Final argument is a speech that we give for sentencing. That is the last argument we are making on behalf of our client.
It is imperative that we say something about our client, in a positive, constructive manner. Remember the only speech that he may hear that day is your speech. You are to be his mouthpiece. You are leading him forward into the future.
Our client will remember what we say. If we say nothing, what does that say about them and about us?
It is imperative that we show the judge that this is a real, live human being appearing in front of the court. We need to function on a heart level. This is real. This is not just brain stuff.
I get so busy with life, that I sometimes forget all the great ideas I wish to see promulgated.
The cartoon speaks for itself. We are a nation built upon constitutional principles. We must all make sure that our basic principles are honored, even in the face of “inconvenient” stuff.
Thank Goodness for freedom of speech.On My Mind tagged by calvinpj
Here is an interesting article from the Hartford Courant by Maura Casey. I put it out for all of us to see, as it is and remains a powerful statement, encouraging a more open discussion from resident experts, those who have put down the drink “for today,” and have many days behind us.
I urge that you look at the trailer for “The Anonymous People,” by Greg Williams, which is attached hereto.
Good luck in spreading this message.
Calvin P. JohnsonDiscussion tagged by calvinpj
I have previously posted my grief chart. I am downloading another copy, because it might be more printable in a PDF format.
The part of grief that I find fascinating is the initial phase: shock.
So frequently, we are able to function, and emotion doesn’t seem to cloud our vision. Usually, the next step is crying or sobbing. This is when the pain of loss sets in.
The significant part of this graph, however, is the jagged lines. What it says is that there is no set pattern of grieving. I believe it necessary that we come to understand this. In other words, when we are going through different feelings of say hopelessness, despair, hope emerges, and back to hopelessness, we come to know and understand that our pattern of grieving might be different from someone else’s. It is uniquely ours. Grieving is something that we have to work through. We can’t go around it, under it, over it, only through it.
I post the grieving chart, because it helps to illustrate that all of these feelings that we are experiencing, are legitimate grieving feelings.
I also post it for the final and best message: I deserve to be happy!
I tell all who will listen, “Go home and repeat this a hundred, thousand, million times.” It is the basis of our freedom in the United States, the pursuit of happiness. I know of no other country that aspires to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have a unique opportunity here to further our consciousness, by these simple declarations.
When you are happy, grief disappears. Unusually, the two cannot coexist.
Repetition of the phrase “I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY,” will enable you to get through even the toughest time.
Additionally, I have also found that Martha Whitmore Hickman’s book Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, 1994, is very helpful. It is a day-by-day reading. It is easily shared with another person with whom you are grieving. It is always nice to share your grieving processes with those who suffer the same plight.
Above all, I have found that it its necessary that you try to open your heart as much as possible to love. Frequently, our hearts are broken by the grieving process. It is important to remember that they break, to make room for bigger hearts. I always tell my friends to light the light within.
Light your light.
The Legal Maze tagged by calvinpj
Dear Interested Readers:
For those of you unaware, one of Britain’s highest courts found that Minnesota’s program to commit sex offenders violates European human rights law, because the offenders are held indefinitely.
As a result, forty-three year old Shawn Eugene Sullivan will not be brought back toMinnesota from the U.K.to face charges in Hennepin and Dakota counties for assaults of three young females in the 1990′s.
Ironically, Mr. Sullivan is on probation for sexually assaulting two women in Ireland, the country he escaped to, from theUnited States. He was convicted in absentia in 1997 of indecent assault on two 12 year old females.
It is time that we face the reality of our situation. Right now, we have a black eye in front of the world.
Minnesota has traditionally led the field in the area of human rights. However, the arena of criminal sexual conduct punishment and treatment has often been blurred by strong emotion, instead of a pragmatic point of view. It is in my recollection that Dr. Farnsworth, the former medical director of the St. Peter Security Hospital, resigned because he did not want to turn our mental health institutions into prisons. We are now getting beat up in the international court of public opinion because we give detention for life, with no standards for review and release. A life sentence without parole is harsher than the sentence we give for murder in the 1st degree. The life sentence is cruel and inhuman.
Because of this deplorable situation, a man on Interpol’s “most wanted” list is not able to be returned to Minnesota for prosecution.
When a British court can humiliate Minnesota in the eyes of the world, it is time for us to sit up and take responsibility for our predicament.
Let us change our minds. Let us treat the offender and come to the realization that they will eventually be returned to our communities. Let us learn to safely weave them back into the fabric of society. We certainly have the technology. Because of our archaic laws, we force children to undergo the rigors of testifying in open court. I know, as I have practiced criminal defense for over 32 years.
We must put fear aside, and come to understand that our society is for all. Let us conform to international standards of human rights.
Let us lead the world with our vision for positive change.On My Mind tagged by calvinpj
The economy grows when we to understand that by helping the person with whom we exchange goods and services, we benefit.
Realize, we don’t exist unless we are ready, willing, and able to help our neighbor exist.
Do you believe the people of the East Coast recovering from hurricaneSandyare now going to stop living, and not make necessary repairs, because it costs too much?
Of course not.
Yet each will learn to open their heart and wallet, benefitting each other in the exchange made between them, because the repairs are necessary.
