Steve Lorenz

February 14th, 2010 at 1:19 AM ^

I gotta agree with this. A restraining order is really just a piece of paper and if this person was crazy enough to kill this woman a restraining order was the last thing that was going to stop him. More than anything else it's really sad that she was unlucky enough to get wrapped up with such a psycho in the first place. My thoughts go out to her family.

MGoBird

February 14th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

I've lurked here for about 6 months now and its sad that this is my first post on such a topic, but it is true about restraining orders. My cousin was with a man for 6 years and he beat her that entire time. In the last year, she finally got enough courage to get a restraining order, they gave it to her, but it didn't do anything. He ended up stalking her, killing her and then killing himself last March, so the paper doesn't exactly do much. I feel horrible for this woman and her family.

LongLiveBo

February 14th, 2010 at 12:52 AM ^

WTF is wrong with some people? The judge is put in a tough spot in these types of events. He is bound by the law and can end up looking like a complete idiot when some lunatic goes off. I remember a similar case a few years ago where a man doused his ex with gasoline and set her on fire while she was at work.

Steweiler

February 14th, 2010 at 1:01 AM ^

but, WAY off topic here. I'm sorry, but I come to MGoBlog to get away from real life crime news and feed my craving for all things U of M sports-related. This just in't the place for this kind of stuff.

blueblueblue

February 14th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

Gotta agree with Steweiler here - the bar should be raised for what OT that is postable. We all get this news everywhere else, all the time. We dont come here for it. Even reading the title it unpleasant - whether you click on it or not.

Big_G

February 14th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

Nah I gotta agree with the people who say if its labeled off-topic and has an informative title then its fine. It is after all the off season and every post cannot be about UofM and have a rosy disposition. As discussed in the past, to many on this site, Mgoblog has become a social community of sorts. Many people come here to read others thoughts that they've grown to appreciate and trust on various subjects. Sure I don't want to roll out of bed and read as distressing story as this one but sadly this is the world we live in.

HartAttack20

February 14th, 2010 at 10:51 AM ^

When it isn't football season and the hockey and basketball teams are having the disappointing seasons that they are currently in, people tend to post stuff to pass time. It's not a big deal. During football season you see much less OT posting. When the basketball team is often painful to watch, we try to get away from that and post off topic stuff to discuss with fellow fans.

Mr. Robot

February 14th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

True enough that this is a Michigan sports/in general blog, but when sports aren't in plentiful supply, we're pretty much stuck with whatever we can come up with.

Technically there's still plenty of Michigan athletics for the rest of the year, but the fact is that 99.99% of the population is here for some combination of football, basketball, hockey, and baseball in that order of popularity.

So with the exception of the Spring Game and an occasional baseball thread, we're pretty much done until people start getting their football tickets in the mail.

Starko

February 14th, 2010 at 1:04 AM ^

This is a shameful failure of the criminal system. Protective orders should be liberally granted, especially between strangers. Sure a protective order would not have been of any immediate help, but if she had received one a year ago, he may have been arrested by now for violating it. I also am in favor of severe penalties for violating restraining orders. There is simply no reason for us to be soft on stalking; there is no excuse for it and when it is demonstrated, i.e. with violation of a restraining order, it should result in long-term imprisonment, in my opinion.

Admittedly, I recently watched Cape Fear.

Topher

February 14th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

"There is simply no reason for us to be soft on stalking; there is no excuse for it and when it is demonstrated, i.e. with violation of a restraining order, it should result in long-term imprisonment, in my opinion."

Uh, there is an "excuse" to be soft on stalking, it's called "civil rights." Everyone has them, whether you like it or not, and you can't go restricting people's freedom of movement without proper cause and legal process. The world you imagine is one where any woman can simply say "I feel afraid because of this man" and have him shackled; we have to have some balance. Clearly the balance is out in this case, but that doesn't mean we need to start writing up and locking up any man a woman doesn't want around her.

It is unclear as to whether the man explicitly threatened her; if he didn't, then it's a gray area where there's no clear legal answer.

Steve in PA

February 14th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

I've known some women that got them and like was mentioned earlier, if the perp is dedicated/or crazy they don't mean a thing. Worse yet is that some women have learned to use them to be vindictive toward ex-husbands. When someone files a PFA the accused is required to surrender their firearms. This includes hunting gear.

The women that I mentioned earlier felt much more secure with concealed carry permits.

rtyler

February 16th, 2010 at 3:40 AM ^

Awesome, removal of guns seems like the first thing they should do if someone is menacing or threatening. I'm glad to know laws in Michigan are more proactive about protecting humans' lives than protecting humans' guns.

Yeah, I know, second amendment, yadda yadda. I don't feel bad taking away guns from people who don't have squeaky clean records when it comes to violent crimes (or potential violence). If, in the end, the worst thing that happened was that an innocent guy with a bad ex got his guns taken away because a judge believed her side of the story... well, that's not really so bad. Switch to bow hunting, I guess.

rtyler

February 16th, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

I hope you feel better secure in your insider status as someone who dated someone who worked at a shelter. I'm sure you have black friends, too?

As someone who grew up in a household with lots of guns and lots of spousal abuse, I can testify—not baselessly—that they don't usually mix well. Is that enough abuse-cred for you?

Even if nobody gets shot. I'm not saying guns are the problem per se, but they can make a bad situation worse. If we require background checks before someone can purchase a gun, it seems only prudent we take them away from someone who has to be ordered to stay away from someone else for that person's physical safety. At least.

Anyway I'm curious to know what made you think I was such a schmuck? I'm no anti-gun nut. I just don't see why people take the protection of firearms more seriously than the (potential) protection of human lives. It seems like the problem you have is with disgruntled exes and the judges who you say are issuing unnecessary protection orders, not the gun laws.

arod

February 14th, 2010 at 2:00 AM ^

this restraining order is just a piece of paper. It is not a shield. I'm sure the judge "feels like a dick," but it's not at all clear that a restraining order would have made a damn bit of difference. Also, restraining orders are usually granted pretty liberally, to the point where some believe that they clog up judicial resources (because they take priority over other pending matters).

WolverineEagle

February 14th, 2010 at 2:43 AM ^

While it is sad that this woman died she is but one of nearly 15,000 to die from an act of violence each year.The vast majority are men with black men making up a majority of those.

This is a story because she is a pretty white girl.

The simple truth is that far more Americans die by the hand of fellow Americans than they do of terrorists.Mrs. Blanton is an unfortunate addition to that sorry list.

MGoObes

February 14th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

the world IS racist, and i'm quite sure there are other cases where a woman of color was refused aid by the authorities only to be murdered later and no one wrote a story about. it's actually quite likely that this story wouldn't exist if the girl wasn't white, wouldn't be the first time.

WreckingCrew

February 14th, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

I see the point and it is certainly valid. There is no doubt that crimes like these get more attention when the victim is caucasian (especially if it's a pretty girl). I guess my reaction was just knee-jerk, because the article had such a clear angle that had nothing to do with race. I guess if you read between the lines, you can pretty much always find a way to highlight the subtle (sometimes blatant) racism that exists in today's media coverage.

Kvothe

February 14th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^

the woman tried to defend herself against a guy she thought was a threat by following the procedures of the law. The law turned her away and wouldn't help and the guy killed her. Could it have been prevented? Who knows but it might have detered him a little. There is nothing racist about this unless it said the judge denied her because he was racist, which it didn't. I am pretty sure it would be a story if her skin color was green or blue too.

blueblueblue

February 14th, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

You are missing the point - Obes and the others are not saying THIS event was racist, but rather the representation of these events in the media is racist.

You are selecting on the dependent variable - your arguments are biased by media selection. It is quite unlikely that what is presented to us in the media is representative of what actually happens. The point is - how many of these stories HAVEN'T we seen?

Obes and others are saying that it is likely that you haven't seen many of the cases in which the woman was black. Your argument based on what you have seen is a faulty argument, and the argument from the other side is based on conjecture. One would need to compare crime stats and media stories to see if there is actually bias.

mejunglechop

February 14th, 2010 at 4:12 AM ^

OT is getting out of control. Not to belittle this woman's life, but it's just one woman. But unless this is some sort of pattern I think the only reasonable response can be, it's too much to expect the judges to get it right 100% of the time. Sometimes people get murdered by the people you let off, it's a numbers game you can't win.

Topher

February 14th, 2010 at 1:19 PM ^

Horrific. I have several questions about this case, first being how did this guy get past the gatekeepers and to the woman's desk? Sounds like really bad conops at the AT&T call center. The judge is called so because it's his job to make a judgment; his peers will figure out if he just made a bad one or was outside the bounds of the law.

The comments that a restraining order wouldn't have prevented this are correct...people that want to kill are not stopped by laws or pieces of paper. There's another thing we have to acknowledge in this situation - the abuse of restraining orders, which hurt the credibility of legitimate domestic violence claims. It is more common than anyone would want to think that a false abuse claim is laid, in particular in the process of divorce to establish cause for the custody fight. Usually this is without any real due process.

All of this makes things tougher for true victims of crimes. Clearly this case was legitimate - I am not a mindreader, but the facts above may have influenced the judge in erring on the side of not granting the order.

WolverineEagle

February 14th, 2010 at 3:00 PM ^

was to show that murder is all too common. Why is this story such big news? Plenty of women have been killed in similiar circumstances.

The justice system failed? That isn't unusual either.

This is a story because she was an attractive white girl.

jsquigg

February 15th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

Where are the thread police when someone posts a thread with the title: Don't Click Here which contains a post with a picture of kittens? I'll respond when I want to respond and ignore everything else.