Friday, November 20, 2009

News-Leader: Judge in Pete Newman case ignored law with decision to close hearing

When he was using a new law to close a preliminary hearing for former Kanakuk Kamp director Pete Newman, Taney County Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams did not even check to see what the law said.

Williams told the Springfield News-Leader:

"They agreed to do it, so I never did actually get the book out" to review the new law, Williams said.

Told of the controversy generated by the attempt to close the hearing, he said: "My concern is children. If that is no one else's concern, then that's their problem."


It is sad that it is so easy for Williams to make decisions that close the workings of the judicial system to the public and open the door to all kinds of possible mischief. What he should have considered are ways in which the children could have been protected without closing the courtroom doors to the public and to the press. These types of procedures are used on a regular basis in cases in which people are testifying who might be in danger if their identities are revealed, such as confidential informants. Why couldn't the same methods be put to use in this case?

It turned out to be a moot point since Newman waived his preliminary hearing at the last moment.

The News-Leader story indicates the Taney County prosecutor never asked for the closed courtroom and offered other options. It was the judge who immediately suggested the public and press be removed. That kind of hair-trigger reaction should concern people.

No one wants children to suffer when testifying about evils that have been committed against them, but at the same time, when you start closing public court hearings you are starting a dangerous precedent. Once it has been done for a case like this, soon it will be done for all cases involving children, and then it will spread to other cases where people have been victimized and soon we will have no way of knowing what is going on in our courts.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Courtrooms have always been public forums...and with good reason. To protect our system of justice and to hold the judge, attorneys, clients and witnesses accountable to the adherence of the rules and regulations of the courts. I understand the desire to protect children from possible public humiliation and scrutiny...but, also know the importance of not beginning the practice of closing courtrooms. The closing of courtrooms allows for the potential of so many violations of justice and is against everything this country was built upon.

Anonymous said...

There's a HUGE difference between knowledge and wisdom, Randy.

If the liberal media, including yourself, would exercise wisdom (assuming they have any) once in a while, our world would be a safer place to live.

Rights, Rights, Rights......a pathetic argument.

Kathee Baird said...

But those right make our justice system work. Judges are not above the law and Williams should have looked at the law before ruling on something he didn't have knowledge of.

Anonymous said...

Judge Williams was big enough to admit that he didn't look at the book, okay!!!!!! He didn't have to say that, but he was honest. He didn't make that ruling to undermine the law! He was thinking about the victims!!!!
Pete waived his right to the hearing so shut up and stop trying to prove your point!

Anonymous said...

What he did WAS within the law. He did the right thing. Wish more judges around this country would follow his lead. When they fail to protect these child-witnesses or give minimal sentences to their abusers, O'Rielly should expose them on his show.

When Mr. Peter's sentencing comes around, the judge should give him the MAXIMUM PENALTY.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another example of Randy not letting his ignorance of a subject stop him from expressing an opinion.

It sounds to me like the issue wasn’t that the Judge ignored the law, rather it was that no one objected. Judges only make rulings when there are controversies, in this case there was no opposition and thus nothing for him to decide. For example, hearsay is not allowed in a trial but if a lawyer does not raise the objection then a judge is not going to do it for him. It was the same way here, no one objected so there was no controversy for the judge to rule on.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that the only source to keep up on this case are two unreliable bloggers who show just how much they DON'T know!

Unintended Consequences said...

For once this idiot Turner is correct. The judge violated the written law and if a judge can't obey the law which gives him power over others, then why should anyone else obey the law when it is inconvenient?

The idiots on this blog seem to think that judicial lawlessness is OK as long as the results are with their prejudices. They never figure out until they are on the docket in a secret court that perhaps civilized behavior and rule of law is a good thing, but like criminals in the prisons everywhere that everyone is guilty except theysselfs.

Right now the lawyer and defendant are cowed, hoping that if they let the judge have his way that the judge will cut them some slack later. When the course of events arrive, the defendant and his probable later lawyer will then claim that the judge and prosecution went along with public hysteria whipped up by the media and move for an acquittal on all charges based upon being railroaded in a secret court without the right to confront uncoached witnesses and challenge the constitutionality of the new law misused to justify closing the courtroom.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the old Ohio v Roberts allowance of hearsay testimony and said in recent cases that the accused MUST be able to confront the witnesses against him in open court. The old Roberts-era 'hearsay exceptions' have been so scrapped that people who 'testify' against their killers using previous 911 calls can't use that 'hearsay' evidence in court any more. The recent Missouri statutes are an effort to get around those Constitutional protections and will more than likely be challenged by a smart convictee with a lot of time on his hands and a law library available in prison.

