Thursday, October 22, 2009

Court Ordered Execution

When a woman or man is a victim of violence in their home and they break the cycle by gaining the courage to leave the very legal system in place to protect seemingly does the most damage. Communication and training appears non-existant in courtrooms leaving tragedies of epidemic proportions as family members are left to discover gruesome crimes scenes followed by making funeral arrangements for innocent loved ones.

Who are the judges presiding in large and small court houses across the county? Are these men and women drapped in their black robes passing time until they retire and can collect a pension? Is any presiding judge on a bench in family or domestic relations court qualified to really make sound legal decsions? In my opinion the answer is no!

Amy Lichtenberg did everything in her power to keep she and her children safe. But the judge presiding over her case turned a deaf ear. Her dangerous and violent husband manipulated the legal system to gain access by wearing down the courthouse with the filing of one motion after another until a judge granted unsupervised visitation. Three weeks after the judge's decision Amy's children Jack and Duncan would be murdered by their father.

Annette Suzan Sowders-Fuller also continued within the legal system after she filed for divorce and obtain orders of protection in an attempt to keep her violent husband away from she and her two small children. Each time she entered a courtroom or called the police for help Annette's husbands violence escalated. It ended in August when he stormed into her home killing Annette and her mother Cheryl in front of her children.

Dawn Axsom and her attorney pleaded with a judge to allow her to leave Arizona with her two-year-old son.The judge denied the request. According to court testimony, Axsom’s estranged boyfriend, who had been arrested twice for DUI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attempts was awarded by the judge who allowed visitation and requirined a drug, alcohol and a mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days. Just 2 short weeks after that court ordered visiation the boyfriend murdered Dawn, her mother Linda and then committed suicide.

To say the courts do not take domestic violence seriously is an under statement. Without any consideration for prior arrests or current orders of protection judges are awarding individuals whom are a danger to their children visitation and custody. The abusers sole intent is to gain unlimited access to his victim. The abuser could care less about the children. Often an abuser is so enraged over the ending of the relationship the only interest they have is seeking revenge on their victim. Either by killing the person who ended the relationship or murdering the children keeping the victim alive and unharmed as a sick and twisted punishment for breaking up the family.

I have great respect for judges. What I do not respect is ignorance in a courtroom. These judges elected or appointed require more than a two week crash course in a classroom setting on "how to be a judge." Otherwise those court orders that they sign without consideration to human life will amount to nothing more than an a court ordered execution!


Anonymous said...

I agree. One would think the experts in criminal justice are in the criminal courts.

Why is it the "Wild West" in the family courts?

Judges are given way too much disgression in family court. They are often the catalyst for murder.

America wake up and STOP this senseless killing?

Family Court Judges should be made to take an oath "First do no harm." It's a sad and terrible thing.

Donald Ross said...

Judges who help these animals need to be charged as accessories and given the max sentence in real prisons. Maybe they will make others think about their real responsibilities on the bench. And those who want to let prisoners out due to high costs, need to rethink capital punishment.

Anonymous said...

I agree that a judge who orders unsupervised visitation that results in kidnapping or murder should be charged as an accessory to the crime. Too often they look at the victim spouse as deserving the abuse in some way.

ThisAintTolstoy said...

Thank you so much for sharing and publicing your experience, and that of others. It is encouraging for many of us, who often struggle with lack of faith in the system and sheer weariness.

My experience of the Criminal Justice System and Family Law Courts in England so far:

My ex has been charged with various serious rape and assault charges (some with a maximum, albeit unlikely, penalty of life).

While we await the criminal proceedings, which naturally are repeatedly delayed by his defense, no final argument or investigation can be made regarding the custody and visitation of my daughter. In the meantime, the judge has ordered a) supervised access, with no provisions for my safety, and b) that I must ask my ex (my rapist) for permission to travel with my daughter. Some judges here feel that men who abuse women are not necessarily a risk to their own children. Social services refuse to get involved until the court asks them to, and of course, the judge is completely oblivious to the related law.

Now, while we wait for the criminal matters to be resolved (so I can move on with my life, and out of hiding), the Police and Crown Prosecution Service continually make errors, allowing the defense to delay further. It seems their theory is that this will: a) cause me to give up, b) result in a lesser sentence in the end, or c) at least keep him out of prison for as long as possible.

Until the trial, he is to be restricted by various bail conditions that our meant to work like a restraining order. These conditions have been relaxed such that my ex has no been allowed to move with his employment to an office building across from mine, and can watch or intimidate me whenever he sees fit. Appropriate restrictions could have been put in place, such that he had to take a different route to work, could not come within a certain distance of my office, etc. However, the Prosecutor did not understand this, and has left me fearful to return to work.

Fortunately, we live in hiding, in a very secure building, but I loath feeling paranoid and as though my life is not my own.


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