Saturday, March 7, 2009

You Tube Videos... Power and Control... Bench Trial V Jury Trial... Victims Rights... Resources... More

"The primary story chronicles the turbulent life of Geraldine Blevins (played by Valerie Denise) and her abusive husband (played by Drae Michaels). The film, based on author, playwright Jaisun McMil...

["BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Addiction To Power and Control"; as submitted to You Tube by MECCEO on 3/23/07;]

"What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trials?

["Trials - Bench or Jury - LawWebTV"; as submmitted to You Tube by lawwebtvcom on 6/1/08;]

"Mark Vovos explains what a criminal trial is and how it works...

["What is a Criminal Trial'?"; as submitted to You Tube by skidude017 on 6/14/08;]

"In a criminal trial, the defendant has the right to appeal if he or she loses at the trial level. For more information on appeals visit

["Appeals - Criminal Trial"; as submitted to You Tube by lawinfo on 6/27/08;]

This 5 minute Theme Video was produced with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Dept. of Justice and is available for public broadcast to promote Crime Victims' Rights. This PS...

["2009 NCVRW Theme"; as submitted to You Tube by the NationalCenter on 2/20/09;]

National Office for Victims of Crime

Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program:

Family of Woodstock


H. R. 5107

One Hundred Eighth Congress of the United States of America AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twentieth day of January, two thousand and four...

‘‘CHAPTER 237—CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS ‘‘Sec. ‘‘3771. Crime victims’ rights. ‘‘§ 3771. Crime victims’ rights...

‘‘(a) RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS.—A crime victim has the following
‘‘(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
‘‘(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice
of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding,
involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
‘‘(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public
court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and
convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim
would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony
at that proceeding.
‘‘(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding
in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing,
or any parole proceeding.
‘‘(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for
the Government in the case.
‘‘(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided
in law.
‘‘(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
‘‘(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect
for the victim’s dignity and privacy..."

This is only a small portion of this document, which can be accessed in full at


On Monday, 3/9/09, the Ulster County Democratic Women's Meeting (7PM / Dem. HQ / 275 Fair Street, Kingston / 2nd Floor / #14) will be focusing on ANIMAL CRUELTY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and CHILDREN'S HEALTH. Please go to:

1. "Ulster County Democratic Women";

2. "DemWomen Brewing Change"; "Animal Abuse, Domestic Abuse";


These links will be made available in the sidebar >>>>>


My Notes on last nights "Hudson Valley Progressive Coalition Meeting" are pending.



  1. The link I put in this thread for Family of Woodstock isn't working, so please scroll down to "EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS / COMMUNITY RESOURCES" - which is also listed in the sidebar. I'll figure out the mixup later :)

  2. Please ponder the following situation that happened to me in 2000 in a town with a reputation for being fair and cool and hip and caring, into peace, love, music, tolerance, all on the surface, but one that is small-minded and motivated more by greed, run by dirt-pushers [my term for real estate people] and quick to come down on anyone they don’t like by having the police in their pocket and on speed dial. One Friday evening I walked into a convenience store at 9 PM in this village where the workers knew me and were friends who appreciated what I was all about. One drunken rowdy drifter type person was pouring coffee at a center island with an unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth when I walked past him and he made an unintelligible statement which I ignored. Later the local police asked me if I had seen him because he was harassing many of the customers and they were going to arrest him. He had a reputation in the short amount of time he was staying in the town aside from being a drunk of one who provided pot to teenagers and having the overall morality of dog.
    I returned to the store 2 or 3 hours later as the shift was changing and he was back drunker than before and more ornery. As I walked past him to go to the cooler for some juice, he made another nasty remark to me which I ignored but then he shoved me for no good reason thus crossing the legal line by violating my space and physical body by putting his hands on me and in so doing I became the victim of a simple assault and harassment. Before I could even react he managed to grab my coat and pull it over my hands and head like hockey players do when they brawl in a game. He then pushed me down and started to punch and knee me in the face. I dropped face down to the ground to break his hold and returned the same back to him in self-defense and got up to cheers from other patrons and clerks who didn’t try to intercede because it happened so fast and it became entertainment for them and also because no one really liked the assailant and were glad to see me take a few shots at him. He then charged at me again at which point I kicked him in his mouth so I wouldn’t “dirty my hands” on him any more—I do not study martial arts and normally don’t karate kick but it was a convenient way to keep him at bay until the next shift worker who was walking in the door at that precise moment grabbed the guy and broke it up. He managed to loosen some teeth which became a problem later on and they had to be removed.
    The local police arrived and seemed to have forgotten that Mr. X was being pursued for questioning by the previous shift but they assured me that I was not guilty of any offense, crime or violation since I acted purely and simply in self-defense. I was reluctant to press assault charges the same way I didn’t react quickly enough when he first shoved me because I was laboring under a misconception based on his inebriated state and I gave the ‘drunk’ the benefit of the doubt and more leeway than I should have given him. So the police only UNDER-charged him with disorderly conduct. Two days later he had me arrested for 3rd degree assault and disorderly conduct by a separate cop on the first shift who was a rookie and who seemed happy to be able to arrest me but only gave me appearance tickets for the incident. When I appeared in court before a town justice who I went to college with by the way, the other guy went up to the bench first and the judge let him go with an offhanded comment that he should cut back on his drinking and he walked out of the courtroom without the judge imposing any bail. I was called next and I said I felt that this whole matter could/should be cleared up right then since the original investigating officers assured me I acted in self defense and this was a misunderstanding but clearly I felt the law was on my side without having to go to trial or calling in the witnesses who were at the store. He told me this was an arraignment and not the place to decide on the matter which was untrue and to add insult to injury even though I had been issued appearance tickets to go to court; the judge imposed a $500.00 bail on me. Needless to say I was shocked and reeling from the obvious iniquity since the perpetrator didn’t have a bail placed on him but as it turned out I had just cashed a check and had $485.00 on me which wasn’t sufficient and the cops were getting ready to take me to the UC Jail because of the $15.00 deficit until the person who broke up the second part of the attack at the store happened to walk in to pay a traffic ticket and I asked him to loan me the difference of the 15 bucks until I could get home to repay him. Since we were friends he agreed to loan me the money but first asked the judge if it would be okay at which point the judge begrudgingly said “Alright, I guess so.” Talk about prejudice and unequal treatment under the law.
    It gets worse because the warrants were all wrong with dates making it happen in the wrong decade with obvious lies made by the real bad guy and other technicalities that should have been sufficient grounds to throw both the charges out of court. The bail money was given back the next week and I had to get a public defender who was absolutely worthless because he advised me to just plead guilty and get it over with which further outraged me. It took 8 months before any resolution of the matter finally occurred because I wanted a trial. During that period my lawyer had the smell of booze on his breath and actually entered an alcohol rehab in the 3rd month which extended things and he returned with the same booze-breath after the rehab stint and I kept getting postponements for a variety of reasons until I couldn’t stand it and took his bad advice (which was an example of an impropriety on his part) just to get it over with. He assured me there would be no fines or penalties and that it would be an ACD—acquittal contemplating dismissal provided that I stay out of trouble for six months and it would be only one charge--the violation of disorderly conduct. I couldn’t get witnesses to appear because they were afraid of reprisals because of that small town mentality but I wound up paying $115.00 in fees and court charges so even that part was a lie out of the mouth of the public drunk-en defender. When the whole thing was over I moved after wasting part of my life there and witnessing how the wheels of justice grind you up as fodder if they ever turn at all and seem to overlook the truth as the main defense and after realizing how I got taken because I even asked the judge to recuse himself from the case and he refused; I sent him a letter requesting him to vacate the decision on the case and he flatly refused. My request was two days beyond the deadline so he denied my appeal and my request was late because my place had burned down in that time period so I was a bit distraught. I cannot even watch the videos you have posted, Nancy, because my heart, soul and mind are still twisted in knots from the treatment meted out in Woodstock by the town judge and the inadequacies of the public defender assigned to me who never even counseled me except for a few minutes outside of the courtroom once or twice since I was convinced they had no case. All it takes is for charges to be placed against you in these small-minded small town court systems so you get put on the docket and the truth will not set you free. The NY Times did a thorough investigative report on this very subject of small town justice in NYS 2 or 3 years back. I could have made this much longer but decided to spare you and your readers every single rotten detail. So I was a victim who was turned into a criminal by the stupidity of the system by the assailant making false statements that weren’t refuted because witnesses were afraid to step up and statements made to the police held no weight with the judge because he wanted me to be guilty. So the whole case got turned inside out, spun on its head and flattened by the prejudgment of the ‘authorities’ and I moved back to Kingston where I should have stayed in the first place and then I dropped the whole idea of suing the town after 9/11 happened. little sparrow

  3. ls,

    I took a break for a while today - got out in the air - did some reading - and tried to get back in touch with the quiet that resides somewhere in the midst of everything - if and when I search for it...

    I am sorry for your trouble. I don't think it is all that unusual :(

    I have had my own bouts with the authorities - via my own victimizations - and those of people I love and care about - that make for a very sad saga indeed...

    Which is part of what inspired me to post these videos... because first and foremost we NEED to be aware of our rights & where we can turn for help and advice --- and unfortunately (due lack of information / education in this area) many of us are (especially when in the midst of a crisis situation) not.

    I could tell you a horror story or two or three about my life - things I have encountered...

    But sometimes the facts seem irrelevent at this point - because there is no going back to change anything... & one can only hope to have some positive affect on the future.

    Which does NOT mean that we shouldn't share our stories, as you just did...

    In fact, I see that is very, very, very important!

    There has been far too much silence about far too many things for far too long...

    So share away, my friend. Share and let the wounds (to the degree possible) heal.

    All my best,


  4. Nancy,

    You are the best!