The hurricane softens our hearts with gratitude for all that we have. Paying for repairs becomes bearable, and enjoyable, realizing that we are helping our neighbor, by needing him or her.
I remind you of a tornado that occurred inSt. Peter,Minnesota, some 15 years ago. Every single steeple in the city was destroyed. A collective consciousness formed, and a healing actually occurred from all of the damage. The town now stands as a visible reminder to the endurance of the human spirit.
May the Blessing of the Great One be with all those who have suffered misfortune as a result of our recent hurricane. My heart goes out to you all.On My Mind tagged by calvinpj
I cannot believe how popular cartoons have become. I use the cartoons as a primary reason for all people to buy newspapers. You will note, when you go on your computer for online ready of your news, the cartoons are not readily available. They are readily available in your newspaper.
When I was a child, you could buy ten cents comics that would amuse you for a long time. We passed them around, and enjoyed the fun.
As an adult, I buy newspapers, in part, to read the funnies. They are an important part of how we get the feel for our community, and where our society is headed.
Remember when Ronald Regan was president, he announced that the first part of any newspaper that he read was the funnies. That is why I buy newspapers. That is why I urge you to buy newspapers.
In other words, for less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can enjoy funnies, and get the news on top of all of your enjoyment. Please consider this the next time you review your think pad on the throne.
And as always, I hope you enjoy some of the most insightful, incredible funnies in the world.
As my brother, a long time peace officer said, “Grave situations call for levity.”
And, of course, that reminds me of a joke:
What is the different between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake?
Answer: One less drunk.
Discussion, Lawyering tagged by calvinpj
Dear Members of the Public,
Eye Witness Identification evidence is responsible for three out of every four false convictions in DNA cases. It has alerted us to the frailties and possibility of error in obtaining wrongful convictions.
We have recently tried a case in Watonwan County, where four people positively identified the accused as being the perpetrator. The jury came back with a verdict of 11 to 1, in favor of not guilty (acquittal).
There is no question whatsoever that the jury attributed a great deal of importance to our eye witness identification expert. They told the judge when they came in for questions.
How can this happen? Why can somebody make a mistake?
We posed this question to an eyewitness identification evidence expert from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His name is Doctor Otto MacLin. He told us how mistakes can happen. These important considerations are available for all who may have been falsely accused.
All of these eye witness identification cases illustrate the importance of an objective means of investigation by the legal authorities. If they come in with a preconceived idea as to who is guilty, that person may end up not only being charged, but being falsely convicted.
I give this as notice to any who may have this issue in their case. Please refer to our website, www.calvinpjohnson.com, in the legal news section to view some of the documentation that we obtained from this particular case.On My Mind tagged by calvinpj
I met Sister Thea Bowman as a freshman in college. I took a year long course studying Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. As part of the experience, we went down toMississippi, to look up their old digs. It was 1973-74. The reality of that trip convinced me of the necessity for equality. Equal = Equal. No one is more equal than another.
Sister Thea was a tough teacher. I was a shy kid from the rural region ofWisconsin. One day I had the courage to speak up. I said the word “colored.” Her deep penetrating gaze seared in my memory to this day. She asked me, in a “hick from the sticks voice,” (as my dad would say), “Calvin, What color am I?”
I replied, “Black.”
She responded, “You remember that.”
I did remember.
We took a bus down toMississippi. At one point during the trip, I happened to look out, and noticed many suit cases flying out of the side. I emphatically told her that we needed to stop the bus, and turn it around. She was upset with me, thinking that I was pulling a good one on her. She was very relieved that she finally acquiesced to my exhortations. We found the suit cases, and every body was happy that I had been looking out the bus.
The lessons I learned inMississippiwere beyond anything I could have imagined. There were segregated bathrooms, restaurants, water fountains, and all forms of separate “living.” I didn’t know the face of segregation until I went there. I returned, more determined for equality at all times.
I remember a time during my classroom experience when I submitted a paper, and she corrected a word. She said it did not exist. I told her it did. We went to her dictionary and there it wasn’t. She was right. I still got an A in the class. After the class I looked the word up in a bigger dictionary. There it was. I kept the paper, and some day I will go and look that word up, in case you wonder what the word is.
The last time I saw Sister Thea was on 60 minutes. It was a repeat, after she had died. I saw her get Mike Wallace to admit, “Black is beautiful.”
I would suggest your reading of the Liguorian article: “I’ll Live Until I Die” The Courage of Sister Thea Bowman.
Good reading to you all.
Calvin Johnson is a criminal defense lawyer inMankato,Minnesota. He advocates for the equal rights of his clients.On My Mind tagged by calvinpj
Under the current law if a first time offender with a DWI has a blood alcohol concentration of .08, to.19, his or her license revocation will be for 90 days. They can apply for a work permit after a revocation period of 15 days.
Beginning July 1, 2011, first time offender with a BAC of .16 or more will lose their driving privileges for 1 year, compared to the old 90 days.
With those testing .08 to .19, the .16 or more can have their full driving privileges for the entire period of 1 year if they agree to participate in the interlock program.
If you have a BAC of .20 or more, your driver’s license would be revoked for “twice the period of time” to “not less than one year”