AN OPINION PIECE BY LINDA SUTTER
Since the decision to recommend disbarment by the California State Bar of Del Norte County District Attorney, Jon Alexander, what do we do now? With the three inexperienced assistant DA’s currently in the office, Del Norte County will now experience the ongoing corruptive practices tenfold, because all they know is what he taught them.
Recently, and on any day there is court, dozens of cases are dismissed with the District Attorney saying, “The elements of the crime are not met your honor”. This has to be accepted by the general public because they are not educated in law. Here is the truth of the matter, from my own recent experience.
In regards to a child endangerment case, on April 8th, 2013, one day prior to the court date, Ms. Assistant District Attorney Padilla informed the victims mother that she was prosecuting the case and the officer was being subpoenaed to testify.
On April 9th, the day of the court after the attorney’s came from the judges chambers with possible secret handshakes, Ms. Assistant DA Padilla looked at the mother with a smirk on her face turned to Judge Doehle and said, ” The elements of the crime were not met”.
Let me tell you what the Penal Code 273(a), child endangerment elements are and then tell you the crime that was committed and left unattended by the District Attorney’s simply because they were unprepared and let it go thus not protecting an 18 month old child.
Child endangerment under penal code 273(a) in California occurs when someone causes or permits a child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain ormental suffering; or willfully causes or permits a child in their care to be injured; or willfully causes or permits a child in their care to be placed in a dangerous situation.
Unlike the California crime of child abuse, child endangerment conviction does not require that any child actually suffer an injury.
A conviction of Child endangerment for the misdemeanor charge is 12 months in the County jail or 48 months of probation with a stay away order. If you are convicted of a felony in child endangerment you can receive up to 6 years in a state prison.
The legal defenses include; the so-called “endangerment” didn’t happen intentionally; or you were acting within your rights to discipline the child;or you were falsely accused; or you were not the person responsible for the child who caused the endangerment.
So folks this is a real easy charge to prosecute, because the elements do not say AND but OR.
It is safe to summarize that the former Del Norte County District Attorney valued a dog’s life over a human’s life. Case in Point, on January 22, 2013 on the front page of the Triplicate newspaper, the District Attorney’s office successfully convicts the owners of a dog which caused serious bodily injury to the dog. No doubt this needed to be done. Equally though, an 18 month old baby is held in her father’s arms while he screams obscenities to the mother, holds them all hostage, and punches holes in the wall while holding the baby making her suffer mental and some physical pain. This person after being arrested and read his Miranda rights, boastfully admits to the officer, “Yep, I was holding my daughter in my arms while punching holes in the wall.” I say boastfully because every time this man gets arrested he makes inferences, laughs and tells the cops he has the judges in his pocket because his Aunt, now deceased, worked for one of the judges.
Really, Del Norte County Board of Supervisors should take heed by firing the District Atttorney’s currently in the office and find people who are aggressive and aware of the law and who will uphold the law instead sitting in their office, laughing at the victims, lying to the victims, and then dismissing charges that protect the public.