The justice system at work.
A sitting Judge in Oklahoma has been removed from the bench for using a male enhancement pump, pleasuring himself and oiling his nether regions during court proceedings - including an August 2003 murder trial. At least he was awake during the proceedings, unlike other judges
Feds win one in the war on anti-war activists
A federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists. In addition to records about who attended the forum, the university has been ordered to divulge all records relating to the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a New York-based legal activist organization that sponsored the forum. Subpoenas were also served on activists who attended the forum at the school.
On the fast track to the Supremes
--In a recess appointment, Bush put Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering
on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans today. The American Life League
is thrilled, but NARAL
not so much.
Medical marijuana win in federal court.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Tuesday that
prosecuting these medical marijuana users under a 1970 federal law is unconstitutional if the marijuana isn't sold, transported across state lines or used for non-medicinal purposes.
Canada's Supreme Court Trashes Citizens' Property Rights.
Canada's Supreme Court ruled: “Parliament has the right to expropriate property, even without compensation, if it has made its intention clear and, in s. 5.1(4), Parliament's expropriative intent is clear and unambiguous.”
The Supreme Court ruling also stated: “Lastly, while substantive rights may stem from due process, the Bill of Rights does not protect against the expropriation of property by the passage of unambiguous legislation.”
M.P. Breitkreuz notes "They even ruled that the Bill of Rights ‘does not impose on Parliament the duty to provide a hearing before the enactment of legislation.’ So if the property rights guarantees in the Canadian Bill of Rights don’t protect an individual’s fundamental property rights, what good are they?"
Zacarias Moussaoui's legal brief to the Fourth Circuit
regarding his right to question witnesses and the United States' reply
. [warning: PDF]
A court in the Netherlands
has awarded damages to a severely disabled girl for having been born -- a so-called "wrongful life"
judgment. While we discussed French suits like this a while back (1 2
), this decision seems noteworthy because it allows the child herself
to receive damages, not just the parents who must pay for her care. In my mind, that opens up a whole new can of worms, both in terms of the message it sends and the incentives for doctors that it creates.
That other great bone of transatlantic contention
, the International Criminal Court
, was finally born today
Dead at birth
, or a source of hope
Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie.
"The attorneys for Fox . . . argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves." And they won. Learn about the alleged deception
(regarding BGH in milk). Read the appellate court's opinion
which essentially says that there's no law against lying.
We all must do our civic duty.
But how many of us can fill in President of the United States on the questionnaire when it asks for former jobs held? A bit of mirth for today. NY Times req. required.
Is forcing a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute cruel and unusual punishment? (NYT link)
A federal appeals court ruled that officials in Arkansas can force a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute. The problem is that the American Medical Association's ethical guidelines prohibits precisely that.
To make the case more surreal, a representative of the Arkansas attorney general's office who argued for the state later said: "The ethical decisions involving doctors are difficult ones, but they are not ones for the courts". Does this mean that COs -Correction Officers- are to figure out for themselves which medication to administer? Do they also call the shots when deciding if the "waiting" patient is sane enough???
On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence
. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year
. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick
, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional
. That may be about to change.
"Jury of your peers," perhaps... but a celebrity juror
on a celebrity case
can certainly open a can of worms
. Especially when they've worked together in the past. (more inside)
This is some scary stuff
Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant?
If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP
Lawmakers blast pledge ruling...
Yes I know this thread was started yesterday but at over 130 posts and given the recent news
from lawmakers stating they would push for a constitutional amendment authorising the words "under God" if the Supreme Court did not smack down the 9th circuit courts decision I felt compelled to post again on this subject. Smack me down if you like...
2nd Degree Murder Verdict Thrown Out in SF Dog Mauling Case.
Though Superior Court Judge James Warren said Knoller and Noel are "the most despised couple in this city," he said the evidence did not support a murder conviction because Knoller had no way of knowing her dogs would kill someone when she left her apartment that day.
Andersen verdict: guilty
Judge instructs jury: "It's OK if you each think a different person wsa the corrupt one."
How do you say "We are guilty of obstructing justice" in Andersen-speak?
Sorry for posting a CNN link, but they are always first to get a story online.
Nike Can't Just Say It, Court Rules Law: Firms can be found liable for deceptive public statements, justices decide. Critics call the decision a blow to free speech.
You've got to love it.
Arundhati Roy Fined, Sent to Jail for a Day.
The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday sentenced Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy to a day's imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 for contempt of court. If she doesn't pay the fine, she will be jailed for three months.
Copy Protected CD makers lose battle.
Was it inevitable? Do you consider this good news?
U.S. CONSIDERS MILITARY ACTION TO REMOVE SKATING JUDGES.
I don't mean to pimp Borowitz again so soon... but damn. Best line from this: While the decision to use military force against the figure skating judges was Mr. Bush’s, sources say there was a split within the Administration as to the appropriateness of using U.S. troops and air power to change the results of an Olympic skating contest.... These sources indicate that Secretary of State Colin Powell favored using economic and diplomatic measures while Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz advocated detaining and torturing the figure skating judges until they reversed their earlier decision.
Oregon man says brain tumor caused him to jump in neighbor's bed
Although Jackson County has paid nearly $150,000 for surgery and medical treatments, the Judge said "I do not find adequate evidence of mental defect," There are many examples of persons who may have acquired sociopathic personalities due to pathological brain lesions, such as tumors
, yet no doctor testified to the tumor's effect at the trial. Poor lawyering?
15-year-old acting as own attorney proves in court he was charged with bogus crime.
And the judge's admiring reaction? "Don't laugh when you leave this courtroom, thinking you have beat the system because you have looked these things up yourself. We are going to get you down the road."
So you read the "Madman and the Professor"
and thought it interesting. Edward Ruloff
is another murdering philologist with the extra cachet that his 1871 trial for killing a dry-goods clerk was one of the first to test the admissability of photographs
as evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with lower rulings that they could be allowed; Ruloff was hanged
. In 1845, he had been accused of murdering his wife and child and was imprisoned for ten years for the abduction of his wife, but without a corpus delecti
, he could not be convicted for the murder of his child. This man
is writing a biography of Ruloff; a publisher could do a lot worse.
Judge Dismisses 300 Tickets Spawned by Red-Light Cameras.
"Judge Ronald Styn of San Diego County Superior Court said the camera evidence was inadmissible...
" Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this Halcyon's
dad? Have you ever gotten a dreaded red-light camera ticket? Did you get out of it? Better question:
Have you ever had to appear before Halcyon's dad?
Pregnant mother has her 6-year-old arrested
for kicking her in the tummy. It started when she tried to "smack the child in the mouth," and then, with the help of her own mother, pin him down on the couch.
She had him arrested to teach him a lesson.
From The Smoking Gun
comes a couple of fabulously funny court orders courtesy of the Honorable Samuel B. Kent of Texas. First, we have a order denying a motion to transfer
(the good stuff starts on page 2, second paragraph). My favorite line: Defendant will again be pleased to know that regular limousine service is available from Hobby Airport, even to the steps of the humble courthouse, which has got lights, indoor plummin', 'lectric doors, and all sorts of new stuff, almost like them big courthouses back East.
The second one
is an equally funny Order or Transfer for the Republic of Bolivia vs. Phillip Morris.
Within a year, one authority expects, a judge will declare fingerprint evidence unscientific.
The Age of Genetics is upon us. I didn't know twins have identical DNA, but different fingerprints. And, for other reasons as well, fingerprinting will still be used. Just not the standard anymore.
Scientology is sueing someone who in Sweden has published the Fishman Affidavit
online in 1996. Fortunately, even harrassments
by Scientology outside court cannot prevent the strong arguments the publisher makes in court
Republicans Step Up Campaign Against Global Court
Jesse Helms and co. against international war crimes court treaty.
Guess somebody's got some skeletons to hide.Bush administration against it too
Judiciary Seeks Public Comment on Internet Access to Court Documents
"As federal courts make the transition from paper to electronic case files, the Judicial Conference of the United States is studying the privacy and security implications of vastly wider public access to court documents via the Internet. Public comment is sought."
Further down they tell you that it'll cost 7 cents a page, even online. From the same folks who waited years to put up Supreme Court dockets and opinions on the official site.