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Apr 22, 2019

Fatal Hunger Strike - a Plight of Right

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By Queenie Mendonca [ Published Date: February 3, 2012 ]

Indian community demand justice!

Lyvita Gomes (52), who passed away at Vista Medical Center East after 15-days of hunger strike at the North suburban Chicago jail, was laid to rest yesterday, February 1, 2012, at the Ascension Catholic Cemetery & Mousoleums at Libertyville, Illinois.  The family is in deep shock and grief at the sudden and immense loss of their daughter and sister, Lyvita Gomes.  Lyvita's Dad , in his heart, knows that Lyvita loved her unconditionally having last spoken to him on his 94 birthday and always wanted her back home.

More than 400 people, mostly unknown to Lyvita Gomes, flocked together at Most Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Waukegan for visitation on Tuesday night and about 200 people joined for the service on Wednesday, February 1,  2012.  Overwhelming help and support she received especially from non-Indian community left us spellbound!!  Indian Christian leaders, members of various organizations, Immigration reform activists, media and others attended the funeral services.

 
Rodney (Lyvita's brother-in-law and Lyemia (Lyvita's sister) Fernandes
(photo courtesy - Chicago Tribune)

"She was a woman of faith, a woman of prayer," Rev. Daniel Hartnett said during Mass. "She should not have died the way she died. My prayer is that her death contributes to better justice in our world."

About 120 people, including 20 local pastors, signed a "statement of concern" that will be presented to Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and posed a set of questions about Gomes' treatment before and during her incarceration.

What happened to Lyvita Gomes…

As a non-citizen Ms. Gomes was not even eligible to serve on a jury, but ignoring the summons started a chain of events that brought her to the Lake County Jail in December, says Chicago Tribune.

After Delta laid her off about five years ago, she moved to Chicago, and in 2007 used her still-valid visa and other identification to get a driver's license, according to the Illinois secretary of state's office.  The license put her into the Lake County jury pool, and she received a notice to report for duty on July 5, 2011. The summons noted that noncitizens cannot serve, but to claim the exemption, Gomes would have had to document her immigration status. It's not clear if her visa had expired by that point.

Gomes did not respond to the summons, records show, prompting a judge to order her to court to explain her absence. She didn't show up for that, either, so on Oct. 12, in accordance with county practice, a deputy showed up at the Vernon Hills hotel where she lived to arrest her.

Gomes claimed she had straightened out the matter by phone, according to a sheriff's report. But the warrant was still active, so the deputy told Gomes she was under arrest.

Gomes didn't go quietly, the report says. She refused to offer her hands for the cuffs and struggled as the deputy led her to his car. That earned her a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge.

She spent two days in the County Jail, where officials learned her visa had expired. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said the agency started deportation proceedings and released her.

Lake County soon dropped the jury duty case, but the resisting arrest charge lingered. Thereafter, Gomes didn't show up for two more court hearings, and once again a judge ordered her arrest. On Dec. 14, Vernon Hills police brought her to the County Jail.  She went on hunger strike for 15-days in the jail and on December 29, 2011, she was admitted to Vista Medical Center.  She died of organs failure on January 3, 2012.

Sheriff Curran has defended the care she received in jail, saying administrators relied on a medical staff's advice before transporting her to a hospital five days before her death. A county public defender, though, said his office attempted to have Gomes hospitalized and was trying to speed up a fitness hearing without success.

By the time she was hospitalized, it appeared that her condition was so grave, "there was nothing they could do," said Greg Ticsay, a public defender. He said that his office was not told that Gomes had refused food and water until Dec. 27, a week after she had been moved to the jail's medical unit.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Curran said he is conducting an internal review of the timeline and records related to Gomes' incarceration and custody.

Who is Lyvita Gomes…

Lyvita Gomes was born on October 27, 1959, the second eldest of Mr. Lamartine Gomes and the late Maria Lucia Olga Gomes with a family of two sisters and one brother. After a primary education at St Theresa's convent in Mumbai India , she went on to lead an illustrious academic career.  She graduated at Sophia College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry followed by a Bachelors of Education degree at St Theresa's Institute of Education.

She followed her vocational ambitions by becoming a Teacher of Maths and Science and taught for a period of 4 years. What made her great was that she truly cared about her students.  During this period she wrote a mathematics book published by Macmillan Publications Madras India which we understand is still sold and read by students today.

Not content with a life as a teacher, she joined Pan Am Airlines as a Flight Attendant in 1986 and soon rose to an In Flight service supervisor when acquired by Delta Air Lines. Her focus was then on training, recruitment and business performance and made a meteoric rise to Sponsor for Continuous Improvement teams and then Field Service Manager for In Flight Services for India.

