Past crimes factor in Janusz sentence
When someone who has been convicted of a state crime comes up for sentencing, what consideration is given to a prior federal conviction? Will that prior federal conviction be a factor in determining what his sentence will be in state court or will this case be treated as a completely separate issue? I'm thinking specifically of Timothy Janusz, who recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the Salvation Army, which he worked for, and four elderly donors of about $350,000.
Answer: It depends on the case.
In the case of Janusz, his conviction in federal court 11 years ago for stealing more than $2 million from an elderly couple in Colorado "will not have direct bearing on his sentencing" in state court on Nov. 26, according to Jim Fulton, spokesman for the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
That's because that prior federal conviction is "out of the window" of time for consideration in sentencing him as a "repeat offender." In other words, a prior conviction -- whether federal or state -- had to have occurred within a certain period of time.
However, the prosecution believes he is a candidate for "consecutive-term sentencing," based not only on the seriousness of his crimes, but also on his past criminal history and his "characteristics."
It is asking the state court to impose a total 35-year term on Janusz for his convictions on 12 felony counts in the Salvation Army case, including first-degree theft, money laundering, unlawful ownership/operation of a business and forgery.
In a sentencing memorandum filed last week in Circuit Court, Deputy Prosecutor Chris van Marter wrote that imposing consecutive prison terms "will adequately reflect the seriousness of the offenses, the nature and circumstances of the offenses, the history and characteristics of Defendant Janusz, and they will promote respect for law, provide just punishment for the offenses, afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct, and protect the public from further crimes of Defendant Janusz."
Van Marter noted that Janusz was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison in 1997 for wire fraud, plus three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $184,530 in restitution. He escaped from federal prison in South Dakota in 1998, but was found and arrested in the Dutch Antilles.
Janusz "has a troubling criminal history" and he was not deterred by his federal incarceration, van Marter said. He said Janusz also has demonstrated "a predatory pattern of criminality toward vulnerable older citizens."
Q: My elderly neighbor keeps taking our big gray rubbish container. Before I confront her, I wanted to check whether the container is really ours. Is the serial number on the container registered to us?
A: The serial numbers are there for you to note and record, but the bins are not "registered" to each household.
"When we issue the refuse bins, households are instructed to note the serial numbers and to retain them in their own files in case there is a theft or possible dispute among neighbors," explained Suzanne Jones, spokeswoman for the city Department of Environmental Services. "The city does not keep a record of serial numbers and addresses."
She said the bins remain the property of the city and that each is intended for the sole use of the household it was given to.
"Neighbors may and do voluntarily share the use of their refuse bins, but each household retains responsibility for their bin," Jones said.
Because your elderly neighbor might not recognize which bin is hers, Jones suggested tying a colored piece of cloth to your bin to differentiate it.
"Some households have marked their refuse bins with paint, markers or stickers, but the city does not encourage that," she said.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers