Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Here we go again...First Vermont? Now Ohio...

Back in January Michelle Malkin was one of the front runners on the story about Judge Cashman in Vermont. She didn't provide all of the information, only what would basically incite people to be outraged. The typical "let's throw the bum out of office" routined followed with the real facts coming out and for those with common sense? The furor died.

Now enter Bill O'Reilly, who thanks to Katie on Toledo Talk, I found out is focusing on What Can We Do About Ohio's Judge Connor? Bill states:

In just a few moments, we'll hear from the parents of two young people killed by a repeat drunk driver who Judge Connor would not incarcerate. This is the same Connor whom we confronted over the weekend after he sentenced a child rapist to probation. No prison time at all. The rapist, Andrew Selva, admitted to abusing two boys in the worst possible way ages five and 12 repeatedly over three years, and Connor lets him walk.

Let's address the child rapist scenario first. Even the Assistant Prosecuter on that case, Ron Welch, tried to give Bill the facts, but it appears from this that Bill wasn't interested.

I can't find any information on the claimed drunk driving case. Nor am I the only one who looked and didn't find it at this point. If I find out more specifics I'll update.

This judge does have a prior record of drinking, yet not quite what Fox is stating according to this Toledo Blade article which states:

Even though Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge John A. Connor has three DUI convictions on his record, voters last fall let him keep his robe for another six years. Last year, a state board that reviews judicial conduct punished Judge Connor with a six-month stayed suspension from the bench - meaning he could continue serving if he followed guidelines of his rehabilitation program.

The punishment came the same year Judge Connor pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge in Palm Beach County, Fla., and was sentenced to one-year probation and 10 days in jail with credit for time spent in an alcohol abuse program.

He did not face disciplinary action after a 2000 DUI conviction in Bexley, Ohio, but the criminal courts revoked his license, issued a fine, and ordered him to seek treatment. In 1985, he was publicly reprimanded after he was arrested for DUI and later convicted of permitting drug abuse and reckless operation.

This news piece from 2004 confirms the Toledo Blade information as well as gives more information as to what Judge Connor agreed to follow concerning his alcohol problem.

Now, is this guy a good judge? I have no idea. However, I do know that whatever the reason he was re-elected and any petition move to remove him from the bench should come from voters of that county, not people that Bill O'Reilly can try to incite into acting without the benefit of all of the details.


Stephanie said...

From the article:

Yes, Welch was disappointed with how O'Reilly handled it.

Regardless, Welch feels O'Reilly should get all his facts straight before putting someone on his program and "grilling" them.

"He never allowed me the opportunity to explain what I needed to," Welch said. "That's not fair and that's not balanced."

Which is totally understandable. However, you didn't mention that Welch also had a problem with the judge.

"I never told him I didn't ask for prison time," Welch said. "I fully expected him to receive jail time and was extremely upset when he didn't. As a prosecutor, I relied on the judge's discretion to make sure the man paid for his crimes. With the number of years Selva had confessed to abusing young people it was expected he would receive jail time."

Nor the "reason" Connor gave for his decision.

Connor said two psychologists called to examine Selva believe incarceration would be counterproductive to his prognosis.

"Continued counseling would result in minimal possibility of recidivism," Connor said.

Welch called that statement ridiculous. "Being a pedophile is not like having an addiction. It's not like being addicted to alcohol."

Connor wrote, "All a judge can do make the best judgment he or she can make with the information he or she has before it. I sincerely believe that I endeavored to do that in this case."

Welch disagrees.

The article seems fairly balanced, other than not really offering the families p.o.v. However, Welch seems more upset that O'Reilly made him out to be foolish and/or weak on crime than how O'Reilly painted Connor. He seems just as dissatisfied with the verdict as O'Reilly, only using the legal code to back-up the lame results.

Perhaps it's just me, but it seemed you were suggesting Welch supported Connor, and it really doesn't look like he does.

Lisa Renee said...

My point was that O'Reilly ignored the facts, not that I agree the Judge was right or wrong. It's another situation where only one small portion is being promoted to create outrage rather than looking at all of it. I wasn't trying to imply that Welch supported Connor, I was trying to show even he didn't agree with O'Reilly.

Claiming the judge had 8 DUI's isn't accurate. It sounds like there was a major problem with the testimony and it would have been entirely possible given that this person could have been found not guilty. So which is better? To have a less than desirable sentence with some way of tracking this person and limits upon him or him going totally free?

I didn't focus on Welch's problem with the judge because I felt the article did that and that was a secondary point to this.

Stephanie said...

I guess I'm not sure what the point was... It's either in support of Connor or against O'Reilly, neither of which are really explained.

I'm not big fan of television, but as I recall O'Reilly's shows are entertainment not news. Basically, he's paid to be a dick and some people like watching that sort of thing, like some people like watching slap-stick. IMO, if people are really expecting balanced reporting from O'Reilly, then they're too far gone for something like this to make a dent in their warped sense of reality.

Lisa Renee said...

It's really neither. It's sources creating a situation that isn't factual. O'Reilly is promoting a petition on his website to gather signatures to have this judge removed. That to me goes beyond entertainment which is why it bothers me when facts are not presented.

Then the additional problem that it's not up to O'Reilly fans outside of that county to decide if they want that judge removed or not.

Stephanie said...

The petition is pretty meaningless. It's an attention getting thing. Much like Feingold's "censure the President" thing. They're doing it to get the media's attention, not to get results. Thus, it would be more appropriate, imo, to give them as little attention as possible, not draw attention to their inadequacies.

Me4Prez said...

O'Reilly is a hack who like many other conservative mouths, has made a fortune being hateful and ignorant. Don't accuse me of badmouthing conservatives because I actually respect conservatives. I just do not respect people who use an ideology to promote a warped view of the world. Similar to what I see happening in many churches.

I don't know anything about the judge and won't defend him, but people like O'Reilly and Malkin have a history of getting it part right.

Although I think we should look into investigating Bush, I think Feingold is a putz for bringing it up. It looks like a stunt when you know you can't win and I would say he is trying to set himself apart from other presidential hopefuls. I just think that Republicans would want an investigation to clear the President and the Dems should want one to find out if anything criminal occurred.

Lisa Renee said...

Why would I accuse you of that me4? Heck I'd be the last one to do that, I actually married a conservative and my son is a republican...


Catdaddy-n-Dr.Squeeky said...

Some thougths about all of this:

O'Reilly is a jerk, as Stephany wrote.

There are MANY who enjoy watching jerks do and say stupid stuff on TV.

Unfortunately, they believe everything that is said.

Pedophilia is like alcoholism in the sense that it needs to be managed through abstincence, which is very difficult and requires much motivation on the part of the person. It can be understood as an addiction as well, since many sex offenders have a history of using sex as a coping mechanism. The addiction comes from the relief they get from negative feelings...

Psychologists saying incarceration would be contraproductive to prognosis? Maybe that's not what was actually said and that they said something like the person seems motivated for treatment and his level of risk can be managed in the community through very close supervision and intensive treatment. If non-compliant with treatment or supervision, incarceration could be considered given that these factors can significantly raise risk of recidivism... I hope that's more or less what they said...

A drunk driving judge is BAD, as are the people who re-elected him to the bench... Are they on drugs?

Lisa Renee said...

Some times I do wonder about the voters in Ohio, locally a few have been re-elected that had some clear ethical issues. In this judge's case he did at least admit his drinking problem and agreed to treatment as well as random urine tests. Maybe the voters of that county felt that was enough, I don't know who ran against him to know if he was the better of the two or if he ran unopposed (which happens often out here).

Me4Prez said...

Lisa- I know you wouldn't accuse me of that, but some only see the political debate in black and white. I actually respect true conservative values, I just don't agree with them.

I can respect anyone who has an intelligent reasoning behind their beliefs, but the people who talk loudest and most usually don't. That is why they never shut up. If they did, people would have time to think.

As far a pedophilia, I am a person who thinks that child abusers and rapists deserve the death penalty if they repeat the offense. I think that almost everyone deserves a chance at getting help, but if you prove you don't want it or can't get better, fire up the chair

Lisa Renee said...

Well just when you think it can't get any stupider...supposedly Petro who is a candidate for Gov here in Ohio is demanding the judge step down and if he doesn't demanding Congress impeach the judge. He's also going to be on O'Reilly's show.

Maybe it is time to move out of Ohio if a guy like that could actually end up being Governor...

Lisa Renee said...

Suddenly it's very clear, I wondered if the judge was a Republican or a Democrat.

He's a Democrat. It's amazing how they always demand the other guys perform to a higher standard of behavior than they expect from their own.

Me4Prez said...

That is funny in a not funny at all kind of way. Too bad more people in power positions didn't think about the greater good over their own power and ability to manipulate others

Stephanie said...

From the sounds of it, this judge is not someone who should be deciding other people's fate and what constitutes justice (personally, I think repeat DUIs should be handle much more harshly before someone ends up dead). However, Lisa is right that it's not O'Reilly's (or my) place to say such things. Ohio should decide for Ohio...a should do so with the necessary information before they put someone in office who doesn't really represent them.

Lisa Renee said...

Ohio has a problem with judges and alcohol. I also think someone who has had more than one DUI should be pretty much considered a repeat offender and I wouldn't vote for him or her. We just had one of our Supreme Court Justices pulled over for drunk driving last year and thankfully she's not going to run for re-election.

Yet I just found out that the reason for the plea agreement was the prosecution did not re-indict this man on the original 22 charges because of problems with times and dates as far as testimony, so I'm wondering if Petro is going to demand the County Prosecutor step down too.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephanie said...

"...this man on the original 22 charges because of problems with times and dates as far as testimony..."

Do you know if they could have had a speedier trial? I mean, sometimes the length of time they make people wait for a trial is ridiculous, especially if kids are testifying.

Lisa Renee said...

That I don't know, all I know is the plea bargin happened after the County decided to not re-indict him on the original 22 charges.

Me4Prez said...

We had a guy in the Army get charged with over 120 counts of CrimSexCon with a minor. He would make his stepdaughter take a shower while he watched and occasionally helped her. He was able to plea bargain to agreeing to seek counseling and not be alone with his stepdaughter.

Stephanie said...

I just don't get plea bargains. When the little fish gets away with his crimes so the DA can catch the big fish, that's bad enough. Ever so begrudgingly I can understand that form of "justice." However, there's no big fish here!

(BTW, catching the big fish has always been how the lawyer-types defend plea bargains in the debate in which I have participated.)

Me4Prez said...

Why can't we trick the little fish into helping and then screw them? That is the American way.

Stephanie said...

I'd be all for that, but chances are it wouldn't work well in the long run.

Hooda Thunkit said...


"...I actually married a conservative and my son is a republican..."

Oh the shame...
How DO you cope?

On the other hand their influence is probably what keeps you so darned fair and balanced ;-)

During this post, Hooda's tongue was firmly parked in his cheek :-]

Stephanie said...

I think it's more Lisa's unwillingness to be sucked into partisan hackery.

Lisa Renee said...

We have some interesting discussions at home from time to time but Miguel's much lower key that I am so we've never argued on a political topic, some passionate discussions at times but some things we agree on the basics, others? Agree to disagree time.

He is very supportive of what I'm doing though sometimes a bit mushier than I'd like here (lol).

neighborsforjustice said...

First, Ohio voters, here in Franklin county, must be stupid to vote for him. I am a neighbor of the Selva and I have a son soon to be 5. I am one of the people that took this national and I am not sorry. I am not sorry to making the house take a look at this. Our community was violated by this judge and his lack of judgement. I must explain the big issue. This just, through his own talk, admitted that he lacks the ability to be impartial. He can relate to these criminals through his own criminal background. That is why we will get the 41,000 signatures. I refuse to allow the children in our community to be further violated. I must tell you that there are so many facts that will make you sick. This case will make all judges think before they let these sickos off.