Category: Criminal law

No, Sen. Casey Calling Police Kidnappers Is Not “Mostly Right”

440px-Bob_Casey_Jr._official_photoI was recently called by the Philadelphia Inquirer on a fact check of Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) claim that officers in Portland of “kidnapping and holding citizens without charges.” I explained that the common hyperbolic claim of kidnapping is legally unfounded. The newspaper still found that Casey was “mostly right.”  This is why I believe he was wrong. He was not alone however in his judgment.

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Husband of LA DA Charged For Pointing Gun At Protesters

We recently discussed the case of the McCloskeys in St. Louis where they were charged with felony crimes after displaying weapons outside of their home in response to protesters. I have raised serious concerns over the viability of those charges. Now, however, we have a similar case brought against the husband of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey.  The Lacey home has been targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters in what is becoming a common practice.   While the first black District Attorney in Los Angeles, Black Lives Matter protesters have been calling for her ouster and said that they would be holding a community meeting in front of her home. Politicians have responded to the BLM protests and some, like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), have rescinded their endorsements of Lacey recently, Lacy’s husband, David Lacey appeared at the door waiving a gun and warning “I will shoot you. Get off of my porch.” What is interesting is the comparison in the charges in the McCloskey and Lacey cases. Continue reading “Husband of LA DA Charged For Pointing Gun At Protesters”

Austrian Tourist Breaks Toes Off Sculpture In Italy While Taking Memorable Picture

Pauline_Bonaparte_LefevreWe have previously discussed the destructive narcissism of tourists who write their names on historic locations or art. This includes the Chinese tourist who wrote on an ancient Egyptian temple and the Russian who carved his name into the Colosseum. An unidentified 55-year-old man from Missouri snapped the finger off a 14th or 15th century marble masterpiece when he decided to measure it by grabbing the hand. Then there was the destruction of an ornate historic arch for selfie in Portugal. The latest victim is a 200-year-old sculpture in Italy after an Austrian tourist decided to sit on the artwork for a better picture and broke off two of its toes. Paolina (left) might not object to the intrusion. She was heavily criticized for her attraction to (and of) men, a tendency that led to a reputation for “Bacchanalian promiscuity.”  It appears her irresistible attraction continues, even to the ruin of Austrian men hundreds of years later.

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Turley Testifies In Senate On Antifa and The Anti-Free-Speech Movement in the United States

downloadToday I am testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on the anti-free-speech movement in the United States.  The hearing is entitled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” The hearing will be held at 2:30 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and will be broadcast on C-Span and available on the Internet through the Committee. My testimony is below.

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Chicago Man Arrested For Spitting In The Coffee Of A Police Officer At Dunkin’ Donuts

“He Chose His Poison”: Grandma Implicates Grandson As Bomb Thrower In Portland Attack

Is The Boston Marathon Bomber Ruling Good News For Roger Stone?

download-5We have been discussing the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in tossing the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev due to juror bias (as well as reversing some convictions). The ruling is a relatively rare case of a court taking such action.  Criminal defense attorneys, including myself, have long complained that judges talk a good game about fair trials but always seem to find a way of avoiding new trials in the face of even clear juror bias. That was my objection to the Stone trial where Judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to grant a new trial on grounds very similar to those of Tsarnaev, including alleged bias in forepersons in the both cases. While Tsarnaev only got a new sentencing proceeding, Stone should receive an entirely new trial.

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Florida Man Arrested For Enforcing Social Distancing By Firing Shots In Hotel Lobby

download-4According to police, Douglas Marks, 29, has a curious method for reinforcing social distancing. After he spotted people without masks, he allegedly fired “four warning shots” at the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel.  The criminal charges contained one interesting element.  While Marks did not reportedly aim at anyone, he was still charged with assault. This follows an incident in California where a woman maced a couple who was eating with their child at a park without masks.

