Archive for December, 2010

SUBMITTED BY LAWRENCE RAFFERTY, GUEST BLOGGER

Now that the end of the year is just hours away, I thought it would be nice to put into writing some of the New Years resolutions that I have for 2011. This year has been a year of highs and lows for myself and for the country. These resolutions are my hopes and dreams for myself, the country and the world in the coming year.

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Boy, New Mexico governors really stick together . . . even after 130 years. On his last day in office, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico refused to pardon Billy the Kid for the killing of Sheriff William Brady in Lincoln County, New Mexico despite his conclusion that William H. Bonney was indeed promised such a pardon by then Governor Lew Wallace.

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Beware of Boys with Magic Beans!

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

I decided to dust off another old case that I found in my Fairy Tale Crimebusters File. You may remember my previous post about a wolf, a hunter, and a little lass who wore a red riding hood–Crime & Punishment: Cross-Dressing Criminal Meets His Maker!

Today, I have a tale in verse of a poor fatherless boy who disobeyed his mother and later robbed a man of gigantic proportions…three times!

 

About the thief who robbed the sleeping giant:
It was Jack, a boy who’s self-reliant.
He climbed the beanstalk near his shack
And stole some gold coins in a sack.
He raced back home and spent the money
On chocolate cookies, milk, and honey.

 

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Happy New Year’s Eve!!!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all of our blog family. We will be spending New Year’s Eve at home this year — preparing for our annual New Year’s party on January 1st. I will be toasting to everyone on our extended blog family.

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I saw this story on Reddit and it raises a lot of unanswered questions. The Examiner below reports that the video was taken by the wife of Gary Grana, 33, who was arrested for firing a crossbow in his yard at a target. Grana ends up under a pile of officers after a rather large number of officers respond to the call.
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The video below has resulted in the arrest of a Brooksville Florida police officer, Detention Sgt. David Dixon, after he was shown punching an inmate in the face for no apparent reason. The sheriff said that man was just “running his mouth” and did not deserve to be punched at the Hernando County Jail.

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Christopher Blackstone, 25, seems intent to make the worst people of 2010 year before time runs out. Upset that his girlfriend, Talitha Peterson-Hooks, 25, left their apartment during an argument and then refused to take his calls, he proceeded to stomp her puppy to death and sent her a text message saying “If you would have answered your phone, your dog would still be alive.”

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It is becoming abundantly clear why Kelsey Grammer did not play a lawyer on television. The Frasier star is about to divorce his third wife, Camille Donatacci, who reportedly refused a $30 million settlement because it did not include child support or alimony. He did not have a prenup. However, Grammer, 55, wants to hurry along the divorce so he can marry his fourth wife, 29-year-old Kayte Walsh. However, he is again refusing to do a pre-nup because he is certain this time that they are meant for each other. The case is a textbook account of the limits on lawyers being able to protect clients from themselves.
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The Innocence Project is reporting that Robert Stinson is eligible for only $25,000 of compensation in Wisconsin after serving 23 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. The outrageously low compensation is the result of a statutory compensation level that has not been changed since 1913.
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Dr. Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson, 37, has died in a bizarre case with product liability implications. Police say that Ferrari-Gegerson was accidentally strangled by a electronic neck massager on Christmas Eve when her necklace got caught in the massager.
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In one of the most high-profile rape convictions in history, a three-judge panel of the Tel Aviv district court found former Israeli president Moshe Katsav guilty of multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment yesterday. While obviously painful for any country, the conviction does show a commitment to blind justice in Israel where high-ranking officials are not given effective immunity seen on other countries in the region.

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Arthur Sedille has a difficult criminal defense to prove at trial. Sedille admits that he shot to death his wife in Oklahoma City. However, he insists that he was merely engaging in fantasy sex play with a gun that he thought was unloaded. It wasn’t.
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Andrew John Bornen, 16, was killed while lying in the middle of the road of a busy street outside of Ipswich, Australia. Bornen was not engaging in some high school prank. He was lying face down in the middle of street with his hands cuffed behind him at the insistence of the police. The prosecutors have decided that no charges will be filed against the Queensland officers.
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Rev. Sandra McGriff, head of The Church of the Living God and one of the members of a powerful political family in Dallas, has been accused of breaking into the home of a parishioner on Christmas Eve to steal more than $10,000 worth of property, including fur coats, designer purses and electronics. She denies the allegations.
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Newspapers are reporting that the United States State Department under Hillary Clinton made the extraordinary decision to refuse assistance requested by the United Arab Emirates into the assassination of a top Hamas commander. Israel’s Mossad is widely viewed as responsible for the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhoh, which broke a host of international and domestic laws. The reports are based on Wikileaks documents and again suggests that the Administration misled the public in its position on the assassination.

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A court in Saudi Arabia has ruled that an angry text message sent by a husband to his wife proclaiming himself divorced is binding. The man said he was just mad and did not mean it but the wife was thrilled and insisted that she was now free. The Court agreed that the SMS is a binding divorce in the Kingdom.
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The Passing of Eric Fatla

I have the very sad duty of reporting that Eric Fatla, one of my first-year evening law students has died in Chicago. Eric was 26 years old. I have been informed that Eric died today shortly after 1 p.m. from the severe injuries that he sustained in his fall at the Union League Club in Chicago shortly before Christmas. I cannot express the profound sadness over the loss of Eric who was a brilliant young man with an extraordinary background and an even brighter future. As shown by the outpouring of comments on this blog and other messages sent directly to the family, Eric’s tragedy has left many in shock and disbelief. We have lost a good friend and a wonderful person at George Washington and he will be long missed by those who knew him.
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Submitted by Guest Blogger, Lawrence Rafferty

After a wonderful Christmas weekend spent with my family and my two Grandsons, and after celebrating the Bears victory over the Jets, it is time to get back to work.  I was not surprised to read that the Republican minority in the United States Senate have been trying to prevent President Obama’s nominations for the Federal Judiciary from receiving a vote on the Senate floor.  However, I was shocked to see the extent of the intentional obstruction.  The Obama Administration has the lowest judicial confirmation record since before the Carter administration.  Almost one of every nine judicial judgeships is currently without a Federal judge on the bench.  How could a minority in the Senate derail the nominations of so many judges to the Federal bench? 

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President Barack Obama has finally received praise for his terror policies . . . from Bush officials. Two of the officials commonly named as responsible for allegedly criminal acts during the Bush Administration, former National Intelligence Director retired Vice Admiral Michael McConnel and former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden, are heaping praise on Obama for going even farther than George Bush in his policies. Now, there is an ignoble accomplishment.

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We have often followed torts and criminal cases alleging different forms of professional practice without a license. This one, however, is a bit of a surprise. Chikayoshi Hishiki, 55, and two associates were arrested for violating Japan’s Medical Practitioners Law by providing coffee enemas without a license.
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In West Hartford, Connecticut, Francheska Terrero, 19, is accused of a truly seasonal crime: assault with a Christmas tree. Terrero is accused to using the tree as a weapon (as well as a cellphone) against her parents.

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In Rochester Hills, Michigan, prosecutors have brought a highly controversial case — criminally charging a man for reading his ex-wife’s emails without her permission. Leon Walker, 33, could receive five years for the common act of logging on to his wife’s email, an act of snooping that disclosed that she was having an affair with another man. This is the first known time where a spouse or ex-spouse has been prosecuted under the law without any evidence of commercial theft. Yet, the office of Jessica Cooper (left) appears to want to create new precedent that would radically expand the reach of the law.
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The Chinese government has cut off access of lawyers to leading human rights advocate, Liu Xianbin, 42. He was charged in June for subversion for “incitement to subvert state power” for his articles that included his reflections on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the arrest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
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A survey conducted of people in England established this year that, for the first time, the majority of that nation are not religious. Fifty-one percent of those polled reported that they have no religion — a sharp contrast to the same poll conducted in 1985 when 67% said that they were Christians.
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One of the most unique beauty competitions was held this week. About 20,000 camels are competing in the Mazayin Camel beauty competition as part of the Al Dhafrah Festival. You can pick up a looker for prices reaching millions of dirhams or just watching the curvaceous Camelus.

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How To Wrap A Cat For Christmas

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

FAIR and its legal arm, Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), have been busy. FAIR and IRLI have been hopping state-to-state helping local governments craft anti-immigration ordinances, like  Arizona’s infamous SB 1070. Arizona’s legal fees have already exceeded $1 million.

Desperately needed tax payer funds are being used by local governments to fight legal challenges to the ordinances drafted with the assistance of IRLI.

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Frosty The Snowman

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Frosty The Snowman

For your listening pleasure, we have The Ronettes in glorious STEREO!

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Merry Christmas To All

Best wishes to everyone celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. (more…)

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Candy Cane: A Taste of Christmas

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Here’s a poem I wrote and some information about the candy cane:

 

 

CANDY CANE

Stuffed

in my green felt stocking

I find

a striped stick of sweetness,

red as Rudolph’s nose,

white as Santa’s beard.
I crinkle open my peppermint present…
let my tongue celebrate
the wintry taste of Christmas.

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Prayers For Eric Fatla

I am afraid that I have some devastating news for the George Washington community.  Late last night, shortly before leaving for midnight mass in Chicago, I learned that evening law student Eric Fatla had a horrible accident while visiting with his family in Chicago.  He reportedly fell four stories and suffered traumatic brain injury. The family is reaching out to his friends and asking for prayers.  He is given less than a five percent chance of survival and the next two days are critical.

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Have We Found Amelia?

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

University of Oklahoma researchers are conducting DNA testing on bone fragments found on a remote and deserted Pacific Island to determine if they belong to Amelia Earhart.  Earhart and navigator, Fred Noonan, were lost on July 2, 1937, attempting a trans-global fight aboard the Electra. A massive search involving the U.S. Navy revealed nothing but weak or unintelligible signals presumably from the Electra were received. Now we may know why.

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Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

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Fact Free Pawlenty

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

With the new year comes the beginning of the 2012 presidential race. Outgoing Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is making his move. He’s written a book, and he’s written a recent op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal. That article is so devoid of facts that Pawlenty has been awarded the “Pants on Fire” rating on PolitiFact’s Truth-o-meter.

