The lawyers for the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub disaster are planning to sue
a radio station
that broadcast commercials for the concert. Wistow said that while he still needs to nail down the precise nature of Clear Channel's responsibility, he's all but certain to name the company [in the suit].
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Mar 10, 2003 -
Court Grants Blacks Special Sentencing
Sentences for black offenders can be reduced or tailored to reflect the systemic racism that has historically plagued their community, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.
The 3-0 judgment came in a case involving Quinn Borde, a black gunman from Toronto's seedy Regent Park area. The 18-year-old admitted to firing a gun repeatedly into the air while being chased by a gang and pistol-whipping a rival later.
posted by orange swan
on Feb 13, 2003 -
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???
posted by magullo
on Feb 11, 2003 -
"My child is safer at an organized cockfight than she is at a Lobo basketball game"
was one of the comments overheard as New Mexico decided to be one of the two states to allow cockfighting. Reasons to keep cockfighting: Watching the bloody sport causes less emotional stress on children than a college basketball game and It's "part of the state's hispanic culture"
Obviously, the opposition to this mounts, but with Oklahoma
unable to send the roosters to pasture, is Cockfighting destined to remain on the fringes of America?
posted by RobbieFal
on Feb 8, 2003 -
Evil SBC acts like bully going after small sites with an absurd patent.
If you've ever designed a web site with "selectors or tabs that... seem to reside in their own frame or part of the user interface" such as Metafilter's header or Amazon's tabs or c|net's yellow side bar, then your design is in violation of SBC Communication's patent number 5,933,841
. Here's the abstract:
A structured document browser includes a constant user interface for displaying and viewing sections of a document that is organized according to a pre-defined structure. The structured document browser displays documents that have been marked with embedded codes that specify the structure of the document. The tags are mapped to correspond to a set of icons. When the icon is selected while browsing a document, the browser will display the section of the structure corresponding to the icon selected, while preserving the constant user interface.
Armed with this patent SBC is going after web sites with a licensing fee of $100,000 to $16,000,000. Will this insanity ever stop?
via Jarle's Cyberspace
posted by DragonBoy
on Jan 21, 2003 -
Commondreams.org story on a California court decision
that Nike's PR blitz about its subcontractors' sweatshops violates a law against deliberate deception (via Blogdex
"Corporations are non-living, non-breathing, legal fictions. They feel no pain. They don't need clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, or healthy food to consume. They can live forever. They can't be put in prison. They can change their identity or appearance in a day, change their citizenship in an hour, rip off parts of themselves and create entirely new entities. Some have compared corporations with robots, in that they are human creations that can outlive individual humans, performing their assigned tasks forever." Reminds me of this:
(slow, but intense)
Listen. Understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with...it doesn't feel pity of remorse or fear... and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.
posted by palancik
on Jan 4, 2003 -
Are Corporations Legally Persons? Orthodoxy has it the Supreme Court decided in 1886, in a case called Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad, that corporations were indeed legal persons. I express that view myself, in a recent book. So do many others. So do many law schools. We are all wrong.
Mr. Hartmann undertook instead a conscientious search. He finally found the contemporary casebook, published in 1886, blew the dust away, and read Santa Clara County in the original, so to speak. Nowhere in the formal, written decision of the Court did he find corporate personhood mentioned. Not a word. The Supreme Court did NOT establish corporate personhood in Santa Clara County.
Pardon me while I go to the bookstore. This looks to be a book well worth reading. Imagine the US government controlled by the best interests of real people instead of corporations.
posted by nofundy
on Dec 27, 2002 -
Buy a Flight Manual, Get a Grand Jury Subpoena?
A guy qualified to fly and instruct on the Boeing 737 buys a CD on Ebay that contains the ground course for the same plane. Then the FBI gets involved, and, courtesy of section 501 (d) of the "USA Patriot Act", he can no longer even discuss the issue. [more inside]
posted by Irontom
on Dec 23, 2002 -
Pot in Canada
may soon be a click away with the launch of a home-delivery service for medical marijuana over the Internet (more info on Canada's medicinal pot laws here
posted by Badmichelle
on Dec 20, 2002 -
Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict
and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution
to replacing the head?
posted by Shane
on Dec 18, 2002 -
and equal treatment "under the law." (pun anyone?)
Outraged prosecutors said Thursday that they will appeal the sentence given to Edwin "Ed" Mann, a former Orlando Police Department sex-crimes detective, for having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old girl who had earlier dated his son.
Mann, a former leader in Cops for Christ, pleaded guilty last week to four felony charges resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had with the girl two years ago when he was a sex-crimes detective.
Do you think being "religious" and policeman merits special treatment from a judge?
posted by nofundy
on Nov 26, 2002 -
Dildo's illegal in Texas?
