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proof of our arbitrary system: different judge, different rights

31 Dec

The 9th Circuit ruled two days ago that the AZ law requiring a nexus between a mitigating factor and the crime committed for the determination of whether someone should die for his crime was unconstitutional.

Dissenting judges from that opinion ruled yesterday that when such a constitutional violation occurs, the matter does not need to go back down to a jury.  Rather, the original reviewing court can independently review the mitigating factor.  W.T.F.  Either the jury should have heard the mitigating factor or not and either you have the right to have the jury to hear it or not.  This is a person’s life! And his constitutional right to have a jury decide the fate of his life is at issue.  Moral of the opinions: get Judge Fletcher, live.  Get, Judge Bea and Kozinski die.

As an aside, the 9th Circuit held that it was ok that the AZ Supreme Court gave “little weight” to the mitigating factor at issue because the defendant failed to “present evidence” that that factor related to the crime, notwithstanding the fact that he has the right to have any mitigating factor weighed against an aggravating one.  (Sidebar: why is that his burden?)  As long as they “consider” the fact, no matter if they give it little weight because there is not showing it is related to the crime, it is all good.  This is terrible. And I have no faith the Supremes will correct it.

No means No

22 Dec

How about this for an “ambiguous” assertion of 5th amendment rights….cop asks D do you wish to waive these (Miranda) rights?  D’s answer: “No.”  California Court of Appeal:  This was an ambiguous and equivocal assertion of  5th Amendment rights. Cops press on.  Had to go all the way to the 9th Circuit to get reversed.  True Story.

Great PC 991 case

19 Nov

I’ve totally had this issue before.  So, you can move to dismiss a misdemeanor complaint at arraignment if your client is in custody on the basis that there is no probable cause.  Today, the Second Appellate District held that this rule applies to an individual count. I.E. if multiple counts are charged the judge is allowed to dismiss only some counts under PC 991 even if there is PC for other counts.

civil judges gone wild!

16 Nov

Randomly came across this case today re judicial misconduct and it is kind of crazy….Haluck v. Ricoh Electronics, Inc. (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 994.

Among other things that the judge did during a civil trial amok which the Court of Appeal held to be misconduct were:

1) holding up cards that said “overruled” and “sustained” as a way to rule on objections;

2) using “red cards” a la soccer to tell Plaintiff’s counsel to stop talking when addressing an objection and ordering the clerk to keep tally of the cards so that he could fine the parties $50 per card at the end of trial;

3) stating that his ruling to the Plaintiff’s ongoing objection would last “until I die” then referencing Penal Code section 187 when the Plaintiff objected to testimony on the same ground.

Pretty funny if it did not most probably result in a defense verdict for an employment discrimination lawsuit.   Reversed.

Here is the opposite of a cop killing a dog: inmates bringing them back to life

13 Nov

Here is a documentary on that subject.

Biggest threat to dogs: COPS

13 Nov

There is a compelling story in the Washington Post today that should have been written a long time ago.  It is about how cops frequently (and unnecessarily) kill family pets.  Be forewarned, the article has a list of incidents where cops killed dogs and they are fucking heart wrenching.   The worst example I can remember (not in the article) is when the OPD killed an 11 year old ARTHRITIC dog when responding to a false alarm.  Because the owner wasn’t home, they left a note.  Here is the fucking bullshit coppy note: “”While circling the rear perimeter, lab advanced on officers in a threatening manner before being shot and killed.”  True story.  Also, let’s not forget cops who kill deer.  Here and here.

Here are a few quotes from the Post:

“Research by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests that half of all police firearm discharges involve the shooting of a dog.”

“Dog killings are frequent enough that a Justice Department official has called them “an epidemic.””

Here is a good point made in the article:  “If they have enough money to militarize the police with Humvees, they have enough money to train them not to kill family members. And pets are considered family.”

Can you imagine if someone killed a COP Canine who, by the way, would be more likely to attack than the average pet?!  How is this not animal cruelty?

Take me home tonight! Great Miranda case

12 Nov

After Berghuis v. Thompkins, it seemed like the law on whether an invocation of the right to silence was clear and unambiguous had completely flat lined.  Well, the Third District Court of Appeal just busted out some defibrillators on that Fifth Amendment that we all thought was so special.  The unequivocal assertion of rights in that case? “Take me home” tonight!  The court summed the demands up:

“Here, we have 13 demands to be taken home during the span of 14 minutes, one of which was tied to defendant’s “rights.””  (He said “I know my rights” when he said “take me home.”)  Of course, the error was not prejudicial, but this makes for some mmm mmm good law.

Eddie Money said it best, when trying to invoke, you needa say “take me home tonight!”

The worrrrrrrrst reality tv dudes

12 Nov

In light of RHOC Brooks Ayers coming as close as possible to admitting that he faked cancer, I thought “who is the worst male reality tv villain”?  Here are my top ten, in order of worst to worsest.

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10.  JJ/Clint Bachelorette.  These guys make the cut only because they coined the most. brilliant. phrase. ever.  “Villains gotta vill.”  Frankly, I did not think they were that evil.

9.  Ian.  Bachelorette.  Insulting Kaitlyn then doing a fake and orchestrated apology at ATFR.

8. Wes. Bachelorette.  Totally there to promote his music career, and not to find love.   Read: the wrong reasons.

7.  Can’t remember his name but the winner of Project Runway who made his fellow contestant’s mom cry.  Whattadick!

6.  Spencer The Hills.  Telling tabloids that LC had a sex tape and “beef flap” labia; isolating Heidi from everyone, and intentionally doing terrible things for fame.

5.  Kirk BIP.  Look, a lot of people disagree on whether he was bad or not.  I do not fault him for breaking Carly’s heart.  I fault him for leading her on.  I.e. Talking about their future together when he knew there was no future together.

4.  The guy who killed Cecil the lion.  Ok, he is not technically a reality tv star, but I would be remiss in omitting him from any list of worst guys ever.  Also, he should be number 1 but numbers 3-1 cannot be moved.

3.  Joe Bailey BIP.  Lying to Julia (I don’t know/care how to spell her name); making Jonathon cry and apologize to him in front of Julia when Jonathon was right that Bailey was terrible and bringing up Jonathon’s son when talking to Jonathon about throwing him under the bus and everything he did on BIP that I have now forgotten.  The important thing is that I remember that he was being evil!

2.  Brooks Ayers.  He should really be number 1, but number 1 cannot be anything other than number 1.  He almost certainly faked cancer and went so far as to fake hospital bills and medical records to prove that he had cancer, he allegedly beat Vicki, reportedly sexually harassed Vicki’s pregnant daughter Briana, and admittedly told Briana’s husband to beat her.  Ya.  Worst. Dude. Ever.

1.  You guessed it, Donald Trump!

Honorable Mention

Juan Pablo Bachelorette/Bachelor (womanizer), Russel RHOBH (wife beater, but RIP), Puck Real World (generally being a dick including putting his finger in the peanut butter when Pablo had AIDs thereby exposing him to bacteria), Marcel Top Chef (way too cocky), Nick Bachelorette (Andy and Kaitlyn) (everyone hated him and thought he was there for the “wrong reasons,” but I don’t really have an opinion on him), Kaydan Bachelor (everyone hated him, I can’t remember why he was bad other than being a snob), Alexis Belino’s husband RHOC (total chauvinist and generally a moron).  Ok that’s all I got for now…

Judges gone wild!!!

6 Nov

“Imma deny you Prop. 47 relief because your conduct falls outside the “spirit” of Proposition 47.” Nice legal theory judge, too bad it is not based in law.  Shout out to the Second District Court of Appeal who Shut. That. Shit. Down.

Dear San Diego County

3 Nov

The law explicitly says you can’t detain a juvenile simply because he or she is a 300 ward.  Thank you fourth district for seeing through probation’s obvious pre textual reasons recommending detention.