Her talent did not go unnoticed by the senior management at Delta Airlines and was transferred to the Atlanta in the USA where she was promoted to Program Management in Leadership Development. There she scooped three distinguished awards namely Above and Beyond Ambassador for Delta Airlines in 1999, Chairman’s Club Award 1999 and Continuous Improvement Award in 2000.

In spite of a rather hectic lifestyle her scholastic ambitions never wavered.  She obtained a Masters in Organisational Development from the Peperdine University California in 2003.

"She was sadly made redundant at her peak of her career but continued her life with optimism.  Nobody thought that her life would end in a tragic way. We all thought that Lyvita would be a successful career woman and would have a family to grow with." said Mr. Rodney Fernandes, Lyvitas brother-in-law, in his eulogy.   He expressed their gratitude and said "The family and I are comforted by the extraordinary support we have received not only from the churches and people of Waukegan and Chicago but also from the media and hundreds of people around the world, some who have never met Lyvita but share our grief. We feel that the tragic circumstances of her death in today's world have raised the matter of social justice which we hope will have a profound impact for others who may encounter similar circumstances."

Lyvita's sister Lyemia and Rodney Fernandes who reside in England attended Lyvita's funeral.  The family extended special thanks to Alfredo Miranda of Miranda Funeral Services, Fr Dan Hartnett and Diocese of Most Blessed Trinity, John Keilman and Lisa Black from The Chicago Tribune who has gone a long way in helping the family in seeking the truth.

Austin D'Souza Prabhu has written an open letter to the Honorable Consul General of India Mrs. Mukta Dutta Tomar of Chicago asking as a concerned citizen of India, if her office took any action or launched any inquiry with concerned officials like Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.  Further he stated that "I strongly urge you to take this matter to the Attorney General's office and see that justice been served.  This should not happen again to any human being; especially Indian citizen.  If your office already took this action, I am very grateful to you and your officials.  You are our guardian, a well wisher, a friend in need to all Indians in the US. May I count on your office and hear the progress?"

He included following statement, questions and concerns from various groups:

Following is the statement of concern by Lake County Religious & Community Leaders.  "The importance of asking why."

By nature, most human beings are inquisitive.  If something does not make sense to us, we ask for more information.  And in the face of tragedy, we find ourselves asking not only for more facts but also for understanding.

This simple question - "Why?" - echoed in all of our hearts as we read the newspaper this past week, informing us of the death of Lyvita Gomes: a woman of Indian descent who died on January 3, 2012 at Vista Medical Center East, after having spent two weeks in custody at the Lake County jail in Waukegan.

There are many questions surrounding Lyvita Gomes' untimely death that still remain answered:

  • Why was Ms. Gomes arrested in the first place simply for failing to comply with a jury duty summons?  Who was the judge that ordered a "body attachment" for missing jury duty?
  • Why did the jail determine that Ms. Gomes needed to be screened and placed in a hold by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
  • Why did ICE then release Ms. Gomes after taking her into custody?  Did ICE make a mistake? Was she given the opportunity for an attorney to advocate for her?
  • Why, by December 17, 2011, when it became clear that Ms. Gomes was showing signs of mental instability, malnutrition and dehydration, was proper medical care not provided to her?
  • Why did it take two weeks for the medical unit of the jail, which apparently is not allowed to administer IVs, to determine that this woman should be sent to a hospital?
  • Why, after Lyvita Gomes was finally taken to Vista Hospital, as a prisoner, did the County Jail suddenly decide to "release her" and to let her fend for herself?
  • Perhaps the most challenging question of all: if Ms. Gomes would have received the proper hydration in a more timely fashion, might she still be alive today?

A team of clergy and lay leaders met recently with Sherriff Curran and his Chief Wayne Hunter in the hopes of getting these questions answered, but, quite frankly the answers provided failed to convince that every reasonable effort was taken to save this woman's life.

Besides the sadness we feel in the face of Ms. Gomes' untimely death, and in addition to the condolences we wish to communicate to her family, the fact remains that this could have happened to any one of us!  When there is trust between law enforcement and the public, our communities are safer.  We call on Sherriff Curran to put measure in place to assure this type of tragedy never happens again.

--------------------------------------------------

Community Leaders' Concerns:

  • All people deserve to be treated fairly and humanely - regardless of immigrations status.
  • Clarification on our questions in above "Statement of Concern."
  • Letting someone die of dehydration is NOT the way we treat people in this country - what does this say about us?
  • When there is trust between law enforcement and the public, our communities are safer. When the lines between law enforcement and ICE are blurred, communities are less likely to report crimes or come forward as witnesses.

