in the Courts, interactions with Law Enforcement, and in the Correctional System, are beyond reproach.

Click on this link to view the entire letter:

JusticeSilenced

We wish to emphasize the urgency for the establishment of a bipartisan/bicameral Congressional Caucus for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Citizens that would focus on common legislative objectives to assure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other laws that protect people with disabilities, in all aspects of the government, including, our Courts, Law Enforcement, and the Correctional System.

Demand Justice for Lashonn White

In keeping with the Post-a-Day Challenge, I’ve got tons of stuff lined up for you. Not one but 2 follow-ups to yesterday’s post on Internet Interpreting, a story on the inequality in school suspensions of disabled students and Part 5 of the Felix Garcia interview. But for right now, there’s this:

***

Lashonn White is a deaf woman who called 911 after being attacked in her apartment. Instead of helping her, Tacoma police tasered her and put her in jail for 60 hours without an interpreter.

Two police officers were dispatched who had been told that she is deaf. She ran outside to meet them, and immediately, Officer Koskovich tasered her in her rib and stomach. Because of the fall, she suffered heavy bleeding from her knuckles, injuries to her cheek, chin, ribs, neck, and arms, and swelling on the right side of her face. Then they handcuffed her.

White was incredibly confused as to why she was under arrest, and couldn’t talk to the officers because they don’t know sign language. Koskovich said that he had yelled for White to stop, but she had ignored him — in reality, she couldn’t hear him. 

Tell the Tacoma Police Department that all officers need to receive training concerning disabled individuals and to do a full investigation of the incident. Demand justice for Lashonn White!

Here’s the link to the original article and a petition.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/106/043/884/justice-for-deaf-woman-tasered-and-jailed-by-police/?z00m=20380296

Awaiting Trial

Lying on an inch thick mattress, puss running out of his ears, migraine headaches, vomiting chronically and constantly passing out, would accurately describe Felix Garcia’s day-to-day existence at the old Morgan Street Jail in downtown Tampa, Florida. The woefully ill-equipped medical staff struggled to help a new inmate – coming to see them regularly – suffering from Cholesteatoma and Serous Otitis Media.

The former is a type of inner ear cyst, whose symptoms include brain abscess, deafness, dizziness, erosion into the facial nerve causing paralysis and meningitis. The latter is an acute infection and possible rupture of the tympanic membrane.

Image courtesy of http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002045/#adam_001050.disease.symptoms

Day in and day out for 2 straight years, this man – unable to communicate his misery – bided his time in the red brick building, clearly visible from I-275 as the interstate winds through the city. Morgan Street is the oldest of the Tampa jails. Since Felix’s time, two newer and more modern jails have been built in Hillsborough County – the Orient Road Jail and the Falkenburg Road Jail.

Life in jail is common and routine. Clanging alarms and loud horns awaken you at sunup. After a quick and early breakfast, you have an hour of recreation where you can walk around, watch TV, read, play cards, go to the law library on a pass or maybe play basketball. Lunch too, is ahead of time and brief. If you’re fortunate enough to have visitors – and they show up during specified times – you may be able to enjoy a few short moments of respite. Dinner comes too soon in the evening, and the day ends shortly afterwards. Then there’s talk! Jail is one of the noisiest places on Earth. Everything is iron, steel or loud and resonant concrete. There’s a constant din of banging and clanging – and the talk. It’s a steady drum-beating roar of Vox Humana.

Felix didn’t get many visits, Frank did. Inmates are allowed to make collect calls, but Felix couldn’t use a phone. Therefore, he would have a cellmate make his calls for him. Even if a TTY phone had been available to him, Felix had never seen one, and had no idea as to how to use them. If one did exist at Morgan Street, Felix didn’t know it.

After throwing up their hands in frustration, the medical staff opted to send Felix to Tampa General Hospital. The following table shows the severity of his condition.

Admitted Date

Admission Type

Discharge Date

10/19/81

Outpatient

10/19/81

10/26/81

Outpatient

10/26/81

11/19/81

Outpatient

11/19/81

11/25/81

Emergency

11/25/81

04/22/82

Outpatient

04/22/82

04/29/82

Outpatient

04/29/82

05/06/82

Outpatient

05/06/82

05/16/82

Inpatient

06/08/82

06/11/82

Outpatient

06/11/82

06/15/82

Outpatient

06/15/82

06/29/82

Outpatient

06/29/82

07/27/82

Outpatient

07/27/82

08/02/82

Outpatient

08/02/82

08/16/82

Outpatient

08/16/82

08/19/82

Outpatient

08/19/82

08/24/82

Outpatient

08/24/82

08/30/82

Outpatient

08/30/82

09/14/82

Outpatient

09/14/82

02/28/83

Inpatient

03/04/83

03/07/83

Inpatient

03/21/83

08/09/83

Outpatient

08/09/83

Felix spoke to me of being in a “fog,” not only during the trial, but also for years before he was arrested. He had a final operation, a couple of years into his prison sentence, which cleared up the fog, but the migraines, nausea and passing out still occur.

Pre-trial Motions

[Editor's Note: Although this pertains to the Felix Garcia case, I wanted Pat to post it on the scroll, because I believe we can all benefit from any insight as to the inner workings of the Court system. After all, forewarned is forearmed, and where the Courts are concerned, there but for the grace of God...]

[Author's Note: This is sort of a monotonous time for most everyone involved. I say most as you still have those attorneys who find every aspect of the trial process exciting. At the September 25, 1981 hearing where Felix was given court appointed counsel, Attorney Raul Palomino entered a Not Guilty Plea on behalf of his client/defendant. With that, the pre-trial motions start. I will highlight some of them that I hope will give you, the reader, some insight into the motion aspect of a trial. I will leave out mentioning the Criminal Rule numbers, Constitutional amendments, any mundane speech, to try to make it informative yet not boring.]

1. Demand For Discovery.

This is where the defense demands the State to disclose within 15 days all the information they have against his client. It is pretty standard in every one:

A)   Names of all persons of interest relevant to the offense charged and to any defense with respect thereto.

B)   Any statements made by any person listed in preceding paragraph.

C)   Any oral or written statement by the defendant.

D)   Any tangible papers or objects obtained or belonged to the defendant.

E)   Any material or information provided by a confidential informant and name.

F)   Any electrical surveillance or wiretapping of the premise or conversations to which the defendant was a party to.

G)   Any search and seizure of any documents.

H)   Reports or statements of experts made in connection with this case, including results of mental or physical examinations, and scientific tests, experiments or comparisons.

I )   Any material information within the State’s possession or control which tends to negate the guilt of the Defendant as to the offense charged, or to        punishment, or the credibility of the State’s witnesses.

What the Defense here is requesting from the State is to inspect, copy, test and photograph this information so everyone begins the trial on equal ground. The Defense wants to know what the State knows that makes them certain they have the right person. The Defense then builds its defense on what it receives. If you heard the term Prosecutorial Misconduct, it generally stems from this request. The State may inadvertently or purposely leave out, misplace or hide information, or whatever, and because of it, the Defendant doesn’t get a fair trial. I might add that in return, the Defense shares their list of witnesses and exhibits with the State.

2. Motion For Statement Of Particulars.

This motion demands the State to show exactly what the evidence was that lead to an arrest of the Defendant. This motion is tailored to the alleged crime charged in the Indictment.

A)   Exact date on which the offense alleged in the Indictment occurred.

B)   Exact time on which the offense alleged in the Indictment occurred.

C)   Exact place or addresses where the offense alleged in the Indictment                        occurred.

D)   Particular description of the firearm which was allegedly utilized.

E)   Whether crime charged in the Indictment is predicated on the theory of

premeditated murder or felony-murder, and if on felony-murder, the type of  felony allegedly perpetrated at the time of the alleged homicide.

F)   Whether the Defendant was the actual perpetrator or an aider and abetter of  the offense alleged in the Indictment; if the Defendant was an aider and         abetter, whether or not the Defendant’s actions made him accountable for the    crime charged as an accessory before the fact or as a principal in the first             degree or as a principal in the second degree.

This is to pin down the State to exactness and not generalities or broadness. This can also be used as a factor if there has been a change in law during the period of the alleged transaction and the trial to determine, if found guilty, the degree of punishment at sentencing.

3. Motion For Statement of Particulars Relating To Aggravating Circumstances.

This case was filed as a Capital Felony (where the death penalty was a possibility). These trials are done in two phases -  Guilt Phase and Sentencing Phase. When the Defendant is found guilty, then the Sentencing Phase begins. At this juncture, the State will introduce aggravating circumstances to enhance the punishment – to prove that death is warranted. This motion is gleaning the proof the State intends to adduce at sentencing which is:

A)   Whether the State intends to prove that the Defendant has previously been  convicted of another Capital Felony or a Felony involving the use or threat of    violence to the person, and if so, the nature of the previous conviction, the          date thereof, the Court in which said conviction occurred, the style of the             case and case number, and any other relevant particulars.

