The charges of "lewd conduct against a child under 14" against Paula Poundstone have been DROPPED.
She pleaded no contest to a couple other charges related to the fact that she had been driving drunk with her kids in the car. I'm posting this because child molestation charges ruin careers and entire lives. Since we covered the initial charges here quite a bit, it's only fair to note her apparent innocence just as prominently, especially during a time like this when any non-attack news is being largely ignored. (Indeed, this story itself is nearly two days old.)
posted by aaron
on Sep 13, 2001 -
Unocal seems responsible
for driving up gas prices by taking shameless advantage of regulations and patent law. Why did our government get ambushed by a basic loophole that any first-year lawyer would think of? Maybe it's involved with too many things to do anything right?
posted by marknau
on Aug 29, 2001 -
Local and national governments around the world are legislating in favor of open source, in a challenge to US corporate (read Microsoft) dominance. A liberating movement, or too much government intrusion?
posted by liam
on Aug 29, 2001 -
So Help Me God
: "Ninety-five percent of the people believe in God. An invocation of his name, in conjunction with the seriousness of telling the truth, has an importance beyond mere legal requirement," Sessions said Thursday.
posted by gleemax
on Aug 3, 2001 -
This NYT article
on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), written by Prof. Lawrence Lessig (author of an excellent book
on copyright law and policy in the digital age), raises concerns that were academic prior to the recent arrest
of a Russian software programmer at a Las Vegas computer security convention for violation of the act's Sec. 1201(a)(1)(A)'s anticircumvention provision
Is Lessig right that Sec. 1201 essentially makes coders (and their employers) into de facto
lawmakers and, if so, is this a bad thing? If Sec. 1201 is bad policy, are there any more reasonable alternatives for effectively protecting access to software and/or providing negative incentives for the unauthorized use of software? (NYT article, registration required)
posted by estopped
on Jul 30, 2001 -
Man goes to jail
for writing pornographic thoughts about children in his journal. Read carefully and you'll notice he was on probation. Even so -- doesn't this go too far? Yes
, says Philip Jenkins over at nerve.com. (Found on A & L Daily
posted by argybarg
on Jul 24, 2001 -
It's that time of year again!
Yes kids, it's time once again for the annual
introduction of the Flag-Protection Amendment, currently being debated in the House of Reps. Last year the bill passed the House 305-124 and was defeated in the Senate by only six votes. It's again expected to pass the House and again expected to get shot down in the Senate, but considering the zany sitcom that 21st century American politics has become, who knows what that wacky Legislative branch will do?
posted by Shadowkeeper
on Jul 17, 2001 -
Tony Blair wants to nix Double Jeopardy protection.
A right that has been considered vital since the days of the Magna Carta is under threat from Labour. Blair wants to make it possible that "someone acquitted of a killing can be put on trial again if new evidence emerges
". Why not just be sure of the case in the first place? This would only cause a rush to trial by unprepared prosecutors.
posted by dwivian
on Jun 25, 2001 -
This White House will Have a Long Memory.....
"To join the coalition, you must agree to support the Bush energy proposal in its entirety and not to
lobby for changes to the bill... Should the bill change, you must support the changes in the
legislation or drop out of the coalition. If you are caught attempting to lobby behind the back of the
White House, you will be expelled from the coalition. I have been advised that this White House
'will have a long memory.'" -- Fundraising memo for the Alliance for Energy and Economic
Growth, a month-old trade group consisting of representatives from the various energy
industries. The letter puts the admission to the group at "a very low price" of $5,000.
posted by brucec
on Jun 22, 2001 -
More than half
of all black men report that they have been the victims of racial profiling by police, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University.
Overwhelming majorities of blacks, Latinos and Asians also report they occasionally experience at least one of the following expressions of prejudice: poor service in stores or restaurants, disparaging comments, and encounters with people who clearly are frightened or suspicious of them because of their race or ethnicity.
This is 2001?
posted by owillis
on Jun 22, 2001 -
Bush Wants to Settle Tobacco Case Two Bush administration sources said there has been concern about the government's case. These officials, discussing the matter only on grounds of anonymity, said the department would prefer to go for a settlement now rather than risk losing.
posted by Rastafari
on Jun 19, 2001 -
When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks
A Seattle community’s response to what was seen as racially motivated use of excessive force by police was to boycott the company that is funding their own schools and projects. A strange story all around.
posted by Nothing
on Jun 15, 2001 -
Senate passes amendment withholding money
from schools that deny use of their facilities to the Boy Scouts on the grounds of their exclusion of homosexuals. Says Jesse Helms, sponsor of the amendment to Bush's education bill, this is meant to combat "the organized lesbians and homosexuals in this country of ours." Is this justified in light of the Supreme Court's ruling
that the Scouts have the right to exclude whomever they wish, or just flat out anti-homosexual?
posted by zempf
on Jun 14, 2001 -
Texan Teen Lands $550 Fine For Saying 'F*ck'
The US school system certainly seems to over-react to small issues (drawing guns on paper, etc). Will this keep American from turning into violent thugs, or not? Recently, in the UK, a man got let off
for saying 'f*ck off' to a policeman, since the judge said it was 'the language of his generation'.
posted by wackybrit
on Jun 8, 2001 -
Who says drugs have to be legalized to collect taxes?
