The Stagecraft of Scandal: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Gives Public Apology with Wife in a Church

When it comes to the art of the public apology, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick may have set a new gold standard in his public apology for his alleged affair with chief of staff Christine Beatty. The view link is below. He used an actual church as a backdrop and his wife as something of a prop for the occasion. The problem is that, while such scenes may resonate with voters who tend to love a repentant sinner, it still does not create a defense to what appears a very compelling criminal case for perjury. Continue reading

This is Your Pilot: I Need to Speak to God

In what could make for a fascinating torts case, an airplane full of passengers witnesses a co-pilot losing his mind in the cockpit and then having to be forcibly restrained by the other crew members as he demanded to speak to God. The Air Canada co-pilot was handcuffed to a seat for the rest of the flight. Ironically, air carriers have refused to show Snakes on a Plane as too scary for passengers. Continue reading

Judging 101: Refrain From Pronouncing Guilt Before End of Trial

Perhaps the most basic requirement of a judge (beyond remaining full clothed during deliberations) is not to pronounced guilt until after the trial. It is a rule that Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller allegedly forgot by telling a reporter that Brian Nichols, accused of killing four people in a 2005 shooting spree that began at the Fulton County Courthouse, was clearly guilty. While denying the comment, Fuller has removed himself from the case. Continue reading

Maryland Considering Criminalizing Use of Soldiers Names and Images in Protest Tee-Shirts or Material for Sale

Maryland Delegate Nicholaus Kipke and Sen. Bryan Simonaire are pushing for passage of the Fallen Soldier Privacy Act of 2008 to criminalize the the commercial use of a deceased soldier’s name or image. It is a controversy triggered by tee-shirts produced by anti-war activist Dan R. Frazier of Flagstaff, Ariz., whose online business sells anti-war shirts and other items that use soldiers’ names. The law is, in my view, unconstitutional and could lead to an interesting court fight if Congress follows suit with its own legislation. Continue reading