Friday, June 04, 2010

A pleading question: Humboldt County district attorney candidates discuss plea bargains

A pleading question: Humboldt County district attorney candidates discuss plea bargains

An excellent article on the issues.

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  1. Gallegos offers the bargains, but doesn't demand a plea. That would take work.

  2. Here's what I got from this article and "the facts" in your previous post.
    1. Schooling was incarcerated for this crime (mostly while waiting for a trial and sentencing) for about eight years. It could have been 10 years; the TS article and other "facts" conflict.
    2. The time served is typical of what one would expect for a crime of this nature. My own research.
    3, The Jackson Ad does NOT mention anything about Schooling’s incarceration and time served.
    4. The Jackson ad about Schooling is misleading, so her campaign says in the TS article, "Their criticism isn’t about one single case, but a pattern of behavior.” This is backpeddling away from a mischaracterized case and a misleading advertisement.
    Was I suppose to get something else out of this and your "Not So Fast" post?

  3. Read it again, Natalynne.

  4. And don't worry, the information is in the hands of reporters. As well as at the links.

  5. From Anon 11:27
    I've followed this for the last few days. I don't know you, Heraldo, Jackson, Gallegos, or Natalyne I'm truly an outside viewer - believe me or not, I don't really care.
    But from this "outsider" view, Allison Jackson's advertisement regarding the Schooling case is shameless exploitation of a child abuse case and deceitful campaigning. No way she should be allowed to oversee the DA's office.

  6. Nonetheless, it was the DA who gave the guy probation. And it was the Court who terminated Gallegos' Plea Deal. At which point the guy should have served his term, right?

  7. the reasonable anonymous says:

    No, Rose, the DA can't "give" anyone probation without the judge also taking part.

    And from reading the court documents, it appears that the court "terminated" the deal simply because the defendant wasn't accepted in the treatment program that would have been required by the probation deal, not because the judge disagreed with anything Gallegos did. So it would be more accurate to say:

    Both the DA and the judge agreed to probation, contingent on the defendant being accepted into an appropriate treatment program. When he was not accepted into a treatment program, he was sent to prison instead of getting probation/treatment.

    And none of this changes the basic fact about Jackson's ad: that it was extremely misleading and clearly intended to leave the public with the very false impression that a man guilty of severe child abuse had walked away scot-free because of Gallegos.

    The fact that Jackson has been willing to exploit the case of an abused child for her own political gain, and intentionally deceive the public with such an extremely misleading ad, suggests to me that she simply does not have the integrity or judgement to serve as DA.

    Ironically, she's running on a platform of raising the level of integrity and professionalism in the DA's office, even as her own campaign demonstrates neither attribute.

  8. Good. I am taking that that you mean Gallegos will be more than happy to answer questions about what he did here.

  9. The reasonable anonymous says:

    By the way, I DO think that a legitimate question COULD be raised as to whether placing the offender on probation and in a treatment program at that point would have been appropriate or not. But first I would have to know the answer to a couple of questions:

    Would it have been inpatient or outpatient treatment, in other words would this guy have been in fact walking around on the streets of Eureka (or whereever) on a day-to-day basis?

    If in-patient, would the treatment program have been in a "locked facility" or not? If so, would security at that facility have been equal to the security of a state prison?

    If not, that raises a legitimate question of whether putting him on probation, in a treatment center would really have been as good from a public safety point of view.

    And naturally, just the idea of treatment as opposed to prison certainly would raise the issue that his experience in treatment would likely be less "punishing" than the same amount of time in prison, again depending on the nature of the treatment facility, as well as the nature of whatever level of security prison he was sent to instead. Anyway the differential in how "punishing" his time would have been could have implications both in terms of justice, and deterrence.

    And finally (though it should probably have been my first question), there's the question of whether or not this guy really did or did not have legitimate mental health problems that couldn't be addressed in prison. If not, obviously he shouldn't have been given an option of going into a treatment program. But if he really did/does have serious mental health issues, then getting him some adequate treatment rather than just warehousing him might have actually been the best outcome from the point of view of what would most reduce the chance of him committing other violent crimes in the future.

    I really have no idea what the answer to many of these questions are, and I suspect neither do you (Rose) nor does anyone but a very small number of people who were most closely involved in that case at that particular point, including the judge, the probation officer, the mental health experts, the DA and the victim's family. However, I think the fact that all those parties I just named apparently thought that the probation/treatment deal would have been appropriate suggests that perhaps it would have been. If not, then ALL those parties, not just Gallegos, would have to have been wrong.

    If Jackson had asked the right questions and brought out a more fair representation of the facts of the case (not just the gory details followed by a chery-picked fact that concealed the actual process and outcome), perhaps we WOULD end up concluding that Gallegos, the judge, the probation dept., the mental health experts, and so on, were all wrong. It's at least a possibility.

