Tag Archives: Crime

Strauss-Kahn Continues

As the specter of the Straus-Kahn case lumbers on under the radar for a few days, recent reports brought to mind a frequent expectation that I deal with in the practice of criminal law: get my case dismissed. The credibility problems for the primary victim do not automatically create a situation where the case MUST be dismissed.

Much of the prosecution process is discretionary. The prosecutor has the discretion, or the opportunity to decide whether the continue with the prosecution in the face of a discredited witness and a collapsing case.

When clients tell me “that witness lied” we must prove that as a fact like any other to a prosecutor or to a jury. The lie oftentimes comes down to my moma said her brother heard the witness say he’d refuse to testify for $2000.00. But when you ask the brother, the most important witness, he doesn’t recall, or reframes the context.

Criminal cases and criminal trials are a perilous matrix of decisions and moves and choices, somewhat like a game. Unfortunately, we do not all start out with an even playing field in the courtroom. This game affects lives. Like the Strauss-Kahn case, some allegations take on a life and story of their own. The gossip grapevine of the street can be just as merciless and the high profile media.

Strauss-Kahn will likely suffer the fate of many other alleged sex crime defendants, a trial based on discredited testimony before 12 regular folks. Guess we’ll see what happens. Perhaps the prosecutor has some evidence that’s not quite public yet.

Doesn’t look like this case is getting dismissed anytime so, or perhaps, at all.


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Random News: June 3, 2011

In case you missed these interesting stories…

Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. Apparently the city of Riverdale, Georgia, wants a piece of property repaired, demolished or otherwise rehabilitated. Bank of America denies ownership of the property. Funny how that works. Property ownership should be clear and on record. Odd how Banks want their payments but they can’t be bothered to care for the properties with which they find themselves when everything falls apart. The Bank branch manager faces a contempt finding, though, I doubt the branch manager has the authority to make any decision about the property. That person is being subject to incredible amounts of stress and threat of jail because his/her employer failed to represent and take care of him/her. Sad, really.

A Beautiful Day. Talk about dumb luck.Pick up a hitchhiking Bono on the side of the road, get back stage passes to U2. Pretty cool.

Pushy sales pitch leads to arrest. Apparently these entrepreneurs need to find another market for their product. For some reason, I am always intrigued by stupidity of this level. Even in Athens, someone called the police to complain about pushy pot dealers. Perhaps he should take some business classes and learn how to target his market better. Wow!

Witness Credibility Measured By Jury, Not Media. A ticket fixing scandal damages credibility, i.e. believability, of officers involved in a DWI in the Bronx, NY. This case may not be a sensational murder or a spectacular show trial, but the result serves as an example for anyone willing to pay attention. The thorough discussion of jury deliberations would serve as informative for people who are quick to jump on the “send ’em all to prison” bandwagon. Simply because an individual is arrested does not mean they are guilty. These jurors indicated that the officers’s testimony was inconsistent, the jurors questioned the officers’ ability to tell the truth. These issues cannot be adequately addressed by media who seek headlines, not truth. Verdict in latin means truth. The media, who sensationalize crime, seek readers, not truth. The wider public would do well to remember that.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Having worked as a criminal lawyer for more than 10 years (both prosecutor and defense attorney) the story and suffering of Jaycee Duggard falls squarely into the category of “the truth is stranger than fiction.”

Don’t know much about economics. The segmentation of all concepts annoys me. I truly don’t know much about economics but the reports that reduced job growth makes the economic growth sputter seems one sided. The U.S. economy does not exist in isolation. Perhaps something about the economy, say increased gas prices during last month or increasing food prices, prevented more job growth. No one looks at the economy as a whole, no, our attention is focused to headlines that look at limited statistics in isolation without looking at the entire picture of the economy or quite frankly using common sense to find a broader answer.

Isn’t it just too damn early for this mess? Really, announcing candidacy for president in the 2012 election in early June of 2011, Mitt Romney. Covering the other talking heads who might be diminishing the spotlight for the guy declaring his run for presidency. Sarah Palin and Rudy Guiliani on speaking tours or at least media spotlight speeches. Do these people have real jobs? Why are funding this lunacy?

USDA’s new food guide, I guess. Still not clear why the government should tell us what to eat and how to eat, but the USDA’s new icon for telling people what to eat makes more sense than the revamped weird food pyramid. Again, less processed more real food in it’s original condition. Duh!

