Daily archives: January 29th, 2010

Alert: Police Locate Vehicle of Missing Park Forest Woman


Deputy Chief Mike McNamara said in a statement Friday that the vehicle driven by Dana Hayes, who is missing from her Park Forest home, was located by members of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force in Harvey last night. The vehicle was unoccupied and there were no signs of foul play. However, Ms. Hayes has not contacted her family since Monday morning.

She is considered a missing/endangered person, McNamara said in the statement.

Related: Police and South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force Seek Missing Park Forest Woman

The related story is from eNews Park Forest.

Could ‘Fast Eddie’ Vrdolyak Be Heading for Prison?

From the Chicago Tribune:

Saying the sentencing of former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak to probation for fraud involved "egregious error," the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday reversed the judge who made the controversial decision and took the case away from him.

A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to reverse the sentence handed down last February by U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur, a development that could mean Vrdolyak, 71, winds up serving a prison sentence for his role in a rigged Gold Coast real estate deal.

Federal prosecutors had sought a sentence of three-and-a-half years in prison for Vrdolyak, who pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to secretly split a $1.5 million finder’s fee when Rosalind Franklin University sold a building. Corrupt political insider Stuart Levine was on the school’s real estate committee and conspired with Vrdolyak to steer the sale to a developer that would pay the hidden fee.

The panel’s decision didn’t come as a surprise after influential Judge Richard Posner at oral argument last month signaled he had serious issues with Vrdolyak’s sentence of five years’ probation. At the time, Posner even asked the prosecution if it wanted a different judge to re-sentence Vrdolyak, saying, "You’re not going to get anywhere with Judge Shadur, because he’s made up his mind."

Friday’s sharply worded opinion, written by Posner, took Shadur to task for what were described as mistakes and suggested Vrdolyak’s sentence was too lenient.

Years ago, I shared a classroom with Ed Vrdolyak’s son at the University of Notre Dame. I never got to know the young lad — he was my age — but I remember the day the lad told the professor, Samuel Shapiro, his name, and I remember Dr. Shapiro’s reaction.

He was shocked. And probably changed his lecture on the spot.

It would appear that Dad, "Fast-Eddie" Vrdolyak, may be facing some prison time.

I’ll be watching this one closely.

Should a 12-Year-Old Child Face Porn Charges for Sexting?

There’s a legal situation brewing in Northwest Indiana that should give us all pause regarding the purpose of the law.

First, from the Sun-Times:

A 12-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl from Northwest Indiana are accused of "sexting" each other, officials said.

Each could be charged with child exploitation and possession of child pornography for allegedly sending nude photos of themselves over their cell phones, officials said.

Earlier today, I wrote about 12-year-old Jordan Brown who was 11 when he was charged as an adult with two counts of homicide for the shotgun shooting of Kenzie Houk, 26, and her unborn child in February. As of this writing, Judge Dominick Motto has not yet ruled on whether Jordan will be tried as an adult or a juvenile. Now, we have two young children possibly being charged with child exploitation and possession of child pornography for allegedly sending nude photos of themselves over their cell phones.

What the hell are we doing? Is the purpose of law to punish, or to assist society to move to a higher place? A better place?

I know the two cases are very different. On the one hand, we have a child charged as an adult in a double homicide case. On the other hand, we have two kids sending nude pictures of themselves over their cell phones. However, in both cases, we have the potential for very adult charges against children.

Ask yourself this: if the person arrested for "sexting" nude pictures of 12 and 13-year-old children was 50, would you be more angry at the alleged murderer (if he was an adult), or the guy or gal sending JPEGs of children?

I would be furious with the 50-year-old dude sending out pics of kids. Given the number of murders committed by adults in the Chicagoland area every year, I’m afraid to say, I don’t know if I would even read that story. That’s not necessarily right. That’s just where I am, I guess.

What is the purpose of our legal system? Is it better to punish a child — a child — for life, or should we help that child move to responsible adulthood? Would you want your child charged with pornography for doing something stupid children might do because we give them the phones, and therefore the means, to do so? What would you have done with that technology as a 12-year-old? How responsible would you have been?

Do we really want a legal system that forces our children — our children — to become registered sex offenders for life … at age 12?

Pennsylvania State Sen. John Eichelberger Introduces Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

From the Philadelphia Gay News:

About eight months after he pledged to introduce a bill that would institute a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution, Pennsylvania Sen. John Eichelberger (R-30th Dist.) has made good on his promise.

SB 707, which Eichelberger introduced Jan. 26, would add to the Pennsylvania Constitution the language: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as marriage.”

Eichelberger announced his intention to spearhead such an initiative last May, and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17th Dist.) shortly thereafter introduced a measure that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage in the Keystone State.

To amend the constitution, both chambers of the state legislature would have to pass the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment in two consecutive sessions before the question is posed to voters.

I don’t get it at all. Gays and Lesbians want to do one of the most conservative things possible: get married.

Get over.

More here.

Jordan Brown, 12, A Child Accused of Murder, May Be Charged As An Adult

Jordan Brown is a 12-year-old child accused of murder. A Pennsylvania judge is expected to rule today on whether the juvenile will be tried as an adult.

From WTAE Pittsburgh:

Judge Dominick Motto will hear arguments over whether Jordan Brown should be tried as an adult or a juvenile for allegedly killing his father’s pregnant fiancée.

Prosecutors said Brown, who was 11 at the time, shot and killed 26-year-old Kenzie Houk and her unborn baby as she lay sleeping in her Wampum home last February.

If tried as a juvenile, the court’s jurisdiction would end when Brown turns 21 and he would be released.If Brown is tried as an adult, he would face life in prison.

Brown has been charged with one adult count of criminal homicide and is being held without bail in a juvenile facility.

How this child got his hands on a loaded weapon is another matter entirely.

I’ve written about this before. Jordan Brown is a child. He should be charged as a juvenile.