Friday, November 27, 2015

Galen Baughman an Open Society Foundations Soros Justice Fellow AND a Virginia Registered Sex Offender........ Gives a TEDx Talk on the Issues of Sex Offenders


Lenore Skenazy: Who is a sex offender? December 17, 2015

Original Post:

Are we all sex offenders? November 26, 2015
By Lenore Skenazy

That was the question posed to the audience of mostly college students by Galen Baughman, a Soros Justice Fellow and the final speaker at the City University of New York TEDx talks at the Borough of Manhattan Community College last week.  

TEDx talks are known for introducing new speakers with new ideas on everything from tech, to teaching, to society. But Baughman was the first TEDx presenter to address the issue of sex offenders from an unusual viewpoint:

He is one. And he must register as a sex offender forever.  

Virginia Supreme Court Justices Reject an 11 Month Study to Reform Virginia’s Rules of Discover with Recommendations that Could Eliminate “Trial by Ambush” in the Commonwealth......with a 2-Sentence Long Decision


Opinion: Virginia’s Supreme Court brushes off recommendations for reforms, December 15, 2015

Original Post:

Readers may remember an Action Item posted back on May 27, 2015 and that Goal #24 of my Legislative Goals is to eliminate “Trial by Ambush” by honoring a defenses motion for discovery. 

Well after an 11-month study by a 29-member group, Virginia’s Justices rejected any reform to our system with a 2-sentence order.  

See today’s article below. It sounds as though the VSP and our Commonwealth’s Attorneys opposition to changing our current system were taken with the most weight in this decision instead of justice being served. 

An “open file” policy should not be on a county-by-county or a city-by-city basis, every court in Virginia should allow the same opportunities to their defendants.

I can say with 100% certainty, Hanover County VA does NOT have an “open file” policy and that allows them to stack-charges and then offer a plea deal with a 5-minute timeframe to take-it or leave-it and if it's no jail-time most folks who don't have thousands of dollars at their disposal to pay for a competent defense team, will take it even when you have no idea what the evidence against them is. Prosecutor -1 , Defendant (and justice being served) -0.

Thank you to all my readers who took the time to send in comments to the VA Supreme Court as directed in the May 27th Action Item. 

Mary Devoy 


Justices reject recommendations on pretrial discovery in criminal cases, November 27, 2015
By Frank Green

Earlier this month, without comment or explanation, the Virginia Supreme Court declined to adopt changes recommended by a committee of judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and others after an 11-month study of pretrial disclosure rules in criminal cases. 

The proposals by the Special Committee on Criminal Discovery Rules were aimed at improving pretrial discovery to help make sure pleas are knowingly entered, that trial preparation is not a matter of guesswork and to prevent “trial by ambush” while protecting the privacy and safety of victims and witnesses. 

The two-sentence order from the justices left committee members contacted last week surprised and puzzled. Some were relieved and some, principally defense lawyers, were upset over the outcome and the lack of information about the court’s concerns.