Janice’s Journal: Judge Rejects DA’s “Because We Can” Argument

Just a few months ago, I wrote a column about a deputy District Attorney (DA) who stated that he was objecting to a registrant’s petition “because we can.”  At the time of writing that column, I stated that I was shaken to my core due to this flippant response which was not based in law, but instead was based in hubris. 

Today that deputy DA and hopefully his boss learned an important lesson.  That is, DA’s who object to a petition “because they can” will lose in court. 

The hearing today started out well when the judge announced that it is the DA and not the petitioner who bears the burden of proof when a DA objects to a petition.  Specifically, a DA must prove that community safety will be significantly enhanced if the judge requires the petitioner to continue their registration. 

That is a huge win for the registrant community!  Because it signals that judges are going to look beyond the box the DA has checked on the DA’s response form.  It also signals that judges are going to look beyond the handwaving of DA’s who cry “public safety” and require them instead to present solid evidence that the petitioner poses a current danger.

During today’s hearing, the judge noted that the only evidence presented by the DA consisted of police reports and a psychological evaluation that were more than 30 years old.  The judge compared that evidence to the evidence presented by the petitioner including a psychological evaluation that was less than 3 months old stating that the petitioner poses a low risk of re-offense as well as letters of support from family members and friends.

Also during today’s hearing, the judge acknowledged that the petitioner has been law abiding for more than 30 years.  The judge further noted that the petitioner has a stable residence, is married and a university student. 

I believe that the judge’s decision today to grant the registrant’s petition, despite the DA’s objection, is a good decision that is soundly based in law.  I can only hope that the DA who objected to this petition as well as DA’s throughout the state have learned an important lesson.  If they do not learn that important lesson, however, then the DA’s must be held accountable in court and in public opinion.

Related posts

Subscribe
Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...

 

  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t and a**
  4. Please avoid the use of derogatory labels.  Use person-first language.
  5. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  6. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  7. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  8. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  9. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address that are not personally identifiable.
  10. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  11. Please do not post in all Caps.
  12. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  13. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  14. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  15. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people.  Do not use your real name.
  16. Please do not solicit funds
  17. No discussions about weapons
  18. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), Person Forced to Register (PFR) or any others, the first time you use it in a thread, please expand it for new people to better understand.
  19. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  20. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  21. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
  22. If addressing another commenter, please address them by exactly their full display name, do not modify their name. 
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 

34 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Awesome work !

This ruling hopefully takes the politics of re-election out of judges applying the law as it was written. Wish the same were true for sentencing decisions.

I’ve faced that same scenario in FTR context several times.
The because we can (ability) may not be mistaken for ” we have the law in text or record ” (intelligent consent-) by volition upon conviction. The emphasis of which is explained in the Connecticut DPS V Doe03 case. In DPS the court referenced ” the similarly situated ” which equates to the possession of a signed Standard Waiver of Civil Right by Attorney General, by every plea type save one. When State lacks a waiver ( in FTR or Deportation: See Kentucky v Pedilla where each are noted by court) and acknowledged by defendant IN THE RECORD, Civil recourse remains available in post conviction procedures outlined by statute. Interestingly the term ” latches” is also outlined by statute. These Appeal latches are time limited usually 20-30 days for parties to act upon final bench order.
I find myself not similarly situated, and in today’s FTR indictment

WI begins by raising the record to courts Commissioner in pretrial, it as that point opportunity is had by the defense ( who goes 2nd) to point out the lack of the Signed Waiver in the sole qualifying sex offence. It then becomes necessary to dig further into the record ( as in Sr. Pedilla’s case) where no registration obligation is mentioned in text of Sentence Phaseo It is at this point their FTR case becomes “Ripe with obvious Caprice.” The hardest part is getting accountability for statutory caprice when exercised completely without knowledge the convicted one at the time of trial.

Bravo Janice! Well done and thank you.

Well, in backward county petition hearing they used 30yr old (uvalde pd type) police report on me. No arrest in 30yrs since that Sham. The Sham continues with taxpayers on the hook to pay for the continued sham. Constitutional rights or fairness doesn’t exist if you’re non-white. Backhall court trial was a sham and petition hearing goes along with the sham.

Awhile back there was a joke: “Why does a dog lick its (you know what)?” Answer: Refer to the DA’s response.