Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kelly Armstrong Appears Missing In Kokomo Update 1-10-12

It is hard to ignore. Sure there is no proof of foul play. Yet something seems "missing." And it is not just the businesses that have closed down in Howard county. No, it seems that some one is missing. Kelly Armstrong, a 27 year-old mother from Kokomo, Indiana has apparently been out of touch with her family for about six weeks according to her sister, Shelly Rush of Logansport. But not everyone thinks anything is wrong. Kelly Armstrong lives with her boyfriend, Travis Funke. Together, they have an eighteen-month-old child. According to Rush, she has been unable to get a definitive answer from Funke as to her sister's whereabouts.

Rush decided to play detective. She visited several of her sister's local hangouts and now believes that nobody has seen Armstrong in about six weeks. Rush even asked Kokomo Police to conduct a welfare check at Armstrong's home. Rush subsequently filed a missing person report. According to Rush, police have not been able to serve Funke with a warrant despite the fact that he is supposed to be home on "house arrest."

In the meantime, Kokomo police are keeping quiet. But that does not require the public to do so. Consequently, if anyone has seen Kelly Armstrong, a 5'2" 120lb woman with the auburn hair and brown eyes, call the Kokomo police at 765-459-5101.

Update 1-10-12: Armstrong has been missing since August of 2011. Authorities have searched Armstrong's home. They apparently found a blood-stain on the carpeting. It is not public knowledge whether the carpet stains are related to Armstrong's disappearance.

In the meantime, Travis Funke is to be presumed innocent of all suspicions other than of being a jerk.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Is It Ethical For Schools In New Jersey To Pay Their Students To Attend School? ~by Marie Owens

The city of Camden, New Jersey is paying around 70 students $100 each to attend school for the month of September in the hopes that they will continue to do so once the program is finished, according to an online article from News Room Jersey. This author believes that the idea of paying a select group of students for bad behavior sends the wrong message to those who are punctual, despite suffering similar social and financial problems. To compound the problem, model students are not allowed to participate in the program, bringing up potential issues of discrimination.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the program is aimed at ending truancy by having students attend special conflict-resolving and anger-management classes three days a week in a program called “ICE-T” (I Can End Truancy). The selected students don’t even have to attend all of the classes that will be offered in order to be eligible to collect the money.
Is this ill-devised program being implemented to really help the students or is it because of the money? If the money is not utilized by the end of September of this year, the city will not be eligible to receive such funding next year, according to CNN. . The program is funded by a grant from New Jersey’s Department of Criminal Justice and has to be used up by September 30, 2011. Once the program is over, the city will not have any means of ensuring that the students continue attending classes regularly, other than a pledge signed by the students. Additionally, most states must meet the 90 percent attendance requirement. Consequently, it looks like the city is using the funds to meet federal requirements. You don't have to have a criminal justice degree or a law degree to question the merits of this program.

It appears as if the city had to struggle to come up with chronically truant students, as only 25 percent of the students participating in the program fall into this category. The remaining students appear to be borderline cases or those who attend class but require some help. In essence, students are being paid to go to school on top of the free education they are getting at the expense of taxpayers. Being a parent comes with certain obligations and one of them is making sure that one's children attend school so they can become productive members of society. It is the moral duty of a parent and not the state to see to it that the children attend classes. If neither the parent nor the high school student are responsible enough to attend class, then perhaps they deserve the consequences associated with being uneducated. Furthermore, rewarding wrong behavior sends the message to model students that to be financially rewarded, they have to change their behavior and start skipping classes.
A better option is to make students earn the money. Students can be rewarded for maintain a minimum average of a “C” grade throughout the year or rewarded for good attendance. In sum, paying students after one month will not leave them with the incentive to continue attending classes for the remainder of the year. It seems more productive to observe all the students until the end of the year and then decide who deserves the money. States like California are facing budget cuts and have to fire teachers and increase class sizes to stay within budget. On the other hand, cities like Camden appear to be wasting money on frivolous projects just to make sure the money they have gets spent before a certain date.
In sum, paying students to attend classes does not teach them responsibility; if anything it teaches them that the only time they need do anything is when they are paid for it. Education may be every child’s right, but it is also a privilege that millions of children around the globe are denied. It is the duty of the parents to make sure their children understand the true value of an education.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vicious Allegations May Be As Harmful As A Conviction

If it is true, it is devastating. If it is a lie, than the malicious allegations are still devastating. Nadia Christine Diaz is as good looking as a teacher ever gets. But the 26 year-old Diaz became a little less desirable in the eyes of the public after she was accused of sleeping with a teen on two occasions while employed as a substitute teacher. Diaz is charged with sex with a minor and oral copulation in large part based upon the allegations of the victim. The contact allegedly occurred in January and February of 2009. The student was 14 at the time of the alleged conduct.

