Courtney Bisbee – Released . . . But Not Free.

We have reported extensively on the Courtney Bisbee case here on the blog.

Please see: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE .

In my 8 1/2 years of doing this work, this is one of the worst travesties of justice I have encountered. And it all took place in that snake pit cesspool of a justice system called Maricopa County, AZ.

Courtney served her full sentence (11 years), and was released from prison on November 17. But she is NOT free. One would think that once you’ve served your full sentence and were released, that would be it; and you should be able to start rebuilding your shattered life, albeit with a prison record, but NO.

Courtney has been fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet, and registered as a sex offender – a life sentence. And get this – she is not even on probation; she’s on parole (“community supervision”) with harsh conditions, just like she’s still considered a prisoner. And indeed, she is still under the custody of the Department of Corrections, which limits her ability to take any kind of legal action. AND THIS IS ALL FOR A “CRIME” THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

Courtney’s habeas petition is still pending before federal court, as it has been since 2012. We can only hope that true justice will ultimately be done.

We’re thrilled that at least Courtney is out of prison, and is being allowed to live with her parents as she works mightily to start putting the pieces back together.

13 responses to “Courtney Bisbee – Released . . . But Not Free.

  1. This truly disgusting. How can any justice minded society make such preposterous conclusions even after serving a complete sentence. This is the medieval system on NON JUSTICE revisited.

  2. The thing about this cesspool is that it has convinced itself that it is not a cesspool. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery sees nothing wrong with the child sexual assault statute, clearly void for vagueness because it criminalizes non-sexual, everyday touching. Trust me, he says. Another recent development, covered by investigative reporter Wendy Halloran at Channel 12, is that an employee at the Maricopa County medical examiner’s office, who has testified in over 1000 criminal cases in 20 years, has an extensive criminal record in California. Apparently not one employer or lawyer, defense or prosecution, ever bothered to run a simple criminal background check on this guy. Who does not try to pull up the criminal record of every witness in every trial? It’s the worst case of ineffective assistance of everybody, for lack of a better term, that I’ve ever heard of. An investigation is still being done to determine who knew what when, but we may have the worst Brady/Giglio/Napue violation in history. The judges are going their part by not applying long-standing US Supreme Court precedent in death penalty cases. The latest reversal was Simmons LWOP error, failure to instruct the jury that the only alternative to death was life without parole. The AZ Supreme Court justified that error used a rationale already rejected ling ago in another US Supreme Court case. That rookie error occurred during the 5 years when a non-lawyer called the Capital Staff Attorney was committing the unauthorized practice of law and advising judges statewide in death penalty cases. There are, I think, 15 known death penalty cases at this time which could be reversed for punishment error. Then, after I testfied at the AZ legislature about the UPL problem in death penalty cases, I got hit with a 400 page “bar charge” by a well known local political crank, and that is still dragging on. After getting sucked into the AZ Bar disciplinary system, I figured out the many ways in which that system is fatally constitutionally flawed. Lawyers are very afraid to cross the AZ Bar. When an obvious and systemic legal or ethical problem is too glaring to ignore, the AZ Supreme Court, by judicial order, sets up another task force or bureaucratic entity to bury it in. The order usually begins with a lengthy prelude congratulating the system on its concern for ethics and justice. One of the latest task forces is a task force on the unauthorized practice of law, which is tasked with figuring out what the 3 previous UPL task forces are doing, and not with actually addressing UPL. One task force was set up to study what to do about Arizona’s illegal practice of throwing people who are too poor to pay various fines and fees in jail. Rather than simply stop doing it, they formed a task force to study it, congratulationing themselves for their ethical probity for addressing their own illegal behavior. And all these task forces and committees are staffed with recombinations of the same lawyers, judges, bar employees, and court administrators; who then give each other awards for their super ethical conduct. One such award winner is a former state bar president who was recorded on tape trying to set up a prostitution ring while he was state bar president. He was never reprimanded or prosecuted, the tapes were destroyed, and he has since won many awards and been appointed to many committees and task forces because of the super ethical person that he is.

    If the system here were a building, it would have to be demolished and hauled off in dumpsters, and a new structure put in its place. Since there is zero political will to address any of these problems, other than to appoint another committee or task force of the usual suspects, I think maybe federal court supervision, like the Ruiz prison reform case in Texas, is necessary to straighten out this mess. The sheer magnitude of the problems here is daunting, but if you ask the people in charge and the Bar enforcers, this place is perfect and just.

    • The truth they do not want the public to know. Thank you Karyl for the courage to speak truth to power. Your voice matters though they’ve worked diligently to silence you among other professional women in Arizona.

  3. Sadly- there are probably MANY cases like this that we never see. Misdemeanor disenfranchisement (barriers to employment), are very real today. YET there is no “equal protections under the law”; as a good many are virtually labeled ‘unemployable’ for life. And this is for misdemeanors, in which the accused/saddled may- or may not- be guilty. Only 5-10% of the accused ever see their day in court. And it not because a good many of them just thought that was the ‘better deal’. MANY are pressured/intimidated into a plea deal- they never should have taken. Too many cost and time efficient plea deals- in lieu of our Constitutional right to ‘due Process’. My life was shelved at 22. I am now 50. I went on, at 43, to apply for and receive an NSF-STEM Scholarship. I finished my Bachelor of Sc. degree in 2013- and still….NO job. Have applied for nearly 300 jobs a year, for 3 years, and still- nothing. If not for the love of one kind and amazing person, I’d be homeless. All over pushing someone away from me- so that I could get away from them (they were screaming w/ in an inch of my face, and had me backed against the door- that they had locked behind me. No injuries- just a vengeful and deceptive ‘victim’. Neither the police, prosecutor, or public defender questioned my eye witness. For many years, I thought they had. YET, I had a friend- I use that term loosely- who had a drug possession conviction at 18 (Felony); yet, somehow, he was able to have it expunged- and is now a Paramedic. Another person I know, had a DUI and was a prostitute- who is now a elementary school bus driver. Another woman who had a felony DUI (hurt someone), who had a private lawyer and somehow had it reduced to ‘Reckless Driving’. She had 2 DUI’s (one reduced to a Reckless)- and is now a Legal Clerk for the Country. This is all in AZ. Yet, I’ve been ‘blackballed’ for life in AZ- because of this:

    Just enter my name on the internet- and there ya go. NO more employment. Employment is NOT a convenience- it’s a NECESSITY! Occupational Licensing is another issue in AZ- had a license in good standing in the state of WA- for 15 years (not 1 complaint against it). Came to AZ, and applied for endorsement (no question about old spent misdemeanors- deferred judgment and 1203.4 pc.). They say Criminal Record in their minutes- but not specific about the charges. So leaves the public to ‘jump to conclusions’. And of course- they assume the worst. WA state ran a background check every year- and it didn’t come up. I had originally acquired my Licence from the state of ID., and told the teaching nurse about the misd. battery. It went through any way. Moved to WA. nad applied for endorsement- no questions about my misdemeanor. Granted endorsement. Came to AZ- they tag me w/ a violation of the ‘nurse practice act.’ That’s NOT right! It’s just NOT right. And it NEEDS to change!!!

    • rebound, the AZ BON is what took me down , their needs to be a story about that agency and investigation, it is still going on !!
      Unreal how corrupt they are .
      Best to you, I wish it would be exposed and end !

  4. It is all part of the destroying someone, making them a lower grade citizen, smearing their name , punishing them for filing in the courts. They will try any type of harassment , no end until they destroy you. How can someone get a job with the stigma attached with ankle monitors. And why do they need to know her minute to minute activities? She should be free and should never have been locked up.

    • Only one question needs to be asked to find the answer to this destruction. Who all had something to gain politically or financially in the wrongful conviction of Courtney Bisbee? In a state where there is no presumption of innocence or due process. A state where the defendant must prove their innocence, not the prosecutor.

  5. Pingback: Courtney Bisbee – Released . . . But Not Free. – Arizona Board of Nursing Watchdogs

  6. “Wrongful conviction? Valley woman’s molestation conviction under question” by Linda Williams | KSAZ Fox10 Phoenix 1/3/17

  7. This makes no sense whatsoever. Once a sentence is served in full, there should be no such thing as “parole.”

  8. I personally know what its like to be let “free” but you’re not free. My ex-husband had done something and wouldn’t man up to it and to lessen his sentence he brought me down with him and the woman whom i thought was my friend helped. Now I have to register for life for something I had NOTHING to do with. I’m glad that I have a strong support system at home, and in these cases such as Courtney’s and myself you need a really strong support system because society is always going to look at you as a monster. Its been over 10 years for me and I still cant find a respectable job to survive from. Every time I get a temp to hire job the company finds out about my felony through the national registry and they walk me out no matter the work ethic I have or the perfect attendance. I pray that Courtney doesn’t have to go through this…but its inevitable. I wish I had to money to fight my case and I wish her all the luck.

  9. Timothy D..A. Lawver

    Just place blame on the Russians, That will work!

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