22 December 2006

The (Un)Demise Of CrimLaw

FYI: I ended up not closing up shop here. The Direction died a quick death and will stay dead as long as I work in a political office. However, no matter how many other projects I take up CrimLaw keeps going and hits have gone way up over the last couple years. Of late CrimLaw's been more about the novel I've been writing "Ambush in Bartlette." Click on the title and it will take you to the newer posts. -  28 October 2013.

I've been considering shutting down CrimLaw for a while now. In the last couple months I have seen two of my favorite blogs go down even though they still enjoyed great popularity (Commonwealth Conservative and Southern Appeal). On the other hand, CrimLaw's readership has slipped significantly over the last year. Without random hits from Google I'm not sure that the number of daily hits would rise much above 100 per day. There are numerous reasons for this which need not be dwelled upon. In any case, it has become harder and harder to justify the effort to keep up a blog which is limping along. There is also another project I am more interested in at the moment and I want to spend time developing it. Consequently, I am closing up shop.

I want to thank all those of you who have spent your precious moments (usually stolen from work if sitemeter is correct) reading my posts over the last few years. I especially want to thank everyone who has from time to time helped out by posting here either in comments or as a guest. In particular, there were times over the last few months when there would have no posting except for the efforts of Steve Armstrong (2L Appalachian School of Law) and Daniel Dovel (3L West Virginia Law). Thank you gentlemen.


As for me, I'm moving on to do a weekly videocast about the Virginia political scene. I've been doing it now for about 5 weeks and the bugs aren't all worked out, but I have high hopes. Feel free to click here to drop by and watch.

20 December 2006

AAAaarrgggg!!!!!

MyYahoo! has eaten all my Criminal News feeds. I also have to get a memo done for the boss (that slavedriver). Hopefully, I'll get something out later today - maybe even something about life as a prosecutor: My Name is Lammers, I Carry a Badge.

19 December 2006

Police Grab a Camera

Anybody know the full story on this? The video we're shown is obviously done as a propaganda piece, feeding anti-police truthiness. However, it's also obviously got a core of real truth to it.

Why were they after this particular camera? They weren't after the guy for trespassing and there were obviously other, high quality cameras filming. In fact, it should have been obvious that they had a crowd full of people waiting with baited breath to catch them doing something wrong on camera. The actions taken make no sense. If you were furthering a repressive, right wing conspiracy against the press you'd arrest the guy and take his film while he was in jail or you'd try to round up all the cameras.

As best I can figure it, one guy lost his head and the others followed his command. Any other theories?

via Amanda Congdon on ABC

OMG - It's Gonna be WORSE than Reno 911

and it'll be "real."

Forsake That Robe

Nothing like accusing the judge of being a member of a false priesthood to get yourself declared incompetent.

Should an AG be Allowed to Run for Governor?

Kentucky Law:

If an elected Democratic AG turns his Bureau of Investigation against the Republican Governor should he be forbidden from running for governor against that same governor?

My take is different from KL's. I think that it is appropriate that the AG not be allowed to run. No noble act should come without a price, otherwise it could easily become an act of self-aggrandizement (and, yes, I am going to assume that Stumbo was acting on noble - not political - impulses). If there is no price paid then why wouldn't every AG keep an ongoing investigation in place against the sitting governor (a natural political enemy, especially if they are of different parties)?

Background for this: One, Two, Three, Four, Five

18 December 2006

Life in the Richmond Jail

The TD is doing a 4 part series. Part one is the serious felony cage and part two is the learning cage.

The Richmond jail is a disaster and there's no change in sight. It's doubtful the city will have the money to build a new jail and all the nearby counties have already built their own and/or already joined a regional jail so it's unlikely that Richmond will be able to find financial partners either.

At least the new Sheriff isn't treating the canteen money as his own personal petty cash.

Rich, White "Gang" Kids

Y'know, before federal funding for anti-gang enforcement these kids were called "wanna bes."

Cali and Florida Stop executions

on grounds of incompetence.

Dude You Got Delled

And then he got his.

15 December 2006

Can You Be Convicted of Both Murder and Manslaughter?

Holy crud. Why would you take a jury - which sentences in Virginia - on a case as open and shut as this 2d DUI fatality? Were the sentencing guidelines (which the judge gets, but a jury is forbidden by law) that bad?
Payne was drunk and driving her boyfriend's truck home from work when she lurched off the pavement and struck Patel as he walked alongside the westbound lanes of Midlothian Turnpike at the entrance ramp to north- bound Chippenham Parkway. At the time, she was fleeing from a rear-end accident she had caused.
She was convicted on all counts
The jury found Payne guilty of felony murder, aggravated involuntary manslaughter and two counts of felony hit-and-run in connection with Patel's death. The jury imposed 20 years each for the murder and the manslaughter convictions and a total of six years for the hit-and-runs.
It took me a minute to figure out how she could be convicted on both murder and manslaughter, but I think I've figured it out. Felony murder arises from the fact that she was fleeing from the felony and neither flight nor an ongoing felony is an element in manslaughter. Manslaughter comes out of the drimking while driving and DUI is not necessarily an element in felony murder (it could be if it was the third DUI in 10 years). Still, it will be interesting to see if they both survive appeal.

There's lots of case law in Virginia which supports felony murder for recklessly driving away from a felony crime in an attempt to escape and accidently causing a death through that recklessness. The problem is that reckless driving is a lesser included offense of DUI. There was a case a while back in which the Virginia Courts Appellate held that when a robbery was acquited a subsequent charge of grand larceny was barred by double jeopardy because both included petit larceny. Both had their own individual elements; grand larceny requires over $200 to be taken and robbery requires the use of force or threat. However, that was not enough to overcome the fact that they both had a lesser included offense in common.

I predict that the Court of Appeals will uphold the conviction based on the fact that the reckless driving could be based upon the manner of the driving rather than the fact she was DUI. The trickier question is how the Supreme Court will handle it.

Internet Intervention

It's at least 5 years too late (maybe 10) and it'll be amazingly easy to circumvent, but at least Virginia's AG is trying to shut down sexual predators on the interweb. It's even sadder if, as the article states, he's the first to do so.

Violent Sexual Offenders Shan't Be Allowed in Schools Anymore

And the scary part of that statement is the word "anymore."

13 December 2006

11 officers died in Virginia this year

Virginia was second only to California in officer deaths. Please remember those that paid the ultimate price for the Commonwealth and their community in your prayers.

No More Ten Talk in Virginia

Virginia police are halting their use of code over the radio.

Actually, I think the fact that the NY Federal Prosecutors are losing some cases is a good thing

It indicates that the office is willing to take on the tough cases.

Deadly Dumb

Jumping off a 60 foot bridge into a river while handcuffed is not going to end well.

Mounties in Virginia

Not in red uniforms though.

Kervorkian Gets Parole

Promises not to help other people kill themselves.

Girls Go Wild

Guys get community service.

09 December 2006

Infinite Creativity

How do you pull off the theft of an entire ATM machine?

You use a bulldozer from the construction site across the street. The real question is how they did it without a single witness.

Bringing a Cougar to a Kid's Birthday Party

The handler is charged for the maiming which followed. Should the parents be charged as well? Would you bring a wild predator to your kid's birthday?

Lie Detecting on the Cheap

So, your local sheriff doesn't have the budget to go out and get the super-expensive, state of the art lie detector? That's okay, all it takes are a few lego blocks and he can build his own.And here are the instructions.

08 December 2006

Taking charges on your 70 year old stalker.

Global Warming in Action












Push the play button twice.

My only question is whether I'm North of the line where Dennis Quaid says it's too late to evacuate because global warming is making the world freeze.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .

07 December 2006

06 December 2006

How to Avoid That Nasty Rape Charge

Get it in writing.

This is absolutely hilarious. I probably wouldn't play it at work, but if you don't make sure you see it at home.

05 December 2006

Tough Love. VERY Tough Love...

A South Carolina boy, 12, was arrested Sunday morning after his mother called police to report that he had unwrapped a Christmas present without her permission. The boy's mother described her son as a disruptive child, noting that she hoped his arrest would serve as a corrective to disorderly behavior at school and home.

Read the police report here.

02 December 2006

Shameless Self-Promotion...

I visited Ken at his new offices in Wise this past week and I mentioned that I won "Best Advocate" in my Appellate Advocacy class. For those of you who don't know, I am a 2L at the Appalachian School of Law in beautiful, downtown Grundy, VA. Below is a clip of my argument. My learned classmate an I were arguing a criminal case before the "U.S. Supreme Court". The issue was whether passive receipt of firearms constitutes "use" of those firearms in a "drugs for guns" transaction under 18 USC, Section 924(c). You can find my rebuttal to the government's argument at my website (still very much under construction).

01 December 2006

Appalachia's Former Mayor Guilty 233 Times

This all happened in the courtroom across the hall from me and all I saw were the cameramen waiting outside. The Commonwealth Attorney - Chad Dotson, formerly of Commonwealth Conservative fame and glory (c'mon Chad bring it back online the Virginia blogosphere needs quality blogs) - was ordered out of the case and the office has tried to stay scrupulously neutral ever since.

So, I missed the 233 guilty pleas and 10 nolo contendere. That must have taken forever.

Translating Tom

"The common sense of the majority of people lead them to support the death penalty-- they instinctively realize that certain heinous crimes call for the ultimate punishment, not because of bloodlust, but because justice calls for a congruent satisfaction in order to restore as much as possible the moral damage done by the perpetrator."

Translation:

"The common sense of the majority of people" & "instinctively realize" = "gut reaction"

"certain heinous crimes" = "anything bad some Yankee done to me & mine"

"justice calls for a congruent satisfaction" = "get a rope"

Or, if you want a short and easy translation of the whole paragraph: "Some people just need to get kilt."

Hmmm . . . That sounds a lot like vengeance to me. Oh well, I can't possibly keep up with Tom's quoting of 13th century Latin screeds so I'm not in a position to get into a theological argument with him. Even if I tried he'd probably nuke me by starting to discourse in Latin, Greek, Hebraic, or Sanskrit (well, probably not Sanskrit).

BTW: Tom, Priti Patel looks kinda cute - any chance of getting me an introduction?

BTW, BTW: Why isn't the killing of likes instead of actuals acceptable as a valid punishment? For instance, if Jon Smith kills Peter Jones' infant child wouldn't society accomplish a more congruent punishment by killing Jon Smith's child? And wouldn't that, in general, create much more of a deterrent?

That there's a gator . . .

Crack, skinny dipping, and a gator - not a good combination.

Polk County deputies handle the situation.

The Coercive Abortion Prevention Act

Is it unfair to men?

Ick.

I don't car how aggravating women can be, you cannot try to cook them.

Hurray for Bollywood!!!

It seems Hollywood actors aren't the only ones who ask for special dispositions.

He's been good while he's been on bond and therefore shouldn't get prison time. Wow. Ummm . . . That argument didn't sway many judges when I was representing people charged with illegal firearm possession and it really wouldn't sway me much now that I'm a prosecutor. But I guess if you're a big Bollywood star I might cut you a break (if you ever caught a charge in Wise).

27 November 2006

Mentally ill superman who never should have represented himself

If you don’t trust psychiatric exams, then it’s an interesting judgment call as to when someone is actually ill or someone is acting ill.

UPDATE: Judge Rules Whether Sex With A Dead Deer Is Legal

A Wisconsin man who was arrested after having sex with the carcus of a dead dear argued that he could not be prosecuted for having sex with the deer because the animal was dead at the time.

The judge (ruling on a pre-trial motion) said that the primary focus of the criminal statute dealing with crimes against sexual morality is on "human behavior and on protecting sexual morality in the community, and not necessarily on animal protection".

Read the bizarre story and the entire opinion HERE.

Hmmmm . . . This May Explain a Lot of Things

Driving back from Thanksgiving I stopped in Lexington, Kentucky for lunch and saw a this store. I didn't go in. I think maybe we need a female to go investigate this. Blonde Justice?

Police Raid and the Dead 92 Year Old Woman

A 92 year old woman shot three narcotics officers after they forced her door and the officers returned fire killing her.

This looks like a major FUBAR. Mind you, once the police were taken under fire they had the right to shoot back but it looks an awful lot like they screwed up before the raid (whomever they were there to get sure wasn't there). The closing of ranks afterward has not resulted in any persuasive argument for the raid; the police haven't told us the dealer actually lived there with his grandmother or that the house was in his name or that a huge meth lab was in the basement or anything else persuasive.

A more indepth discussion has been going on between Radley Balko and Orin Kerr:

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 VC1 VC2 A9 VC3

23 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving to All

My question is how Pat Bagley got ahold of my best ever drawing of a turkey (not going to tell you which one).

Anyway, may God have blessed you and yours so much so that you have trouble remembering all of it when you give thanks.

20 November 2006

Court says websites not liable for libel in third-party postings

Websites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

TASERmania!

A man who refused to remove his Los Angeles Dodgers hat at a city council meeting was TASERed following a scuffle with police.

"It means more than just a hat," the man said. "It's like my crown. It's like asking a king to remove his crown."

19 November 2006

When Should a Tazer Be Used?

A while back I posted a video from YouTube about a kid getting tazed in a university library. Comments here and elsewhere made me think that maybe I should post laying out what I think the different levels of force should be generally.

Hand to Hand - This ranges from grabbing someone by the arm and yanking them out of their car thru the all too typical struggles when people resist being handcuffed all the way to out and out brawls. Typically, most confrontations do not go above this level.

Capstun - The second most often used tool in a physical confrontation, this is more commonly known as "macing" someone. This is what usually happens when an officer perceives that someone is proceeding to physical combat against him or is being very resistant. It is painful and takes away sight and breath but has a low risk of actual harm. One problem is that it does not always work. Anyone who has spent any time with officers has heard them tell stories of people whom the spray did not effect. Another problem is that some officers do not like the spray. I've heard more than one officer complain about how using it can mean he gets it in his eyes and lungs as well; of course, this is both painful and dangerous for the officer.

Nightstick - I can't remember the last time that I heard of an officer using a nightstick (when not wearing a pink bunny suit). I think that, in general, it has been supplanted by capstun on the less lethal side and tazers on the more lethal side. There are circumstances wherein neither of those two options is valid and the nightstick is called for (like the capstun spray or tazer malfunctioning) but the nightstick isn't likely to be used as much as it used to be.

Tazer - This is a step down from the use of lethal force. Tazers should be used in those situations wherein the officer is faced with serious harm or death but can avoid it by using the tazer instead of using a firearm. An example of this would be an officer facing down someone with a knife. There are obvious reasons why an officer should not close with this person. Prior to tazers the options would have been to put his life in significant danger by closing with the knife wielder or use of a firearm. Now the officer can stand off and incapacitate the knife wielder without putting himself in danger.

There are obvious dangers with applying an incapacitating electrical shock to a person. There are persistent anecdotal claims of death caused by use of tazers and I strongly suspect that at least some of them are well founded (although it would seem to be a very small percentage). Unfortunately, some appear to be in denial over this and when sold tazers seem to be marketed as a replacement for capstunning. They're not. The potential lethality - if only for those with medical conditions or of a certain age - means they should not be used as readily as less lethal means. HOWEVER, this does not mean that tazers should not be available for officer use. The probability of killing someone thru the use of a firearm is much higher that it will ever be thru the use of a tazer. Faced with a valid choice between tazing or shooting an officer should taze every time.

Rubber Bullets - Although I've heard of prisons using these (and rubber grenades), I've never heard of police forces (I may be showing some ignorance here). Rubber bullets are a less lethal option. I say less lethal because if rubber bullets hit a vulnerable spot (eye, temple, etc.) they can be deadly. However, in most applications they are not. This option is something which could be used if the knife wielder mentioned above was down the street, beyond the range of the tazer's wires. It is also a method for use against groups of people; if charged by a group of people rubber bullets are an effective means of breaking the charge.

Lethal Force - Not going to insult everyone by telling them that this means the officer is required to use a firearm.

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

Drawing bright lines as to when escalation should occur is almost impossible. Factors which will cause different reactions will be the person confronting the officer (an 80 year old grandmother is going to get treated differently than a 350 lb. steroid freak), how many officers are present, how many non-officers are present, and probably an infinite number of other factors. Each situation must be addressed according to the situation at hand.

One thing we must remember is that the officer is nor require to "fight fair." He is allowed to react in a manner which is meant to insure his safety and bring the situation under control. This means that he can escalate beyond what is offered to him. Of course, the reaction must still be proportionate and that will vary from case to case. If the 80 year old grandmother calls him a "whipersnapper" and swings her purse at him he isn't going to be justified going for his tazer. On the other hand, if the 350 lb. steroid freak comes out of his car mumbling something about God's vengeance and starts chasing the 140 lb. officer the officer could very well be justified going straight for the tazer (maybe even the pistol).

So, I am left with the question: how would I advise officers in a similar removing a resistant person from the library situation to act. I'd advise them to "lay hands" on the guy (do police everywhere use that phrase?), put him in handcuffs, and then hook him under the arms and drag him out like they finally did. If he does anything stupid - resist getting handcuffed, flop around on the floor to keep you from lifting him, hook feet in doorframes, yell for others to jump you - capstun him. Get control and get him out; don't give the mob time to form.

Steve, you did this sort of thing for a living once upon a time. Comments? (or from anyone else)

Is Shaming DUI's Working in Tennessee?

That seems to be a matter of opinion.

The Big Game

Okay, so we all watched the Ohio State - Michigan game. My three comments: (1) Great game. (2) Either one of those teams would destroy a badly over-ranked USC (USC is always over-ranked). (3) Neither of those teams would have been undefeated if they had been in the SEC. They each shredded the other's vaunted defense and that would have happened much sooner if they'd been playing the likes of LSU, Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, etc.

Who gets the championship game? We've seen who wins between OSU and Michigan so another team should get its shot. It should probably either be Florida or Arkansas (depending on who wins the championship). However, I predict it will be USC. This is a mistake. I'm not sure an SEC team in a single game can beat OSU, but I'm certain that OSU will manhandle USC.

Oh well, the basketball has started so we UK fans are starting to wander away from that game which fills time until the real season starts anyway.

18 November 2006

Jail in Richmond in Trouble

The Richmond jail is old and incredibly inadequate. The new sheriff points it out, but of course everyone's been pointing this out for years. Nothing is going to happen until either that jail falls in on itself or somebody wins a massive law suit.

And probably not even then. This is, after all, the city which was sued by its own judges because their courts were inadequate and in a condemned building.

17 November 2006

A brass knuckle purse.
Someone sent the Supreme Court poison cookies.

A Deputy's Worst Nightmare

A defendant comes to the courtroom and the family of the victim rush him. A melee ensues (link is to the video).

From USA Today

Tazered at College

Clearly, this kid is resisting. Yes folks, passive resistance is still resistance and can require police to use force. The video starts with the guy yelling at the police don't touch me and the kid absolutely refuses to stand after several commands. That is going to cause some sort of physical intervention. Personally, I think they probably should have grabbed the guy, cuffed him, and dragged him out. Anyway, I'd really like to know what happened before the video started to make the campus police come after this guy. I doubt they are there just to harass some kid.

16 November 2006

You mean, guns are actually LEGAL?!?

Man goes into a museum wearing a firearm. He is told to leave the gun in his car. He refuses.

"We have since learned, upon doing some research, that Virginia is one of the few states in the United States that allow guns to be worn in public," a museum spokesperson said.

I'm not sure this is real

This is either the world's worst burglar or fake. What makes me suspicious (other than the fact the guy seems invulnerable) is that it's during the day and at least once the camera seems to zoom in. And why can't he break the glass on that door? Still, the video quality is very typical of store videos I've spent hours squinting at and I can't see someone going into a package store and doing that much damage just for a prank video.

Florida is refusing to send mentally ill inmates to mental hospitals.

Ouch! Bad Co-Counsel

Blonde Justice is having a bad week.

Burn Kittens

You should get more than 1.5 years.

Sell $39 Million in Broken Computers . . .

. . . get 7+ years in jail.

15 November 2006

“Sick, not sexy”

Every used car salesman business man has a dream of joining the mile high club. But doing it in the seats? Geeze. The attorney says it was all a misunderstanding about an ‘unidentified’ disease. Yea right.

You've Got to be Kidding Me: O.J.

O.J. Simpson is doing a book and an interview, both titled: "If I Did It."

"If I had known that sort of thing was frowned upon..."

A Bland County high school teacher accused of sneaking into a burial vault with two cheerleaders and handling the bones of a corpse is simply a cemetery tourist who did nothing wrong, her attorney asserted yesterday.

