Author Topic: Prosecutor Office Press Releases  (Read 22915 times)

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Offline fish

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2011, 01:30:18 AM »

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the pa files charges when there is probable cause. the judge or jury will sort it out.

all are found guilty if the pa presses charges? don't think so'

It seems a new PA has some folks PO'd !!! LOL LOL

I hope the Texas county pa is good. I am on the hook for jury duty until april! lookin forward to it!

Offline Valor7

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2011, 01:35:30 AM »
I do.  He was my neighbor and I have more insight about him than most here.  He is taking up the job at hand and cleaning up the mess left by the previous person in office.  And he is very meticulous about his job.  He will not prosecute just to get numbers up.  He will and does follow the law. 


   And I have worked with him for the past four years and I say the same thing as MN.
JB

Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2011, 01:43:53 AM »
and my point to her or him is did kevin file 1,111 cases this week?  If not then her opinion isnt fact and shes just bad mouthing someone for no other reason than she doesnt like hooper, which probably isnt wise anymore considering shes not a public official.

Whoever "Hi" is apparently knows at least something about the legal principles of modern American libel law under the key case from 1964, New York Times v Sullivan, and several followup cases of which the last major case was two decades ago.

Put briefly, while she was a public official, it would be extremely difficult for Deborah Hooper to win a court case alleging that someone had libeled her. The concept is that public officials voluntarily chose to run for office, they have other ways to repair damage done to their reputation. and they should not be able to use the power of their office through the court system to prevent legitimate democratic discussion of their views or actions. To win a libel case, a public official must prove that a news organization not only printed things that were false and which damaged the reputation of the public official but also that the news organization acted with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for the truth."

The other three categories under New York Times v Sullivan and followup case law are public figures, limited public figures, and private figures.

On the opposite end of the scale from public officials, a private figure does not need to prove actual malice if falsity, defamation and negligence can all be proved. Private figures can be severely harmed by a false and defamatory article which was published after negligent reporting and editing, and may have no easy way to call a newspaper or broadcast outlet to account except the courts. For that reason, actual malice need not be proved by private figures if negligence can be proved.

As a practical matter, this means it's fairly easy for a newspaper to lose a libel lawsuit for a screwup involving someone who is not public if proper editing has not been done. That's why reporting court dockets is so dangerous.

Between those two extremes lie the categories of general purpose public figures and limited public figures. Again, put briefly, a public figure voluntarily seeks the limelight and has ways to get redress in the court of public opinion rather than the actual courts. Limited public figures are people who might in some areas of their life be considered private figures -- a high school sports coach probably won't win a libel suit unless he can prove an article about his coaching was false, malicious and defamatory and also was written with reckless disregard for the truth, but a similar article about some other area of his life might result in winning a libel judgment.

Key to all of this is the concept of falsity. Any attack on anyone, if it's true, is fair game.

Furthermore, because opinion cannot be proven true or false, something which is clearly opinion cannot be libel no matter how strong the terms of attack, based on a case from the early 1900s. However, any facts stated in the opinion piece must be true.

Applying that to the current case -- Sheriff King has shown that it is factually untrue that Hillman has "done more in a week than Hooper did in her whole stint as County 'Prosecutor.'"

If this ever went to court, ScarlettMommy's lawyer would argue that she was speaking metaphorically and stating an opinion rather than a fact, based on a 1988 case in which Jerry Falwell lost a libel lawsuit against Hustler on the grounds that no reasonable person would have thought Hustler was actually claiming Falwell has incestous sexual relations with his mother in an outhouse and Hustler's point was to subject Falwell to ridicule, not to claim their parody piece was stating facts.

If the court ruled that ScarlettMommy's comments were not opinion but a statement of fact, the next step would be to determine if Hooper was being criticized for her conduct as a public official, and the answer is clearly yes.

It's then necessary to prove that ScarlettMommy's comments damaged Hooper's reputation and that she acted with both "actual malice" against Hooper and "reckless disregard for the truth."

Now why am I writing all this?

Two reasons.

First, people who are publishing things on the internet often have no idea how serious their legal liability is. These are serious issues -- very, very serious. They can easily lead to thousands of dollars in legal bills for even minor cases, and possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage judgments if the libel standards can be met and actual defamation can be shown. The moral of the story for all of us? Get your facts right before putting pen to paper or hitting "post" on your computer. The "reckless disregard for the truth" standard protects you against honest mistakes, but check your facts and be prepared to prove you've checked them.

Second, by having this discussion, if either Rick Lepard or I get hauled into court for this or other comments on the Pulaski County Web, this discussion can be used as proof that we are NOT acting with reckless disregard for the truth in allowing comments like this to be made. On the contrary, they're being discussed and responded to. This is a discussion thread to which my own Pulaski County Daily News article is linked for comments, and if Rick Lepard were to be sued, I might be sued as well.

News reporting can easily be a dangerous business. These are not minor matters. I, for one, most emphatically do not want to end up in a courtroom defending myself against a libel lawsuit.

