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Your Weekend Reading, February 11, 12, 2012 – Jim Morrison’s Will & Some Bootleg

February 11, 2012

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Your Weekend Reading, February 11, 12, 2012 – Jim Morrison’s Will & Some Bootleg

Forty-three years ago this weekend, Jim Morrison signed his Last Will & Testament.  He left everything to his girlfriend, Pamela Courson.  She lived not quite three years after Jim died.  Then it got ugly.  First, here’s the text of the will (or an image if you’d rather): LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JIM MORRISON I, […]

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Extending Graham v Florida: Is death foreseeable through a juvenile’s eyes?

February 9, 2012

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Extending Graham v Florida: Is death foreseeable through a juvenile’s eyes?

I’m working through my thoughts on an appeal.  Juvenile got life without parole.  He was an accessory to a robbery.  The principal shot and killed a store clerk.  Client went down on Felony-Murder as an accessory to an enumerated felony.  Interestingly, the shooter got Murder 1 based on planning the murder.  It’s interesting because my […]

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PCRA Nunc Pro Tunc

February 8, 2012

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PCRA Nunc Pro Tunc

So you got toasted at trial, and now you have all the time in the world on your hands as you sit in prison either for a couple of decades before your first parole hearing or the rest of your natural life.  The direct appeals have washed away.  Your conviction is sealed as surely as […]

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Further Issues in Mens Rea: Implied Malice

February 2, 2012

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Further Issues in Mens Rea:  Implied Malice

An actor’s mental state is central to determining whether or not a crime was committed.  We discussed mens rea here and here.  One person shooting another could have been an accident or in self-defense … or, of course, intentional murder.  It’s all determined by mental state.  But, importantly, many times we need to infer mental state […]

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Juvenile Criminals: Coddle or smack upside the head?

January 24, 2012

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Juvenile Criminals: Coddle or smack upside the head?

Our precious little snowflakes would never hurt anyone, right?  They didn’t intend to put the hurt on that person. They didn’t mean to steal.  The other kid instigated it.  Blah, blah, blah.  But ask instead about someone else’s kid, and the story changes – That kid was always trouble; the parents are useless; he hangs with […]

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The danger of not being first: When prosecutors learn off co-defendants

January 23, 2012

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The danger of not being first: When prosecutors learn off co-defendants

You’re going to trial.  Would you rather a top-end sentence of 40 years or Life?  As an outsider, which crime do you think would be harder to prove – the 40-year max or Life? I was researching a possible appeal this week.  A person was wrongfully killed about 20 years ago by three men.  The […]

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Your weekend reading, January 21-22, 2012 – What’s in a word? A bit over $500 million and counting if it’s “Apple”

January 21, 2012

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Your weekend reading, January 21-22, 2012 – What’s in a word? A bit over $500 million and counting if it’s “Apple”

When you’re in the market to piss off someone, try to avoid making it one of The Beatles – they can be a litigious bunch. In 1968, The Beatles reformed their business interests into Apple Corps, Ltd.  The entity owns (or owned) 80% of a partnership of The Beatles, with the remaining 20% split equally […]

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Don’t Talk to Cops. Ever. But do listen to this cop talk.

January 20, 2012

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Don’t Talk to Cops. Ever.  But do listen to this cop talk.

I was surfing the net for criminal topics.  As best as I can recollect, I got on the Ohio Public Defender site, and then found a link to the video below.  When someone devotes 48 minutes to explaining why not to talk to cops – and that someone is not some girl from the hood, […]

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

January 19, 2012

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

I can spend hours at a clip trolling the Social Science Research Network for papers.  Hit “Browse” by the masthead and have at it, or type “Criminal” (or whatever) in the search box then change the sort to “Date Posted, Descending.”  Just watch the original publication date because it doesn’t always coincide with the SSRN […]

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

January 18, 2012

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

I’ll cut right to the chase on Hate Crimes.  I don’t like them.  Allow me to explain.  It’ll take a few paragraphs … Let’s say that someone beats me upside the head with a baseball bat.  Hate when that happens.  I suffer significant injuries.  He gets 2 to 4 years on an Agg Assault charge. […]

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