How to know the Judge is mad at you

"The facts are remarkable. Plaintiff, Susan Frunz, and her two guests were in Frunz’s home in Tacoma, Washington, when police surrounded the house, broke down the back door and entered. The police had no warrant and had not announced their presence. Frunz first became aware of them when an officer accosted her in the kitchen and pointed his gun, bringing the barrel within two inches of her forehead. The police ordered or slammed the occupants to the floor and cuffed their hands behind their backs—Frunz for about an hour, until she proved to their satisfaction that she owned the house, at which time they said 'never mind' and left."
...
"In short, we must ask: Why is this case here? There may have been some justification for going to trial because there were disputed questions of fact about how the officers behaved during the course of the intrusion into Frunz’s house. But a jury made up of seven members of the community heard the evidence and unanimously ruled in Frunz’s favor. By not only finding defendants liable, but also imposing punitive damages, the jury determined that the officers acted in reckless or malicious disregard of plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Only the most misguided optimism would cause defendants, and those who are paying for their defense, to appeal the verdict under these circumstances. Surely, the citizens of Tacoma would not want to be treated in their own homes the way the jury found officers Stril, Morris and Alred treated Frunz and her guests. A prompt payment of the verdict, accompanied by a letter of apology from the city fathers and mothers, might have been a more appropriate response to the jury’s collective wisdom."10

10 "Defendants and their counsel shall show cause within 14 days why they should not be assessed double costs and attorney’s fees for filing a frivolous appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 38."

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

Those are the opening and closing paragraphs of Frunz v. Tacoma.

Via Eugene Volokh (with a discussion) and How Appealing.

14 November 2006

Felony Second Degree Murder

In September I noted here that Deputy Green of the Powhatan Sheriff's Department died when he belatedly tried to join a chase of a suspect who had fled from a traffic safety checkpoint.



Bob Beasley, the Commonwealth Attorney for Powhatan, has filed murder charges against Khalil Jerry Walker, the person who drove away from the check point and led police on a chase that got up to 100 mph. Commonwealth Attorney Beasley has actually charged Walker with four charges: misdemeanor DUI, felony driving on a suspended license, felony eluding, and 2d degree murder.

It's an interesting case to try to unravel. Admittedly, when I first read that it was a felony murder charge I thought that it was a stretch. Somewhere from the dark recesses of my mind I remembered a list of felonies which could be used in felony murder. However, after doing a little bit of research, I found out that this is only if the felony murder is in the 1st degree. There is a specific statute for 2d degree:
§ 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.

The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.
Still, I'd never heard of a felony murder charge based upon an eluding charge. I poked around a little with FastCase last night and found one case wherein it was the underlying charge, Bazemore v. Commonwealth. However, in Bazemore the defense didn't contest it, except to argue that an instruction was wrong (thrown out as not preserved by objection). In other cases the Virginia appellate courts seem to ignore the eluding and concentrate on whatever felony led to the eluding. Specifically, the Virginia Supreme Court, in Montague v. Commonwealth, was faced with a situation wherein a person in a stolen car fled a checkpoint, was pursued by an officer, and struck and killed a child. While the flight was an important part of the case the court's analysis was based upon the theft of the car. However, this case doesn't exactly fit because the Commonwealth seems not to have presseludinging as the underlying charge. So, basing a felony murder on eluding appears to be novel.

Anyway, the issue of whether eluding is a solid basis should be a moot point. Assuming the felony driving suspended stands up there is a case which almost mirrors this one. In Davis v. Commonwealth the court held that a defendant who fled the police because he was driving with his license revoked (a class 6 felony) was guilty of 2d degree murder when he hit a police car and killed his passenger. The question then becomes whether the death of Deputy Green was part of the res gestae of the felony driving without a license. In other words, was his death a part of the crime as determined by its close connection in time, distance and continuity of action, as part of the same criminal enterprise. See Motague. Here the case of Haskill v. Commonwealth, might be somewhat instructive. In Haskill a group of men attempted to commit a robbery. When their robbery attempt failed they fled and the victim pursued. One of the would be robbers shot and killed him to facilitate escape. The court ruled that in this case a fact finder could find the escape intertwined with the crime and set a rule:
We do not say, however, that in every case a homicide committed during escape from a felony must be construed, as a matter of law, to come within the felony-murder statute. Usually, as in the present cases, the question will present an issue of fact to be determined from the evidence.
So, the decision as to whether the death of Deputy Green was part of the res gestae of the felony driving will be up to the jury.

The connection in time is easy to make. Deputy Green was starting to pursue while the ongoing crime of felony driving suspended was ongoing. Continuity of action and being part of the same criminal enterprise are also fairly simple to show. Walker was attempting to escape from police and while he was trying to escape was continuing his felonious driving. Distance is the one element which might be somewhat harder to prove. In most of the cases I looked thru the homicide is something within an immediately proximate zone. For instance the ones involving vehicles seem to all be about the driver wrecking into someone and causing a death. Nevertheless, this is not the type of felony which is a close up felony. If someone is fleeing down country roads in a rural county at 100 mph the range of effect is going to be much larger than a mugging. An objective person would understand that felonious driving and fleeing will cause officers to converge from other roads and do so at a high rate of speed in order to intercept or pursue - clearly endangering their lives. Thus the distance which would be considered "close" in this felony driving charge is going to be much larger than in most felonies. Clearly, the Deputy was within the range of those reacting to the crime and flight.

The res gestae satisfied about the only thing left to show is mens rea. Under the statute this is satisfied if the defendant acted in a manner which demonstrates "extreme recklessness demonstrating total indifference to human life." Cotton v. Commonwealth. Driving in a rural county, at night, at 100 mph with deputies in pursuit fulfills that nicely.

This is an interesting case. I look forward to reading how it turns out.

13 November 2006

LA Jailees Will Have to Serve More Than 10%

Now they'll have to serve 25% of their time.

Cop Combat

Y'know, I gotta give the officer some credit here. If I had a firearm at my side and someone that big was coming after me I'd have used it.

Unconstitutional Magistrate?

Can a magistrate mandate that all people who commit a certain crime get the same bond?

Dead Bald Eagle?

Can't prosecute for it.
An understaffed supermax is a dangerous place.
A prosecutor has a good day.
A year for a false rape.
An 18 month old with cocaine in his sytem.

Blonde Justice Discusses

Police scams to catch guys who target kids.

Need a Birthday Present?

You could always rob a bank.

12 November 2006

"Batman and Robin" Catch Drug Suspects

From the "Are you kidding me?" Department:
Police officers in England put on superhero outfits in a bid to unsettle the badguys. They pretended to be drunks looking for a costume party and knocked on the door of a suspect's home.
Read more HERE.

The greatest shock on Election Day

The biggest shift in politics this past Tuesday involved Mayberry’s own Andy Griffith. A Wisconsin man legally changed his name to ‘Andy Griffith’ in an attempt to ride the famous actors coat tales to become Grant County Sheriff. The shock for me is that Andy Griffith is going judicial on the guy. A lawsuit doesn’t fit his Mayberry, Matlock or his “I Love to tell the story" image.

The Most Important Film of 2007

RENO911 - MIAMI


And the officers react:

11 November 2006

What is a Vet?

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

War makes strange giant creatures out of the little routine men who inhabit the Earth. -WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle.

