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Corpun file 25462 at www.corpun.com
The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 17 July 2014
Judge tells young Detroit man he needed a beating
DETROIT (AP) -- A young man who participated in a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist needed a father to "beat the hell" out of him as a kid to discourage him from committing such a crime, a judge said Thursday.
The stunning remarks by Wayne County Judge James Callahan came as he sentenced Latrez Cummings to six months in jail.
In response to the judge's question, Cummings, 19, said his father wasn't around when he was growing up.
Callahan said Cummings needed a dad, "someone to discipline you. Someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake, as opposed to allowing you or encouraging you to do it to somebody else."
Cummings and four others have pleaded guilty to assaulting Steve Utash, who was in a coma for days after the April attack. The mob pounced on him in Detroit when he got out of his pickup truck to help a 10-year-old boy who had stepped in front of his vehicle.
The judge's remarks preceded a loud, spirited exchange with assistant prosecutor Lisa Lindsay, who said the six-month sentence was too light. She said there are many young black men who were raised without a father but haven't commited crimes. Cummings is black.
"Did I ever use the term 'black'?" replied Callahan, who is white. "It doesn't matter if a person is black, white, yellow or red."
Cummings was the last defendant to be sentenced in the case. The longest sentence was nearly 6½ years in prison for a man whose punishment was enhanced because of his criminal record.
Told about Callahan's comments, the president of Chicago-based Prevent Child Abuse America, James Hmurovich, said "effective discipline" is part of raising children but "violence is never the answer."
The judge was aggressive throughout the hearing. He ordered the well-dressed Cummings to take his hand out of his pocket and accused him of lying a week ago about his school attendance.
Callahan, citing records, said Cummings hadn't attended classes since December.
"Tell me what the heck you did with your time," he said.
Despite the harsh tone, the judge said Cummings' age and childhood were mitigating factors in the light sentence.
"We've all been 19 years of age," Callahan said.
Corpun file 25469 at www.corpun.com
Newsday, New York, 21 July 2014
Spanking 'reasonable use of force,' court rules in Suffolk case
By Gary Dymski
Spanking your child on the behind is a reasonable use of force, a state appeals court ruled in the case of a Suffolk County father who took the disciplinary action at a party.
Last week's ruling by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court dismissed a child neglect proceeding against a man who, in October 2012, spanked his 8-year-old son for cursing at an adult during the party at a friend's house.
In March 2013, the father was ruled in neglect by the Suffolk County Family Court after the county's Department of Social Services said he spanked the child with an open hand as punishment and then, returning home, struck his son with a belt on his "buttocks, legs and arms."
"We find that the Family Court's finding of neglect was not supported by a preponderance of the credible evidence," the appellate court said in its ruling Wednesday.
The father admitted spanking the child but denied striking him with a belt, the ruling said. Neither the name of the father nor the child was released by the court.
"The father's open-handed spanking of the child as a form of discipline after he heard the child curse at an adult was a reasonable use of force and, under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment," the appeals court ruling said.
The neglect ruling was dismissed, the court said, because evidence collected at a fact-finding hearing that the father hit his son with a belt "was insufficient to prove that allegation."
Glenn Gucciardo, the Northport attorney representing the boy, said Monday he couldn't comment on child-protective proceeding cases. Prosecutor Dennis Brown said, "We presented the facts of the case and respect the decision of the court."
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