September 22, 2004

Idaho headlines

- In McGriff v. McGriff, a child custody case of some national notoriety, the Idaho Supreme Court yesterday ruled that while "sexual orientation, in and of itself, cannot be the basis for awarding or removing custody," the state Supremes took the trial judge's word for it that the father Theron's homosexuality had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with his decision regarding custody and visitation, and upheld the award of physical and legal custody to the mother, Shawn.

Kidwell, J., dissented:
A review of the record, the pleadings and oral argument before this Court make it clear that Theron’s sexual orientation was wrongfully taken into consideration by the lower court and now the majority opinion. This should not be the law of Idaho and is undesirable public policy...(I)t is unusual and cause for legal concern, that the magistrate reached for reasons to help Shawn succeed in her claim when the primary reason stated in her petition to modify custody, homosexuality, is not a legally permissible consideration.

- Meanwhile, the Twin Falls Times-News reports on a Jerome County murder case with a headline guaranteed to increase local appreciation of defendants' constitutional and procedural safeguards: Suspect in murder case walks. "This is not the first time the case against (Iovany) Vazquez has been dismissed. On Sept. 8, the case against Vazquez was dismissed but prosecutors refiled almost immediately and Vazquez was not released from jail. A lack of physical evidence was cited in the Sept. 8 court minutes as the reason for that dismissal." Attorneys Ray Pena and Keith Roark represent Vasquez.

- In Idaho Falls, a public defender struggled to get a kidnapping defendant out of the courtroom while the client announced,
"Why do you care about the things that built me into who I am? Read my profile as I turn blue in the hands 'cause these cuffs are cutting off my circulation. I'm hurting, I'm facing a life sentence."

- Two Seattle men have been charged with the murder of starting cornerback for the U of I Vandals, Eric McMillan, 19. McMillan was shot dead in Moscow on Sunday. Two suspects were arrested after a police chase halfway across the State of Washington.

- Oh, and Brody and his client got a verdict today: guilty.