Unfortunately, as the internet has given literally anyone with a blog the ability to publish, there's a massive problem with legal risk and many people don't even know the rules before they enter the minefield.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline merrywhiterose

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2011, 02:16:04 AM »
I have personally seen a Prosecuting Attorney (not here) that refused to listen to both sides. They just kept pushing and pushing to prosecute an innocent person. The judge acted like he could care less what the person's attorney said and still prosecuted. The reality: in this day and age you are guilty, unless you can show beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you aren't.

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2011, 05:19:21 AM »
Each of the cases filed were supported by probable cause or they would not have been filed.  I am not interested in numbers, just prosecuting those that commit crimes.  Also, keep in mind that when they are charged, it is an accusation, and the person remains innocent until proven guilty.  So you know, I have turned down charges this week for lack of probable cause.
-Kevin
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Offline merrywhiterose

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2011, 03:20:25 PM »
Kevin,
If you truly uphold the law and not numbers, I commend you. Just always look at both sides before prosecuting. There are a lot of poor people around here that have to plead guilty, just because they can't afford a good attorney.

Offline qqqq

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2011, 04:13:28 PM »
Personally I don't think the law is always fair anyway.... here I ssit for the 2nd year in a row with no child support, but there isn't anything anyone can do because he has a disability claim!  BS.....  So we just have to sit around and wait some more..  Although I must say that since Mr. Hillman has taken office the lady that deals with child support is a little easier to get a hold of!

Offline Geezer Glide Taz

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2011, 04:26:39 PM »
Good job Kevin. Thank you for taking on such a unforgiving unappreciated postion and excelling at it where others have failed.
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Offline Coyote

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2011, 05:47:24 PM »
So far, so good.  13 days with no complaints.  How long will it be before Mr. Hillman stops being looked at as the "Second Coming?"  I'm not a relative or close friend of Ms. Hooper, but I think the bashing should stop and Mr. Hillman be recognized as what he is.  A first term Prosecuting Attorney who has yet to prove his worth.  If you keep him up on a pedestal wearing his halo, the first time he disappoints you (and yes he will one day because believe it or not, he is human), it will be all over and you'll kick him around the same way you did Deborah.  Good luck Kevin.

Good job Kevin. Thank you for taking on such a unforgiving unappreciated postion and excelling at it where others have failed.
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Offline 2CardJohnE

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2011, 06:21:46 PM »
the pa files charges when there is probable cause. the judge or jury will sort it out.

all are found guilty if the pa presses charges? don't think so'

It seems a new PA has some folks PO'd !!! LOL LOL

I hope the Texas county pa is good. I am on the hook for jury duty until april! lookin forward to it!
  god forbid if the accused is a democrat!!
John Wayne said it best, "I may not have voted for him, but he is MY President

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2011, 06:58:39 PM »
Coyote, I don't think he will be kicked around as you put it.  Kevin is not perfect, but I can tell you he has something the other prosecutor did not have.  Organizational skills.  Everyone makes mistakes.  And I am sure Kevin will too.  But at least he is in there pitching and not just sitting around complaining about the person he replaced.  did he pee in yoiur cheerios or something?   You do seem to have an agenda against him.  Hope I am wrong on that though.  Perhaps you are just trying to bring the people here down from a natural high.  At least most of us are not disappointed in him and I don't think I will be during his tenure.  Known him since before his first child was born.

Offline Coyote

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2011, 07:40:13 PM »
No he didn't do a thing to me and I think he'll do just fine.  I do think when you go on and on about how great a prosecutor he is and each of you try to top the other with praise and accolaids, after only a few days, you are setting him up.

Coyote, I don't think he will be kicked around as you put it.  Kevin is not perfect, but I can tell you he has something the other prosecutor did not have.  Organizational skills.  Everyone makes mistakes.  And I am sure Kevin will too.  But at least he is in there pitching and not just sitting around complaining about the person he replaced.  did he pee in yoiur cheerios or something?   You do seem to have an agenda against him.  Hope I am wrong on that though.  Perhaps you are just trying to bring the people here down from a natural high.  At least most of us are not disappointed in him and I don't think I will be during his tenure.  Known him since before his first child was born.
....and that night as the moon crossed the mountain, one more Coyote was heard...

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2011, 08:05:40 PM »
As far as I can see, I have only spoken about facts I know about him.  Until he took this job, he was my lawyer too. 

Offline igahmah at work

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2011, 09:54:18 PM »
Note to Kevin:  Would you please put a date in the name of the thread so we will know if it is a new one or not.  Thanks

Like this one is called "Prosecutor Office Press Release"  that is all that shows up in the topic list.

If you would put "Prosecutor Office Press Release for 1/1/11" then we would know when it was first posted without going into the thread.  Thanks.
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Offline blissfullybusy

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2011, 01:32:20 AM »
Coyote, I don't think he will be kicked around as you put it.  Kevin is not perfect, but I can tell you he has something the other prosecutor did not have.  Organizational skills.  Everyone makes mistakes.  And I am sure Kevin will too.  But at least he is in there pitching and not just sitting around complaining about the person he replaced.  did he pee in yoiur cheerios or something?   You do seem to have an agenda against him.  Hope I am wrong on that though.  Perhaps you are just trying to bring the people here down from a natural high.  At least most of us are not disappointed in him and I don't think I will be during his tenure.  Known him since before his first child was born.

