BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Two days before Jennifer Martel was murdered, Jared Remy was arrested for assaulting her with a deadly weapon, causing Martel to take out a restraining order against Remy. Once again, the Middlesex DA’s office and the Probation Department ignored Remy’s violent criminal history and immediately released him on $40 bail. Less than 24-hours later, Martel was dead.
According to the arrest report, on August 15, 2013, Remy stabbed Martel to death in front of their 4-year-old daughter while fighting off onlookers, bringing an abrupt end to the 20-years long State sponsored violent crime spree which had gone practically undetected.
As the son of a prominent Red Sox commentator, questions arose as to how much influence Remy’s family had over the courts. But according to Remy’s long time privately bankrolled defense attorney Peter Bella, his client never received any special treatment from the courts. It was just business as usual for the Massachusetts justice system.
Most fathers are fit loving parents, not violent criminals like Remy. But to say the justice system should have foreseen such Martel’s tragic demise is to is to assume wrongly that the officials who presided over Remy’s cases did not know what the financial forecast was. Bloody with a touch of cash.
“There is a revolving door at the courthouse, and it is preceded by a red carpet walkway for people of influence” says former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, who for decades has worked on criminal cases in the same Massachusetts courts that repeatedly let Remy off the hook and rewarded him for committing violent crimes.
Murphy says that the Remy case is a poignant example of why so many abused women and children end up dead even after the so-called “protective” arm of the state steps in, and questions the deadly effect that perverse federal funding incentives are having on the justice system’s handling of such cases.
Did the Massachusetts courts misappropriate federal funding intended to assist crime victims when it allowed Remy misuse the courts as a venue to target and falsely discredit victims of violent crimes?
The record suggests that it was not that these highly regarded officials did not understand that Remy could not be both a violent drug addict and a responsible father, it may have just been that shutting off Remy’s access to victims would have shut off the lethal walking gravy train that they themselves had created for profit.
Over the years, Remy was the defendant in 18 criminal cases charging him with various violence, drug, and traffic crimes, but was only found guilty twice. His criminal record stayed clean because instead of punishing Remy or providing his victims with safety and recovery support, the courts enrolled Remy in various ineffective therapy and supervision programs. Sometimes the courts even did Remy’s bidding for him.
On one occasion, a judge granted Remy a fraudulently obtained restraining order against a victim, then awarded Remy’s family sole custody of her child. Even after the court discovered Remy’s fraud, it left much of the order in tact, effectively sentencing the victim to a lifetime of “shared parenting” with the third party grandparents advocating for her attacker. The lucrative case dragged on for years in the family courts, and was eventually sealed.
Murphy says that the perverse outcomes in the Remy case may be a result of available funding streams (mostly from the federal government, child support enforcement agencies) that punish good fathers and “literally reward family court judges who favor violent male offenders over victims.”
According to Murphy, the well-funded “training and education” programs for violent male offenders funded by these grants have created a perverse incentive for judges to refuse to “punish” violent criminals with either loss of custody or incarceration, and to send them, instead, to training programs that do not work.
“The net result of this funding frenzy is that abusive men feel financially supported and NOT punished – while victims of violent crimes are forced to live with escalating violence because of a legal system that refuses to protect them from harm.”
But if the DOJ’s crime prevention grants are being used to prosecute crime victims instead of predators, who are the real beneficiaries of this funding?
Perhaps the only beneficiaries of the Probation Department services Remy was enrolled in over the years were the vendors and State employees paid to provide them.
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