Akron is the site of Ohio's very first Domestic-Violence Felony Court. According to the Columbus Dispatch:
"The court in Akron, funded mostly by grants, will handle cases of repeat violent felonies between spouses, former spouses and other couples throughout Summit County. Among charges the court might handle are aggravated arson, rape, aggravated assault, felony menacing by stalking and kidnapping."
Apparently, the court already has 15 cases since it started on October 3rd, with a goal of adjudicating 350 cases per year. The article also indicates that "A goal [of the new court] is to keep offenders out of prison by using intensive probation that would ultimately land an offender behind bars if it’s violated."
"the needs of those veterans suffering from a traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, or related issue that leads to behavior resulting in criminal charges. The new treatment court...will assist veterans charged with nonviolent misdemeanor offenses by offering mental health counseling; treatment services for alcohol and substance abuse; vocational skills advancement; and mentoring. The court also will assist with connecting veterans to the many federal resources now available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans charged with felonies that do not result in physical injury to another may also be considered for participation."
The press release also indicates that the first veterans court opened in the Mansfield Municipal Court in 2009. A good article about the new Court's purpose and role can also be found at the Youngstown Municipal Court's website.
Was Hamlet, the famous character in Shakespeare's play of the same name, guilty of murdering Polonious? Hamlet's fate was left indeterminant in a mock trial recently held in California. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy presided over the trial, and local attorneys took the roles of the prosecutors and defense lawyers. In commenting on the 12 (sane) vs.10 (insane) decision verdict, the Justice sentenced Hamlet to "the pages of our literary heritage to challenge us and later generations to know more about you." Click here to read the article about the case.
Interestingly, local High School Padua Franciscan holds an annual trial of Hamlet in its Senior AP English class. This year, much to the consternation of the actor who played Hamlet, Hamlet was found both sane and guilty.
Congratulations go to local Cleveland attorney David Mills, who just scored a huge win in the U.S. Supreme Court (09-737) in the case of Ortiz v. Jordan, which the Court unanimously decided on January 24, 2011. The Supreme Court's decision reversed the 6th Circuit, which had thrown out a trial court's judgment of $625,000 in favor of Michelle Ortiz on her claim that she was sexually assaulted while in prison. Allthough the case went to the Supreme Court on a procedural issue, it is a victory for both Mills and his client. According to news reports, Mills is being asked to speak all over the country, and his solo law practice it sure to be booming very soon. In advance of his oral argument, Mills was profiled in the November issue of the ABA journal.
Click here to read the briefs in the case, and click here to listen to the oral arguments in the case.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice O'Connor calls for extensive reform of Ohio's current probation system, which she claims makes things worse for minor offenders. The article also claims that half-way houses and community-based correction claims don't do any good. Hard to believe, but the costs to use these methods is apparently very expensive.
According to the Mansfield News Journal, two (2) jurors who visited a crime scene over lunch, in violation of the judge's orders, have been fined for the costs of a mistrial in the case of a defendant accused of murder. According to the article, the jurors could have been sentenced to 30 days in jail, but Judge DeWeese only imposed monetary sanctions and made the jurors write apologies to the defendant, the families of the victim, and the other jurors. Who tipped off the judge?----another juror.
Judges beware. According to the Columbus Dispatch, a man who was supposedly so behind on his child support that a warrant had been issued for his arrest had a bomb in the back of his car that was allegedly for the Licking County Court. Thankfully, his car crashed into a church near where he had been staying, and the officers intervened.