Experts question death penalty in Castro case, John Jamelske, Dozier School for Boys, Crisis in America’s Family Courts, Ex-swimming coach Rick Curl

May 27, 2013 Comments Off on Experts question death penalty in Castro case, John Jamelske, Dozier School for Boys, Crisis in America’s Family Courts, Ex-swimming coach Rick Curl

– Experts question death penalty in Ohio missing women case
– Justice Story: John Jamelske, the Ariel Castro of Syracuse, held 5 women and girls captive
– Dozier survivor: Judge’s decision just a temporary roadblock
– Failure to Protect: The Crisis in America’s Family Courts
– Ex-swimming coach Rick Curl gets 7 years in child sex abuse case

Experts question death penalty in Ohio missing women case
May 26, 2013 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A prosecutor faces numerous obstacles as he weighs whether to bring death penalty charges against a man accused of kidnapping three women and forcing one of them into miscarriages through starvation and beatings, capital punishment experts say.

Most agree that such charges are possible against Ariel Castro, though not without legal fights starting with constitutional questions over the definition of a murder victim for the purposes of a death penalty case.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said at a news conference on May 9, days after the women were rescued from Castro’s run-down home, that capital punishment “must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct.”

“The law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most depraved criminals, who commit aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping,” he added…. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/26/ariel-castro-death-penalty-ohio-kidnap/2362045/

Justice Story: John Jamelske, the Ariel Castro of Syracuse, held 5 women and girls captive
After keeping victims hidden in secret basement rooms, kidnapper undone by trip to return bottles
By David J. Krajicek / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, May 25, 2013

John Jamelske, a scruffy bottle-picker from Syracuse, regarded himself as smooth with the ladies. To the rest of the world, he was a kidnapper and sexual predator.
Before there was Ariel Castro, Cleveland’s industrious triple kidnapper, there was Jamelske, New York’s dungeon dragoon.

For 15 years beginning in 1988, he held a succession of females as sex slaves in a filthy bunker beneath his house in upstate DeWitt. Jamelske was finally busted on April 3, 2003, three weeks before Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry, the second of his three victims.

Castro seemed shamed by his arrest. Jamelske, on the other hand, claimed his victims were “buddies.” He said he chained them “only a tiny little” and saw himself as “a tremendous influence” on them.

“No, I never considered anybody a kidnap victim,” he told the Syracuse Post-Standard. He explained that kidnappers demand cash ransoms. He didn’t do that….
The law disagreed, and convicted kidnapper Jamelske, 78, is living out his life in prison.

His case didn’t get the national attention of the dramatic escape of the three women in Cleveland earlier in May, but Jamelske’s story is just as implausible.

Though he described himself as “a little bit crazy,” Jamelske had a rather ordinary life until he reached his 50s. He was married with three sons, had a community college degree, and worked at grocery stores in the Syracuse area, where he grew up.

His life turned in the 1980s. He lost his job and began scavenging for bottles and cans. His hoarding tendencies flourished as he stacked his house floor to ceiling with cast-off crap….

Jamelske began cruising in his distinctive vintage Mercury Comet, seeking females from the wrong side of the tracks. And he built a 12-by-24 foot bunker accessible through a crawl space behind a hidden door in his garage. He told busybodies it was a storm shelter. It featured a plastic bucket toilet, a filthy foam cushion as a bed, and a salvaged bathtub filled with cold water from a garden hose.

In September 1988, he lured a 14-year-old girl into his car and secreted her in the dungeon for two years. The girl was reported missing by her family, and they were shocked when she came home in 1989. The victim later said Jamelske had threatened to kill her brother, so she lied and said she had run away from home….

In 1995, Jamelske abducted a second 14-year-old. For two years, he subjected the teen to daily sexual assaults — all while his wife, ill with cancer, was upstairs. He freed that victim in 1997, again with a threat if she squealed. The girl told her mother she had been kidnapped and raped by an older man, but she was so terrified the crime was never reported…. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/justice-story/justice-story-john-jamelske-girls-dungeon-article-1.1351897

Dozier survivor: Judge’s decision just a temporary roadblock

By Paul Mueller, Reporter Friday, May 24, 2013
MARIANNA –  A Circuit Court judge has denied a request to exhume the bodies from gravesites at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

In the court order, Judge William Wright of Jackson County Circuit Court states the petition was denied because the Petitioner “failed to meet the threshold for an order granting exhumation in a civil case,” and that the “Interim Report prepared by the University of South Florida does not provide any information or opinion regarding what physical evidence is likely to be found that will lead to the identification of the human remains or a determination of the causes of death.”

A local survivor of the school said it’s just a temporary roadblock in the search to find the remains of so many boys who were forgotten.

From his home in Clearwater, Robert Straley remembers the first day he walked into the Dozier School for Boys.  The year was 1963 and Straley was just 13 years old.
Looking back, Straley calls it “one of the most horrible times of my life, if not the worst.”

On the first night, he said men in charge gave him the first of three floggings during his 10 and a half months there. “I was in a state of shock,” Straley said.  “I didn’t even know what was going on.  It was like it was happening to somebody else.  It was like a bad nightmare.”

Investigators said the beatings went on at the school for nearly 70 years and some of the boys would simply disappear. But then in 2007, Straley and others began asking questions and wanted to know where those boys ended up.

While doing forensic research on the school’s grounds, a team of USF researchers uncovered dozens of shallow graves. http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2013/5/24/judge_denies_request.html

Failure to Protect: The Crisis in America’s Family Courts May 6, 2010
When a mother’s bitter custody battle ends with the death of her child, something has gone terribly wrong with the system.

Wyatt Garcia was born in April 2009. Nine months later, he was shot and killed by his father, who then turned the gun on himself.
It might have turned out differently—if a family court judge had listened to Wyatt’s mother….

Lawyers, judges, psychologists and representatives of women’s groups interviewed by The Crime Report describe a broken family court system that is already burdened with a heavy caseload and too few judges—many of whom are forced to rotate between cases—and in which serious criminal allegations of domestic or sexual abuse are routinely ignored. The crushing financial costs of pursuing long custody battles is an additional burden on indigent mothers, who get little or no legal support. The odds are particularly stacked against children at risk when the court battle revolves over “he said, she said” arguments.

The system has particularly failed parents – usually mothers – whose efforts to protect their children collide with an approach to custody issues that is based on narrow legal concepts of balance and fair treatment rather than psychological or medical evidence. “Courts assume mothers are orchestrating misinformation, instead of trying to protect their children,” said Kathleen Russell, director of the Center for Judicial Excellence…. http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/failure-to-protect-the-crisis-in-americae28099s-family-courts

Ex-swimming coach Rick Curl gets 7 years in child sex abuse case
By Amy Brittain and Chris Trevino, Published: May 23

Former D.C. area swimming coach Rick Curl was sentenced to seven years in prison for child sexual abuse at a hearing Thursday that also featured a revelation from Curl’s attorney that the University of Maryland knew about the abuse more than 25 years ago.

The sentencing in Montgomery County Circuit Court brought closure to a criminal case centered on Curl’s five-year sexual abuse of a swimming pupil that began in the 1980s, but it also raised new questions about the University of Maryland’s role in the decades-old case.

The victim, Kelley Currin, now 43, was 13 when the abuse began. She swam for the Curl-Burke Swim Club, one of the nation’s largest such organizations, through which Curl, now 63, had guided athletes to Olympic gold medals.

Currin’s parents became aware of her sexual encounters with Curl in 1986 and confronted the coach around their kitchen table, Thomas Kelly Jr., Curl’s attorney, said at the sentencing hearing.

They demanded that Curl sign a letter admitting that he had had sex with their daughter, who was then known as Kelley Davies. At some point, the attorney said, the letter was given to the athletic director at the University of Maryland, where, in 1987, Curl began coaching swimming and diving, in addition to his private coaching job. Kelly said in court that after U-Md. officials received the letter, they quietly pushed Curl out…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ex-swimming-coach-rick-curl-to-be-sentenced-in-child-sex-abuse-case/2013/05/23/d80320f2-c3a5-11e2-9fe2-6ee52d0eb7c1_story.html

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