 A team of clergy and lay leaders of diverse faith and cultural backgrounds (Indian community, Catholics, etc.): institutions like Most Blessed Trinity, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Lake County United are working on this issue.
 We call on Sherriff Curran to put measures in place to assure this type of tragedy never happens again.  We will gladly offer our help and input to the Sherriff's office and ICE, when they are ready to move forward and work together.

--------------------------------------------------

Today, February 2, 2012, Austin D'Souza Prabhu received a response from Chicago’s Consul General Office to his open letter sent yesterday.  Austin has requested a meeting with community leaders at Consul General’s Office.   Please click here to read Consul General’s response.

Lyvita's brother-in-law, Rodney Fernandes expressed his gratitude and said  "We would like the Manglorean community to know that we wish to thank them for their support and prayers and hope that we can depend on their continuous prayer and support for social justice for causes that may afflict anyone in similar circumstances."
 
Lyvita's tragic death has left us confused and in deep shock seeking answers to numerous questions as to what? Why? How? What went on inside the Jail? Why didn't the authorities in the jail fed her when she was moved to jail medical unit? Why wasn't she hospitalized before her medical condition was critical? How did they treat her inside the jail?  Why no actions were taken to reach out to the Indian community? Was she given fair share of justice in the jail regardless of her age, ethnic or racial origin, sexual orientation, mental illness or any disability?  How and where did the justice system fail??!!

Finally, what was the motive of hunger strike or was it strike in hope for justice? 

I end with a small poem dedicated to Lyvita Gomes:

Your tragic loss, pain of separation
to your family is overwhelming,
Your tragic loss, has left the community
in deep shock and confusion!
You stood tall among all,
Your glowing smile, your deep faith,
your accolades and helping hand
to those who were in need,
will be cherished by all.
Did you go on hunger strike? or
strike in hope for justice?
Wish you are here to answer
our numerous questions!
As you look down upon us,
ask the Lord to guide us,
in the right path to seek fair justice
in a fair country, where The Pledge of Allegiance ends
…with liberty and justice for all !!

Sources:
Chicago Tribune
Lyvita’s family members

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John Johnson, usa., USA :
The reason why she fought with the police is because she was not all right, the authorities failed to see that, THAT'S THE POINT ! Then again they don't have to handcuff a person, which is a totally barbaric act ! You can say lot of things for in favor of that sitting on the sidelines, but the phsycological impact that handcuff create's on a normal person is something to be addressed, you only know that when you get handcuffed ! I read somebody here that cops handcuff because, they were beaten or outsmarted many times ! I can garanttee you only stupid cops get beaten up, besides the cops has the authority to search the person, before arresting them or taking them with them !You got that Mr Rebecca Dude ! Handcuffing should only be done on criminals !
Vinita, New Zealand:
you do not argue and fight with the police man!!! If she followed the rules she would have been still alive today and then she would have managed to put her voice forward the justice system. Sad... just so sad.
John Johnson, usa., USA :
I regret to hear the horror story of this young Indian woman, Lyvita Gomes. This should not have happened. There are inadequacies in any system and this is one such thing.
Instead of arresting her, she should have been given counseling and mental treatment, because she was not alright. The circumstances in her apartment proves that. Her mail was not opened for months and months and there was piles of mail not opened by her in her apartment. She did not had much friends or much connection with her own family, which tells us she was not alright.
The whole episode look like a indifferent and slopy approach by the authorities.

People like Drona, Vineesh and Joy Chembakasseril does make sense and is the truth of the matter. When reputable people speak listen and understand and don't freak out with you ego.
Rebecca Smith, Sweden:
Oh my god. That is horrible. Who would guess one month, that the following month would end like this?

So she never even got an IV at the prison hospital? Hell yes she would have lived. Generally people do not survive more than 3 days without water. If they had her in that prison infirmary for 2 weeks, and she refused food and water; and they cannot give IV\'s - then they should be held gravely responsible. It\'s amazing she survived as long as she did.

She should have been transferred out immediately, within 2 days.

Why did he suddenly release her? Fear and CVA (cover your ass) trying to wash his hands of the entire matter.

Her attorney was not even told of her situation? That is WRONG WRONG WRONG. That prison needs to be investigated from top to bottom. Forget internal review, they need a Department of Justice review. DOJ needs to quit funding investigations to arrest Amish farmers for selling raw milk, and investigate tragedies like this!!

