Author Topic: Crime Stuff  (Read 4741 times)

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2011, 09:05:28 AM »
Jack Nicholson played him in the movie!
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random axe

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2011, 07:26:10 PM »
So . . . still trying to finish this True Crime book about the priest convicted of murder.  I gotta say, I've read probably a dozen to two dozen True Crime books over the years, and I don't think any of them intended to be critical of the courts, but so far none of them have been flattering.  Even when they tried to be.  I have to really hope it's a journalism problem, because ye gods.

In this case, the prosecution offered a pathetic purely circumstantial case against a priest in a murder that occurred 26 years earlier -- and their chief forensic witness testified, in part, that the alleged murder weapon could not have been the murder weapon.  (Oops!)  The theory of the crime doesn't seem possible, either.  The judge also allowed a reporter to testify that a police officer had told him, many years earlier, that the case was the biggest mistake of his life.  Which, uh, means . . . nothing in particular, not necessarily.  And it seems like hearsay to me.

They also took the jury down to the actual scene of the murder and let the prosecution lead them around while explaining their theory of the crime.  That's unusual, isn't it?  I'm not sure if it's prejudicial, but it seems weird and, well, elaborate.

The jury deliberated six hours and convicted.  :shrug:  The 'all-star' defense team doesn't seem to have been very good, either.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 07:42:56 PM by random axe »

random axe

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2011, 08:57:51 AM »
Well, Troy Davis was executed, bringing an end of sorts to one of those cases that serves to undermine our court system.  Davis may or may not have been guilty, but you couldn't tell based on the legal process, which is of course what makes his execution a revolting act of governmental corruption.

The prosecutors and the victim's family insist he was guilty.  They are among the least compelling authorities on the subject, though, so we can put them aside.  Meanwhile, there have been lots of editorials -- some by random pundits who generally don't have much to say, and some by legal experts, with mixed results.  I've seen a few go on about the 'finality of judgment', which is meant to be a core value of our system meaning that when you're judged and sentenced, it's got to have meaning, and it doesn't have much meaning if that judgment and sentence can be overturned.

This is, of course, stupid.  It's an artificial and nearly papal stamp of infallibility obviously born out of a lack of confidence in the system.  It's an admission that if the process goes beyond the ceremonial judgment phase, then maybe the courts are merely human arrangements capable of making mistakes.  And we can't have that!  People would lose confidence.  Riots in the streets, cats and dogs living together, etc.  Judges might look foolish, in their stylish black gowns.

These same arguments generally go on to complain that writs of habeas corpus and appeals 'slow the process down'.  They do not; they are part of the process.  And they should be.  Moreover, the reason the full process tends to be so slow is very, very often because the pre-judgment parts are allowed to be conducted improperly.  If bullshit witnesses and inadmissable confessions and cooked-up expert testimony and so on wasn't allowed in the first place . . . .

We really have no business with capital punishment anyway.  We've never been any good at it, despite our death-happy culture, and the obsession of DAs and governments to not look dumb has kept it from being fair.  It's time to pack it in.

Sidious

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2011, 09:23:39 AM »
I agree 100%.  The State doesn't have the authority or the competence to take the lives of its citizens.  In my opinion, there is no "due process" that can or should legally lead to that as a result.
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random axe

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2011, 02:26:12 PM »
This isn't a great article on this story, but it's the only one I could find easily.

The way this is being reported . . . OK, this guy, who does not seem very bright, has agreed to plead guilty to felony charges for his involvement in an old arson case -- even though the statute of limitations has expired.  I didn't even know you could do that, or that the state could allow such a plea. 

To get him to make the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges against him . . . even though those charges stem from another act of arson that's also beyond the statute of limitations.

Makes me wonder if this guy even has a lawyer.

That said, I should add that the guy also seems like a schmuck and possibly a danger to himself and others.  Doesn't mean prison is the right thing for him, but he and his friends set fire to an agricultural lecture hall as a pro-environmental protest that, at best, was not well thought out.  I mean, insurance covered the damage, and it just resulted in more new construction, plus it made people feel better about raping the environment and marginalized the environmental movement.

Kids, don't be activists unless you're smart about it.  I realize most action is taken by people who lack a talent for really thinking about it, but we could try harder.

random axe

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2011, 06:55:26 AM »
Amanda Knox is going home, finally.

The prosecutors are saying they'll appeal the acquittal to Italy's highest court, but hopefully they're just (stupidly) grandstanding.  And good luck getting her to go back to Italy.  I don't think, at this point, she'd go back if the Pope asked to her house-sit.

Sidious

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2011, 07:02:31 AM »
I don't think, at this point, she'd go back if the Pope asked to her house-sit.

.... although that does sound like a good basis for a sitcom pilot...
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random axe

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2011, 08:02:46 AM »
:hmm:

[cue Yakety Sax as the Carabinieri chase Knox through Vatican hallways while the Swiss Guard surreptitiously trip them up]



I'm not sure it would work, but I could be wrong.

the other andrea

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Re: Crime Stuff
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2011, 08:20:32 PM »
I don't think, at this point, she'd go back if the Pope asked to her house-sit.

.... although that does sound like a good basis for a sitcom pilot...

 :lol:
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