Since her stint as a substitute, Diaz has been employed as a full-time science teacher at Washington Union High School in Fresno, California. Diaz recently married and one would hope that her husband will support her throughout these trying times. Just imagine, you think you are marrying a trophy wife and then this happens...

Other than the victim's testimony, it is unclear what if any evidence authorities have against Diaz. Diaz is represented by attorney Rick Berman who has denied any guilt of his client and insists that she is the victim of malicious rumors. For her sake, let's hope Berman is correct.

Unfortunately, this is not the first teacher accused of such conduct. ERIN MCLEAN, OTHERS. We can blame it on the media or even advertising. MEDIA PORTRAYAL. And the problem is not just limited to sex. DRUNK TEACHER. Some how the system has become broken and is now in need of major repair. However, Based on allegations like those against a 37 year-old Ellicot School District-22 board member in Colorado Springs, Stefanie Dickinson, the local school board may not be the answer. Dickinson is accused of sexting a 14 year-old boy. If true, it appears that we may not be able to trust the local school boards to control the cougars.

In the meantime, Diaz is to be presumed innocent as is Stefanie Dickinson and any one else who has not been convicted.

Monday, September 19, 2011

John Boyer, Woman Hater Or A Man Who Just Can't Part With A Buck?

A story of uncontrolled rage or a delusional psychopathic vigilante? Perhaps John Boyer likes using prostitutes but just doesn't want to pay them. Boyer has been described as a grandfatherly looking trucker that must have a problem with women. How else can one explain Boyer being charged with murdering three women and dumping their bodies along the interstate? Perhaps he is so cheap that he just can't stand to part with a buck.

When we refer to "allegations" we may be a bit kind. Boyer has already plead guilty to killing a woman in North Carolina. He also faces murder charges in slayings in Tennessee and South Carolina. He may have already confessed to both of those crimes as well. An apparent lack of remorse from Boyer may mean that he is responsible for even more. Boyer was an over the road trucker who apparently employed the services of prostitutes. As such, Boyer may need to be considered in other unsolved crimes all over the country.

Perhaps consistent with rage, the trucker picked up 25-year-old prostitute Jennifer Smith in April 2005. Boyer brought her to an abandoned parking lot just off Interstate 40 where Boyer and Smith argued. He then apparently strangled her and dumped her body from the cab. Jennifer's body was found in 2005. After two years, authorities matched DNA found on her body to Boyer. Boyer allegedly confessed to the killing and then articulated a rage against women in general.

In support of Boyer just being tight with a buck consider the following. Boyer has never been married. He lived with his mother in Georgia. He has been described as frugal. Prior to the deaths in which Boyer is suspected, the victim and Boyer argued over compensation. For example, Boyer is suspected in the death of 34-year-old Michelle Haggadone. Michelle's body was found in April of 2000 near Florence, about 30 miles from the truck stop where Boyer had picked her up. (Haggadone remained unidentified until DNA samples from a relative matched her remains a decade later.) Boyer denied killing Haggadone but allegedly added that he had "slept with a lot of prostitutes and a lot of them were detectives' daughters or prosecutors' daughters, " according to Captain Locklair. It is suspected that the murder took place with a cord or wire after Boyer and Haggadone argued over the price of her services.

Boyer is currently serving a 12 year North Carolina sentence for the second-degree murder of Scarlett Wood. Scarlett Wood was a 31-year-old prostitute. Boyer got mad and pushed her. She struck her head on furniture. An autopsy revealed that Wood suffered broken ribs and facial bones. In addition, her pelvic bones were consistent with a stabbing. H. Lawrence Shotwell apparently represented Boyer in the case.

Boyer is also a suspect in the death of 26-year-old Rose Marie Mallette. Rose was reported missing in 2001. Rose was found wrapped in a blanket in an industrial area with the back of her skull crushed. Boyer could be responsible for more deaths because of his short temper with women who want the benefit of their bargain. At least two unsolved murders involve woman who were small and slightly built. Boyer's victims were all of slight build.

Boyer has rage that perhaps not even a mother could love. That may explain why Boyer sits in jail with little or no visitors. One can only wonder what justice may occur if Boyer tries to stiff a prostitute behind bars.

Of course, all suspects are innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Legal Pub Law Student Day!

Today is a special day for law students and legal scholars. No it is not a national holiday. It is a Legal Pub gift to a small segment of readers who toil everyday in law school.