Joy Chembakasseril DUDE, I have NO IDEA what the hell you are saying, and neither does anybody else. Take your meds, man. No wonder you are so concerned about 'finding out if someone is of sound mind' because you're ******* NUTS and you know it. And that is not a 'lost in translation' situation where you are not understood because of syntax. I understand, you just don't make any sense. NOT ANY SENSE.

The reason they handcuff people is because when they DON'T somebody always tries to kill the cops, okay? They can't tell who will or who won't, they got bit too many times by people who seemed innocent enough, they should not have to risk their lives making that determination.

Also, considering the fact that this woman had a long and prestigious career within the United States, I do take exception to all the 'marginalized' people commentary. She moved up very quickly within an organization when her qualities were immediately recognized and rewarded. I hate that you reduce the entire american experience into some kind of olden times version of persecution. It's just not true.

Maybe this one crappy warden and his crappy jail system did that, and did not take her seriously, but don't kid yourselves, this shit happens to white people too. It could happen to anyone! There are bad people everywhere and there is always some reason that bad people will hurt good people; it doesn't matter what your country is, or where you live.
Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
I see a union here,sense like friends trying to help each other and not because it all make any sense. I have several doctors in my family, they don't talk any bull-crap like Deepu Hedge{usa}India,your statements are not written after careful reading of what I had said. I know several doctors in united states sued by patients and indicted wrongly for milking money and its a business here and is in jail. Recently a male urologist was wrongly indicted and went to jail!
I did not say I am not happy in either world!The reason I went to United States is because I am not one among the underdogs! Its simple commonsense to understand that! I don't think you read me properly, at this point I even doubt that your are a doctor!

All I was trying to say was that, there are some inadequacies in the legal system here in United States,and I was a victim too! India is even worse, I am not getting there!Inspite of all of that,United States is easily a better country, because the problems other countries are greater than this,I don't dispute that!
Ms Gomes did not answer the summons because she was not a sound person at that time and didn't even think about the seriousness of it!
I don't take that lady Susan Carvalho, seriously, and that don't deserve my attention. Non of her Statements make any sense to me!
RIGHT is RIGHT, WRONG is WRONG and UNFAIR is UNFAIR ---- Arioss Ameegoss !!!
Bishita No-Ranga, USA :
On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

------------------------------
The Dog That Went Abroad
-------------------------
In a certain place there once lived a dog by the name of Tschitranga, which means "having a spotted body." A lengthy famine set in. Because they had no food, the dogs and other animals began to leave their families.

Tschitranga’s throat was emaciated with hunger. He was driven by fear to another country. There in a certain city he went to a certain house. In this house, day after day where, many good things to eat were left lying about. Tschitranga ate his fill. However, upon leaving the house, other vicious dogs surrounded him on all sides and tore into him on all parts of his body with their teeth.

Then he reconsidered his situation, and said, "It is better at home. Even during a famine you can live there in peace, and no one bites you to pieces. I will return to my own city."Thus, after having thought it through, he set forth to his own city.

When he arrived there, all of his relatives asked him, "Tschitranga, tell us about where you have been. What is the country like? How do the people behave? What do they eat? What do they do?"He answered, "How can I explain to you the essence of a foreign place? There are good things to eat in great variety.

