Category Archives: Law

UPDATED: #Snuff Film Shows Cops Letting Sgt. #JamesBrown Die (#IRF)

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Law, The State

EL PASO, TEXAS. The cruelty these cops demonstrate is unfathomable. A man is in the throes of death, in a jail cell, having self-reported for a minor offense. A passive Army Sgt. (James Brown) begs for his life, pleading that a stifling face mask be removed from his face, as he struggles to breathe. The killer SWAT cops ignore Mr. Brown’s pleas, tackling and manhandling a man already struggling to take in air, until he stops thrashing about, as his breathing slows down, until it stops.

My daughter suffered from asthma in childhood. Sever asthma. Her pediatrician taught me something these murderers were oblivious to. When someone tells you they can’t breathe, or are clearly having difficulties breathing—take it extremely seriously.

Charge these cops for depraved indifference. You have a snuff film to prove it.

UPDATE (5/19):

William N. Grigg: “They’re using a Gitmo-style “Initial Reaction Force.” They’re used in dealing with violent detainees and hunger strikers. IRFs are often used in SuperMax prisons here in the Soyuz. This fellow was probably considered a high-risk inmate because of his military background and psychological history.”

IM: “Watching this is heart-wrenching, William N. Grigg. You know Sgt. B. is going to die and you see no reason why. The time stretches; it’s not as if the murder happened fast. There were so many chances to STOP killing the victim. Senseless. Evil.”


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#Tsarnaev Spared Being Buried Alive In A #Supermax Prison

Crime, Justice, Law, Terrorism

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “was sentenced Friday to join his brother in hell,” as New York Daily News put it, “for that brutal attack with pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line.”

This is what life would have looked like had Tsarnaev been sentenced to life in the United States Penitentiary Administrative-Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, which a warden likens to “life after death.”

More like being buried alive.

A Supermax prison is reserved for the most dangerous offenders. Once inside this concrete catacomb, the inmate will never again see the sky again. He is placed in leg irons, a belly chain, handcuffs and will have 12 gun towers trained on him at all times. The inmate’s private tomb is 84 square feet of concrete where he will spend 23 hours a day.

Death is more merciful than to be buried alive in a Supermax prison.


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UPDATED: Conservatives Freaking Out Over Possible Cop Culpability (Depraved-Heart Murder)

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Justice, Law

Radio mouth Mark Levin kept insisting noisily that Maryland’s rookie prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, had presented no “new facts” in her case against the six police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death.

While some charges seem excessive—you can, I am sure, prove depraved indifference, but how do you saddle the officers with an intent to kill?—I don’t understand why the facts have to be new in order to form a valid basis for prosecution.

The harshest charge—second-degree depraved-heart murder—was reserved for Caesar “Goodson Jr., the officer driving a transport van in which Gray was riding.” The other charges—“involuntary manslaughter, assault, failure to render aid and misconduct in office”—don’t seem excessive.

Here is the full list of charges in Freddie Gray’s death.

Mosby, Baltimore State attorney, provided the following facts, new and old (CNN transcript):

* No crime had been committed by Mr. Gray.
* Mr. Gray was then placed in a prone position with his arms handcuffed behind his back. It was at this time that Mr. Gray indicated that he could not breathe and requested an inhaler, to no avail.
* At no point was he secured by a seat belt while in the wagon, contrary to a BPD general order.
* Officer Miller, Officer Nero and Lieutenant Rice then loaded Mr. Gray back into the wagon, placing him on his stomach, head first on to the floor of the wagon. Once again, Mr. Gray was not secured by a seat belt in the wagon.
* Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did he seek nor did he render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray.
* Mr. Gray at that time requested help, and indicated that he could not breathe. Officer Porter asked Mr. Gray if he needed a medic, at which time Mr. Gray indicated, at least twice, that he was in need of a medic.
* Sargent Alicia White, Officer Porter and Officer Goodson observed Mr. Gray unresponsive on the floor of the wagon.
* Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon.

In-between another stop or two was made to collect another offender.

I still think the injury to the spine occurred at the time of the arrest.

Meantime militarist Megyn Kelly is losing it. She’s been broadcasting desperate interviews, as meaningless and irrelevant as those she conducted with Bill Ayers, this time with a mystery cop she’s attempting to redeem. Other than to insist that Gray (who was obviously dying) was “acting normal,” the cop had no “new” information. And he lives under water. At least so the cop sounded.

UPDATE (5/2): The lawyers explain depraved-heart murder:

Tom Oster: “Depraved-heart murder arises from a theory of extreme recklessness, evidencing an indifference to human life. There doesn’t need to be an intent to cause death, merely a showing that the act that was done showed a ‘depraved’ or ‘extreme’ indifference to human life. Examples could be firing a gun randomly into a crowded street, or driving down a sidewalk.”

Figure that the distinctions between intent as recognized in criminal law (the Model Penal Code provides a good example) break down as Purpose (to cause the end result), Knowledge (that the result will occur), Recklessness (knowledge of a risk of the outcome, with depraved heart murder falling at the higher end of this threshold), Negligence (a reasonable person would know of a risk and exercise care to avoid it, involuntary manslaughter and “criminally-negligent homicide,” in jurisdictions which have this latter offense, generally fall into categories of greater or lesser negligence in homicide cases), and Strict Liability (no intent required, e.g., statutory rape is a strict liability crime usually with regards to the age of the victim).

Certain circumstances (read: collateral and predicate criminal offenses) can be inferred to demonstrate intent. Felony murder, for example, is a death arising from the commission of an inherently-dangerous felony (usually). Intent is inferred from the intent to commit the underlying felony (e.g., someone dies in the process of a kidnapping or robbery). Lesser criminal acts that cause death can demonstrate the intent required for involuntary manslaughter or criminally-negligent homicide (illegally barring the emergency exits of a building, resulting in people being killed in a fire, would likely result in an involuntary manslaughter charge, for example).

Incidentally, the feds, if they were to get involved (I don’t think they will unless the Maryland process sputters out), would have a potentially potent charge to lay. 18 USC 242, “Deprivation of rights under color of law,” applies when under color of law (read, a police officer or someone else acting as a government official or a putative government official), someone willfully subjects anyone to any deprivation of rights, privileges, or immunities under the Constitution or other laws (such as a false arrest, imposition of torture, etc.) If death results, it’s a capital crime (Maryland does not have a death penalty).

And this definition of Depraved-Heart Murder via Jerri Lynn Ward:


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Ted Cruz And The Loretta Lynch Confirmation

Conservatism, Drug War, Elections, Law, Republicans, Uncategorized

Claiming that the cloture vote was “the only one that mattered,” the staff of Ted Cruz excused the senator’s conspicuous absence from the Senate’s final vote, today, to confirm Loretta Lynch for attorney general. Cruz was probably “en route to Texas” for a fundraiser.

Who am I to argue with Ted Cruz on Constitutional matters? He’s a superb scholar on that front. It is, however, fair to point out that Cruz’ failure to register a vote on this final and ghastly nomination was unseemly.

Eric Holder’s only redeeming feature as attorney general was that he put a crimp in the War on Drugs and in “mass incarceration.”

Lynch was actually a drug prosecutor. The other thing Lynch had no shame in doing was shaking down banks: she extracted a “US$7 billion settlement” from Citigroup.

“The Senate later voted 56-43 to confirm Lynch. Cruz was the only member of the chamber not to vote.” (Politico)


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Cameron Todd Willingham & The Witchdoctors Who Killed Him

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Law, Pseudoscience

As it has been practiced for decades, arson investigations were more voodoo than science, and “arson sleuths” were often dabblers; “old-timers” who lay claim to a “a body of wisdom,” passed down from one old timer to the next arson investigator. The problem? An innocent individual, Cameron Todd Willingham, was “executed for the arson murder of his three young daughters,” in Texas, in 2004, based on this hocus-pocus.

