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December 19, 2007

SCJC symposium on "The Victim in Criminal Justice"

As detailed on this webpage, the Stanford Criminal Justice Center is sponsoring an interesting looking symposium next month entitled "Rights, Needs, Power: The Victim in Criminal Justice."

According to the website, this "Symposium will explore emerging and evolving issues for victims of crime, including: Victims’ voices in mass violence prosecutions; The central role of victims’ needs in Restorative Justice practices; Victims’ Rights Amendments and the current state of Victims’ Rights Law."  As detailed here, an impressive group of speakers are already confirmed for this conference.

December 19, 2007 at 05:06 PM | Permalink

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I checked out your website thinking that maybe I could learn more about my rights as a victim and perhaps access some way to lend my experience with the "injustice system" to the discussion on furthering support and reform in the area of victim's rights. But to my horror and dismay, I found that your seminar is engaging former federal judge Paul Cassell, speak on the issue of victim's rights. In fact, Cassell obliterated my rights and needs as a victim in one of his last acts as a federal judge in Salt Lake City, Utah.
If you research Cassell's published articles, you will notice that he is far more concerned about offender's rights than victims. In fact, I have not found anything to indicate that he has any knowledge or understanding of the victim experience nor compassion for such.
In the case of The United States of America v. Roger Greer, Cassell demonstrated extreme leniency towards the defendant who pled guilty to posession of child pornography. Why? Cassell's reasoning went tike this:
After the FBI confiscated Greer's business computers in a surprise securities fraud investigation, Greer "turned over" CDs containing child pornography and "confessed" that investigators would find the same on his office harddrives. He denied however, that he had any child pornography in his home and denied agents access to home computers. Subsequently, tens of thousands of child pornography images and videos were found on Greer's home computers. Nevertheless, Cassell expressed at sentencing, that he wanted to give the defendant a break for "coming clean" about the child pornography. He ignored the fact that Greer turned over the CDs only after the evidence was in the posession of the FBI. He ignored the fact that Greer continued to deny to the very end, that he knew there was child pornography on home computers; "My harddrive crashed a while back and I thought it was all gone." (In fact, 15 harddrives and boxes and boxes of CDs were confiscated from the home.)
Cassell further ignored the fact that the defendent was a former volunteer and board member of the local rape crisis center. He ignored the fact that the defendant was able to present himself as a victim advocate while in reality, he was nothing more than a pedophile in sheep's clothing. Cassell also ignored the fact that the defendant's wife was a childhood victim of incest and child pornography. He ignored the fact that the defendant witnessed the fallout of his own wife's victimization and trauma; even to the point of an almost fatal suicide attempt.
Cassell did not care that the defendant's psychosexual exam identified arousal to little girls. Cassell limited sex offender registration to 10 years because he failed to see (or care) that Greer poses a danger to society. Then again, Cassell is not a prepubescent girl so maybe its not relevant?
Cassell was asked on August 21, 2007, to sentence the defendant to 51 months in prison. Cassell needed more time to consider the circumstances and make sure he didn't sentence the defendant unfairly. On October 18, 2007, Cassell sentenced Greer to a mere 33 months, siting the defendant's "honesty" in coming forward.
Furthermore, Cassell could have fined Greer up to $250,000. He fined him a mere $2,500 (which he can make in ridiculously minimal installments over the next few years.)
As a final matter, the defendant was represented by Jerome Mooney who has publically sided with Cassell's pet cause; eradicating mandatory sentences.
So, if this is the kind of victim's rights speaker you wish to pay to hear, feel free to waste your time and money. Believe me, you'd learn a lot more spending a few moments with an actual victim.

Posted by: Annonymous | Dec 29, 2007 5:06:17 PM

I have known Roger for years.
I am shocked.
Hunt down Warren Jeffs.
Roger may have his problems that counciling will be needed.
Our country locks up more people per-capita that any 1st world nation.
HELP these messed up bastards!
Jail bars do not solve the problem.

MB

Posted by: Mick Brimhall | Jul 15, 2008 4:50:42 AM

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