The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported on Alan Jackson’s recent violation of Marsy’s Law. Jackson struck a deal with a murderer who may have received a death sentence and reduced the charges to manslaughter giving the murderer six years.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune , Pasadena Star, and the Whittier Daily News reported on Jackson’s failure to comment after he recently also avoided the Antelope Valley Press. Interesting that those articles have been taken down from the SGVT, Pasadena Star and Whitter Daily News websites. Probably insiders don’t want the truth out in the open about Alan Jackson and you can see the willingness to cover up the truth, but we have the story for you below (verbatim before it was taken down). Steve Ipsen, co-author of Marsy’s Law is running against Alan Jackson in the race for Los Angeles District Attorney in 2012. The Pasadena Star and San Gabrial Valley Tribune reported, “Among Ipsen’s opponents in the 2012 District Attorney’s race is Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson – who prosecuted Winter. He declined to comment.”
A murder charge carrying a potential death sentence or life in prison was dismissed. ”Where is the justice? I can’t believe it after all these years,” Esmeralda Tirak of Palmdale said Friday. “The guilty get away with murder, and the victims” she said, breaking into tears. “I can’t talk anymore.” Michael Tirak, Azevedo’s nephew, said: “There’s something wrong with our justice system.” After three decades, the family at least deserved the decency of a phone call to give them a chance to be there. Victims’ families usually speak in court to let the judge know the impact the loss of the loved one has had on friends and family.
Published on Monday, July 25, 2011
By San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer
Kevin Azevedo wanted to know when the man who killed his father would next appear in a Los Angeles courthouse.
He hoped he would get a heads-up from authorities prosecuting the 30-year-old homicide that could have led to the death penalty for suspect Christopher David Winter, 55, of Indiana.
But by the time Azevedo received word, Winter had already cut a deal with the Los Angeles County District’s Attorney’s Office. In exchange for his plea, the killer got less than six years in state prison when he was sentenced on June 7.
“I felt a little cheated there, even though I couldn’t have made it out there,” said Azevedo, who lives in Pennsylvania. “I wish I could have known so I could have told my brothers. Maybe one of them would have gone to the hearing and at least said something to (the defendant) if given that chance.”
More than two years after the passage of the state’s Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008, experts say stories like Azevedo’s show implementation of Marsy’s Law has been mixed.
When pitched to voters, Marsy’s Law – Proposition 9 – promised victims and their families the right to reasonable notice upon request of all public proceedings, with few exceptions.
Its passage significantly expanded victims’ rights and included them in the state Constitution. But making it work has been tricky, said Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen, who co-authored the law and is running for Los Angeles County District Attorney in 2012.
Proposition 9 is implemented “incredibly well in some areas and incredibly poorly in others,” Ipsen said. While implementation has been life-changing for some victims, “it’s heart-wrenching where it has failed.”
Experts agree that full implementation of Marsy’s Law takes education for all parties – including victims, law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
For example, it’s important for victims or their families to be part of the legal process and make their presence known, said Superior Court Judge Jared Moses of the Alhambra Court during a recent victims’ rights clinic hosted by the Pasadena Police Department.
Victim impact statements made in the courtroom, for example, “are so important,” he said. “They affect us. They affect everyone in the room.”
Some victims’ rights advocates complain, too, that not all law enforcement agencies are handing out a Marsy’s Law card to victims as the law requires. The cards enumerate the 17 constitutional rights afforded to victims by the law. In some cases, homicide detectives incorrectly assume that another officer has already given out the card but it’s everyone’s responsibility to check, said Lawanda Hawkins, founder of Justice for Murdered Children and one of three signatories of Marsy’s Law.
In a phone survey of 24 law enforcement agencies in the San Gabriel Valley, all of them reported having Marsy’s cards readily available.
“That’s world-changing,” said Ipsen of the distribution of the information cards. “It goes a long way in answering questions (victims have), and allowing law enforcement and police officers to focus on investigating the case.”
But Ipsen said he’s “very troubled” that prosecutors are entering plea agreements with criminal defendants “and not including victims” in that process.
Among Ipsen’s opponents in the 2012 District Attorney’s race is Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson – who prosecuted Winter. He declined to comment.