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The Crime of the Moment

It looks like Seattle police may think the Sunday morning shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers was the work of a guy who was reportedly out on $150,000 bail from another couple of crimes. However, the thing that everyone’s going to be talking about is the fact that he had previously been sentenced to […]

Thanks For My Friends

For the last twenty years or so, my wife and I have spent every Thanksgiving with my parents. However, my parents both passed away this year. Everyone says the holidays are hard times after a loss, and I’ve had two of them, so I’ve been a bit concerned about how this Thanksgiving would go. Fortunately, some […]

Keeping the Jury in the Dark

I’m guessing that most of you are neither lawyers nor career criminals, which means that, like me, your most significant role in the criminal justice system is probably going to be juror. As Norm Pattis explains, this means you’re going to be kept in the dark: When we refuse to let juries know the truth […]

Scattershot 2009-11-20

Random shots around the web: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been returning overhead photos of the Apollo landing sites. Cory Maye is getting a new trial. Steve Landsburg slams Krugman and then praises Krugman. Sounds right to me in both cases. It just kills me that teachers grade students all the time, but their unions […]

The Public Option to Healthcare Reform is Stupid

Putting a public option in the comprehensive healthcare reform bill is a stupid idea. Note that I’m not saying that the public option is a stupid idea, nor am I saying that comprehensive reform is a stupid idea. Either or both of those things could be stupid, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m […]

Blawg Review #238: Celebrating the International Day of Tolerance … and the NRA’s Birthday

“We tend to idealize tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nut cases. — Patrick Nielsen Hayden “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.” — Coleridge Cue the music. The United Nations has proclaimed today, November 16, as the International Day of Tolerance. This came in the wake […]

Shoot Them In The Head

The anonymous multi-author blog Popehat has a lot of good stuff, but earlier this week, blogger “Patrick” posted some irresponsible alarmist claptrap that I cannot in good conscience allow to remain unanswered. I’m talking, of course, about his long-winded and poorly-reasoned discourse on the so-called “zombie apocalypse.” Patrick tries to frame the debate as a question of whether […]


What happens when a bunch of students at Danvers High School in Massachusetts have fun at school by saying “Meep” like Beaker on The Muppet Show? Principal Thomas Murray bans it and threatens them with suspension. Then, when a smart-ass lawyer sends an email to school officials saying, in its entirety, Meep. Sincerely,Theodora Michaels …what […]

Eliot Spitzer’s Madam Has a Few Questions

This is priceless: Dear Professor Lessig: I have been informed that you are having former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer speak on ethics this Thursday November 12, 2009. This sounds fascinating and I would love to attend but the restrictions of my probation won’t allow me to travel out side New York City. For nearly […]

The Dollhouse Closes

Looks like the Fox network killed off yet another show I like, adding Dollhouse to a list that includes Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Drive, John Doe, Strange Luck, Profit, Millenium, The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr., and of course Firefly. Special note to Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, and Summer Glau: The people who run Fox […]

Veteran’s Day Blues

Veteran’s Day always made me think proudly of my father. Now that he’s passed on, it’s kind of a sad day. I’ve got nothing else to say, really.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…

the Berlin wall fell: At the end of a plodding news conference, Politburo spokesman Guenter Schabowski offhandedly said East Germany was lifting restrictions on travel across its border with West Germany. Pressed on when the regulation would take effect, he looked down at his notes and stammered: “As far as I know, this enters into […]

Scattershot 2009-11-06

Random shots around the web: Economist Steven Landsburg is blogging to promote his new book. Another example of using civil forfeiture to turn a police force into a theft ring. The war on people in pain continues. (Hit tip: Pete Guither)

It’s About Damned Time!

Mary Beth Buchanen resigns. Radley Balko explains why she was one of the worst prosecutors in the country. This was one of the items on my Obama freedom scorecard, although I don’t know how to tell if he gets full points for forcing her out or if she’s just preparing her inevitable run for office.

Small Government v.s. Law Enforcement

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum asks us “Why do conservatives apologize for the government?” But there is a more disturbing trend in conservative thought when it comes to criminal justice. Maybe it’s not a trend, just more visible with the advent of blogs and online comments on newspaper websites, but it appears that conservatives […]