Thursday, March 28, 2013

3 (of the 6) Teens Plead Guilty in Senseless Ohio Beating

3 Teens in Ohio who jumped an innocent man, have plead guilty and avoided an aggravated riot charge and the serious youthful offender stipulation that would have sentenced them under a blend of juvenile and adult guidelines.

Have you seen this national story about the 6 Teens in Ohio who senselessly and severely beat an innocent unemployed man who was walking home from a local convenient store to watch a ball game?

Probably not.

Here is the link to the USA Today story.

What's remarkable to me, Paul Gozzo, is not so much that these 6 teens jumped an innocent man. Senseless violence happens every day in American Society. No, what I am curious about is why the color of the man who was jumped is not in the subject of the title, nor is the color of the boys who jumped that innocent man. I stand corrected really because I have been saying for some time now that I wish the journalists who break stories could leave the color of the skin and the nationality of people out of the story lines these days. In this case they did, but now, I have to ask why?

Three quarters of the way through the story you will learn that the man was white and the boys who jumped him were black. Do you think there would be more publicity surrounding this story if the innocent man walking was black and the boys white?

The journalists commenting do a great job of adding that this is absolutely not a hate crime and the police officials support this notion. I still have to ask, would this be the case if the races of the men involved were different?

Would the Zimmerman case be national news if the race of those involved was different?

I can't help but feel that the press fuels the racism topic in our country and for what, to sell newspapers?

Does this blog now make me a racist?

That couldn't be further from the truth.

Oh, and by the way, racism does go other ways. In other words it isn't always white against black.


Let's not forget some important truths in this story. 6 teens jumped and brutally beat an innocent Ohio man sending him to the hospital for a few days. So far, not much has happened to the youths other than an explanation that they were "bored" and "looking for something to do" according to the police report.

Oh, and by the way, that man's name is Pat Mahaney and he was hospitalized for four days suffering so many internal injuries that doctors had to insert a tube down his throat to remove all the blood from his stomach.

Paul Gozzo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rasberry Williams Could be Free from Life Sentence in Prison by: Paul Gozzo

Rasberry Williams who is serving a life sentence for a 1974 murder may be released from prison after 38 years incarcerated. The only person standing in his way is Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad.

Well, sort of.

Apparently Rasberry Williams has been a model inmate over the last 38 years by staying out of trouble, educating himself, and mentoring younger inmates. Recently the parole board acknowledged all of Williams' efforts to rehabilitate himself as they voted 4-0 in favor of allowing Williams to walk free.

Concerned for his own political career, Governor Terry Branstad has a lot to lose and very little to gain if he approves of Rasberry Williams' release and then Mr. Williams does something wrong. After all, Branstad has enjoyed 18 years as the Governor of Iowa spread out over 3 decades. So, Branstad has requested a public hearing in Waterloo to allow the people to sound off on the parole board's recommendation as the Governor must make a decision by May 4th.

Jeremy Haile, who works for the Sentencing Project and advocates for shorter prison sentences, agrees with me (Paul Gozzo) that it is rare for a governor to free someone convicted of murder because of the obvious political risks involved. Haile and I also agree that the hearing is a smart move because strong public support for Williams would help justify the Governor's decision to release him as well as hedge any future possibility if Williams does get into trouble.

Oh and one more extraordinary fact to go with this story, along with the possibility of a person in prison for a life sentence possibly being released after 38 years in jail and a governor ordering a public hearing, is the simple fact that Williams, while incarcerated, saved two guards lives when a young inmate took them hostage way back in 1979. In fact the man, George Goff, who planned to kill those guards wrote a letter to Williams' parole board stating, "If it had not been for Rasberry Williams that day there would have been two dead guards and I would be doing a life sentence".

This is Rasberry Williams third attempt in front of a the Governor of Iowa. Previously, Gov. Tom Vislak denied Williams' commutation bid in 2006 with concerns that Williams had been gambling in prison, which Rasberry denied. Then gov. Chet Culver reviewed Williams' commutation file in his final days in office in 2011 but ultimately did not act.

I, Paul Gozzo, would like to see Rasberry Williams get the opporunity to become a model citizen just like he was a model inmate and for this sotry to have a happy ending. What do you think of Rasberry Williams and Governor Terry Branstad's opporunity to end Williams prison sentence?

