Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2013/ 12 Shevat, 5773

Did judge insert his religious views into case? Supreme Court refuses appeal

By Warren Richey




Desperate creeps who robbed church try hail-Mary maneuver; fail


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) The US Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to hear an appeal by three young North Carolina men who claim a judge inserted his personal religious views into their case by sentencing them to de facto life prison terms for a robbery that netted less than $3,000.

The justices dismissed the appeal without comment.

What raised the judge's ire at the sentencing was the fact that the three men chose as their target an ongoing Sunday service at the Ridgeview Presbyterian Church in Bakersville.

The men entered the church wearing ski masks, and they were armed with two guns and a roll of duct tape. Their loot included money, cellphones, keys, and other personal property taken from the worshipers. They even cleaned out that morning's collection plate.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". In addition to INSPIRING stories, HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


At some point, one of the guns discharged into the church's floor. No one was injured.

The men were arrested in their car shortly after leaving the church. They admitted their crime and agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

At sentencing, they apologized to the church members and the community.

Superior Court Judge James Baker was apparently unmoved. "You didn't just steal money from people," he told the three. "You took G0D's money. You took the Lord's money."

The judge added: "There is Scripture that says, 'Vengeance is mine saith the Lord,' but every now and then I think the judicial system has to contribute what it can."

Judge Baker sentenced each defendant to 53 to 71 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

The young men — Josiah Deyton; his brother, Andrew; and Jonathan Koniak — appealed all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court, to no avail. A federal judge and a federal appeals-court panel also rejected their claims.

"The judge ... expressed his beliefs that the boys had stolen G0D's money — money that the judge believed was to be used to bring about his G0D's kingdom on earth," Hoang Lam, a lawyer with North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, wrote in his brief urging the high court to take up the case.

"He let it be known that they offended [the judge's] religious sensibility and that their action amounted to irreverence," Mr. Lam said. "He allowed his own personal religious beliefs and his own feeling of victimization into his sentencing decision."

The lawyer added: "He sentenced these boys as harshly as he did because they chose to rob a church, rather than a restaurant, a bank, or some other secular entity."

The injection of a judge's religious beliefs into a sentencing decision violates the constitutional guarantee of due process, the lawyer said.

"It is irrelevant that the applicable law allowed the judge to sentence the boys to consecutive terms," Lam said. "Sentencing discretion must be exercised within the boundaries of due process," without influence from a judge's possible religious views, the lawyer said.

Lower courts rejected the argument, concluding that the judge was repeating the concerns and observations of members of the victimized congregation.

Clarence Joe DelForge, North Carolina assistant attorney general, acknowledged in his brief that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., had ruled in 1991 that the judge who imposed a lengthy sentence on televangelist Jim Bakker abused his discretion by allowing personal religious views to enter the sentencing calculus in that case.

"Our Constitution, of course, does not require a person to surrender his or her religious beliefs upon the assumption of judicial office," the Fourth Circuit said in the Bakker case. "Courts, however, cannot sanction sentencing procedures that create the perception of the bench as a pulpit from which judges announce their personal sense of religiosity and simultaneously punish defendants for offending it."

Mr. DelForge said the judge's actions in the church robbery case were different. "Judge Baker's statements regarding 'G0D's money,' and 'G0D's people,' referred to what the victims reported," he wrote. "The thrust of Judge Baker's comments was the fact that these crimes were especially serious because they involved traumatizing people at gunpoint where ordinarily they would feel safe."

DelForge said the judge's decision to quote the Bible concerning the Lord's "vengeance" did not insert religion into the sentence. "Judge Baker was saying the judicial system, not divine law, should punish [the defendants]," he said.

The case was Deyton v. Keller (12-6230).


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment by clicking here.


© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor

Quantcast