Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Unintended Consequences of a Good Law

This statue was created to protect women and children from peeping toms. What it was not created to do was protect sexual predators from legal prosecution. The fact that a sexual predator would use it to exclude evidences from a criminal trial is just unthinkable and inexcusable. Clearly, this law must be amended to allow victims to legally videotape criminals in the act of committing a criminal offense even if that offense is happening in the privacy of their own home. We would not want sex offenders getting away with their crimes just because they commit them in their own bedroom or in a place where they reasonable expect privacy.

New Mexico State Statue 30-9-20. Voyeurism prohibited; penalties.

A. Voyeurism consists of intentionally using the unaided eye to view or intentionally using an instrumentality to view, photograph, videotape, film, webcast or record the intimate areas of another person without the knowledge and consent of that person:

(1) while the person is in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room or tanning booth or the interior of any other area in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(2) under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

B. Whoever commits voyeurism is guilty of a misdemeanor, except if the victim is less than eighteen years of age, the offender is guilty of a fourth degree felony.

C. As used in this section:

(1) "intimate areas" means the primary genital area, groin, buttocks, anus or breasts or the undergarments that cover those areas; and

(2) "instrumentality" means a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camcorder, computer, motion picture camera, digital camera, telephone camera, photographic camera or electronic device of any type.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Women's Court of Public Opinion for the State of New Mexcio

Women of New Mexico v. Judge Albert "Pat" Murdoch

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Second District Court Judge Albert “Pat” Murdoch, How Shocking

The news of a judge being taking into custody at the Second District Court house was shocking and very disappointing to all that follow the courts. For people who understand the legal system it is a fact that you must consider someone innocent until proven guilty. The voting public most likely will view Judge Murdock guilty from the start.

The shame is that Judge Murdoch worked on the bench for close to thirty years. People saw him as a tough but ultimately fair judge. They saw an individual who overcame his own handicap to lead a successful life, and he even played a role in helping young children with handicaps develop their own self-respect. Now people will question the ethics of his behavior and decisions. If found guilty of the things he is accused of he will have let down not only himself but the community as well.

The stress of being a criminal court judge must be great. They have heavy caseloads and long hours. In a short period judges observe more abnormal human behaviors then any normal person would ever likely see in a lifetime. They do not often see the kinder and gentler side of society at it best. The innocent people in their courtrooms are often the victim of horrific crimes. They present themselves as weak and with no control over their environment.

Without family and friends to support judges, and take their minds off their daily duties the strain can lead to the manifestation of unacceptable social behaviors. Perhaps the answer is for courts to seek councilors for these judges, so that they will have someone to communicate with when life appears unacceptable. Support groups that include not just legal personnel but normal everyday citizens could develop a sounding board for judges. The more often and longer judges secluded themselves from the public; the more likely they are to exhibit antisocial behaviors.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Failure of Education in New Mexico

You have to love the fact that leading republican politicians speak so loudly about the important of a quality education for our children when they fail to show how much they value it. They said no cuts to the classrooms but no one stopped them from cutting the pay of teachers in this state. They forced educational employees to make up the difference between what the state pays less into their retirement fund and what employees are forced to pay into the educational retirement fund. All the while, they were spending huge sums of money protecting the people who mismanaged the fund in Santa Fe.

With $360 million in new money available to appropriate for programs and services when the Legislature meets in January to start work on the 2013 budget what do you think the chances are of educational pay cuts going away? Gee, bet they won’t be replacing any of the pay cuts those teachers and educational employees are experiencing right now. You can downright forget pay rises when it comes to educational employees in this state.

Let’s talk about the fact that leading political figures on both sides could care less about graduation rates in this state unless it helps them get reelected at the time. I personally invited a number of leading politicians to my last graduation and to no surprise not one showed up or even sent so much as a graduation gift. What an example to be sitting for the children and the college students of this state. Could anyone think of a louder message that graduation just does not count in this state?

Lip service is all that our state’s children will ever receive when it comes to the important of a good education in this state. Reform lacks the reality that change starts with the people who work in the classroom and that without the salaries, education, books and material needed that our state will always be last when it comes to the quality of education. When an educational employee adds another degree to their list of job qualifications, you would think that every politician in this state would want to acknowledge that achievement long and loudly. It is sad to say not so in our state. I proved one thing to myself. Politicians use educators to get elected but once in office they fail to live up to their promised potential. Regrettably, our children and young people are the ones who have to pay the price for their failure to support a quality education in this state.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Texas, today some Americans sure wishing it really was “a whole other country.”

Starting today, Americans who travel aboard are sure to be wishing that the state of Texas were a whole other country. For any American accused of committing a crime in a foreign country, the danger increased yesterday. The freedom to contact the America Consulates may not be as ensured as it has been in the past because of Texas’ repeated violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Our President came out looking like he has not control over Texas when it comes to agreements reach by the federal government on international law. The federal legislature is responsible for fixing this issue before Texas sentences another foreign national to death in violation of international laws which as a country we gave our word we would follow.

Conservative Republicans worked very hard to put Constitutional Originalists on the highest court in the land, The U.S. Supreme Court. Their success has resulted in a major reduction in the safety of the American people. Conservative activists justices have in the recent past question past precedent on everything from women’s rights to the right to privacy. They have repeatedly sided with large corporate interests over those of the American people. Their views as Constitutional Originalists are that the wording of the U.S. Constitution should only relate to the meaning understood in 1789. At that time in our country’s history women were looked upon as property, children worked long hard days in unsafe working conditions, and African Americans were slaves.

New Mexicans need to be only too conscious of these trends because we have a republican governor. She appoints republicans to the bench in this state after close door meetings to decide the nominees by what hopefully amounts to a bipartisan committee. We need to make sure that our local courts stay progressive in their views of the law. We want judges that know that bonds are not a form of punishment because someone accused of a crime is not guilty until proven innocent. Clearly, the state carries the burden to prove someone guilty before the state can punish a defendant. We do not want to see junk science used in our courtrooms. We want judges who protect women’s rights, labor union rights, the rights of the poor, and the rights of minorities. We do not want to see republicans appointed to the courts by this governor reelected to those seats in the future, so the voting public needs to work hard to let everyone know who those judges are in this state. As the voting public, we must not support the people the governor appoints to the state bench because we understand the threat to our local freedoms for fair and balanced justice.

Now is the time to remove sitting republican judges to prevent them from moving into higher positions within our court system. Our Second Judicial District Court system has very few sitting republican judges but thanks to the conservative news media, we are now learning who they are, and what their changes are of the governor awarding them higher positions. Democrats need to understand that our duty and responsibility is preventing the reelected to the bench of these individual. Since republicans have started this war on our constitutional rights, it is up to the democratic voting public to finish it once and for all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Texas’ Love of the Uncivilized Death Penalty May Cost Americans Aboard

“It shocks the conscience and sense of justice of the people.” by Justice Marshall. Execution in another country of an American without that person’s freedom to contact the American Consulate surely would shock the American public. Assigning the case to the equivalent of an ineffective corrupt public defender likely would further shock Americans. Americans seeing unproven (junk) science used to convict the American would think it inexcusable. Americans executed after denial of every possible defense for the crimes committed in another country would cause public outcries of anger. Knowing the American Consulate could have provided highly skilled lawyers to defend that person would result in further anger. Therefore, why would we do the same to a foreign national in this country? We all know that the world follows our lead on these issues.

To no one’s surprise, Texas is attempting once again to violate the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The State of Texas tied, convicted and sentenced to death a Mexican National by name of Humberto Leal for the crime of rape and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. He is due to be executed tomorrow. The man has no prior criminal history. He also suffers from brain damage and childhood sexual abuse. President Obama asked the Texas Governor to stay the execution for the time being until the issues surrounding the case are worked out but he unreasonable refused. The Bush Administration even asked for judicial review of the case along with the international community, but the Texas government flat out refused the request.

Clearly, Texas is running amok with the love of executions. Texas will violate international law tomorrow unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in to stay the execution and the results may force Americans to pay the consequences for their uncivilized actions in the future. The world will see America as barbaric and uncivilized.