Update: Keturah Krankovich's Case's Plea: The Failure of the Local Criminal Justice System and The Media's Complicity In The Effort to Tear Down the Individuals' Right to Presumption of Innocence
Recently, a felony drug case that had been pending for over a year inside of Harrison County, Ohio was quietly, (very quietly) dismissed and all the pending aggravated drug trafficking and possession charges were dismissed. A plea instead was taken by the tired but still spirited Defendant, Keturah Krankovich, after she fought off the allegations that had taken on a life of their own inside the local court and also, oddly, the local media, including the everywhere local TV NewsStation, NewsNine.
Keturah Krankovich in other words successfully defended herself against the powers that be and two separate indictments, a 10 month malicious prosecution, twice a week drug testing for 10 months and she defended herself against a three aggravated felony charge indictment and overcame all of these officials hot accusations against her, on January 19th. She won. In a word, she won against the greatest of odds after having spent tens of thousands of dollars, and retaining no less than three separate defense lawyers over the course of the past year.
She won because she would not give in and give up on her defense and her own statements. She won because she was committed to defending her professional background as a local experienced RN and she won for her young adult children who have had in her son's case, his own issues and serious problems. And keturah won because of her faith, not so much in the human system of laws, but in the Kingdom of God and His ability to still influence the affairs of men.
Keturah may have bended at times and she was made to endure things that very few mothers and career women and housewives would ever endure inside the same year. She was bruised and hurt by the local reporting and the relentless prosecution of something that ended up not having much if any official discovery and therefore evidence ever presented against her.
She won because she insisted upon her own rights to counsel, right to cross examine evidence, to have the state prove their hot and very damaging allegations against her and the imbalanced local prosecutor's seeming personal agenda in bringing such weakly supported allegations and then sustaining them for months, long after his own assistant had spoken to Keturah's various competent criminal defense attorneys for months, about how weak the case was, and how the case ought to be resolved and done so by either a dismissal and/or low misdemeanor.
Its happened and she did take a "no contest" plea to a third degree minor misdemeanor non drug charge. She was NOT requested to take a plea to ANY DRUG charge whatsoever. She wasn't given any jail sentence and no reporting probation. She has no more drug testing to perform at all.
And this win, and it is a significant win, is largely based on the complete lack of evidence that the State's case, inside the Harrison County Prosecutor's office had in prosecuting her for most of the entire past year. And its a material victory for her, despite the local media's constant attention to this case for months, as if it were a major felony drug case. Yet, when the case was resolved two weeks ago, very strongly and very much in her favor, the local media was not present, and/or either mainly silent and in effect, not so interested any more. After all, an American citizen who overcomes the most serious kinds of legal threats this nation's local governments can do to any individual, to any of u s citizens, just isn't news anymore, when the citizen wins and basically defeats the local powers that be who have made her withstand a year of hell itself, night and day for over 11 months.
In our nation anymore, its a total a crap shoot if American citizens can retained their fundamental civil liberties. Most women in Keturah's position would have given up and given in a very long time ago. The amazing thing about this case is the person who withstood all that the local prosecutor's and probation officers were willing to sustain for a year against her and do so, with strength, with courage and the kind of self-dedication and personal grit that it takes to stand up against the uneven balance of power that the individual has to face inside of our court system today. Keturah simply never give in completely to their serious high pressure and coercive tactics, for months, all the while she was undergoing the searing pain of a difficult unwanted personal divorce brought in part against her by a husband who stated repeatedly to her, "I can't be seen with you in public even."
This is what this young mother and woman who is an experienced RN has had to endure for the past year. Now, she is resting in the aftermath of having overcome the serious felony indictment and she is truly the victor. And its a victory not only for Keturah but for all of us, who believe in the constitutional rights of the accused in this country, a country supposedly based on the right of the accused to enjoy the right of presumption of innocence before being considered and promoted as guilty in the public square by a media that often simply is way to eager to buy every single thing the local police and prosecutors have to say. This case if anything, stands for the right to confront evidence that the state has brought against the beset individual and where and when it is completely lacking, the Defendant ought to win and/or achieve a significant outcome in their favor and Keturah certainly did. Her retained counsel often told her they thought they could win at trial and they knew the case was weak against her. But they all also strongly advised her to forego the rigors of a jury trial and the outside chance that the local jury system would be tainted by all the local negative media coverage that made her out to be less than innocent even though there was scant, if any actual direct evidence that the state ever did produce, even in its 10 month old delay in presenting to her, its discovery....there was so little evidence that the state would be able to present before a Jury, it was difficult for Keturah to take a plea. But given she would face no jail, no fines, and most importantly NO DRUG CHARGES WHATSOEVER, she took the minor misdemeanor and got the pressure over with and with this, begin to heal up from what was a ordeal that no one, much less a younger mother and wife going thru a painful time of personal life ought to have had to endure and do so, under our alleged 'best' legal system in the world, with the kinds of constitutional rights it is supposed to be based upon and deliver to the citizens of our nation.
