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I wasn’t preparing to survive another attack, but rather to execute one.

(tw: rape) Kathleen Hale reflects on her assault, the subsequent trial, and the relationship between predators and prey.
posted by Juliet Banana on Jun 28, 2014 - 28 comments

Twenty years after infamous Bronco chase, O.J. Simpson still a mystery

Simpson is in Lovelock because he was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery in Nevada in 2008; he's serving a sentence of up to 33 years, with the possibility of parole in 2017. He will turn 67 next month, but the O.J. personage who remains a cultural touchstone is much younger. That one was born 20 years ago this week, on June 17, 1994, a day that spawned a series of events that are as ingrained in Americana as anything that happened at Valley Forge or in Dealey Plaza. Sports Illustrated tackles Orenthal James Simpson.
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 13, 2014 - 140 comments

Hostis Humani Generis

The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2013 - 16 comments

The Pills of Last Resort

How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 1, 2013 - 16 comments

Rebuilding the American Jury

Twelve Absent Men: Rebuilding the American Jury. "Juries hear only 4 percent of criminal trials in America. Their decline has fostered radical punitiveness, but reforms and novel institutions are breathing new life into the jury and civic participation more broadly."
posted by homunculus on Jul 28, 2013 - 54 comments

If she weighs the same as a duck... she's made of wood!

Trials by Ordeal were a method of determining guilt or innocence by putting the accused through various torturous experiences. Today these approaches are frequently-mocked and banned almost everywhere, though Sassywood remains common in Liberia. However, economist Peter Leeson argues that trial by ordeal may have been a very effective way of dispensing justice, especially when courts and juries were expensive or broken. According to the paper [PDF], a superstitious belief in iudicium Dei, or the justice of God, may have discouraged the guilty from ordeals, while tilting the scales in favor of the innocent - echoes of the practice persist today in swearing on a Bible. Even Sassywood [pdf] may be better than Liberia's broken justice system.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 30, 2013 - 11 comments

A very Pyrrhic victory

9 years and 364 days ago, the then MEP (and later cabinet minister), Chris Huhne caught a flight back from Brussels to London Stansted, landing at 10.27pm. He picked up his car, with the distinctive number plate H11HNE, and sped back to his home in Clapham, South London, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately see him and his wife, economist Vicky Pryce, each sentenced to 8 months in jail. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 11, 2013 - 83 comments

closing statement

"I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we now expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. Now the whole world sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, Russia looks different in the eyes of the world from the way Putin tries to present it at daily international meetings. All the steps toward a state governed by the rule of law that he promised have obviously not been made. And his statement that the court in our case will be objective and make a fair decision is another deception of the entire country and the international community. That is all. Thank you." - Yekaterina Samutsevich: Closing Statement at the Pussy Riot Trial
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 9, 2012 - 66 comments

Gupta Trial Judge Reprimands Law Student Spectator

Benula Bensam, not having landed a summer job, decided to attend the Rajat Gupta trial. She felt that some of the judge's evidentiary rulings were incorrect, and so sent him three letters. The judge, Jed Rakoff, was not amused.
posted by reenum on Jun 16, 2012 - 119 comments

Bad day for Oracle

Following a jury finding that Google had not infiringed upon Oracles patents, a development described as a near disaster for the database company, Judge William Aslup has ruled that the Java APIs cannot be copyrighted. That leaves Oracle with only the 9 lines of rangeCheck code and a handfull of decompiled test files to show for the massivecourt case. CEO Larry Ellison remains confident, claiming that the aquisition of Java creator Sun has still paid for itself.
posted by Artw on Jun 1, 2012 - 45 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again: black Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime.
posted by Evilspork on May 10, 2012 - 33 comments

United States v. Shipp

The Supreme Court of the United States has held only one criminal trial in its history: United States v. Shipp. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Feb 7, 2012 - 30 comments

Four fingers good, five fingers better

England's Obscenity Trial of the Decade is over, with unanimous Not Guilty verdicts being returned for all 6 charges. R v Peacock was a rare outing for the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and its out-lawing of media which depraves and corrupts, and despite being shown DVDs of explicit homosexual acts, fisting, testicular torture, rape scenes, prolaspses and other acts the prosecution described as extreme the jury decided the material didn't breech the law. Alex d. live tweeted the proceeding and Peacock's supprters are celebratory. The question now is what is obscene in today's society, and is the act still relevant. [more inside]
posted by samworm on Jan 6, 2012 - 25 comments

