5/31/11

Newest Woman on Florida’s Death Row

 

Woman Sentenced To Death For Killing Housekeeper - County By County News Story - WFTV Orlando

This lady will join Tiffany Cole on the row this month. She worried so much about the last girl, Emillia Carr. I remember her telling me how she worried about the girl and knew how hard it was to come to prison all alone.

Death row in Florida now holds three women. Tiffany Cole, Emillia Car and Margaret Allen.

Margret story is told like this on the Florida Dept of Corections website:

BF, born 1/23/66, was sentenced to death from Brevard County on May 19, 2011 for torturing and killing her housekeeper, Wenda Wright, whom she thought had stolen money from her purse. The jury unanimously voted for the death penalty for her. She also got a life sentence for kidnapping. Prosecutors said the torture went on for hours before Wright was strangled with a belt. Allen's roommate, James Martin, and nephew, Quinton Allen, were both convicted for their part in helping her try to bury the body in a shallow grave.

Emilia joined the group back in February of this year and is described this way:

WF, born 8/4/84 was sentenced from Marion County on February 22, 2011 for the kidnapping and murder of her co-defendant’s ex-wife, Heather Strong, 26. The co-defendants, who were dating at the time the time of the murder and have a child together, are accused of having lured Strong into a storage trailer behind Carr's mother's home, duct-taping her to a chair, putting a plastic bag over her head and suffocating her. The victim’s body was found a month later (March 2009) in a shallow grave. The jury recommended the death penalty by a 7-5 majority. Carr is currently on death row at Lowell CI Annex.

5/24/11

PRX » Piece » The Execution Tapes

 

PRX » Piece » The Execution Tapes

This is a public radio broadcast on the Georgia death house. It is said to be the only public example of what actually takes place on a death row during an execution.

5/16/11

Psychology and Psychiatry in Courts and Corrections: Controversy and Change (Wiley series of personality processes)

Psychologists have had a changing and ever more important yet controversial role in corrections and criminal justice throughout history. Each department of criminal justice calls for a distinctly different need in psychology. In turn, psychologists can perform greatly different duties in each sector of criminal justice.
Law Enforcement
Law enforcement agents can be put in dangerous situations. Their lives are put in danger every day. When dangerous and violent occurrences happen to police officers it is no different than when it happens to civilians. It can be traumatic and life changing. Psychologists are used in law enforcement to help officers deal with traumatic situations.
When an officer must pull his weapon and fire upon another human being that alone can be stressful. However, if that person should die at the hands of the officer it can be very traumatic. Killing another person, even or especially in the line of work can cause mental damage to the officer. Some psychologists specialize in traumatic stress and are placed in law enforcement to provide therapy to officers who have been part of or witnesses traumatic stress. Psychologists can also help victims and witnesses of crimes as part of their job in law enforcement. (http://www.aaets.org/article87.htm)
Corrections
Prisons and jails are not easy places to live. Violence and dangerous situations are always possible. Not all people in the corrections system are violent criminals. Some prisoners have trouble adjusting to life in prison and need counseling provided by psychologist to adjust and attempt to find a way to cope during their prison stay. Psychologists are often called in to provide therapy specifically to women because of the special needs they face. According to J.M. Pollock in Counseling women in Prison, sociological issues in prison effect women more dramatically than men. Being a wife and/or a mother from jail causes specific problems unique to women. A psychologist in a womens prison can provide these specific therapies to women who are having trouble coping.
Court
psychologists are important in a court room for both children and adults. The provide counseling to witnesses in criminal cases as well as therapeutic sessions to those charged with crimes and facing sentencing.
Psychologists are important when children are brought in as witnesses. Children have a far different mental capacity than adults and a psychologist must be on hand to help determine if the child's testimony can be trusted and will be useful. Also, when a juvenile is accused of a especially violent crime and in danger of being waived through court as an adult, a psychologist must examine the youth and determine if it is appropriate to move the juvenile into adult court.
The most important function of a psychologist in court may be to determine if the accused is mentally stable to stand trial. This is a major part of our justice system and the very basis of our court system in America. Without the preliminary examination of a psychologist saying the accused is of sound mind many cases would be thrown out and violent criminals set free. http://www.psychologyinfo.com/forensic/criminal_court.html
According to an article on Uplink.com, there is no recent, adequate information on the ethical issues in correctional psychology. http://www.uplink.com.au/lawlibrary/Documents/Docs/Doc93.html
However, the ethical standards for psychologists in the field of criminal justice are different from those in the civilian world. The very fact that these clients are criminals or involved In a criminal venture calls upon a specific ethical structure within the treatment itself.






Resources

http://www.aaets.org/article87.htm

Pollock, JM. Counselling women in Prison.Sage Publications, Inc. 1998

http://www.psychologyinfo.com/forensic/criminal_court.html

http://www.uplink.com.au/lawlibrary/Documents/Docs/Doc93.html

5/11/11

Mad about murder? Crazy about carnage? Does the thought of Ted Bundys tirades give you the tingles? True crime fans, serial killer buffs and murderabilia collectors take heed. Birdy's Bar & Grill in Indianapolis will house a homage to famous murders and murderers throughout the world on May 28th, 2011. They are calling it The Crime Scene.

The brain child of Matthew Aaron, Joe Hiles and John Borowski, The Crime Scene offers a look at murder and menace from a different perspective. The serial killer art on display from the collections of Joe Hiles and Matthew Aaron will surprise and terrify you. Examine the art of John Gacy, Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez. Study the photos taken by Joel Rifkin before his deadly crime spree. This unique opportunity to learn serial killers from the inside out goes beyond any media headlines you've ever read.

Wander over to see the first ever screening of John Borowski's newest documentary Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance, the story of notorious killer Carl Panzram. Borowski's previous documentaries include H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer and Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation. The Film Murderabilia will also be played with it's producers Michael Usry and Ryan Roy on hand.

Meet Joe Hiles of Serial Killer Central and marvel at his murderabilia collection. Check out his book on penpal Roy Norris and get a glimpse of this infamous killer from Joe's point of view. Rich Hillen, the creator of the Serial Killer Coloring Book will also be on hand with his ingenious serial killer depictions.

Listen to serial killer inspired music from Endiana and MG &The Gas City Three while you peruse artifacts and evidence from the worlds most noteable crimes. This event is easily the big daddy of true crime events this year.

5/8/11

Contrary to popular belief, inmates can and do email. This is not to say they all have access to the Internet but they all do have access to email.

JPay, a popular money sending service for inmates, has an email function. They also offer a video chat service. Not all prisons allow this service. I have personally used this service for correspondence with Kelly Gissendaner and money transactions for Tiffany Cole.
Emailing A Prisoner is another email site. This one sends pics as well which most do not. I have not tried this site but there are a lot of features that look pretty convenient. They hide your address if your uncertain about the inmate and the entire service costs only $1.00.
CorrLinks is an emailing service set up by the Bureau of Prisons. The tax payers don't pay a thing for this but instead, the ginormous extra funds that inmates pay for commissary (think $2.50 for a honey bun)goes toward the cost of this service.

Most county jails do not have this service. You may find one or two with some type of email service enabled so go ahead and ask the Sheriffs department just to see. The SanDiego County Sheriffs Depart, for instance does offer email services to the family of inmates.

Federal inmates were the first to gain this privilege with the hopes that allowing more correspondence and closer contact with family and friends will serve as a aid to reduce recidivism as well as make prisoners happier and more complacent.

5/5/11

How is Math Used in Criminal Justice?

Real World Projects for Math & Criminal Justice

Math and criminal justice are entertwined in many ways. Traffic cops, balistics experts and crime scene investigators all us math on a daily basis during the course of their jobs. Students of criminal justice undertake real world projects to strengthen their understanding of math and criminal justice.

Statistics
Statistics are used regularly by those who research the criminal justice field. Mathematical applications like mean, median and mode, as well as histograms and percentages are all used when figuring and presenting criminal justice information. The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics compiles reports of this information available for public viewing. Using actual statistics on the states with the highest rates of crime, student can perform a real world interpretation of the information and determine the safest place to live in the country. This interpretation is comprised of comparisons of each states higest percentage of murders, rapes, robberies and other violent crimes. http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/Math/CIMS/IMPHSS/Descriptions/crime.html

Cryptography
Cryptography is the study of numeric codes. Cyber crimes are those that are performed online and consist of many numeric codes. Criminals will use random 16 digit numbers to purchase items online via website application. Crypotgraphers use algebraic equations and binary number applications to set up complex codes to stop this crime. Real world experience is achieved in cryptography by converting binary number to decimals and vice versa.
http://www.math.princeton.edu/math_alive/Crypto/

5/3/11

Barbara Starr Smith barely escaped the death penalty this week even though she murdered two people including an infant and attempted to kill another.

She had a romance with a man named Romeo and married him. By all accounts of family and coworkers she was a hard working woman and a loyal loving wife. She had never so much as received a traffic ticket in her whole life.

Her husband had moved to the U.S. from Jamica with a woman he claimed was his cousin, simone Dixon. Turns out it was his lover and he married Barbara only to recieve a green card.

Once he had it he knocked up his girlfriend and the happy couple continued to live in Barbaras home.In true Betty Broderick style, Barbara lost it. In a woman scorned fury she shot and killed her husband, shot the girlfriend and took the 4 month old baby daughter the two shared. She took the little girl to a parking area, covered her head with a jacket and shot her twice in the head.

While her crimes are hideous the judge and both sets of attorneys chose not to condemn her to death. Partially because of her lack of criminal history but also because she seemed to have truely just snapped.

Matthew Perkins Triple Murder

The man who committed these murders recruited my daughter into the Army. We had quite a bit of contact with him at the time. Can you ima...