Special Opinion to the Mirror by Paul Plante
This past weekend, some 478.2 miles roughly north of Cape Charles, Virginia, in the tiny town of Poestenkill, New York, just to the east of the state capital of Albany, where Progressive Democrat and presumptive Democrat presidential front-runner in the 2020 presidential elections Young Andy Cuomo holds court, and this is according to eye-witness accounts, the New York State Police were seen scouring an otherwise quiet residential area for a fugitive from the law.
The person they were hunting was not some terrorist, or raper, or thief, or escaped murderer.
To the contrary, the subject of the dragnet or manhunt was a young woman who refuses to take psych drugs that make her feel suicidal.
Yes, people, you are reading that right – in New York state, according the law as written, a doctor can demand that someone be put on psych drugs, and if that person won’t take the drugs, the doctor can then issue an order to the New York State Police to have them pick the person up, and then deliver that person to the psych unit of a local hospital, in this case, the Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York.
This is very reminiscent of a similar scheme, or scam, that was the subject of an Association Of Certified Fraud Examiners article entitled “Bribery on the Bench: A Look at Judicial Corruption” by Jordan Underhill, J.D., Research Specialist, ACFE, as follows:
In September 2009, a federal grand jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, returned a 48-count indictment against two judges, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan.
The indictment included conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, conspiracy to commit tax fraud, honest services fraud, racketeering, bribery, money laundering and extortion.
The basis of these charges was an alleged kickback arrangement with private prison operators that netted the Luzerne County judges more than $2.6 million over at least seven years.
Conahan colluded with private prison operators to shut down the county-run juvenile detention center in favor of privately run facilities and Ciavarella did much of the sentencing that filled the new detention centers’ beds.
The private juvenile detention centers received state funding proportionate to the number of offenders that they housed; thus, they were incentivized to house as many individuals as feasible.
The judges deliberately funneled juvenile offenders (who were often advised by the judges that they did not need legal counsel) into the private juvenile detention centers, regardless of whether the charges merited the punishment.
One 16-year-old was arrested for gesturing with her middle finger at a police officer responding to a custody dispute involving her parents and sister.
Ciavarella sentenced her to six months in juvenile detention.
A 14-year-old was sentenced to three months in juvenile detention for mocking a school principal on Myspace.
At least 5,000 juveniles appeared before Ciavarella in the five years preceding the discovery of the scheme, many unrepresented and severely punished for minor infractions.
The FBI and IRS began investigating the judges after another Luzerne County judge, Anne H. Lokuta, accused Conahan of conspiring to remove her from the bench (she was, in fact, removed from the bench in November 2008).
Lokuta aided federal investigators in discovering the kickback arrangement.
After the full extent of the scheme was discovered, hundreds of juvenile adjudications were ordered overturned.
The so-called “kids-for-cash” scheme is an alarming reminder of the amount of damage that a dishonest judiciary can cause.
The scheme not only defrauded taxpayers of millions of dollars, but also violated the constitutional rights and severely disrupted the lives of thousands of children.
In writing this, it is that last sentence I am focused on, because in New York State, once a doctor signs that order, essentially, one’s civil rights disappear, and I can say that with authority, because I had that happen to me in New York State, where the Mental Hygiene Law is used by the corrupt politicians as an offensive retaliatory weapon.
The law in question here, and I am speaking of this in the Cape Charles Mirror, one, because this is the only publication I know of in America where discussions of this nature can take place, and more importantly, because this law will be held up as a national model by the Democrats in these coming months, especially if they can win control of the congress in this year’s mid-term elections, is known as “Kendra’s Law.”
Hence, the people of America who do not live in New York State, and who are unaware of the ramifications of this law, as I was, up until just recently, should have the opportunity to be made aware of this law, and what it might mean to our future as a nation, especially when we are in the midst of a drug epidemic and a spate of teen violence that may well be linked to the side effects of these psych drugs being forced on the children and youth in America.