    So perhaps (depending on what thhe answers to the questions are that I asked above) there COULD be a legitimate argument to be made that Gallegos (and everyone else) was too "soft" on this guy, but that's not the argument Allison Jackson made in her deceitful ad. She took a serious short-cut past "the whole truth" and ended up with an ad that isn't anything like the truth.

    She oughtta be ashamed.

  10. the reasonable anonymous says,

    Rose, if I were an advisor to Gallegos (I'm not), I would certainly encourage him to answer questions about this case as clearly and completely as possible, within of course the restraints imposed by confidentiality (he probably can't say much about the mental health records, for example) and the bounds of professional standards related to privacy.

    Despite those retrictions, I think he (or someone in his office) could and should certainly answer some of the questions I raise in my 2:48 post related to what the conditions of the probation/treatment would have been, whether a locked facility, etc.

    Now I can also imagine that if he believes he's done nothing wrong here (and I'm sure he does) the advice he may be getting from his political people may be that it is politically disadvantageous to feed into this story, since Jackson's misleading narrative of the process and outcome will continue to get some play even as he tries to set the record straight. So, I don't know what he will actually say, beyond what he has already said.

    But personally, I think he should answer as clearly and specifically as possible, even if it's not the best move politically in the short term. Because in the bigger picture, it's important to educate the public on how the process actually works, what some of the variables are, and why it is so easy for low-integrity campaign attack ads to mislead the public. This episode related to Jackson's deceitful ad is certainly an opportunity do some public education on the whole plea bargaining issue.

    Basically, I think there are two issues here:

    (1) Did Allison Jackson put out an extremely misleading ad?


    (2) Did Gallegos agree to a plea deal that went too "soft" on the defendant.

    I think the first question has been clearly answered: Yes, Jackson put out an ad that was clearly designed to mislead the public. She ought to be ashamed, and we ought to take her lack of integrity and judgment into account in deciding how to vote. You may not want to recognize the wrongness of what jackson has done here, but even Jack Durham, who seems to agree with you that Gallegos went too easy on the perp in this case, admitted on Heraldo's blog that Jackson's ad was "misleading, to say the least" as he put it. Can we at least all agree on that, Rose?

    As far as the second question goes, it has not yet been completely and clearly answered to my satisfaction. I'm all for getting to the core truth here, as to whether Gallegos (and the judge and everyone else involved in the case at that point) went too easy on the abuser. If Gallegos agreed with a deal that might have put this guy directly out on the street, unsupervised, not in a locked or secured facility, and/or if the guy's mental health issues were not legitimate, then (even though Gallegos was only one of the parties that went along with that deal, and even though in the end the guy ended up going to prison) Gallegos should take his lumps and voters should take this situation into account as they decide who to vote for.

    In closing, I would point out that if Jackson hadn't taken her short-cut past the truth, and had raised the issues in a responsible way, we would only have been dealing with question (2), whether Gallegos screwed up or not. It's Jackson's own fault that her deceitful ad is now part of the story.

  11. Another Anonymous:

    A simple question Rose:

    Do you think the Jackson Ad describing the Schooling case is misleading? In other words, would an unbiased viewer of the ad assume Schooling only got probation without any other punishment?

    It is a question you've avoided for the last two days.

  12. the reasonable anonymous said:

    Jack Durham answered that question, unprompted, on Heraldo's blog.

    Durham said Jackson's ad was "misleading, to say the least."

    Thaddeus' article in the T-S also did a good job of demonstrating how misleading the Jackson as is.

    But can Rose admit that Jackson aired an extremely misleading ad? We'll see.

  13. It is only misleading IF the DA did not give that guy probation.

    And the DA did give him probation.

    And then it really gets interesting.

  14. the reasonable anonymous says,

    Again, you're wrong Rose. The DA cannot "give" anyone probation. The DA can *agree* to probation, as in this case, where the victim's family also favored the probation-contingent-on-treatment deal. But the DA cannot "give" anyone probation, that's up to the judge.

    You're in deep, deep denial here, Rose. But it's never too late to come back to the light.

    As to your claim that Jackson's ad is only misleading if the guy was never offered probation, I would refer you to the old line about "the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth."

    In this case anything approaching the WHOLE truth was left on the cutting room floor.

    Lies of omission are still lies.

    An ad that uses a small, cherry-picked PART of the truth, stripped of its necessary context, to give a misleading impression, is still a misleading and deceitful ad.

    So, if you want to keep pretending that the Jackson ad isn't misleading, feel free, and we can continue to talk about that.

    But if you can get beyond that, I'd be happy to discuss, in a factual and non-spinny way, whether Gallegos, the judge, the victim's family, the probation folks were all dead wrong when they agreed to the probation-contingent-on-treatment deal.

    As I noted in my 2:48 comment, I think there are legitimate issues to be raised there, with respect to what kind of treatment program / treatment facility the abuser would have gone to, whether it would have been a locked or staff-secured facility, whether in any event this would have been going "too easy" on him, etc., etc.

    So if you'd like to engage in a meaningful discussion of whether Gallegos, the judge, and everyone else acted properly in this case or not, I've thrown that door wide open, so feel free to step on in and have a real conversation. Or you could stick to the facile and vacuous one-liners.

    I'll check back in later to see which you choose.

  15. I read the paperwork. The da did promise probation. That's wrong.

  16. LOL. Reasonable anonymous is anything but reasonable - and in this case, being anonymous gives you no leg to stand on. Besides you obviously have not read the paperwork, or hope to avoid the facts by spinning.

    7:05 is right. And that's not all.

    But I am not Salzman. His candidate can't speak for himself, so Salzman runs around doing it for him.

    The primary reason I stopped commenting way back is that I am not speaking for any campaign.

    It is up to the candidates to speak, not to the spin meisters and volunteers to answer for them.

    I broke my silence because the attacks that have been levied have been so outrageous and so unrelenting, and in this case, wrong. heraldo has amended "his" post.

    From there the right thing has happened. Real reporters, not anonymous sluggers, have asked questions and received answers.

    All your hopeful spin does not change the facts.

    It's nice that you are suddenly so concerned about the issues - where have you been all this time? With the lies and spin that have gone on for the last 7 years... you're too little too late to play that game now.

  17. the reasonable anonymous says:

    Well, one "real reporter," Jack Durham, who actually agrees with Rose that the probation/treatment deal would have been improper, has nonetheless admitted that Jackson's ad was "misleading, to say the least."

    I can't understand why Rose can't recognize (or admit) that simple fact. It's glaringly obvious.

    And I don't know why my analysis of how the actual probation-contingent-on-treatment deal actually MAY NOT have been proper counts as "spin." I am truly open to that possibility, if the evidence points that way.

    So far, it's just not clear to me one way or the other, so I would have to lean towards believing that because not just the DA, but the judge, the victim's family, the probation officer and the mental health professionals all agreed to the deal, that it most likely was a reasonable deal. But as I said above, it is at least *possible* that they were all wrong, and that a major injustice was only averted by chance, when the guy couldn't get into a treatment program that would have qualified him for the probation.

    I'd actually like to hear the answers to some of the questions I posted at 2:48, which would help me decide whether the deal would have been proper or not. So if anyone reading this page actually knows the answers to some of those questions (whether the treatment program would have been a locked or staff-secured facility, etc.) I am all ears (eyes?).

    I WAS trying to have a real discussion based on facts and an open mind, at least on my part, about whether the offer of probation was or was not appropriate. Apparently that's way too much to ask from Rose.

    I guess I've learned my lesson, there's no point to trying to have a civil discussion on the relevant details of a complex situation with someone who is committed to just repeating grossly oversimplified and therefore misleading spin. And I guess there's no point in trying to reason at all with someone who doesn't recognize that lies of omission are just as potent as lies of commission.

    Since apparently Jackson doesn't recognize the need to tell the WHOLE truth either, or else chooses to ignore her responsibility not to misinform the voters, I'm glad that she seems to be going down in flames.

    If she can't stick to "the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth," she has no business representing The People as our DA. Thankfully, I believe the majority of voters will decide exactly that.

  18. Evidently you haven't read the paperwork. If you had then you would say oops.

  19. the reasonable anonymous said:

    I have read most of the court docs, though my slow internet connection made it impossible to make my way all the way to the end of the longest of those docs. Plus I'm not a lawyer, so I'll gladly admit that I may be missing some of the finer points of what these documents potentially reveal.

    So, Anon 8:42, feel free to enlighten me, what am I misunderstanding, and where exactly would you point me in those documents in order to see the error of my ways?

    I'm assuming that you actually HAVE read and understood the documents and have read and understood my comments above, and that you're not just shooting from the hip yourself. Please prove me right on those points by responding in a substantive way.

  20. Just read'em.

  21. the reasonable anonymous said:

    Oh, I see now. You don't know squat, or can't be troubled to share, so you choose to join Rose in the Department of Vacuous Comments.

  22. You know, if you check the various blogs, and use find/edit to search the term "reasonable", it's enough to make you wonder how any one person finds the time to be so reasonably anonymous. All night and all day. And so reasonably consistent, too.

  23. Well, I think you get 4-10 minutes with YouTube, so if (un)reasonable anonymous wants the full story, I think that's a good idea - detailing the DA's plea deal in this case (PROBATION), his efforts to salvage it (PROBATION, hte Court's finally denying him the deal and the real kicker, when he actually takes on the role of defense attorney.

    It is amazing how he is known for his quest for "legal minutiae' when he goes after his enemies, yet he does not do the same for people like the Whitethorn 'rapists,' Kesser, and more.

    He goes after people like Penny O'Gara and Sean Marsh.

    Forget :30 - 10 minutes won't be enough.

  24. Looking at the paperwork Gags has a lot of splaining to do. Wondering why he even ever raised this as an issue. Seems like he would want to bury it

  25. Thanks for posting the documents below. Tool me sometime to rad through. Why did the TS article leave out that Gallegos promised probation to this man as a plea bargain? Seems a pretty big thing to leave out.

  26. It isn't just that he gave him probation and worked diligently to keep him there - it's what he did AFTER the probation gets revoked. When the sentence should apply.

  27. The sentence DID apply Rose. Schooling spent over 8 years in prison. Only a clueless tool like you could believe Jackson was vindicated by the TS article which made it clear she lied in an attempt to smear Gallegos and mislead the voters.

  28. Rose the Gags apologists will never admit that the DA did give the guy probation. At least the court resentenced the guy to prison where he belonged.

  29. After Schooling had spent over 4 years in prison and pled guilty at his new trial, all parties including the victim's mother, the probation dept. and the judge agreed that a residential treatment program was the best option. When there was no residential treatment program available for him, he was remanded to prison where he served the rest of his sentence. Strange that Jackson (and Rose) make such a big deal about the victim and family's wishes being considered in sentencing except when they are considered and they don't approve or deceitfully use it to smear an opponent.

  30. I didn't see that in anything I read in the links. Are you making this up? What's your source? What page on the links provided say this?

  31. Jackson provided a misleading set of links to the case as well.

    "Schooling was arrested in 1999 and charged with willfully harming or injuring a child and corporal punishment of a child after Schooling physically abused his infant baby boy -- dunking him under water and violently shaking him by the legs -- when the colicky baby wouldn't stop crying.

    Jackson, while still a deputy district attorney, initially prosecuted the case and, in August 2000, saw Schooling plead guilty as charged. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen sentenced Schooling to serve 10 years, four months in prison. However, Schooling soon won an appeal of the conviction, arguing that his attorney lied to him and told him he would be able to appeal the case after pleading guilty.

    The appellate court tossed out the sentence, and Schooling was remanded back to the Humboldt County jail as the case returned to square one. In early 2004, the case was approaching trial -- this time with Gallegos prosecuting -- and Schooling again opted to plead guilty, this time to a charge of willfully harming or injuring a child and an assault charge. Under the agreement, Schooling faced either probation with a 10-year suspended prison sentence -- meaning if he violated the terms of his probation he would have to serve out his sentence in prison -- or eight years in prison.

    At the time of his sentencing in March 2004, Schooling had been in jail for more than four years. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna -- taking input from the defense, the prosecution and the probation department -- sentenced Schooling to probation on the condition he enroll in a residential treatment program. However, no treatment program would take Schooling, and Cissna eventually sentenced him in August 2004 to serve eight years in prison. At that point, he was given credit for having served more than five years in jail.

    According to the California Department of Corrections, Schooling was admitted into prison in September 2004 and released in May 2009, having spent almost 10 years behind bars.

    While Jackson's ad may be technically correct, it also falls short of telling the complete story and underscores the point that no campaign ad can offer a full picture of a single court case. "

    He went to prison in 1999 when he was arrested, got a chance at a new trial in 2004 and was sent back to prison in 2004 to 2009. Do the math.

  32. Guess the court documents Rose posted were wrong and the TS got it right? When I double checked it was only about 6 pages or so back. And I didn't see anything about what you posted so why should any of us care to believe you. You are kidding right?

    Never mind. You're hopeless and my wife has dinner on the table.

  33. The court documents weren't wrong, they were INCOMPLETE. That means Jackson and Rose only gave links to some of the documents, not all of them. They are misleaders, using partial information to make you think something that isn't true, in other words LIARS.

    Come on Rose, tell the man how many years Schooling was in prison.

  34. This is what Rose said about the TS article "A pleading question: Humboldt County district attorney candidates discuss plea bargains" which I copy pasted from and linked:

    "An excellent article on the issues."

    She didn't say the article was wrong and the Jackson links told the whole story. She said it was "an excellent article."

  35. Rose is swimming in de waters of de Nile. Mind the crocodiles, dear.


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