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For me but not for thee? Insider trading by members of the US Congress

November 21, 2011

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For me but not for thee?  Insider trading by members of the US Congress

I don’t understand some things in life.  I do, however, understand a lot.  I get the 2d Law of Thermodynamics, for example. Scientists can use all the big words and symbols that they want, but the most concise statement of the 2d Law is that “eventually, all things turn into sh**.”  I know that geese […]

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Sir Walter Raleigh lost his head, and we got the 6th Amendment Confrontation Clause

November 18, 2011

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Sir Walter Raleigh lost his head, and we got the 6th Amendment Confrontation Clause

So Wally – Sir Walter in front of his stuck-up wife – was pissed.  He spent 13 years in the Tower of London based upon hearsay evidence.  It seems that Spain was going to fund the ouster of King James I.  One of Wally’s pals, Lord Cobham, was going to go there, pick up a ton […]

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Although ‘all men are created equal,’ some are more equal than others

November 16, 2011

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Although ‘all men are created equal,’ some are more equal than others

I’ll always remember two cases that came up within several days of each other.  It was winter.  One was with a guy I knew my entire life.  His driver’s license was suspended.  Lived in a trailer.  Ran out of oil.  He drove about three miles into town to get five gallons of kerosene.  The option […]

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Terry Stops

November 14, 2011

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Terry Stops

Lots of issues in the law are referred to by the case within which the rule was formed.  What we know as our Miranda rights actually came from a consolidated opinion on four cases: Miranda v. Arizona, Westover v. United States, Vignera v. New York, and California v. Stewart.  They could just as readily been called […]

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Homicide: Bullets, Beers, & Butane

November 14, 2011

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Homicide:  Bullets, Beers, & Butane

Doesn’t matter how you kill someone – shoot him in the head, get drunk and run him over, or burn down his house – it’s all homicide.  The difference is going to be between Murder and Manslaughter, and the degrees within each.  The difference is also going to be from maybe two years in prison […]

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So I killed this guy. Can I claim self defense?

October 31, 2011

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So I killed this guy.  Can I claim self defense?

I sure hope so, otherwise your next long-term girlfriend is gonna have an Adam’s Apple. First of all, Self-Defense is just that – a defense.  You’ve done everything to be guilty of Murder, but your behavior was excused because of the totality of the circumstances. The initial issue is your use of deadly force.  Chances […]

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What is theft?

October 31, 2011

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What is theft?

Theft – or the older and still sometimes used term Larceny – is a very cool crime.  So much arises out of it – Burglary, Robbery, and Possession of Stolen Property, for example.  Even Trespass. Common Law defined it as the “trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent […]

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Can I have a ‘jury of my peers’?

October 28, 2011

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Can I have a ‘jury of my peers’?

No.  Next. Alright, let’s walk through this misconception. You can easily dismiss the concept by defining your “peers.”  For me, that would be a father, male, age 52, born in February, Lithuanian heritage, three kids, lawyer, teacher, someone who grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania – left for California for ten years – then came back, […]

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What’s a Crime?

October 28, 2011

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What’s a Crime?

Broad question.  First of all, a crime is an act (generally) that society has determined to be worthy of public condemnation.  The act violates the norms of living in a cooperative society.  The act sucks so badly that we don’t consider the aggrieved person (e.g., the dead guy) to be the victim – instead, society […]

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