Every pupil wants to be a better student. Here are some helpful tips designed to improve a law students chance for success . First, determine that some things are just not funny. Take for example the hackers who sent out fake NBC News tweets similar to the following:
“Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. more as the story develops.” NBC News Twitter feed at 5:48 p.m. EDT.
Four minutes later a twitter read: “Flight 4782 is not responding, suspected hijacking. One plane just hit Ground Zero site at 5:47.” Three minutes later, “This is not a joke. Ground Zero has just been attacked. We’re attempting to get reporters on the scene.” Finally, a message appeared: “NBCNEWS hacked by The Script Kiddies.” Lesson to be learned, somethings are not funny. Expect the "kiddies" involved to be tracked down by the FBI and severely punished. For more conventional learning tips, visit the sites below.
Especially note the suggestions on how to become a better listener. TED Talks for Law Students LINK.

Then, when you need a break from the books, here is some entertaining fictional reading: Fictional Police Officers LINK.

Update 6-25-14:  Back to learning!  Principles for Voir Dire (Jury Selection.)

Now, don't you all feel smarter for taking the time to learn?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ralph Paputasakis Rage Ended by Son's Knife?

Domestic violence almost always has a local flavor by it's very definition. But when it stikes this close to home in Edgewood, Washington, it is difficult to comprehend. media reports.

Ralph Paputsakis, 47, went over to his brother's home. Ralph was apparently attacked his 46-year-old brother with a pipe until his 17-year-old son intervened. Ralph's teenage son apparently didn't realize that he was stabbing his own dad as he intervened in the skirmish. Family. Apparently dear old dad had not been a real active part of the boy's life. Paputsakis's family has no idea what prompted the attack. But hearing the struggle, the 17-year-old ran outside with a knife to defend his uncle.

Ralph died at the hospital after being stabbed multiple times with a knife.

The teen's sister, Heather Flores, said, "What my brother did to him, he didn't know it was our dad. He didn't know it. When he saw him, he just freaked out." KING 5 News. The uncle who was being attacked, apparently suffered head wounds and was taken to a local hospital. MyNorthwest. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is not sure if any charges will be filed. "At this point we don't have probable cause. It appears that the boy was trying to protect his uncle," said Sgt. Michael Blair. The News Tribune.

Edgewood is a small city just outside Tacoma, Washington, with a population of about 10,000

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who Cares About Those Bastards, This is About Legislating Morality!

This comes under the topic of "What the Hell Are You Thinking?" Florida, statute 798.02 reads as follows:
Lewd and lascivious behavior.If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.History.s. 6, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2596; GS 3519; RGS 5407; CGL 7550; s. 773, ch. 71-136.

While the statute is old, it may come as a surprise that in the last twelve months, 104 people have been fined under the Florida law that makes it illegal for a man and a woman to live together unless they're married. (Now if you are gay or lesbian and live together, apparently no problem. But if you are heterosexual, you could find yourself serving actual jail time.) What are the powers that be thinking? If a couple has a child out of wedlock, either mom or dad better move out or someone is going to jail. Best we impose the legislature's idea of morality upon the constituents regardless of the consequences to "that bastard child." Before you jump on the legislative bandwagon, keep in mind that 41 percent of births were to unmarried women in 2008. That's up from 28 percent in 1990, according to "The New Demography of American Motherhood." And before you rush into stereotypes, the trend crossed major racial and ethnic groups. Consequently, while generally conservative at heart, this ultra conservative statute makes me want to puke in a day and age when single men routinely step up and actually parent their offspring.

According to recent census figures, more than a half million couples in Florida appear to be openly breaking the law. Florida is not alone. As of 2005, 4.85 million unmarried couples were living together in the U.S. Furthermore, and as of 2002, half of all women aged 15 to 44 admitted to having lived unmarried with a partner. Nevertheless, most Florida lawmakers seem to avoid talking about the 19th century statute for fear of offending their conservative base. One who spoke off the record said, “Cohabitation of unmarried people is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by $500 or up to 60 days in jail. The same statute can be used to penalize cheating husbands and wives." One lawmaker, Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, is in favor of eliminating the penalty for cohabitation and adultery. HB 4021 has been filed but may die in committee before ever receiving a hearing on the proposed change. In the meantime, 5 or 6 other states have similar laws; however, they are all likely unconstitutional. See Lawrence v Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). For example, in 2005 Virginia's Supreme Court struck down a state law prohibiting sex between unmarried people. The justices based their ruling on a U.S. Supreme Court decision voiding an anti-sodomy law in Texas. However, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, and West Virginia appear to still be living in the dark ages when it comes to legislating morality.

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