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The Barr Hearing and The Triumph Of Small People In An Era Of Great Events

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Below is my column on the recent hearing before the House Judiciary Committee with Attorney General William Barr.  The hearing was widely ridiculed after Barr was repeatedly prevented from answering questions.  It was a great disappointment.  I just testified on the Lafayette Park controversy and many of us were waiting for a month to hear from Barr directly on the details, particularly the statements of many in the media that the Park area was cleared to allow President Trump to take a picture in front of St. John’s Church.  Democratic members continued to refer to that as a fact (as has many in the media) despite the federal agencies supplying information that shows that the plan was approved days before and the order was given with no knowledge of the photo op. Yet, on repeated occasions Barr tried to supply times and dates, Democratic members immediately “took back the time” and even got angry when he tried to answer.  The same is true on other controversies.  We lost an opportunity to actually answer these questions. Yet, after repeatedly blocking Barr from answering, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him a “Blob” at the hearing.  He might seemed less blob-like if Democrats allowed him to speak. Instead, the hearing was an example of how Congress will work tirelessly not to find answers when a narrative is too good to check.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Barr Hearing and The Triumph Of Small People In An Era Of Great Events”

Another Protester Arrested After Being Identified By Distinctive Tattoo

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Can Portland Really Collect The Running Fine On The Federal Government? Probably Not.

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Two Women Arrested In Assault On State Senator During Madison Protests

We previously discussed the attack on a Wisconsin state senator who simply tried take pictures of rioters destroying statues and causing property damage in Madison on June 23rd.  Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter was hospitalized after the attack. Now, two women, Samantha R. Hamer, 26, (right) and Kerida E. O’Reilly, 33, (left) have been arrested in the attack. What is interesting is that the punitive measures are not just criminal charges against the women.  Hamer is particularly likely to suffer immediate employment consequences as a teacher. She is a specialist in helping kids with “social-emotional needs” and “behavioral issues.”

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Willful Blindness: New Damaging Information On The Russian Investigation Is Promptly Unseen By The Media

Pandora_-_John_William_WaterhouseBelow is my column in The Hill on the recent disclosure of a document showing that the FBI used an agent to gather information for Crossfire Hurricane during campaign briefings of Trump during 2016.  The document directly contradicted the long-standing denial that the investigation to Russian collusion was ever used to gather intelligence on Trump or his campaign.  At the same time, the credibility of the Steele Dossier was further undermined this weekend with the release of new information that Steele misrepresented the sources and information used as the basis for this report, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The source for the most alarming allegations was revealed as Igor Danchenko, 42, as confirmed to The New York Times,  He was not the “Russian-based” source claimed by Steele and the FBI learned that Steele took third-hard rumors and presented them as hard intelligence in the report used to help justify the Russian collusion investigation. This source was used in the last two renewal applications to the FISA court as a “truthful and cooperative” and “Russian-based,” according to the Justice Department Inspector General report found. So it turns out that the primary “source” of Steele’s dossier was “not a well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian-based contract employee of Steele’s firm.”

None of this has made any difference to the coverage.  On ABC Sunday, George Stephanopoulos had Chris Christie as a guest but his involvement in the very meeting discussed in the document did not merit a single question from the host.  In the meantime, Democratic leaders, who once mocked the idea of any investigation of Trump or targeting of the campaign, now say that it really doesn’t matter. Rep. Eric Swalwell says that it was actually “the right thing to do.” 

Here is the column: Continue reading “Willful Blindness: New Damaging Information On The Russian Investigation Is Promptly Unseen By The Media”

“They Were Right To Do It”: Swalwell Praises FBI For Using Campaign Briefing To Investigate Trump [Updated]

440px-Eric_Swalwell_114th_official_photoAs I discussed in a column this weekend, Democratic members have spent years mocking allegations that there was any spying or surveillance of Trump or his campaign by the FBI. That was just a conspiracy theory. Now however there is proof that the FBI used a briefing in August 2016 of then candidate Trump to gather information for “Crossfire Hurricane,” the Russia investigation. It turns out that it did not really matter after all and Rep. Eric Swalwell did not miss a step. He simply declared that such targeting of the opposing party and its leading presidential candidate was the right thing to do. That’s it. A conspiracy theory suddenly becomes a commendable act. Continue reading ““They Were Right To Do It”: Swalwell Praises FBI For Using Campaign Briefing To Investigate Trump [Updated]”

Suspect In Florida Triple Murder Had A Record of 230 Felony Charges And Was Out On Bond For Prior Assault

230 felony charges and was awaiting trial on a violent assault with a crowbar that left a man with a broken arm. That record included 15 convictions and two prison stints. Even as a criminal defense attorney, I am surprised that Wiggins was released on that earlier assault given his record and the violent element of that crime. Continue reading “Suspect In Florida Triple Murder Had A Record of 230 Felony Charges And Was Out On Bond For Prior Assault”