Daily Briefs, September 12

Michigan judge rules father must stop smoking to see kids
HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A man who authorities say burned his 7-year-old daughter with a cigarette must stop smoking if he wants to see his children, a Michigan judge has ordered.

The order was issued Thursday after an attorney for Brad Wessler asked Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty to allow such visits by amending conditions of the 30-year-old Howell man’s bond, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reported.

“There is no more opportunity for an accident to occur,” Hatty said. “I'm going to the extreme side of safety for the child.”

Wessler, of Howell, was charged with third-degree child abuse after authorities said he burned his daughter twice May 15 while the family was at the Kensington Inn in Howell. Wessler contends that the girl was accidentally burned after she ran up to him.

“You're going to quit. ... You’re going to have to make changes in your life. I’ve got a real short fuse for someone hurting a kid,” Hatty said.
Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Ryan opposed the request.

The judge ordered that visits must be supervised by Wessler’s wife.

Jennifer VanBrunt, a Children’s Protective Services’ investigator, said that before the new order Wessler was prohibited from smoking within 20 feet of his children. The judge asked for her opinion before making his decision, and she said the department’s goal was to reunify the family.

“We are required to try to keep the family together,” she said.

Judge throws out key part of Michigan’s funeral protest law
CLARE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan law aimed at prohibiting protests at the funerals of soldiers has mostly been struck down as unconstitutional.

A federal judge says a couple’s rights were violated when they were pulled from a funeral procession in Clare County in 2007 for having signs criticizing President George W. Bush on windows inside their van.

Lewis and Jean Lowden of Harrison weren’t protesting. They were invited to the funeral and were very close to Cpl. Todd Motley, who was killed in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington says there was no probable cause to arrest the Lowdens. He said Thursday that Michigan’s ban on behavior that would “adversely affect” a funeral is vague and too broad.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court said the First Amendment protects certain speech outside funerals.

‘Marching Toward Justice’ exhibit at Wayne State University

Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History is pleased to announce that the exhibit “Marching Toward Justice: The History of the 14th Amendment” will be featured in Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium through Oct. 20. The display coincides with Thursday’s Keith Biennial Lecture featuring Harry Belafonte and the grand opening ceremony of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights on Oct. 19.

Contact Geronimo at 313-577-6530 or igeronimo@wayne.edu for more information or to schedule the Marching Toward Justice exhibit in your community.


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »