Attention, iPhone, iPad & Android users!
2013 NDAA Summer
Board, Conference & Committee Meetings
and Board Meeting
July 11-13, 2013
BoD/Committee Meetings Agenda
July 13-16, 2013
San Diego, California
Omni San Diego Hotel
Please note that this reflects a change in our regular summer conference schedule. We begin and end one day earlier than usual.
Summer Conference Agenda
Register for NDAA's 2013 Summer Conference
Victims' Rights Amendment Information
At the meeting last month at Hilton Head, the Board voted unanimously to support the proposed United States Constitutional Amendment to embody Victims’ Rights into the US Constitution. At that time we urged those present to contact their congressional delegation urging them to “sign on” as co-sponsors. We believe that if we can get 100 co-sponsors it will get a vote on the House floor.
The NDAA Victims’ Committee took on the task of getting this information out to you. Short delay, but here it is.
Victims deserve this and I’m proud that NDAA is taking a strong lead in this proposal.
Let me know if you have any questions,
- Bill to eliminate ‘mini-trials’ for some capital defendants approved by Legislature (Alabama)
- Bill requiring DNA swabs for those arrested for felonies passes Assembly (Nevada)
- Two bills cracking down on animal cruelty clear N.J. Assembly (New Jersey)
- Indiana court rulings make it harder to prosecute child abusers, advocates say
- 43 killers on lifetime parole - but where? (New Hampshire)
- Missing women cases highlight problem of domestic homicide (Minnesota)
- Bystander’s role in fatal hit-and-run brings prosecution (Tennessee)
Clip Synopses and Links
Bill to eliminate ‘mini-trials’ for some capital defendants approved by Legislature (Alabama)
Alabama law requires prosecutors to prove to a jury the guilt of a defendant who has already pleaded guilty to a capital offense.
The process is often referred to as a “mini-trial.”
The Senate today gave final passage to a bill to repeal that requirement from state law in cases where the death penalty is not a possibility.
HB262 by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, had earlier passed the House of Representatives and now goes to the governor.
England has said the trials generally last about three days and serve little purpose.
Sen. Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, a former district judge, has said the mini-trials are generally a waste of courts’ time and taxpayer money.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Bill requiring DNA swabs for those arrested for felonies passes Assembly (Nevada)
A bill to require police to take DNA cheek swabs of anyone arrested on a felony charge won approval in the Assembly on Monday.
The so-called “Brianna’s Law” bill passed on a 29-9 vote, one more than the two-thirds vote needed.
The Senate must now consider whether to accept changes made to Senate Bill 243 in the Assembly before it can go to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his consideration.
Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, who sponsored the bill, said the Assembly changes will be accepted.
Two bills cracking down on animal cruelty clear N.J. Assembly (New Jersey)
The Assembly passed two measures meant to strengthen penalties against animal cruelty. One bill, which has already cleared the state Senate unanimously, would make it a fourth-degree crime to abuse an animal or deprive it of food and water. Penalties would include a fine of up to $3,000 for a first offense and p to $5,000 for subsequent offenses. Currently, animal cruelty is treated as a disorderly person’s offense.
Indiana court rulings make it harder to prosecute child abusers, advocates say
These days, the Fort Wayne lawyer is devastated by the latest in a series of Indiana court rulings that she and others believe are making it harder to pursue molestation cases involving young children. The rulings have sided with convicted child molesters and set restrictions on the evidence and testimony that can be presented during trials, which by their very nature are difficult to prosecute.
The rulings, two by the Indiana Supreme Court, “mean that we’re going to prosecute fewer cases,” said Gray, who spent much of her decade in the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office focused on sex crimes. “We are going to have cases, especially cases where the perpetrator is someone close to the child, that we simply won’t be able to take to court. It’ll be great for statistics — we’ll have fewer child molestation convictions and everyone can say we’re a safer place. But it won’t be true.”
Gray is not alone in her concern. Carey Haley Wong, the chief lawyer for Child Advocates, a support organization for victims of child abuse, believes the most recent ruling is “significant and unfortunate” and “will certainly make some (criminal) cases more difficult to prove.” Even defenders of the court rulings acknowledge they have created uncertainty and new obstacles.
That’s unacceptable, and it’s the last thing Indiana needs when it comes to hard-fought efforts to convict those who prey on children.
New Hampshire Union Leader
43 killers on lifetime parole — but where? (New Hampshire)
There are 43 killers who have been released from state prison on lifetime parole, but don’t expect to find out whether they live next door to you or any other information about their supervision in society.
Those records are confidential in New Hampshire, even though prosecutors and family members of victims opposed some of the releases when parole was first granted - some for fear of the perpetrator. Kenneth Gagnon, whose father, Maurice Gagnon, was murdered in Nashua in 1959, believes the addresses and general parole information of killers on lifetime parole should be public in order to hold the state accountable for their supervision. Similar information is generally released in Maine, along with the convict’s photograph.
Frederick Martineau, one of two men sentenced to hang for killing Gagnon’s father, was released instead on lifetime parole after serving only 13 years in prison after a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. State officials fought unsuccessfully to have the parole board’s decision to release Martineau invalidated.
Missing women cases highlight problem of domestic homicide (Minnesota)
The psyche of men who kill their spouses or girlfriends is a growing concern in Minnesota, where a spike in domestic homicides has provoked a jump in calls to domestic abuse shelters.
Details of the cases of Mandy Matula, Danielle Jelinek and Kira Steger — three Twin Cities women presumably killed by their boyfriends or spouse — show how difficult it is to predict what type of abuser is capable of lethal violence. But experts said there are some telltale warnings signs that should be heeded in order to reduce the death toll.
Nine boyfriends or husbands have allegedly killed their partners so far this year. The count is 10 if it includes Matula, 24, whose body remains missing and whose boyfriend shot himself before police could interview him. The state is on pace to double the 2012 total of 14 deaths.
“The level of violence I’m seeing? Things are getting worse, not better,” said Heidi Carlson, who leads the men’s counseling program for the Domestic Abuse Project in Minneapolis.
The profile of a typical abuser is a man who has been victimized himself in childhood and has developed such insecurity that he has an overwhelming desire to control everything around him — especially the routines and whereabouts of his spouse or girlfriend.
Bystander’s role in fatal hit-and-run brings prosecution (Tennessee)
A 22-year-old Nashville man who prosecutors say told a suspect to flee after a fatal hit-and-run faces up to six years in prison for his advice.
In one of the more closely followed vehicular homicide cases in recent years, the role of a third person, a bystander, has been largely overlooked.
Jordan Hawbaker was on the scene of an accident near the Music Row roundabout that claimed the lives of two young men in December 2011. Hawbaker, who had been drinking at a nearby bar, is said to have encouraged the driver to flee the scene. That suggestion broke the law, prosecutors say, and was enough for them to charge him with being an accessory to a crime, along with the two in the vehicle.
But the state’s prosecution of Hawbaker is far from an open-and-shut case, several defense lawyers say. Friday, Hawbaker is expected to appear in court with the two from the vehicle. Both sides acknowledge a plea bargain is likely, though many are now watching Hawbaker’s role with acute interest.