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  • Lenient state judges

    1) Judge Frances Wong - sentenced a hit-and-run driver responsible for 2 counts of negligent homicide to 18 months in prison and 5 years probation.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...811190398/1001

    2) Judge Richard Perkins - sentenced two men guilty of setting off an explosive device that severely injured a then 11 year old girl to a combined 14 weekends in jail and community service.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...ING01/81119051

    This is the same Judge Perkins that gave the former Miss Hawaii Tiffani Hercules zero prison time for dealing ice.

    It's sentences like this that make me think we need to have a Con Con so an amendment can be passed, making state judges an elected position.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  • #2
    Re: Lenient state judges

    Originally posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    2) Judge Richard Perkins - sentenced two men guilty of setting off an explosive device that severely injured a then 11 year old girl to a combined 14 weekends in jail and community service.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...ING01/81119051

    This is the same Judge Perkins that gave the former Miss Hawaii Tiffani Hercules zero prison time for dealing ice.

    It's sentences like this that make me think we need to have a Con Con so an amendment can be passed, making state judges an elected position.
    Perhaps, but one could bring up the argument using George Herbert Walker Bush.

    But I do agree with you. Perkins is the dumbest judge in Hawaii. No wonder we have dumbest criminals walking the street.
    Beijing 8-08-08 to 8-24-08

    Tiananmen Square 4-15-89 to 6-04-89

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    • #3
      Re: Lenient state judges

      Originally posted by Random View Post
      Perhaps, but one could bring up the argument using George Herbert Walker Bush.
      Oh, voting won't prevent incompetent judges from taking the bench, anymore than voting prevents corrupt people from becoming politicians.

      The point is,.... when someone has proven that they can't get the job done right, give people the opportunity to vote them out. Had it not been for term limits, Bush would surely have been rejected if he had run for re-election this year, right? Why not give Hawaii voters the chance to throw out stupid, overly-lenient judges? Other states do.
      This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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      • #4
        Re: Lenient state judges

        I understand and appreciate your frustration, FM. But dispensing justice is a tricky thing and it isn't always black and white. Just look at Solomon in the Bible! I have a couple of friends who are judges in California (appointed by the way). I have asked them about cases they adjudicated that got a lot of press in the newspaper. Well, there is the newspaper side of the story (remember the newspaper, or TV, or magazine is not to inform people, it is to entertain people) and then there is what REALLY happened. Upon explaining to me how and why they sentenced people given the circumstances of the case, requirements of the law, innocent parties that could be affected by a sentence, and a myriad of other ancillary issues affecting a case - sentencing is not an easy or simple matter. Do my friends ever second guess themselves about some of the sentences they dispense? Absolutely, even lose sleep over it! But after explaining to me the reasons for the sentences in some cases I questioned, I began to have second thoughts about my initial reaction. I am not defending the judges or the defendents you cited, but I wont denigrate those judge's decisions without knowing more of the facts.

        With regards to elected/appointed judges, again there are pros and cons to both scenarios. Appointed judges are like tenured faculty at an institution of higher learning. Their positions are secure and they are immune to outside pressure trying to get them out of office because of unpopular positions, controversial philosophies, or independent thinking. Tenure can work well at the University level and it can work well at the judicial level. Elected judges are problematic. Since they know they will have to stand for re-election periodically, they often make decisions based on what will get them re-elected - what is popular - rather making decisions based on what is right and just. Elected judges come very close to being nothing but politicians.

        So, in summary, justice is not easy and it is not perfect. You are correct, some case decisions just don't seem to be fair. But frankly, Frankie, if the judges get it right 99% of the time, then we ain't doing too bad! My first priority is to make sure I am not one of those cases.
        Last edited by matapule; November 20, 2008, 06:22 AM. Reason: to please Bob Jones
        Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

        People who form FIRM opinions with so little knowledge only pretend to be open-minded. They select their facts like food from a buffet. David R. Dow

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        • #5
          Re: Lenient state judges

          Originally posted by matapule View Post
          I am not defending the judges or the defendents you cited, but I wont denigrate those judge's decisions without knowing more of the facts.
          In the case of Frances Wong, it wasn't just her leniency. It was her total incompetence. She changed her sentence on the hit-and-run driver, not once, but twice based on her incorrect interpretation of sentencing law. And because she extended the sentence on the driver from a year to 18 months, she not only has the families of the 2 dead victims angry at her, but she even has the defendant's lawyer pissed.

          Imagine that. A hit-and-run driver responsible for 2 people dead upset at getting an 18 month prison sentence. Only in Hawaii!

          And in the case of Richard Perkins, I wouldn't have brought him up except for the fact that there seems to be a pattern of excessive leniency on his part. You want to carefully pick through all the facts in the case, be my guest. I see a pattern and I'm not afraid to call out "BS!" when I see it.

          Originally posted by matapule View Post
          With regards to elected/appointed judges, again there are pros and cons to both scenarios. Appointed judges are like tenured faculty at an institution of higher learning. Their positions are secure and they are immune to outside pressure trying to get them out of office because of unpopular positions, controversial philosophies, or independent thinking. Tenure can work well at the University level and it can work well at the judicial level. Elected judges are problematic. Since they know they will have to stand for re-election periodically, they often make decisions based on what will get them re-elected - what is popular - rather making decisions based on what is right and just. Elected judges come very close to being nothing but politicians.
          Even when judges in this state are thrown off the bench by the judicial selection commission (like in the case of Sandra Simms), her supporters still moaned and cried about backroom "politics" playing a role in her firing. So while your point is noted, don't kid yourself that the current system of selecting/retaining judges are free from politics either. And anytime judges are thrown out of their jobs, whether it be through a public vote or through a secretive commission, you'll always hear cries and complaints about politics being the culprit. When does any judge publically admit that they lost their job because they screwed up? Let's get real here.
          This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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          • #6
            Re: Lenient state judges

            Electing your judges is a good start, but just a start. New York elects their judges, but it's still a proverbial cesspool 1 2 3 (and that's just in a county with a DA with the stones to prosecute a sitting judge). You also need a state judicial conduct commission with complete transparency, so complaints don't get dismissed by connected committee members and sealed away under the guise of privacy. It would be a plus if some members of the commission were 'civilians', or non-lawyers, but even that needs to be kept under strict scrutiny to make sure cronyism is severely minimized.

            We also need to do more Operation Greylords, but that's talking federal level action.
            Last edited by Vanguard; November 20, 2008, 01:33 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lenient state judges

              Ahhh, leniency.

              http://westhawaiitoday.com/articles/...al/local04.txt
              FutureNewsNetwork.com
              Energy answers are already here.

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              • #8
                Re: Lenient state judges

                Originally posted by matapule View Post
                I understand and appreciate your frustration, FM. But dispensing justice is a tricky thing and it isn't always black and white. Just look at Solomon in the Bible! I have a couple of friends who are judges in California (appointed by the way). I have asked them about cases they adjudicated that got a lot of press in the newspaper. Well, there is the newspaper side of the story (remember the newspaper, or TV, or magazine is not to inform people, it is to entertain people) and then there is what REALLY happened. Upon explaining to me how and why they sentenced people given the circumstances of the case, requirements of the law, innocent parties that could be affected by a sentence, and a myriad of other ancillary issues affecting a case - sentencing is not an easy or simple matter. Do my friends ever second guess themselves about some of the sentences they dispense? Absolutely, even lose sleep over it! But after explaining to me the reasons for the sentences in some cases I questioned, I began to have second thoughts about my initial reaction. I am not defending the judges or the defendents you cited, but I wont denigrate those judge's decisions without knowing more of the facts.

                With regards to elected/appointed judges, again there are pros and cons to both scenarios. Appointed judges are like tenured faculty at an institution of higher learning. Their positions are secure and they are immune to outside pressure trying to get them out of office because of unpopular positions, controversial philosophies, or independent thinking. Tenure can work well at the University level and it can work well at the judicial level. Elected judges are problematic. Since they know they will have to stand for re-election periodically, they often make decisions based on what will get them re-elected - what is popular - rather making decisions based on what is right and just. Elected judges come very close to being nothing but politicians.

                So, in summary, justice is not easy and it is not perfect. You are correct, some case decisions just don't seem to be fair. But frankly, Frankie, if the judges get it right 99% of the time, then we ain't doing too bad! My first priority is to make sure I am not one of those cases.
                So, by your logic, the media exaggerated or embellished the hand injury that was inflicted on the girl (who was young at the time) to rationalize a more serious punishment than 12 weekends in jails. Weekends. That's 2 or 2-and-a-half days out of the whole week every week. Not counting the 5-year probation.

                I don't think it SEEMS unfair, I think it IS unfair.
                Beijing 8-08-08 to 8-24-08

                Tiananmen Square 4-15-89 to 6-04-89

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lenient state judges

                  Seems the list of lenient judges in Hawaii is growing...

                  Add Virginia Crandall for sentencing a child abuser Rita Makekau just 5 years in prison for the 4-year torture of her nieces, nephews, and her daughter's children.

                  Oh, and get this. High makamaka Rita prefers to be called Her Royal Highness for being an officer of a Hawaiian Sovereignty Group. Talk about a model spokesperson. Yeah, right.

                  To that group, kick the demented, retarded lady out. Your Hawaiian Sovereignty Group should protect your future that are your children from that fat, ginormous monster.

                  http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...e=rss_breaking
                  Beijing 8-08-08 to 8-24-08

                  Tiananmen Square 4-15-89 to 6-04-89

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lenient state judges

                    Originally posted by Random View Post
                    So, by your logic, the media exaggerated or embellished the hand injury that was inflicted on the girl (who was young at the time) to rationalize a more serious punishment than 12 weekends in jails. Weekends. That's 2 or 2-and-a-half days out of the whole week every week. Not counting the 5-year probation.

                    I don't think it SEEMS unfair, I think it IS unfair.
                    Call me hotheaded. Call me vengeful. But if that was my daughter who was the victim in the case, then Judge Perkins had better hope that we never meet up outside the courthouse. Otherwise, he'll end up getting surgery in the hospital with a fractured hand.

                    And I would be more than happy to pay for that pleasure with 12 weekends in jail.
                    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lenient state judges

                      Okay, I'm going to let you be the judge. Justice isn't always easy. Here is a true case. You have all the evidence. You make the decision!




                      A legal question:













                      Is this statutory rape???





                      Or is It just a moosedemeanor. ....

                      Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

                      People who form FIRM opinions with so little knowledge only pretend to be open-minded. They select their facts like food from a buffet. David R. Dow

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Lenient state judges

                        I can understand where you're coming from, but I think there some other issues here.

                        First, what is the purpose of punishment? A deterrent to others? A way to modify the behavior of the guilty party? Or a way to get them to atone for their sins?

                        Yes, an 11-yo girl was hurt, but that wasn't anywhere in their intent. I think you're judging the results, not the intent. (Look up the difference between First degree murder, Second degree murder and manslaughter. All three result in a dead body.)

                        If these clowns never touch another explosive device again, I'm happy. Their behavior has been modified.

                        I don't see any point to demanding a pound of flesh for their punishment. First of all, that's putting them up at taxpayer expense. They get put away where they can learn a new "trade". Then when they get out and try to find a job that will take a ex-prisoner, they may have to resort to this new "trade" to put food on the table. Working all week and going to prison sounds like the worst of both worlds. Go to jail for 5 years, you'll adjust. It will be home. Go to jail on weekend and it's likely to stay a place you'll hate.

                        And then between prison crowding and the number of convicted car thieves still out there, I have to wonder just what murderer or rapist they have to release to jail these two. Jailing every guilty party is how we got into this mess.

                        As for deterrence for others - well, first you have to convince the deviants that they will get caught. <sigh>

                        So the real question isn't the lenient sentences - are these people staying out of trouble? If so, then why get upset?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Lenient state judges

                          Prisons have only become expensive in the last 35-40 years.

                          Some crackpot came up with the idea that prisoners have rights. And need good medical care. And hot food, blankets, clothing, mattresses, televisions, weight sets, basketball hoops, counselors, group meetings, and rehabilitation.

                          All of you know the reason why prisons have become expensive.

                          Hint: It's a one word answer.
                          FutureNewsNetwork.com
                          Energy answers are already here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Lenient state judges

                            Originally posted by GeckoGeek View Post
                            I can understand where you're coming from, but I think there some other issues here.

                            First, what is the purpose of punishment? A deterrent to others? A way to modify the behavior of the guilty party? Or a way to get them to atone for their sins?
                            All of them. No reason on Earth why they each have to be mutually exclusive.

                            Originally posted by GeckoGeek View Post
                            Yes, an 11-yo girl was hurt, but that wasn't anywhere in their intent. I think you're judging the results, not the intent.
                            All right. Then what was the actual intent of those two guys making and setting off that bomb in a public street? Merely to damage other people's cars with shrapnel?

                            Maybe you consider that a prank. The law considers that as a criminal act of vandalism and property damage.

                            So in this particular case, it doesn't matter what the exact intentions of the 2 bombers were. With or without anybody getting hurt, what they were doing was a crime, pure and simple. And in any society that hopes to perpetuate a sense of law and order, persons caught red-handed committing a crime have to be appropriately punished.

                            Originally posted by GeckoGeek View Post
                            If these clowns never touch another explosive device again, I'm happy. Their behavior has been modified.
                            How do you know that for sure? Just because they were apologetic to the judge before getting sentenced?

                            Must be nice to imagine yourself living in a world where there is no such thing as a "repeat" offender.

                            But getting back to the real world,....

                            Originally posted by GeckoGeek View Post
                            Working all week and going to prison sounds like the worst of both worlds. Go to jail for 5 years, you'll adjust. It will be home. Go to jail on weekend and it's likely to stay a place you'll hate.
                            Unless you have actually been a prison inmate, this statement is a complete and utter joke.
                            This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lenient state judges

                              Originally posted by Frankie's Market View Post
                              All right. Then what was the actual intent of those two guys making and setting off that bomb in a public street?
                              Probably a big bang. The bucket may have been to direct the blast upward. They didn't realize it would shred it instead.


                              Originally posted by Frankie's Market View Post
                              Maybe you consider that a prank. The law considers that as a criminal act of vandalism and property damage.

                              So in this particular case, it doesn't matter what the exact intentions of the 2 bombers were. With or without anybody getting hurt, what they were doing was a crime, pure and simple. And in any society that hopes to perpetuate a sense of law and order, persons caught red-handed committing a crime have to be appropriately punished.
                              Yes, they have committed a crime. I'm not arguing against the conviction. The question at hand is sentencing. Sentencing someone beyond "teaching a lesson" serves little purpose. There's a term in the military for it which escapes me right now.

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