Not that there is any need to use this new law 491.725 for the benefit of social workers in coaching children in court to reach the desired conclusion. This 'law' was designed to entrap working-class daddy for allegedly diddling his kids without there being any real material evidence present while welfare mommy was off at the casino so that the social workers could sell the children to rich yuppies and perverts. The alleged victims in this case are well able to confront the accused in open court as it seems that they are 10, 12, years old. So this new law shouldn't be used and abused to do away with the established trial process of open courts and open witness testimony. The end result might be that a smart manipulator will 'lose' in court and end up having all the charges dismissed upon appeal by getting a new attorney claiming that his client didn't get a fair trial thanks to a hysterical witch-hunt whupped up by the media and allowed by a corrupt weak judge to using an unconstitutional set of laws abused by the prosecution.

Best thing that can happen is for the prosecutor to file a motion that the current judge be replaced and the arraignment be redone and that the case be started over without using the latest legal 'trick' of RSMo 491.725.

Weak, stupid, arrogant judges, corrupt prosecutors, idiot press and degenerate people. So much for rule of law. Let civil war decide who wins, who loses, who lives, who dies in favor of the strong and unscrupulous able to think clearly.

Anonymous said...

Well Randy I guess you got Maddog's vote.

Anonymous said...

Well 5:15 you were giving a pretty good arguement until you started talking about social workers selling kids, then you showed your real lack of intelligence. Your a moron.

What goes around comes around said...

Well 5:15 you were giving a pretty good arguement until you started talking about social workers selling kids, then you showed your real lack of intelligence. Your a moron.

8:21 PM

==============

So I take it that you, 8:21 are some sort of social worker or enabler who is uncomfortable with the amount of hatred generated towards the current regime for their baby-stealing ways.

Them little white babies born to poor white trash are the only valuable thing that you white liberals really want. There isn't much market for them little tar babies and wealthy couples will go to Eastern Europe or China and adopt some surplus female children that the Chinese don't want. But what fetches the highest dollars are healthy white babies from poor white families.

So it is a simple thing for you social workers to make up some rules and take little white children and buy and sell them. Happens all the time. Occasionally some kids get sold to rich yuppies or homos and there is a big stink for a few years like happened in Washington State. But most of the time everyone knows what is happening and there is some sort of agreement not to speak of the matter because those the social workers victimize are poor and uneducated and powerless.

However, the possibilities of retalitory violence against social workers and the entire social system is enhanced because some people won't forget or forgive what has been done to them in destroying their families under color of law for the personal profit of those in power.

In any case, this thread was about judicial overreaching in these alleged child molestation cases. The particular law was passed in order to give you social workers a thumb on the scales when the brainwashed and terrorized kiddies, suitably prepped and coached to claim that daddy or mommy molested them when there is no physical evidence and send daddy and mommy to prison for the rest of their lives.

Reading the Springfield newspaper, you find that the lawyers and social workers who created this law are all annoyed that this judge has so far over-reached in creating a secret judicial process that the law AS APPLIED will be ruled unconstitutional. Or it will create an atmosphere of hatred and suspicion for the minions of the System that they get scared to go outside among the general population.

As it is, this current alleged molester will doubtless get the entire ball of wax overturned because of this stupid and corrupt judge couldn't be bothered in reading and obeying the law. Reversible error/prejudice has already occurred and the Defendant, with a new lawyer, should let all these errors pile up and then get the entire conviction overturned upon appeal, probably with prejudice. But for now it is the prosecution's turn and the best thing to do is to let the prosecution shoot its wad and muddy up the water with prosecutorial misconduct.

As for Turner and you other baby-stealing liberals, I have no intention of arguing with your kind. Rather, like a remorseless prosecutor, I prefer to point out the issues and facts involved so that your kind can continue to do evil because you are evil and have an agenda of evil and make 'points' so that when it is your turn on the docket you can be judged as you did judge those who you accused when it is your victims' time to judge you. A political rule of thumb, especially around here, is that conservatives are invariably stupid and liberals are invariably evil.

So if something was said that smote what little conscience you still had as a government 'worker' or regime enabler, then I can only hope that it made you sick enough to quit and repent or that you continue to do evil and thus damn yourself and your family when what is going around finally comes around to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a liberal vs conservative issue for me. I'm politically conservative, my kids knew Pete Newman and thankfully weren't victimized by him, and I can think of no good reason to have the courtroom closed to the public.

I'm sure it will be difficult and embarrassing for these teenaged guys to sit in a witness chair and describe what Pete did with them. I have no doubt, however, that they now fully understand that Pete, as the adult, manipulated and abused them. Pete should feel shame for his actions; his victims should not. Hopefully these young guys know that they're heroes for telling their stories to their parents and the authorities so that Pete could be prevented from continuing these heinous acts.

By the way, social workers don't coach kids to lie in court about abuse. In cities with Children's Advocacy Centers children who have made an outcry of abuse tell their stories to social workers in videotaped interviews. The social workers have been trained to ask questions which are phrased in such a way so as NOT to lead them to exaggerate or say something untrue. The authorities want truthful and accurate testimony so that it can't be torn apart on the witness stand. The police and DA's study these videotapes to build their cases. They get accurate info and the victim doesn't have to tell his/her story over and over during the investigative process.

Furthermore, the kids get to practice testifying in court ahead of time so that it is less stressful when the time comes. They know where the defendant will be sitting, what his lawyer may ask, etc.

Judges: don't close the courtroom! The brave victims are prepared to tell their stories, otherwise they would have never come forward in the first place!

Anonymous said...

of course you can't think of a good reason to close the courtroom, it's because you are a selfish idiot not thinking of these boys at all! I'm sure if it were your son you would think differently.

Anonymous said...

And if it was your son accused of child molesting you might think differently comrade.

Anonymous said...

Before this is over these "christian" Republicans will offer any "cover" they can for one of their own. This is NOT about protecting the children. This is a dirty little secret God is letting unravel all over our state.

Too many "christians" use the church as a cover for molestation of our children.

Makes you wonder about these local lawyers and judges and their true motives. Makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Well, he is not only accused of doing it, HE DID IT........to multiple children, over multiple years, in multiple ways, COMRADE! He's guilty. There's proof. Just wait. I hope it does go to trial so the world can see the whole truth to his depravity.

Anonymous said...

I will wait, that’s what American’s do we wait until someone is proving guilty before we convict them. Communist and fascists, on the other hand, convict people without trials or have show trials where the outcome is never in doubt.

If he is convicted then I would have no problem with having him put to death.

Anonymous said...

This little peter should plead guilty and just go to jail. BUT HE IS THE BIGGEST NARCISSIST IMAGINABLE, so this is why he'll want to "fight" it out in court. He's dillusional. He's not in touch with reality. He doesn't fully grasp that all his wickedness is going to be exposed in detail....to shame his family even more than they already are. Being such a narcissist is going to further victimize his family while they have to sit there and listen to the details of his horrific behavior, then have that blasted all over national news, including the news in the prisons where he'll eventually end up, thus infuriating the prisoners who will, no doubt, unleash their "justice" on him when he arrives. I wouldn't even be surprised if the coward didn't commit suicide. His life is over and if he doesn't know it, then he's truly a nut-case. So "closed" courtroom or not, his life is over. He's guilty. He cannot get out of this.

If you are his family, then urge him to do the right thing and admit what he's done. If he fights this, what I said above is going to happen, and he still will not win.

The right thing is to now be honest. Punishment is coming regardless, but it might not be as bad if he will just own up to his sin.

Also, if you are his family, you should be more worried about the consequences coming after this life than prison. He needs to know the same Lord you do.

Anonymous said...

That's right. If he's smart, he'll go on to jail w/o all the sordid details being known by the whole world. He's going either way, so this would be so much better on all those close to him.

To those who ARE close to him: Why do you keep bailing him out of jail? What good does that do? He's going to wind up there anyway. If you let him out now, then he's on the prowl for more victims and YOU paid for it.

Anonymous said...

i love how you think you are a 'news leader' in this case and don't even know the details of the bail and pleas, all commenters stop presuming to think that legal jargon reflects the heart.