Category: Criminal law

Protesters Destroy Another North Carolina Statue And Post Pictures Of Celebration On UNC Campus

downloadEarlier this year, I was critical of the handling of the prosecution of various protesters in North Carolina who torn down a statue in public and then celebrated their criminal acts in broad daylight. Because the statue of a civil war memorial, the act of property destruction was condoned by many and Durham District Attorney Roger Echols caved to the pressure in dropping all charges against everyone.  It was effective immunity for a popular criminal act — a dangerous concept in any legal system.  Not surprisingly, others are now claiming the right to unilaterally destroy property. The latest were protesters on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus who took it upon themselves to destroy the controversial Silent Sam Confederate statue. 

 

Continue reading “Protesters Destroy Another North Carolina Statue And Post Pictures Of Celebration On UNC Campus”

Doctor Rapes Heavily Sedated Patient . . . Receives No Jail Time In Texas

1534700334161A jury in in Texas has a curious notion of justice after recommending a sentence of just 10 years probation and no jail time for Shafeeq Sheikh, a former physician at Baylor College of Medicine. Sheikh raped a heavily sedated patient but will walk after a guilty verdict.  It is one of the most disturbing sentences that I have seen in a decade.

Continue reading “Doctor Rapes Heavily Sedated Patient . . . Receives No Jail Time In Texas”

Manafort’s Curious Defense: It Is Easy To Hang on A Hung Jury Strategy

ManafortBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the continuing jury deliberations in the trial of Paul Manafort in Alexandria, Virginia.  Defense counsel generally take heart in the passage of time as an indication that the jury is having difficulty in reaching a verdict. However, it can be deceiving. I took over a case in this same courthouse after a jury deliberated over a week and still convicted on all counts.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Manafort’s Curious Defense: It Is Easy To Hang on A Hung Jury Strategy”

Florida Woman Arrested After Stealing Donations Jar For Family Of Murdered 7-Year-Old Girl

 7-year-old Heydi Rivas-Villanueva who was recently shot to death.  Crews stole the jar from Tapatio Restaurant but was later apprehended by the police. Continue reading “Florida Woman Arrested After Stealing Donations Jar For Family Of Murdered 7-Year-Old Girl”

Brennan: I Did Not Mean Trump Was Treasonous When I Said His Actions Are “Nothing Short Of Treason”

220px-John_Brennan_CIA_official_portraitI have been critical of the decision of President Donald Trump to rescind the clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and to release a list of other officials to be reviewed — officials who are uniformly critics of the President.  Despite my criticism of everyone on the list, I viewed the unprecedented action to be unwarranted and retaliatory.  However, Brennan himself does not help the case for those of us opposing the action.  This weekend Brennan walked back his earlier reckless statement that Trump press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin was treasonous.  Now Brennan insists that when he called Trump treasonous he did not mean that he actually committed treason. Continue reading “Brennan: I Did Not Mean Trump Was Treasonous When I Said His Actions Are “Nothing Short Of Treason””

NPS Prepares Charges Against Man Who Took Selfies With Feeding Bears In Closed Park Area

screen-shot-2018-08-14-at-123215-pm.pngWe often discuss the people who refuse to adhere to park signs or barriers at the risk to themselves and wildlife. The latest march of the morons was captured on a series of selfies by a man who waded into a river full of bears in a closed section of the Katmai National Park with two other people.  The National Park Service is now preparing charges against this group after various people contacted them with the evidence from a webcam.

Continue reading “NPS Prepares Charges Against Man Who Took Selfies With Feeding Bears In Closed Park Area”

The False Friend Dilemma: Why Trump Has Few Options In Dealing With Omarosa

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the continuing controversy surrounding the release of the tell-all book by Omarosa Manigault Newman.  Manigault Newman has continued her release of secret tapes featuring the President and his staff.  Her latest tape captures a private conservation with Lara Trump who offers Manigault Newman a $15,000 a month job with the Trump campaign on the promise that she will “stay positive.”  Trump refers to the rumor that Manigault Newman has dirt of Trump as she offered a job with few apparent duties or expectations other than “staying positive.”  Of course, many of us are still wondering what Manigault Newman did in the White House.  Nevertheless, the taping shows the utter lack of loyalty or honestly by Manigault Newman in dealing with friends and coworkers. 