There is only one evil in a foreign country: You will be hated there because of who you are!"
SUSAN CARVALHO, Australia :
WELL SAID MR ALFIE--YOUR BLOG SIMPLY SPEAK THE TRUTH. NO MATTER WHICH COUNTRY YOU COME FROM AND WHICH COUNTRY YOU ARE MOVING INTO--ITS YOUR WISE DECISION TO FOLLOW THE LAWS OF THAT COUNTRY AND SHUT UP RATHER THAN SPIT OUT SOME MEANINGLESS COMMENTS. I FEEL SAD AND SORRY FOR MRS LYVITA WHO TOOK A WRONG TURN AND END SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LIFE FOR ONE SILLY INSTANCE. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH HER.
AND TO ALL YOU PEOPLE IF YOU NOT HAPPY AND COMFORTABLE WITH THE LAWS AND LIFESTYLE IN THE COUNTRY THAT YOU IMMIGRATED THEN RELOCATE.
D'SOUZA KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ROLLING 'CAUSE THEY SIMPLY ROCK!!!!!
Deepu Hegde (USA), India :
I read the story of Mrs Gomes in details. I have also read all the comments posted by the loyal readers of this website. I wanted to post my comments long back, but finally I decided to say something what I feel is right to this whole drama.
As a US citizen, who happily lived in US for 38 years and practiced my MD profession without any untoward incidents, I feel very proud to say that US is a greatest nation in the world--it's a destination where peoples dream come true. I am now retired and back in India, although my two children are happy back in US. US has laws, and I feel that they are not too harsh and torturous like some other countries. If you follow the laws, believe in those laws, and respect those laws, then I think anyone is safe in US.
While browsing through some of the blogs --I feel that what Mr Drona says doesn't make any sense. And also what Mr. Joy Chembakasssril is saying is simply crap??? I fully support the well-said and to the point comments posted by Mr Alfie D'Souza (USA)--his comments make sense. I also support the comments by Mr Puttur Dinesh (USA). Bravo Mr Alfie and Mr Dinesh, you both have said it right -- immigrants should follow the US laws, adjust with American life, and assimilate to American culture. Period.
As immigrants we go to US for the betterment of ourselves and our family. We don't go US to change the laws just because we can't cope up with them. Seems like MR Joy is not happy with some of the US laws. None of the laws are forcible on any citizens. You just need to obey them and follow them.
Regarding this jury duty episode-- I had been summoned to be on that duty many times--but as a medical surgeon I couldn't accept any of them due to medical emergency calls. I was relieved from the jury duties because I provided the court suitable reasons. It was all good, I didn't face any hassels with the court nor cops. Thank God I wasn't traumatized to go into hunger strike??? Hunger strike is for sissies!!!!
Regarding hand-cuffing, I don't feel any embarrassment if I did break any laws--what's the big deal being hand-cuffed rather than being dragged or lathi charged like they do in ?????? (You know what country I am talking about)
All I can say about this Mrs Gomes drama is that, only if this lady had obliged to all the summons and requests of the court, there wouldn't have been all this controversies. Mrs Gomes was trying to avoid this summons because she was nervous and scared that she may get into more trouble or get deported. It was time for her to get out of US when she knew that her visa had expired, and she may anticipate deportation sooner or later. Instead she stayed back, fought with the law, decided to go on hunger strike. So who is to be blamed for all this? Absolutely not the US court or the law enforcement personal. I feel sorry for Mrs Gomes for hir decision to end her life in such a tragic way. May her soul rest in peace.
One more funny thing Mr Joy has mentioned about not to live like underdogs like the way Indians lived under white colored Britishers rule, then why the heck did Mr Joy even bother to go to US to face all these consequenses under white cored Americans??? RIGHT is RIGHT, WRONG is WRONG and UNFAIR is UNFAIR, there is no two-ways about it! Sorry, I simply can't get yet. Adios Amigos!
Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
TO ALL READERS--- my point is,we still do not have to live like underdogs the way we lived under British-India for 200 years.The reason why I say this is because,that's the feeling I got from reading some of the responses that I saw here-----'that we still have that 'underdog-mentality' passed on from generation still dormant in our minds'!
RIGHT is RIGHT, WRONG is WRONG and UNFAIR is UNFAIR, there is no two-ways about it!

WHEN Ms LYVITA GOMES FAILED TO ANSWER THE SUMMONS,THE FIRST THING THEY SHOULD HAVE INQUIRED IS,WAS SHE A SOUND PERSON--RATHER THAN HAND-CUFFING HER,even at that point,the Law-enforcement could produce her in court without hand-cuffing her!

Every HUMAN_BEING deserves a certain level of DIGNITY and RESPECT. HAND-CUFFING a person is so BARBARIC,which causes a MENTAL-DAMAGE in a person,IT HURTS A PERSON'S FEELINGS
EMOTIONALLY! This is exactly what happened to Ms Gomes. She had piles of un-opened mails in her apartment,which proves that something was wrong in her!

"HAND-CUFFING SHOULD BE DONE ONLY TO
CRIMINALS"!
WHY WE STILL DO THIS 'BARBARIC ACT OF HAND-CUFFING' TO NORMAL PEOPLE, IN THIS MODERN AGE???

I AM NOT AGAINST MY ADOPTED-LAND,in fact there are many many good things that I see here. I JUST WANT TO POINT OUT THE FACT THAT, CERTAIN THINGS ARE STILL WRONG, THAT'S ALL--- I STILL LOVE AND RESPECT MY MOTHER-LAND my country of BIRTH. I ALWAYS HAVE A HUNGER and PASSION TO VISIT MY MOTHER-LAND TIME and AGAIN !!!
SO NO-BODY CHASED ME OUT or IN FROM ANYWHERE!
Drona, India :
I see some unsavoury remarks being exchanged between bloggers here. This is not the place for such a thing.

While I understand the typical NRI anxiety displayed by Alfie who has obvious sense of insecurity which has made him go overboard with defending the non sense of his adopted land, I very well understand the position taken by Joy who has displayed anger and helplessness at the plight of alieanated Indians far away from their mother land.

It is true that no one asked anybody to go there. However, one should not compromise with dignity which I am afraid Alfie will do if he is pushed to Lyvita's position. That is the difference between the proud and the not so proud.
Giselle , India :
A truly unfortunate combination of circumstances leading to the tragic loss of a young life.
Vinesh, India :
Mr.Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
what you are saying is absolutely right he /she should agree with your message..

There are some folks are making comments, what if their sister or mother has go through this kind of situation?
Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
Mr D\'Souza-- I don't need your congratulations,its a kind of mocking at me and I truly understand that!
I did not see a statement of sympathy from you for what has happened to me in the jail! I was not a criminal there,it was only a small traffic infraction,not even speeding!
In Ms Gomes\'s case that was not really a case of deliberate BREACH of LAW!
Ms Gomes was a smart lady,very enthusiastic about her life,that,she even went for higher studies and earned an advanced degree.Delta promoted her in a higher position and then little later DUMPED her, which left her at a mental condition, depressed and unstable.
This happened only because of her ethnicity, because she don't belong to main-stream America!She was smart at work,talked beautiful English,we got a hospital Nurse witnessing that!So those were not the reasons!She was dumped possibly to make room for somebody else they wanted!I am in management and I see this sometimes!There is a Budgeting by the end of financial year which is July,I see minorities being either transferred or dumped,while nothing ever happens to the majority!I stay there because, I have many years of experience in the job!
Now instead of talking all the legalities which every citizen knows,you should have the wisdom to understand her condition.With all the sophistication in this country in Medical field,they were not able to detect it on time.Even when you go to a Court of Law, with a proven condition like that in any civilized country,the court pardon them!
Now you sitting there 'AN UNQUALIFIED JUDGE', judging that she was wrong,go get a ride man!
Don't you have any feelings of sympathy about this sister who belongs to our same ethnicity,when she ended up in an unfortunate state!
I need to see what will your response be if this happens to your own sister!
Forget about illegal immigrants-- that's out of context-- we are not talking about that! Even them,they get clemency after five years!

I am a Law abiding citizen and I swear,I will never ever support any UNFAIR LAWS and I will be always be against it!
JURY-DUTY and JOINING THE ARMY forced on a citizen is an UNFAIR one!

UNFAIR IS UNFAIR ---- INNOCENCE IS INNOCENCE!
TRY TO BE SYMPATHETIC TO OTHERS, 'CAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN'YOUR-WORLD'WILL TUMBLE DOWN!

HAI BHAGWAN____
Alfie D\'Souza, USA :
Congratulations Mr Joy, you are a pro!--just found out through your blog that you have been in US longerthan I have lived in US--but it's sad to note that as a naturalized US citizen like you should have known all the duties/responsibilities that a US citizen has to comply with once they take their citizenship oath. But in your case seems like you don't want to abide with the laws. instead just want to blabber and try to protest against US laws. What are you trying to do? Change US laws just because some legal or illegal immigrants don't like it. I bet it's not gonna happen. These laws have been in US consitution/history for decades, and citizens have been following it for years and years, without complaining and whining-- in which I feel you are just an excuse. I support the immigrants, legal and illegal--they are all humans like me and you. But ignoring laws and creating a havoc to a legal system is what I hate. Although I am a US citizen, I am still proud of my Indian nature and ancestory. I love my Indian folks and I respect them--I have written good articles about Indian folks/culture in the local newspaper here in US. People respect me and I respect the US citizens--Nothing less. Nothing more.
I do agree with you that America was built by immigrants--but immigrants who built America those days were good immigrants --but lately we have seen all those illegal immigrants who sneek into US involve in various types of crimes and other untoward activities. If you supporting such kind of immigrants than I am sorry, I can't argue with you more. Just because you got into US by some ways, doesn't mean that you are subject to be a US citizen automatically. I have seen illegals taking processions, dema nding that they should be made citizens. What a joke? It's like a thief breaking into someones home, and then demanding the household people saying that" I am already in your house, make me one of your own!!!"
Regarding taking part in a jury duty--if you not forced to accept that duty, then how would the court find jurors. Everyone would be giving some excuses, thereby avoiding the jury task. I wish the legal system doesn't change--nail all those no-show jurors. Period! Being on a jury duty is a simple task--one should be proud that they were part of a verdict that led someone into prison or punishment. Plus you get paid to be on the jury panel. I have served on the jury panel--I LOVED IT! I DIDN'T HIDE MYSELF NOR I WANTGED TO GO ON A HUNGER STRIKE TO STOP ME FROM SIGNING ME UP AS A JUROR????
So the bottom line for all this cofusion is that--(in bold letters) AS A US CITIZEN YOU ARE BOUND TO FOLLOW THE LAWS--IT'S NOT THE QUESTION THAT THESE LAWS ARE FORCIBLY IMPLEMENTED ON YOU. LAWS ARE LAWS--ABIDE WITH IT. PERIOD.
For the fact, how about the DUI laws in US? Do you agree with the DUI laws. You may come up with the objection that the cops shouldn't force these DUI laws on drunk drivers--because some are alcoholics, and they can't control their habits. Oh please, Mr. Policeman, don't FORCE THESE LAWS ON ME. I am a innocent citizen until proven guilty--I am only a alcoholic??
Until your next comments on this blog, PEACE BE WITH YOU. I FEEL PROUD TO BE A NATURALIZED US CITIZEN AND ALSO FEEL PROUD TO BE A INDIAN. JAI HO!
Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
Excuse me Mr. Alfie D'Souza-- With all DUE RESPECTS, let me tell you-- I LEAST CARE FOR YOUR RESPONSE and only have total disregard and SCANT RESPECT towards what you said because I am exactly your opposite.
THE LAWS ARE FOR THE CITIZENS and NOT THE CITIZENS ARE FOR THE LAWS, you better understand that or you will later!

