I have been away for a week visiting The George Washington University and getting steeped in "Colonial" culture. My eldest son has decided to study there for the next four years. Hence I haven't been to active here. I am back however,and what better way to start than with a fast spin around this weekend's Blogosphere:
For those of you who want to know why always throwing the book at crime can be a bad thing, check out this post. Here is your money quote:
""There's not much of an advantage to pleading guilty these days because the (sentencing) guidelines are so high," said Albany-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Spina. He said he has prosecuted federal child pornography cases for 15 years and has never had one go to trial."
Professor Berman also had this post about sentencing disparity run amok. Two defendants, one judge. Poor defendant robs a guy at gun point of two dollars when he is 17, gets probation for 10 years, smokes some pot, gets life for the probation violation. The other defendant (rich connected defendant) kills a guy gets 10 years probation, (that really rarely happens either)smokes crack 5 times gets off and doesn't have to take urine tests to test for drug use anymore.(Musta been too inconvenient to avoid crack.)Where is 60 Minutes when you need it?
I have been toying with writing a post about why I think that sentencing disparity in federal court is not such a bad thing. I am interested in doing research in the area if I can find the time (or a sponsor hint, hint...) but stories like this one just really turn the stomach of anyone who is interested in justice, and sees justice as our way of evening the playing field between rich and poor. The judge in question has refused to give any interviews on the subject. He ought to at least have to speak to an investigator from the courts or the legislature about this.
" 'This certainly undermines one's confidence in the judicial system around here,' said Rick Jordan." Ya think?
Vohlok Conspiracy is right on top of our latest Public supported teacher (this one a University dept. Chair no less) who cannot figure out the First Amendment. Worse yet, this hypocrite has written warning others not to do what he just did. It gets worse yet!! The Penn State mouthpiece then gets caught lying about why the censorship occurs by an e-mail exchange. Read all about it and weep for our forgotten First Amendment here.
Here is you're moment of Zen:
"So we have two possibilities here: (1) Penn State's art faculty has a rule against displaying any student work that has any sponsorship, including sponsorship of a student organization such as Hillel [near as I can tell, Penn State Hillel is an official PSU club, though I'm not 100% sure]. However, this rule is only applied when the faculty doesn't like the message the art is sending or (2) there is no such rule, or at least it wouldn't apply to a noncommercial, student organization such as Hillel, but pretending there is such a rule is a convenient excuse for what would otherwise look like pure heavy-handed enforcement of political correctness.
Needless to say, neither option reflects well on Penn State" Ya Think?
Our favorite Matrimonial lawyer/blogger has this to say about do it yourself divorce over at Divorce Hotline blog.
Here is the Money Quote:
" Personally, I have handled one too many cases where a novice successfully drafted a divorce settlement only to cause the parties to re visit concepts which should have been addressed in the settlement papers but where either overlooked or intentionally left vague so the parties could "mutually agree on their terms." The problem inevitably arises however, where the parties cannot agree and some judicial intervention is needed to resolve these issues. Now the parties have to fight the good fight once again and the cost is usually greater than it would have been if they had hired an attorney to draft the documents to begin with."
Remember, Abe Lincoln warned that the person who had himself as a lawyer, had a fool for a client.
Finally under the heading "You just knew this was coming" we have this "startling" new revelation from the Duke Lacrosse team debacle prosecution.
How come when they have next to no decent actual factual evidence, every prosecutor becomes a pharmacologist? I don't know if a rape happened at this party or if there is just a Tawana Brawley encore occurring here. What I do know, is that this investigation and prosecution has the words "unmitigated disaster" written all over it. Scientific evidence is non-existent, Physical evidence is weak, there is allegedly photographic alibi evidence, and Testimonial evidence has more flip-flopping than a retrospective of John Kerouac career.
One more thing on the Duke case. I get sick and tired of apologists on both sides trying to play the race card here. Let's get right down to it. Those boys (read that to be every kid at that party) should have been setting an example for their schoolmates. There is no excuse...NO EXCUSE for the type of behavior exhibited there. On their best day everyone of those boys present at the "show" is a cad. At the very least, every kid involved there at the time of the "performance" should serve a suspension of at least 1 semester, and loss of their athletic scholarship. This was a serious lack of judgment.
As for the dancer, find a strip club. I have yet to see, deal with or have to represent someone at a private party strip show at a frat house or college eating society where sex (usually paid for) didn't happen. Allegations of "rape" often follow same. She shouldn't have been there either, and she should never have accepted a drink she didn't supervise the making of. She shouldn't have been there without an escort body guard and her co-performer should have had more sense than to leave her partner behind. If she is a dancer with any experience she should have known all of that.
In fact that is good advice for every kid and young adult. The chances of someone drugging you go up exponentially when you accept a drink from someone else, or when you go back to a drink you left unattended. Watch them make your drink, and drink it. Do not let someone else carry it back to your table, do not leave it or turn your back on it, even for a moment. If you do, go get another. It is the safest way to go.
Ok that's it for now. I hope to get another one of these out to you soon.