Many arson investigators, it turned out, had only a high-school education. In most states, in order to be certified, investigators had to take a forty-hour course on fire investigation, and pass a written exam. Often, the bulk of an investigator’s training came on the job, learning from “old-timers” in the field, who passed down a body of wisdom about the telltale signs of arson, even though a study in 1977 warned that there was nothing in “the scientific literature to substantiate their validity.”

In 1992, the National Fire Protection Association, which promotes fire prevention and safety, published its first scientifically based guidelines to arson investigation. Still, many arson investigators believed that what they did was more an art than a science—a blend of experience and intuition. In 1997, the International Association of Arson Investigators filed a legal brief arguing that arson sleuths should not be bound by a 1993 Supreme Court decision requiring experts who testified at trials to adhere to the scientific method. What arson sleuths did, the brief claimed, was “less scientific.” By 2000, after the courts had rejected such claims, arson investigators increasingly recognized the scientific method, but there remained great variance in the field, with many practitioners still relying on the unverified techniques that had been used for generations. “People investigated fire largely with a flat-earth approach,” Hurst told me. “It looks like arson—therefore, it’s arson.” He went on, “My view is you have to have a scientific basis. Otherwise, it’s no different than witch-hunting.”

On September 7, 2009, the New Yorker’s David Grann wrote a lengthy expose, “Trial by Fire,” in which he asked, “Did Texas execute an innocent man?”

On March 9, this year, Maurice Possley, of The Marshall Project, all but confirmed that yes, Texas executed an innocent man.

Read the horror story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who “insisted upon his innocence in the deaths of his children and refused an offer to plead guilty in return for a life sentence.”

And the update.


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Repeal Unnecessary Laws, But Quit The Ferguson Racism Libel

Crime, Law, Media, Politics, Race, Racism

The moron media, reporters like CNN’s Sara Sidner front-and-center, have framed the Ferguson Report released by the Department of Justice as offering conclusive proof of institutionalized racism. With pride can Sidner The Inciter tweet out praise for her impartial reporting, but that doesn’t make it so.

The Ferguson Report is the best of pseudoscience. Most in the media, Sidner for one, do not appear to have the wherewithal to understand that confounding variables are at play here: The reason blacks are more likely than whites to be stopped by law enforcement is that there are differences in rates of offense between blacks and whites (and Asian, by the way, who’re conveniently omitted from the “disparate impact” formula used by our racism-spotters, because they’re likely to commit fewer offenses than whites).

Not even Radley Balko’s plaintive account, illustrating the correlation between poverty and lack of compliance with the law, manages to make the case for institutionalized racism, as Megyn Kelly mindlessly called it.

Radley writes:

“These are people who make the same mistakes you or I do — speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, forgetting to get your car inspected on time. The difference is that they don’t have the money to pay the fines. Or they have kids, or jobs that don’t allow them to take time off for two or three court appearances. When you can’t pay the fines, you get fined for that, too. And when you can’t get to court, you get an arrest warrant.”

All Americans groan under too many laws and regulations. The police and government see us all “as little more than sources of revenue.” Some of us find it harder to comply with these many, mostly-unjust laws.

Repeal unnecessary laws—and certainly laws criminalizing the use of drugs and their sale—but stop the racism libel.

With respect to the open season on cops in Ferguson, Missouri, it’s hard to fault Andrew C. McCarthy when he suggests the following about politicians:

When public officials signal to the mob that its anger is so justified that its criminal behavior, even if not exactly condoned, will be rationalized, minimized, or ignored, they are facilitating criminality. So of course they should be deemed contributorily culpable when the criminality happens.

What about members of a media-congressional complex who pose as impartial agents when they are in fact agents provocateurs?


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