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the Nebraska farmer who worries every year that this time the bank really will foreclose.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 39th Parallel.
She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back at all.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who never has seen combat - but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-'counts into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each others' backs.
He is the parade-riding legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp, and who wishes all day long his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

-This editorial first was published in 1995 and has appeared annually since 1999.

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month...


Happy Veteran's Day
to Ken and all who served.

10 November 2006

Commonwealth Conservative is Down

Yeesh, another one of my Daily Reads goes down. Pretty soon I won't have anything left to read.

Chad, I'd say I'm going to miss your insight, but thankfully I can get it without the blog (I just have to cross the hall).

The question now becomes: who will fill the vacuum in Virginia political blogging?

Rutgers Rocks!!!

09 November 2006

Talk About Mistaken Identity!

In case you haven't seen this yet, a 17-year-old girl who was wrongly locked in jail for seven days might still be in jail, facing criminal charges that included aiding and abetting a robbery, were it not for an anonymous tip to a Crimestopper hotline.

The girl cried in court October 24 as the judge read the charges to her.

"I wasn't even there," the girl said. "I know these guys but don't understand why they're using my name."
"That may be all true but at this point; I just don't know," the judge said.
"Talk to your attorney."

(The girl pictured 1st is the actual suspect)

Malvo Gets Life

Again.

Fumigation

It works for ridding your house of those pesky police too.

Mass Cat Killer . . .

. . . gets 15 years probation.

The Struggle to Heal

Victims of violent crime and their struggles to heal.

07 November 2006

Drivers Steal Money From Toll Baskets

Its kind of an ingenious plan...

"As they approach, they take the newspaper or the paper towel into the feeder, they shove it in there with a stick, and then they would come back later on … with a vacuum apparatus (like) a shop vac and suck the coins out."

Read more and watch the video HERE.

Police

1) SuperOfficer tackles a thug on a stolen motorcycle.

2) SanFran is recruiting gay cops.

3) Ouch! Two police cars on an emergency response to a bank robbery crash into each other.

Don't Get Raped in Saudi . . .

. . . because you'll get 90 lashes.

BANISHMENT

Is it a federally valid criminal punishment?

Hospital Escape

A New Zealand Prisoner escapes while faking a heart attack.

UK Acheives True Color Blindness

A black guy is convicted for what a white guy did.

DA Kills Self . . .

. . . rather than face charges of soliciting a minor.

06 November 2006

Is it blackmail . . .

. . . if you sell a product with a timed failure put in it that only go off if you are not paid the agreed price?

Duct Tape Abuse

It takes Florida 7 months to decide that duct taping kids to the bed and leaving them is abuse.

City Cop cars equipped with GPS

I hope other states will follow suite. I know in West Virginia, the state troopers do at least 100 mph on the interstates – now, the rest of us do 85-90, but still, isn’t it the job of the police to slow us down? “Wild and Wonderful” I guess.

Drinking game leads to murder confession

Of all the stories I have heard about drinking games, this is perhaps the only good result in the history of drinking games.

Man Ordered to Wear "Sex Offender" T-Shirt

A judge has ordered a man who twice exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl at his workplace to wear a T-shirt with the words: "I am a registered sex offender" in bold letters.

Defendant's Final Statement

A while back I saw part of this guy's statement on TV when I was back in the Lexington, Kentucky area for homecoming (Centre). I asked if anybody had a copy and lo and behold, Michael Pratt came through.

Meece, convicted of killing a family of three (Husband, Wife & Son) had previously confessed to the murders. However, he recanted for these reasons given: "so he could delay his capital murder trial. Meece also claims he was disappointed by the lack of preparation by his attorney." As well, "he'd had a conflict with one of his court-appointed attorneys and thought pleading guilty and then taking back the plea was the only way to get new lawyers and a fair trial." The confessions were admitted at trial and they were damning.

Statement Before Sentencing
---------------------------

My name is William Henry Mece, and I am the defendant. I am here to be final sentenced on this illegal and unconstitutional conviction. I intend to appeal and I have instructed the Court's appointed attorneys to do so. If we are in fact a nation of laws, where the rule of law applies to all, then this conviction will not stand.

All I ever asked for, pleaded for, demanded and expected was and is a fair trial under the laws and Constitution of this Commonwealth and these United States of America. It is that Constitution of the United States of America that every soldier, sailor, airman and marine, past present and future, is sworn to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Such a lawful, constitutional fair trial was and is apparently beyond the capacity of the Commonwealth, its Attorney, its department of Public Advocacy, and this Court.

I stand convicted based on the coerced and involuntary statements made as part and parcel of what this Court recognized as an involuntary and coerced plea; lies of my own telling, proven tobe lies. There exists no credible testimony, no credible physical evidence, and not a single eyewitness {the can or did} say I did this, had anything to do with this, or was within 100 miles of these murders. Therefore this conviction can only be based upon my own lies, wrongfully admitted by this Court in order to get a conviction, not under the laws of this State and Nation, but by any means necessary. In doing so, this Court follows in the best traditions of the "legal" systems of Nazi Germany, Communist China, and Soviet Russia, where I would have gotten to see and hear all the evidence against me, which I have not in this case.

The Court relied on the case of U.S. vs. Marks, 209 F3d 577 to allow those statements to be heard by a jury. In that case the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed post plea statements to the police because those statements were not to the attorney for the prosecution and therefore were not forbidden by law. This is not the case here where the statements used were made to Commonwealth Brian Wright on 15 Nov 04 and 15 Dec 04 as part of and required by the written plea agreement. That plea had not been finalized, as this Court made clear on15Nov04 when it reserved the right to reject the plea under R.Cr. 8.10. Mr. Wright recognized it on 15 Nov 04 as well on the record in asking to keep the record sealed.

The true case precedent should be and is Roberts vs. Commonwealth, Ky, 896 SW2d 4 (1995), as I brought to the attention of the Court's appointed attorneys before trial. In that case, the Kentucky Supreme Court, this states "highest" court, held that although the defendant did not keep his part of a "plea bargain" - just as I did - the statments he made as part of that plea agreement are not admissable at a subsequent trial. He, too, lied to the Commonwealth and the police, as they lie to us. KRE 410 and Roberts are the law as I stand here today.

All I ever wanted and expected and worked for was a fair trial under the law, applied equally to the State and the defendant. I expected too much, where the Commonwealth Attorney has not been held to the rule of law, including KRE 410, the rules of discovery, and this Court allowed him to present what he knew were material and false evidence and flagrantly lie to this Court, the defense, and the jury and this Court refused to correct it.

I bemoan the loss of the American ideal of a fair trial under the law if this conviction stands, if it ever existed. It will have ceased to exist for my children and their children, the Constitution rendered moot, outdated, and antiquated, except as propaganda. We have come much further down the road to a police state than even I feared or anyone not on trial and caught up by the system would ever expect or believe. Long Live the King, His Gentry, and His Courts. I can only hope the higher courts prove me wrong.

No less than 108 people have been from Death Row, not on technicality but on the physical evidence, having been convicted and sentenced by Courts in proceedings just like this one. I am not the first wrongfully convicted and I will not be the last. Unfortunately the evidence in this case does not and can not prove my innocence, it can only not prove me guilty.

