James White of Northwest Liberty News out of Montana recently interviewed Representative Rodney Garcia, who has proposed legislation to punish CPS workers who break the law and remove children from their homes needlessly. Representative Garcia states: "Child Protective Services do not protect the kids, they kidnap them." He goes on to explain that CPS workers need a court order to remove children from their home, but routinely do not have court orders, and he wants to start fining them and putting them in jail when they take children out of homes without court orders. Prior to interviewing Representative Garcia, James White interviewed Debbie Westlake from Butte, Montana, as an example of the kind of corruption in child welfare services in Montana. He writes: "In summary, Debbie had some medical issues and needed to be hospitalized for a couple weeks. CPS took over and protected her son during her hospital stay. The visitation specialist who returned Debbie’s son, Robert, made advances on Debbie of a sexual nature, which she rebuked and then reported. The worker was subsequently arrested for 4 counts of incest and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. After another 5 hour hospital stay, CPS took Robert and he has not been home since." Watch both interviews at MedicalKidnap.com.
A District Court judge has overturned the 2009 homicide conviction of Robert Wilkes, marking yet another court victory for the Montana Innocence Project. Wilkes’ 3-month-old son, Gabriel, died in October 2008. More than a year later, Wilkes was convicted in the baby's death and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The Montana Innocence Project began to look into his case in 2012, finding that Gabriel had no signs of abuse and that the prosecution relied on the theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome in Wilkes' case. The Innocence Project gathered a series of medical experts from around the country to review the case. They determined a number of other likely causes of his death. Also, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy had listed the cause of death as “undetermined,” something Wilkes’ defense attorney did not present at trial. In an order issued Thursday, District Court Judge James Haynes of Ravalli County, who was brought in to oversee the Wilkes case, overturned the conviction. As part of his order the judge concluded that Wilkes’ attorney at trial had been ineffective in his representation of his client. In a statement, Innocence Project attorney Toby Cook said the medical evidence they presented was “overwhelming.” “While we have always believed in Dave’s innocence, he can never regain the 10 years he has lost,” Cook said.