The president has made an unprecedented decision to move the trial of the FT. Hood shooter to New York.This currently has our House/Senate in an uproar, for various reasons, such as the moving of a "war criminal" and "terrorist" from Guantanamo bay, and moving him into a "civilian" court system, which would undoubtedly be a security risk.
Obviously the famous actress vs. porn star battle is unusual. Yet there are many stepmothers and second wives who step in and parent their husbands' kids because their mom can't or won't do it. These women are often caught in the middle of nasty custody battles, are maligned as interlopers for loving their stepchildren, and have little legal standing.
Rarely when fathers seek full custody of a child are the facts so stacked against the mother as in the case between "Monster Garage" star Jesse James and his ex-wife, porn star Janine Lindemulder. The couple are battling in court for custody of 5-year-old daughter Sunny.
Not only is Lindemulder a porn star, which is a career that one can argue has negative moral and lifestyle implications on a child's upbringing, but she is married to a felon and has an alleged drug problem. James on the other hand is married to Sandra Bullock, who has been called "America's sweetheart"...
Bullock and James have had sole custody of 5-year-old Sunny for the past six months since Lindemulder was in jail -- yes, jail -- for tax evasion.
Now Lindemulder has gone from the courts to the court of public opinion by appearing on ABC's Good Morning America and throwing what I'm calling the divorce equivalent of the "shot heard around the world" in accusing Sandra Bullock of being an interloping stepmother who is trying to "take away my daughter." "We see this all the time where the ex-wife lives with a crazy, harmful boyfriend who can't see his own kids because the court has prohibited him because he may have been convicted of drugs or abuse. Yet he can live with another father's kid," says Glenn Sacks, the executive director of Fathers & Families.
"I've seen many fathers try to bring this to the courts' attention and the courts don't want to hear it."
Next item of interest was about our national financial situation.The basic report on that shows while there has indeed been some rise in GDP..etc, there has been NO sizable increase in jobs, or a decrease in unemployment for that matter. They even did make note of the fact that MEN ages 25-45 are STILL in the 10% unemployment, while women are at a considerably less percentage (don't recall exactly but I think it was around 5%)...
Exonerated man seeks cash for 27-year sentence: SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – No bars or razor wire hold former Florida inmate No. 082629. Instead, William Dillon sits on furniture the color of ripe lemons, surrounded by cheerful animal statues and blooming plants, a prisoner no longer after 27 years.
He could get more than a million dollars in state compensation for his wrongful imprisonment, though how much he'll get — if anything — is up to lawmakers because he has a prior conviction for felony drug possession. A hearing on the matter took place this week in Tallahassee, though Dillon says it's impossible to put a dollar amount on his freedom.
"When I actually did walk down those steps, I was so lightheaded, felt like I was being lifted down those steps, I really did," Dillon recently told The Associated Press. "It was so awesome. I don't think I can ever replace that feeling, coming out of there after so many years of feeling I never, ever would."
Dillon, 50, walked out of the Brevard County jail last November after tests showed that DNA found on the killer's shirt — which investigators recovered, splattered with the victim's blood — wasn't his. A month later, prosecutors announced they wouldn't retry him for the 1981 bludgeoning death of James Dvorak, and his conviction was erased.
Dillon, one of more than 200 inmates exonerated by DNA nationwide, plans to move to Tallahassee soon so he can be available during those hearings. Under the state's automatic formula, Dillon would receive $1.35 million — $50,000 for every year in prison.
Eric Ferrero, a spokesman in the Innocence Project's national office, said 27 states currently have compensation laws on the books. Of those states, Florida is the only one where a roadblock occurs if the former inmate already had a felony conviction on his record.
Norman Wolfinger, the state attorney in Brevard County, said in a letter to the Legislature that while there isn't enough evidence to convict Dillon again, lawmakers should consider that his innocence isn't proven, either.
Dillon cried while testifying Monday at his first compensation hearing. Afterward, he said he forgave the jailhouse snitch who recanted his 1981 trial testimony that Dillon had confessed to the murder. Roger Dale Chapman testified Monday that detectives told him they'd send him to prison on a fabricated rape charge if he didn't lie.
Although it isn't feasible, Dillon said he would prefer that his compensation be paid by the prosecutors and law enforcement agents he believes railroaded him — not taxpayers.
"I think the people that did it to me — knowingly did it to me — should have to pay for it," he said.
Admittedly cocky during the 1981 investigation, Dillon was angry when he went to prison. He said he grew suicidal after a parole hearing a few years ago, when he was given a possible release date of 2043. He mourned the loss of children he would never have, a youth that was stolen and the holidays he would miss. But he "settled it" for himself when he realized rage would do no good.
Dillon walked out of jail last year wearing a T-shirt that read "Not Guilty" and a grin. At first, nothing was easy. After almost three decades under the dim glow of prison lights, Dillon was uncomfortable in the black of night. He couldn't eat unless he was told. When he tried to buy a dozen chocolate doughnuts at a grocery store, he held up the line for an uncomfortable lesson on debit card machines.
"Everything that was out here had completely changed to me," he said. "It was like I was Fred Flintstone that came out."
He ate lasagna with his family on his first day home, and he celebrated Thanksgiving with loved ones a few days later. In the year that followed, he gained a few pounds and grew some facial hair. He still plays guitar, an instrument he picked up behind bars, and now talks of going back to school.
Dillon and Wolfinger both place some blame on John Preston, a dog handler who claimed his animals could track scents months after a suspect was present. He testified his dog found Dillon's scent on the shirt and at the crime scene. He was later discredited and died last year. Preston's testimony was also used against Wilton Dedge, convicted in Brevard in the early 1980s of sexual assault. DNA evidence freed him in 2004, and the Legislature awarded him $2 million.
Now, Dillon focuses on his most powerful weapon against those who wronged him: telling his story to law students and law enforcement agents. He said he harbors no anger toward the system, but he wants the individuals involved in the prosecution and investigation to be held accountable."I feel like I'm the thorn in their side right now and I am the scariest thing that they have seen in quite a while compared to the system that they've been running," he said. "My mouth is a dangerous tool on them. Each day I think of more and more stuff that happened that shouldn't have happened. And each day I remember it, it comes closer and closer to getting in their closet."
I am grateful to Shagda, Glenn Sacks and Zuberi for alerting me to these stories.