JFK Admin Welcomes 2 Master’s Holders

first_imgDr. (PhD. RN) Wvannie Scott-McDonald has expressly told the Daily Observer about her joy over two Master’s holders who are back to beef the quality at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA) at the hospital.Dr. McDonald, who is the General Administrator for John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), including TNIMA, in Sinkor, said the arrival of the two would help strengthen and augment the manpower at the hospital.Dr. McDonald spoke with the Observer in an exclusive interview at a recognition ceremony for the two ladies—Ada C. Brown-Wraynee and Cynthia Kokro-Bondoe—who earned their Master’s degree in Nursing Education from the Indiana University (IU) School of Nursing in the United States of America in December 2013.Ada and Cynthia, who could not make the December graduation ceremonies in the US because they were in Liberia where they had come to do the remaining of their thesis papers, were blessed to have senior officials, including the Dean of IU—Madam Marion E. Broome, to attend their recognition program, which was held in the conference room of the University of Liberia president, Dr. Emmet Dennis.Other IU officials, who also graced the ceremony, were Mary Beth Riner, Associate Dean for Global Affairs; Deanna Reising, Associate Professor and Evelyn Stephenson, Clinical Assistant Professor. These officials hooded the two graduates.The two fellows, Ada and Cynthia, were sponsored by the USAID/Higher Education for Development Center for Excellence in Health and Life Sciences, in order to support the implementation of the BSc Midwifery and Nursing degree program to be offered during the next academic year through a UL-TNIMA partnership.As part of their graduate research activity, the two nurses were trained as trainers in the Helping Babies Breathe technique. Since they returned in December, they have trained 154 midwives and nurses on the technique.The Center for Excellence in Health and Life Sciences is a $2.6 million partnership between the University of Liberia, Indiana University, and University of Massachusetts, supporting development and strengthening of health and life sciences at UL and TNIMA. As part of its mission, grant also supports the development of the undergraduate life sciences at UL and pre-clinical courses at A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.Also speaking with the Observer, one of the fellows, Ada, said she feels great coming back to augment the workforce at TNIMA. She said she had acquired special skills in managing infant and child mortality, which is high in Liberia. Ada: “When you tell fellow Liberians in the States that you are coming back to Liberia, they tell you ‘are you crazy’. I have the passion for my job and I think Liberia needs me most so I decided to come back.”She said she would be shuttling among UL, TNIMA and JFK, because TNIMA is about to begin a Bachelor of Nursing Program in collaboration with UL.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Miatta Fahnbulleh Enters Senatorial Race

first_imgMs. Miatta Fahnbulleh, a social justice advocate and Liberian musical diva, has announced her campaign to contest the upcoming Midterm Senatorial election.Ms. Fahnbulleh is among aspirants, including Congress for Democratic Change’s (CDC’s) George Weah for the senatorial position of Montserrado County in the election scheduled for October this year.“Having advocated and worked for social justice and democracy in Liberia for more than 40 years, Miatta now intends to bring her sensitivity, compassion and integrity to the Senate,” one of her campaigners has declared.Aunty Miatta, as she is affectionately called, strongly believes that the market women, yanna boys, the unemployed young men and women, taxi  and bus drivers—most of whom reside in West Point, Clara Town, Vai Town, Logan Town, New Kru Town, Soniwein, and other poverty-stricken communities in Monrovia—deserve better life.She told her supporters at a recent gathering that she intends to contest for the Senatorial seat for Montserrado County; her birth as an independent candidate.By that conviction, she assured them that she will be going out to the people of Montserrado to offer them a choice of a caring leadership, leadership worthy of trust of the people; a new kind of leadership that will not do “business as usual.”Currently, she serves as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s New Born and Maternal Health Ambassador.Ms. Fahnbulleh believes that the Senator of Montserrado County should have a profound grasp of the real needs of the people, and that access to electricity, clean drinking water, a safe and clean environment, and education are basic human rights.As a Senator, her campaign team leader believes too, that  she would work to implement policies that will not only empower the citizens of the nation’s capital county, but that will also guarantee and protect the rights of the most vulnerable people throughout the Liberian society.The Miatta Fahnbulleh campaign last week announced that the Liberian Musical Diva, has entered the October race as an independent candidate where she is expected to be a potential force for all the contenders in the race.Ms. Fahnbulleh’s campaign is under the theme, “One Tree, Many Branches: One People, One Aim; One Destiny.”Aunty Miatta is one of Liberia’s most famous citizens; a veteran of the struggle for social justice, and democracy in the nation.For several decades, she has been actively involved in the people’s struggle for dignity and human rights. A gifted singer, Miatta has used her soul-stirring voice not only to gladden the hearts of orphans and deprived children, but has also sensitized, created awareness, and given persistent voice to issues affecting the most marginalized members of our society.By that, the musical legendary has been a nagging voice in the ears of the powerful on behalf of the masses. Born and raised in Monrovia, Miatta Fahnbulleh is especially sensitive to the need of improving the living standard of the city’s poor slum dwellers.For the last two decades, Ms. Fahnbulleh abandoned her international career to devote herself to providing education for the children of the poor; a process she is up to present committed to implementing to the fullest.“Legendary artist, social justice activist, and women’s and children’s advocate, Miatta is a veteran of the struggle for democratic rights in Liberia,” her campaign team leader declared.In the 1970s when a chorus of cries for social transformation and democratic participation swept the nation, hers was a rare voice advocating the rights of girls, and women. In the minds of her campaigners, her passion for the most deprived people in the Liberian society transcends class, gender and ethnicity.According to them, Miatta is a patriotic Liberian with big dreams, and a solid vision of empowerment for the nation’s masses.She is especially passionate about equal access for all the people to the benefits accrued from the nation’s resources, the rights of Liberian women and children, and giving skills to the young people for economic independence, among other things.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

AFROPAC Elects Senator Dagoseh as Chair

first_imgThe African Organization for Public Accounts Committee (AFROPAC) has elected Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh as it chair. AFROPAC is a pan-African network of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committees with similar functions.Senator Edward Dagoseh, who represents Liberia in the continental parliamentary body, was elected on acclamation in a process that had other previously contended processions.A dispatch from Nairobi, Kenya, said Senator Dagoseh, who is former Chairman of the West Africa Chapter of the Association of Public Accounts Committees, was elected in Nairobi on Thursday to steer the affairs of the body for the next four years. His election came at the end of the second Annual General Meeting and Conference of AFROPAC, which took place from August 29 to September 2 in the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi.Senator Dagoseh replaces fellow parliamentarian Alfred Wol Malith from South Sudan, who served the body for four years since 2012.As Chairman of AFRPAC, Senator Dagoseh will supervise the organization’s services to African Parliaments and their committees dealing with public accounts.One of his key responsibilities will be to set a clear mutual understanding of Public Accounts Committees (PAC) in Africa, and also coordinate all parliamentary Public Accounts Committees and Committees with similar functions on the continent.Following his election, Senator Dagoseh lauded his colleagues for the confidence they reposed in him and Liberia to manage the continental body.He promised to work in the interest of AFROPAC and the improvement of Public Accounts at the parliamentary level in Africa.Others elected to steer the affairs of AFROPAC for the next four years are Angelline Osegge of Uganda, Co-chair; Nicolas Gumbo of Kenya, Secretary General; and Ahmed Magzoub Ahmed of Sudan, Treasurer. The elections proceedings were facilitated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).The AFROPAC conference brought together leaders, representatives and legislators from 14 countries including Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda. The keynote speaker, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta, challenged members of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) across Africa to foster transparency to ensure prudent use of public resources.President Kenyatta expressed the need for PAC to come up with legal mechanisms to ensure public officers are accountable to citizens.“Upon your work rest the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Africans across the continent. Your work must be above reproach. You must be reasonable servants led by the laws of your respective lands,” he said.Other speakers were the German Agency for International Co-operation’s (GIZ) Country Director for Kenya, Hendrik Linneweber, and the Chair of Public Accounts Committee and Head of African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC), Nicolas Gumbo.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police Nab 2 Armed Robbers

first_imgPolice in Monrovia have arrested two “notorious armed robbers in connection to a recent armed robbery incident in Brewerville City, outside Monrovia in which an undisclosed amount of Liberian dollars were reportedly stolen.”Otis Richard (aka Nut Shaking) and Koko Borbor (aka Night Bird) allegedly arm robbed a resident of Brewerville, making away with L$350,000 and an unspecified amount of United States dollars, as well as other valuables. The robbers reportedly held their victims at gun point before they committed the act, an LNP release said.“Koko Borbor (the brother of detained armed robber Kollie Borbor) and Otis Richard have long been on the police wanted list in connection to a series of armed robberies in Monrovia and its environs,” the release said.Both men were involved in the October 24, 2015 armed robbery of Madam Massa Kamara, a resident of Peace Island in Congo Town, according to the release. The men, on November 11, 2015, armed robbed Pastor John Sabah, inflicting wounds on his son and making away with huge sums of money and valuables. The LNP has meanwhile declared wanted 21 notorious armed robbers who were recently freed from the Monrovia Center Prison (MCP) following an intervention by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission on grounds that the suspected robbers were not tried for two consecutive terms of court. The police said some of the men are behind the recent wave of armed robberies across the city and its environs. The wanted men include Pirus Konneh, Peter Toe, Archie Zondo, George Pantoe, Victor Jones, Prince Payleh, Siakah Konneh, Richard Tokpa, Joe Morris, and Jerry Kamara. Others also wanted by the police are Joshua Ziah, Junior Joseph, Laye Kamara, Michael Harris, Otus Brown, Archie-boye Siaway, Musa Kamara, Augustine Roberts, Austine Tarr, Isaac Sale, and Zacchaus Tengbeh.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Local Govt Commission ready to receive complaints

first_img– but warns it will not be stepping out to seek grievancesEven as it tries to secure headquarters from where it can function properly, the newly-constituted Local Government Commission (LGC) is leaving the proverbial door open for those with complaints to bring their issue to the body’s attention.This is according to the Commission’s Chairman, Mortimer Mingo. In an interview with this publication, Mingo bluntly stated that the entity was not required by law to seek out problems affecting Local Authority Areas, but to act on complaints received.“The Local Government Commission Act spells out the functions andLGC Chairman Mortimer Mingoresponsibilities of the Commission. We’re not going out there and look for anything. In the various municipalities, [Neighbourhood Development Councils] NDCs and the [Regional Development Councils] RDCs. Whatever issues are brought to us, the Commission meets as a collective, looks at those issues, and investigates where an investigation is needed.”“As you know it is a newly-appointed commission. We have only had one meeting in which we elected the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman. Our first order of business will be to look at a budget. The next thing we have to look at is suitable accommodation. So, basically, those are the things that will be preoccupying (the) time, if you will, of the Commission.”According to Mingo, they are still looking to secure an office in which to house the Commission. He noted that as a constitutional body, they had prepared a budget which they had submitted to Parliament for consideration. But Mingo also explained that while they did not have an office, persons at the municipalities would still have information on where they could be contacted.“Once those issues come to us, we will determine how we will handle it. We haveThe Commission after members were sworn in last monthto give the staff it. We are now working out the organisation chart. Based on the organisation chart and the activities of the Commission, we will make a determination of the staffing.”Speaking on his experience in local government and what he would bring to the position of Chairman, Mingo pointed to the years he spent in the system.“In terms of my experience that I am able to bring to bear, I was Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council of Region 10 for 10 years. In addition to that, I had experience in Local Government at the level of the municipality of Linden. And so, I think, basically, my knowledge working in that arena would have put me in good stead to make a meaningful contribution towards the Commission,” he related.ProblemsMingo sought to stress that all issues in the different areas would have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Chairman said that this was because each NDC or RDC had its own peculiarities.“In local government, each NDC (or RDA) has its own peculiarity. In terms of the operation of the NDC, there’s no one size fixes all. So, you have to look at individual NDCs, what are the issues affecting the functioning of those NDCs, and if there is a need for intervention coming out of a process – bring it to our attention, then certainly we will look at that particular NDC.”There are a number of controversies in the local government system which have been in the public domain for some time. One such issue is reports that in some local authority areas, officials are being appointed without any vacancy being advertised. In addition, there have been reports that young, qualified applicants are being overlooked in favour of others.The recent case of the sexual abuse of a minor in the Georgetown Mayor and City Council’s custody and the subsequent bungled handling of the matter; including the failure of City Hall officials to immediately report the matter to the Police could also attract the attention of the body.The Commission was sworn in last month, after a lengthy delay. The parliamentary Opposition had named its nominees to the Local Government Commission since last year. However, since the Government did not submit its nominations, this resulted in a deadlock.One of the first public deadlines that Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan gave for the body to become functional was at a press conference during the March 2016 Local Government Elections. When asked, during the latter part of the month for an explanation, the Minister moved the deadline to the end of June 2016.In the Budget estimates for 2016, some $30 million was allocated by the Government to the non-functioning Commission. When asked, Bulkan had stated that this was to allow the Commission to operate independently of Central Government.The Commission is charged with, among other things, control over whom gets appointed as officials in the NDCs and other local authorities. In addition, it would have to approve budgets for the NDCs.By law, the Commission is to be made up of eight members. The members of the Commission include four nominated by the Government, one by the unions and three nominees by the Leader of the Opposition.The Commission’s members are Mingo, Clement Corlette, Marlon Williams, Jo Ann Romascindo, Andrew Garnett, former Local Government Ministers Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore, and former Georgetown Town Clerk Carol Sooba.last_img read more

Leniency sought for U.S. Taliban

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – The lawyer and parents of John Walker Lindh, the American-born Taliban soldier serving 20 years in prison after his capture in Afghanistan, called on President George W. Bush on Wednesday to commute his sentence and set him free. The renewed call to shorten the sentence was based on the relatively light term Australian David Hicks received Saturday after pleading guilty to supporting terrorism. Hicks, who had been imprisoned for five years at Guantanamo Bay and acknowledged aiding al-Qaida during the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, was given a nine-month sentence. “In the atmosphere of the time, the best John could get was a plea bargain and a 20-year sentence,” said Lindh’s father Frank Lindh. “We love our son very much, he was wrongly accused when he was found in Afghanistan.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Former CIA analyst to discuss book today

first_imgCarol Urner, vice president of the Whittier chapter of the United Nations Association, invited Johnson to Whittier to “help people to understand that we must get our country working with international organizations like the United Nations again.” In “Nemesis,” Johnson looks at how a war economy and the military establishment that has developed since World War II has destabilized the checks and balances in our government. Since the country’s founding, some leaders “have warned us that the greatest threat to our republican structure of government is war” and all the associated vested interests, Johnson writes in “Nemesis.” “Now a critical mass of things have come together,” Johnson, 75, said in an interview for this newspaper. “Military-industrial complexes tend to draw power away from the states and legislative branches through taxes and concentrate it in the executive. “Eventually you get the imperial presidency like ours, who says things like `I’m the decider.’ I can’t think of a more anti-constitutional remark,” he added. Johnson said the United States spends more on the military than all other countries combined but is also one of the biggest debtor nations. Combine that with a growing trade deficit and you’ve got a recipe for economic collapse, he said. “All empires fall. But I don’t think we’ll go out with a nuclear bang. It will be a financial whimper,” he said. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA analyst and best-selling author, will speak today in Whittier about his latest book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.” The book is the third in a trilogy about American foreign policy choices “coming home to roost,” the author said. Johnson’s first book in the series, “Blowback,” which is named after a CIA term, became a best-seller after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Johnson was a China expert for the CIA from 1967 to 1973 and a professor of international relations at UC San Diego. last_img

Weather warning issued for Muncho Lake Park

first_img– Advertisement -Issued at 2016-05-27 11:59 UTC by Environment Canada:Weather warning continued for:Muncho Lake Park – Stone Mountain Park, B.C. (088200)Current details:A cold upper trough of low pressure over the province has created a moist easterly flow over northeast BC. Rain that developed last night will persist trough today and Saturday resulting in total amounts of 60 mm or more over eastern sections. In addition, snow levels will lower to near 1100 metres this evening and then gradually to at or near valley bottom on Saturday. Consequently, higher elevations will likely receive snowfall amounts up to 20 cm during this period.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email topacificstorm@ec.gc.ca or tweet reports to #BCStorm in British Columbia and #YKStorm in Yukon. FORT NELSON, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a weather warning for Muncho Lake Park.  That region could see up to 60 mm of rain between now and Saturday.  On top of that, snow is possible at higher elevations.  See the full warning below.For our region, Environment Canada says Fort St. John could see up to 15mm of rain before the end of day Saturday.last_img read more

Guardiola adamant City are England’s ‘team of the decade’ despite slump

first_imgCity have clearly benefitted from the financial clout they have enjoyed since being taken over by Abu Dhabi ownership in August 2008.City manager Guardiola reached the peak of his powers when he oversaw an unprecedented treble in the 2018/19 season that saw the club win all three major English trophies — Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup — in the one campaign as well as the Community Shield.Even though their league form has been a disappointment in the first half of the current season, Guardiola is in no doubt City are “the” team of the decade in England.“I think this in the last decade was the best team in terms of points, in terms of goals, in terms of everything, titles even. So congratulate Manchester City for that,” he said.“When we analyse every single day here, what happened day-by-day gives us perspective in what happened in the last 10 seasons, especially when people from Abu Dhabi took over the club and bought good players, interesting managers.”– ‘Huge elephants’ –The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager, who joined City in 2016, added: “I think we did it incredibly well.“People say ‘how was 2019?’ Now people are saying it is a disaster. We won four titles in 2019, so it was an incredible year for us, we enjoyed it a lot.“In some games in this last part of the year we have struggled a bit but it was an incredible year for us. Congratulations for all the people working here.“They were fighting with huge elephants here in England, big, big clubs with the biggest history. For the past decade we were part of them. That is amazing.”Despite their current ‘troubles’, City could still win any, or all, of the three cup competitions in which they are involved and Guardiola expects the club to remain a major player in the English game in the decade ahead.“The big clubs here in England are always looking forward, we are going to try and analyse not just in terms of the squad but as a club how we can do better,” he added.“Hopefully in the next decade this club can be here for more time.”In the short term, Guardiola has long since conceded the race for this season’s Premier League title to Liverpool and admitted they had to “pray” if they were to win a third successive domestic championship.But the Catalan manager, who again ruled out being active in the January transfer window, believes his current squad could still have competed for the title had injuries and, he hinted, VAR not sidelined their bid.“Work harder, play better, and pray,” said Guardiola when asked how City can close the gap to Liverpool.“Liverpool have been incredible, European champions and they have dropped just two points (so far this season), we have to congratulate them.“But there are things we cannot control, we cannot control what a fantastic team like Liverpool have done so far and there are other issues you cannot control. When everyone is fit we can do it.“You (the media) know what they are. You know that.”0Shares0000(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Leading the way – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola © AFP / Lindsey ParnabyMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jan 1 – Pep Guardiola has insisted Manchester City are English football’s team of the decade, despite his side heading into 2020 some 14 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.Statistics appear to prove him right given City have won 13 domestic trophies since 2010, with only Chelsea (nine) within touching distance of that mark.last_img read more

Judge and legal precedent determine just what is legitimate evidence

first_imgHad it been allowed, defense attorney Henry Salcido contends, Hurst’s acquittal would have been “a slam dunk.” Hurst testified at his trial earlier this month that he killed Robert Gauci, a Harbor College baseball coach, in February 2005 because Gauci made a homosexual pass at him. To corroborate his claim, Hurst’s defense wanted the jury to know that Gauci’s computer contained a sexually explicit e-mail to a man and that condoms, lubricant and a sex toy often used by gay men were found in Gauci’s car after his death. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Stodel countered that any evidence suggesting that Gauci, 44, engaged in extramarital sex was irrelevant. Stodel argued that the only thing the purported defense evidence would do is dirty-up Gauci’s name. Whether Gauci, a married man, was a cheater or dishonest had no bearing on whether Hurst had the mental capacity to commit murder, he argued. Judge Francis Hourigan, who presided over the trial in Torrance Superior Court, agreed with the prosecutor. And on Dec. 14, jurors returned with a verdict finding Hurst guilty of first-degree murder. “Character traits of parties and victims are, generally speaking, prohibited in the trial of any case because the view is that the jury will disregard the present evidence – the evidence that’s really critical – and decide that a person is a bad person, generally speaking, and therefore they shouldn’t pay attention to what the critical issues are in the case,” Garland said. Under California law, a judge can exclude evidence if its “probative value is substantially outweighed” by the time it would take to present it or if would create undue prejudice, confuse the issues or mislead the jury. Garland, noting that Gauci was kicked, smashed in the head with dumbbells and stabbed six times in the neck, opined that the trial judge was likely justified in concluding the sexually related evidence was more prejudicial to the prosecution than probative of the defense theory. “In fact, I might go as far as to say that it doesn’t come close to the final issue on the case,” Garland said. Nevertheless, veteran defense attorney Salcido accused Hourigan of abusing his judicial authority with his evidentiary rulings, giving the defense a basis for appeal. Garland said it’s rare that convictions are overturned on such grounds, but that doesn’t stop defense attorneys from trying. In the recent sexual assault trial involving Dr. Mahendra Udani, famed defense attorney Harland Braun fought hard to include negative character evidence about the victims in the case. Two women had said the prominent 55-year-old doctor from Palos Verdes Estates had touched them in a sexual manner during exams. But Torrance Superior Court Judge Michael Vicencia precluded any evidence to suggest one of the victims had a history of filing false police reports and legal documents. Evidence related to her credibility, the judge said, was a collateral matter that would waste time. Another ruling blocked information that a prosecution witness, who also claimed Udani had sexually assaulted her, posed naked in a magazine or may have worked as an exotic dancer. Udani eventually was convicted of the charges earlier this year. Braun has made the evidentiary rulings the basis for an appeal that is pending. “As a matter of constitutional law, the credibility of prosecution witnesses is always an issue for which Dr. Udani had a right to present relevant evidence to the jury,” Braun wrote in court documents related to the appeal. Deputy District Attorney Jodi Link, who did not prosecute Udani but is familiar with the case, explained that whether or not the woman posed naked does not prove or disprove the crime. Link, who heads the Torrance branch’s sex crimes unit, said damning but collateral evidence can sometimes have a place at trial, but only for a limited purpose. It was for exactly that reason that she was able to admit a significant piece of evidence in a notable local rape trial. Link was prosecuting former Catholic schoolteacher Aran Delaney, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman outside a Hermosa Beach bar in June 2003. Soon after the case was filed, the alleged victim received threatening letters from Delaney’s parents. While Delaney could not be linked to the letters, Link won the right to let jurors know about one of them to bolster the alleged victim’s credibility – especially since the letters arguably acknowledged Delaney’s involvement. “We see this often in gang cases,” Link said. “In spite of being threatened after a crime, the witness came forward and testified.” After two hung juries, the charges against Delaney were dismissed. His parents, however, were convicted and sentenced to prison for authoring and delivering the letters. denise.nix@dailybreeze.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A Torrance man who killed his stepfather wanted his jury to know some salacious things uncovered about the victim’s life. A South Bay physician accused of inappropriately touching female patients wanted his jury to know that one of his accusers had a history of filing false police reports and another woman who testified in the case posed nude for a magazine. A schoolteacher accused of raping a woman he met in a Hermosa Beach bar tried to prevent his jury from knowing his parents threatened the alleged victim. In all three high-profile South Bay cases, the defendants lost their bids to either present this evidence to jurors or, in the latter case, block it. Whether their trials would have ended differently had judges ruled their way will never be known. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonBut for lawyers in the trenches of criminal law, it is these rulings on evidence – what juries can hear and what they can’t – that often make or break a case. To those unversed in the law, rulings on evidence can seem arbitrary. But, in fact, judges are guided by years of legal precedent and have wide discretion in matters of evidence. Seemingly significant or incriminating morsels of evidence must be weighed to ensure they are more relevant than prejudicial before they can be allowed into a trial. “The trial judge can exercise discretion but cannot, as we say, abuse discretion,” said Norman Garland, a Southwestern University School of Law professor who teaches evidentiary law. In the case of Ashton Hurst, the Torrance man who fatally stabbed his stepfather, the judge excluded evidence that the defense felt was the heart of its case. last_img read more