The testimony at the penalty phase for Boston Marathon bomb Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could not be more damning in terms of the pain and suffering that he and his brother caused. Survivors detailed their suffering from injuries as well as lost loved ones with pictures that left many in tears. Such evidence is entirely appropriate as the jury debates whether to impose the death penalty on the 21-year-old defendant. One piece of evidence, however, is more controversial: the court allowed the prosecutors to show the jury a videotape of Tsarnaev flipping the bird at a camera shortly before his arraignment to show that he was not repentant after his arrest. The question is whether such a videotape is clearly probative or too prejudicial for the jury. It is a demonstration of how far the prosecutor is willing to go (even in the creation of an appellate issue) to secure a death sentence in the case.
Professor Ninian Peckitt, 63, is under fire this month after the facial surgeon shocked colleagues by asking another doctor to hold the head of an unconscious patient and proceeded to punch the patient in the face up to ten times “like a boxer.” Now, this was not some pay back for an insult in a bar. Peckitt wanted to move a cheekbone back into place and decided to use a more Muhammad Ali approach.
Like many long-suffering Cubs fans, I have enjoyed this season immensely as the Cubs have found traction with our new line-up, including such news players as Kris Bryant and our new manager Joe Maddon. While our 150 million dollar pitcher, John Lester, appears better throwing his glove than the ball to first base, we are a lot happier with our second place position in the Central Division than our friends with the Cincinnati Reds — at least from the impressions left by Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price. Price gave a relatively brief interview about his team’s losing streak and managed to use the F-word 77 times as a noun, adjective, and what appears a conjunction. He added 11 versions of horse and cow manure. Some people are calling for him to be fired for the profane outburst but should a manager or player be fired for foul language?
We have another video of a police officer destroying the cellphone of a citizen who is filming an arrest in clear violation of her constitutional rights. New reports indicate that the officer holding an automatic weapon in the videotape below who is seen charging the woman and smashing her phone on the ground is a United States Marshal in California.
A new story on life after the take over by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Mosul reveals the bizarre existence for academics at places like University of Mosul. ISIS has outlawed lessons on democracy and political thought in favor of concentrations on religious indoctrination and Sharia law. Not too surprising, ISIS also banned hotel management and tourism and archaeology.
Precious Richardson Coleman, 29, is facing a particularly strong prosecution case in a remarkably disturbing criminal case. Coleman is accused of purposely running over Beatrice “Dee Dee” Spence, 24, and her uncle Damon Watson, 37. She allegedly targeted Spence with her 2004 white Dodge Durango in a jealous rage — resulting in the amputation of Spence’s leg. A video before shows her speeding up in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia, jumping the curb, and then backing up on the street before fleeing. She is charged with two counts of attempted murder and related offenses. The attack also left Spence without a home after her mother ran out to help her with fried chicken cooking on the stove. [Warning: the story below has foul language]
We have previously discussed violence and legal measures targeting dogs by some Muslims who view canines as “unclean.” Even postcards with dogs and service dogs (and here) have raised the ire of some Muslim groups. Now this issue is getting some long-needed attention in Iran after a short film that showed stray dogs being tortured and killed by having acid injected into them.