And how many other such cases are there?
The prosecution of Rachel Nickell's killer was delayed by almost two years because of human rights concerns about obtaining a sample of his DNA, a senior government official said yesterday. Prosecutors were concerned that Robert Napper's lawyers might claim a violation of his human rights if his DNA were taken without his proper consent while he was a mental patient, according to the legal official. In 2006 Lord Goldsmith, then attorney-general, was informed of the debate about Napper's rights. Lawyers finally concluded that a DNA sample could lawfully be taken. The official said: "Human rights was one of the arguments that stopped them getting his DNA. The Crown Prosecution Service and the police decided they had to resolve it because it could have been a technicality that could have collapsed the trial."
At the Old Bailey last week Napper admitted killing Nickell, a part-time model, on Wimbledon Common in 1992. He was returned to Broadmoor where he was already serving an indefinite sentence for the horrific killing of Samantha Bissett, 27, and her four-year-old daughter Jazmine in 1993. The Metropolitan police admitted both women and the child might still be alive were it not for a series of failings by detectives. The Met issued an unprecedented apology to the families of all three victims.
Police initially ignored the trail to Napper, focusing instead on Colin Stagg, who was acquitted in 1994. It was to be 10 years before a break-though in forensic techniques meant scientists were able to isolate a tiny fragment of DNA taken from Nickell's body. Within weeks scientists had established that it matched a sample from Napper which had been taken in the 1990s and held on the DNA database.
Napper has been linked to a total of 109 sex offences and 86 possible victims. He is also likely to be quizzed by police about the killings of at least three other women: Claire Tiltman, who was stabbed 40 times in Greenhithe, Kent, in 1993; Penny Bell, 43, who was knifed 50 times in Greenford, west London, in 1991; and Jean Bradley, 47, who was stabbed in Acton, west London.
Outgoing Bush Administration Enacts Conscience Protection for Pro-Life Health Care Workers - Can Refuse to Participate in Abortion
The right of federally funded health care providers to decline to participate in services to which they object, such as abortion, is affirmed by a final regulation that has been issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is on display today at the Federal Register. Of note, the timing of the issuance places the day it is to take effect on January 20th - the same day pro-abortion President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated.
Over the past three decades, Congress enacted several statutes to safeguard the freedom of health care providers to practice according to their conscience. The new regulation will increase awareness of, and compliance with, these laws. "Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience." Specifically, the final rule:
- Clarifies that non-discrimination protections apply to institutional health care providers as well as to individual employees working for recipients of certain funds from HHS
- Requires recipients of certain HHS funds to certify their compliance with laws protecting provider conscience rights; and
- Designates the HHS Office for Civil Rights as the entity to receive complaints of discrimination addressed by the existing statutes and the regulation.
HHS officials are charged with working with any state or local government or entity that may be in violation of existing statutes and the regulation to encourage voluntary steps to bring that government or entity into compliance with the law. If, despite the Department's efforts, compliance is not achieved, HHS officials will consider all legal options, including termination of funding and the return of funds paid out in violation of the nondiscrimination provisions.
In the preamble to the final regulation, the Department also encourages providers to engage their patients early on in "full, open, and honest conversations" to disclose what services they do and do not provide. While it would strengthen provider conscience rights, the regulation would in no way restrict health care providers from performing any legal service or procedure. If a procedure is legal, a patient will still have the ability to access that service from a medical professional or institution that offers it. For example, the regulation does not affect the ability of medical institutions to perform abortion.
"Many health care providers routinely face pressure to change their medical practice - often in direct opposition to their personal convictions," said HHS Assistant Secretary of Health, Admiral Joxel Garcia, M.D. "During my practice as an OB-GYN, I witnessed this first-hand. Health care providers shouldn't have to check their consciences at the hospital door. Fortunately, Congress enacted several laws to that end, but too many are unaware these protections exist."
Federal protection of provider conscience rights dates back to the 1970s, when Congress enacted the Church Amendments. The Amendments protect health care providers and other individuals from discrimination by recipients of HHS funds on the basis, among other things, of their refusal, due to religious belief or moral conviction, to perform or participate in any lawful health service or research activity.
In 1996, Congress prohibited federal, state or local governments from discriminating against individual and institutional health care providers (including participants in medical training programs) who refused to, among other things, receive training in abortions; require or provide such training; perform abortions; or provide referrals for, or make arrangements for, such training or abortions.