The (First) Crime of the Century

June 25th 1906, was the opening night of the musical revue Mamzelle Champagne on the roof of Madison Square Garden. In attendance were Stanford White, renowned architect (Washington Square Arch, Judson Memorial Church, Madison Square Garden itself), and Harry Kendall Thaw, eccentric coal and railroad scion. During the performance of the song I Could Love a Million Girls, Thaw "left his seat near the stage, passed between a number of tables, and, in full view of the players and of scores of persons, shot White through the head." (pdf) Standing over White’s body, Thaw said “You’ll never go out with that woman again.” [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 22, 2011 - 14 comments

We're From The Government That Makes It Legal

Federal Prosecutors Are Allowed To Break Laws and Ethical Violations U.S. Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens was charged with and convicted of corruption in 2008. The prosecutors were admonished by the judge for their actions during the trial such as sending home to Alaska, a witness who would have helped Sen Stevens. Furthermore in direct violation of Brady v Maryland, the prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense. The DoJ decided that the DoJ did nothing wrong with such violations because they were not explicitly told not to break the law. Because the judge took the government at their word, that they would obey the law, he did not issue a court order demanding that they do so, therefor allowing the attorneys carte blanche.
posted by 2manyusernames on Nov 25, 2011 - 44 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

UK London Met police proposed undemocratic refusal of bail to all arrested in London riots.

London Metropolitan Police formulated policy of refusing bail to all arrested in London riots which might have influenced high remand in custody rate.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 22, 2011 - 30 comments

Bidder #70

Lauded as a civil disobedience symbol agitating for urgent reaction to climate change, Timothy DeChristopher was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 26, 2011 - 49 comments

The Legend of the Goatriders

The Legend of The Goatriders (Bokkenrijders): In the Limburg region at the end of the 18th century, between 300 and 600 individuals were tortured, tried and executed, accused of being members of a notorious and heretical band of robbers (who rode across the night sky on the backs of goats). But were they devil-worshipping hoodlums or the product of the economic and class pressures of their time? Regardless they have made their way into legend on TV and the printed page. (PDF link, from the European Ghost Literary Project) [more inside]
posted by jrb223 on Jul 19, 2011 - 19 comments

Avastin and the power of hope

Based on a lack of evidence for efficacy, "an FDA panel unanimously voted to revoke its approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for breast cancer. The decision evoked cheers from some groups and jeers from others. At least one group derided the decision as the work of a 'death panel'". An interesting article on the withdrawal of a "miracle" drug from a section of the market, explaining the reasoning behind the decision and discussing the reaction from patients, many of whom believe -- despite the evidence -- that the drug was actually helping them. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jul 1, 2011 - 11 comments

The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox

The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox. In an in-depth new article in Rolling Stone, writer Nathaniel Rich makes a compelling case for the innocence of the American student at the center of a sordid, long-running Italian crime drama. [via Longreads]
posted by killdevil on Jun 28, 2011 - 92 comments

The runners’ bibs say something different each year: SUFFERING WITHOUT A POINT; NOT ALL PAIN IS GAIN

The Immortal Horizon: Thirty-Five Runners Face Hollers and Hells, a Flooded Prison, Rats the Size of Possums, and Flesh-Flaying Briars to Test the Limits of Self-Sufficiency in a race only eight men have ever finished.
posted by The Whelk on May 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Unfit counsel

"This conflict of interest hits at the heart of the attorney-client relationship." Robert Caulley has served 14 years of a life sentence for the murder of his parents, a crime he says he didn't commit. Some hope that unknown DNA found on a gun at the crime scene will prove his innocence, citing similar exonerations in other high-profile Ohio cases, but so far Caulley's attempts to revisit his case with further DNA testing have failed. But look, Caulley already had his day in court with his lawyer by his side, doing everything possible to clear him, right? So he thought -- until he learned that his defense attorney was sleeping with his wife during his trial.
posted by escabeche on Apr 21, 2011 - 20 comments

Jury nullification advocate accused of jury tampering

Scott Horton at Harpers.org writes about Julian P. Heicklen, a 78-year-old retired chemistry professor from New Jersey, now faces federal criminal charges for informing people entering the federal courthouse about the doctrine of jury nullification. Scott Horton's post is a response to the New York Times column on Mr. Heicklen. [more inside]
posted by fartknocker on Mar 1, 2011 - 102 comments

How many tweens lifers are there?

Will an 11-year-old get life in prison? Here’s what you need to know. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Jan 25, 2011 - 115 comments

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

I’ve spent the better part of the week serving as the foreman for a jury in a criminal case. As they tell you, you’re not allowed to talk about it with anyone, not even your fellow jurors, during the trial. As they also tell you, once the trial is over you can talk about anything you want. So, here goes.
posted by DarlingBri on Nov 22, 2010 - 80 comments

Khmer Rouge Leaders Formally Indicted.

