Category: Criminal law

Subpoena Tsunami: House Democrats Issue Hundreds of Secret Subpoenas Targeting GOP Colleagues and Others

Below is my column in The Hill on the subpoena tsunami coming out of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6th riot in Congress. The list of hundreds of targets include not only GOP members of Congress but demands for secrecy from these companies on the identity of targets. Just two months ago, the Democrats denounced such secret orders by the Justice Department as a threat to our civil liberties.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Subpoena Tsunami: House Democrats Issue Hundreds of Secret Subpoenas Targeting GOP Colleagues and Others”

Justified Shooting or Fair Game? Shooter of Ashli Babbitt Makes Shocking Admission

Ashli Babbitt (Twitter)

Here is my column in The Hill on the recent interview of Lt. Michael Byrd who was the hitherto unnamed Capitol Hill officer who shot Ashli Babbitt on January 6th.  The interview was notable in an admission that Byrd made about what he actually saw . . . and what he did not see.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Justified Shooting or Fair Game? Shooter of Ashli Babbitt Makes Shocking Admission”

Tennessee Prosecutor Accused of Telling Deputies to Destroy Pictures of Brutal Beating

A very disturbing case of alleged police brutality just got far worse after defense counsel for Jim Jones, 62, alleged in open court that a prosecutor with the District Attorney for Lawrence County, Tennessee told a deputy sheriff to delete pictures of the beaten Jones.  The prosecutor “has been terminated” but the question is whether the disclosure will feature in a trial for civil damages.

Continue reading “Tennessee Prosecutor Accused of Telling Deputies to Destroy Pictures of Brutal Beating”

Corpus Delicti: Dead Body Rolls Out of Mortuary Van Carjacked By Fleeing Felon

Continue reading “Corpus Delicti: Dead Body Rolls Out of Mortuary Van Carjacked By Fleeing Felon”

New York Man Hit With Charges After Discovery of Escort in 55-Gallon Drum

New York has been hit recently by a number of chilling crimes. One is the discovery of Nicole Flanagan, who was discovered inside a 55-gallon drum. One of those charged is Aquellio Parker, 29. While there was no sign of injury to Flanagan, the Bergen county prosecutors are awaiting further test results. However, I was struck by the charges brought against Parker whose mugshot could be seen as a reaction to the redundancy of criminal charges today.  He is facing much greater potential problems however in this curious case.

Continue reading “New York Man Hit With Charges After Discovery of Escort in 55-Gallon Drum”

“Nevermind”: California Man Sues Band 30 Years After Being Featured as a Naked Baby on Iconic Cover

There is a new lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of California against the band Nirvana over its most iconic cover. It could just as well have the title in the caption: “Nevermind.” The lawsuit was filed by Spencer Elden who was featured on the cover as a naked baby.  He is now claiming that the celebrated cover was child pornography and he is entitled to money: A lot of money. Indeed, the lawsuit has a greater appetite than authority in seeking such damages thirty years after the album was released. Continue reading ““Nevermind”: California Man Sues Band 30 Years After Being Featured as a Naked Baby on Iconic Cover”

“Inner Conflict”: Mosque Bomber Argues For Lower Sentence Due to Gender Dysphoria

We often follow novel or new arguments raised in criminal cases and one such defense has arisen in the case of a defendant convicted of bombing a Minnesota mosque in 2017. Michael Hari, 50, has asked the court to recognize his status as a transgender woman named Emily Claire Hari. She further asks for the minimum sentence due to the “inner conflict” caused by his gender dysphoria.  That is the first such argument that I have seen in a criminal case.