Andrew Auernheimer Harsh Prison Sentence by:Paul Gozzo

Andrew Auernheimer's prison sentence is getting some attention.

I'm (Paul Gozzo) not going to comment on what Auernheimer may or may not have done to get in this position in the first place. I have followed this story with interest just like I followed the Aaron Swartz story which ended so horribly. What is interesting to me is the impression by journalists on how prison sentences are actually handed out. I'm getting the feeling the public really doesn't understand this either.

Just look at the differences in these two stories. The first is from The Star Ledger in New Jersey, or and the second from the other side of the country in California at Mercury News.

So why did Andrew Auernheimer get the higher end of the "sentencing guideline" range? And what are the sentencing guidelines anyway? Is it because he actually went to trial and did not take a plea deal? Is it because he was so "defiant" and showed "disrespect" to the court as Dan Goldberg of The Star-Ledger points out? Is it because among the 120,000 iPad users whose personal data was allegedly compromised included film mogul Harvey Weinstein and big shot New York Mayor (and part time Billionaire) Michael Bloomberg, who by the way made all that money by organizing data on people and companies that he sold at a high price to Wall Streeters?

Auernheimer got the heavy sentence not because he was defiant to the judge, but because he didn't cooperate with the prosecution who never wants to go to trial and enjoys a "conviction rate" percentage in the high 90's because so many take plea agreements. So when an arrested person does actually go to trial, the prosecution then asks for the maximum sentence on the guideline range that they came up with to begin. So much of the negotiation that factors into the "range" is done behind the scenes anyway. The judge's hands are sort of tied. The prosecution has all the power.

It goes a little like this. The prosecutor's office will talk to a person about being arrested and offer them a plea that is significantly lower than what they will ask for in front of a judge if the accused signs a plea agreement and avoids a trial. Now the person has to think and weigh the options. In cases where the person is a real criminal and they know this game, they understand when to take a deal and also when to tell on someone else thus reducing their potential sentence even further. In cases where the accused (Auernheimer) feels they did no wrong and doesn't buy into the "ignorance of the law doesn't mean you're innocent" theory, and they say "no" to a plea agreement, that defiance will tick-off the prosecutor's office and the accused will end up getting hammered, or the high-end of the guideline range, at sentencing.

This news will die-out, but Auernheimer is going to jail soon. As for the "victims" in this case. I believe they already have moved on and their life was not altered in the slightest.

My guess is that Auernheimer's prison sentence will end up getting reduced significantly at some point though. I (Paul M. Gozzo) would be shocked if Auernheimer stays defiant and serves the 34.85 months or nearly three years that he would have to stay imprisoned on the 41 month sentence. (Inmates can earn 15% off for good-time).


Friday, March 15, 2013

SEC Charges the state of Illinois with securities fraud: Paul Gozzo

SEC Charges the state of Illinois with securities fraud: brought to you by Paul Gozzo

This is an interesting story from CNN

"The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Illinois state government have reached a settlement over charges that the state defrauded investors by not giving them proper information about its pension funds."

"The agency said Illinois issued corrective disclosures beginning in 2009. The state agreed to settle the SEC's charges without admitting to any wrongdoing. A statement from Illinois said the settlement is in its best interest and that it had cooperated with the probe."

Monday, March 4, 2013

I (Paul Gozzo) recently signed on to be The Director of Sales for Lax Wax. Please check out the website,

The LAX WAX product is revolutionary and I am excited to be a part of the team to bring this new technology to the fastest growing sport in the world, Lacrosse!

So far, players of all ages, from beginners to professionals, have said nothing but wonderful things about Lax Wax. Usually, once one player on a team gets Lax Wax, all of his teammates borrow his tube until it is gone or they go to their local lacrosse shop to buy a tube of their own.

The Lax Wax product works as a wax for element proofing the pocket of a lacrosse stick while providing tack for great ball control. It can be used on traditional pockets as well as both hard and soft mesh. Here is how to apply Lax Wax.

We are currently looking for new partners to sell Lax Wax at retail locations and online. Please contact Paul Gozzo directly or go to our website and follow the instructions for contacting Lax Wax.

You can follow Lax Wax on Twitter

Check out these reviews:

Lacrosse All-Stars (Sweet Sweet Lax):
Inside Lacrosse Magazine (ILGear):
NE Lax Blog (Daily New England College Lacrosse Blog):
Lacrosse Playground:
Lacrosse Playground #2: