Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

No Crystal Ball Needed

On July 7, 2005, Fargo, ND, KVLY-TV11 television reporter Donn Robertson's story titled Prosecutor Discussing Duncan’s Prison Sentence attributed comments to attorney Dennis Fisher. Fisher, currently in private practice in Fargo, is a former federal prosecutor who represented Joseph Duncan in his April bail hearing in Detroit Lakes, MN. Defending Becker County District Judge Thomas Schroeder's decision to set Duncan's bail at $15,000 on charges he had molested a 6-year-old boy at a playground, Fisher commented that judges don't have a crystal ball and they have to follow the facts in front of them at the time.

In another television interview, Schroeder used the same excuse, that judges don't have a crystal ball.

No, you pathetic excuse for a judge, you had access to something far more reliable than a crystal ball. You had access to Joseph Duncan's criminal history, and you were simply too lazy to obtain, read, and understand it. You relied on the representations of both the Becker County prosecuting attorney Joseph Evans and Duncan's attorney.

In its July 4, 2005, article headlined Idaho suspect aired his demons by staff writer Chao Xiong, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul reported that Evans, the prosecutor, wasn't surprised at the low bail because Duncan had registered as a sex offender in Fargo, ND, he was employed, he was a student, and "indications were he had made a satisfactory adjustment."

Satisfactory adjustment? Really? What was that determination based on? Certainly not on anything in Duncan's record of sexual crimes and convictions.

No, Schroeder (I refuse to dignify this clown with the title "Judge"), you didn't need a crystal ball. You knew he was a sex offender, because you were told he had already registered in Fargo. You only needed to ask for the records and then take the time to read and understand them. You had the authority to hold Duncan in jail until you could obtain and review the records. You didn't do it, and three (probably four) people died unnecessarily because of your laziness.


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