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  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 04:38 PM
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Default Seeing the verdict online

In our state, the court cases are all online. I hate this, of course, but maybe this is the norm in all states. Anyway, looked up my son's case, and of course, the verdict is spelled out, etc. The wording makes it so much worse to me than if I had not read it to begin with. I have decided not to seek out these opportunities to be reminded of what occurred. And just what did I expect to see, anyway? A different verdict? That it's all been wiped clean? Sometimes, I am just not logical. Of course, the story of this appears in the paper, too. What point does that serve? Who has a need to know? I feel it invades my privacy (it does), since our name not a common one. Well, just getting out my feelings of hurt...
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:48 PM
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I'm sorry to hear this Luna. I don't think that is common or morally correct. In the states I'm familiar with Oklahoma and Colorado that is not common practice. In CO there is a DOC website gives case number and sentence everything is kept private for the most part and all verdicts are read in front of the defendant.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:04 PM
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I made the mistake of reading the first newspaper account of my crime and arrest. It turned out to be a press release from the sheriff, embellished by the opinion of the deputy who arrested me. The article quoted me as making admissions of guilt that I never made. "I won't discuss the circumstances until I have my lawyer present" was my only statement, That should have ended their questioning, but it didn't.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Lunaelle View Post
In our state, the court cases are all online. I hate this, of course, but maybe this is the norm in all states. Anyway, looked up my son's case, and of course, the verdict is spelled out, etc. The wording makes it so much worse to me than if I had not read it to begin with. I have decided not to seek out these opportunities to be reminded of what occurred. And just what did I expect to see, anyway? A different verdict? That it's all been wiped clean? Sometimes, I am just not logical. Of course, the story of this appears in the paper, too. What point does that serve? Who has a need to know? I feel it invades my privacy (it does), since our name not a common one. Well, just getting out my feelings of hurt...
I am going to disagree with you as strongly as I can.

The case would have been State vs defendant, and the people are the state. The people have a right to know and in my opinion a need to know what the state does in the name of the people.

I think having that information easily available to the public is a good thing, and I think it is in the public interest that the media report that information.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:14 PM
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...and I think it is in the public interest that the media report that information.


No it isn't. The media fabricates statements, omits truths, repeats myths, adds to public hysteria whenever possible, etc et al ad nauseam. Its in the media's best interest to sensationalize. Sensationalism sells. Its all about the profits.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:21 PM
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No it isn't. The media fabricates statements, omits truths, repeats myths, adds to public hysteria whenever possible, etc et al ad nauseam. Its in the media's best interest to sensationalize. Sensationalism sells. Its all about the profits.
You like that etc et al ad nauseam don't you?

I suppose some may think it is clever but it, like your argument about sensational press, is little more than a cliche.

It is important for everyone that trials be open and available to the public. Most of the public can't attend trials, so the indirectly participate via the media. Excluding the media or restricting the media's ability to report as it sees fit has the effect of restricting the openness of court.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:49 PM
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I think with the internet, everything is out there, and out there forever.

I did not need a lecture on public's right to know, either. I know alot of stuff is public record.

This just happened, and my feelings are raw. I will get used to it in time, but so much is hitting me right now.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:54 PM
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I think with the internet, everything is out there, and out there forever.

I did not need a lecture on public's right to know, either. I know alot of stuff is public record.

This just happened, and my feelings are raw. I will get used to it in time, but so much is hitting me right now.
Luna it is very understandable to be raw. I have been there more times then I care to ever count. That is a very difficult thing to read. I feel for you.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lunaelle View Post
I think with the internet, everything is out there, and out there forever.

I did not need a lecture on public's right to know, either. I know alot of stuff is public record.

This just happened, and my feelings are raw. I will get used to it in time, but so much is hitting me right now.
I think you are missing half the point. It isn't just the public's right to know. It is the defendant's right to an open trial.

Would you rather your loved one have been tried in secret? Sure, your unusual name might not have been in the media or online. But you would never know what happened at trial. You would never know what evidence was against him or in his favor.

You can't have a public trial then just have that information vanish.

As for the lecture you asked what purpose having that info go public served. My original post in this thread was a response to your questions.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:23 PM
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I do understand the public's right to know. The internet makes it very easy to see everything in its entirety, and forever, at that. In the past, yes, it was public record, but you probably had to go get copies of it from courthouse. The newspapers listed cases, but it was vague. There is a line between respecting privacy and respecting right to know, but I don't think we need to know all.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lunaelle View Post
I do understand the public's right to know. The internet makes it very easy to see everything in its entirety, and forever, at that. In the past, yes, it was public record, but you probably had to go get copies of it from courthouse. The newspapers listed cases, but it was vague. There is a line between respecting privacy and respecting right to know, but I don't think we need to know all.
Perhaps you would like for there to be a line, but I don't think one exists.

I think there is a need to know whether you are law and order or prisoner's friend. Either side needs to know what our government is doing with tax dollars and what our government is doing to sentences.

The public needs to know what level of evidence is needed for a conviction and the public needs to know what crimes are being committed within.

And defendants need the public to know these things.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:22 PM
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You like that etc et al ad nauseam don't you?

I suppose some may think it is clever but it, like your argument about sensational press, is little more than a cliche.

It is important for everyone that trials be open and available to the public. Most of the public can't attend trials, so the indirectly participate via the media. Excluding the media or restricting the media's ability to report as it sees fit has the effect of restricting the openness of court.
Do you also advocate for public executions? The public has the right to know that justice has been served, don't they? Trials are open to the public but that doesn't mean that they have to be televised or published in detail in the media. Isn't it enough to have it on a database where the public can search the outcome if interested? Or if you want it more "open" then just report case numbers & disposition. Anyone actively involved or affected by the case will be able to get all the info they need without dragging the families' privacy through the streets.

I'm curious to know if you have personally been affected as either someone incarcerated or closely connected to someone who is/has been. Experiencing the negativity as a result of your connection to someone accused or convicted of something can really open your eyes. The "collateral damage" can destroy you. I understand why the OP wishes there was some balance to that.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:37 PM
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Do you also advocate for public executions? The public has the right to know that justice has been served, don't they? Trials are open to the public but that doesn't mean that they have to be televised or published in detail in the media. Isn't it enough to have it on a database where the public can search the outcome if interested? Or if you want it more "open" then just report case numbers & disposition. Anyone actively involved or affected by the case will be able to get all the info they need without dragging the families' privacy through the streets.

I'm curious to know if you have personally been affected as either someone incarcerated or closely connected to someone who is/has been. Experiencing the negativity as a result of your connection to someone accused or convicted of something can really open your eyes. The "collateral damage" can destroy you. I understand why the OP wishes there was some balance to that.
I do not advocate for public executions because I know it isn't realistic. I would however support such a measure.

I think it would've very helpful to have every trial streamed live online. I know some Georgia courts are considering that.

I have had a cousin and a nephew go to prison. I don't think either got enough time for justice to be served.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:11 PM
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OK folks, let's swing it back in a little. The original statements didn't strike me as a call for reform but an expression of personal struggle. Let's try to remember that our primary roll is that of support. Thank you.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:28 PM
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I am going to disagree with you as strongly as I can.

The case would have been State vs defendant, and the people are the state. The people have a right to know and in my opinion a need to know what the state does in the name of the people.

I think having that information easily available to the public is a good thing, and I think it is in the public interest that the media report that information.
100% agree (with some caution on the media statement....if the media literally reported on every case, we'd need several local networks just to adequately cover courthouse news. It would be a golden age for local broadcast true crime journalism!) I'd go a step further and argue that not only is it a benefit to the people to know what the state does in the name of the people, but it is of a benefit to the defendant and their friends and loved ones to have transparency throughout the process. Publicly available information that countered what actually happened in the court room ultimately resulted in Dee having over 2 months taken off the end of her sentence because I was able to see the discrepancy on the court website, alert the public defender to the error, and from there a process was started that resulted in the case being re-calendared and the sentence corrected.

It is to the benefit of all involved parties and the public at large for this information to be published in a public way, with exceptions for cases where sensitive information that requires the court to put it under seal is involved where the need for discretion outweighs the public's right to know (which is not that common.) The more, the better in my opinion.

As hard as it may be to see the verdict, the sentence and all of that information for us psychologically......it can at times be to our benefit and our LO's benefit.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:26 AM
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... Well, just getting out my feelings of hurt...
Lunaelle,
I am sorry for your pain. You are going down a path that many of us have trod. The shock of going through each part of the process will ease in time. It's a fresh wound that many here have experienced as we saw our kids' names in black and white, announcing to the world what brought our family this heartache. (Hugs) I am certain that many have felt as you have, in wanting to shield this. Understandable.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:21 PM
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I just don't feel the connection between what is said on the court docket, and what I know to be true. The personal part of this story, and all those involved -- none of that is known. But I do know it, and it makes me feel part of a bad nightmare. Like a big earthquake, these events are aftershocks. You think you can put your pretty plates back on the shelf...then the aftershock, and they fall and shatter. We did have some good news from son's attorney, and my son is in the art scene, and he has many friends due to that connection. They have all offered assistance of every sort. As has been said..."when something bad happens, look for the helpers." That is what I am seeing now, helpers. Knowing this, the public court records are not stinging so much today.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:02 PM
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I am very sorry you had to read this. When my son was arrested, it was in the papers and we too have a very unusual name - the only family in this state with the name so my husband, our older son and myself were all out there for the world to see and judge too (as it seems some people are still doing here).

