Posts Tagged: Justice

Bleaching the Jury Pool

The influx of the young and rich into Brooklyn is, according to the New York Post, "gentrifying" jury pools, making them more trustful of the police and less trustful of plaintiffs in civil suits. “People who can afford to live in Brooklyn now don’t have the experience of police officers throwing them against cars and searching them. A person who just moves here from Wisconsin or Wyoming, they can’t relate to [that]. It doesn’t sound credible to them.”

"Bu-bu-but," the young white man protests, "I've seen The Wire. Twice. Except for the second season which I don't like all that much though I can't quite put my [...]


"The only thing to say is I didnt do it"

Arguing with the local sheriff's office on Facebook over your imminent arrest seems obviously unwise. But, setting aside immediate judgments, maybe having a very public and mostly neutral exchange with police wherein you affirm your innocence is…not the worst thing, actually? Accusations of coerced confessions and police strongarm tactics (as well as actual instances of coerced confessions and strongarm tactics) might be reduced by some transparency in the arrest and interrogation process, one hopes. Even if it makes everyone else uncomfortable. (And really, the comfort level of "bystanders" reading that exchange ("omg awkward") should be so far down on the priority list if you've been accused of a crime.)


Most Exciting Cases Of The New Supreme Court Term

All case summaries via SCOTUSblog.

16. Snyder v. Phelps: "Does the First Amendment protect protesters at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the family of the deceased?"

15. General Dynamics Corp. v. United States: "Whether the government can maintain its claim against a party when it invokes the state-secrets privilege to completely deny that party a defense to the claim."


Justice And "The Ick Factor"

This article by Dahlia Lithwick on Charles Dean Hood-the Texas death row inmate whose trial judge and prosecutor were having a secret affair-is as good as anything she's ever written, which is saying a lot.


The Measure Of A Society Is How It Treats Its Weakest Members

David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow look at a new report on juvenile prison rape. I'm not going to include any of the anecdotes or hard numbers, but be assured, everything about it is absolutely horrific.


Balloon Boy Parents Plead Out

The lawyer for Richard and Mayumi Heene, parents of the "Balloon Boy", has said that the couple will plead guilty to various charges tomorrow (Mom cops to a misdemeanor while Dad takes a class 4 felony). The two are expected to get probation, although there should probably also be some stipulation in there that bars them from appearing on TV.


Scalia: The Constitution Is There To Keep Us From Doing Butt Stuff

Let's play a quick game of compare and contrast! Ready? Look at the following two statements. You may already know the first one.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Here's the second one. It's a little more recent. It comes from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who made an appearance with fellow Justice Stephen Breyer in Arizona yesterday. The whole purpose of a [...]


Famous Baby Victim of Brazen Diaper Bag Theft

A notable baby was the victim of a shameless thief last week in San Francisco, and city officials are warning that such crimes are almost certain to occur again. The well known infant's diaper bag had been innocently left unattended at the city's Hall of Justice when the baby's foster mother forgot to the crucial personal item while going through the security line.

The baby, known only as "Baby Nash," is famous because two police officers saved his life with CPR, and also they "drove him to the hospital themselves," which was a selfless sacrifice that saved the baby's life. Earlier, the baby's biological mother had abandoned him somewhere.


Your Little Lies Are Constitutionally Protected, For Now

"If false factual statements are unprotected, then the government can prosecute not only the man who tells tall tales of winning the congressional Medal of Honor, but also the JDater who falsely claims he's Jewish or the dentist who assures you it won't hurt a bit. Phrases such as 'I'm working late tonight, hunny,' 'I got stuck in traffic' and 'I didn't inhale' could all be made into crimes. Without the robust protections of the 1st Amendment, the white lies, exaggerations and deceptions that are an integral part of human intercourse would become targets of censorship." —Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals explains [...]


Dancing Panda Bear

Believe it or not, if you make a viral video of a bear dancing to rap music, that does not necessarily mean that the editors of this website will automatically post it. In fact, even if you have argued with them for longer than it took to even make the video and upload it to YouTube, they still won't agree to post it. But you know what, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and share your gift with the world. So I present to you: "Dancing Panda Bear" by David Cho.


Model's Lawsuit Pretty Much Describes The Purpose Of Modeling

Did you see the atrocious Vince Vaughn movie Couple's Retreat? You might have. It did pretty well at the box office for some inexplicable reason. In any event, if you didn't take some kind of PTSD memory-blocking drug to obliterate the horror of having endured that film, you may recall a scene in which Jon Favreau's character jacks it to a picture of a pretty lady on a brochure. Turns out said lady is actually a real person, and she's none too pleased about the whole thing. In fact, she's suing!


Nation's Longest Serving Exonerated Inmate Freed

Stories like this one, about a Florida man who was freed today after spending 35 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, drive me crazy. James Bain was sentenced to life at the age of 19 after being convicted for the kidnapping and rape of a nine-year-old boy; DNA evidence proved that he was not involved. I cannot imagine what he endured in jail, how his family has suffered for the past three-and-a-half decades, or, really, any of it. Beyond the nightmarish aspects, it's the small details that really stick: "The 54-year-old said he looks forward to eating fried turkey and drinking Dr. Pepper. He said [...]


Orly Taitz Could Have Prevented The Massacre At Fort Hood

"Recent terrorist incident at Fort Hood has given this question paramount importance. This order has advocated blind obedience by the members of the military. If someone were to have common sense, brains and strength of character to challenge allegiance of Nidal Malik Hasan in court, after he made numerous anti-American and antimilitary statements, maybe 12 young boys wouldn't be 6 feet under today, maybe 12 mothers and 12 fathers wouldn't had their hearts ripped out of their chests and torn apart." -Birther Queen Bee Orly Taitz explains why the court should reconsider her recently-dismissed complaint against Barack Obama.


Intentional Pedestrian Splasher Nabbed Through YouTube

I was standing in the rain, waiting to cross Delancey Street, Thursday afternoon and I noticed a large puddle on the street right next to the sidewalk. I stepped back from it as far as could, all the way to the fence of the parking lot there. Must have been eight feet. Still, sure enough, a school bus drives by hugging the curb, plows through the puddle, and sends off an arcing wave of NYC street water that hits me full on, drenching me chest to toes. Pretty much summed up my day.

So I was glad to learn that the driver in the above video is [...]


System Broken

"This is what a collapsed criminal justice system looks like."


Man Gets Five Hours In Jail For Not Reciting Pledge Of Allegiance

Liberty and justice for almost all: "A Mississippi judge ordered an attorney to spend several hours in jail Wednesday after the attorney chose not to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in court. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that Chancery Judge Talmadge Littlejohn told a court audience to rise and say the pledge. People in the courtroom said Danny Lampley of Oxford stood but did not say the words."


It Is Still Probably Not A Good Idea To Smoke Pot Around Grizzly Bears

"When it comes to attacking humans, grizzlies are equal opportunity maulers; attacking without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, or marijuana usage. Hopkins' use of marijuana to kick off a day of working around grizzly bears was illadvised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most. However, I have been presented with no evidence by which I can conclude that Hopkins' marijuana use was the major contributing cause of the grizzly bear attack."


Alleged Fish-Poisoner Free To Strike Again

Sometimes the natives of Knifecrime Island like to mix it up a bit and eschew the bladework for which they have gained worldwide renown. Take the case of 19-year-old Chantelle Amies, accused of poisoning a neighbor's three goldfish with bleach. In a staggering miscarriage of justice, Amies' trial was dismissed on the grounds that there was no evidence.


The Fuzz On Facebook

The future is now: "University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. 'She was a good-looking girl. I usually don't accept friends I don't know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,' the 19-year-old said. He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer – and then ticketed him for underage drinking." [Via]


Fat Man Hopes To Sway Jury Of His Peers

To the frontiers of justice: "A Florida man accused of killing his son-in-law in New Jersey is arguing that he was unable to commit the crime because he was too fat." The unfortunately-or perhaps fortuitously, if you're his defense attorney-named Edward Ates will testify that his massive girth would have prevented him from running up and down a set of stairs where the murder occurred. "When the battered-wife defense was first used, it was considered abhorrent and bizarre. Jurors may be open to this in a society that talks about the infirmities that that obesity causes," says a noted trial lawyer. Okay!