Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Death of Juvenile Justice

11-year old to be tried as an adult.

An 11-year old boy in Pennsylvania allegedly killed his dad's girlfriend. Under Pennsylvania law, anyone over the age of 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult. If convicted, the boy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Such a law shocks the conscience and should be repealed.

And please save the "if you can't do the time" or the "what if it was your girlfriend" bumper-sticker law commentary. For the record, if I am ever killed by an 11-year old, do not charge him or her as an adult. It is cruel, unusual, and debases us all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Your Money, Taxpayers.

Phelps Won't be Charged in Marijuana Smoking "Investigation."

Let's review, shall we:

1. A taxpayer funded multiple-officer "investigation" ensued over the private use of marijuana on a college campus and grabbed media headlines but did nothing more. Cost--approx $10-15K
2. An American Hero is needlessly subjected to the scrutiny and stress of an unprecedented criminal "investigation."
3. A local Sheriff's Department that, heretofore was not regarded by anyone, is now regarded by everyone as vindictive and incompetent--take that Mike Nifong!
4. The Sheriff's Department calls a press conference to announce that charges will not be filed. Hey, one last opportunity to get on TV, right?
5. Did I mention that this idiocy was taxpayer funded?!?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Police Investigate Marijuana Smoked Months Ago!

From the Equal Justice Under the Law Files. . .

Michael Phelps and others (really just Phelps) are being "investigated" for MARIJUANA, smoked IN NOVEMBER. Geez, assemble a task force whydontya.

Look folks, corruption comes in many forms. This is one of them. When the police abuse taxpayer resources to go on a media fishing trip in Michael Phelps' Pond, something is very wrong. An investigation for marijuana use at a college campus!??!! Have these cops no shame?

The Richland County Sheriff's Department had this to say "As soon as we're ready to release information on this case we will and we're still in the middle of this investigation," said Lt. Chris Cowan. Really? You're in "the middle" of an investigation into marijuana smoking on a college campus? That must be the safest town in America because there sure doesn't seem like there is anything else to do but single out a celebrity and American hero all because he used marijuana.

How unAmerican.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Continued and outrageous assault on the Constitution Alert!!

Bad Case Alert ***People v. Bennett; 2009 DJ DAR 1429; DJ, 1/30/09; Cal. Supremes***

Well, California, the leading State in opposition to Constitutional justice, is at it again. In the Bennett case, the DA repeatedly asked witnesses whether the sheriff's DNA lab could have been ordered to release samples to the defense for testing. The trial judge actually sustained the defense objection, as this was an improper question designed to shift the burden of proof to the defense. It’s a close equivalent to asking witnesses whether or not the defendant has the ability to testify or produce other evidence. Of course, the rule used to be that the State had to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant had no obligation to prove (or even disprove) anything. With the Bennett case, that long established rule is under attack.

Bennett was a death penalty case so, of course, if the Supremes sanction this type of questioning when a life is at stake, they have no problem with it when the stakes are less. And when the stakes are less, more DA mischief can abound.

In most misdemeanor cases, the DA playbook is to stand up during jury selection and tell the prospective jury that the case before them is “only a misdemeanor,” about how this isn’t CSI and there will be no black lights or DNA, etc., and that county resources are precious and the DA can’t be expected to follow all leads and test all evidence. I’ve heard it a hundred times.
And now we have the Bennett case. What an opportunity for the DA to be dishonest with the jury! When it suits the State, funded by millions of taxpayers, resources are precious and this is “only a misdemeanor” so they can’t be expected to spend enough to do a good job. But when it comes to the defendant, a single taxpayer, not funded by anyone, he is expected to spare no expense, retest all the evidence and probably go bankrupt in the process. And if he doesn’t? Then the DA will ask every witness about what the defendant didn’t do and argue to the jury that the defendant’s failure to present evidence equals guilt. How unconstitutional and hypocritical.

The DA and the Supreme Court, using the Bennett analysis, sanction the idea that a criminal defendant should be forced to establish innocence. They want the jury to ignore the Presumption of Innocence and focus on what the defense didn’t do. Truly outrageous!

Monday, February 2, 2009

JonBenet redux--Boulder Police Can Botch it All Over Again.

Boulder Police Take Over, Yet Again

Boulder Police, the department that ludicrously botched the JonBenet Ramsey investigation the first time, inflicting grave consequences on the family and depriving the public of justice, is at it again. Now, they hope "new technology" will help them. Let's just hope the same detectives are not administering that "new technology."

Of course, if you contaminate a crime scene enough, all the technology in the world won't help. It will be interesting to see whether technology can bail out original negligence. One thing is clear: the defense attorney for whomever is arrested (if any one) seems to have built-in reasonable doubt--thanks to the now-back-in-charge Boulder PD.