The four most senior surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge have been formally indicted for genocide, and will stand trial next year. Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan had all previously surrendered to the government under amnesty deals. Senior goverment officials have refused to appear before the Cambodia Tribunal as witnesses, and the tribunals judges are split on whether they can be compelled.
posted by Ahab on Sep 16, 2010 - 29 comments

Q. And is there any significance to "new fags"? [...] What about "b tard"?

moot explains 4chan to a jury [PDF], via The Smoking Gun. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Aug 10, 2010 - 123 comments

Oakland: Riot Worries, Out-of-Town Agitators, and Sonic Cannons

Oakland, California, is bracing for a possible repeat of the 2009 riot [previously] once a verdict in the trial of former BART cop Johannes Mehserle for the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant [previously] comes in. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 7, 2010 - 316 comments

Closing Arguments in Prop 8 Trial

A federal judge in California will hear closing arguments today in the landmark legal case that will determine the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban , first approved by voters as Proposition 8 in November 2008. Previously. also Previously. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jun 16, 2010 - 173 comments

"Pan kisses you! Kiss the pan!"

There's got to be a better way! A digest of why your life is so hard, as demonstrated in low-budget television advertisements. SLYT
posted by Mayor Curley on May 2, 2010 - 42 comments

The Easter Surprise

As ongoing investigations into the sexual abuse of children, cover-ups and avoidance of justice climb the hierarchy of the Catholic church to implicate Pope Benedict himself, the head of the Vatican's tribunal has taken the unprecedented step of publicly reinforcing the Pope's status not as father of the church but as a head of state - and thus immune from prosecution. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Apr 1, 2010 - 324 comments

Jurors have a power so secret even they may not know about it.

Jury nullification, a situation in which jurors acquit in a criminal trial even if the facts favor conviction (often because the jurors disagree with the law), is of ancient provenance in the Anglo-American legal tradition. Courts are ambivalent towards it, regarding it both as quasi-illegal (they'll remove jurors if they catch them during the attempt) and as something that they cannot overturn once it happens. Nullification has furthered many causes, from anti-death-penalty to pro-southern-lynchings. Lawyers can't mention it in court on pain of contempt, but some hope to educate people in other ways.
posted by shivohum on Jan 22, 2010 - 79 comments

A break with tradition: trial without jury in England

The first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales in more than 400 years begins tomorrow. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Jan 11, 2010 - 52 comments

The House on Garibaldi Street

The capture of Adolf Eichmann is one of the more daring spy operations in the post WWII era. The story spans 17 years, beginning with Eichmann's clandestine escape from the Allied forces and the Nuremberg trial, and ending with his hanging in Israel. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 4, 2009 - 23 comments

About time.

Samuel Kent is the first judge to be impeached by the House in 20 years. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Jun 22, 2009 - 26 comments

To Know Him is To Love Him

Six Years after the murder of Lana Clarkson, Phil Spector has been found guilty. (previously) [more inside]
posted by orville sash on Apr 14, 2009 - 99 comments

a.k.a. the "Spectrial"

Today was Day 1 of The Pirate Bay trial.
posted by tybeet on Feb 16, 2009 - 181 comments

Sunny von Bulow Dies

Martha "Sunny" von Bulow died this weekend at a nursing home in New York City, nearly 28 years after being found unconscious at her Rhode Island estate (and subsequently falling into an irreversible coma) in December 1980. Her husband Claus, who obviously became a controversial figure, was found guilty of her attempted murder (the alleged method being an overdose of insulin), but his conviction was overturned on appeal and he received a second trial in which he was acquitted. The sensational case, which featured testimony from many notables including Truman Capote, attracted worldwide publicity and rocked high society. It spawned numerous books, television shows and a 1990 movie.
posted by amyms on Dec 6, 2008 - 27 comments

Six Guantanamo prisoners charged.

Several prisoners held at Guantanamo are charged, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to this soundbite, after their time in military court, they'll be able to appeal the decision in civilian court.
posted by ®@ on Feb 12, 2008 - 77 comments

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

[Newsfilter]: Fighting a recording industry lawsuit for file sharing saying "it wasn't me!" is probably a really, really bad idea. Jury awards recording companies $222,000 for willfully infringing the copyright on 24 songs in first-to-trial file sharing lawsuit.
posted by Muddler on Oct 4, 2007 - 209 comments

St. Rita's Owners found not guilty in Katrina Nursing home deaths

Salvador and Mabel Mangano, the owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, where 35 patients drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters, were found not guilty of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm charges tonight by a six-member jury. Read their story and decide for yourself if they're guilty.
posted by ColdChef on Sep 7, 2007 - 34 comments

Hindu case against 'obscene' Muslim artist fails

Proceedings against MF Husain have been stayed in India's Supreme Court. A painting by the celebrated Muslim artist, apparently depicting Mother India as a nude, led Hindus to bring an obscenity case and proceedings to seize his Mumbai property were initiated. However his lawyers moved swiftly to frustrate the action, transferring the property into his son's name and then seeking the High Court ruling. Hindus have taken offense at previous paintings by Husain, depicting Hindu deities in allegedly obscene ways. Others disagree.
posted by Phanx on May 8, 2007 - 41 comments

Liveblogging at Scooter Libby Trial

Liveblogging the Scooter Libby (Plame-outing) Trial. Get your popcorn. This is compelling (and potentially historic) stuff. Firedoglake.com is highly recommended. There is also a lot of knowledge to be found in the comments. Feel somewhat behind and want to catch-up quickly? Some are wondering why this isn't getting more play in the evening news. Perhaps the public isn't clamoring for it? ABCnews, CBS News, NBC/MSNBC News (does this page even work?), FoxNews, and CNN.
posted by spock on Feb 1, 2007 - 39 comments

Scooter throws Turd Blossom under the bus

Politics/PlameFilter: In opening arguments today in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House." An MSNBC host asked whether this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation. Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
posted by ibmcginty on Jan 23, 2007 - 16 comments

Saddam sentenced to death.

Saddam sentenced to death by hanging.
posted by Guerilla on Nov 5, 2006 - 181 comments

When the President Does It, That Means it is Not Illegal

"Saddam Hussein after his capture addressed the court with the same challenge that Charles I threw at his judges: ‘By what legal authority do you try me?’" "Therefore, let me know by what authority I am called hither." ...and therein trusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land, and not otherwise;... "‘Lex is Rex’, is what they’d said in the ship money case. The king is the law, the king is above the law, and the king can’t be brought to trial." "-- the president is always right, Senator."
posted by orthogonality on Jul 12, 2006 - 76 comments

Get a Life, Zacarias

No Death Sentence for '20th Skyjacker' Moussaoui (he Newsfiltered), and as he was led from the courtroom, the defendant, who had looked for the last few weeks like he was campaigning for martyrdom, clapped his hands and said “America, you lost. I won.” (I had severely underestimated this character's skill at Political Theater) In spite of the final spit-in-the-face-of-the-US, MSNBC.com's Unscientific Instapoll has 51% saying it was the right decision, while CNN.com's Poll says 63%, and Foxnews.com's poll... is about tax cuts. Disclaimer: Yes, I do some writing for the Entertainment section at MSNBC.com, but the News department does not know I exist and doesn't want to. And newssite instapolls are so-o-o Web 1.0, I know, but still, what's with the non-outrage?
posted by wendell on May 3, 2006 - 76 comments

Mr. Police Dog, will you find my friends?

You know what? There ain't no doors outta Hell, babe. Before serial killer nurse Charles Cullen was sentenced to 11 life sentences in New Jersey, some of the families of his victims were allowed to read Victim Impact Statements (audio) (videos linked at left) in which they not only told the court about the effect of the murders on their lives, but also told Cullen what they thought of him. While state laws differ, Victim Impact Statements are often allowed to be considered in making sentencing decisions, and sometimes creep into the guilt phase of the trial. The trials of Terry Nichols, Scott Peterson, and Zacarias Moussaoui all included Impact Statements. Some have argued that Impact Statements are needed to properly assess harm and balance mitigating and humanizing evidence allowed on behalf of the defendant. Others call it nothing more than institutionalized revenge. Would you want the chance to say "Burn in Hell" to a person who harmed someone you cared about, or does such talk have no place in the courtroom?
posted by banishedimmortal on Apr 20, 2006 - 51 comments

I haven't read the Book of Job yet, but I'm about to...

Andrew Kissel, brother of murdered banker Robert Kissel was himself found murdered in the basement of his Greenwich, CT home yesterday. While the murder trial of Robert Kissel's wife, Nancy, provided a sordid look into the troubled life of an extremely rich Hong Kong expat investment banker, his wife, and her lover, the Andrew Kissel case has yet to unfold. Yet with a Andrew's criminal past, recent divorce, and speculation of a Mafia-style hit, this may turn out to be another interesting story of greed, abuse, and revenge.
posted by banishedimmortal on Apr 4, 2006 - 9 comments

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