Provider conscience protections were expanded again as part of the Department's fiscal year 2005 appropriations act. In that law, and in subsequent years' appropriations acts, Congress prohibited the provision of HHS funds to any state or local government or federal agency or program that discriminates against institutional or individual health care entities on the basis that the entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortion. The rule went on display today at the Federal Register
Christianity And The Values That Hold America Together
If you just found a large sum of money and could easily walk away with it, what would you do? This immigrant bagboy found $10,000. He turned it in. Why? Here's what he said, "I teach a Sunday school with 10-year-old kids and I always tell them to do the right thing."
75 year-old Billie Watts can top him. She found $100,000 and gave it back,
A Murfreesboro woman chose not to follow the old saying "Finders keepers, losers weepers" when she discovered nearly $100,000 in a bag at the Cracker Barrel on Church Street in Murfreesboro last week. But it wasn't that the thought didn't cross her mind. "Satan will tempt you. I have been having real bad teeth problems," said Billie Watts, 75. "I thought 'I'll get my teeth fixed.'" But she ultimately decided to return the money she found hanging in a bag in the women's restroom to its rightful owner, whom she described as an elderly woman named Judith who had stopped in town on her way to relocate to Florida.Note the similarities there; both of these people found large sums of money, were quite naturally tempted, but both of them gave up the money because of their Christian values.
....Besides, Billie Watts said she was motivated to be honest. "There is a hereafter. Some tend to forget that," she said. "God takes care of us anyway."
The Watts are both 75 years old and have been married 58 years. They have four daughters, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. It's not that they couldn't have used some of the money. Malcolm has battled cancer, had open heart surgery and they both have diabetes. The couple relies on their Social Security checks. Malcolm served in the Navy for eight years. Formerly a manager at Giant Foods and employed in the printing industry, he receives medical care from the Veterans Administration.
Christians are endlessly maligned by the media, by Hollywood, and by the Left -- but, one of the biggest reasons America has been a success is because of the fundamental decency of the people, which is largely a function of the Judeo-Christian values that this nation has been steeped in since its founding.
Granted, you don't have to be a Christian to be a decent person, but even the decent and moral atheists and agnostics in this country are, for the most part at least, decent and moral because they accept many Judeo-Christian values even if they don't accept God.
Given all the scorn that is heaped on Christians in the political and cultural arena, it should be remembered that much of what makes this such a great country to live in is a direct result of this being a Christian nation with a Judeo-Christian tradition.
Muslim group's Ibrahim Hooper: Special "Rights" for Muslims?
The Atlanta Journal Constitution and CBS46.com recently carried stories about a Muslim woman who had been refused entry to a courtroom due to her refusal to remove the scarf covering her head. From the articles, we learn that Valentine was stopped before going through the metal detector and informed by the bailiff that she would not be permitted into the courtroom unless she removed her head covering.
After informing the bailiff that wearing the head covering was "her right", Valentine (Miedah):
Miedah says when she tried to leave, the bailiff's stopped her. She admits she argued, then pulled away when a bailiff grabbed her arm. She said she was handcuffed and brought before Judge Keith Rollins.It didn't help that Valentine used profane language during the confrontation. Valentine refuses to comply with the orders of a judge and pulls away from the bailiff after arguing, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) rushes in to defend what is apparently a case of very rude behavior in a courthouse over the insistence of a "right" not in existence in current law. Judge Rollins imposed a ten-day sentence for contempt which was later reduced to six hours. Attempts to gather more information from the Douglasville, Georgia Police Department were unsuccessful.
CAIR Spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, had this to say: "When somebody is denied access to our judicial system based on religiously mandated attire, then what does that say? No Muslim woman can have access to a courtroom in Douglasville, Georgia?. "A judge does have the right to set decorum in a courtroom, but you can't use those standards to violate someone's legal rights."
Hooper mentions "legal rights", but just what does this mean? A Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf in the courtroom, but a non-Muslim woman is banned from wearing a head covering? If so, would Muslim women have to carry a special government ID to prove they are Muslim?
What about the "rights" of non-Muslim women to wear a headscarf in a courtroom? How would this square with the Constitution which is crystal clear on the point that all people are equal before the law? Is there a "special" Constitution for Muslims, or not?
There are many religious beliefs that do not fit in with current courthouse security regulations; for instance, Sikh men carry small daggers as part of their religious beliefs; should they be permitted to carry these weapons into the courthouse? If not, why not?
From what we know, Judge Rollins does not permit anyone, Muslim or not, to wear a head covering of any kind in his court. Therefore, no discrimination has taken place.
Hooper has filed a complaint with the US Attorney Generals Office regarding this incident. Good for him. This issue needs to be resolved once and for all. Is the Judge in control of the courtroom, or CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood front group created for Hamas?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.