A Friday Roundup of “Nut-Punch” Criminal Justice Stories

Friday, December 10th, 2010

A Happy Friday! list of criminal justice outrages…

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32 Responses to “A Friday Roundup of “Nut-Punch” Criminal Justice Stories”

  1. #1 |  Aresen | 

    A Friday Roundup of Nut Punch Criminal Justice Stories

    Well, at least you admit what you’ve been doing.

  2. #2 |  Rhayader | 

    Hey, at least it doesn’t just happen here:

    “Egyptian plainclothes police officers have beaten a man to death in the country’s second largest city, Alexandria, on grounds that he had defaulted on a bank loan.”


  3. #3 |  Irving Washington | 

    Re.: Rosenberg. Good for him. What is it with the CCL community being such law enforcement bootlicks? The course here in Texas requires the instructors to teach you that you have to identify yourself as having a CCL if you get pulled over. WTF?! That’s not required. And just about every CCL holder does it.

  4. #4 |  The Mossy Spaniard | 

    I don’t know if I can keep reading this kind of shit on a regular basis. You can only handle so much gov’t outrage before you start doing ill-advised things to combat it.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation finds Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason “has pursued criminal charges against hundreds of people over the past decade despite having little or no evidence against them.”

    Yeah, but how is he different from other prosecutors?

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    This one’s a doozy too.

    Arrested for breastfeeding while high

    Truth or Consequences, N.M. (KRQE) – Police in Truth or Consequences arrested Kimberly Lawrence, 27 on Friday, November 19th for child abuse and other charges for breastfeeding her six month old daughter while high on marijuana according to police

    In the criminal complaint obtained by News 13 from the Truth or Consequences Police Department Lawrence was arrested after her roommate gave police a pipe and a green substance that police identified as marijuana and said it belonged to Lawrence.

    Police performed a welfare check on Lawrence on Friday and claim to have discovered what appeared to be marijuana and pills.

    Police also say they found a large glass vile with brown liquid in her home.

  7. #7 |  random guy | 

    The hits, they just keep on coming.

    It seems America has gained exponential momentum in its decent into tyranny and lawlessness. I recognize virtually nothing of this country from just ten years ago. I fear for the next decade.

  8. #8 |  Andrew S. | 

    Police also say they found a large glass vile with brown liquid in her home.


    Seriously, how the heck would they be able to prove those items weren’t the roommate’s? Seems like it could be a nice scam by the roommate to get back at the woman for something.

  9. #9 |  The Mossy Spaniard | 

    I get mad about these stories often. But when the full gravity of the situation hits me, I’m not merely infuriated; I’m sad and frightened. I don’t know if I want to raise children in this country unless some significant progress is made. I have fewer reasons to love my country than I do to hate it. I envy those of you old enough to remember a day when things were at least marginally simpler and some semblance of liberty was still extant.

  10. #10 |  Mario | 

    When something is obvious to USA Today, it must be pretty bad.

  11. #11 |  Roho | 

    I love how they keep finding new ways to felonize the act of getting in the way of the police. There’s a charge for everything!
    Getting Mistakenly Arrested = ‘Resisting Arrest’, ‘Disorderly Conduct’
    Getting Mistakenly Raided = ‘Disorderly House’
    Filming a Cop Doing One of the Above = ‘Attempted Lynching’

  12. #12 |  random guy | 


    I’m 25. I’m convinced that I’m part of the generation that will witness the fall of the American Empire. I just don’t know if we are going to be the ones chopping it down or the ones it falls on.

    I try to avoid thinking about it. But then I hate myself for ignoring whats important. I don’t want to be one of those people that lives in some corrupt nation and when everything falls apart and all the monstrosity of the government is laid bare, say to themselves “we didn’t know”. I feel that the events of the day create a moral impetus to fight back against evil and tyranny. I also know, historically, how often those movements fail; crushed by the same jackboot they opposed. I read the news and can’t help but feel like a useless coward for letting this stuff happen, but I know I can’t save the world either.

    I’m rambling. I’ve been reading articles on wikileaks and the state department and gitmo and dynacorp and joe-fucking-lieberman all morning. I’m overwhelmed angry and scared. I can’t handle this shit but I can’t look away either. Its bad news all over, every day.

  13. #13 |  The Mossy Spaniard | 

    I couldn’t have said it any differently. I’m 22, and my awareness of these issues is 4 years old at best (libertarianism “happened to me” a few years back). This awareness has been largely detrimental, since I can only change one mind at a time, and that’s a slow process.

  14. #14 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    Hey, it’s not all (entirely) bad:


  15. #15 |  Nathan A | 


  16. #16 |  ric_in_or | 

    Re the Music Venue —

    IIRC … some folks sued successfully because an auto rental place had placed monitoring devices on the rentals and then charged the renters for exceeding some un-safe speed – like 90mph.
    Their grounds were that private business cant enforce state laws.

    I would support the rental companies – don’t abuse the equipment, and we monitor for that. Go throw a ball at the bowling alley and see if you are not asked to leave.

    But the g-men expecting private citizens to do their jobs for them? really? Hell, they don’t want the states doing their jobs for them – AZ immigration policy.

  17. #17 |  Blakenator | 

    I think a big part of the problem is the stenographers who pose as our media these days. As long as the masses stay ignorant, whether it is willingly or through media manipulation, this is what we get.

  18. #18 |  Troy | 

    Wow, it isn’t so bad r at once. It is like after the first nut punch, said nuts are in a more maliable existence of flux such that make the remaining shots easier to take.

  19. #19 |  Bob | 

    Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation finds Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason “has pursued criminal charges against hundreds of people over the past decade despite having little or no evidence against them.”

    Uh huh. Wow. But for the money shot, we need the critically analyze the presented data.

    Data elements given in article:
    TotalTrials = 6891
    ConvictionRate = 92%
    TotalRule29 = 364
    NoPleaBArgainConvictionRate (NPBCR)= 63%
    CasesRefused = 600 to 750 per year
    CasesRejectedByGrandJury (CRBGJ) = 400 per year

    Total convictions (TotalConvictions): 6340
    (TotalTrials * ConvictionRate)

    Total cases (TotalCases) that would have gone to trial in the 9 year period: 10063
    (TotalConvictions / NPBCR)

    Total Acquittals (Acquittals): 875
    (TotalTrials – TotalConvictions)

    Total Plea Bargains: 3723
    (TotalCases – (TotalConvictions + Acquittals))

    Of those 875 acquittals, 364 were Rule 29s by the judge.

    If you go to trial there and the Judge doesn’t throw the case? You are basically guaranteed a conviction by a jury of your ‘peers’.

    Now, let’s look at the cases that DON’T go to trial.

    Total cases that would have gone to trial in the 9 year period: 10063

    Number rejected outright by the Prosecutor’s office: 6075
    (CasesRefused ” 9)

    Number rejected by the Grand Jury: 3600
    (CRBGJ ” 9)

    This gives 19738 cases submitted for prosecution by the Police Department.

    Of those, 49% were so pathetic and weak that not even THESE guys would prosecute them. Nor would a Grand Jury, which has a reputation for rubber stamping, recommend a prosecution.


    The problem is obvious: THE POLICE ARE TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. This total incompetence creates a criminal trial system that is warped to the gills in favor of the prosecution just to get convictions at all.

    See how this works? Shit rolls down hill. The Police do jack shit for investigation, then give their craptastic cases to the prosecution. The prosecution is heavily pressured to get results, and as such will take weak cases as opposed to try no cases at all. This begins the political process of warping the trial system in favor of the prosecution.

    The Police are the problem. They are utterly incompetent.

  20. #20 |  Cynical in CA | 

    •Portland police officer responsible for five police abuse settlements costing taxpayers more than a million dollars . . . is promoted to sergeant.

    What a good Mafia soldier!

  21. #21 |  JS | 

    random guy#12 great post! I too have been reading the wikileaks stuff for several days, and I feel the same way you do. I feel like all the injustices and stuff that we as a country do both here to our own people and overseas to others just can’t go on indefinitely. On one hand it would be nice to see the authoritarians finally get theirs, sort of like how people felt when the French aristocracy fell, but on the other hand I’m scared to death of what might come after America falls. But sometimes you just think “fuck it, it couldn’t be any worse.”

  22. #22 |  Matt I. | 

    @ 9, 12 & 13

    I see two problems in terms of action in America.

    First, there are no real organized heavily disruptive protests over these actions. In Europe at least, they are willing to rise up and really protest the things that they are truly concerned about..witness London yesterday. When there are actions here, they are usually individual and hence easy to put down or dismiss…like ‘national opt out day’.

    The second is that there is no organized effort to run candidates specifically on issues of civil liberties. For a while the proverbial wisdom was to go with the ‘security moms’ on every issue. Today this might be different, and there might be opportunities for candidates to run and win on these issues. At the very least, people should be publishing and naming candidates who actively support the police state.

    I’d like to see Lieberman ousted in Connecticut, and I’d love to see an effort to name all the politicians who are coming down in support of the TSA and focus attention on defeating them when they run for re-election…kind of like the anti-gun politicians in the 90’s.

  23. #23 |  v ~ | 

    more ignorance and waste on the part of the “justice” system in the vicinity of Portland, OR … sad, to say the least …


  24. #24 |  Pete | 

    Portland Police Officer responsible for $1,000,000 in settlements promoted to sergeant… because of the other potential $50,000,000 that was never reported/litigated/investigated.

    Besides, who knows how much revenue the guy brought in doing his official duties – he could have been part of some really sweet CAF seizures that netted the department multiple millions.

  25. #25 |  Tim | 

    How do we really stop the police state?

    Like most of you, i read these stories everyday (mostly here) and grow increasingly angry over the control and power they wield against us, even though they comically “serve and protect” us.

    There is a lot of truth in #22’s post, but I’m afraid the two party system would quash the efforts of a candidate running on the platform of civil rights and ending the police state.

    The police state may be the one area where “making it better for the children” doesn’t seem to gain any traction. But at least we’re protected from sugar and trans fat, just not protected from the cops!

  26. #26 |  demize! | 

    Don’t worry folks a decadent and decaying empire in decline looks like this. Shouldn’t be to long, I hope.

  27. #27 |  Marty | 

    we’re not any more of a police state than we were at the end of the civil war… I get aggravated as much as the next guy about govt overstepping it’s boundaries, but my solution is to live as freely as possible. Along with my teenaged, homeschooled daughter, we participate in public debates, meet people interested in freedom (Pete Eyre was fabulous!), start businesses, experiment, etc. read Carlos Miller’s photography blog and learn how to assert yourself and make cops regret trying to pull their bullshit power trips on free people.
    we don’t have to send our kids to govt schools. we don’t have to work bullshit jobs. we don’t have to live in over-regulated neighborhoods. I hate bureaucrats more than ass pimples and take pleasure in making them squirm. As long as there’s govt, there will be abuse and corruption. As long as there’s govt, we can fuck with them…

  28. #28 |  Henry Bowman | 

    BTW, the author Joel Rosenberg mentioned above is not the same person as the author Joel C. Rosenberg. Each is contemporary and each has written a number of novels, but on rather different topics.

  29. #29 |  JOR | 


    Yes it’s easy for people to romanticize the past and think that “these days” are the end times. The whiny statist calls to prosecute wikileaks are disconcerting but the stuff the state is trying so hard to hide these days is just stuff they’d have been proudly doing out in the open 50-150 years ago. America isn’t really more illiberal or police statist than it has been in the past. Though miltarily-economically, it’s likely in for a steady decline if not a nasty crash.

  30. #30 |  Arthur | 

    #27 and #29

    I think you are both missing something here. Yes, the desire to use the power of the state to watch and control the citizenry is no different today than it was in the late 1860’s. However, the ability is quite a different story. If a state agent takes an interest in you for any reason, they have access to a mountain of data which will reveal a shockingly clear picture of who you are and what you do with your life, including many things that you once believed to be private. What would have taken massive man-hours to investigate then takes mere moments today. America is a MODERN police state. It is a very different animal, IMHO. It’s less visible, better informed, quicker, and most of its restraints are either broken or nearly so.

  31. #31 |  croaker | 

    Classic tagline from Windpundit re Joel Rosenberg:

    “No word yet on whether Sweden will be filing rape charges…”

  32. #32 |  One law to bind them all and in the darkness find them… « Whipped Cream Difficulties | 

    […] This good feeling should last until Balko posts his next round-up. […]