Victims' Rights

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Friday, August 23, 2013

A Homeless Story in DuPage County, Illinois USA - GHWittler - Open Salon

A Homeless Story in DuPage County, Illinois USA - GHWittler - Open Salon
UHAUL Addison Illinois USA

     During the same time, I was helping and driving trucks, cars, SUVs, at the UHAUL in Villa Park and in Addison, while his Uncle “Charlie” Pickerill was working there transporting UHAUL Truck, Trailers, and Wagons from Chicago, Forest Park, Oak Park, Iowa City, Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, Bloomingdale, DeKalb, and other locations because Chuck Pickerill was missing  Andrew, Jacquie, and Casey Rae from his own family members, since neither Karen Pickerill, his wife, nor Kathy Nolet, were not driving any trucks anywhere—neither were Gary Nolet or Mike Nolet driving trucks for UHAUL.
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     I had to pay for the UHAUL Trucks gasoline during the transportation from Iowa City to Villa Park, Illinois.    
UHAUL Truck in Villa Park Runs Out of Gas at the Intersection of Ardmore Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Villa Park, Illinois USA
UHAUL Truck Runs Out of Gas at the Corner of Ardmore Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Villa Park, Illinois USA.

Davenport, Iowa:  Hardee's with UHAUL, Charlie Pickerill & Friends
Hardee's at Davenport, Iowa 
      After Uncle Charlie Pickerill had a heart attack on Sunday while working at UHAUL in Addison, Illinois, following his hunting mule deer in Montana, cousin Chuck Pickerill started screaming at people at the UHAUL in Villa Park, Illinois, USA.      
     Since UHAUL in Villa Park was short staffed, I had already driven an UHAUL Truck back from Arlington Heights along Palatine Road and Route 53, after 7:00 PM in the evening with Henry W. Hochstatter, who drove back another UHAUL truck himself. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What is judicial review? definition and meaning

What is judicial review? definition and meaning
1. A higher court's review of a lower court's (or an administrative body's) factual or legal findings. Upon the review, the court may issue a prerogative or prohibitive order or may award damages.
2. The power of the Supreme court to decide whether a law enacted by a legislature is constitutional or not. All unconstitutional laws are de facto null and void, until the constitution itself is amended to accommodate them.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Obstruction of Justice is Unconstitutional

A Constitutional Reconsideration For Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor and His Daughter After my parents were married at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on March 23, 1957, some people remember that they travelled to Mexico City for their honeymoon. Upon their return, one year later, I was born in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, Cuba. My Father worked as a Judge for the Municipal Courthouse “el Juzgado” in Santiago de Cuba. In addition, my Father had already been employed as State’s Attorney and Prosecutor in Santiago de Cuba and La Habana where he had studied Law and Business Management at the University of La Habana in Cuba. Since I was his daughter, my Father always invited me to attend his Court Sessions at the Municipal Courthouse when he was presiding as a Judge at “el Juzgado” in Santiago de Cuba. I also visited La Habana with my Father when he travelled for judicial and business matters in Cuba. While my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor worked as a judge, attorney, and prosecutor in Cuba, he met visitors from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and also special agents in charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who visited Cuba about judicial matters involving the United States and Cuba. During one of the U.S. delegations visit to Santiago de Cuba’s Municipal Courthouse, the Special Agent in Charge from the Federal Bureau of Investigation talked to my Father and addressed me as a child also, when he spoke about the U.S. Department of Justice diplomatic interests and legal court matters in Cuba. The Special Agent in Charge from the Federal Bureau of Investigation had to meet my Father because he worked as a judge in a legal case matter regarding U.S. nationals and employees in Santiago de Cuba and the Mining Company at El Cobre in Oriente, Cuba. Since I was born, I have always been invited to attend legal court sessions because my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor, included me as his daughter in his legal court matters, business, and social events involving his professional work and lifestyle. During my working years in Illinois, I have worked for the State of Illinois State’s Attorney and the U.S. Justice Department, as well as for the City of Chicago courts, where I have been professionally involved in the civil procedure, due process of law, and the legal process, to include appointed commissions as an Illinois Notary Public in Cook County and DuPage County, Illinois, USA. For the twenty-two (22) years, the State of Illinois State’s Attorney, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been involved in legal court matters where I have been excluded as a constituent, taxpayer, homeowner, and U.S. citizen when I have worked as a federal employee for the U.S. Department of Labor in Chicago, Illinois USA. Under the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the United States of America, I have rights to be informed about legal case matters where my name has been posted, but I have not been notified about the civil procedure and due process of law involving my Father Mr. Roberto Hung and myself, as his surviving daughter for compensation and restitution for Illinois Victims of Crimes in the Village of Lombard, York Township, DuPage County, Illinois USA. Obstruction of justice is unconstitutional.
Dirksen U.S. Federal Courthouse

