Wisconsin’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 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.
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)
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
Angie Geyser speaks out about her daughter, Morgan Geyser‘s situation, both past and present. We at slenderchance.com are so proud of Angie, and impressed by how her story has been received. Angie Geyser’s story has surfaced in numerous local and national news headlines, as a result of Bruce Vielmetti‘s story in the Journal Sentinel: Mother of girl charged in Slender man stabbing struggles with daughter’s fate. Her story has since appeared in People, NY Daily News, CBS News, and most recently on Good Morning America! We are encouraged to see the mainstream news approaching the situation from a more objective perspective. Historically we have seen mainstream media sensationalizing the Slender Man case. This sensationalism resulted in a fearful and angry public, lacking the ability to perceive the situation from multiple angles. Now that the dust has settled, and Angie Geyser has chosen to go on camera with her story (Watch Angie Geyser Video Here), we are seeing much greater understanding and empathy.
We all recognize that a terrible tragedy occurred, but many do not realize that the tragedy continued long after the initial incident. The tragedy continued in the justice system, where Morgan Geyser (12 at the time) was held as an adult, with no mental health treatment. Many court battles were waged and ultimately Morgan was finally able to secure a diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately the now teenage Morgan is struggling to have her case heard in juvenile court. She is charged as an adult, with first degree attempted homicide, and if found guilty faces 60+ years in prison. We are rallying people to get involved in the case: join the Letter Writing Pool, Support and receive a Sticker to spread awareness, comment on posts, and most importantly share on social media! Together we can be both Morgan and Angie Geyser’s slender chance!
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Her 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.
This 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.
In 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!
Morgan Geyser’s co-defendant, Anissa Weier, has her own reverse waiver hearing today, Tuesday, May 26th, to determine if she will be remanded to juvenile court. While this hearing is independent of Morgan’s reverse waiver hearing next month, Judge Michael Bohren’s decision concerning Anissa Weier may be indicative of his willingness to come to a similar ruling for Morgan. Weier’s defense, based on an article in the Journal Sentinel by Bruce Vielmetti, is approaching the reverse waiver hearing from a constitutional angle, and recently filed a motion claiming that it “violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that keeping her from the juvenile court system violates her rights to equal protection and due process” (Journal Sentinel article). According to Vielmetti’s article, Weier’s attorneys are arguing “that science has shown that areas of the brain associated with impulse control, risk assessment and moral reasoning develop last, often not until a person is in her 20s”, which is widely recognized by the courts. While we at SlenderChance.com do not know whether Anissa Weier is, like Morgan Geyser, suffering from an organic brain disease like schizophrenia, we still stand firmly behind her case being remanded to juvenile court. The lengthy motion filed by Weier’s attorney’s provides ample reasoning, “…There is strong evidence that ‘adult time for adult crime’ laws actually increase recidivism because juveniles sentenced as adults become vulnerable to adult criminals (and) are mentored by them”.
In an associated local article published by WISN 12, our efforts at SenderChance.com were recognized, although it is clear that Nick Bohr (the author of said news report) did not thoroughly research the contents of the website. Bohr reports that, “WISN 12 News has learned of an online effort, SlenderChance.com, portraying Geyser as a child diagnosed with schizophrenia — someone in need of help and not as someone who tried to kill”. Had Bohr taken the time (as we recommend that everyone visiting our site do) to select the About tab and further investigate the purposes of the page, he would have quickly located a section titled The Facts… which includes both a short recapitulation of the crime and this passage, “While we DO NOT condone or support any violent crime, let alone this particular event, we believe that this crime is a symptom of a greater, and deeper social issue: mental illness. We believe that Morgan is a child with mental illness who needs help, not exile”. It is also interesting that Bohr states we are “portraying Geyser as a child diagnosed with schizophrenia”, when it is a fact that Morgan Geyser has been diagnosed with childhood onset schizophrenia, this fact being recognized in Judge Michael Bohren’s courtroom. It would seem that local news is continuing to perpetuate the notion that Morgan Geyser’s mental state is not legitimately a mitigating circumstance in this case, when in fact it is!
Last but certainly not least, we would like to remind our readers that the opportunity to write letters to Judge Michael Bohren is coming to a close, as the amassed letters will be provided to the judge on June 1st. By joining our Letter Writing Pool you will have the opportunity to directly assist in our efforts to be Morgan Geyser’s slender chance!
“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.” ~ Albert Camus
A bail reduction motion for Morgan Geyser may provide her the opportunity to receive the treatment she needs! Judge Michael Bohren will decide next Friday, April 24th, 2015 if Morgan Geyser’s bail will be reduced. If granted, the bail modification request will provide Morgan the opportunity to attend a residential treatment facility at her families’ expense. An article today in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel by writer Bruce Vielmetti explains the details behind this Recent Development.
Now more than ever your Support is needed! This crux decisions means a multitude of things; first and foremost, if Judge Michael Bohren agrees to reduce her bail, it means that Morgan can begin receiving the treatment she desperately needs. It also means that her family will be facing a significant financial burden. The kind of facility that can provide Morgan with the treatment she needs, pending the outcome of her case, a Wauwatosa residential treatment center, is VERY expensive! The financial burden of such treatment would rest solely on Morgan’s family, were it not for the Support feature on this page. Every donation contributes to the now limited financial pool, which Morgan’s family draws from while attempting to address her schizophrenia. Supporters will receive a slenderchance.com sticker, which we hope you will display in a prominent location, in solidarity with us!
This is also a key moment for a logical, rational citizenry to be writing letters to the Honorable Judge Michael Bohren, asking him to remand her case to juvenile court. Join our Letter Writing Pool and communicate these important matters now, either in the preferred method of Snail Mail (preferred because it has a stronger, physical impact), or by using the Email Option on the Contact page. Please address The Honorable Judge Michael Bohren directly and ask him to remand Morgan’s case to juvenile court. Morgan Geyser is a twelve year old child, with untreated schizophrenia, and she needs our help; you can be her slender chance!
“Stop doing what is easy. Start doing what is right.” ~ Roy Bennett