30 May 2007

Strange, Silly, & Creepy

1) The Supreme Court is going to require briefs to be in a font which none of my word processors have.

2) As you are running away from the robbery you probably shouldn't shoot yourself in the leg.

3) We'd all like to do it once every so often, but it probably isn't helpful to tell the judge he is a few freedom fries short of a happy meal.

4) Okay, if it takes the government so long to execute someone that they have to give him a bathroom break it just might qualify as cruel (and hopefully unusual).

5) Y'know, generally your last words before execution should probably be more inspiring than "Go Raiders."

6) They just don't like ATM machines in South Africa.

7) You're asleep on the back porch. A dog jumps the fence and attacks you. As you awake and start to defend yourself a voice yells over the fence telling you to stop fighting the dog because he's a police dog. And the story goes on from there . . .

8) Hey guys, if you burglarize donut shops catching you will become a priority.

9) He may be nuts, but if he was organized enough to plan out this rape he's going to have a hard time claiming to be incompetent.

10) Police in Japan are cracking down on those dangerous 2 to a bicycle riders.

11) Stolen: One gold bathtub from a tenth floor public bathroom.

12) I don't care if you work at a zoo, it is not legal to treat a woman the same way you treat a lion.

13) Nope, I'm not really surprised that you struck out when you hit on the clerk of the store you just robbed.

14) Are you a highly respected member of the bar when your conviction for impersonating a police officer - in order to intimidate a witness - is overturned on the sole ground that it was prosecuted too late?

15) If you're trying to get the reward, don't be stupid enough to try and blackmail the property's owner.

16) Michael Vick bets on dog fights. Yeah, I know, you're shocked.

17) Ummm . . . The bailiff's job isn't to give the judge "foot rubs and back massages."

18) And finally, proof positive that we are allowing our judges too much time to serf the web. ;-)

29 May 2007

Defending a Murderer

It's always interesting to check and see what your former law school classmates are up to:

"I guess this is where it starts becoming okay for me to interject my own point of view. If you've ever met me, you know that I fall asleep quickly, and can do so under just about any circumstance. (I once fell asleep jogging in the Army. Almost craked my head on the curb...) At any rate, almost nothing messes with my sleep. Almost. The Jamal Verde case did."

Life in a Jail

"Later on in the evening, I interviewed a woman with a bench warrant (B/W) for felony possession of drugs. A B/W means she was previously given an OR and didn't show up for court. The judges like us to interview felony drug-related B/Ws. However, as an interviewer I do not have the authority to issue an OR when they didn't show to court the first time. As I reviewed her situation with her, she became angry. She said she just got hired at a new job and if she didn't show up for work on Monday, she would be fired. It is a holiday weekend and I said the earliest she would see the judge would likely be Tuesday-Wed., worst case scenario.


She looked me in the eyes and told me that if I didn't give her an OR, it would be my fault when she lost her job.
"

25 May 2007

My Beloved Bengals Interact with the Law

A prosecutor calls Henry a low-life and the Coach says that his players are singled out. Meanwhile, Henry passes a drug test.

One of Our Judges Ruled Against by the JRC

Via SWVa Law: One of the judges who sits in the courthouse where my office is located has been reccomended for sanction by the JRC. I only appeared in front of him twice so I really don't have any knowledge to add to this matter.

22 May 2007

There are gangs and then there are Gangs

There are some gangs which you are more likely to meet in a dark alley than others.

Would You Risk Your Career for a Quickie with Shark Lady?

That's what she claims a Tennessee State Trooper did.

But, he still wrote her the ticket (although he only threw away the potentially illegal drugs).

21 May 2007

Hot Fuzz



How do you handle an officer who's so good that he's making ever other officer in the city look bad? Why, you ship him off to a quiet, peaceful, sleepy town so far from civilization that they haven't even heard of cell phones. And then what happens? Has a "top-cop" got what it takes to catch a fugitive goose? Or will he find something more????