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus is also known as “Harvard on Halsted?” | GHung's Blog

The University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus is also known as “Harvard on Halsted?” | GHung's Blog

“Is Harvard on Halsted?”

The last semester at NEIU during the Fall of 1982 concluded in graduation after I completed Student Teaching at Lincoln Park Magnet School which included Middle School for grades 6th, 7th, and 8th, for Spanish with the teacher Manuel Verdugo, and French with Maureen Dolan and Maureen Breen.  I was working with the NEIU Education Department and Foreign Languages Division under assignment by Dr. Bonnie Busse and Dr. Rosalyn O’Cherony who worked with Dr. Bruno Galassi, Chair of the Foreign Languages Department.  In addition, I had already completed the French Program with Dorette Klein and other faculty there.  The months of September, October, November, and December in 1982 took up all the time I had to finish my Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at NEIU and find a teaching job to place me in the working world after five (5) years of undergraduate studies at Northeastern Illinois University.  I was pressured to finish school and get a job in the working world away from NEIU. 

So I found my first teaching job at Holy Cross High School for Boys managed and owned by the Christian Brothers in River Grove teaching Spanish and French for Elaine, a Hispanic woman from Santo Domingo who was pregnant and wanted maternity leave to have her baby.  I started teaching in January 1983, earning a mid-year teaching salary of only $12,000 which was below the standard pay for teachers in 1983, even for Catholic Schools owned by the Christian Brothers.  Holy Cross High School expected the teachers to clean up the classrooms and desks after school, in addition to teaching five (5) classes a day with more than one hundred students daily including extra-curricular activities for the Athletic Department inter-scholastic games, soccer outings, Spanish and French Club field trips, Homeroom, Lunch and Hallway Supervision.  Elaine wanted to return to her higher salary after maternity leave and the other teachers for Spanish and French were already earning more than the meager salary of $12,000, expecting than the new teacher would do all the work demanded for less. I decided that I had been hired to teach French and Spanish, and not to clean up the students’ desks with gum sticking inside and under the tables at Holy Cross High School managed by the Christian Brothers.  I was being paid the lowest salary of $12,000 at Holy Cross High School by the Christian Brothers and the Foreign Languages Department for the Catholic High School which now has become Mother Guerin College Preparatory in River Grove, Illinois USA.  Christian Brothers Parochial Schools have been under investigation for abuse, crime, and corruption in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In the Spring of 1983, I enrolled at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus on Halsted St. by Greektown.  “Is Harvard on Halsted?”  There were many Harvard University professors teaching at UIC.  I was referred to the Department of Communications and Theatre headed by Chairperson Anthony “Tony” Graham-White Ph.D., a British Shakespearean director, actor, and poet who provided recommendation for the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago campus.  I was awarded the Lincoln Fellowship for Graduate Studies involving Communications, Rhetoric, Theatre, and Ethnography. 

Anthony Graham-White placed me as a Graduate Assistant for Graduate School Communication Survey Research Methodology at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, Emergency Room working with Elena Yu, Ph.D. Research Associate at the Pacific/Asian American Mental Health Research Center, with joint appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Anthony Graham-White, Ph.D., Thomas Kochman, Ph.D., Alfred Jones, Ph.D.

In addition, Anthony Graham-White also assigned that I provided community services as the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship Graduate Assistant for the Chinese American Service League in care of Bernie Wong, Director, in Chinatown Chicago, Illinois USA.  Upon completion, I received a Certificate of Community Service from Bernie Wong, Director of the Chinese American Service League (CASL) in Chinatown Chicago.

Plus, I had to research, develop, and write the Graduate Thesis about “The Chinese in Cuba:  Assimilation and Acculturation” advised by Anthony Graham-White and Tom Kochman who were recommended that I write the ethnography as a graduate thesis project.

The UIC Department of Communications and Theatre also required that I study Voice, Speech, Rhetoric, Theatre, Japanese, Portuguese, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Ethnography, Anthropology, and other courses as a Graduate Assistant recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship.

During 1983, 1984, and 1985, I became involved with the cross-cultural history of my Grandmother Gertrudis Salustiana and my Chinese-Cuban relatives.  My cousin José Alberto Fong García from Harrison, New Jersey was also involved in the theatre as an actor and manager.  When the Broadway musical “Hair” was showcased in Chicago, my cousin José Alberto Fong García was performing as a cast member and manager of the theatre production and he called me to get together downtown.  My Father and I invited my Cousin José Alberto to brunch at the Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  Cousin José Alberto met my Father and I in the Lobby of the Drake Hotel for a special brunch at noon.  I have not seen my Cousin José Alberto Fong García from New Jersey who is my Mother’s first nephew and son of her second brother Alberto Fong Ramos and sister-in-law Mirtha, since the early 1980s.  My Cousin José Alberto and his brother David used to live in Harrison, New Jersey, USA.

In the early 1980s, I completed my Graduate Thesis as an Ethnography about “The Chinese in Cuba:  Assimilation and Acculturation” under advisement by Anthony Graham-White Ph.D. and Thomas Kochman Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, also known by some as “Harvard on Halsted” for the number of faculty and graduates from Harvard University who share scholarly contributions and academic cooperation.

While I was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, I began to write letters in correspondence to Nathan Scott Wittler who was in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Platte based in Norfolk, Virginia.  I found his name on the Journal Français d’Amérique.







Saturday, June 15, 2013

“He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” Ever

“He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” Ever since the Hung-Wittler Family moved to the Village of Lombard as resident homeowners and taxpayers, where they lived at 502 South Westmore-Meyers Road and Washington Boulevard by St. Pius X Catholic Church and School community at the corner of Madison Street and Westmore-Meyers Road in District 5, York Township, DuPage County, in the State of Illinois, USA. Other Lombard homeowners who never ever pay for Lilac Town real estate property and never complete payment on the real estate holding get large lump sums of cash money to leave the Village of Lombard. While the Daughter of Roberto Hung never gets any cash lump sum for the Lombard Historic Bungalow he purchased on September 2nd, 1993. Others come and go with Lombard real estate cash from Roberto Hung’s Lombard real estate investment at 502 S. Westmore Avenue, but the Daughter who worked for her Father and helped to purchase the real estate property “Never Gets Any Money From The Real Estate Transactions nor the Court Settlements in Roberto Hung’s Name Post-Humously”. For the last twenty-one (21) years, cash has been flowing in and out from the Village of Lombard on behalf of Roberto Hung and Family after they purchased two (2) Lombard homes in York Township, DuPage County, Illinois USA. However, Roberto Hung Never Ever received any lump sum real estate payment from Lombard upon his retirement because he was abused, beaten, tortured, and severely injured so that he become a Traumatic Brain Injury disabled homeowner after suffering a stroke from an aneurysm at home on December 22, 1996—following the full purchase of the Lombard Historic Bungalow. The Daughter has also been kidnapped four (4) times, abused, tortured, and severely injured with hits to the head so that she become hospitalized, unconscious, and unable to stand in a court hearing as an Illinois Victim of Crimes, while she was a Lombard resident homeowner, working full-time, and returning home late from work in Illinois. “He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” because he deliberately withholds police reports, court records, and witnesses’ statements identifying the perpetrators and the criminals who persecute her and harass her subsconsciously. The Psychiatrist who treated the Daughter of Roberto Hung as an unconscious and conscious Illinois Victim of Crimes paid large lump sums of money to the State of Illinois to withhold and remove his name and those of the staff from Northeastern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Madonna High School, and Avondale Elementary School from appearing on records, so that the Daughter Never Knows Who Harms Her, Harasses Her, and Persecutes as an Illinois Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes. “He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” Ever since Roberto Hung purchased Lombard real estate property. The Mother knows why the homosexual gay and lesbian people she knows wanted her Daughter to live in Lilac Town, pretending that she has to be prostituting herself to live homeless on the streets of DuPage County, Illinois USA. The Daughter was married by law on June 18, 1988 before a Justice of the Peace at City Hall in Chicago, Illinois USA. The Mother whose name is the same as the Daughter of Roberto Hung has friends who wanted them to leave in Lilac Town, so that they would have to purchase Lombard real estate property to DuPage Realtors and pay more money in Illinois. “He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” Ever because the Mother abuses her Daughter’s Civil Rights and Civil Procedure pretending that she is the senior head of household in the family; when the Mother never ever contacts the Daughter nor does she communicate with the woman who is 54 years old and an Illinois Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes. Court Settlements and Real Estate Transactions have been paid in cash on behalf of Mr. Roberto Hung and Family, but “He Never Ever Tells Why He Never Pays Her”, the Daughter who has been the representative of Roberto Hung’s household and kept the house for him during his lifetime at 502 S. Westmore-Meyers Road and Washington Boulevard in District 5, York Township, DuPage County, Illinois USA. Because he keeps the money to pay for himself and other parasites around him and the Mother who never calls the Daughter or includes her in the social and business transactions surrounding the Estate of Mr. Roberto Hung and Family. The Daughter Never Ever Gets Any Money from the problems caused by the Mother and her friends. “He Never Tells Her Why He Never Pays Her” and the Mother “Never Ever Tells The Daughter What She Has Done To Mr. Roberto Hung and Family”, because he was murdered at Vencor Northlake Hospital on June 18, 1998 by Ben Aguilar, the Respiratory Therapist under the supervision of Dr. Raied Abdullah, M.D. and Dr. Paul Grodzin, M.D., and Janelle Nance R.N., Director of Nursing at Vencor Northlake Hospital in Cook County and Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in DuPage County, Illinois USA.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Violence Against Women Act and the US Catholic bishops - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Cristina LH Traina is Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University, where she is a scholar of childhood ethics and Roman Catholic social ethics. She is part of the Northwestern Public Voices Fellowship of The OpEd Project.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cook County Government, Illinois - Medical Examiner, Office of / Medical Examiner, Office of