Throughout this trial, the prosecutor was permitted to put my religious faith on trial and claim I was some sort of occultist pagan witch. Not even my ex-wife and all her lies supported such prejudicial nonsense. By making it an issue, the State put into evidence my Jewish faith. I am proud to be a Jew, as my ex-wife and my children were and may still be. To understand what that means, one only has to look to the Old Testament of the Christian Bible and these words credited to Jesus Christ founded there, written in red, I would point out that Numbers 35:30 in a modern translation of the original Hebrew says:

"Whenever someone kills a person the evidence of witnesses is required for the execution of the murderer. The evidence of a single witness is not sufficient for putting a person to death."

So says the law older than Western Civilization itself.

The stands no second witness in this case, only the desperate coerced lies of a defendant forced to say what the State wanted to hear to fight in vain for a fair trial under the law. There is no one who said or can say they saw me kill the Wellnitz family or that I was there. I didn't and I wasn't. Not my lying vengeful ex-wife who wanted and got me out of her life, not my co-defendant who risked her life to come forward to finally tell the truth.

I stand before the Court for sentencing. This Court has the power to condemn me to die in the State's prisons, be it a death sentence in the 9 to 15 years the appeals take if not overturned, or under a Life Sentence. Parole is not, and has never been, a realistic possibility. The Court rejected the Commonwealth's first offer of 50 years on the false possibility of of parole after 12 years, and yet stands today possibly prepared to sentence me to those same 12 years before I die.

May the One True G-d, called Our Father in Heaven by the Jewish Carpenter Jesus, have mercy and find forgiveness for the police, Mr. Wright, those witnesses who testified falsely with the best intentions against me, and this Court. May no man suffer ill on my account.

Shima Yisrael: Adonai Eloheimu Adonai Achod. Roruch Shem K'uod valchutoh l'olam va-ed. Amen.

Hear O Israel: The Lord is Our God, the Lord is One. Blessed is His Glorious Kingdom forever and ever. Amen

That is all I have to say.
----------------------------

The section between the {} I couldn't make out.

05 November 2006

Duke Lacrosse Case

Discussion as to why the prosecutor hasn't talked to the victim and whether or not Nifong is a good prosecutor.

Yes, You Must Produce All 240 Witnesses

A judge requires the defense (civil) to produce all 240 people they have had sign sworn statements. When they question him about it twice he gets a little peeved.

Governor Required to Allow Parole

In Cali, the governor refused to give a prisoner parole and is overruled by a court.

Sadam Sentenced to Death

For killing 148 people in one incident in one town, he is sentenced to hang.

04 November 2006

Pawn Shop sued for wrongful death

Wherever a firearm is bought, a background check is necessary. But its especially imperative if a white supremacist is buying a gun at a Pawn Shop. “Loaner Too” should have know to check this guy out. Then again, maybe they didn’t want to know.

Need Proof tha Hip-Hop / Rap is Dead?








02 November 2006

Feds arrest Sheriff and lots of law enforcement in Henry County, Virginia

As reported by the Danville Register Bee, the Henry County Sheriff and a bunch of deputies were arrested by the feds.

Indictment here.

Kansas AG reviewing records of abortion clinic for evidence of possible crimes

The motivation seems to be that if you dig deep enough into abortion records, there’s going to be something illegal going on. Hopefully this is not the case and the AG has some hard evidence of these ‘possible crimes,’ otherwise this is an obvious ploy to target abortion clinics and hype up the base in a close election.

A 5 Second Rape?

A Maryland Court of Appeals overturned a rape conviction because a woman gave consent and then withdrew it. The State's appealing the decision.

What drew my attention in the article was the scenario. A 15 year old asks an 18 year old to have sex. She agrees "as long as he stops when I tell him to." During the sex she feels pain and tells him to stop. He stops in "five or so seconds."

Ummm . . . That's mighty thin.

Anybody got any info about this case? I suspect that the government might have actually argued that the entire situation was coercive and she had no real choice, no matter what she said. The paper implies that this was the situation but doesn't say anything about the government arguing it.

01 November 2006

The going rate of a teenage life? $200

Hit-men are not expected to be moral people, but $200?

Need North Carolina Law

A friend of mine asked me if I could help him get the 1994 versions of North Carolina's statutes "14-27.5, 14-27.3, 14-27.4, 14-27.2, ex alt."

I can find the modern statutes, but for some reason I don't have my copy of the last 200 years of North Carolina statutes anymore. Maybe they were lost when I moved. ;-)

Anyway, if anyone can help please email me. Thanx.

Around the Web

1) A judge cannot order a jury to find someone guilty - not even in Canada.

2) Was it a fishing boat or not? We'll never know - not that it matters.

3) Hmmmm . . . Sex at a football game wasn't one of the perks I was told to expect when I took the job as a prosecutor. I think I need to talk with Chad. I might be getting short changed here.

On second thought, the whole getting arrested thing just doesn't work for me. I think I'll pass.

4) Ever wonder why the feds are concentrating on the street corner crack dealer instead of big, interstate or international white collar crimes?

5) We all knowthat all legal shows are bad; ie Law and Order is terrible (I keep waiting for Law & Order: Grand Theft Auto). Blonde Justice fills us in on how bad this year's legal fare is: Shark and Justice

If you want to extradite a criminal from New Zealand . . .

. . . make sure you buy the officers and him a ticket on a flight with no lay-overs:
In an embarrassing episode for the police, Rafal Luczynski, 32, slipped away from two detectives while being deported to Poland.

The drug lord, who is believed to have connections to the Polish mafia, was reported missing in Heathrow's Terminal One early on the morning of October 12. He had served 3½ years in a New Zealand prison for importing amphetamine.

Police spokesman Michael Player said Luczynski was out of the jurisdiction of New Zealand authorities.

New Zealand police were responsible for deporting the escape artist, who previously slipped his shackles in 2001 when he fled New Zealand while on home detention, but not for ensuring he arrived in Poland.

"He's no longer wanted by New Zealand police at all," Mr Player said.

"It's just unfortunate that he exited ahead of his destination, but really he's now a UK responsibility."
Oops.

YeHa!

Cattle rustlin's back.

31 October 2006

Police Stun Gun Kills Teen

"Police tried to calm the teen, but Holyfield became combative, according to the statement. Officers fired the stun gun at him after he ignored their warnings, then fired again when he continued struggling, police said. "

Heavy Handed

Can the FBI bring finesse to a solve a minor situation? Apparently not.

A doctorate student who is studying computer security read about a long known flaw in airport security. It has long been known that people can make fake boarding passes. So what does the guy do? He proves the theory and sets up a web page with script so that anyone can use it.

He puts a link to it on his blog and gets all sorts of publicity. The FBI came by and ordered him to take it down. By the time he could get somewhere to do it the government had already killed the site.

Okay, up to this point the reaction is proportionate.

The next thing the FBI did was raid the student's house in the middle of the night. The student was spending the night elsewhere so he doesn't know when it happened exactly (the FBI broke in), but the warrant was signed at 2 am. They took all the computers in the apartment and tossed the apartment.

