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Judge Sentences Former Substitute Teacher Mary Beth Haglin to 90 Days in Jail

In addition to the jail time, Haglin also will have to serve a special sentence of parole for 10 years and be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years due to the nature of the offense.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Trish Mehaffey reports: A judge on Friday sentenced former Washington
High substitute teacher Mary Beth Haglin to 90 days in jail for having a sexual relationship — that started in 2015 and continued into last year — with a 17-year-old Washington High
student.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Kevin McKeever said he didn’t think a deferred judgment and probation, as recommended by defense, and 180 days in jail, as recommended by prosecutor, were appropriate.

McKeever said he had considered all the facts of the case and both recommendations, but he believed the appropriate sentence was 360 days in jail. He did, however, suspend 270 days, which requires Haglin to serve 90 days in jail. He also placed her on supervised probation for two years.

Tell it to the judge

Haglin, 25, of Cedar Rapidswas found guilty by McKeever in December of sexual exploitation by a school employee, an aggravated misdemeanor. She agreed to a bench or nonjury trial based on the “minutes of testimony,” a limited summary of evidence the prosecution would present at trial.

In addition to the jail time, Haglin also will have to serve a special sentence of parole for 10 years and be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years due to the nature of the offense.

[ALSO SEE – ‘It’s the School’s Fault I Had Sex with That Boy’]

McKeever also warned her that because this is a sexual offense she would be subject to an enhanced penalty — more prison time — for any future conviction.

Haglin, during the sentencing, apologized to the victim and the court. She never went into teaching for this to happen, she said.

“I’m more complex than this one snapshot in time,” Haglin told the judge.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Heidi Carmer said during the hearing these kinds of cases are particularly difficult because the best outcome for both the victim and the community have to be considered. But the facts in this case “can’t be overlooked.” There was an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student, she argued.

Carmer said 180 days in jail would hold her accountable, protect the victim and community and discourage others from this kind of crime.

Katie Frank, Haglin’s lawyer, asked the judge to consider a deferred judgment or a suspended sentence and probation. Frank argued that Haglin had no previous criminal history, and she believed it was the intent of the law, that because this wasn’t a forcible felony, she would be eligible for a deferred or suspended judgment. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘The First Amendment is Not Abridged for the Benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe’

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Symposium: When strict scrutiny ceased to be strict

NW_HB_abrams_070805_289_360_c1At SCOTUSblog, Floyd Abrams writes: The result in the Williams-Yulee case was a difficult one to predict except that it was entirely predictable that the result would be by a deeply divided Court. It is no surprise that it was a five-to-four ruling, and no surprise at all that the jurists on both sides appear to have been irritated and frustrated by the views of those on the Court with whom they differed. The same had been true in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White (2002), the Supreme Court’s last trek into the muddy constitutional waters that required an assessment of First Amendment issues in the context of judicial elections. That case was not only decided by a five-to-four vote, but one of the five Justices — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — repeatedly announced after her retirement that she regretted her vote.

“Critics of Citizens United can take no solace from yesterday’s decision, since it is rooted in all respects in the difference between judicial elections and all others. If anything, the more the Court focuses on the special and distinct role of judges as opposed to other elected officials, the more firmly it reinforces its earlier ruling as to the latter.”

The unavoidable problem in the case stems from the reality that if judges are to be elected, they must be allowed to campaign for election. Yet, what they say in their campaigns about what they will do as judges may lead people to doubt their open-mindedness as judges.

[Also see – Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar: A Disappointing End by Jonathan Keim]

And when they personally raise money, at least from lawyers and potential litigants before them, it may well lead to the perception of indebtedness on their part to their contributors.

Justice Scalia testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before a House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“One need not adopt wholesale Justice Scalia’s final thrust at the majority in the case to admire its beauty: ‘The First Amendment is not abridged for the benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe.’”

The Florida Code of Judicial Conduct sought to strike a compromise, barring judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds, while allowing their campaign committees to solicit funds for them and allowing the candidates to write thank-you notes to contributors. On its face, it was a perfectly reasonable, goodfriend-of-court faith effort to walk a difficult line. The First Amendment, however, is more demanding than that.

[Check out Floyd Abrams’s book “Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment” at Amazon.com]

The problem with the ruling begins with an ostensible First Amendment victory. Seven of the nine members of the Court (all but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) concluded that strict scrutiny should apply, a usual predicate for striking one sort or another of government limitation on speech. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Official Trailer ‘The Judge’ Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga

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From the YouTube description:

In theaters October 10th. From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes “The Judge,” starring Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr. (“Tropic Thunder,” the “Sherlock Holmes” films, the “Iron Man” franchise), Oscar® winner Robert Duvall (“Tender Mercies,” “Crazy Heart”) and Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring”). The film is directed by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”).

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

Starring alongside Downey, Duvall and Farmiga are Vincent D’Onofrio (TV’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent“), Jeremy Strong (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln”), Dax Shephard (TV’s “Parenthood”), and Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade,” “Friday Night Lights”). The film also stars Oscar® winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter,” “Prisoners”), Leighton Meester (TV’s “Gossip Girl”), Ken Howard (“J. Edgar,” “Michael Clayton”), Emma Tremblay (“Elysium”), Balthazar Getty (TV’s “Brothers & Sisters”), David Krumholtz (“This Is the End”), Sarah Lancaster (TV’s “Chuck”), Grace Zabriskie (TV’s “Big Love”) and Denis O’Hare (TV’s “True Blood”).

Best reason to watch, right here: Vera Farmiga.

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Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] How Courts Failed the Constitution

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Clark Neily on “Terms of Engagement” 

“The judge will actually collaborate with the government in coming up with hypothetical justifications for a law in order to bend over backwards and uphold whatever the government is doing,” says Clark Neily, attorney at the Institute for Justice and author of the new book, Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government. “You don’t get a neutral arbiter.”

Neily sat down with Reason TV‘s Zach Weissmueller to discuss what Neily describes as an ongoing pattern of “judicial abdication” in America.

Neily’s book: Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government is available from Amazon

The judiciary, he says, was meant to stand as a bulwark against the tyranny of the majority, a defender of individual rights. Instead, it has become a mere enabler of legislators and government agencies.


Read the rest of this entry »