Saturday, March 31, 2007

Around the Web

It's a beautiful day so rather than write blog posts on each of these items, I'll just give you the links and leave you to your own devices:
  • Finally, I'm just curious - can anyone think of any reason ... any reason at all ... that Willacy County should exist? As long as it does, we're just going to see more incidents like this one. Can we please just merge Willacy with Cameron County once and for all and be done with it? I've got a slogan for the constitutional election: "253 is enough for me!"


Anonymous said...

DE - Man abused by priest wins $41 million jury award $41 million seems like extortion to me, and I feel like people will start seeing this and start accusing all kinds of priests.http://www.baltimor news/nationworld /bal-delaware033 0,0,297932. story?track= mostemailedlinkWILMINGTON, Del. // A federal jury today awarded $41 million to a Navy officer who as a teenager was repeatedly sexually abused by a priest.The jury deliberated for about two hours in deciding to award Navy Cmdr. Kenneth Whitwell, 39, $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages.Whitwell bowed his head and wiped his eyes as the verdict was read. His wife, Amy, wept softly.Whitwell won a default judgment against the Rev. Edward J. Smith in January after Smith failed to respond to the federal lawsuit. Smith, who can not be prosecuted criminally because the statute of limitations hasexpired, also declined to show up at this week's two-day hearing on damages.The case marks the first time that a priest has been found liable in Delaware for child sexual abuse. "I want to thank the judge and the jury for allowing me to expose the truth about matters which have been hidden away far too long, and for seeing that justice was done not only for me but also for the many other victims who have been denied their day in court by armies of lawyers and church bureaucrats who are more interested in cover-up than in protecting innocent children and revealing the truth of what happens behind closed doors at their church," Whitwell said.
"The jury heard evidence of the enablers, the numerous priests getting drunk and showing pornography to a shy 14-year-old boy, and their refusals to stop a pedophile priest from sleeping in the same bed with a 14-year-old boy," Whitwell said. "Many of these same people are still in educational leadership positions."
Smith did not return a telephone message left for him at the Norbertine Order priory in Middletown where he lives.
Whitwell claimed that he was sexually abused by Smith for several years while attending Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont, and that church officials did nothing to protect him. He alleged that Smith began molesting him in 1982, when he was a 14-year-old freshman and Smith was his religion teacher. The lawsuit focused on sexual abuse that occurred during two weekend ski trips to Vermont because Delaware's statute of limitations prevented Whitwell from suing for abuse that occurred here.A bill awaiting action in the state Senate would repeal the statute of limitations for civil suits relating to child sexual abuse cases and would provide a two-year window in which victims of past abuse could bring lawsuits barred by the current statute.
Whitwell, a Navy optometrist stationed at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., testified Thursday that Smith raped and sodomized him more than 230 times. He said he repressed any memory of his sexual abuse until 2000, when it surfaced unexpectedly during a heated argument with his wife, and that he did not realize until resuming therapy in 2003 that his emotional problems were caused by his childhood trauma. According to the lawsuit, Smith began working at Archmere two years after he was removed as principal at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia amid allegations of sexually abusing children there. After the lawsuit was filed, Archmere officials acknowledged that a complaint involving alleged sexual misconduct by Smith at the Neumann school was reported to the priory in 2002, and that Smith subsequently was banned from the Archmere campus. Last year, U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson dismissed Archmere, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and Bishop Michael Saltarelli as defendants in the lawsuit. Neuberger said he plans to appeal that ruling. "Archmere Academy reiterates its sincere apology to Kenneth Whitwell for his abuse by Fr. Edward Smith, a former Archmere faculty member," the school said in a statement issued today by spokesman Tom Mallon. "Fr. Smith's abuse of Kenneth Whitwell while he was a student at Archmere is despicable. Archmere hopes that the trial, and the jury's verdict, lend some measure of comfort to Kenneth Whitwell and his family, as well as sending a clear message that sexual abuse of any child can never be tolerated." The school said it was limited in what it could say about the case because of the possible appeal of its dismissal as a defendant. "We can say that Archmere was not aware until 2004 that Fr. Smith reportedly had abused Kenneth Whitwell while he was a student at the school in the mid-1980s," the statement read. In his closing argument, Whitwell attorney Thomas Neuberger urged the jury to send a message that child molesters will be held accountable. "If you don't enforce the law against the high and the mighty, including religious officials, then no one is protected by the law," he said.
In urging the jury to award punitive damages, Neuberger noted Smith's assurances to his young victim that God approved of what they were doing, and his assurances to Whitwell's mother that God would not let anything happen to her son while he was with a priest. "That doesn't come from God," the attorney said angrily. "That comes from the pit of hell." According to Neuberger, Smith inherited money from his family and is independently wealthy. "We expect that we will collect every penny that he has hidden away," he said.

Anonymous said...

July 17, 2006


Incarcerating The Minority, The Youth, The Child is running rampant thru out America with all eyes’ open. My name is Juan Manuel Albarado I am 17 year’s old I am currently Incarcerated in Taylor County Jail Abilene, Texas awaiting trial on a Murder charge and Escape. The youth of today are being raised by a dysfunctional society whether it is the parents caught in a cycle of abuse or our Countries Leader’s filtering children thru the Adult Criminal Justice System, where there is no hope of rehabilitation. True enough here in America we are given the opportunity of an education but the discrimination towards the minority has lead American Schools to teach us and program us as “Children at Risk” the Institutionalizing of the minority is beginning within the School System where a Jr High School Classroom full of minorities sitting in a Alternative School for “Kids at Risk” are made to watch “American Me” instead of Educating us. Where is the Justice in this System The Abilene Reporter News ran an Article on Trying Juveniles as Adults on July 14, 2006. The article according to Harriet Hagg whom works for the District Attorney James Eidson, specifically stated that the Juvenile System focuses more on rehabilitation than the adult system does. She said she would rather get juveniles the help the Texas Youth Commission offers, We need to try to get them help so that when they re-enter society, they’re law-abiding employable people,” she said. Therefore knowing all the statistical facts that are being conducted thru-out Americas most prestige’s Colleges that shows the residual effects are failing. The mental, physical, psychological effects of growing up in the Adult Criminal Justice System is deteriorating our society It is a known fact that one whom is tortured in such way’s learn to hate therefore where is the rehabilitation that is required on individual’s whom are being returned to the community and are expected to be a successful, employable member of society. This truly is CRUEL and UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT upon the youth of today the majority being minorities. Regardless of how mature and sophisticated a juvenile is this does not make them an adult. The brain is not fully developed, why keep sending the youth into adult prisons where violence and hatred run ramped. Suicide and rape amongst the young that are incarcerated with adults is at an all time high. This cruel environment is where the youth’s brain must finish developing and the results are hardened criminals. Our Leader’s can prevent this by not sending the youth into Adult Facilities. Keeping the Juveniles in the Juvenile System where there is a much higher chance of receiving rehabilitation. Abilene Texas proves once again that the minority youth are being sent into the Adult Prisons. In 2005 two out of the three juveniles charged with murder were certified, and all had a history of abuse, the two that were certified were minorities and the one that was left in the Juvenile System was Caucasian. I feel all youth should be given a chance of rehabilitation just as the Caucasian youth. To all the youth that are currently incarcerated in Adult Facilities, we must speak-up and ask our Leader’s to stop certification of all youth for the sake of America. Sincerely,

Juan Manuel Albarado #88410
910 So. 27th St.
Abilene, Tx 79603

Anonymous said...

Drug rehab is the most important thing you'll ever do. If you or someone you care about has succumbed to drug abuse, in fact, drug rehab is the last best chance you've got. No one beats drug addiction outside of a drug rehab center, and only by virtue of expert drug treatment can anyone ever get sober for good. What that means, of course, is that you've got to get help before it's too late. With so much at stake, you can't afford not to make drug rehab work for you.

The decision to seek drug rehab is never an easy one. Enrolling in a Drug Rehabilitation Center means admitting weakness, and vulnerability; it means accepting that you've got a problem you can't solve by yourself. This is the most difficult truth for many drug addicts that they'll ever have to face.

But make no mistake: it's worth it. Drug rehab, when it works, helps addicts get back to living life as it could only ever be worth living. Drug addiction turns addicts into shells of their former selves, strips them of all the hope and joy that make human existence such a vital thing in the first place. Drug rehab can repair that damage in a way that makes a successful drug treatment program worth any cost it could possibly entail. Meaningful drug recovery, in the end, is just that important.