Why? Is this guy such a terrible threat that the FBI needed to hit his house at night? Aren't there drug dealers or others (ooh, say real terrorists) for which they could reserve that tactic? Granted, the kid could have destroyed "evidence" (it's not like he denied doing this) but if he were going to do that he could have easily destroyed all his hard drives between the 7 pm when they let him go and the post 2 am raid. If there was going to be evidence it would have been there when they dropped by the next afternoon.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program

Sorry I haven't put anything up for a couple days. I spent from Sunday morning until about 7 pm Monday in bed sleeping in a fevered state. A half pound of BC powder later, I think I'm better today. If I collapse at work today I'll make sure to let ya'll know.

30 October 2006

The Country's Most Dangerous Cities...

The AP has posted the findings of a ranking of America's MOST (and least) DANGEROUS cities.

"The list starts with the safest cities and ends with the most dangerous. Only cities that reported crime rates were included in the list. For example, New Orleans was not included this year because its police department did not report figures."

Richmond, VA (my hometown) is listed at #357 out of 371. Take THAT, Camden, NJ!

27 October 2006

Is just being ‘Snoop Dogg’ enough to give police probable cause to search?

There is a gap in this story about why the police searched the Rapper. Police initially approached him about a parking violation and then the story says, ‘"An investigation revealed him to be in possession of marijuana and a firearm.” What? I suspect this ‘revelation’ had to do with a search initiated on the grounds that he is a known pot user and glorifies it.

Judiciary Under Fire

O'Connor: Don't call us 'activist judges'

Wanna see what crime takes place around the White House?

Here's a map which breaks it all down.

With credit to the Washington Post.

Drug Dealers with Top Secret Docs

It's good to know that drug dealers are now taking part in our national security.
Proof that Elmo is evil. He's a drug mule.

26 October 2006

Nurse anesthetist poisoned rival because she stole her boyfriend back in high school some 30 years ago

Bitterness from high school that lasts 30 years is amazing. Still, it’s not unbelievable, high school does things to people.

Woman convicted of Midlothian hit-and-run death

"It was an accident -- a tragic accident"

This is just one the saddest stories I’ve read in a while. On one hand you have the poor 51 year old man that was hit and died on the side of the road. On the other hand you have the alcoholic woman that did the slaying. There is some stuff in this story that makes me feel bad for this woman, but in the end she really should be in jail.

Sheriff's department confirms the presence of Shaquille O'Neal at mistaken child porn raid

So Shaq wants to be a police officer in Bedford County, Virginia? Holy hell, criminals beware. Now, I imagine Shaq wont be working at the basic street level, but can you imagine getting pulled over and Shaq comes to the window and asks for your license and registration? It would be like seeing a ghost or the loch ness monster.

Disturbing Things You Hear in a Courthouse

I was in the hall outside the primary felony courtroom on the day probation violations are being heard. I can see a man in an orange suit standing in front of the judge. He's pretty obviously getting tagged hard.

There's a maybe 4 year old kid in the hall who is fussing and making noise. The mother is trying to quiet the kid and looking exasperated. Finally, she almost yells at the kid "You know what the judge is doing to your father because of how you're acting?"

Every time I think I've seen how low humanity can descend someone comes along and proves me wrong. How do you do that to a kid?

25 October 2006

Pressuring the Coach

My favorite new TV show this year is Friday Night Lights. It's about a brand new high school football coach who got the job at a program which was a shoe in for the Texas State championship and what happens when the quarterback who was going to take them to it is seriously and permanently injured, leaving the team in chaos. The show's on NBC, Tuesday night at 8 pm or you can see the latest episode at NBC.com. It's a shame that NBC isn't offering all the episodes because you really need to watch it from the beginning.

Anyway, you ask, what's that got to do with criminal law? I'm glad you asked.

The coach in Friday Night Lights is under crushing pressure but nobody has drawn a gun on him like one parent did to this coach. I guess they take their football a little more serious in Pennsylvania than they do in Texas.

24 October 2006

'Catch me before I kill again,' suspect taunted

I might be wrong on this, but doesn’t the killer in the Dirt Harry movie “The Dead Pool” use the same line?

Fire chief, 3 volunteers charged with arson

Anyone that lives in a town with volunteer firefighters knows this is a danger. This actually happened a few years ago in my hometown. I remember riding by the fire station after work and watching all the volunteers just setting around, waiting for something to happen. And when it didn’t, they started burning down abandoned barns. What else is there to do on a Friday night?

Boy can make circumcision decision

See, I knew O.J. didn’t do it – it’s those damned underpaid backlogged LA forensic analysts.

LAPD backlogged on DNA samples and fingerprint analysis.

Stealing Coke’s secret formula: If Coke and Pepsi can get along, can’t we all?

It was Pepsi that brought the scheme to the attention of Coke and federal authorities.

23 October 2006

40 year old man on his way from Seattle to Alberta ends up in Denver with no memory

This bizarre story is straight out of the Twilight Zone. This poor man wondered the streets of Denver with no idea about anything.

Don’t spit in a cop’s food – or don’t let him see you – just don’t do it

The offending spitter is a 19 year old named Homer Disher and he has confirmed my worst fears about Waffle House.

John Hinckley Jr. can visit aged parents

another famous ‘outlaw’

Exhuming the remains of Billy the Kid

Famous American outlaws inspire fascination we all want to condemn. We want to condemn them because we know there were real people (who we don’t remember) that were victimized by these ‘legends.’ It seems we realize this without wanting to really acknowledge it. Our culture edges right up to the line of fascination that borders on praise, but then restrains in the name of good taste. I suppose we have always been this way – Why?

“If one can't be a great artist or a great soldier, the next best thing is to be a great criminal.” Edgar Jepson and Maurice Leblanc

Prosecutor Wants a Retrial on a Guilty Finding

Here is a truly interesting case wherein a man is sentenced to death by the jury, the defense asks for a retrial and shows that a juror knew about the defendant's prior murder conviction, the prosecutor then joins the motion for a new trial, the defense then withdraws its motion, the judge finds the juror in contempt and changes the death sentence to life in prison, and finally the prosecutor tries for a new trial.

Cameras on Tasers

A good idea.

Can anybody find the video for this?

Speech by a Murderer

I saw a video segment about this guy's speech on Lexington's local news and have been looking for either a video or transcript of it. This channel claims to have it but when I click thru I get a neighborhood watch bit.

The whole thing looks interesting and I really want to see if he talks about confessing and recanting in order to get rid of his PD.

I know People Fall for These Things, But I Always Wonder Why

**********************************************
Part time Job Offer
************************************************

My name is Kayode Martin. I just came about your email address through an email listing affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce and I would be very interested in offering you a part-time paying job in which you could earn allot without quitting your present Job or having problem with your employers.

I am a man with 4 kids all boys and the love of my life, my wife. I am a some what multitalented man and I do quite a lot of traveling and get to meet quite a lot of people.

I just resigned my job as a research scientist for ARINI (Agricultural research Institute of Northern Ireland ) but I still work as a freelance consultant for the institute which gives me very much time to do my own work which is basically being a freelance researcher who could be employed by research institutes to do research
projects anywhere in the world.

