Jan
09

No Peace In Mayberry

You big city types who long for the simplicity of small-town life, take note: All is not rosy in Mayberry.

I practice law in Connecticut. By the standards of Chicago, Detroit and New York City, the locales in which I spent 24 of my first 27 years, Connecticut is paradise. From my office, I can be in any courtroom in the state in 90 minutes or less. We live just miles from a city, but in a rural setting as beautiful as any you might find in Vermont. The bar is friendly here, and in a matter of no time, a lawyer can find his way around.

It's a nice place to live and work.

But things still go bump in the night here, and when they do, a lawyer is called. Sometimes that lawyer is me.

I am trying a case in New London now. The City has seen better days, but it is still pleasant. It has a run-down funky feeling that almost rises to the level of charm. Surrounding New London are a series of small towns characterized by picturesque views. (TX Bill)

But fear is just below the surface in these towns, and anger, too. One need look no further than comments posted in the New London Day today about a client of mine. It is a graphic reminder of why lawyers are necessary everywhere. The lynch mob is always near at hand and rope-ready.

The comments were posted in response to a story about my client's being deprived of rest and harassed by guards during jury selection. Read on:

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RichardE Posted - January 9, 2010 02:04 PM

He should be scared, very scared and as far as him being "tired" to bad, I can only imagine the sleepless nights the parents of this poor child have had. I hope justice is served to him in prison. It would save wasting money keeping him feed and a room for the rest of his miserable life.

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JS Posted - January 9, 2010 01:13 PM

Oh boo hoo hoo! I'm crying so hard for him. Tired and scared? I repeat: boo hoo hoo. The Norwich Bulletin reported: "... Leniart detailed the rape of a young girl, saying he choked her until she was dead, police said. Leniart transported the body to a boat in Rhode Island where he 'knew that the best way to get rid of her was to dump her in the water,' police said." And just how sorry are we supposed to feel for this guy? I don't have a shred of compassion for him. He's a waste of space and air. He lived too long the moment he touched any child with intent to harm. MAKE SURE HE DOESN'T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO IT AGAIN! Please don't remind me that he is "innocent until proven guilty"--he bragged about this. The details in the newspaper accounts are revolting.

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Louise Posted - January 9, 2010 12:17 PM

Wow, no limo to pick up Leniart? Could we put him up at a hotel closer to court and make sure the stressed sex offender has a massage and mani/pedi before court? Maybe Bubba would like to do it!! What the heck - to even have the nerve to complain? Good thing that wasn't my daughter or I would be giving him his 1st and last ride to court.

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brandylynn Posted - January 9, 2010 11:11 AM

George Leniart has a long history of being a pedophile with very short sentences. he is disgusting and yes, BRAGGED about what he did to April. Anyone who feels a second sorry for this man is as crazy as him. HOPE to never see you again George, your disgusting.

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forethoughts Posted - January 9, 2010 11:03 AM

I am amazed that so many of the witnesses in this trial or on here posting. At least they must be as they all seem to "know" "what he did to this girl" or what he shouldn't have done. He is accused as Thomas M. said, if and once found guilty treat him like the dirt bag he is, until he does have the right to be fairly tried and protected from the other prisoners. One of the bigger problems in here and at most sites like this is the automatic condemning of someone who is arrested. This is not England, that is the one place I know of where one is assumed guilty. And the " if he hadn't done anything then they would not have arrested him. Don't believe it!!!

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Dannysgirl Posted - January 9, 2010 10:55 AM

Nobody needs to tell the prisoners about George as there has been plenty of media coverage about this case. That's the problem with freedom of speech and the press - guilt is always first before innocence when it comes to american media. This isn't the only case that has to be defended in the public eye. Whether or not he is innocent or guilty everybody knows this situation and has already determined in their mind the outcome. Don't put the blame on the CO's for giving out information just read your local newspaper or watch your local news station. How can someone be tried for murder when there is no body, unless of course, they have confessed. I'm sure there is some law that supports that but that's not the point of my post.

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Erin Posted - January 9, 2010 10:15 AM

April Dawn Pennington does not have the chance to get up at 3:00 in the morning. Her right to do that was taken away years ago.

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Thomas M Moriarty Posted - January 9, 2010 09:55 AM

Rights are rights, and no one accused of a crime, no matter how heinous, should be denied any rights accorded to American citizens. (Emphasis on accused, once convicted people do lose certain rights.) That said, the judge offered a reasonable solution, a transfer to Corrigan, which Leniert refused. So suck it up, big guy, and try to get a little shut-eye in the van....

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chris2009 Posted - January 9, 2010 09:46 AM

I have to agree with Co. People are arrested for drug, violent and white collar crimes, yet their bonds/bails are always more in comparison to someone who is charged with a sex crime. I just don't get the thought pattern behind the law. Not to negate the serious of the charges mentioned, but as a parent and a woman I would want to see bonds and sentences much more strict for sexual crimes. I don't understand why our legistators have not changed this, especially as the rate of these crimes continues to rise.

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Shamrock Posted - January 9, 2010 09:40 AM

The CO's just need to tuck him in a little earlier to he gets his beauty sleep for his court days. He's not just a rapist, add pedophile to the list too. Murderer will be added after this trial. Move him to Corrigan's general population. What's the worst that could happen? He might get some lovin' or NOT!

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co77x Posted - January 9, 2010 09:24 AM

Judgment guilty!! sentence execution why allow these sex offenders a second chance to harm anyone if a stronger stance was taken on these people you may get a lower crime rate.if not at least these people will never hurt anyone again

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Betsy S Posted - January 9, 2010 09:14 AM

In an attempt to be fair here, Dawn has never been found. If Mr. Leinart did indeed kill her, maybe guilt has something to do with his inability to sleep. Maybe his conscience is working...only he knows. If he's guilty and he tells the whole story, maybe then he can rest. If the inmates get him first, he won't have to worry about sleep. Mr. Leinart, it's up to you.

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Dollar Bill Posted - January 9, 2010 08:09 AM

You just can't help but feel sorry for this poor little fella. Having to get up early to make it to court on time and not even a mention of a nice, hot breakfast each day. After all, the poor guy has to rise at 3 a.m. and is tired. And he wouldn't feel safe around those big bullies at Corrigan. That should prompt the judge to move him to Corrigan immediately. And if he didn't rape and murder a 15-year-old, he's got nothing to worry about, right, Georgie Boy? Now ... if he did, then the boys there should rightfully be waking him up at 3 a.m. anyway just to beat the daylights out of him.

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Melisa Posted - January 9, 2010 07:53 AM

I think we as Americans "bend" the rules, protect poeple, and refrain from what we really should be doing because we do not want to offend anyone's rights. We all know right from wrong, so when you do wrong you should lose certain rights. Who cares if is he is tired. That little girl can never get up again. So what he feels unsafe around others. I bet that little girl felt unsafe around him. I am sorry, but what this man did he should have no rights. Take all rights away from criminals. Maybe then we would have less people out in the world doing horrible things if they knew that hard concequences would follow. I think the judge was trying to help this monster out and for that he should be greatful. He refused that screw him!! Let him get up at 3 am thats the least he can do for what he did to that poor girl. She did have any choice why should he.

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brea1106 Posted - January 9, 2010 07:44 AM

Okay, yes, if the Correction Officers did inform the other prisoners what he did, then what they did was wrong. I find that a little hard to believe considering how my cousin is a Corrections Officer and I know that he wouldn't do that, but if they did then an investigation into the situation should be conducted. However, if this man (whether he did or didn't do what he's accused of) didn't put himself in a situation where he is accused of raping and murdering a 15 year old girl, then he wouldn't be in this type of situation now, would he? If he did do what he is accused of, well then I say, Right On, GO GET HIM!!!!

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greek1977 Posted - January 9, 2010 05:19 AM

Maybe we should just put Mr. Leinart in a hotel and transport him back and forth with a limo!!!! Give me a break prisoners have to many rights these days. What rights do the victims have??? Can you bring that little girl back NO!!!!!!!! He should of been to exhausted to rape and murder poor April Dawn Pennington.

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Comments (2)
Posted on January 18, 2010 at 3:34 am by Kai-El
If he did what he is accused that's a horrible thi...
If he did what he is accused that's a horrible thing, but he's still innocent in the eyes of the law at this point. Allow the accused to have his right to fair trial, and then, if found guilty, rest easy knowing the case was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 3:53 am by William Doriss
That would be 'picturesque', not 'picaresque'; a c...
That would be 'picturesque', not 'picaresque'; a curious slip of the pen. There's only one poster above that I would have on my jury: 'forethoughts', thank you for your thoughts. I hope the rest of you are not in the jury pool. These days, you have to go to nite school to learn how to be a proper juror. Human nature hasn't changed much over the centuries. In fact, it may be getting worse.

Don't be fooled by the 'bucolic' nature of rolling Eastern CT. There are plenty of Lizzy Bordens and witch-hunters out that way, it would appear. I wonder if they have draculas too! The more I see of people, the better I like dogs. Who said that?!?
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis

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Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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