October 17, 2021

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Sexual intercourse Offender Mark Grethen Killed by Inmate in Virginia Prison

A the moment-lauded Republican donor and previous businessman was killed in jail late Tuesday by another inmate, the Related Press and a selection of news businesses described this week.

According to the Virginia Division of Corrections, Mark A. Grethen, 63, who was originally not discovered by title, died “following an apparent assault by another inmate within the victim’s mobile.” The attack transpired at the Lawrenceville Correctional Centre, a for-earnings jail operated by The GEO Team, Inc., a news release indicated.

“The sufferer was serving a 26-year sentence for crimes which includes forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery,” the DOC continued.  “The obvious assailant is serving a 22-calendar year sentence for crimes such as theft, malicious wounding, and assault by an inmate or probationer on an staff.  This incident is getting investigated as a murder.”

The Norfolk, Va. Virginian-Pilot indicated that Grethen, beforehand of Suffolk, Va., was a businessman who experienced been “convicted of sexually assaulting young children.”

Courtroom and law enforcement documents record a litany of July 16, 2001 convictions underneath Grethen’s name:  two counts of indecent liberties with a youngster by a custodian two counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.  But the first circumstance file contained many extra accusations.

A 2006 federal court belief recapped some of the aspects of Grethen’s case.  Choose Rebecca Smith reported Grethen’s grievances about his defense lawyer were being “frivolous” — “almost to the level of remaining disrespectful” given the hugely disturbing fundamental facts of the situation:

Petitioner has experienced enough accessibility to the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and his scenario was read in an setting in which the outcomes still left very little doubt. Petitioner defined to many men and women, including the Division of Social Providers, a minister, members of a consulting team, and good friends, that he experienced engaged in major misconduct with [two] kids. At trial he did what may moderately be predicted he approved a plea deal in which 20 of the twenty-6 counts on which he was indicted would be dismissed in return for his plea to 6 unique fees.

Elsewhere, Choose Smith reported Grethen was arguing in advance of the court numerous points which contained “no factual support in the file.”  Alternatively, she rationed that Grethen was striving to “divert the court from the true specifics in the situation, none of which assist habeas relief.”

The choose even penned a few strains to assuage the inner thoughts of Grethen’s defense legal professional — who Grethen complained about closely for the duration of the method.

“It is tricky to think about an lawyer carrying out additional than was carried out by petitioner’s defense counsel,” Decide Smith said she also noted the “extraordinarily tough situations under which [the defense attorney] was functioning.”  To wit:

The attorney’s endeavours could not be superior illustrated than by the actuality that petitioner obtained the reward of bond prior to pleading responsible to the rates and was not remanded to custody till following getting into his pleas. At that point, the demo courtroom concluded that petitioner, acquiring acknowledged his guilt and duty for the criminals acts, posed a risk to the neighborhood, justifying remand.

Citing its personal archives, the Virginian-Pilot noted that Grethen was “briefly named Republican of the Calendar year in 2002 by the Countrywide Republican Congressional Committee — an arm of the Republican National Committee.”

The newspaper said particular campaign donations led to Grethen’s assortment for that honor even so, it was small lived.

“We weren’t aware of his present-day predicament,” an NRCC spokesman explained to the newspaper when rescinding the award practically thirty yrs ago. “Otherwise, the invitation would have by no means been prolonged.”

A research of marketing campaign finance info accessible on the Federal Election Commission web page did not straight away reveal the benefit of Grethen’s contributions or specifically two whom they have been offered, but the Virginian-Pilot advised the donations had been manufactured specifically to the NRCC.

A Virginia Supreme Court feeling dated November 22, 2017 began by contacting Grethen a “prolific litigator” who operated guiding jail partitions.  A myriad of court docket circumstances spanning numerous point out courts and different amounts of the federal court procedure explain why the Court docket selected that moniker.

Most of the instances tersely rubbished the relief Grethen tried to look for.

The 2017 Virginia Supreme Court viewpoint was slightly unique.  Grethen “complain[ed] of absence of entry to desktops, an insufficient lawful database, and denial of photocopy providers,” the court observed, when more pointedly complaining that a reduced court docket refused to allow for him to file a petition “in forma pauperis, that is, without the need of paying the filing charge that ordinarily should be compensated to institute a case” — a fairly popular authorized move for prisoners who have very little or no money.

What adopted was a somewhat lengthy evaluation of how jail inmate accounts functioned and whether or not lower courts could dismiss Grethen’s try to air his grievances before the judiciary without having ponying up any money.  Base line:  the state’s higher court docket reported Grethen was entitled to transfer ahead with litigation devoid of owning to spend.

In nevertheless an additional circumstance, Grethen complained to a federal judge that a selection of disciplinary demerits in opposition to him resulted in an illegal extension of his sentence.  The choose in that circumstance disagreed:

In the 6 disciplinary proceedings that Grethen challenges, nevertheless, he did not reduce any fantastic perform time that he experienced earlier attained versus his expression of confinement. As penalties for the results that he experienced engaged in billed misconduct, he endured only the short term loss of privileges, a reprimand, or a monetary wonderful. This sort of penalties do not induce the style of liberty desire at stake in [federal habeas corpus law].

[Editor’s note:  this piece has been updated.]

[file photo via YouTube screengrab/WVEC-TV]

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