Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When the punishment doesn't fit the crime

A 20-year-old Georgia man is going to prison for 10 years for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. The prosecutor seems to be punishing the man for demanding a jury trial and not taking a plea deal for five years in prison and registering as a sex offender.

Read Susan Filan's comments about the case.

Everyone agreed, including the prosecutor and the girl herself, that she initiated the act.

It was all captured on video — the evidence used to convict him at trial. On the tape, police saw a 15-year-old perform oral sex on one partygoer, and after finishing with him, she turned and did the same to Wilson. Under Georgia law at the time, this was considered aggravated child molestation, a felony for teens less than three years apart to have oral sex. It carried with it a 10-year sentence, even though it was only a misdemeanor for those same teens to have sexual intercourse.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

District Attorney in More Hot Water

Seems that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong is finding himself in more ethics trouble.

The North Carolina Bar Association is accusing Nifong of withholding DNA evidence and making misleading statements to the court.

Nifong recently dropped rape charges against three members of the Duke University lacrosse team when the victim started wavering on her account of the incident. The district attorney withdrew from the case earlier because previously ethics charges created a conflict of interest.

If Nifong's purpose in pursuing the case was to make a name for himself, he sure succeeded. Just what that name is remains to be seen.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Model Bargains Out of Jail

Former supermodel Naomi Campbell struck a deal with prosecutors that will keep her out of jail.

Originally charged with second-degree felony assault on her maid Ana Scolavino, which carries a sentence of to two to seven years in prison, Campbel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault which carries a much lesser penalty.

Campbell admitted throwing the cell phone which struck Scolavino in the back of the head but insisted it was an accident because she did not mean to hit her.

In exchange for her plea, Campbell with pay Scolavino's medical expenses of of $363, complete five days of community service and attend a two-day anger management program.

As is said, money talks, or in this case, takes the catwalk.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Minimum Wage Opponents Missing Point

Opponents of raising the federal minimum wage cite all kinds of statistics supporting their view, as do proponents.

Guys like George Will and Rich Lowry claim the minimum wage only affects a small number of Americans, but claim that raising it will cause all kinds of economic damage to business, including causing some of them to lay off workers or go out of business altogether.

We'll let others argue those points.

But Lowry says, "The effect of the hike basically will be to give a small boost to the wage of teenagers working summers or after school."

What's wrong with that?

With the cost of college tuitions increasing dramatically every year, and the cutback of grants and loans available for students, many teens are working to help pay their way through college.

They need all the help they can get and deserve a chance to make enough money to better themselves.

The problem with guys like Will and Lowry is that they have either forgotten what it's like to struggle to get ahead, or never had to in the first place. Now they want to deny that opportunity to others.

Spring Break Plans May Include DUI Lawyer

Several of my son's friends were over the other night talking about going to California (specifically San Diego) for Spring Break, and boys being boys, they got to talking about getting rowdy.

Now they know not to drink and drive, but being young and thinking they are invincible, these boys (young men really) do not always make the right decisions.

That's when I told them it might be wise to know about a San Diego DUI Lawyer before they make the trip. So they got on the Web and found Rick Mueller, who from the looks of his Web site is a fairly competent lawyer when it comes to DUI.

He's got a victory page devoted to cases where he has saved his client's driving privileges. Let's face it, you have to be able to drive in this country, so being able to keep your driver's license is essential.

Another positive point is the page on defenses to California's DUI breath test. Pre-knowledge of one's rights is always a good thing.

Now, I don't expect these guys to get into trouble while in Sunny Southern California, but I'll sleep better knowing that if the worse happens, they'll know who to call.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Is U.S. Mail Really Private?

The U.S. mail is not private and the government does not need a search warrant to open your mail, according to the latest signing statement by President George Bush. As defined by the Bush White House, a signing statement is something this president uses so he doesn't have to follow the law.

Why haven't the American people heard about this before now since it happened in December? Media Matters for America points out that it's because the issue was largely ignore by most of the major media outlets.

On January 4, the New York Daily News reported that on December 20, President Bush attached a "signing statement" to a postal reform bill that "quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant." According to the Daily News: "That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it." ABC, CBS, and CNN have largely ignored the story, however, and ABC's Good Morning America reported that Bush "acquired new powers" and suggested that they were "included" the bill.
Have the American people become so numb to the constant law violations of the current administration that we don't care anymore? Are we really that far gone?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Inmates religious rights upheld

From Associated Press:
RICHMOND, Va. - In a ruling favorable to an inmate who sued after a Virginia prison denied his request for kosher meals, a federal appeals court on Friday upheld a federal law that protects the religious rights of incarcerated people.

The state of Virginia had challenged the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act after inmate Ira Madison complained in a 2001 lawsuit that prison officials were violating the act by denying him a kosher diet.

Virginia argued that Congress had exceeded its authority by tying compliance with the act to federal funding for prisons.

But the appellate judges rejected that argument, saying the law does not force states to change prison policies.
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