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Showing posts from December, 2009
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So, the local magistrate reminded me today about a case where the Alaska Supreme Court got it wrong. In Alaska Board of Nursing v. Platt 169 P3d 595 (Alaska 2007), the Supreme Court gutted the idea of a suspended imposition of sentence. Alaska Statute 12.55.085 authorizes the superior court to suspend the imposition of a sentence and thereafter set aside a conviction if the defendant successfully completes a probationary period. It is not truly expunged but it was the best we had. The Court allowed the Board of Nursing to use the prior set aside convictions against her and refused to allow her to become a nurse. The question of whether or not she should have been a nurse is not the question. The question is 'what is the value of an SIS in Alaska'? The answer is 'not much'. It may take a defendant out of the presumptive sentencing scheme (which I can explain if people want) but Platt allows the collateral consequences of the conviction to remain. So, now…
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So, Alaska can be a hard place to be when you don't have many friends with common interests. In winter it is even more so. Now that the rental is almost done I feel I need to get out. Ride the snowmachine. Ice fish. Use the Rhino. The girls are not old enough yet to really get out. These things are hard to do by yourself. It is odd. I find myself in Alaska. A place that I love. But my closest friends all live within a hundred miles of each in other in Northern California. I know J would like to leave. But I can't see raising my girls anywhere else but Alaska. But I know that Alaska can be hard place to be. The winter is almost half over. The winter is almost half over. The winter is almost half over.
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So, Merry Christmas. As usual the girls were spoiled by their family. Thank you to everyone who sent presents. The girls got more than they need but it is still nice to see once a year. It is my hope that everyone, everywhere, is able to put aside all the troubles of their life for this one day. Be happy. Eat well. If you can, enjoy those around you. Let life resume tomorrow. For me, this is last bit of down time for a few months. My murder trial starts soon and the amount of 'overtime' I am about to put in will be staggering. I am looking forward to the work and I am looking forward to getting the family out of here for a few days afterwards. Have a good day everyone. P.S. AJ fell over and get a hell of a shiner. She looks like a 'bruiser' as her English family would say. Or a 'part time scrapper'....whatever the hell that is.
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So, my buddy Jesse hit a moose yesterday. He is ok but his truck? Well. It won't start. It is pretty mangled. And this was only a yearling. A small moose. It might only be my eyes but moose get darker in the winter. And when one of these big black bastards steps out in front of you....well. Our office manager hit one. A local judge hit one. Judge Huguelet was hurt because the hoof came in the window and broke his face and his arm. Totalled his car I understand. Ouch. About 600 moose a year are hit by cars in Alaska. I have got 9. So about 1/2 of 1% of all roadkill moose in Alaska go to the Adams family. I think poor old Gromit would have liked it that way. God I miss that dog. But it is part of the charm, and risk, of living in Alaska. I like to imagine one of my girls somewhere one day. Somewhere warmer and greener. Driving her car. "Hey slow down...there are deer on these roads". She will just say "boy, where I come from, the red calves dropped in the sp…
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So. Tilt, bitch, tilt. Now we start gaining day light. And, in a total coincidence, today was above freezing. All day. Light and warmth? Life is good in Alaska today.
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So, some people believe in fancy store bought Christmas trees. You know one with lots of pretty even branches and all that. Not me. I think part of Christmas in Alaska is hauling one of these ugly little scrub spruce in and seeing what can be done to pretty it up. I had planned a big family expedition but it has just been too darned cold. So we cut one off the property. And it looks pretty good all decorated too. I was supposed to go snowmachining in the Caribou Hills today but, and those of you who know me won't blink at this, I got my snowmachine started and then it died and it won't start again. I damaged my bumper on the trailer. You know, the standard stuff for me. So I am going to cut my losses. Make food for the office Solstice lunch tomorrow..Mulligatawny soup and Naan bread is my part. After tomorrow the days start getting longer!! After 6 weeks of nights and weekends the house is just about done. One more night of work and then cleaning. The crack den is no more and …
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So, there is one thing I have to bitch about. In Alaska, the Public Defender Agency makes us pay our own bar dues. I believe the Department of Law had the same policy for DA's. I have never heard of this anywhere else. It certainly was not true even in (my hated) California. It is especially bad because State law says that Public Defender cannot have a practice on the side. I hear the Alaska State Bar just raised its dues to $500. So now I have to come up with $500. Total bullshit. One of the supposed benefits of being a government worker is not being out of pocket just to work. I wonder how much it would cost the Agency to pay the dues? Maybe $50,000. Out of budget of millions. It is hard to come up with $500. Especially as J now wants a third kid. My old roommate Matt Finnegan in Ukiah CA is running for District Attorney. Maybe I should go work for him. Bah. $500 my ass. I am pissed!!!!
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So, the Governor of Alaska has announced a new campaign to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault. It is shame that he only listened to one side of the story. He is mistaken in his views and his polices will do nothing. Here is why. First, there is a claim that the rate of 'domestic violence' in Alaska is higher than the national average. That is probably true. For two reasons. First, as I have blogged about before, the definition of domestic violence is absurdly broad. Second, when you combine that definition of domestic violence (especially) into Native villages, basically every crime committed is a crime of 'domestic violence'. I have no doubt that in some places, actual domestic violence may be a problem. But, after three years of practice in Alaska, I just don't see it. I wonder if anyone ever said to Governor Parnell "hey Alaska defines crimes of domestic violence really, really, really broadly. Before we freak out, let's look at h…
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So, the Alaska Public Defender Agency is hiring. I do not, of course, speak for the Agency in any way whatsoever but I simply figured I would do some free advertising. Quite frankly our office needs a misdemeanor lawyer. There are spots open throughout the State and I encourage anyone who is interested to call Doug Moody in Anchorage. Tell him I sent you if you wish. My only request is that you come to Alaska with the 'right' attitude. That is, although there are no guarantees in life, it really sucks to have people show up who treat this place as some sort of temporary flop house. Alaska deserves better. Hell, call me first and I will talk to you. There are pro's and con's of any job, and of life in Alaska, but the Agency is a damned good place to work. The pay is good, the lawyers are excellent and the support you need (experts, staff, supplies etc. is there). It is probably one of the few public defender organizations that IS hiring. Besides, it is Alaska. And ye…
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Huh. A man accused of killing 4 cops was gunned down by cops after 'refusing to obey orders'. Who would have guessed? Maybe it was justified. Maybe not. I'm just saying that if you had asked me to bet my left testicle (being sheared off with a rusty hedge clipper by a serial killer who then ate it in front of me) on how this would end, I would have guessed right. GASP!