Jeffrey Martinson To Be Freed, Murder Case Dismissed, After 9 Years In Prison

From the Huffington Post :

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has dismissed a murder case and ordered the release of the defendant — an Arizona man convicted in the 2004 death of his 5-year-old son — after finding misconduct by prosecutors.

Maricopa County Superior Court Sally Duncan issued her ruling on Tuesday in the case against Jeffrey Martinson. As part of her decision, she said Martinson cannot be retried.

The judge ordered Martinson to be released on Nov. 26 after he spent nine years in prison. Prosecutors hope to keep him behind bars with an appeal.

“The court is mindful of what is at stake in this case. The allegations against the defendant are very serious,” Duncan wrote, adding that the “scope and extent of the misconduct in this case leaves the court with no alternative but to dismiss the case with prejudice.”

Martinson, 47, was accused of giving a drug overdose to his son then attempting suicide. Lab tests showed the child had toxic levels of a muscle relaxer in his system. Martinson was involved in a custody dispute with the boy’s mother at the time. He has maintained his innocence.



A Permanent Slump?


Spend any time around monetary officials and one word you’ll hear a lot is “normalization.” Most though not all such officials accept that now is no time to be tightfisted, that for the time being credit must be easy and interest rates low. Still, the men in dark suits look forward eagerly to the day when they can go back to their usual job, snatching away the punch bowl whenever the party gets going.

But what if the world we’ve been living in for the past five years is the new normal? What if depression-like conditions are on track to persist, not for another year or two, but for decades?

Read more here:


This is a good idea….

Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive

By Annie Lowrey 

This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.

The proposal is, in part, the brainchild of a German-born artist named Enno Schmidt, a leader in the basic-income movement. He knows it sounds a bit crazy. He thought the same when someone first described the policy to him, too. “I tell people not to think about it for others, but think about it for themselves,” Schmidt told me. “What would you do if you had that income? What if you were taking care of a child or an elderly person?” Schmidt said that the basic income would provide some dignity and security to the poor, especially Europe’s underemployed and unemployed. It would also, he said, help unleash creativity and entrepreneurialism: Switzerland’s workers would feel empowered to work the way they wanted to, rather than the way they had to just to get by. He even went so far as to compare it to a civil rights movement, like women’s suffrage or ending slavery.

Read more here:

Annie Lowrey is an economics reporter for The Times. Adam Davidson is off this week.

The wrong decision may come with too high a price…..

By R. Wayne Richter, Esq., Attorney – Special to THELAW.TV

A Connecticut judge last week ordered a new trial for Michael Skakel, the nephew of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Skakel was convicted in 2002 of the murder of his 15-year-old neighbor, Martha Moxley. The reason? The judge, in his written opinion, stated that Michael Skakel had a “constitutionally deficient” defense. In other words, the judge found Skakel’s trial lawyer to be inadequate.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to the assistance of a lawyer in all criminal prosecutions. The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted that amendment to include the right to an effective lawyer. Skakel’s current lawyers argued that his trial lawyer, Mickey Sherman, was inadequate, among other reasons, by failing to explore an alibi defense, failing to effectively cross examine witnesses against Skakel, and by presenting an ineffective closing argument devoid of the term reasonable doubt, the degree of proof required in criminal cases.

The cost of an ineffective lawyer is not simply measured in attorney’s fees, although an article in The New York Times reports that Mickey Sherman billed Skakel over $1.2 million in attorney’s fees. Perhaps, more costly to Skakel was the over ten years he spent in prison for a conviction that may have been the result of his inadequate defense. That is a decade apart from friends and family and the associated life events of birthdays, graduations, and the like. It is the loss of your name and reputation. It is the loss of your freedom.

Read more: 

And while the Koch Bros were conspiring with the Tea Party to shut down the government….the Banks were back at it.,,,…

Boom, Bust, Flip


Tim and Jenni Earll didn’t have a lot of money saved up, but they’d seen enough of their friends buy homes to feel like fools for burning their cash on rent. So they took out a 30-year mortgage and bought a fixer-upper on a quiet street in Seattle’s Roxhill neighborhood for $309,900. That was in the spring of 2007.

Tim and a cousin spent the next couple of years trying to build some “sweat equity” by redoing the electrical wiring, plumbing and landscaping, but when Jenni lost her administrative position, they had to delay the improvements. Soon after, Tim’s work at a glass company began petering out, too. Desperate to hold on to their house, they sought a loan modification, but by the end of 2010, the bank refused to refinance. The following summer, it foreclosed and auctioned off their home to AKA Investors L.L.C., which paid $155,000 in cash for the house.

Read more here:

Catherine Rampell is an economics reporter at The Times. Adam Davidson is off this week.


This is amost too much to be believe…and wouldn’t you know Ed Meese is behind it….

A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning

By  and 

WASHINGTON — Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’shealth care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan.

Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups.

It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.

Read More here:

A wrong has been corrected……will any one have to answer for this injustice?


State’s attorney sets aside convictions in rape, murder


Staff Reporters

Last Modified: Sep 10, 2013 05:31PM

Carl Chatman walked out of the Dixon Correction Center Tuesday afternoon and into the arms of his tearful sisters and brother. His sister Dretha Miller threw her arms around his neck and cried, saying, “It’s over.”

Chatman’s siblings­ — Miller and Theresa and Willie Chatman ­— drove to Dixon to meet their brother after the Cook County state’s attorney’s office officially set aside his conviction for a 2002 rape at the Daley Center. State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez — citing “failures of the past” — also set aside the conviction of Lathierial Boyd, sentenced to 82 years in prison for fatally shooting one man and paralyzing another man outside Wrigley Field in 1990.

“Our work as prosecutors is about seeking justice, even if that measure of justice means that we must acknowledge failures of the past,” State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez told reporters at the criminal courthouse at 26th and California.

“Justice was certainly delayed for Mr. Boyd and for Mr. Chatman, but we are hopeful that with today’s actions, it will not be denied,” Alvarez said.

Read More here:

Contributing: Mary Mitchell

Copyright © 2013 — Sun-Times Media, LLC