It wasn’t until Noah Crooks’ attorney Bill Kutmus called me yesterday to say that we’d won a big victory, that I realized I’d missed the whole point by a mile.
On August 31, 2012, District Court Judge Gregg R. Rosenbladt denied the state’s August 1 motion to amend its earlier motion to waive jurisdiction, entered in March, because the proposed amendment “is contrary to the Iowa Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Iowa case law, and the recent line of Supreme Court cases addressing trial and punishment of juvenile offenders.” Judge Rosenbladt continued: “The waiver of jurisdiction hearing will be conducted on the State’s original motion to waive jurisdiction pursuant to Iowa Code Section 232.45(7), as filed on March 28, 2012.”
When I wrote my August 14th post, “Theatre of the Absurd” (http://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/theatre-of-the-absurd/), I thought Mitchell County prosecutor Mark Walk was requesting an amendment to his March 28 waiver motion to prosecute 13-year-old Noah Crooks as a “youthful offender,” a subcategory of “adult.”
Boy, did I ever get that wrong. This prosecutor is worse than I ever could have dreamed in my worst nightmare.
Walk was actually asking the court to allow him to prosecute Noah as a full-fledged adult–as if the kid were 55 years old or something–which would have made the corresponding punishment, if convicted, life in prison.
I’m sorry I missed this important point of fact.
It also means I have not been realizing what a sorry excuse for a human being Mr. Walk truly is. Hell, he now seems mean-spirited enough that he should be pursuing his prosecutorial career in Florida instead of Iowa. (There’d probably even be a judgeship for him there if he’d just move.)
I’m embarrassed. In my defense, this confusion has resulted from the replacement of Noah’s court-appointed attorney with ours. Because the court-appointed attorney didn’t keep me in the loop, the details of the hand-off have been fuzzy to me. But I’m getting on top of them now.
Bill Kutmus assures me there’s no harm done and therefore no foul. The hearing on September 6 is still going to be about the same issue as I reported it: that is, whether Noah will be tried as a juvenile or as a ‘youthful offender’ adult. Walk has a better chance of getting the court to try Noah as a 17-year-old than as a 55-year-old (even though neither of these is permitted by statute). Noah was only 13 at the time of the incident, and no amount of legal maneuvering by Mr. Walk is ever going to change that fact.
Nevertheless, we will still be sitting on the edges of our seats until then and hope that Judge Rosenbladt proves to be as reasonable and fair as yesterday’s ruling on Walk’s absurd request seems to indicate.
Groove of the Day
The hearing was held on September 6, and Bill Kutmus said he felt it went well. Judge Rosenbladt will likely issue his ruling in two to three weeks.