You shouldda took the fifth!!

25 Aug

rhonyc Kirsten’s husband — who always has to “work late” on the show– was the latest d list celeb to be linked to Ashley Madison.  Here is his initial statement: “I don’t understand. There’s not a shot in hell that I’m a subscriber. I have no knowledge of that. This is the first I’ve ever heard of it. . .This is crazy. I saw it on the TV the other day about the security breach and we were laughing about it. It is what it is but somebody is definitely fraudulently using my name and number.”

Then the next day he says: “I signed up for the site foolishly and ignorantly with a group of friends and I deeply apologize for any embarrassment or pain I have brought to my wife and family . . .We both look forward to moving past this and getting on with our lives.”

1) the fact that he lied undermines his defense–consciousness of guilt BIG TIME

2) but why? Why admit?  My theories are:

  • he would have had to commit fraud to report his cc stolen which obviously his wife would have said he should do, but he could pretend he was doing that and not actually do it so this probably isn’t the reason.
  • Someone called him out on the fact that it would be odd that someone would steal his identity solely to use on that site ie the story is too farkakta.  most lies are a little farkakta so this probably didn’t sway him toward the truth.
  • Someone linked the IP address to his company which people have been doing to show that government workers were checking the site at work.  This seems to most likely reason but no one reported this.

I think his new explanation is redonkulous.  He paid $1k. You only pay that much to buy “credits” to send messages to people. (So I’ve heard ;) ) Really? The joke went so far as to send messages to people?  YIKES.

The fifth amendment is there for a reason!  Invoke mfer!!!

Rosie O’Donnell shit storm

19 Aug

Poor Ro.  Her 17 year-old daughter ran away and police found her through cell phone pings.  (It’s so easy these days).  She was with a 25 yo dude she met on Tinder.  Rosie has now unleashed a true firestorm on Twitter.  She posted a picture of the guy and articles about how he was charged with heroin sales and child endangerment.  She tweeted that she has his texts and snapchats that she says the cops now have.  (It’s unclear if they are messages to her daughter).  She also tweeted: “when someone u love is drowning in the rapids – u throw everything u can into the water – hoping they will grab on – stay afloat #believe.”  

I feel so so bad for her. Tweeting about this when you are so publicly known is probably not the best way to handle the situation. I’m not a child psychologist but I’m guessing that putting your kid on blast might, just might, further alienate that kid.  

I have not walked in her moccasins and do not have a teenager so take my commentary with a grain of salt.  It’s not reasonable suspicion; more like a hunch.

LA Times Wins Against the Association of LA Sheriff Deputies!

19 Aug

Somehow, a LA Times reporter got the job applications and background checks for a number of police officers who applied to be Sheriff’s deputies after their agency was subsumed in the LACS Department.  The records included instances of the cops’ misconduct.  The LASD sued, not surprisingly.  The trial court granted that LA Times’ anti-slaap motion which essentially allows a party to strike another party’s complaint if the complaint targets a person’s right to free speech.  The association appealed.  And, lost.

If the LA Times’ conduct was a crime, they would lose.  If their conduct only violated a statute, but was not codified as a crime, they win.  The Court of Appeal stated that the association “mis-cited” statutes to argue that the Times’ conduct was criminal.  OUCH.  Because the conduct was not criminal,  the LA Times won.  Here is some beautiful, beautiful language:

Law enforcement officers protect the public.  They prevent crime, and they
investigate and make arrests when crimes occur.  They carry and use firearms and other
weapons.  They are authorized to use deadly force and to restrain individual liberty.
The public has a strong interest in the qualifications and conduct of law enforcement
officers.  “ ‘Peace officers “hold one of the most powerful positions in our society; our
dependence on them is high and the potential for abuse of power is far from
insignificant.” ’ ”  (LBPOA, supra, 59 Cal.4th at p. 73 [quoting City of Hemet v.
Superior Court (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1411, 1428].)  Here, a labor union and unnamed
officers seek to stop a newspaper from publishing news reports about the hiring and
evaluation of officers, including allegations of past misconduct.  “Of all the
constitutional imperatives protecting a free press under the First Amendment, the most
significant is the restriction against prior restraint upon publication.”  (Providence
Journal, supra, 820 F.2d at p. 1345.)  The trial court properly granted the Times’
anti-SLAPP motion.  We affirm the order.  Respondents are entitled to recover their
costs on appeal.

Impossibility is a defense!

19 Aug

Prosecutors drop a charge of gun possession filed against A man who can’t use his arms.  He was arrested after cops found a gun in a car with four other people in it.  Four months in jail to sort it out.  Wow.

Lovely seibert case

14 Aug

i heart the Seibert rule. I.e. You can’t get a confession from someone before mirandizing him and then mirandize him only to have him repeat the confession.  Obviously, if someone already confessed they would not appreciate the difference in confessing again after Miranda warnings.  Ninth circuit granted a writ in a gang homicide on this issue.  Pretty compelling facts because there was not a significant amount of time between the second unwarned interrogation and the warned interrogation which took place on the same day. (they had previously interrogated him without warnings the day before which likely didn’t matter because of the two interrogations the next day). It helps that he was only 15.  Great case.

Worst. Juror. Misconduct. Ever.

13 Aug

This is super super super old news but so crazy. Jurors in a murder trial consulted an ouji board which (who?) told them that d was guilty.  They told other jurors at breakfast and then they convicted.  Conviction reversed, retried, convicted again.

This sucks

11 Aug

Court: you know what? Imma Prop. 36 you and you get CTS not life. DA: no objection.   Prison: see ya.

One month later, DA: my bad, you aren’t eligible under prop. 36 because of a prior gang enhancement that everyone thought was stricken. Court: sorry back to prison-25 to life.

Court of appeal: no problem. Collateral estoppel argument: rejected.

There are so many bad cases that say an illegal sentence cannot stand even if it means D gets a harsher sentence.

I feel like this is a due process issue. I’m sure there is a case that says it isn’t. It’s just that when something is unfair you know the issue is due process because that’s the catch all constitutional principle when you say wtf?!

I feel so so bad for this guy.

Excellent use of resources

9 Aug

San Jose police dog goes missing after digging his way out of backyard (possibly because he didn’t want to work for the police). They use taxpayer dollars to find the dog, including Santa Clara County search and rescue. #wow. They did find the dog near the expressway so it would have been really sad if they didn’t find him. But I think it is unheard of if any other dog went missing to use these many resources to find the dog. Don’t they usually wait 48 hours before looking for a person? They used these resources to find the dog in the first 12 hours. Incredible. My opinion would be completely different if the dog was a corgi, let’s be real. Also, I would protest if they didn’t use these resources if my dog, G-d forbid, went missing.

Holmes and Insanity

8 Aug

Shockingly, and thanks to one juror and possibly two others, Holmes was spared the death penalty. This shocks me not because of the nature of the crime, though that was not helpful, but because the jurors had already decided that the aggravating facts weighed out the mitigating ones. As far as I can tell, and I may be wrong, the only evidence in the last phase was gut wrenching testimony from victims. It is surprising that a juror was able to stay level headed and make the right decision notwithstanding the fact that she/he already believed the mitigating circumstances were not overcoming.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, I got to thinking. The standard for legal insanity is absolutely insane. Obviously Holmes’ insanity defense sucked because he told a psychiatrist that he knew he was legally wrong . It has to be indisputable that he suffered from mental illness (see, e.g. his notebook) and that it was the cause of the crime. I do not think any juror, or sane member of the public, would say that his mental illness was not a substantial factor in the crime.

Thus, my proposed new rule for not guilty be reason of insanity is a proximate causation test. Proximate cause is: An act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred. How is this not the most reasonable way to determine that someone should not be criminally liable because he is insane? Isn’t it totally possible that someone knows what he is doing is “legally wrong” but, because of his mental illness, he feels compelled to do it or feels like it would be the right thing to do for some other totally insane reason? Is it really right to hold such a person criminally liable when, as Holmes says it, he has a “broken mind”?

Also, just like negligence per se, I would have a rule that you are per se legally insane if you rub feces anywhere within 1 month of the crime. (This rule should also apply to competency.) #ifiruledtheworld

Great SC Motion to Suppress Case Today (With Respect to a Detention Only)

6 Aug

The Supremes held that, when a cop activated his lights on a parked car, he detained the defendant. They rejected the argument that there was no proof that D submitted to authority given that he was already parked, reason that his failure to drive away showed that he submitted to authority. Correctly decided.

Unfortunately, they came out in an unhelpful way with respect to whether the detention was justified. The only facts were that there was a report of a crime involving four people, the officer arrived at the scene within three minutes, there was no other pedestrian traffic, and D was driving away. Also, before he was detained, when he drove next to the deputy’s car, he ignored the question “did you see a fight?” Oddly, they said that because the report of a fight involved a tip that the person had a weapon, the fact that he parked in front of a house posed a risk to the safety of those in the home.

This ruling is ridiculous because there was no description of the person or car, D was alone, it is not remotely suspicious to be driving a car in the area, and it is likely that the defendant did not hear the officer’s question given that he was driving when the officer asked it. In addition, there was no mention of whether D had visible injuries. Terrible ruling.