Apparently so. Let me get this straight... in a state where you can carry loaded firearms on your hip, if you get caught with more than 6 dildos or other "pleasure devices", it's a FELONY? Absolutely amazing. Texas is like a whole other country. It also helps explain a lot. (via obscurestore
posted by Ynoxas
on Nov 22, 2002 -
It seems likely
that we'll be hearing a lot more about tort reform
, especially medical malpractice tort reform
, over the next couple years. Sadly, many don't even know exactly what a tort is
, let alone how the tort system works
, although most have heard about individual lawsuits through the media
. Conservatives tend to focus on capping damages
, reigning in juries
, and allowing businesses to contract out of tort liability
. Liberals generally oppose
these proposals, and some have a few ideas about reform
as well. Of course, we could always follow the example of New Zealand
and scrap the tort system altogether
. Maybe the Supreme Court will give the GOP some suggestions about reform in their latest tort case
posted by boltman
on Nov 7, 2002 -
Blogs from the legal world. Lessig
is not the only lawyer sharing his expertise in the blog format. Blawgs range from individual lawyers (Ernie the Attorney
) to entire firms using a collaborative format to focus on a single practice area (such as the Supreme Court
). "Almost every law firm is trying to build a knowledge management
system for itself to take advantage of the expertise within the firm," Svenson says. "But with blawgs, it happens organically. If you gave your lawyers their own blawgs, pretty soon everyone within the firm could see who knows the most about different topics." Are knowledge management systems feasible or
posted by ajr
on Oct 11, 2002 -
One big happy family
Ottawa granted permission for three wives of a polygamist to stay in Canada permanently and an immigration official has warned that several more applications from polygamists' wives are likely on the way, according to internal government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail
The report says the women filled in "housewife" as their occupation on their applications for immigration. They stated they would receive financial assistance from Mr. Blackmore. Under marriage information, they wrote "not available."
posted by orange swan
on Oct 7, 2002 -
A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971 Lisa Law's photographs provide glimpses into the folk and rock music scenes, California's blossoming counterculture, and the family-centered and spiritual world of commune life in New Mexico. They are moments that she lived, witnessed, and recorded on the frontier of cultural change.
posted by konolia
on Sep 25, 2002 -
MTV bans Public Enemy
's video "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" because the video contains the lyric "Free Mumia and H Rap Brown". MTV are willing to air the video if the lyric is cut. Public Enemy front-man Chuck D is vocal in his response
. Responsible action or censorship in its worst form?
posted by nthdegx
on Sep 14, 2002 -
This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge
, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week
. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury...
in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Sep 7, 2002 -
Greece bans gaming.
Apparently since the law was passed last month, video arcades (other than registered casinos, of course) have been raided and closed down rapidly now. I found no evidence of a hoax, but a Slashdot post links to this NY Times article from March
about the pending legislation. (Translations of the law to English can be found here
as well.) This seems legit: if so, wtf is the host of the next Olympics doing banning people from playing games?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Sep 1, 2002 -
Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals.
In a rare move, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Stevens made a public statement in a delay request to state their opposition to executing someone who committed murder before the age of 18. With the Court already banning the execution of the mentally retarded this year, is this another sign of a soon-to-be next step in the abolishment of the death penalty? Or does the average American still believe that regardless of what time, when you do the crime you walk the line?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 30, 2002 -
An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
posted by mikrophon
on Aug 22, 2002 -
Right. Let me get this straight
A security guard found
a handbag unattended
in a night club. He then searched
the bag, supposedly looking for ID, and found a small packet containing a white powdery substance, which he handed over to the Central Narcotics Bureau.
A woman, Ms. Low, later says the handbag belongs to her.
The Judge notes that "There was no denial that this was her handbag. She claimed it was hers."
Ms. Low's friend, after being offered immunity from prosecution, then says they both
snorted cocaine earlier on in the evening.
On the basis of the evidence presented, Ms. Low is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
posted by netsirk
on Aug 6, 2002 -
Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism...
Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
posted by fnord_prefect
on Aug 5, 2002 -
Drop the marker and back away from the CD-RW drive.
Add Senator Joe Biden (D - Delware) to the list of politicians eager to put the brakes on technology, kowtow to Hollywood and otherwise stop the Earth from turning:
Biden's new bill would make it a federal felony to try and trick certain types of devices into playing your music or running your computer program. Breaking this law--even if it's to share music by your own garage band--could land you in prison for up to five years. And that's not counting the civil penalties of up to $25,000 per offense.
Biden's bill is on the fast track and not getting the same press attention that Sen. Holling's CBDTPA bill
had earlier this year.
posted by scottandrew
on Jul 29, 2002 -
The catch-22 of prison therapy.
The biggest criticism of sex offender justice is that imprisonment does not mean rehabilitation. In Massachusetts because of stringent anti-sex offender laws, lawyers are advising their clients to turn down prison therapy because it will be used against them. Even used against them after they're done with their sentence. These are serious violations of double jeopardy and doctor patient privilege.
posted by skallas
on Jul 28, 2002 -