As to the laws of the state of New York as they relate to people accused of being mentally ill and dangerous becoming a model for the nation, I would refer the interested reader who wishes to educate themselves on this subject to a February 26, 2018 Press Release by New York’s Progressive democrat governor Young Andy Cuomo entitled “Governor Cuomo Announces Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico Join ‘States for Gun Safety’ Coalition to Combat the Gun Violence Epidemic,” where we are informed as follows:
Multi-State Coalition Now Represents Over 35 Million Americans
Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico Enter Agreement to Create Multi-State Database to Supplement Ineffective Federal NICS System
Multi-State Coalition Will Share Information, Trace and Intercept Flow of Out-of-State Guns, and Establish Nation’s First Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today announced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Delaware Governor John Carney and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló are joining the “States for Gun Safety” coalition — a multi-state partnership launched this month to combat the gun violence epidemic.
With the addition of these new members, the coalition of states now represents over 35 million Americans and will take action to stop gun-related violence in the face of continued federal inaction.
Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico will join a multi-state task force to trace and intercept illegal guns in the region.
The new members will work in cooperation with other partner states to enhance intelligence gathering, information sharing, and response efforts related to gun violence.
Participating states will leverage collective investigative resources in order to determine comprehensive, coordinated plans for gun violence responses.
Governor Cuomo said, “It’s time for the horrifying mass shootings that have plagued this country for far too long to spur real action and real policy changes.”
“Our states collectively already have better gun safety laws than the federal government, and by working together to share information and bolster enforcement, we will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and better protect our communities.”
“If the federal government refuses to act, we will work together to enact the important reforms families deserve, and I welcome these new states to our coalition.”
There is our future as a nation and a free people shaping up there, people, and with respect to this manhunt going on in the Town of Poestenkill in New York State for a young woman who refuses to take psych meds that make her feel suicidal, it is not a pleasant one to contemplate.
In that same Press Release, Governor Malloy of Connecticut said, “The addition of Massachusetts, Delaware, and Puerto Rico to this multi-state coalition is an important step toward regional cooperation to prevent gun violence, and I applaud these governors for being a partner in this endeavor.”
“The massacre in Parkland – like the massacres in Las Vegas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Umpqua, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and countless others – are a tragic reminder of the urgent need to tear down political barriers and work together to make our communities, schools, and public places safer.”
“That said, while we can make a significant difference, we need real and substantive action from Congress if we are serious about ending this epidemic of gun violence.”
“It shouldn’t need saying, but the lives of children are far more important than any powerful special interest.”
“It’s time to act.”
Yes, let’s protect our children from guns and the NRA, but are the lives of children more important than the powerful special interest known as BIG PHARM?
Not in New York State, they are not.
In New York State, through this “Kendra’s Law,” our children have literally been rendered as property of BIG PHARM, losing their right to refuse medication, as a result.
As to how this “Kendra’s Law” came into being in the first place, according to an official publication of the New York State Office of Mental Health titled “Kendra’s Law: Final Report on the Status of Assisted Outpatient Treatment – Appendix 2” by Keith J. Brennan, Esq., Assistant Counsel, New York State Office of Mental Health, on January 3, 1999, an event occurred which galvanized the mental health community, and served as a catalyst for an effort to identify and address the needs of the small population of persons who respond well to treatment when hospitalized, but who have trouble maintaining their recovery once back in the community.
On that date, Andrew Goldstein, a man with a history of mental illness and hospitalizations, pushed Kendra Webdale onto the subway tracks in a tunnel beneath the streets of Manhattan.
Ms. Webdale lost her life as a result.
What followed was a bi-partisan effort, led by Governor George Pataki, to create a resource delivery system for this population, who, in view of their treatment history and present circumstances, are likely to have difficulty living safely in the community.
In the case of this young woman in Poestenkill who is now a fugitive from the law because she refuses to take psych drugs that have literally destroyed her young life, she was living safely in the community.
But that makes absolutely no difference whatsoever, anymore.
Getting back to “Kendra’s Law,” on August 9, 1999, Governor Pataki signed Kendra’s Law, creating a statutory framework for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment (“AOT”), to ensure that individuals with mental illness, and a history of hospitalizations or violence, participate in community-based services appropriate to their needs.
The law became effective in November of 1999.
Since that time, 4,245 court orders have been issued for AOT statewide, together with 2,559 renewal orders.
The majority of orders and renewals have been issued in New York City.
And now that the money-making potential of this law has been discovered outside of New York City, the abuse of this law has spread to upstate New York, all the way into small rural communities like this Poestenkill, where these manhunts for this young woman ae taking place.
When I first heard of this, I was not a sceptic; I was totally unbelieving.
This is monstrous, I said.
This is something you would expect to hear about happening in Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia.
This **** doesn’t happen here, I said, but I was wrong – it certainly does.
And a disturbing aspect of this law is as follows:
New York Mental Hygiene Law § 9.59
Immunity from liability
(a) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any general, special or local law, an ambulance service as defined by subdivision two of section three thousand one of the public health law and any member thereof who is an emergency medical technician or an advanced emergency medical technician transporting a person to a hospital as authorized by this article, any peace officers, when acting pursuant to their special duties, and any police officers, who are members of an authorized police department or force or of a sheriff’s department, who are taking into custody and transporting a person to a hospital as authorized by this article, shall not be liable for damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by such person or for the death of such person alleged to have occurred by reason of an act or omission unless it is established that such injuries or such death was caused by gross negligence on the part of such emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, peace officer or police officer.
Who in their right mind can take comfort from that, especially in the case of the apprehension of a young person because they refuse to take drugs that are hurting them and destroying their lives?
In capturing this young woman, and surely she will eventually be captured, the police are given license to treat her roughly, with immunity from the law, while the burden would be on her to prove that gross negligence was involved, which is ridiculous.
And what kind of message does that send to a community already afraid of police violence?
As to Constitutional Challenges, the Office of Mental Health states as follows:
Kendra’a Law was signed into law by Governor George Pataki on August 9, 1999, and became effective on November 8, 1999.
Even before the law was implemented, there emerged a focused debate concerning the issue of whether the law achieved its goal of creating a mechanism to insure that individuals who met the statutory criteria remained treatment compliant while in the community, in a way that was consistent with the Constitutional rights of those individuals.
On one side of the debate, proponents of the law recognized the numerous procedural aspects of the law which were included specifically to meet constitutional standards, many of which were deliberately modeled after other provisions of the Mental Hygiene Law, which themselves had survived prior judicial scrutiny and had been found to be constitutional.
The supporters of the law argued that any compulsion occasioned by the law was justified by the law’s important objective of helping individuals with a history of treatment non-compliance resulting in violent acts and/or repeated hospitalization, to live safely in the community.
On the other side of the debate, opponents of the law primarily relied upon prior judicial decisions which found that forcible medication over objection required a finding of incapacity.
The opponents of the law read into these decisions a much broader proscription of any measures which might influence an individual’s decision to comply with treatment, even when those measures fall far short of forcible medication over objection.
This theoretical debate would not be resolved without judicial intervention and inevitably found its way into the courts.
In In re Urcuyo, the first court challenge to the constitutionality of Kendra’s Law, the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (“MHLS”) moved for dismissals on behalf of two respondents to Kendra’s Law petitions in Supreme Court, Kings County.
Respondents argued that Kendra’s Law violated the due process and equal protection guarantees of the New York State and the United States Constitutions because the statute did not require a judicial finding of incapacity prior to the issuance of an order requiring the respondent to comply with the AOT treatment plan.
The court rejected all of respondents’ arguments, and held that the statute was in each respect constitutional.
And there, people, is where the nightmare always begins – with a politically-appointed judge determining where our constitutional rights begin and end.
With that law having been deemed constitutional, all challenged to the abuse of that law have become that much harder, because in reality, those merely accused of being mentally ill and dangerous have their constitutional rights stripped from them.
They become societal objects, no longer citizens with rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Is this still America?
Or have we become something else?
The candid world would like to know.