This should make him a shoo-in for the Republican nomination.

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Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Presented for your listening enjoyment, Darlene Love in glorious STEREO! Hope Santa brought you headphones/earbuds.

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Season’s Greetings from Jack & Rudy

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Season’s Greetings from Jack & Rudy: A Holiday Poem
(Jack is my daughter’s yellow Lab and Rudy is the cat she got two Christmases ago.)

Jack loves Christmas. Woof! Woof! Woof!
Rudy loves it too. Mew! Mew! Mew!
Can’t wait to get their presents—
Some biscuits and a bone,
Some catnip and a ball of yarn,
Some meat-scented cologne.
Jack and Rudy love their tree—
Its ornaments and lights,
The gold star at its tippy-top
Glistening and bright.

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Some judges are lionized for their record of moving cases along. Nevada judge Valerie Vega, however, is being ridiculed when she pushed jurors to work through the night in a murder case so that the trial would not interfere with her vacation plans. It appears that things that happen with Vegas do not stay with Vega.
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In what could be one of the most significant regulatory changes since its founding, the EPA has moved toward imposing limits on greenhouse gases with a finding that such gases now present a “serious problem . . . for future generations.” The move could have widespread environmental benefits apart from climate change in forcing more fuel efficient cars and greater limitations on power plants and industrial sources.
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Televangelist and one-time Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson came out on his show “The 700 Club” in opposing the criminalization of marijuana. As someone who has historically preached about bringing down fire and brimstone on sinners, the concern over tokers came as something of a surprise and sent his handlers into a wild spin with the media.
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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Texas Civil Rights Project attorney James C. Harrington has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the Kilgore [TX] Independent School District and softball coaches Rhonda Fletcher and Cassandra Newell. The suit was brought on behalf of the mother of the minor daughter, referred to as S.W. The suit alleges that the coaches violated the daughter’s fourteenth amendment right to privacy by disclosing the girl’s sexual orientation to her mother.

The KISD claims their policy mandates that teachers reveal students’ sexual orientation to their parents.

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-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Rep. Barney Frank pwns CNSNews reporter Nicholas Ballasy.

H/T: Media Matters.

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I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Today we have The Ronnettes in glorious STEREO!

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In The Spirit: Scott Lane

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Passing through Colerain Township just north of Cincinnati, 41-year-old plumber Scott Lane, saw his nightmare unfold. His springtime cross-country trip was uneventful up to this point, but now he faced the fear that awakens motorcyclists from their sleep – a careening car crossing into his lane and heading straight for him. At the wheel, 24-year-old Amber Schwartz, her blood infused with morphine and oxymorphine, was feeling neither pain nor anxiety. Despite laying the bike down, the crash was unavoidable.

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Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Police in Lancashire, England, have been investigating a series of strange home burglaries. It appears the perpetrators of the burglaries like to target homes with hot tubs. The burglars sneak onto people’s property, soak in the spas, and then enter the homes and steal from their victims.

To date, there have been four such burglaries. The “hot tub gang” has allegedly stolen thousands of pounds worth of cash and goods—including a 42-inch plasma television, a laptop computer, and a Nintendo Wii games console.

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A federal lawsuit has been filed against Hamilton County (Ohio) Sheriff deputies by John Harmon, a diabetic who was suffering from dangerously low sugar levels when he was allegedly tasered and “violently dragged from the vehicle, thrown on the ground, kicked in the head by a boot, and stomped mercilessly while lying on his back.”

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A 13-year-old boy in Oklahoma City was arrested in class in possession of a . . . wait for it . . . here it comes . . . a permanent marker. That’s right, Roosevelt Middle School teacher DeLynn Woodside, 50, had the boy arrested when finding him with a permanent marker in violation of a city ordinance.
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Blasphemy

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

We have previously discussed blasphemy incidents here and here. In the Bizarro world of blasphemy, this one takes the cake.

A doctor in Hyderabad, Pakistan has been arrested by Pakistani authorities on suspicion of blasphemy.

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Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Following the worst economy in a generation, Americans this year are poised to hand away $48 billion to the needy. In what must have pure capitalists scratching their heads, charitable donations are up more than 30% over last year. In fact, 74% of Americans are participating in the benevolence according to Convio Inc.’s annual year-end giving report.

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She Loves You

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

She Loves You (WIDE)

Disappointed that the remastered Beatles box set had She Loves You in mono? We offer The Beatles in glorious STEREO!

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In The Spirit: Chris Doing

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

2010 could have been the last Christmas for two-year-old Nathan Saavedra of Carpenterville, Illinois.  Suffering from a rare birth defect known as “Prune Belly Syndrome,” the toddler faced months of dialysis to stave off the deleterious effects of a failing urinary tract and an uncertain future.  Reading about the child’s sad prognosis in the Elgin Courier-News, prompted 38-year-old Chris Doing into “doing” something. Inspired by his own grandmother’s posthumous gift of her organs, Doing contacted  the local hospital to volunteer his kidney for the child.

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