Monday, December 04, 2006

Postscript on Undue Influence is Not a Crime

Last week, Melissa McKowan, prosecutor in the undue influence case I described in my last post, told me that the California Supreme Court has denied a request to review the appellate court’s reversal, so the case can’t be retried.

She had this to say about the case:

“I was devastated by the decision. The defendant made himself indispensable to Mr. Roussey, who became so attached to the defendent, he’d do anything he wanted. This is someone who has been told all his life that he was dumb; by prosecuting, we were saying that it was not his fault, that he was the victim of a serious crime. It was incredibly empowering. Now the court is saying it wasn’t a crime. Clearly, obviously, it was criminal conduct, and people need to understand that a financial loss like this is more devastating to seniors than a blow to the head.”

The good news is that the case has energized Melissa to fix the problem. She’s working with state California State Senator Joe Simitian and the California District Attorneys Association to write undue influence into California’s elder abuse criminal statute.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think there is a huge slant in this blog towards depriving elders of their rights to make decisions and be influenced by the ones they love. Right now, we are taking care of our father and have acted to protect his property. In the meantime, the undue influence laws and damages via elder abuse statues is being twisted around by an overzealous attorney and my father's wife. To defend ourselves we are bleeding cash to lawyers. This cash could be used for our father's care and enjoyment, but instead it is being redirected toward a lawsuit. Crazy.