'Kansas law requires all dealers of illegal drugs to buy the stamps and attach them to their product. They almost never comply.' What a shock! However, this article will let you know how to comply with the law, and where you can buy the tax stamps for your own business needs. (Courtesy of Indigo, who is having trouble posting.)
posted by jennaratrix
on Jun 6, 2001 -
Irish government urges a "yes" vote on death penalty ban.
So, finally, the referendum here in Ireland for the complete removal of the death penalty, and references to it, from the constituation will take place June 7th. I think I know how I will vote on this one - it's going to be a "no".
I think it's too vague to simply remove all references to it, and also to never allow it to be reinstated under any circumstances.
I'm not a huge advocate of capital punishment, except in the cases of serious terrorist offences and genocide, I just dislike that we can erase any law like that and not allow it to be brought back - ever.
I think it sets a dangerous precedent for other laws and other constitutional elements to be removed.
Anyway, I'd like to get some views on it - I've not fully made up my mind. More info can be found here
posted by tomcosgrave
on May 30, 2001 -
You be the judge
Mercy killing? Perhaps. You be the judge and pass sentence after reading the facts that convicted the father.
posted by Postroad
on May 25, 2001 -
"the toothy smile is usually related to cannibalism"
-- This 7 minute real audio NPR story on Russell Weston is a must listen. Three years ago Weston killed two capitol police officers, but he hasn't even been arraigned on the charges yet due to his paranoid schizophrenia. For a fascinating glimpse into his mind, listen to this story which includes audio excerpts from a 1997 interview with the CIA wherein he details his paranoid delusions regarding the "Ruby Satellite System" time machine and a conspiracy of cannibals.
posted by ericost
on May 15, 2001 -
"If you've got ovaries, you're a female. I'm just old fashioned."
Acknowledging that there may be more to sex than chromosomes, a Kansas appeals court has overturned a lower court's ruling invalidating the marriage of a transsexual to someone of the (now) opposite sex. Some in the Kansas legislature think this is just some gay radical's way of skirting the same-sex marriage ban. There's an opposing Texas precedent that the Supreme Court refused to hear last year, so this one may go all the way. Sadly, it'll probably fall under the much-maligned equal protection clause. Anyone think this poor woman has a chance?
posted by Gilbert
on May 11, 2001 -
A proposed new extension
to Seattle's no-sitting law will include prohibition of walking on public sidewalks:
The new language modifies sections 040.A and 040.B, and includes "leg movement for the purpose of mobility" (walking), "appendicular locomotion" (including hopping and cartwheels), and "excessive forward progression" (running), but expressly permits standing still. "We figured if they managed to get into position and stay there, they were probably fairly with-it, and were likely to look neat and orderly" Sidran said.
I live downtown, I have no car, and Kozmo went out of business. Can anyone give me a lift to the gathering?
posted by john
on May 3, 2001 -
Anti-bullying vote blocked by Christian Conservatives
The Washington State bill would have required school districts to set up policies against harassment, bullying and intimidation. Christian conservatives that blocked the vote claim "it amounted to censorship of their right to condemn homosexuality." There is no mention of homosexuality in the bill at all. So this leads me to the conclusion that these Christians condone "harassment, bullying and intimidation." How far from the Golden Rule can you stray and keep a straight face?
posted by kokogiak
on May 1, 2001 -
The estate of a divorced father is freed from paying a failing son's tuition.
Basically, the ruling establishes (at least in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) that children have obligations to parents. OK, if you want your parents to pay for your college education, you should at least try to graduate. But what are the other consequences of this ruling? What's the point at which a child's bad behavior releases a parent from their obligations as a parent? If your divorced dad is the Great Santini
, can he cut off your child support if you hit him back?
posted by dchase
on Apr 20, 2001 -
Apple lawyers target Mac Themes Project
-- Apple has issued a cease and desist order against Mac Themes Project (MTP) for creating a theme editor. Apple claims the editor enables third parties to copy its copyrighted trademark themes by "improperly copying Apple's copyrighted software code and graphic files".
posted by shauna
on Apr 17, 2001 -
Feds post indecent material.
In a move sure to be challenged, the FCC released a report which offfers examples of what they consider to be indecent, and not indecent.
In typical government style, anything that is referred to "sexual" is deemed indecent. But use of the word such as "motherF****r" isn't. This just makes things even more confusing... at least to me.
: "Well, it was a nice big fart. I'm feeling very gaseous at this point."
: "The hell I did, I drove motherF****r, oh. Oh."
: "Sit on my face and tell me that you love me. I'll sit on your face and tell you I love you too." - Montey Python
posted by da5id
on Apr 7, 2001 -
Perry Wacker gets a 14 year sentence.
For killing attempting to smuggle 60 people into the UK, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison. For killing 58 of them he was sentenced to a further 6 years.
He should have gotten the death sentence, or at least life-without-parole. Why was he charged with manslaughter instead of murder?
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Apr 5, 2001 -
Strathclyde Police, Scotland,
given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.
Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."
Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...
posted by methylsalicylate
on Mar 20, 2001 -