B)   [ I’ll be more brief on the rest.] Whether the State intends to prove the            Defendant  knowingly created a great risk of death to any persons.

C)   Whether the State intends to prove the Capital Felony was committed while  the Defendant engaged in, an accomplice, or attempt to commit another               criminal act: robbery, rape, arson etc.

D)   Whether the State intends to prove the Capital Felony was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing lawful arrest or effecting an escape from   custody.

F)    Whether the State intends to prove the Capital Felony was committed for     pecuniary gain.

G)   Whether the State intends to prove the Capital Felony was committed to        disrupt or hinder lawful exercise of any governmental function or                             enforcement of laws.

H)   Whether the State intends to prove the Capital Felony was especially               heinous, atrocious or cruel.

This last particular  is generally the one the public is most acquainted with. And is the issue on appeal the most times before any court in a death sentence. There will be witnesses at the Sentencing Phase and the Defense will also ask the State for a list of their witnesses and experts, and what aggravating circumstance will they will be related to.

Just so you know, the Defense will introduce Mitigating circumstances at Sentencing to try to cancel out any enhancements towards death versus Life. We’ll get to that later.

Don’t Talk to Police – The Coolest Explanation You Will Ever Get

bitcodavid:

If hearing people can’t get a fair shake during an arrest procedure, think how the Deaf must fare.

Originally posted on CrimeDime:

You have to watch this video twice. The first time, you will be mesmerized by this law professor’s raw talent for averaging 22.6 words per second with an unmatched ability to simultaneously entertain, wave his hand around, chew gum, rub his belly, and pat the top of head without breathing. Okay, I exaggerated. But only a little.

The second time you watch the video, you can actually pay attention to the content. James Duane gives seven reasons to aspiring attorneys that their clients should never talk to the police.

1. There is no way it can help.

2. If your client is guilty — and even if he is innocent — he may admit his guilt with no benefit in return.

3. Even if your client is innocent and denies his guilt and mostly tells the truth, he can easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make…

View original 245 more words

The Costs of…

Dirk Becker, a fan of ours on FaceBook, posted this on the timeline page.
The Costs of Incarceration- Canada

Correctional services expenditures totaled almost $3 billion in 2005/6, up 2% from the previous year.
Custodial services (prisons) accounted for the largest proportion (71%) of the expenditures, followed by community supervision services (14%), headquarters and central services (14%), and National Parole Board and provincial parole boards (2%).
This figure does not include policing or court costs which bring the total expenditures up to more than $10 billion for the year.
Cost of incarcerating a Federal prisoner (2004/5): $259.05 per prisoner/per day
Cost of incarcerating a Federal female prisoner (2004/5): $150,000-$250,000 per prisoner/per year
Cost of incarcerating a Federal male prisoner (2004/5): $87,665 per prisoner/per year
Cost of incarcerating a provincial prisoner (2004/5): $141.78: per prisoner/per day
The cost of alternatives such as probation, bail supervision and community supervision range from $5-$25/day.

 

Deaf Couple Sue Over Treatment by Officers

They need policies and procedures for folks who are deaf. People just assume that a deaf person understands what they are saying.

Kevin Williams, an attorney for Timothy Siaki

[Editor's note: The following is a transcribed article by Monte Whaley of the Denver Post - dated 11/26/2011.]

When Adams County sheriff’s deputies knocked down the motel-room door of a deaf couple, slammed the man to the ground and locked him in jail for 25 days without providing a sign-language interpreter, they violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, a federal lawsuit says.

Lawyers for Timothy Siaki claim the man was not provided an interpreter until he went to court on Domestic assault charges last year. Siaki eventually was cleared of the charges, said Kevin Williams, an attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Siaki and his fiancée, Kimberlee Moore.

“There were 25 days of his life that he had access to nothing – no information on why he was being held, no information about his case or what was going to happen to him,” Williams said.

SUIT: Man held for 25 days, allegedly with no ability to communicate

The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition advocacy group is also a plaintiff in the suit. Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr is named as the defendant.

An Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokesman on Friday did not have any comment on the lawsuit, saying officials needed to review it first.

The suit asks for damages for Siaki and Moore and to find that Adams County is violating the ADA by not providing an interpreter nor auxiliary aids for deaf suspects during their arrest and booking process.

The suit clams Adams County also does not provide aids and services to deaf inmates to communicate with people outside the jail while the same privileges are provided for those with normal hearing.

“They need policies and procedures for folks who are deaf,” Williams said. “People just assume that a deaf person understands what they are saying.”

Williams said the coalition recently settled a similar case against the Lakewood Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The settlements require very specific policies for compliance with the ADA to ensure deaf people can communicate with police officers and jail deputies.

According to the lawsuit, Siaki and Moore were staying at a Super 8 Motel at 5888 Broadway on May 14, 2010 when they began arguing.

Both communicate by American Sign Language, as Siaki does not speak, read or write English. He also does not read lips. Moore has a limited ability to speak, read and write in English and can occasionally read lips the suit said.

Like many deaf people, Siaki and Moore both “verbalize sounds which, to a person who is not deaf or who is unfamiliar, may sound like the deaf person is speaking loudly or abruptly,” according to the suit.

Their fight resulted in a noise complaint. Two Adams County deputies broke down the motel room door, entered with their guns drawn and ordered Siaki to the floor, the suit said.

Both deputies learned after their arrival that Siaki was deaf. But since he was unable to understand the deputies’ commands, one of the deputies grabbed Siaki’s left arm and forced him to the floor.

The deputy also said Siaki refused to write down his version of the events. Moore, meanwhile, tried to tell the deputies that Siaki did not hurt her but could not because she was not provided an interpreter or any aids.

The two were separated, and Siaki was evaluated by medical intake personnel at the jail. Still, he was not provided a sign-language interpreter.

Siaki stayed in jail fr0m May 15 until June 10, unable to comprehend jail policies and procedures, the suit said.

He was eventually assigned a public defender, and he was cleared in the criminal case, Williams said.

“To this day,” he said, “we don’t know why he was held for 25 days.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virginia plans changes in prisoner isolation process – The Washington Post

Virginia plans changes in prisoner isolation process – The Washington Post.

Arizona sheriff rejects court monitor; Justice Department threatens to sue – The Washington Post

Arizona sheriff rejects court monitor; Justice Department threatens to sue – The Washington Post. Not mentioned in this article, but known to us – the guy’s no friend to the Deaf, either.

Our First Ever Audio File

This is an edit of an interview I did with a deaf woman who was arrested a few years ago in Arizona. The interview was conducted via the Video Interpreting Service. It is worth noting, how expressive and conversant this woman sounds in the interview. Bear in mind, that the voice you’re hearing is the voice of the interpreter, not the woman herself.

This is the miracle of ASL. Due to the interpreter’s fluency in the language, she is able to add inflection and non-verbal content.

MDol


lConv2

How Would You Handle This?

“Pete Castle” was away from home, and going into freshman year at a community college in Denver. College for him, was a completely new cultural experience. Because of his deafness, much ordinary life skills had passed him by.
Here he was in a laundromat, strange to him, his mother always having done his wash. School had taken up his day, so it was after 7PM and dark at this time of the year.

Pete had learned, long ago not to trust his “deaf” voice. Hearing people found it harsh, and sometimes had trouble understanding the sounds he made, which, of course, he couldn’t hear himself making.

There was only one other person in the laundromat, a young woman of about the same age as Pete, but with obvious competence, as she put paper money into a change machine and picked up the quarters necessary to start the process.

Following her, Pete slipped his dollar in as he had seen her do. The bill kicked back. Again. Again. He wanted to find out what was going wrong. He went over to the girl whose back was to him, came close and put a hand on her shoulder. She screamed and turned, screaming. Her body language mirrored pure terror. He tried to reassure her, but the combination of his coarse, unintelligible voice, his violation of her personal space and his hand on her, brought screams from her that were heard in the street. Soon an assault in progress brought the police – and handcuffs. His incomprehensible explanation brought the use of the Taser.

There was no interpreter at the station house, and no explanation on ether side. Cultural differences were too great. The young man was charged with assault and attempted rape. It was days before an astute judge called in a signing counselor, and the charges were ramped down to a misdemeanor.

Pete lost valuable school time.

Deaf people tend to stand closer to each other than hearing people do. Deaf people tend to use physical means of expression. Seldom is there formal teaching about man-woman relations.
The change machine at the laundromat had been unable to read the codes on the new multicolored bills.

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