Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Paging the ACLU

I'm back from my latest trip for a while and hopefully I'll be able to write more regularly now that that's taken care of. While I was gone, however, all sorts of things hit the fan. My sister-in-law's parents were put in jail, essentially for adopting the child of a drug addict. They housed her for a time and through talking with the mother and whatnot, they (and she) decided that the baby would be adopted by them. They have had it for around 6 months now, essentially since it was a newborn, they have documents that show the adoption proceeding and retained the counsel of a (almost certainly) cheap adoption lawyer. The lady apparently is mentally challenged, and decided that she wanted the baby back. The local police advised her after several false calls from the lady and harrasment threats that due to her current state and the unsavory characters (read: druggies/drug dealers) that she was hanging around with that it would be best for her to leave her house and lay low for a while. She went to her daughter's house (not the daughter who married my brother, another one) in Minnesota and after she left the South Beloit PD issued a warrant for the arrest of her husband and her. They've both had bail hearings, and the mother's extradition hearing is today. I don't know about the father, but the mother wasn't given legal counsel during her bail hearing and she isn't being given counsel today either, a direct violation of Gideon v. Wainwright; which essentially says that you have a right to counsel according to the 6th and 14th amendments, even if you are indigent and if it's a non-capital crime. The media's been pretty harsh on them, mainly because they're getting the DA office's side, as the family doesn't have an attorney. (Here's some stories from the Rockford Register Star here and here.) Any links, help, or otherwise would be great!

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