Not my fault, blame the job. In the era of abdication of responsibility, the LA Times presents the following headline “Too fat? Blame Your Job.” Really? How about take responsibility! Besides, I encounter many obese people who do not work, collect disability checks, and generally do not do anything to care for  themselves. The study shows that sitting all day creates a problem for workers. Good point. Though, my back tells me when I’ve been sitting too long and I expect most other people suffer from the same or similar issues. Here’s my suggestion: buy a standing desk (very expensive) or purchase an Ikea Bistro table (they sell 2 seater or 4 seater versions) and use that as an alternate standing desk. Much more cost effective and good for the body. Just do yourself a favor, don’t BLAME your job. Take responsibility for yourself. You are the only person who can take care of yourself.

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Surprise! It’s a hoax.

When Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer reported that that they found Big Foot in the North Georgia mountains, who REALLY thought Big Foot lived in N. Ga.? Seriously. 

We have bears and any other manner of wildlife here in the piney woods and the Appalachian Trail. William Lett, an Indiana man, negotiated a deal for Tom Biscardi of California to purchase this Big Foot from Whitton/Dyer. Lett now wants Whitton/Dyer arrested for fraud. Come on. If Lett was so concerned, why did he not take an actual look at the thing before purchasing or make it a condition of the deal that he check out the corpse? Are Big Foot hunters really that naive?

This little tale falls into the category of the Great American Hoaxes. Grow up. An inspection of the carcass would have revealed a zipper and synthetic hair. A brain surgeon and rocket scientist are not required for this endeavor.

If someone has $50,000.00 to waste on a Big Foot, he also has could stand to lose $50k on a hoax. Caveat emptor!


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Media, News

Media Decides Which Criminal Case Makes Headlines

Ladies and Gentlemen: I spent the morning with Fox News as the back drop to my work. It struck me as odd that the only missing and murdered people who made consistent headlines were WHITE and FEMALE. There was one Amber alert posted just once looking for an African American male who allegedly took some children.

Honestly, I prefer FoxNews over other news providers. But I am astounded that the news alerts and updates included the minutae of the missing 2 year old in Florida and a murdered pregnant military officer in N.C. This country has hundreds of missing people from sea to shining sea. Why are white females the focus of such attention? Even to the fair and balanced media outlet?

The controversy within media circles of late has been out of balance coverage in favor of Obama to the neglect of McCain. But the self righteous media turn a blind eye to the color of its own coverage when crime and salaciousness are involved. What not enough drama in the drug cartels moving into suburban Atlanta? Murder after murder. Children are missing throughout this country. Why not devote time and energy to following clues to aid underfunded law enforcement agencies? No glamour in that though.

Media ethics. Media ethics. Media ethics. Who determines the standard? I hope its not the media.

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Security System Search: Day 3

Yesterday, one company returned my phone call. He gave me an estimate over the phone without seeing my home and assessing it for vulnerabilities. Not inspiring. While on the phone with him, I was placed on hold or held on while he spoke on another phone at least two times. I can’t help wondering is that how their monitoring works?

Today, a third company was scheduled to meet me in my home at 2:00 p.m. It’s now 2:25 p.m. I’ve not seen or heard from them. Reliability is important in a security company isn’t it? 

Now, I’m beginning realize why I’ve not done this before now. The entire process is intolerable.

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Valuable Resource: Consumer Reports

Following my burglary and a home invasion a few blocks down the street, I’ve decided to purchase a home security system. My first stop-consumerreports.org and thank God for them. The advice of consumer reports was beware of “van ready to install your system today” and “be wary if the rep does not take time to assess your home’s vulnerabilities or does not discuss alarm system details, alarm notification procedures or the company’s call center.”

Boy, my first experience did not inspire faith. The very nice man got out of his van and removed two boxes. As it turns out the boxes are self-contained “security systems.” You don’t really need all that wiring this has two motion sensors and key fobs…and two door sensors…Yep. Although he was nice, he fit the cliche. I may be in vulnerable position, I’m not stupid. He didn’t even make a cursory look outside or inside the house. I watched as he missed my driveway and had to come back. It’s not as though he examined the house before coming to the door.

The price was right but was the security monitoring company. I don’t know. Probably won’t find out.

In an age where were need security systems to protect ourselves and our stuff, these companies can exploit the unprepared, uneducated and desperate. Consumer reports provided valuable information that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

I’ll be updating this search under security system search: by day number.

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Ode to the Burglar

Thank you, oh burglar(s), who broke into my home on Tuesday and invaded my privacy, stole my possessions (including my computer), and broke window panes. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to change my lifestyle and way of thinking. I’ve just purchased and am now writing to you via a lovely new apple mac book. This product is great, although I will have to reload all my music from cd to my ipod (not happy).

Otherwise, burglars, you will be caught. You will be prosecuted and I will be there to testify against you.

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