CRJU 4000 Mod 2 Journal Entry

Madeline Choate 1 Dr. Greg Sumner CRJU 4000 Internship CJ Weekly Reflection Journal 8/16/2023 Monday, 8/22/23, 8:30 am - 4:40 pm Victim's Assistance Department Victims are not just those who are the target or responding party of one's physical crimes. Victims include all who are affected by a crime. Victims who claim they are not a victim or redact their claims of being victimized, which happens frequently in domestic violence cases, stay a victim until the case is dismissed by the prosecutor assigned. The purpose of calling the victims is to determine if the victims request restitution, standard contact information, Restitution is the restoration of something lost. Victims will call 911 in hopes that officers will act as a mediator or solely dispute the disagreement and it is not recognized that officers will arrest, which leads to "victims" redacting their statements and requesting a dismissal. The initial victim report is written by the officer that arrives on scene. Once the victims advocate reception recieves the warrant report, they input the warrant in the Tracker system and call the "victim" as previously mentioned. Marsy's Law and the Victim's Bill of Rights (2008) were given to be reviewed. Marsy's Law is similar to the Victim's Bill of Rights but it adds weight to the advocates who discuss particular things with the victim. Of the various topics discussed it was stated that Highland Rivers is the only rehab for Bartow county district. That concluded the day summary. Tuesday, 8/22/23, 8:31 am - 5:00 pm Shadowing investigator during court Investigator Jack Hemby in the courtroom of Judge Jeffery Watkins. Due to Judge Watkins being appointed by Governor Kemp to the Ga Court of Appeals, Judge Neal Brunt presided for the day. The docket was 4 pages long, indicating a very long day. Two cases stood out the most. The first was a motion for a probation modification of the conditions of a sex offender. The defendant was requesting that the current non allowed destinations be modified so that he may take vacations with the incorporation of his wife being his certified chaperone. Currently the defendant is restricted from going to parks, beaches, and most public places where children are present. Defendant stated that his wife had received chaperone training certification in 2017. Since being registered as a sex offender, the defendant has only had one previous modification in 2019. The State's representative Erle Newton, III., referred to the precedent ruling of Judge Nelson's 2005 decision. Presiding Judge Brunt asked the defendant three question; where did the defendant hold occupation, how long had the wife had her certification, and is the wife ready to be subject to juris if the defendant violates the conditions of his probation. Since the defendant was a level 2, higher risk offender due to the victim being a family member, Judge Brunt granted the request but conditioned that there should not be overnight stay at any
Madeline Choate 2 locations and the defendant must get permission from his probation officer. Judge Brunt's decision was a great disagreement between the attorneys waiting on their hearings. It was noticed that attorneys have great whispering skills. The second case was more extensive and lengthy than the first. The basic facts are that the defendant punched a man breaking the man's eye socket in a bar in downtown Cartersville back in 2020. The defense argued that the defendant should be granted immunity as the defendant acted in self-defense and the victim was the initial aggressor. The defense stated that stautory law 16:3:24 states that one can be immune if he acted in self defense of himself and others. The State, however, argued that by the same statutory law 16:3:20, 21 actions are not justified if the defendant was the aggressor and if there is burden of proof, which the State had with the bar's surveillance video. Prior to watching the bar's surveillance tape, two witnesses were called by the defense and the victim by the State. Both defense witnesses, the defendant's wife and friend of wife, had similar stories; the victim had been aggressive with the band that had finished playing, an older gentleman sitting at the bar, and the defendant himself. The older gentleman is a key character of this case. The defense referred to the gentleman as "little man" and placed great emphasis on his assumed white hair. The tactic was to paint a picture that the gentleman was old, frail, and supposedly scared of the victim. In addition, the defense put emphasis on the wife and defendant being home bodies and the wife feeling afraid or feeling that the victim was an "imminent threat." Imminent threat was a phrase repeated frequently. The State questioned the witnesses with the same set of questions; clarification of the defendant, witnesses, and the victim were in relation to each other, the bar's last call time, the general time frame of the situation, the witnesses' proximity to the exits, why didn't the witnesses' call 911, how many drinks were consumed, the stance and body language of the defendant, "little man," and victim. Judge Brunt reconfirmed clarification of a few of those questions. The victim was brought out with the victim's assistance advocate. The same questions were asked by the State. The defense did not cross examine the victim. The State proceeded to submit the video to the court as evidence and play for the court. The video clearly shows all parties mentioned. The "little man" was not an old, white haired, frail gentleman. The State emphasized the defenses error. In addition, the interaction between the older gentleman and the victim was viewed as kosher and not confrontational. The video also showed the victim speaking to the bar owner. After the interaction between the victim and the gentleman, we see the victim walking pass the defendant for at a minimum of 2 minutes, in which the two face each other and the defendant slap his vape on the counter of the bar which was 1 man-lunge away, turn back to the victim and "cold-cock" him causing the victim to fall back immediately hitting his head on the table behind him. Following the contact we see the defendant and party start to leave the bar. Given the body languages of each character we can see that the victim was not agressive in any way and there was no prior provocation that would lead the defendant to feel threatened. Therefore, Judge Brunt did not grant immunity. For the safety of the victim the victim advocate escorted the victim out of the court room and remained with the advocated whil the defendant's party left the courthouse. The State's investigator Jack Hemby's work in gathering the video burden of proof proved to be the crucial piece that allowed the State to have won. Judge Brunt pointed out that without the surveillance evidence he would have ruled in favor of the defense.
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