I reside in Ireland, Dublin even though I have lived most of my life in other parts of the world, I am fully residing in Ireland. Presently, I have just been granted a funding to head a research project in the tropical regions of West Africa regarding rare and vulnerable plant species and this would be commencing very soon.

However my funding were by my American counterparts who send me the bunch of payments mostly in US based money orders. Getting an accountant in the states or opening an account would have been my best choice but I have a deadline to meet and taking any of those choices would cost me time and a whole lot of other requirements. I am not ready to deal with, as I would be traveling a lot in the meantime.

So presently, assuming you would be able to deal with cash, I would be willing to employ you on contract basis to be my payment representative back in the states, this way I could issue and make payments in form of Money Orders, Cashier's Check, etc out to you, you could then cash them easily, withdraw 10% of the total amount on these payment instruments as your commission and then send the rest back to me through wire transfer.

Please, bear it in mind that we would be dealing with quite a handful of cash and you a could be making up to $5000 just working with me in a short period of time within 1-2 weeks.

I would be glad if you accept my proposal and I intend to commence on starting as soon as you are ready. If you are interested, please email me back so we could make concluding arrangements.

Thank You

Kayode Martin

Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland

Hillsborough, Ireland BT12 3rd

+44 123456789

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


How can anybody read the passage I put in bold and not realize this is a scam?

19 October 2006

Killer facing execution commits suicide 15 hours before he was supposed to die

Co-conspirator in the murder, David Vest, plea bargained and testified against his friend. Vest is now free.

Philly cheesesteak wars

Q: Do you swear to tell the truth? A: No

I think honesty about dishonesty is refreshing.

Feds Net 125 Nationwide In Kid-Porn Case

Your usual revolting child porn case….but what strikes me is the singling out of “Bible camp counselor” and “Boy Scout leader.” This seems to be a trend among these news stories. I suppose the point is to let us know, “it could be anyone.” But, why not say the other 123 are who you would expect, like “creepy gas station attendant” or “shifty eyed ice cream man.” I can single out these two jobs because I have done both and know some of my fellow workers were weird. Hopefully not child porn weird, but at least dungeons and dragons weird.

18 October 2006

This Lady is Cool as a Cucumber

She talked to emergency services by pretending she's talking to a friend while she offered a drink to the armed man in her house to keep him calm while she was 8 months pregnant.

That's just plain impressive.

You Too Can Win a Federal Trial

All you have to do is die before the appellate process is finished.

Ken Lay died so his convictions are done away with.
A family is upset that the judge hasn't done anything in a murder trial for over a year.
"Convicted murderer Robert Wayne Holsey either has a sophisticated vocabulary and an adequate IQ or a record of school failure and a drunk lawyer who failed to point out his client's deficiencies when Holsey was on trial for his life."

Skimming an Article = Reading

Or at least that's what the defense will say if they lose the trial and you (a juror) admit to skimming an article about the defendant's prior record.
In the modern world, can you truly expunge your record?

If you find the abandoned drug money first . . .

. . . before the cops or the druggies, you get to keep it (at least in Washington).

Turkey and Eggs

Throw eggs at the Turkish Prime Minister and you will spend 15 months in jail. Not worth it if you didn't even hit the guy.

Fake Doctor / Go-Go Dancer

Killed a patient and got 20 years.

Prosecutor in Trouble

For selling a police docket to a policeman.

Docket must mean something different in South Africa. In Virginia it means a list of the cases to be tried on a specific date. You couldn't give that away to an officer here.

When You Give the Bond Money to the Chief of Police

You can usually count on it getting where it belongs - unless you live in Waverly Hall, Georgia.

Never Thought I'd See the Day

Kentucky is starting to ban tobacco from its prisons.

17 October 2006

Jury in drunken driving case slowed down by “biblical understanding of the meaning of depravity”

Question of murder by depraved indifference.

Terrorist's Lawyer Gets Two-Years

Note to self: do not try to pierce someone’s navel

The Pacific becomes schizophrenic

First Australia passes new sedition laws - then New Zealand tells itself it should do away with all sedition laws.


[With thanks to markm, who was kind enough to point out the error I made when I wrote this while still half-asleep this morning]

Don't shoot kittens at school . . .

. . . even if you are the principal.

Ummm . . . If you have bars downtown . . .

. . . people are going to drink.

Agbar!!!



The new superdog!

If you intend to mug somebody . . .

. . . you should probably look around to see if there are any police present.

Wanna visit your man in jail?

Then you have to wear a bra.

16 October 2006

Baby used as a weapon is in coma

Nurse sues for 'emotional distress' over ticket

I think the bumper sticker is borderline profane, but not close enough to warrant a ticket. Still, emotional distress for a $100 ticket? ACLU to the rescue.

Civil Rights Attorney gets 28 months for aiding terrorists

She said : "It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was relived during the trial. I did not intentionally enter into any plot or conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization."

Assistant U.S. Attorney said : "What she was doing was smuggling terrorism messages and smuggling out Abdel-Rahman's responses."

15 October 2006

Family Group Activities Are Usually a Good Thing

But using your preteens as shoplifting agents just doesn't quite cut it.

Again I Say - The Japanese are Different

Two different people arrested for stealing children's used shoes.

It's Good To Be The Sovran

Especially if you have subpoenas for bills you don't want to pay.

It's Good To Be a Sport's Fan

And great if you follow baseball, but if you're going to give the game as an alibi you'd best make sure it was played.

Wanna destroy a fellow businessman?

You could always start sending emails in his name offering to sell local boys to the highest bidder.

Police cannot wear their uniforms . . .

. . . if they attend the murder trial of men accused of killing a fellow officer.

I'd say this is probably the right decision, but I wonder how useful it will be. When there are 30 guys sitting there with high-and-tight haircuts I think the jury will figure out who they are.

Another Man Cleared by DNA

11 years in prison later, after a second test confirms the first, a rape case is dropped.

13 October 2006

Ken found the worst mother of the year ……here could be the worst father of the year

Dad kept boy in prison for three years.

He "believed it was in the best interest of the child."

31 year old has 6 husbands

Pregnancy Exception to the Death Penalty?

A woman in solitary confinement in a Vietnamese prison, awaiting implementation of her death penalty, gets pregnant without anyone owning up to having sex with her.

Here's where I'd make some sort of joke about immaculate conception except I'm afraid Tom would probably take me to task about it and start quoting obscure 13th century encyclicals and Popes of old to tell me how wrong I was. ;-)
Sex slave ring in South Africa.
Police in California are trying to get paid for putting on their gear.

We don't have to show a motive . . .

. . . if we can prove you axe murdered your mother and grandmother.

If you make a false rape claim . . .

. . . and relate your story both in a book and on TV you deserve the time you get for statutory rape of your 12 year old cousin.

Oh, and she also dumped her baby in a trash bin.

Oops!

Somebody forgot to get immunity in the other sovereignty and is shocked, shocked I say, that an elected AG would pursue a high profile case.

Break Wind . . .

. . . and you might have to break rocks.