Review:

There's nothing redeeming about this movie - it's just fun to watch. Walk into the theater, shut your brain down and enjoy. Not too many huge guffaws (it's too British for that) but it's consistently humorous from start to finish.

And then there are the Judges . . .

1) Allowing an autopsy against the religious beliefs of the condemned man in order "to ensure the execution was carried out properly." Ummmm . . . I think I could determine that by listening for a heartbeat or checking to see if he's breathing. He's dead, we don't need to further desecrate him.

2) We need to hook this judge up with HOWT. How can you live in the modern world and not know what a website is?

3) A judge's suits must cost a lot more than mine, 'cuz I just don't see how a cleaner could make a $65 million error, even if it destroyed all my clothes.

20 May 2007

It's Like the Scene in Scarface

Dang, they aren't messing around in Mexico. Drug enforcers grab police officers and the government strikes back with enough force to invade France.

The Strange and Silly

1) Would you trade 18 years of your life for $5 million and a standing ovation from your State legislature?

2) DON'T PUT YOUR ILLEGAL AND UNREPENTANT ACTS ON MYSPACE. You'll earn yourself 2 years.

3) Y'know, call me an unbeliever, but I'll never truly believe that many bites on a baby were to "teach him a lesson."

4) Well, it looks like Paris Hilton will only get 23 days. Not going to say anything more about all that stupidity.

5) It's never too early to recruit baby NRA members.

6) Storing a baby in the helmet container under the motorcycle's seat. LLLOOOoonnngg prison sentence needed.

7) There's a bright side to most every story. For instance, at least the police were only going to rob a drug dealer.

8) This kid just doesn't get it. Burnt once stealing he goes back and accomplishes the exact same result.

9) Need a "drink driving" expert? I guess they only drink in NZ, they must not drive drunk.

10) And just what's wrong with having the inmates come to your house and do all the drudge work?

17 May 2007

View from Above




Driving over a mountain every day to get to work can be a pain some times. At other times it can be pretty nice. This morning it was overcast, but the top of the mountain was above the clouds.

16 May 2007

Stealing from the Girl Scouts

It almost seem s like it should be a hanging offense to steal the money those girls got from having their moms and dads sell cookies to all their co-workers.

Pity the White Collar Convict

Because prison ain't fun.

via White Collar Crime Prof

Infinite Creativity

You have to be very creative to shoot yourself without a firearm present.

Pirates!!!

And not the internet kind either!

Khat

Is it crack or just caffiene?

No, the Killer Cannot Have the Decedent's Insurance Proceeds . . .

. . . not even if the insurance company wants to give it to him.

Can We Make Prison a Shank Free Zone?

Personally, I doubt it, but people are trying.

14 May 2007

Around the Web

1) Wanna keep a municipal job in South Africa? Make sure you get it before they decide to crack down (and be willing to rat out the guy who sold you the job).

2) A judge tells a sick offender that he wants to make sure the offender dies in custody.

3) In Florida it is apparently unethical for judges to disagree.

4) Washington Supreme Court says tough luck, the police can trick you into giving evidence against yourself.

5) Is the US worse than Libya et al. because we imprison more people?

6) Boys and their toys. How many gadgets in the courtroom are too many gadgets in the courtroom?

7) But we shouldn't be prosecuting the rich anyway, should we?

Is Anybody's Out There's Arabic Better than Mine?

OK, I'm trying to translate the Arabic title here and the best I'm getting is thirst/rust/echo of the Homeland. I don't have my best dictionaries where I'm at right now, but that's got to be wrong. Anybody got a better translation?

Oh, yeah, there's also thanks from Arab American News for the police in Detroit being forbidden from asking if someone is a legal immigrant.

US Sentencing Commission Slams Crack Guidelines

SL&P shows us the Commission's opinion on the disparity in cocaine sentencing.

11 May 2007

Virginia v. Bloomberg: Would the Commonwealth Indict a Yankee Mayor?

