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« HSUS: The Disingenuous Fundraising Machine | Main | Missouri Vet Medical Association Releases Stance on "Puppy Mill" Initiative -- while initiative faces lawsuite »

February 23, 2010

Comments

KC KS Kills Dogs

A lot of folks don't seem to realize some of their judges are elected officials, just like their city council and Mayor.

It takes involved local citizens to get the ball rolling.

MichelleD

We've been trying to get this started in KC - but we have to have people to do the research on these judges.

I think the registry in CA is a complete misuse of resources. You could do a background check on someone and get their criminal history. The only way this would work is if it were a national registry anyway. The OK guy did this because local authorities ignored the problem when they were first notified - the registry wouldn't have helped.

And they want to burden pet owners even further in this economy? Do they have any proof this will even work? Why not a murder registry? A domestic abuse registry? Where will these end?

MichelleD

We've been trying to get this started in KC - but we have to have people to do the research on these judges. - in regards to what KCK Kills said.

Ted

This is just painful to read. I have a Common Pleas judge in my family, and a girlfriend from long ago I still stay in touch with is a Federal District judge. Both are conservative strict constructionists who do their best to bury offenders as deeply as the circumstances of the cases before them and the sentencing guidelines they must work with allow. My guess is both would be embarrassed by a bleeding heart hack like this clown in Sioux City.

The first post says it all about how to deal with this problem. As always, it's up to us as active, informed citizens to clear our local benches of this kind of grotesque ignorance and malfeasance. Because the next time this judge gives a sociopath like this a slap on the wrist, it might be for child abuse.

Jim

Judges aren't always elected, which makes it that much harder. I believe in the case of Oreo the judge is appointed.

PoochesForPeace

Agreed. Good post.

Fred

Animal cruelty laws, as well intentioned as they may (or may not) be, will never be good enough because the primary victims/witnesses - the animals themselves - don't have a voice. Also most of the animal cruelty laws up here in Canada require that there be proof of intent to cause cruelty. That means that if someone takes a hammer to the back of all his puppies' heads, that's not cruelty because according to the perp, the pups died instantly (or rather quickly anyway). Or, if someone drops a kitten from a 5th floor balcony then runs it over with his car, that's not cruelty either because, well, who the h!ll knows why except the judge who let the guy off. (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090411/animal_cruelty_090411/20090411?hub=Canada)

The other problem with animal cruelty laws, at least here, is that if charges are pursued, it means the animal involved, if it's still alive, is put into an animal control facility and kept there as evidence until after all the legal proceedings are over - that could be literally years. Often, animal cruelty officers will drop charges if the owner just agrees to give up the animal so it can be rehomed.

Not that these laws can't be made better but to make them better for the animals is going to take some critical thinking and a lot of political will.

Social Mange

To extend Fred's post, another problem in Canada is that judges are appointed by governments rather than being elected by the general population (as I understand many in the U.S. are). Judges don't seem to get that cruelty to animals is only a first step or part of a person's violent behaviour.

I dunno...animal cruelty brings out the closet vigilante in me.

Jeni

Animal cruelty is not a felony in South Dakota. :( only specifically dog (not 'animal' or bird, must be dog) fighting, and beastiality are felony here. all types of other torture / cruelty / neglect are misdemeanor. Possibly after this session it will be a felony to kill an on duty Police Dog but that is still in play.... Any type of improved welfare laws are heavily opposed here.

MDog

Good post. I agree about the judges. I'd love to see someone in the community put up a billboard with that Iowa judge's face and name next to a picture of the dead, abused dog and the length of sentence the criminal received. The "not a fancy show dog" comment just makes me sick.

Brent

Mdog: That judge's comment made my stomach churn too. A billboard would be a good idea. Billboards are relatively cheap in Sioux City...maybe we should take up a collection...

Jeni -- thanks for the correction on South Dakota -- yes, there are still four states that don't have state felony laws for animal cruelty -- and good luck on your fight in SD!

SM/Fred -- It sounds like The States are well ahead of the Canadians when it comes to animal cruelty laws.

MDog

Brent,
That's a great idea.
Thanks!

MDog

Well, bad news. It looks like Judge Gary E. Wenell, the jerk judge who made the "not a fancy show dog" comment is appointed:
http://www.iowacourts.gov/District_Courts/District_Three/Judges_and_Magistrates/
So, it doesn't look like a billboard campaign (which I was thinking would be timed just before election) would do any good.

Another comment this craptastic judge made was, apparently, something like "We have to remember that the victim was not a person." You mean like the *person* who just fed a defenseless puppy "bowl after bowl" of beer and then beat him to death when he peed on the floor?

I can't believe that creep gets paid with tax dollars to sit and dole out "sentences" like the 30 days that violent p.o.s. murderer got. We could save a lot of money by buying a bag of fortune cookies, having each criminal pick one and that's their sentence.

Any ideas on how to hod a p.o.s. judge like that accountable when his cushy job has been secure since he was appointed in 1989? I believe all of Sioux City already knows what he did, as does half the rest of the country.

MichelleD

Great work MDog. I don't think all is lost...don't have time to do more research now but it looks like contacting the govenor on this one is a path to take.

http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Judicial_selection_in_Iowa

Each district commission has eleven members, including a chair, who is the most senior district court judge in the district, five members elected by lawyers, and five members appointed by the governor. Each commissioner, except the chair, serves a six-year term.

**I don't know if this applies here or who votes in the elections**

Retention Elections
After one year in office, and then at regular intervals, judges stand in retention elections. [2]

MDog

Ah, thanks Michelle. I will do more research then. I appreciate you looking that up.

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