Its a lesson learned and Keturah is now basically free from the terrible year long personal prosecution she has had to endure risking everything in her life, including her professional and personal life. She's learned some very important but difficult if not hard lessons about local prosecutors, local legal systems and just how bizarre a local small town criminal justice can become when they wish to create a threat to one's very liberty interest and life and family.
Its nothing one wishes to ever experience or endure. She once she has, she will never be quite the same and for this, we hope that by not giving in and not succumbing to the seriously over indictment felony charges and fighting the local powers that best she could, she has not only secured her own liberty interests once again, but in some significant way, she has helped secured all of ours in believing enough in herself and in her cause to not just take whatever dish the local prosecutors and authorities had hoped she would in furtherance of their own agenda and personal and political careers
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the 14th Amendment, written by Cadiz' hometown legendary 19th century congressman and lawyer, John Bingham, guarantee individuals in Keturah's status, this past year, the power of that which all of our Founder fathers fought for and believed in. Its what men died in World War II for at Normandy and beyond. Its the very basis of why our own Civil War was fought over; human freedom and human rights for all, equally.
It may seem odd to some, but in fact, every time someone is focused upon and indicted in this nation, all of these basic sacred rights are put to the test. So it was the same inside Keturah's year long felony drug prosecution.
It was terrible that she was treated by the local prosecutor and probation office AND THE LOCAL MEDIA FOR THE MOST PART, as guilty before proven innocent repeatedly and she was constantly pressured and threatened with jailing and was in fact, jailed twice by the local officials pre trial for allegedly violating the pre trial court drug testing program. One major problem with this; THEY NEVER PROVIDED ONCE EVEN ONCE THE EVIDENCE OF HER FAILED TESTS INSIDE THE COURT OF LAW!
ITs a very troubling day in America when a defendant has to argue for months and stand up and face jail time for simply wanting the state to present, not prove, just present its evidence against a defendant accused of serious crimes. When a defendant faces a multiple level felony indictment, one would expect the evidence of her infractions and the discovery that is accompanied to every single criminal case ever brought inside this nation, ought to be reasonably and quickly if not timely provided to the Defendant and her counsel. This NEVER HAPPEND INSIDE OF KETURAH's case for over 10 MONTHS!
This is the reason why Keturah's win....and her brining the state's railroad to a pause and finally to a stop against her on January 19th. She is one very seriously tired individual and she has paid out tens of thousands of dollars to lawyers, just to survive, to fight on and try to get her points across and to finally overcome all of this, this past year.
Yet, she has her pride intact and she owns her own reputation once again, despite the heavy media coverage of the state's allegations; She needs it to be more fully restored now, no doubt. She has her dignity and with this, she has stood the test and she literally helped all of us, who care deeply about the civil rights and constitutional liberties of our nation. Watching this from a certain third party distance and yet up close and personal with her at times, it is something else to try to express today, anywhere to just try to demonstrate and write about what it takes for one individual to assert ones' innocence and those all important constitutional rights before a Court of Law today in smallville USA, against a few select, highly personally agendized locally powerful local prosecutors and courts.
Its nothing small to be able to meet them on a field of battle and overcome their tactics and their unsubstantiated allegations. This has happened and it took everything inside of her to fight this fight
But now, for her, its the time to heal, a time to rest and for those of us who were near her, and watched having to endure this long night of the soul, we are left to only help watch and admire and help her realize and those watching from within the public who followed this case closely, and thru the media, to realize just how serious a win and overcoming this woman obtained not only for herself, but all of those who oneday just may find themselves unexpectedly in the same position as she did, one year ago this week.
Its an American narrative and nothing is more important than what she did to overcome this seriously falsely maintained criminal multi level felony prosecution which now is all dismissed and gone forever out of her life in the legal sense. The experience itself, of being so prosecuted, however, sadly, will never be.
She has several things to do and she will get to them in due and reasonable time. But the war is over, the battlefield is now silent largely and she now is rebuilding her life. Its a time of gathering stones for Keturah and for some peace and quiet. Its also time for the government to leave her alone and let an American citizen, a young mom and career woman to get back to what can be called normalcy when things in this nation, are anything but normal given our present weakened constitutional framework within our courts today.