21 April 2005

Around the Web

1) Labour's going to cut crime 15%. Heck, they might even get votes on this side of the Atlantic if they can follow through on that.

2) A Monday in court, PD style.

3) DUI quotas? Say it ain't so . . .

4) Crime is all the parents' fault. Because we all know that teens and young folks have no free will.

5) Hey, if you flirt with public defenders it can't be used against you in court.

6) Who's guilty of what?

7) A probation hearing from a (drafted) prosecutor's point of view.

8) CSI is making people expect the prosecutor to actually provide evidence. Shocking! Absolutely shocking, I say!!

9) I forgot is not an excuse for those who don't register as sex offenders. I've had people tell me this before. I've even had people whom I believe tell me this before. It doesn't make much of a difference when you step in front of the judge.

10) A five hour interrogation just might not wash with a jury.

11) DUI road blocks don't work (and they don't; they catch the folks who wouldn't have been pulled over by an officer because they weren't driving erratically). But they'll still be used because they make MADD happy.

12) Now, this is a heck of a bluff. A little over the top though. If I was the kid the computer'd get wiped down and dumped in a lake, ocean, or sewage facility. Maybe I'd even go out in the woods and bury it. It's not like some dog or wild critter would dig up its bones and bring them where someone would see them. But I sure as heck ain't turning it in if the world is going to come down on me like that.

13) Kaplah!


Windypundit said...

About the kid with the stolen computer: What would you do if that kid walked into your office? What's your advice as an ethical practioner of law? You can't just tell him to keep it or destroy it, can you?

If I had that computer, I'd call the professor's bluff. Literally call him on the phone and ask him, "So, if this computer is such a big deal and there are government agencies looking for it and all that, you shouldn't have any trouble telling me the serial number that's written on the bottom. And the address of the wireless card that you've been tracking....Didn't think so." Click.

Mister DA said...

What makes you think this is bluff? I've got records of the serial numbers of all my computers as well as the MAC address of the various communications bits. Why wouldn't this professor?

Ken Lammers said...

Welll, glancing at it again I see two things I find doubtful. First, I don't think Microsoft is getting messages from all of our computers on a continual basis. Second, I doubt that if a company gave trade secrets to a professor who was careless enough to lose it federal marshals probably aren't out trying to cover for the company's error. And if they were I would hope they'd be smart enough to tell the professor not to scare anyone off.

I'm sure there are other improbabilities but I stopped there.

carpundit said...


I've got to think your #8 comment was a bit of hyperbole. The CSI problem is that some juries now expect prosecutors to present proof to an absolute certainty, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Convictions have always required evidence, and you know it. But now there are acquitals in perfectly strong cases because some juries equate the failure of the government to have CSI-level proof with a failure to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In those cases, television has changed expectations to where they are now unreasonable.

It's not that your clients are any less guilty.

Ken Lammers said...


I've seen this story float through the blogs a couple of times and I don't believe there really is a "CSI Effect."

I would bet good money that if a study were done the overall rate of jury convictions has not changed. Nobody I know has seen it. I've had one case where the lack of forensic investigation came seriously into play and that was before CSI.

I think the more pernicious effect of expert forensic testimony has probably been what the article discusses from page 3 on. And the CSI Effect would bolster the blind acceptance of that sort of testimony.

Ken Lammers said...

Oh, and yes, my comment on #8 was meant to be somewhat humorous.

carpundit said...

Humorous. Yes, well I guess it was. I'm kind of a literal guy, so I sometimes miss that. Sorry.

In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, the D.A. has publicly blamed the CSI effect in cases that seemed very strong up until the acquittals.

But we'll never prove there is a CSI effect without hard, scientific evidence.

(Even literal guys can make jokes.)