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(The Raw Story)   "Pro-family" ME senate candidate says his conviction for domestic violence was a result of being "railroaded" by a court system that outrageously allows you to be convicted on nothing more than the sworn testimony of an eyewitness   (rawstory.com) divider line 130
    More: Dumbass, Maine Senate, domestic violence, court system, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, convictions, Mike Michaud, credible witness  
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2094 clicks; posted to Politics » on 03 Jan 2014 at 2:07 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-03 10:53:30 AM  
Bennett claims he was "railroaded" by the justice system. "All that needs to be done is you have to repeat what you wrote down in the police report and that allows the victim to be viewed as a credible witness," he said. "So basically, if someone writes something down, it doesn't have to be true. All they have to do is repeat that on the stand. That's grounds for anyone to be convicted of domestic violence."

"My victim didn't perjure herself.  Therefore I'm innocent!"
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-01-03 10:57:26 AM  
Diogenes:

"My victim didn't perjure herself.  Therefore I'm innocent!"

The really scary thing is that there are people who will buy that argument and vote for him.
 
2014-01-03 11:51:04 AM  
To be fair, there are hundreds of people who have been released after convictions based solely on "the sworn testimony of an eyewitness." It's not always reliable.
 
2014-01-03 12:59:58 PM  
I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.
 
2014-01-03 01:06:34 PM  

Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.


Conversely, it would be horrifying to need tangible, physical evidence to counter "She fell into a door" to come forward with a domestic violence complaint.
 
2014-01-03 01:14:05 PM  

Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.


If you'd find that horrifying I recommend you not have any contact with our judicial system..  While I agree with you somewhat in principle, the truth is, the vast majority of criminal convictions stem from nothing more than the word of a witness the jury or judge finds to be credible.   On a picayune level , almost all traffic violations rather than speeding are convictions based solely on the word of the officer who issued the ticket.

Most convictions for sale of illegal drugs come from the testimony of an uncover officer or CI (yes physical drugs are often produced, but we have only the word of the officer or informant that they actually came from the person named in the indictment)

I could go on but you get the point.  Corroborating physical evidence is the exception rather than the rule in criminal court
 
2014-01-03 01:20:12 PM  
A fail on top of a fail.

img.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-03 01:21:28 PM  

Magorn: On a picayune level , almost all traffic violations rather than speeding are convictions based solely on the word of the officer who issued the ticket.


Yeah, I get why that is, and it doesn't bother me that much.

Magorn: Most convictions for sale of illegal drugs come from the testimony of an uncover officer or CI (yes physical drugs are often produced, but we have only the word of the officer or informant that they actually came from the person named in the indictment)


I'm aware of this, and this is a big problem.

Magorn: Corroborating physical evidence is the exception rather than the rule in criminal court


Not being a law-talking guy, I guess I'm generally ignorant to how these sorts of cases are prosecuted. But it seems like some sort of additional evidence beyond testimony wouldn't be that hard to come by. Evidence of physical injury seems pretty straightforward to evaluate; coupled with contact with the police or social services either immediately after the incident or some time after, it seems that there would usually be something in addition to the eyewitness testimony to look at.
 
2014-01-03 01:28:14 PM  

Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.


I think the fact that he was able to appeal his conviction all the way to the State Supreme Court kinda tells me that he doesn't know what "railroaded" means.

But hey, GOPers, good news: he's straight!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-03 01:29:40 PM  
In a domestic violence case you can be convicted if she swears under oath you didn't do it. If she seems upset when she first talks to police, the neighbor, or whoever, she is considered likely to be telling the truth. http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_h o me/gp_solo_magazine_index/saltzburg.html
 
2014-01-03 02:05:52 PM  

Diogenes: Bennett claims he was "railroaded" by the justice system. "All that needs to be done is you have to repeat what you wrote down in the police report and that allows the victim to be viewed as a credible witness," he said. "So basically, if someone writes something down, it doesn't have to be true. All they have to do is repeat that on the stand. That's grounds for anyone to be convicted of domestic violence."

"My victim didn't perjure herself.  Therefore I'm innocent!"


I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that there was other evidence.
 
2014-01-03 02:06:36 PM  

ArkAngel: To be fair, there are hundreds of people who have been released after convictions based solely on "the sworn testimony of an eyewitness." It's not always reliable.


I'm also doubting it was "based solely" on that anyways.
 
2014-01-03 02:09:56 PM  
Maine senate candidate's domestic violence conviction proves he has 'guts'

www.iwatchstuff.com


Uh...I can think of a much faster way to prove that...
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-01-03 02:10:14 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: A fail on top of a fail.


That doesn't mean anything.

Many Republicans register as "Independent" because they think that makes them seem non-partisan.  Doesn't stop them from voting a straight Republican ticket every time.
 
2014-01-03 02:10:28 PM  
The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.
 
2014-01-03 02:13:48 PM  

Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.


That's... the American way, though. Convince 12 jurors your witness is more credible than their witnesses.
 
2014-01-03 02:15:04 PM  
Another "Family Values" douche bag.
 
2014-01-03 02:15:44 PM  
"So, good people of this district, yes... I may be a felon.  I may be a violent felon at that.  But at least I don't blindly support the evil-mastermind Obama!  So vote for me: the violent felon that is looking to keep the law off my back!"
 
2014-01-03 02:17:56 PM  
Here's an idea GOP, if you are going to run a candidate that doesn't have a chance of winning, why not run somebody who isn't a bigot convicted of beating his wife.
 
2014-01-03 02:18:22 PM  
Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.
 
2014-01-03 02:20:32 PM  

tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.


You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.
 
2014-01-03 02:22:23 PM  

mrshowrules: tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.

You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.


Bible says you can whip'em so it must be true
 
2014-01-03 02:22:26 PM  

Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.


When I was a prosecutor I used to voir dire juries on one witness. I would ask, "who chooses how many witnesses are around when they commit a crime?" and "what kind of criminal commits his crimes with lots of eyewitnesses around?"
 
2014-01-03 02:24:30 PM  

Diogenes: Bennett claims he was "railroaded" by the justice system. "All that needs to be done is you have to repeat what you wrote down in the police report and that allows the victim to be viewed as a credible witness," he said. "So basically, if someone writes something down, it doesn't have to be true. All they have to do is repeat that on the stand. That's grounds for anyone to be convicted of domestic violence."

"My victim didn't perjure herself.  Therefore I'm innocent!"


Unless I am reading something differently, it sounds like a he said she said and the cops took her word.
 
2014-01-03 02:24:52 PM  
So what did he have to tell his wife twice?
 
2014-01-03 02:24:54 PM  

ArkAngel: To be fair, there are hundreds of people who have been released after convictions based solely on "the sworn testimony of an eyewitness." It's not always reliable.


In a domestic violence situation the testimony of the victim, abused in the privacy of the home, might be all there is.

This guy Bennett makes it sound like that's also all it takes. Every domestic abuse victim who has filed a police report only to be told that the state attorney won't even prosecute knows better.
 
2014-01-03 02:25:51 PM  
Oh look, he's against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act:

http://erickbennett.com/maine.html
 
2014-01-03 02:26:13 PM  

mrshowrules: Here's an idea GOP, if you are going to run a candidate that doesn't have a chance of winning, why not run somebody who isn't a bigot convicted of beating his wife.


This isn't the Maine GOP. He's trying to mount a primary challenge to Collins for her seat, which is a suicide mission.
 
2014-01-03 02:26:42 PM  
I've always wondered why these guys stop short of blaming Marilyn Manson and video games for their own crimes.  There's some real untapped potential there.
 
2014-01-03 02:27:00 PM  

monoski: mrshowrules: tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.

You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.

Bible says you can whip'em so it must be true


I'll just wait and see what the Duck Dynasty guy says before I make up my mind.
 
2014-01-03 02:27:51 PM  

Saiga410: So what did he have to tell his wife twice?


"Put the stevedore costume on."
 
2014-01-03 02:28:00 PM  

Bloody William: Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.

Conversely, it would be horrifying to need tangible, physical evidence to counter "She fell into a door" to come forward with a domestic violence complaint.


Funny I had an ex-gf who was really drunk at my house when I came home from work, and she started arguing with me, then clocked me in the face, and then started breaking stuff in my apartment, so I called the cops. When they showed up, basically I just wanted them to get her out of there, but because I told the cop she punched me in the face, he told me unless I changed my story and told them that I accidentally got clipped by a door in the eye while we were arguing, it was domestic violence and he had no choice but to arrest her.
 
2014-01-03 02:28:18 PM  

Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.


Call me old fashioned, but it seems like we should go the other way on that one.  If you've got no hard evidence and just the word of somebody who is obviously partisan on the matter, you don't have enough evidence IMHO.

Better to let a hundred guilty men go than imprison one innocent man, etc.
 
2014-01-03 02:30:56 PM  
God dammit, Maine.

I swear we used to have sane Republicans.

/Not a Republican.
 
2014-01-03 02:31:07 PM  

serial_crusher: Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.

Call me old fashioned, but it seems like we should go the other way on that one.  If you've got no hard evidence and just the word of somebody who is obviously partisan on the matter, you don't have enough evidence IMHO.

Better to let a hundred guilty men go than imprison one innocent man, etc.


In the "old fashioned" days before DNA and forensic science, the word of an honest witness judged to be honest by the jury was all you had.

That's why we have a jury system.
 
2014-01-03 02:31:28 PM  
hotoffpress.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-03 02:31:57 PM  

serial_crusher: Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.

Call me old fashioned, but it seems like we should go the other way on that one.  If you've got no hard evidence and just the word of somebody who is obviously partisan on the matter, you don't have enough evidence IMHO.

Better to let a hundred guilty men go than imprison one innocent man, etc.


Especially considering even a hard slap leaves physical evidence at least for a little while.
 
2014-01-03 02:32:05 PM  

Bloody William: Cagey B: I'm pretty doubtful that this guy is accurately characterizing the judicial process in Maine, but it would be pretty horrifying to be able to be convicted on absolutely nothing more than someone else's word.

Conversely, it would be horrifying to need tangible, physical evidence to counter "She fell into a door" to come forward with a domestic violence complaint.


I would consider a doctor's report on the extent of injuries and their likely causes as "something more than the sworn testimony of an eyewitness".  Not familiar with this guy's case, but if they had all that he's full of shiat.  If they didn't, he might have a point.
 
2014-01-03 02:32:18 PM  
FTA:Bennett came under fire earlier this month for making homophobic comments on gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud's Facebook wall.

So he's a wife beater and a homophobe? I really deplore violence. I've been a big guy most of my life and I swear it's a sign to some people that I must enjoy fighting or something as much crap as I've gotten from people. I never did like fighting, I still don't like it. With that being said, if this guy walked into my fist then self-defenestrated through a window I wouldn't be too upset.
 
2014-01-03 02:34:18 PM  

mrshowrules: tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.

You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.


Maybe Phil Robertson can shed some light on this matter?
 
2014-01-03 02:35:43 PM  

mrshowrules: tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.

You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.


Tempting when they cheat though....still not tolerable/permissible/justifiable.  There are better....LEGAL forms of revenge.
 
2014-01-03 02:36:56 PM  

EWreckedSean: Diogenes: Bennett claims he was "railroaded" by the justice system. "All that needs to be done is you have to repeat what you wrote down in the police report and that allows the victim to be viewed as a credible witness," he said. "So basically, if someone writes something down, it doesn't have to be true. All they have to do is repeat that on the stand. That's grounds for anyone to be convicted of domestic violence."

"My victim didn't perjure herself.  Therefore I'm innocent!"

Unless I am reading something differently, it sounds like a he said she said and the cops took her word.


Oh I'm sure.  I didn't do any outside research though.  But just working with the context and quotes provided, guy sounds like a grade A asshole.

Corroborated by his really cro-mag-sounding thing with homosexuals which was linked FTA.
 
2014-01-03 02:37:27 PM  

LittleJoeSF: mrshowrules: tricycleracer: The right to beat your wife is a plank in the platform of many "family values" candidates.

You shouldn't beat your wife without cause though.  I'm sure some GOP politician will tactfully explain this at some point.

Maybe Phil Robertson can shed some light on this matter?


I thought the old biblical law was that you could not use a switch larger in diameter than a louisville slugger.... though I may be a bit rusty on the details.
 
2014-01-03 02:37:31 PM  

Obama's Reptiloid Master: Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.

When I was a prosecutor I used to voir dire juries on one witness. I would ask, "who chooses how many witnesses are around when they commit a crime?" and "what kind of criminal commits his crimes with lots of eyewitnesses around?"


I was foreman of a jury with a domestic abuse case. We ended up with a mistrial (hung after several votes, the first of which was split nearly evenly) because of one juror that refused to convict only because he could not accept that the defendant should be locked up on only the account of the child victim. When it was explained to him that the court has told us that it was sufficient proof, he said, he believed the child is not lying but stubbornly could not bring himself to vote that way.
 
2014-01-03 02:38:08 PM  

ArkAngel: To be fair, there are hundreds of people who have been released after convictions based solely on "the sworn testimony of an eyewitness." It's not always reliable.


Indeed. But in fairness to everyone concerned, the guy has a serious WTF moments:

On personal issues: I arrived back in Maine in 2000 and met a girl not to long after and accidentally got her pregnant.... A word to the wise though, make sure you know a girl longer than a week before you get her pregnant.http://erickbennett.com/us-senate.html

On Violence Against Women Act:  This does nothing to stop violence against women and is a bloated social services and welfare program.  Another big government idea being packaged and sold to stop violence. -http://erickbennett.com/us-senate.html

On gay rights groups -  We are seeing a great deal of support for the gay rights lobby so must look at these groups closer. -  http://erickbennett.com/us-senate.html

On President Obama-  He is going to release all the immigrants from prison. -http://erickbennett.com/us-senate.html

From his facebook page... HURRRRR

s29.postimg.org
 
2014-01-03 02:40:56 PM  

vpb: Because People in power are Stupid: A fail on top of a fail.

That doesn't mean anything.

Many Republicans register as "Independent" because they think that makes them seem non-partisan.  Doesn't stop them from voting a straight Republican ticket every time.


Portland Maine is the bluest city I can think of.

upload.wikimedia.org

This is the voter turn out for 2012. See that dark blue spot at the bottom? That is Portland. Obama 60-70%
 
2014-01-03 02:43:20 PM  
To be fair to the guy, our legal system does sometimes perversely incentivize pleading guilty and I'm sure most politicians wouldn't have had the balls to front up to this quite so brazenly so I suppose there is a bit of truth to what he was saying about the courage of his convictions.

That said, he's also a dick and certainly not fit for office.
 
2014-01-03 02:43:35 PM  

Albino Squid: Oh look, he's against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act:

http://erickbennett.com/maine.html


Wow this man is completely unable to understand statistics.
FTL:  We've heard domestic violence is a man's problem but the CDC says heterosexual women account for 35% of all domestic violence, lesbians 44% and bisexuals a whopping 61%.  That's a lot of women for being a man's problem. Since 35% and 61% of cases respectively are violence against men why aren't men protected?

And he links to the CDC which says 35% of hetrosexual women report being abused at some point, 61% of bisexual women report being abused at some point. These numbers can't be added to eachother AND they are the victims numbers not the abusers numbers. And that CDC said of the bisexuals who reported abuse 90% of the abuse came from men.
 
2014-01-03 02:49:16 PM  
Sorry folks, hate to burst your bubble but...

One is often enough, if they get a friend to say the same thing you are hosed.  And even if you are innocent, you will take the misdemeanor deal and serve 30 days rather then the 5 year felony.

Ex recently apologized for that.  and said she "forgave me" for everything....apparently the long pause was some expectation of me forgiving her.  LOL.  She got miffed when I told her I only forgive people that have earned forgiveness.

But seriously, just the ex playing victim was enough, when she then got a friend to corroborate...yeah.

The problem is (and I recognize this) that otherwise a LOT of folks would get away with abuse.  its a flawed system.

I kept my morale up by recognizing that while I was doing time for something I didn't do.....I didn't get caught for things I had done in the past, so...karma.  And it beat the heck out of the 50/50 chance on a 5 year felony.
 
2014-01-03 02:50:20 PM  

Ablejack: Obama's Reptiloid Master: Ablejack: Because there is seldom another witness to much of domestic violence, the jury can be explicitly instructed that believing the victim constitutes proof of guilt.

When I was a prosecutor I used to voir dire juries on one witness. I would ask, "who chooses how many witnesses are around when they commit a crime?" and "what kind of criminal commits his crimes with lots of eyewitnesses around?"

I was foreman of a jury with a domestic abuse case. We ended up with a mistrial (hung after several votes, the first of which was split nearly evenly) because of one juror that refused to convict only because he could not accept that the defendant should be locked up on only the account of the child victim. When it was explained to him that the court has told us that it was sufficient proof, he said, he believed the child is not lying but stubbornly could not bring himself to vote that way.


Which is why I asked those questions. I know it seems cynical but I really believe you can lose a case at jury selection.
 
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