Wednesday, July 8, 2009


And what about Maryland’s prisons?
Are prisoners treated according to some code of demoralization or what?

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I guess I got discouraged. For that an apology is due, and I duly apologize.

The reality is that my discouragement and lack of blogging may well have contributed to the dismal situation Elsa Newman continues to endure at Maryland’s Correctional Institution for Women at Jessup.

People who have previously read here probably remember the name of Elsa Newman. Please allow me to refresh your memory as to said “dismal situation.”

First let me remind you how firmly I believe Elsa Newman’s imprisonment is unjust. As far as I can tell from extensive research into the Newman case, Newman did nothing to deserve prison. Back in the days when Doug Gansler, now Maryland’s Attorney General, was a mere state’s attorney in Montgomery County, Elsa Newman was incarcerated. I have long believed that Gansler rode to political success in Maryland partly on the back of the case he made against Newman. If you disagree? Well…that’s OK…but you might want to take a trip back through some of the things I wrote earlier before you make a final judgment.

At that time of the Newman trial, Doug Gansler’s chief assistant was a woman named Katherine Winfree. Make no mistake, Winfree is probably one of the best prosecutors in the United States. She is so good that she can make a case out of lies and partial truth, witnesses who look good on the stand but are willing to lie through their teeth, and suspicions she created by well-placed questions and her own creative ideas.

In my opinion, Stephen Friendman lied. He was Newman’s former attorney.
Maryland’s highest court said his testimony should never have been allowed at all. But he testified against Newman, saying she had sat in his presence and plotted to kill her estranged husband. Pardon the expression, but that’s bullshit. I wonder sometimes how Friedman manages to eat, using a mouth that spouted such infamy. Again: BULLSHIT! Elsa Newman is an extremely intelligent woman. Had she wanted to kill Arlen Slobodow, she would never have sat in the presence of an attorney she despised and for whom she had literally no respect, an attorney she accused of overbilling [an attorney who, for example, would “step out for a moment to get a Coke” and then bill her for the 45 minutes or so she sat in his office waiting for his return], and attorney she wanted to fire because she did not trust him…Newman would never have sat in the presence of such a man and plot ANYTHING, let alone murder.

Another witness was the aforementioned estranged husband, Arlen Slobodow, now of Tampa, Florida. If you’ve read any of what I said before, you know that I firmly believe Slobodow is a sociopath as well as a child molester who has repeatedly assaulted his own children sexually and in every other way possible. And you know what it is that a sociopath can do best? Lie! And be personable in his lying. He made, I am sure, a fantastic witness for the prosecution. Eloquent. Charming. Apparently candid. Said anything he wanted and made it believable. And he somehow made the jury believe that his estranged wife had plotted with a family friend to kill him.

More bullshit.

There would come a day when the family friend, Margery Landry, would testify also. According to her testimony, Newman knew nothing of what would happen that night in January. No plot. No conspiracy. No attempt to murder, for that matter.

Landry broke into Slobodow’s house, looking for evidence of child abuse. She found it. Oh, boy, did she find it! Slobodow was in bed--nearly naked--with the younger of his two sons, and the boy was completely naked. It sounds to me like Landry stumbled across a scene of abuse-in-progress. She was the child’s godmother. She loved the boy as she would have loved a child of her own. And she found him there in bed with his father, both nude, and apparently in the middle of a sexual assault upon the child. What would you have done? Crept quietly away? I doubt it. Nor did Landry. She lost it. This government employee, highly intelligent, and with the highest security clearance possible in the US foreign service, scheduled for an ambassadorial post at her next promotion…she completely lost it. She saw her godchild under attack. She entered the bedroom and try to pull the molesting father away from his son. The father struggled, shoved Landry to the floor, tried to turn on her the gun she carried for protection…and it went off. One bullet struck him in the thigh. The other, I understand, struck a wall. And she had no more bullets. Only two. Hardly the arsenal of a woman intending to kill.

After than, Landry fled. Slobodow called 911 and set up the prosecution case for them with his first words: “My wife sent someone to kill me.”

And it was there that the prosecution took its stand. As if the words that Arlen Slobodow spoke had been true, the prosecution set about the convict Elsa Newman of conspiracy and attempted murder, when she was guilty of neither one.

Elsa Newman is guilty of only one thing: she tried to protect her two sons from an abusive father. They had disclosed abuse to their mother, to family friends, to doctors, to psychiatrists, to law officers. All these people had seen signs of abuse. Some of them reported the abuse.

Margery Landry, unbeknownst to Newman, went in search of evidence in Slobodow’s own house. And the result? Elsa Newman was tried and sentenced to prison for a crime of which she was innocent. Furthermore, she had known nothing of this crime until police informed her what had happened and she was arrested…tried…convicted…sent to prison.

And this is what passes for justice in the state of Maryland?!? If so, Maryland has no justice…nothing but injustice. Shame on the state of Maryland. Shame on Montgomery County. Shame on Doug Gansler and Katherine Winfree and Stephen Friedman and Arlen Slobodow who wanted things their way and happily dissembled to get their way.

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