March 10th Digest Post – NYT

By BitcoDavid

First off, The Times filed this under their Weddings and Celebrations column. Michael Morton and Cynthia May Chessman are newly-wedded man and wife. Morton however, was just freed from a Texas state prison facility, due to exoneration by DNA – thanks to the efforts of the Innocence Project. He had served 25 years for the beating death of his former wife – a crime actually committed by a man named Mark A. Norwood. As we wrote earlier this week, Texas holds the national record for wrongful convictions, and the Innocence Project has freed over 300 people. You can go here, for NYT’s original coverage.

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Poor dude. I guess gullibility is a crime in Argentina.
Denise Milani. Photo: Chew the dirt.com

English theoretical physicist Paul Frampton.

From the Sunday Magazine section – this is really sad and tragic. It appears that a university physics professor, Paul Frampton, met the girl of his dreams on an online dating site. The girl – many years his junior – claimed to be an international bikini model – Denise Milani. The two began chatting online, and finally arranged to meet at a photo shoot in Bolivia. After several false starts and travel complications, Frampton was contacted and asked to deliver a suitcase to a new rendezvous site, by Milani. Following his heart more than his brain, he agreed to meet a total stranger in an alley in Buenos Aires – to take delivery on the suitcase – from one of Milani’s friends. I shouldn’t have to tell you where this is going. Frampton ends up sentenced to 4 yrs, 8 mos.  in an Argentinian prison, for smuggling Cocaine. Milani – the real one – when contacted, said she had no idea as to who he – or the individual claiming her identity – was.

What’s the moral here? I don’t really know. Carefully screen your online dating contacts? Don’t travel? If you do travel, don’t do it in South America? Certainly, don’t pick up suitcases in alleys, and bring them to airports. But I think the real issue here is, let’s stop the War on Drugs. Guys like Frampton suffer enough just getting their hearts broken – and getting laughed at by their friends. They don’t need prison time on top of all that.

The original piece is here.

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A vacant lot in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles will be turned into a park, forcing out paroled sex offenders. Photo: NYT
A vacant lot in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles will be turned into a park, forcing out paroled sex offenders. Photo: NYT

This story appeared in the U.S. News section.  Cities and towns across this country are building tiny little parks, some no bigger than a single family home, in an effort to force registered sex offenders out of their communities. Zero Tolerance laws in most states deny registered sex offenders housing near schools or public parks.

Statistics show however, that sex offenders are more likely prone to recidivism if they don’t have stable housing. Furthermore, they are harder to track. So although this activity may appear safer for these communities, it might in fact, be resultant in an increase in sex-crime.

Sex offenders in America are thrice punished. They’re sentenced. Behind bars they’re victims of unparalleled abuse, violence and even homicide. And upon release, they’re forced to register and subjected to discrimination from all sides.

I’m certainly not defending them. I think abuse crimes – especially those perpetrated on children – are the most heinous. Although, I would advocate treatment rather than punishment. And I’ve always held dear the belief that once you’ve served your time… well, you’ve served your time.

Here’s the Gray Lady’s article.

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Ben Spencer. Photo: NYT
Ben Spencer. Photo: NYT

Also in the U.S. News section – and also in Texas, Ben Spencer was proven not guilty of a 1987 murder – for which he had served over 20 years –  in 2008. Texas however, has refused to release him, even after the judge’s ruling. He was originally convicted on the testimony of a jailhouse informer who has recently recanted, and a witness who admitted that she was seeking reward money. The prosecution is arguing that although the evidence convicting him was faulty – it falls upon him – and his attorneys – to find new evidence as to his innocence. This flies in the face of innocent until proven guilty. Ahh, Texas.

Here’s what the less sardonic NYT has to say.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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