I totally get the raw feelings. I don't even ever look at those stories anymore, nor do I look at any of the proceedings or court papers that I have stored in a "big" bin in an unused bedroom. Even 3+ years later, its hard.

I totally get what you are talking about - please ignore the naysayers and others who don't have children in prison. The feelings are so much different when its your child.

Please take care of yourself.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:41 PM
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As has been said..."when something bad happens, look for the helpers." That is what I am seeing now, helpers. Knowing this, the public court records are not stinging so much today.
I read what you wrote with great interest and looked up the quote you mention. It was actually part of something that MisterRogers of Pittsburgh fame said, I find it fascinatingly true and comforting. Thank you so much for mentioning this! Here is his quote:
"I was spared from any great disasters when I was little, but there was plenty of news of them in newspapers and on the radio, and there were graphic images of them in newsreels.

For me, as for all children, the world could have come to seem a scary place to live. But I felt secure with my parents, and they let me know that we were safely together whenever I showed concern about accounts of alarming events in the world.

There was something else my mother did that I've always remembered: "Always look for the helpers," she'd tell me. "There's always someone who is trying to help." I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong."
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:07 PM
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We all need to be reminded of the good in life. It's so easy to forget when faced with someone incarcerated. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:40 PM
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As a mom with my son's trial starting, I understand your feelings. I sit in the courtroom and have flashbacks. Personally, I went to my doctor again and she immediately put me back on anxiety medication. My son's arrest was national news but I bet the media already is aware that what was put out there and the truth are two different things. That's why not one word has been written since. My doctor said the meds will help until I can process everything later. I will pray for you as I do all parent's of pto. Hang in there and thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:33 AM
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Everyone has given me great messages! I am trying to do some activism about prison issues, so it is leading me down into a good place. I refuse to become bitter. It is not easy, even small things are painful. I was at his house last night w his wife, and saw some books and shoes lying about that are his. But he has already moved up on a better floor bc his behavior is exemplary & now has used of some facilities, and his commissary order has started rolling in too. We talk to him everyday. His attorney and friends from the art scene are marvelous. We are still sad, but we have to do the positive, to push out the negative.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:43 PM
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In our state, the court cases are all online. I hate this, of course, but maybe this is the norm in all states. Anyway, looked up my son's case, and of course, the verdict is spelled out, etc. The wording makes it so much worse to me than if I had not read it to begin with. I have decided not to seek out these opportunities to be reminded of what occurred. And just what did I expect to see, anyway? A different verdict? That it's all been wiped clean? Sometimes, I am just not logical. Of course, the story of this appears in the paper, too. What point does that serve? Who has a need to know? I feel it invades my privacy (it does), since our name not a common one. Well, just getting out my feelings of hurt...
I appreciate the feelings you shared. I thought I would pass on something someone said to me after my case became public. A friend simply said to me "soak it in." I was taken aback by it when the words came out of his mouth, but it turned out to be very good advice that I've never forgotten. He went on to explain that it was an opportunity to prepare for everything that was coming after that, and to accept my own powerlessness over it. We don't have to do anything more than deal with life on life's terms as best we can. I thought I would just "pay it forward" since it was very, very helpful advice to me at the time.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:11 PM
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I know what you mean by it being public. Our son's crime was in the jail news and then in the paper when he plea guilty. The DA's report in the newspaper made it sound as if a lot of investigation was done and made our son to sound as if he was a very dangerous person. First of all this was his first offense of any kind, only one victim, (which I know one victim is one too many), and the story made them sound as if they it was a tough job. He turned himself in and admitted guilt so why did they have to make it sound as if it was a long drawn out deal. The victim gave her statement and he admitted guilt! It took only one year to go through court proceedings and bam he was in prison. He did wrong and where he should be but they took too much credit. Sometime things fall into their hands but I guess it tells the public they are doing their job. Rant over.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:01 PM
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Isn't it "funny" that when they are arrested it makes the news but if charges are dropped, you never hear of it. My son was arrested & they made it sound like he was guilty- worse than Hitler & Satan. When the DA dropped all but 1 of the charges & it wasn't even for what they arrested him for, no one reported on that. Now it is all online & will never go away. Google doesn't care that charges were dropped. If it was news at the time they won't delete it even with proof it was dropped.
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