The Trump campaign has now filed a civil action, which is discussed as a possibility in the column below.  The potential for criminal liability however is limited in this case.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The False Friend Dilemma: Why Trump Has Few Options In Dealing With Omarosa”

“Evil Is A Make-Believe Concept”: American Couple Is Murdered By ISIS While Cycling Through Tajikistan

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan quit their jobs in Washington, D.C. to experience the world in their late 20s.  Austin wrote on the trip how he had found great decency everywhere they had gone. He wrote: “Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.” That inspiring world adventure came to the end in Tajikistan when they and two other cyclists were hit by a car filled with ISIS fighters who jumped and stabbed them to death as “nonbelievers.”

Continue reading ““Evil Is A Make-Believe Concept”: American Couple Is Murdered By ISIS While Cycling Through Tajikistan”

Trump Revokes Clearance Of John Brennan and Orders Review Of Other Former Officials

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedIn a highly controversial move, President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan and ordered the review of other officials who all share one obvious distinguishing characteristic: they are all fierce critics of Trump.  The move has been widely condemned as Nixonian and amounting to a black or enemies list.  While I have been highly critical of everyone on the list (and called for some to be fired and, in a couple cases, prosecuted), I find the move very troubling from a free speech perspective.  Indeed, I am still uncertain about the rationale for the actions and why the list would be composed entirely of Trump critics if based on a consistent, apolitical basis. Continue reading “Trump Revokes Clearance Of John Brennan and Orders Review Of Other Former Officials”

New Jersey Superintendent Who Pooped On Athletic Fields Will Receive $100,000 Compensation And Will Sue The Police For Releasing His Mugshot

download-1-1We previously discussed the bizarre case of Thomas W. Tramaglini, the former Superintendent in Holmdel, New Jersey who was found to be the serial pooper who would defecate on high school football field and running tracks.  Now Tramaglini has reached a settlement with the school district to receive more than $100,000 in a separation agreement.  He also plans to sue the police for releasing his mugshot.

Continue reading “New Jersey Superintendent Who Pooped On Athletic Fields Will Receive $100,000 Compensation And Will Sue The Police For Releasing His Mugshot”

Police Seek Man Who Jumped Protective Barrier To Spank Hippo In LA Zoo

hippo spank_1534278629661.JPG_94930055_ver1.0_640_480Police are looking for the latest idiot to ignore zoo signs and barriers (and common sense) to get a videotape of himself spanking a hippopotamus at  the Los Angeles Zoo.  The crime is trespassing but the costs can be fair higher for the animals and the intruders.  Hopefully, the police will find and charge this individual. Continue reading “Police Seek Man Who Jumped Protective Barrier To Spank Hippo In LA Zoo”

Did Manafort’s Lawyers Just Commit A Serious Violation In Its Closing Argument? [Updated]

ManafortThe end of the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort today proved controversial after the defense counsel made reference to the alleged selective prosecution by the Special Counsel. If accounts are accurate, it would seem a direct violation of the prior understanding with the court that no party was to make reference to selective prosecution and the Special Counsel investigation of President Donald Trump.

Continue reading “Did Manafort’s Lawyers Just Commit A Serious Violation In Its Closing Argument? [Updated]”

Manaport Declines To Testify Or Present Defense in Alexandria Trial

ManafortIn a brief exchange with Judge T.S. Ellis III, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort declined yesterday to take the stand in his own behalf.  His defense then declined to present its own case and moved the trial to closing arguments. Given the highly damaging evidence offered by the prosecution, there is little that will be offered to actually refute the charges.  The decision to waive testimony and a defense case can be a strong strategic choice in a case where the defense savaged the prosecution. That is not this case. Continue reading “Manaport Declines To Testify Or Present Defense in Alexandria Trial”

Four “Yutes” And Counting: Controversy Grows Over The Judge’s Comments In The Manafort Trial

ManafortBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the controversial statements of the judge presiding over the trial of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Judge T.S. Ellis III has raised growing concerns over his comments in court, particularly before the jury.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Four “Yutes” And Counting: Controversy Grows Over The Judge’s Comments In The Manafort Trial”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks