Monday, February 09, 2009

Hits & Runs

Bill lets child-abuse victims sue until 50

ANNAPOLIS — Saying child-abuse victims are often not ready to confront their attackers until middle age, a senator on Thursday urged her fellow lawmakers to raise from 25 to 50 the age by which a person may sue his or her abuser.

“Ideally, there shouldn’t be a statute of limitations for a crime such as this
,” Sen. Delores G. Kelley told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. But Kelley said 50 was an appropriate age limit because victims of abuse, until they themselves are well into adulthood, cannot “muster the courage, the emotional ability” to confront their attackers, let alone take them to court.
The proposed 25-year increase to the limitations period has drawn opposition from Catholic groups
The Catholic Church has acknowledged that sexual abuse by priests has occurred and that the church has settled many of those cases, even when the alleged offenses occurred decades earlier, the conference’s statement said.

It told the committee that the fight against child abuse would be better waged the way the church is fighting it: by requiring all employees and volunteers to undergo criminal background checks and training, and by paying for and providing counseling for victims. Conference members include the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington.
Yeees, the Catholic Church has done such a wonderful job policing themselves.
Bill Calls for More Scrutiny Of SWAT Teams by Police

Upset about the shooting death of two dogs during a botched police raid at the home of a Prince George's County mayor, some Maryland lawmakers have proposed a bill to require state police departments to better monitor their use of special tactical SWAT teams.

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo visited Annapolis yesterday to urge passage of the measure, which would require every police department that operates a SWAT team to submit a monthly public report on its activities, including where and when it was deployed and whether an operation resulted in arrests, evidence seizures or injuries.

Calvo said he thinks police forces are using SWAT teams, tactical units usually equipped with heavy-duty weapons, more often for ordinary police work.
From the comments on that article it appears cops insist on the same self policing that Catholic priests want. And for the same reason.
HPD considering changes for red-light cameras

The Houston Police Department is considering changes — possibly even expansion — to its red-light camera program after a city-commissioned study showed that crashes went up at intersections where the devices have been installed.
Because it's worked so well in the past!
Army official: Suicides in January 'terrifying'

One week after the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers last year, the service is worried about a spike in possible suicides in the new year.

The Army said 24 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in January alone -- six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, according to statistics released Thursday.

The Army said it already has confirmed seven suicides, with 17 additional cases pending that it believes investigators will confirm as suicides for January.

If those prove true, more soldiers will have killed themselves than died in combat last month. According to Pentagon statistics, there were 16 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq in January.
No comment, it's just too sad.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak