Random shots around the web:


(Hat tip: Prison Culture)

Random shots around the web:

  • Yet another case of judges saying you can drive away from the cops. Well, not that you can actually do that, but if you open your window because a cop pulled up behind you, got out of his car, and knocked on your window, you are totally doing that voluntarily for purposes of admissibility of evidence, because you absolutely could have driven away. (I mentioned a similar case here.)
  • According to the synopsis, Naomi Kline, who argued in The Shock Doctrine that right-wing ideologues used disasters to impose their value on others, is arguing in This Changes Everything that climate change is an opportunity for left-wing ideologues to impose their values on others.
  • CSI: Gallifrey.
  • Something stirs from slumber in Bat Country.
  • Making Satan look like a sensible choice.
  • Maggie ruins my fond memories of Scully.


Random shots around the web:

What is it with Illinois and bizarre double jeopardy cases? In the 1990’s we had the Harry Aleman murder trial do-over which wiped out his earlier acquittal (a classic Chicago tale), and now the state is requesting to re-try Esteban Martinez after refusing to present its case in the first trial. (Gideon covers it too.)

Greenwald and Snowden reveal that the British GCHQ has been using its intelligence agencies to go after political enemies and dissident groups rather than just the terrorists they’ve been using to justify their budgets.

Gideon has a fascinating explanation of a new twist in consent search law, courtesy of the Supreme Court in Fernandez v. California.

A jury awarded 2 million dollars for the killing of Pastor Jonathan Ayers by (of course) a drug task force.

According to Scott Greenfield’s review of his book, Professor Robert Blecker thinks that we need to spend more effort to rehabilitate prisoners we are planning to release, but for those who will never get out, we need to expend more effort to make their lives miserable. From what I can tell from his video (below), because nobody in the correction system is specifically tasked with punishing inmates, prison must not be a form of punishment. So I guess if Scott and I kidnapped Dr. Blecker and locked him in a cage in my basement, but treated him very well, with a nice colored television and weekly calls home to his family, he’d be totally cool with that.

In other news, Scott Greenfield is also fighting with people with gigantic egos.

And now to lighten things up a bit, the Bryan Williams Rap:

(Hat tip: Stillettos and Sneakers)

Random shots around the web:

Matt Brown has a lot more background information about the cop who shot a surrendering man in the back and about the leadership in Pinal County that make it likely he’ll get away with it.

Norm DeGuerre has a very good essay describing the mismatch between how the justice system works and how real people live their lives.

Gideon notes that prosecutors aren’t always as pro-victim’s rights as they say.

The appellatesquack has a great post about fake peer-reviewed journals. His post is based on a Science magazine article that is itself a great read if you’re into that sort of thing. At times it’s pretty snarky for a science article:

After months of e-mailing the editors of SAP, I finally received a response. Someone named Charles Duke reiterated—in broken English—that SAP is an American publisher based in California. His e-mail arrived at 3 a.m., Eastern time.

I’m pretty sure everybody inside the Beltway sees themselves this way. Non-ironically.

(h/t Popehat)


Random shots around the web…

After reading the harsh conclusion Scott Greenfield reaches in his response to the Pinal County Sheriff’s department’s shooting of Manuel Longoria as he was surrendering with his hands in the air, I had this running through my head:

When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun

When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting in death row

— The Clash “Guns of Brixton”

Along the same lines, Ex-Cop Law Student has started an interesting series of posts about the First Rule of Policing (“Get home safe”) and the harm that it does. Part 1 and Part 2 are up and worth reading.

Mark Bennett isn’t a marketing guru, but his years of participation in the blogosphere have given him some great insights for anyone using blogging or social media to establish a professional presence. He wrote it in response to a specific lawyer who made some specific mistakes, but it applies to almost everyone.

I work in a virtual office where everything we do is conference calls, and this is pretty accurate:

Rankin Bass’s version of The Thing:

Random shots around the web:

  • Radley Balko now has a home at the Washington Post. Interestingly, he’s billed as an “Opinion Blogger” rather than an “Opinion Writer” like the columnists featured at the top of the Opinions page. (In fact, he doesn’t appear anywhere on that page as I write this.) Radley plays it like an old-school blogger too: He starts with an Introduction explaining his background and what he’ll be trying to do with the blog, and then a few hours later he follows up with a substantive post about the rollback of forfeiture reforms in Utah. And then later a piece about exposing corrupt prosecutors. And a list of links. You can find his bio page — and more importantly, a Radley-specific RSS link — here.
  • A Jesse Walker post about the old COINTELPRO scandal gives a hilarious example of the FBI’s technique for trying to disrupt dissident political organizations: Socialism is Gay.
  • I’m sure the folks at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control do lots of good work, but it’s hard to take them seriously when they fret that Americans drink excessively, given that they’ve defined excessively to include consuming more than 3 drinks for women or 4 for men on a single occasion or any drinking by anyone under the legal drinking age.
  • Spotted this a while ago and just kept thinking about it: With my limited legal knowledge, I can’t quite follow the main point nidefatt is making here about the Oregon Supreme Court’s ruling on implied consent in DUI investigations. His post did, however, contain the phrase “right to an administrative hearing.” I’m pretty sure that “right to an administrative hearing” is the “cheese food” of due process.

Random shots around the web:

Random shots around the web:

The ACLU tells an effective horror story about what can be done with all that GPS data the NSA is gathering.

The ATF continues to make wonderful ethical choices.

Bill Otis at Crime & Consequences says sending people to prison doesn’t ruin their lives. Because holocaust survivors.

Today’s Google front-page doodle is about Admiral Grace Hopper, who would have been 107 years old today. In my line of work, software engineering, she’s one of the gigantic figures of history, inventor of the COBOL programming language, and of the concept of machine-independent languages in general.
2013-12-09 08_16_41-Google
COBOL is a wretched language compared to today’s modern wonders — Java, C#, C++, Python, Ruby — but it was the first real programming language, and it was so successful that there are still probably tens of billions of lines of COBOL in production over 50 years later.

I’ve haven’t been writing very much lately, but other people are keeping busy, and I thought I’d share a few items with you folks.

  • Ken Lammers at Crimlaw has written a fascinating series of posts about how the criminal justice system (at least in his Virginia) determines the value of a stolen item for purposes of charging and sentencing. He covers items with a fairly obvious price tag, items without a price tag, and intangible property like music and software. It seems like a fairly thoughtful balance between an economically meaningful valuation and the need to have bright lines for making clear decisions.
  • Meanwhile, over at Popehat, Ken is posting a multi-part series about his investigation of someone who tried a fake invoice scam on him: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3. [Update: Chapter 4] He shows how much information you can get about someone like this with simple, inexpensive online tools.
  • And here’s the important op-ed of the day, by Orin Kerr. Looks like the government is about to get its wish and make us all guilt of something.

(Hat tip: Greenfield)

I’m going to take a break for a week or so (maybe), but here are a few random shots around the web:

Random shots around the web:


Random shots around the web:

Apropos of nothing, do you remember that time a few years ago when everyone seemed to go through the same pop culture transition with regard to Britney Spears? Over a period of a few weeks, she went from being just another out-of-control celebrity to someone with serious mental health problems…and therefore no longer a fitting subject for comedic scorn. I think Charlie Sheen has reached that same tipping point. We’ll see soon if he goes over, or if he just stays an entertaining jerk.


Hat tip: Hit & Run.

Random shots around the web: