Posts Tagged ‘court of appeals’

Wisconsin’s Barbaric Justice System

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 5.38.30 PMWisconsin’s barbaric justice system strikes again! Morgan Geyser, 12 at the time of the incident known nationally as the Slender Man Stabbing, has been officially charged as an adult. The Court of Appeals, composed of Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer, and Judges Paul Reilly and Brian Hagedorn, affirmed County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren’s decision from August 10th, 2015. Their decision cited the following conclusion, “The circuit court properly “examined the relevant facts, applied a proper standard of law, and [used] a demonstrated rational process” to reach a reasonable discretionary decision to retain adult jurisdiction of Geyser.”

This conclusion is based on the following Wisconsin's Barbaric Justice System legal criteria, discussed by Bruce Vielmetti in his recent Court of Appeals article: “1) That the girls could not get needed treatment in the adult system; 2) That prosecuting them as adults is not the only way to deter others from similar crimes; 3) That the transfer would “not depreciate the seriousness of the offense.”” According to Bohren these criteria were not met, similarly the Court of Appeals stated, “We will not overturn a circuit court’s discretionary determination if the record reflects that discretion was exercised; instead, we will seek out reasons to sustain the decision.”

Interestingly and sadly, the Court of Appeals Decision was based on misinformation. Under “WIS. STAT. § 970.032(2)(c): Deterrence” the following misinformation was cited, “Geyser does not believe that she is mentally ill, and she refuses to take medication.” Morgan’s mother, Angie Geyser, explains, “Morgan has never refused medication. This has been reported inaccurately so often that the media seems to have managed to skew the opinions of the courts. She has been 100% compliant with medication and treatment. The media needs to stop spreading this untruth.” Morgan has been fighting the media all along. The media has demonized Morgan in its endless effort to turn a buck from the misery of the world. Unfortunately they have succeeded in infiltrating the minds’ of Wisconsin Judges.

Wisconsin's Barbaric Justice System Despite resistance from Prosecutors and Judges, Morgan started taking medication after successfully achieving civil commitment to a state mental hospital, approximately seven months ago. We use the word “achieve” because she fought to be committed, and fought to have medication, not vice versa. Angie Geyser explains further, “She has developed insight into her illness, and wants to continue on the path to recovery, keeping her in the adult system, with the possibility of eventually ending up incarcerated in an adult prison, will do nothing but ensure that this does not happen.” (Court of Appeals article, Vielmetti)

Wisconsin's Barbaric Justice System What of the law itself? Wisconsin tries 10 year olds as adults? Tod Haller of Fox 9 (KMSP) in neighboring Minnesota explains, “In Minnesota, this only happens when someone is at least 16 years old and they’re charged with first-degree murder. But in Wisconsin, they only have to be 10 years old — it applies to a few types of murder charges including attempted first-degree murder, which the girls are charged with in the “slender man” case.” So if we look beyond the Slender Man Stabbing media sensationalism, and misinformed Judges poised to “seek out reasons to sustain the decision”, the state of Wisconsin is comfortable charging 10 year olds as adults: Barbaric! We are calling out to all of those who would be Morgan Geyser’s voice – please comment, share on social media, and/or donate for a free sticker promoting Morgan’s cause. Get involved locally and lobby for the causes that speak to you!

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa

Slender Chance Slender Win

11826007_1465859523716099_3759901489993067336_nHer slender chance has become her slender win, or so it seems after recent news places Morgan Geyser in a treatment facility since January 2016. Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel explains, “One of the two girls charged in the 2014 Slender Man stabbing case has been getting psychiatric treatment at a state mental hospital after a judge committed her there in mid-January.” According to Anthony Cotton, Morgan’s attorney, “She’s made substantial progress…The voices are disappearing…More recently, Morgan began expressing remorse; she’s starting to feel regular and normal emotions now,” and all as a result of medication and treatment. According to Vielmetti the decision to commit Morgan for treatment was a civil judgment, and is being handled seperately from her criminal case.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 10.50.24 AMThis is not the only positive development though. As many of you know, last August Judge Michael Bohren ruled that Morgan’s case would not be remanded to juvenile court. Rather she would be tried as an adult for attempted first-degree intentional homicide. If tried and convicted as an adult, the now 13 year old (11 at the time of the crime) would face a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. Morgan’s attorney subsequently petitioned the Court of Appeals, and that decision is scheduled to be forthcoming. During the lengthy interim, while the Wisconsin state Department of Justice requested three extensions to its deadline, slenderchance.com has been coordinating supporters. Our Letter Writing efforts have been on petitioning Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer (Court of Appeals), and it has become evident that it is making a difference. A recent local WISN report stated, “People from across the country are pleading for leniency for two young girls suspected in what’s become known as the Slenderman stabbing.” (Nick Bohr, WISN) Bohr continued, “Dozens of letters from all over the U.S. are being sent to the court, asking for leniency for the pair.” According to WISN many of these letters are form written, which are likely those created YOU! We are so pleased that individuals like you have chosen to take the precious time to be Morgan Geyser’s voice. It is equally assuring to know that there are people who are willing to see beyond retribution. Our efforts are focused on taking a very tragic situation, and arresting its course. We cannot undo what has already transpired, but we can take responsibility and inhibit further harm from occurring.

beware-the-slendermanIn other news, “Beware the Slenderman”, an HBO Documentary Film directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky recently made waves at the SXSW Film Festival. According to Vielmetti, Brodsky commented on the participation of Morgan’s parents, saying “she was astonished at the parents’ honesty and called them brave to be part of the film, which she showed each family separately. She said it was emotional because the parents saw their girls have now become their own Internet memes.” (Bruce Vielmetti, Journal Sentinel) While we at slenderchance.com have not seen the documentary, we understand that it provides a more objective perception for audiences, concerning the sensationalized case. All of this together may just provide what we have been seeking all along for Morgan Geyser – her slender chance for justice!

You Can Make A Difference

11186379_392078917650487_166879242_nYou can make a difference in a very direct way! Often I find myself watching an intense documentary or television series, and I come away feeling motivated to make a difference, yet I do not see where in my life I can apply myself to make that difference. Today I’m thinking of the popular Netflix series “Making a Murderer“. Equally as often we find ourselves discovering a miscarriage of justice that has occurred, and while our hearts may go out to those affected by such an injustice, we are helpless to assist. As in the case of Steven Avery, Morgan Geyser’s case has already been tried and vilified in the media, ad nauseam. She will not overcome this impediment without our support! Morgan Geyser‘s case is an opportunity to help in a very direct way. By writing letters to the Court of Appeals we can encourage Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer to remand Morgan’s case to juvenile court.

When Morgan was arrested she was barely 12 years old, and suffered from undiagnosed and untreated childhood onset schizophrenia. While we are not excusing her actions, we are seeking justice for a mentally ill child, who was incapable of changing her course of action. By scanning the newsfeed on our Home Page you can begin to construct a picture in your mind of an empathic child suffering from a disease that alters her entire perception of reality. The violence that came to pass as a result of these all encompassing delusions cannot be erased, or undone. And while that tragedy remains, so too does another tragedy unfold, one which we can impact in a very direct way.

Judge Michael BohrenThe state of Wisconsin seeks to treat Morgan Geyser as an adult, and will not treat her now diagnosed mental illness. While Judge Michael Bohren acknowledges that Morgan Geyser will not receive adequate mental health treatment if she ends up at Taycheedah Women’s Prison when she turns 18, he maintains that moving the case to juvenile court will “unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense” (Journal Sentinel). In defense of his ruling, Bohren further stated, “There has to be assurance to the public — and to these defendants as well — that a serious offense has to be dealt with on a serious basis that offers protection to everyone” (Journal Sentinel). For my more adept readers, there seems to be an inherent contradiction here: Bohren recognizes that Geyser will not receive adequate mental health treatment if tried as an adult, yet maintains that his ruling “offers protection to everyone”.

handwritten-letter“Every day that passes without treatment decreases the likelihood that she will recover and have the opportunity to become a productive member of society. Morgan is just a child, and she deserves that opportunity and a second chance at life”, pleads Angie Geyser in her Petition at Change.Org. We too plead with you to join our Letter Writing Pool, and demand that the Court of Appeals remand Morgan’s case to juvenile court. This child should not face an adult charge of attempted homicide, with a toll of 60 years in prison, when the evidence clearly indicates that she committed the crime as a result of severe and untreated mental illness.

Please write respectfully to Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer asking them to move Morgan’s case to juvenile court. Letters should be sent to the following address:

Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer
Court of Appeals – District II
2727 N. Grandview Blvd Ste 300
Waukesha, WI 53188-1671

You may download the attached file, print, sign and send. It will cost you a sheet of paper, an envelope and a stamp, but the impact will be tremendous!

Download Here: Morgan-CourtofAppeals

Another way to support Morgan, aside from the Letter Writing Pool is to donate to her legal defense. Every contribution, $5 or more, will award donators a slenderchance.com sticker, which can be displayed in support of Morgan’s cause. As most of you know, legal costs are astronomically high, and Morgan’s case is no exception. Every contribution will support costs associated with Morgan’s imprisonment, legal costs, and treatment. Together we can be her slender chance!

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” 
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Court of Appeals Letters

WisconsinmapCourt of Appeals Letters are on the front burner, as we hope that by writing letters to Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer (Court of Appeals) we can provide them with a different perspective concerning Morgan Geyser’s case. We would like to remind them that Morgan is a 13 year old child (barely 12 at the time of the incident) with untreated schizophrenia.

11826007_1465859523716099_3759901489993067336_nWe need to remind them that scientific studies have shown that children are not developmentally capable of understanding the cause/effect of their actions in the same manner as adults, which is precisely why the juvenile court system exists. If the severity of the crime dictates whether a child should be tried in adult court, then we have truly lost track of what “a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people” means.

We must remind them that Morgan needs and deserves treatment, care, compassion, and understanding. Morgan is a mentally ill child, and like any child suffering from illness she needs support and help, not exile!

Please write respectfully to Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer asking them to move Morgan’s case to juvenile court. Letters should be sent to the following address:

Judges Paul Reilly, Lisa Stark, and Lisa Neubauer
Court of Appeals – District II
2727 N. Grandview Blvd Ste 300
Waukesha, WI 53188-1671

You may download the attached file, print, sign and send. It will cost you a sheet of paper, an envelope and a stamp, but the impact will be tremendous!

Download Here: Morgan-CourtofAppeals

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.” ~ Lloyd Shearer