Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The "Justice" system fails again

I have a bad rap with so-called "Law and Order" types because I won't bend to their fawning "our cops and prosecutors, right or wrong" view of law enforcement. This story (hat tip: Debra Farver) puts into perspective exactly WHY I think the system should be examined with higher scrutiny.

First, the basics of the story.
The festive atmosphere of Fourth of July celebrations turned somber as Tacoma police were called to investigate the kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl. Zina Linnik was last seen walking in an alley behind her parents house at around 9:45 p.m. on July 4, 2007.

A witness heard a girl scream, looked in the alley and saw an unknown Asian male get into an older model, gray van and drive away. Authorities issued an AMBER Alert. Police say that the Washington license plate of the van contained the numbers 677 or 667.
An Amber alert was issued the next day (more on that later). But it was for naught.
Tacoma Police announced they found the body of 12-year-old Zina Linnik in Pierce County. The information came from a sex offender arrested earlier this week.
Sad. Very sad.

But "sad" wouldn't be the dominant emotion for long. First, that little passage about Zina's death -- the information came from a sex offender. That's a story all by itself. Meet Terapon Adhahn, child rapist and murderer.
Thai national, Terapon Dang Adhahn, a 42-year-old construction worker, who has legal US residency on a green card...a convicted sex offender and pedophile
How'd he get the label "sex offender" in the first place?
Adhahn...was convicted of incest in 1990 for violently raping his 16-year-old half-sister.
Yeah. You read that correctly. He violently raped his own sister.

And how did our "Justice System" deal with Mr. Adhahn after he brutalized his sister? After all, he had committed a heinous, violent crime. And, while he was a legal alien, he was STILL an alien, subject to deportation. Not to worry, sez "Justice".
During therapy, when he was again diagnosed as having an “extremely problematic” personality, it is considered that the authorities were negligent in not recognizing the danger. He was only classified as a level I, or low risk sex offender.
Not deported. Not classified as a dangerous offender, notwithstanding the considered opinion of Psych professionals. Not given an appropriate jail sentence (only 2 months behind bars).

After he was arrested for the murder of Zina Linnik, he was linked with still more acts of violence and murder.
According to the Pierce County Proescutor’s Office , Adhahn was booked into the Pierce County Jail on one count of kidnapping and three counts of first degree child rape for the May 31, 2000 kidnapping and rape of an 11-year-old girl who was found duct taped to a tree at Fort Lewis.

Adhahn has also been booked on one count of first degree rape, three counts of second degree rape and three counts of third degree child rape involving a girl who lived with him in Spanaway between 2001 and 2005. Probable cause documents indicate the girl told investigators that she was raped once or twice a week and that the total number of rapes was somewhere between 150 and 200. In some of the cases the girl, who lived with Adhahn between the ages of 12- and 15-years-old, told police she would sometimes be restrained. She said she ran away after the last rape in which she allegedly told Adhahn “No, I’m not doing that anymore.” The documents say “the defendant pointed a gun on her and told her to ‘shut up and just do it.”"
More allegations followed.
The man suspected of killing 12-year-old Zina Linnik has been named as a person of interest in the death of Adre’Anna Jackson, who was found dead in a Pierce County field in 2006.

Lakewood Police Lt. Dave Guttu said officers went back and showed Terapon Adhahn’s photo to residents in the Tillicum neighborhood where Adre’Anna lived, and several people said they saw him in the area around the time Adre’Anna disappeared.
All this because he wasn't given an adequate jail sentence, nor was he deported, nor was he recognized by law enforcement as the vile sociopath he is.


But the "Fail" had only begun by that point. Remember the Amber Alert? It wasn't issued until SIX HOURS after the girl was reported missing. Why? The official reason given back in 2007 was "continuing police work".

Uh, about that.
Police Department spokesman Mark Fulghum was on-call during the early morning hours of July 5, 2007, when he went back to sleep instead of issuing the [Amber] alert as requested.
You read that right. He went back to sleep. FFS.

Surely he was fired, or at minimum suspended without pay, or reprimanded, or something, right? NOT.
Tacoma Police Sergeant Mark Fulghum won't be disciplined in any way following an on-the-job nap that delayed the issuance of an AMBER Alert for Zina Linnik by six hours after she was kidnapped and later killed by deranged sex-offender Terapon Adhahn in 2007.
It was only after the public outcry reached Biblical scale that a reprimand was issued. Sort of.
In a sudden about-face, Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson announced Friday that he has reprimanded Police Chief Don Ramsdell for withholding information regarding the Zina Linnik investigation.

The reprimand does not concern the chief’s misleading of the news media about why the issuance of an Amber Alert was delayed after the 12-year-old girl was abducted July 4, 2007.
A reprimand against the Chief for lying to the City Manager, NOT for lying to the general public. No reprimand against Sgt. Fulghum for sleeping on the job, either. Nice.

And what of Sgt. Fulghum? Has the public outcry caught up with him. Not exactly.
Fulghum...remains on duty while the internal investigation runs its course. He has not been disciplined for his handling of the Amber Alert.
Nor do I expect him to be. Lapdog local media will be complicit in it: his "exoneration" will be buried in the paper on page D-11, next to the Want Ads, where John Q. Public will be most likely to miss it. Local TV news might mention it 15 minutes into the broadcast in what should be about a 20-second news item. Not a knock on the media. It just won't strike them as news-worthy. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are out there doing something more important, after all.

"Our cops and prosecutors, right or wrong"? Not me. Law enforcement needs to get its house in order before that will ever happen for me or anyone thinking past the end of their nose.