The Mayor of NYC, convinced that his city's problems are rooted in Virginia, sent agents into Virginia in order to scam gun dealers into making illegal gun sales. Virginia, a Commonwealth where the right to not own a gun is barely recognized, took offense and passed a law stating that it is a felony to send someone to do this unless he is accompanied by Virginia or federal law enforcement agents.

And then the Virginia Attorney General sends a nice letter to the NYC Mayor explaining federalism to him.

09 May 2007

Off Point: A Deployed Soldier Talks About Iraq

While I watch Bloggingheads.tv often the three rules of this blog (civility, no politics, civility) mean that you probably will not see me link to it again. Nevertheless, I think that this video interview with an embedded reporter and the commander of the US unit he's embedded with is very interesting, not particularly political, and something I'd recommend to everyone.

The Major uses military speak, but I think most of it is comprehensible. He also says "Sir" a lot but that's just an ingrained response which the military drills into soldiers dealing with unknown civilians. All-in-all, it's an interesting view of what's going on on the ground.

08 May 2007

Around the Web

1) Robbery, Naked, Superglue, and Bike - not a good combination.
2) Robbing mobsters is a really, really bad idea.
3) Do police need to be more military?
4) Kansas can't seem to afford edible food for its prisoners.
5) If you're going to keep two trucks full of booze at your bar, you ought to have a license.
6) Yet again, I have not been suggested for another federal court opening.
7) Make sure the elevator isn't possessed before you vandalise it.
8) Battlin' Bowlers.
9) Paris Hilton keeps getting pulled over for DWC (Driving While Cute).
10) Using a blood filled syringe as a tool for robbery.
11) Alabama judge makes thieves wear "I am a Theif" signs in front of the store stolen from.
12) Singing outside an officer's house is not a crime (in New Zealand - don't try that around here.
13) Is the judge your mommy or daddy?

07 May 2007

The Hats! The Hats!




Sometimes I wonder if the Derby is the most important part of the sporting year because it's the one time of the year women can actually wear those hats.

Then again, Horses might have something to do with it.

04 May 2007

Tragedy in the Making

A 13 year veteran prosecutor "resigns" her job:
In November, [the defendant] entered a plea to abduction with intent to defile -- carrying a 20-year minimum sentence -- and unlawful wounding, and Fay [the prosecutor] agreed to dismiss the rape and sodomy charges. But when [the defendant] later learned that the abduction charge would require him to register as a sex offender, he balked.

[The defendant]'s attorney, Bobby B. Stafford, said he called Fay, and both lawyers acknowledged they had not known of the registration requirement. Fay agreed to reduce the abduction charge to simple abduction, with a range of zero to 10 years and no registration requirement.

The lawyers and [the defendant] quietly returned to court March 14 to revise [the defendant]'s pleas. A transcript of that hearing shows that neither the lawyers nor Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Stanley P. Klein asked whether the victim had been consulted on the change in pleas. The victim was not there and said she had not been consulted. State law requires judges to ask prosecutors whether the victim has been consulted, but only if the victim makes a written request. The victim said she was never told to make such a request.

Two days later, the victim and her boyfriend, a Maryland police officer, appeared for Marriott's sentencing. Although the minister faced a maximum of 17 years, Klein sentenced him to 16 months.

The victim was stunned. When she later learned that Fay had agreed to reduce [the defendant]'s charges, she was outraged. Fay said she had fully informed the victim of the situation. The victim, her boyfriend and the investigating officer, Detective Edward Vaughan, said Fay was mistaken.

After meeting with Fay and Vaughan, Fairfax Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said he believed the victim and Vaughan. He said Fay's actions were "an embarrassment to our office and a disgrace." Morrogh then took Fay off all felony cases.

Washington Post
As I do the guidelines abduction with intent to defile and unlawful wounding have a recommended sentencing range of 3 years 2 months to 9 years 5 months with a mid-point of 6 years 3 months. Abduction with unlawful wounding carries a guideline recommendation of probation. Neither of those figure in whatever prior record the defendant may have had.

I don't know the actual facts and circumstances around this case. It seems that the prosecutor agreed to the reduction only to remove the registration requirement and assumed that the abduction to defile guidelines would be used or that the difference would not be substantial (I'll admit I was surprised at a probation recommendation).

I'm really surprised that the judge imposed a sentence so low. If the facts, as they can be proven, are as bad as laid out in the article I would expect a judge to give far more time than this (Virginia sentencing guidelines are entirely discretionary).

Something's out of kilter here.

03 May 2007

Medical Pot is OK in State Court

An appellate court in Washington has ruled that a motel owner with 34 mature plants in his motel who turned himself in to the police the day after his motel was raided with a prescription written after the raid occurred cannot be convicted.

DNA - Conviction - Retest - Courts Not Prosecutors

In Ohio the Supreme Court has ruled that it is a power of the courts, and the courts alone, to decide whether someone who has been convicted can have DNA tested. A statute allowing prosecutors to make that choice has been struck down.

Does Hate Crime Legislation Limit Religious Teaching?

Pastors are fighting a Congressional bill to make sexual oriention protected under hate crime codes because they fear it will be used to stop Christian preaching.

Why Don't We Just Brand Them?

As SL&P implies, State legislatures are trying to make it obvious that sex offenders are sex offenders by making them have a certain type of license plate that is very obvious. I don't see this working. If someone intended to do harm he could easily leave the car at home or steal a different plate or borrow another person's car, or, or, or . . .

If you're going to actually try to do something effective then you have to do something as noticeable and unremovable as the scarlet letter. So, will the legislators proposing the plates also propose that all convicted sex offenders have a 2" red bar tattooed on their foreheads and bright yellow letters "PERVERT" in it?

Why is the Virginia Supreme Court Closed?

For the last few days this notice has been posted on the Virginia Supreme Court's site:
Thursday, May 3, 2007: The Supreme Court Building in Richmond will be closed to the public. However, the Office of the Executive Secretary will be staffed with essential personnel to assist the courts. Computer systems will remain available to all users.
Somebody in the office suggested that this is because of the visit of the British Queen. Anybody know if the government of a Commonwealth in a democratic-republic which 200+ years back rejected the monarchy is closed in honor of the visit of the current monarch?

02 May 2007

Ummm . . .

I get why the federal prosecutor wants to introduce the tape of the dead Klansman naming names, but I'd really like to know what his argument to get around the right to confront is.

Flee from the Police . . .

. . . the Supreme Court has said officers can do what they must to stop you.

Serial Killers and Unidentified Victims

"While police say they have no accurate number of serial-killing victims who are never identified and are buried as paupers . . . in the past four years, this has been the fate of at least 51 people."
Murder by Duel

Prosecuting the Madame . . .

. . . and she just might expose her clients.
A post about the comparison of mental institutionalization and murder rates.

01 May 2007

Don't Brag You've Got evidence the Judges are Acting Illegally

They might hear about it.

You Cannot Steal a Car . . .

. . . every time you want to go visit your girlfriend. Eventually, the police will get curious as to why all the stolen cars are parked in front of her house.

WhatDoya'know?

My law school roommate made partner at Troutman Sanders.

Congrats Brandon.

And remember, if your law firm ever wants to hire a person who's not qualified to practice in any of the areas which it specializes in and pay him an unseemly amount of money - I'm there for you.

Meanwhile, Another W&L Grad . . .

Jonathan MacArthur is off tilting at windmills and getting some interesting results.

What Do I Make of This?

So, I walk into the bank yesterday to conduct some business. I walk up to the teller and in the course of taking care of some matters she asks to see my ID. I pull out my wallet and hold it up with the driver's license showing. On the other side of the fold is my badge. The lady takes one look at the badge and says "Oh, I knew you worked for the county, but you look like such a gentle man, I figured you were a teacher. You have to be mean some times to be a prosecutor."