Friday, February 02, 2007

A Conversation With State Senator Barrios

If you can call it that. It's actually a rather one sided communication.

Massachusetts State Senator Jarrett Barrios is the co-author (along with former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healy) of the new law requiring those convicted of 209A violations to be forced to wear a GPS ankle bracelet. He's started a blog of his own, and his first substantive entry trumpets this "achievement" and proposes several news ways to destroy the presumption of innocence.

I read his post, "He Should Leave, Not Her: Restoring Liberty and Equality to Battered Women" on January 24th, and I left the following comment:

Senator Barrios writes:

"Indeed, those who have been on the 'receiving end' of an order of protection might have some concerns about that process, but the process we discuss is the (hopefully) not-so-routine violation of those orders, and how to promote a more succesful compliance with them. The violations and the lack of proof as to their occurence point out the lack of police and court's power to enforce their own orders....and that's where GPS comes in."

Sir, I am a domestic violence victim, though the abuse at the hands of my partner pales in comparison to the abuse upon me at the hands of the Commonwealth. Your legislation would have put a GPS bracelet on me back in August 2004, though I am guilty of absolutely nothing other than being a male. Over two years later, when the Appeals Court reversed my conviction I suppose I would then have been able to take it off. Frankly, I think that 80 hours of Batterer's Intervention Program for a misdialed phone number was insult enough, and as it turns out the Appeals Court agrees with me. Please read the link appended to my name, [which leads here - ed] know that every word I wrote is true and that I have the documentation to prove the vast majority of it (which I will gladly provide on request.) Then, please tell me just a few things.

1. Where did I go wrong? What should I have done that I didn't do? What did I do that I shouldn't have? What would you have done in my situation?

2. Why is it that after spending an enormous amount of time, money and grief on fruitlessly prosecuting me for completely imaginary crimes, I can't seem to get a single human being in the employ of the Commonwealth to take any interest whatsoever in the string of obvious felonies that have been committed against me and against the Court, the supposed embodiment of our commitment to the rule of law?

3. Do you think I should still be the subject of a 209A order to this day? Do you think I should be GPS trackable? Why or why not?

4. What can be done, and what are you willing to do, to see that this or worse doesn't happen to anyone else? If it doesn't happen in Massachusetts today, it will happen tomorrow. My case is not unique.

I'm happy to see that you have this forum, and I'll be even happier if it engenders a substantive, productive discussion of the true and twin problems of both domestic violence and 209A abuse. No one should be subjected to either.

Apparently, my hope for a productive discussion will go unfulfilled as the good senator has clammed up. I'm nearly positive that he's read my comment, and this blog because on January 25, someone from a IP address, coming here from the link I left in his comments spent 25 minutes reading the post I linked to.

That was 8 days ago, yet I haven't had so much as a word in response to my questions, which while pointed, are perfectly valid. It would appear that I can add State Senator Jarrett Barrios to the list of "human being(s) in the employ of the Commonwealth (unwilling) to take any interest whatsoever in the string of obvious felonies that have been committed against me and against the Court, the supposed embodiment of our commitment to the rule of law?"

And yet he'd like to forgo the courts altogether and just let women decide to lock men up:
Pretrial Detention of Partners Assessed to be "Lethal": The lethality assessment can be used to the Commonwealth to assist in determining whether to seek pretrial detention of a defendant as provided for in current law. Lethality assessments provide judges with a vast array of information which might not otherwise be available for their consideration. Evaluation criteria would include, but not be limited to, the alleged batterer's family history, his criminal record, his attitude toward control within an intimate relationship, his attitude toward and previous use of violence in intimate relationships, his history of substance and alcohol abuse, his propensity for violence outside the home, his level of contrition for the attack, his level of denial of the seriousness of the assault, whether children are involved as witnesses or as victims, and other information relevant to the batterer's propensity to commit violence against his intimate partner. The information gathered in the lethality assessment would provide useful guidance in constructing a detention program, as well as coordinating safety measures with the victim's liaison.

I know you might be thinking that this doesn't say women can just decide to have a guy jailed because she feels like it. But if the Commonwealth handles that law the way it does 209A that is exactly what it means. I'm a guy who never laid a finger on Cynthia Whelahan, and yet I still, nearly 4 years later, have a standing judicial finding stating that "there is a substantial likelihood of violence", justifying the deprivation of my Second Amendment rights. Why? Because she, serial perjurer that she is, cries and shakes and begs for the ability to have me arrested at whim, and the People's Republic of Massachusetts cheerfully obliges.

Mass Insanity? You bet it is. "Equality" is a lie.