He also has a staff that respects him and believes in him... that is a big change from the past prosecutor. :-)
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2011, 02:37:55 PM »
Kevin can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he's following the model of the Sheriff's View which is one huge giant long thread -- the 69th one ever put up on this board that now has more than 25000 threads -- and Sheriff King keeps adding to it.

That system has some advantages.

Note to Kevin:  Would you please put a date in the name of the thread so we will know if it is a new one or not.  Thanks

Like this one is called "Prosecutor Office Press Release"  that is all that shows up in the topic list.

If you would put "Prosecutor Office Press Release for 1/1/11" then we would know when it was first posted without going into the thread.  Thanks.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2011, 02:58:22 PM »
So far, so good.  13 days with no complaints.  How long will it be before Mr. Hillman stops being looked at as the "Second Coming?"  I'm not a relative or close friend of Ms. Hooper, but I think the bashing should stop and Mr. Hillman be recognized as what he is.  A first term Prosecuting Attorney who has yet to prove his worth.  If you keep him up on a pedestal wearing his halo, the first time he disappoints you (and yes he will one day because believe it or not, he is human), it will be all over and you'll kick him around the same way you did Deborah.  Good luck Kevin.


Coyote has a fair point ... Kevin will make mistakes, and even on things that weren't mistakes, he'll attract critics who are mad at him either because he made the right decision and they didn't like it or because he made a difficult decision that could have gone either way since the facts were not totally clear. That is inherent in the nature of the job -- you can't be a prosecutor and not make enemies.

That brings up an important point. We need to understand one thing very clearly -- there is a major difference in prosecutorial philosophy between Kevin Hillman and Deborah Hooper.

Hooper said over and over again that she wanted to file only good solid quality cases, and cites nightmares such as the Duke lacrosse team as examples of abusive prosecution when prosecutors filed charges they couldn't back up. Hillman has said that his job is to file cases if he believes he can get past the probable cause standard of proof required at a preliminary hearing. The standard to actually win a case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but that's not required to merely file charges, and that's a major part of the law enforcement complaints against Hooper that she was essentially trying cases at the preliminary hearing level rather than filing charges and seeing what happens next.

Rather than demanding a very high standard of proof up front, Hillman will likely file whatever charges he believes meet the probable cause standard of proof, and then deal with people by offering plea bargains to lesser charges if warranted, or if needed to clear the overloaded court docket and move things through because this county (as with many other counties) doesn't have enough staff to handle crime via lots of trials.

Kevin Hillman's approach is typical, apart from very small jurisdictions where the prosecutor actually has spare time on his hands. However, it is a major change from what the county has seen for the last few years, and we can assume there will be cases filed on which the facts later show that charges never should have been filed. I know Hillman well enough to believe that at some point he'll give me a phone call and say, "Darrell, you need to know I'm going to drop charges on Mr. X because I made a mistake and I now believe the charges were wrong, even though the police were right to arrest him based on what they knew at the time and the judge was right to bind it over for trial based on probable cause being shown."

Let's be prepared to hear a lot of attacks on Hillman from people blasting him for malicious prosecution. Most such attacks will be from people who are mad because their family or friends got caught and prosecuted. A few will be from people who really didn't do the crime, or from people who were charged with more serious crimes than they should have been charged with committing.

Voters decided they want the "bulldog" in office, to use the nickname given to Hillman by the County Commissioners. That's not a bad thing, but we do need to remember that sometimes bulldogs bite the wrong people.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline ScarlettsMommy

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2011, 03:07:57 AM »
Ok....Whoa...I was just being an ass...Really..Its ok.
 
 
 
 
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Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2011, 05:10:13 AM »
Folks, I make mistakes everyday.  I'll try and number the press releases or I will add a new topic for each one.  I am going to try and do a release once a week so folks know what the office is working on.
 
I plan on having an open house in a couple of weeks and invite the public in to see the office and meet the folks that work there.
 
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Offline David Day

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Re: Prosecutor Office Press Releases
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2011, 12:15:03 PM »
My comment has nothing to do with a Press Release from Mr. Hillman's Office but I thought this was a proper place to post it.

This last Thursday, while Kevin was in Jefferson City for a meeting, he stopped by my office for a visit.  What we visited about was a refreshing topic for an elected official...there are a few things that he asked me to look into that, if we can do it, would help protect some of the taxpayer dollars of the folks he works for in Pulaski County.  It was great to have a fellow elected official come to my office, not saying "send me more money" (which is also your tax dollars) but rather, "here is something we can do that I think will save taxpayers dollars".  WOW...how great!!!

Just thought I would share that, I have no doubt Kevin will do a great job in his new position and I look forward to helping him anyway I can.

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