Continue reading ““Inner Conflict”: Mosque Bomber Argues For Lower Sentence Due to Gender Dysphoria”

The FBI Comes Up Empty-Handed in its Search for an Insurrection

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent reports confirming that the FBI has not been able to establish a planned insurrection on January 6th despite the overwhelming references in the media.  The vast majority of charges concern trespass or unlawful parading. The absence of a major insurrection or sedition prosecution is conspicuous but has done little to temper the characterization of the riot in media accounts or political statements.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The FBI Comes Up Empty-Handed in its Search for an Insurrection”

“No Further Action Will Be Taken”: Officer Who Fatally Shot Ashli Babbitt Cleared of Any Wrongdoing By Capitol Police

Ashli Babbitt (Twitter)

Yesterday I wrote a column in the Hill about the FBI reportedly finding no evidence a planned insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. In a related story, the Capitol Police has now entirely cleared the still unnamed officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt despite her being unarmed.  The decision was marked by the same lack of information that characterized an earlier decision from the Justice Department. There is little media coverage of the obvious disconnect in the handling of this shooting and other uses of force against protesters in recent riots. Even law professors are largely silent on the implications of a finding that the shooting of an unarmed protester is justified.  Babbitt seems to be treated as “fair game” because she was part of the January 6th riot.

Continue reading ““No Further Action Will Be Taken”: Officer Who Fatally Shot Ashli Babbitt Cleared of Any Wrongdoing By Capitol Police”

Former Alabama Police Officer Sentenced to 25 Years For Shooting Suicidal Man

Madison County Jail

There is a notable criminal case out of Alabama this week after a judge sentenced former Huntsville police officer William “Ben” Darby to 25 years in prison for shooting and killing a suicidal man who was holding a gun to his own head. Jeffrey Parker never pointed the gun at Darby or his fellow officers before he was shot by Darby.

Continue reading “Former Alabama Police Officer Sentenced to 25 Years For Shooting Suicidal Man”

Florida Couple Arrested at Airport for Using Fake Vaccination Cards

We are now seeing an increasing number of prosecutions for the selling for false vaccine cards as a huge number of reported fake cards flood the country.  This week we also saw an arrest for the use of such cards at an airport.  NBC Miami reported that Enzo and Daniela Dalmazzo were arrested when they tried to fly to Hawaii. What is notable about the case is why they were spotted. Continue reading “Florida Couple Arrested at Airport for Using Fake Vaccination Cards”

Residential Living: Wisconsin Sheriff Bars The Use of “Inmate” for Incarcerated Individuals

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett has ordered staff to stop calling incarcerated persons “inmates” or “prisoners.” They are now to be called “residents” or “those who are in our care.” Such a change would produce some unintelligible results if applied generally. Nelson Mandela’s famous quote would become “Only free men can negotiate. A [resident] cannot enter into contracts.” Yet, what is most interesting is that the word “inmate” was derived from a term for residents.  Continue reading “Residential Living: Wisconsin Sheriff Bars The Use of “Inmate” for Incarcerated Individuals”

Res Ipsa Blog Hit By Targeted Cyber Attack

Today Res Ipsa was targeted for a second time in a cyber attack to prevent access to the site. While access for some was restored by WordPress technical support, I could not post or even gain access to the site for much of the day. WordPress confirmed that this was an intentional attack to freeze the site and my ability to post. We do not know when a third attack will occur. Continue reading “Res Ipsa Blog Hit By Targeted Cyber Attack”

Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report

Below is my column in The Hill on recent reports of grand jury testimony in the Durham investigation. The implications of the grand jury — and the eventual report — have rattled folks in the Beltway this week . . . for good reason.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report”

Putting The Pen Back Into Penmanship: Unreadable Note Leads To Failed Bank Robbery

Alan Slattery, and the alleged note. (Sussex Police)As schools abandon penmanship across the country, Alan Slattery, 67, may be the ultimate example of the costs of bad penmanship. In this case, a sentence of four years in the pen. Slattery sought to rob a bank but his handwriting was so bad that the teller could not make it out. Eventually either his writing or a teller’s reading improved because (after failing a second time), he succeeded in making off with $3,300 before being arrested, according to the Sussex Police. Continue reading “Putting The Pen Back Into Penmanship: Unreadable Note Leads To Failed Bank Robbery”