Cook County Government, Illinois - Medical Examiner, Office of / Medical Examiner, Office of
The Medical Examiners Office investigates any human death that falls within any or all of the following categories:

  • criminal violence
  • suicide
  • accident
  • suddenly when in apparent good condition
  • unattended by a practicing licensed physician
  • suspicious or unusual circumstances
  • criminal abortion
  • poisoning or attributable to an adverse reaction to drugs and/or alcohol
  • disease constituting a threat to public health
  • injury or toxic agent resulting from employment
  • during some medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
  • in any prison or penal institution
  • when involuntarily confined in jail, prison hospitals or other institutions or in police custody
  • when any human body is to be cremated, dissected or buried at sea
  • when a dead body is brought into a new medico-legal jurisdiction without proper medical certification

Services Provided

The Medical Examiners Office provides:
  • Certificate of Death (to funeral directors for filing with local registrar)
  • Autopsy Protocol (description of what is found at autopsy)
  • Toxicology Report (lists any foreign substance found in body)
  • Special Study Reports (if applicable)
  • Cremation Permits (to funeral directors)

Historical Perspective

As a result of a 1972 referendum, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Cook County was established December 6, 1976, and the Office of the Coroner was abolished. The Office is the only Medical Examiner system in Illinois and covers half the population of the state. The Office of the Medical Examiner plays a vital role in the administration of justice and protection of public health.

A Medical Examiner differs from a Coroner in the following respects:
  • A Medical Examiner is an appointed official with necessary qualifications, while a Coroner is an elected official with no required qualifications
  • In Cook County, the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners with the advice and consent of the Board of Commissioners appoints the Medical Examiner
  • The Medical Examiner must be a physician, licensed to practice medicine in the State of Illinois and be certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic and forensic pathology

Robert J. Stein, M.D. was appointed as the first Medical Examiner in 1976 and served until his retirement in 1993. The Cook County Institute of Forensic Medicine, completed in 1983, was renamed the Robert J. Stein Institute of Forensic Medicine in February 1994.

More than 14,000 deaths are reported to the Medical Examiner annually. Of this 4,500 are accepted for further investigation. The office performs autopsies on approximately half of the cases brought into the Institute.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lombard Victims of Heinous Hate Crimes: Unique Approaches For A Unique Type of Crime--Prosecuting Hate Crimes

Civil Rights Prosecutions: Hate Crimes Unique Approaches for a Unique Type of Crime: Prosecuting Hate Crimes by Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Crimes motivated by hatred, whether directed at the victim because of that person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, can have a disproportionate impact on communities and pose unique challenges for investigators and prosecutors. Understanding those challenges is critical to effectively preventing and prosecuting hate crimes. Some studies have indicated that assaults motivated by hatred are more violent, and more likely to result in serious injury to the victim, than other types of assaults. That is particularly so with respect to victims in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Studies have also shown that most hate crimes are carried out by persons who do not know their victim, and that the victims are selected based on how they are perceived rather than something they said or did. The arbitrary manner in which victims are targeted in hate crimes can be profoundly unsettling, because victims can do nothing to change their appearance or how their characteristics are perceived by others. Hate crimes also have a much broader impact within communities than many other types of violent crimes or property crimes. Because they are motivated by bias, hate crimes are often intended to, and do, send a broader message of violent intolerance toward a broad class of persons. Like terrorist incidents, the “message” aspect of the offender’s motive can be profoundly threatening to people far removed from the actual scene of the crime. The fact that the victims of such crimes are selected based on characteristics such as their race or religion can cause all those in the community who share that characteristic to experience similar feelings of vulnerability and secondary victimization. In its impact on the community, the fear of becoming a victim of violence can be nearly as debilitating as suffering through an actual crime. The message of intolerance that is communicated through a hate crime can have broadly disruptive social effects as well, and can lead to greater distrust of law enforcement or friction between racial or religious communities. Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a challenge. Victims are often afraid to come forward or lack the confidence that law enforcement will vigorously pursue the offenders. Some victims are reluctant to acknowledge their sexual orientation or immigration status to law enforcement. There may be cultural or linguistic impediments to effective cooperation with law enforcement. Because establishing motive is a key aspect to proving the crime, investigations often must range far beyond the criminal act itself to locate evidence relevant to the defendant’s state of mind before and during the crime. In late 2009, the first significant new federal hate crimes legislation in many years was signed into law by President Obama. The Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act increased penalties for violent hate crimes, broadened and simplified federal jurisdiction, and for the first time recognized certain violent acts directed at individuals because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation as federal hate crimes. The Shepard Byrd Act provides investigators and prosecutors with important new tools to deploy against hate crimes. Before the passage of the Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act in October 2009, there was no single federal hate crime statute, and prosecutions were based on a variety of civil rights statutes or other violent crime statutes. The scope of federal jurisdiction under some of these statutes was often unclear and, as a result, hate crime prosecutions frequently involved extensive litigation regarding collateral jurisdictional elements. For example, in a case prosecuted in the Eastern District of California in the 1990s that involved a racially-motivated assault at a 7-11 store, the case went to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue of whether the 7-11, because of the presence of video games in the store, was technically a “place of entertainment,” as defined in Section 245 of Title 18–a civil rights statute that covers certain bias-motivated conduct that occurs in hotels, restaurants and other places involving in interstate commerce. It is difficult to determine whether the actual number of hate crimes is increasing or decreasing. According to FBI statistics for 2009, the most recent year for which full data has been released, the number of hate crimes reported by state and local law enforcement agencies to the FBI was down slightly in 2009 from 2008. This is good news, but hate crimes are notoriously under-reported, which makes small changes in statistics a less than reliable indicator. In addition to reluctance by many victims to report hate crimes for the reasons mentioned above, some law enforcement agencies do not report crime data at all to the FBI, or do not effectively report separately on hate crimes. Hate crimes are defined differently from state to state, which also affects reporting to the FBI. Some states include crimes motivated by the victim’s perceived sexual orientation, for example, and others do not. Finally, because a hate crime by definition involves a conclusion as to the motive of the perpetrator, many crimes in which the perpetrator cannot be found, or his motive cannot be established based on the facts of the incident itself, are not reported as hate crimes. We do know, however, that hate crimes continue to be a major problem, and that they tend to increase when the political or social environment becomes emotionally charged in ways that can be associated with particular communities. After the tragedy of 9/11, for example, there was a spike in reported hate crimes targeting Muslim Americans and Sikh Americans (who are often mistaken for Muslims). In recent years, amid considerable acrimony in debates over immigration and related state legislation, there has been an increase in reported hate crimes against Latinos. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,002 active hate groups in the United States in 2010. Many of these groups use the Internet to promote their extremist ideologies, and to extol those who commit or advocate acts of violence. The U.S. Attorneys’ offices have long been active in prosecuting hate crimes, together with our partners in the Department’s Civil Rights Division. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney prior to becoming the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, I prosecuted cross-burning cases, a case involving arson attacks on synagogues in Sacramento, and other civil rights matters. But more is being done now than ever before to combat hate crimes. Prosecuting hate crimes is one of the highest priorities in the Justice Department, and this emphasis has been reflected by the work being done in the U.S. Attorneys’ offices. A number of offices have established new units consisting of prosecutors dedicated to civil rights and hate crime prosecutions. In the Eastern District of California, we have appointed hate crime coordinators in both of our offices, and have recently prosecuted several violent hate crimes, including an incident in which a young south Asian couple was assaulted on a beach in South Lake Tahoe, and another in which an African American man was suddenly attacked and beaten without provocation in a bar in Chico. The defendants in both cases were convicted and sentenced to prison. Our office is currently prosecuting a man who is alleged to have vandalized a mosque and left threatening messages there. To win the trust of victims and their communities, which is critical to the success of hate crime prosecutions, several U.S. Attorneys are engaged in active outreach efforts involving Muslim and south Asian communities, the Latino community, and others. To build more effective coalitions with local law enforcement and relevant communities to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes, and to ameliorate the effects of such crimes on both the direct victims and the affected communities, U.S. Attorneys in multiple districts have held hate crime summits and conferences to share information and best practices, to discuss victims’ rights, and to provide training for local agents and prosecutors. In the Eastern District of California, we have long had a Greater Sacramento Hate Crimes Task Force, which regularly brings federal and local law enforcement representatives together with community representatives and civic organizations to share information and address community concerns. A second hate crimes task force was recently constituted in the Fresno area. Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes poses unique challenges, but these challenges are better understood now than ever before. With greater experience, new statutory tools, and an unshakable commitment to seeking justice for victims of hate crimes, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices will continue to be at the forefront of the struggle against hate crimes. Achievements in Courtrooms Nationwide Arkansas Men Convicted of Hate Crime Violations Under Newly Enacted Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 Western District of Arkansas A Western District of Arkansas jury convicted Frankie Maybee, 20, in the first case in the nation tried under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009. Maybee was convicted by a jury in May 2011 of five counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 249(a)(1) and (2), willfully causing bodily injury with a dangerous weapon because of the actual and perceived race and national origin of five Hispanic victims, and aiding abetting the commission of that crime; and one count of violating 18 U.S.C. 371, conspiracy to commit hate crimes. Maybee’s co-conspirator and co-defendant, Sean Popejoy, 19, pled guilty the day before the trial to one count of conspiracy and one count of 18 U.S.C. 249(a)(1). Both men are in custody pending sentencing. In June 2010, Maybee, Popejoy and another Arkansas man observed five Hispanic males at a gas station in Alpena, Arkansas. Trial testimony revealed the Hispanic men stopped in Alpena for gas while en route to their homes in another part of the state. Popejoy hurled racial epithets at the men while they bought gas and snacks at the gas station. After the victims drove away, Maybee, Popejoy and the third man pursued their vehicle, with Maybee and Popejoy continuously yelling racial slurs. Maybee, the driver, repeatedly rammed the rear of the vehicle the victims were in it, violently forcing their vehicle from the road. The vehicle the victims were in crossed into the opposite lane of traffic, rolled and ejected three passengers before the vehicle erupted in flames. All five victims were injured and one was airlifted to a Level I trauma center in life threatening condition. All five victims survived their serious bodily injuries. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Memphis Man Sentenced to Life for Racially-Motivated Murder; Crime Went Unsolved for Years after Dale Mardis Dismembered and Burned his Victim’s Body Western District of Tennessee Dale Van Mardis was sentenced to life in prison on July 5, 2011, for the 2001 racially-motivated murder of Shelby County Code Enforcement Officer Mickey Wright. Mardis admitted that he executed a helpless Mickey Wright after first shooting and wounding him, then transported Wright’s body from Memphis to northern Mississippi, where he dismembered and burned it. Despite an intense investigation involving local, county, and federal law enforcement officials, the crime initially went unsolved. It was not until July 2004 when Mardis was ultimately identified as the killer. A protracted state prosecution followed and, due to a number of difficulties with witnesses and evidence, Mardis pled nolo contendere in state court and received a fifteen year sentence in April 2007. Wright’s family forcefully opposed the state deal and asked the federal government to review the case. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights Division joined with FBI investigators and a liaison from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to determine if any federal charges were viable. They quickly determined that based on the available facts, the only possible federal charges hinged on a racial motive for the killing. From the outset, the case presented daunting challenges: there were no eyewitnesses to the killing; there was no direct physical or forensic evidence, not even a body; almost all of the potential government witnesses had perjured themselves during the initial investigation; and Dale Mardis had a close relationship with two young African-American men whom he had mentored since childhood. Investigators and prosecutors spent thousands of hours reinvestigating the case and interviewing Dale Mardis’s closest friends, whom Mardis had told about the murder. They also followed dozens of leads and identified a pattern of racial violence and angry confrontations with code enforcement officers in Mardis’s past. Intense grand jury sessions to secure the testimony of key witnesses followed. During the investigation, it was determined that Mardis had become enraged that an African-American code enforcement officer, Mickey Wright, had written him a courtesy citation and ordered him to clean up his car lot. Mardis then shot and wounded Wright while he was sitting in his county-issued vehicle. Wright begged for his life, but Mardis placed the gun to Wright’s head and executed him. Mardis then transported Wright’s body from Tennessee to rural Mississippi. He dismembered and cremated Wright’s remains to conceal his crime. Based on the facts developed and the longstanding federal interest in aggressively prosecuting racially-motivated murders, prosecutors received permission to proceed with a federal prosecution even though there had already been a state prosecution. On January 30, 2008, Mardis was charged in a two-count federal indictment for the racially-motivated killing of Mickey Wright, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 245, and the use of a firearm to kill Mickey Wright during the commission of that federal crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j). Following the indictment, numerous legal challenges loomed. The defendant vigorously challenged the indictment on double jeopardy grounds because of federal involvement in the initial investigation, but the government prevailed both in the district court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The defendant attempted to launch numerous fishing expeditions into the internal decision making process of the Department of Justice but was fended off at every turn. The defendant also filed multiple motions to suppress; he succeeded in convincing the magistrate judge to suppress his post-arrest statement, but the prosecutors convinced the district court judge to reverse and allow the evidence. Over several years, the defendant filed dozens of motions attacking the indictment and the government’s evidence on every possible ground, from asserting that the indictment violated the doctrineof separation of powers due to a congressman’s involvement to attempting to suppress evidence that the defendant tried to hire another inmate to murder witnesses against him. In the face of significant circumstantial evidence arising from a comprehensive investigation, and unable to gain any traction with his legal arguments, the defendant opted to enter a plea of guilty to the civil rights count on the morning of trial, March 21, 2011. The focus of litigation immediately shifted to sentencing, as the plea agreement did not resolve the key issue of whether the killing was first degree murder, second degree murder, or voluntary manslaughter. On the eve of sentencing, prosecutors and investigators made a shocking discovery while meeting with witnesses: in 1998, Dale Mardis had committed another murder. One of the witnesses advised prosecutors that Mardis had murdered an acquaintance, Henry Ackerman, during an argument. The investigators then began searching for any report of the unsolved murder. The Memphis Police Department was not aware of any unsolved murders that fit the description. The agents and prosecutors worked into the night and discovered that Dr. Henry Ackerman, a child psychologist, had lived in Memphis, but had moved out of the area in 1996. After that, Ackerman seemed to have disappeared, never renewing his professional or driver’s licenses and never purchasing property elsewhere in the United States. Later that evening, after tracing various pieces of property, the prosecution team located Ackerman’s sister in New Jersey. She advised that Ackerman had disappeared in 1998 and nobody knew his whereabouts. She said that Ackerman had been renting an apartment in Baltimore, Maryland, but in June 1998 he traveled to Memphis to purchase a vehicle and was never heard from again. The Baltimore Police Department had an open Missing Persons case on Ackerman and traced his path to Memphis, but could not determine what happened to him. Armed with this corroboration for their witnesses, the prosecution team confronted Mardis in prison and secured a confession that he had beaten Henry Ackerman to death with a hammer in a dispute over money. Mardis further confessed that he had taken Ackerman’s body to a rural area in Mississippi and cremated his remains. Ackerman’s fate had been unknown for thirteen years. The prosecutors quickly worked out a new deal in which Mardis would drop his opposition to a federal life sentence and plead guilty to Ackerman’s murder in state court, where he would receive a concurrent life sentence. Throughout the process, the prosecutors and investigators stayed in close contact with Mickey Wright’s family and made a priority of keeping them informed and seeking their input. The Wright family stood beside U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton at a post-sentencing press conference, where Stanton declared that “Justice delayed is not justice denied.” “As the result of a lengthy and aggressive investigation and prosecution by an outstanding team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents, we were able to secure a guilty plea from Dale Mardis on the morning of trial. Today’s plea is the first time Dale Mardis has admitted his responsibility for the senseless murder of Mickey Wright. I am hopeful his admission of guilt today brings some sense of closure to the Wright family and to our community,” said Stanton. “This office will continue to work vigorously to ensure that justice is served by arguing for a life sentence without parole at the sentencing hearing.” Solving these crimes gave not only the victims’ families closure, but brought closure to a community that had been enraged that a racially-charged murder would only result in approximately 10 years of real prison time after Mardis’s guilty plea in state court. The federal prosecution also protected future generations by ensuring that a serial killer would no longer walk the streets.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 21-27, 2013. New Challenges. New Solutions. - CNN iReport

2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 21-27, 2013. New Challenges. New Solutions. - CNN iReport

In the year 2013, the National Crime Victims' Rights Week takes place from Sunday, April 21st through Saturday, April 27th, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes in order to inspire our communities to observe the Victims of Crimes Act of 1984 (VOCA).
The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) was an attempt by the federal government to help the victims of criminal actions through means other than punishment of the criminal. It created a federal victims-compensation account funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions, and it established provisions to assist state programs that compensated the victims of crimes. The compensation system is still in existence, having distributed over $1 billion in funds since it began.
The statute, codified at 42 U.S.C.A. § 10601, was a direct result of a task force set up by the Justice Department under the auspices of President Ronald Reagan called the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, the report issued by the task force in 1982 was harshly critical of existing victims-compensation programs. "In many states, program availability is not advertised for fear of depleting available resources or overtaxing a numerically inadequate staff. Victim claims might have to wait months until sufficient fines have been collected or until a new fiscal year begins and the budgetary fund is replenished," according to the report.
VOCA established the Crime Victim's Fund, which is supported by all fines that are collected from persons who have been convicted of offenses against the United States, except for fines that are collected through certain environmental statues and other fines that are specifically designated for certain accounts, such as the Postal Service Fund. The fund also includes special assessments collected for various federal crimes under 18 USC § 3613, the proceeds of forfeited appearance bonds, bail bonds, and collateral collected, any money ordered to be paid into the fund under section 3671(c)(2) of Title 18; and any gifts, bequests, or donations to the fund from private entities or individuals.
The first $10 million from the fund, plus an added amount depending on how much has been deposited in the fund for that fiscal year, goes to child-abuse prevention and treatment programs. After that, such sums as may be necessary are made available for the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to improve services for the benefit of crime victims in the federal criminal justice system, and for a Victim Notification System.
The Office for Victims of Crimes has chosen this year's theme to be: "New Challenges. New Solutions." The mission of the OVC's strategic initiative is called Vision 21: Transforming Victims Services in the 21st century for the new millennium.
According to Joye E. Frost, the Acting Director for the Office for Victims of Crimes, "in spite of all our progress, victims' rights laws in all 50 states, the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and the more than 10,000 victim service agencies throughout the United States of America--there are still enduring and emerging challenges for victims of crimes in America."
About 50 percent of violent crimes are not reported, and only a fraction of victims receive the help they need. There are still ongoing investigations to know and find out more about these victimss, how to help them in the best way, and how the victims' services can be targeted to reach every victim. While adapting to funding cuts, globalization, changing demographics, new types of violent crimes, and the changes (both good and bad) brought by technology. These 21st century new challenges call for bold, new solutions.
The promise and commitment of our Vision 21, will pave the way to the ongoing work with victims during the 2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week, in order to transform victims' services in the 21st century--Office for Victims of Crime, Joye E. Frost, Acting Director

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