Its your right to dis-agree and I respect it that way.You must be a BABY HERE and I understand your enthusiasm, but your passion and enthusiasm will diminish soon when you come to experience it, and you don't know who you talking too. Ouh you said that here 22 years in United States, I had been here far longer than you, okay.

I am not against CITIZEN DUTIES or RIGHTS, and ITS NOT ABOUT IMMIGRANTS NOT LIKING IT EITHER!
"MY POINT IS NOT TO FORCE IT ON A CITIZEN" because in certain process like this, there is a 'MENTAL-APPLICATION' associated with it. When a person don't want to do something willfully and then you force it on then-- THEY ARE NOT GOING TO DO IT RIGHT either, so what good is it! Its like you forcing a Doctor to do the treatment! Unless the Doctor takes real interest in the treatment, he may prescribe some medicine, but what good is it? You said there are many many Citizens interested in doing Jury Duty, so let them have it, why force it on everybody!

I am a kind of person who don't like the ATMOSPHERE of the COURTS, the HOSPITALS, the POLICE STATIONS, even though we need them!
It put me in a certain GLOOMY-MOOD, like being in a GRAVEYARD!

You have no knowledge about the Laws here, that's what I understand from what you said. I had been through this, if you don't put up a BIG-BAIL money for not showing up in the court, your are HAND-CUFFED right there and taken to jail, your relatives are not informed either, at that point. At the jail, all your personnel belongings are taken away, even your cell phone and wallet, you cannot call anybody for help,you have to BEG with the jail authorities for a phone call, there will be one phone in the middle of the hall way, you have to stand in line to make that call,because everybody else need to make a phone call too, your clothes are taken away, you are given jail clothes, the rest-rooms are only half hidden, the jail security including women security is looking at you when you answer 'natures call', not enough water either--- I had never been through this before, in my life.
REMEMBER ALL THIS IS DONE TO A US-CITIZEN ONLY FOR A SIMPLE SMALL BREACH OF LAW and IS NOT EVEN A CRIMINAL!

Mr. D'Souza[Mr USA] you should go through my experience, then we will know your PASSION FOR THE SAME LAWS[unfair] YOU DEFENDED, you don't know what you talking, do you?

I am a hundred percent Law abiding citizen and I went to the court on that day, on my OWN-INITIATIVE,[no body asked me or forced me] just to tell the judge, I am sorry, I for some reason forget the court date and I will come on a future day if you can please reschedule me. If the Laws were fair, I did not even have to face a judge, the court clerk at the counter should have rescheduled me, instead of all that she told me to go and appear in the court room. The young lady judge who was there belonged to the under-previleged group, before, in United States, and had scant-respect to everybody sitting there, she was making fun of every person called in to appear, like a comedian sitting there to crack jokes! The foolish people sitting there in the court room on their part were all laughing too at her jokes, because they all want to please her[the judge] for their own sake, and then again, this foolish judge thinks that the people in front of her are laughing because of her jokes, the more they laugh, the more the jokes!

Some judges are not true professionals,they may have a degree, but are wearing the Gown, so that, they have some power and authority to square it on other ethnicities for their lost pride!
So don't bother teaching me any Laws, I am far experienced than you, in life, okay.

About WARS, taking part in it should be also a citizen's choice, because all the citizens are not supporting wars! I am a peace loving person, I don't believe in wars!

If all the Citizen are supposed to do and have the same responsibilities and duties, then why is there a differanciation when its comes to US_PRESIDENTSHIP, why it has to be a born-citizen?

THIS IS AN IMMIGRANT NATION, RIGHT FROM THE BEGINING, EVERYBODY [most] CAME HERE JUST LIKE YOU CAME IN HERE, AND ITS "NON-OF-YOUR-BUSINESS" TO TELL ME OR ANYBODY TO GO BACK!

I HOPE I FIND YOU IN GOOD SPIRITS UNDERSTANDING THIS !!!
Alfie D\'Souza, USA :
Excuse me Mr. Joy Chembakasseril---I totally don't agree with your comments. I am not quite sure whether you were born US citizen or a naturalized citizen. To make your point clear, the US laws won't change just because immigrants don't like them. When you are born US citizen or became a citizen you should know about all the laws and consitution of US government. If you are not ready to accept the laws and live according to the US consitution then all legal immigrants shouldn't even bother to be a US citizen. As a US citizen you are liable to be on the jury duty, no matter what!! And it has been like that for years. Just because of this Gomes case they are not gonna change the laws. Many citizens like to be on the jury panel--it's fun and as a juror, your decision can put a criminal behind bars or make a culprit face severe punishments. Do you also know that as born US citizen or a naturalized citizen, chances are you may be asked to fight in the war. If you abscond from this war duty, they 'll get you and impprison you!! So then what's your decision? Go on a hunger strike????
So the simple solution for all these crap is that--if you are not happy with the US laws, if you are not ready to follow the laws, if you are not willing to assimilate and accept the American lifestyle---then it would be a wise thing on your part to go back where you came from. Period! And I am very much sure that the US laws will never change just because the immigrants can\'t catch up with them. Mr. Joy, I have been in US for 22 years, and I feel there is nothing wrong with US legal system. A no-show at a jury system with proper explanation lands you in little punishment or fines--but a no-show person at a jury panel,who also ignores repeated summons, ignores judge's notices, tussels with the cop when asked to surrender etc etc --what punishment could be possible?? Jail time, offcourse my freind!! Hunger strike not included!! People should know that hunger strikes not always bring positive results. Anna Haazare went on hunger strike to end corruption in India --did anyone care. No --corruption is still on the rise in India. For the fact, yesterday I bribed a city corporator here in South India to get my job done. Oops, I shouldn't have mentioned that. Oh well!
Joy Chembakasseril, USA :
I understand a citizen has rights and duties!
To appear for 'JURY DUTY' is a citizen's duty!
But, I sense a problem here---
"A CITIZEN SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THAT DUTY WILLFULLY AND SHOULD NOT BE FORCED ON HIM/HER"!
A citizen should have the right to opt-out of the jury duty !
Now here a SUMMONS is produced to appear in court, just because of not appearing for jury duty! Then the subject is produced a warrant for arrest for not appearing in court!

Now there is something seriously wrong with this Legal System!
Now, I was seriously hurt[mentally], when I met with a similar circumstance, for a silly so called offense and I am not going to forget that!

A NO-SHOW AT A JURY DUTY SHOULD AT THE MOST END-UP WITH A SMALL FINE AND NOT BEYOND THAT, AND I AM FIRM ON WHAT I AM SAYING !

MY BITTER EXPERIENCE WITH THIS LEGAL SYSTEM, MADE ME THINK TWICE ABOUT THIS SYSTEM ! I am not going to turn-back on that, nothing impress me any more about this system !

Some ethnicity USE THIS SYSTEM to square their old grudge with the other ethnicity and I know this for sure !

MY HEART GOES OUT FOR LYVITA GOMES-- I KNOW THIS SYSTEM HURT HER FEELINGS VERY BADLY ! MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE !

THIS INCIDENT RAISE A QUESTION ON AMERICA'S CONSCIENCE !!!
Keshav, India :
There is no real freedom anywhere. However the illusion of freedom is everywhere.-Valerian Furtado, Canada

I agree with this view.
Secondly, there is no mention about Lyvita's family life..why she did not respond to notice' etc. No one seems to know.
Many pieces are to be brought together to get nearer to the cause!
Shameer, UAE:
Heartfelt condolences and pray it doesn't happen with anyone else ever.
Drona, India :
I am appalled to read some of the insensitive comments here. At least they can keep quiet rather than trying to make it appear as if the lady was at fault. Come on guys. Enough is enough.
Total Comments: 54   Showing: 1-20|Next»
 

 
 
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