Morning Links

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
  • Three very good posts from Jacob Sullum illustrating the absurdity of hate crimes laws: one, two, and three.
  • Coming to California: A new law inspired by a dead person.
  • The U.S. Secretary of Transportation enjoys driving around to find drivers talking on their cell phones, then honking his horn at them.
  • Federal court bars Mississippi from putting children in solitary confinement.
  • U.K. police raid the wrong house after stolen iPhone pings to the wrong address: “Nottingham Police refused to reimburse Kerr for the repairs to his door — because officers ‘reasonably believed’ an offender was in the house.”
  • The state of Utah has stopped the family of Matthew Stewart from raising funds for his defense. They say the family must first get a permit.
  • Two years after he was stopped and illegally searched, Raleigh man just wants an apology. He hasn’t received one.
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32 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Tim C | 

    I honk at people on their phones (and doing various other things, the most recent 2 being makeup and eyelash curling respectively) all the time. Hint: way more satisfying with a German horn.

  2. #2 |  Mike | 

    Hate crimes links one and three are the same.

  3. #3 |  picachu | 

    It’s very sick how police in other countries now are emulating American cops.

  4. #4 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Kerr said he understood why officers broke into his house but not the police’s refusal to pay for the damage and he has made an official complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    Dude is way too understanding. He should sue the police for negligence and Apple for providing false information to police.

  5. #5 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I can think of a Kerr who would really, really benefit from that kind of raid and the attendant experience not getting reimbursed.

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “The U.S. Secretary of Transportation enjoys driving around to find drivers talking on their cell phones, then honking his horn at them.”

    Would God that was the worst waste of his time. Pity he doesn’t send all his minions out into the streets to do the same. Maybe he could borrow some bodies from other buttinski government anthills. Anything would be better than letting them sit under florescent lights, vomiting up regulation after stupid regulation all day. Healthier for them, better for the country, and in the Chaos that is Washington D.C. traffic, who’s going to notice some more idiots?

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “•Two years after he was stopped and illegally searched, Raleigh man just wants an apology. He hasn’t received one.”

    Cops apologizing? Isn’t that akin to apes saying “please”
    or hippos driving cars? I hope this article was placed in the Humor section.
    If every innocent pedestrian who got frisked by Badge Guys in the US eventually received a formal apology it would take longer than the lifespan of the universe, similar to Levinthal’s Paradox. Let’s not even go there.

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    From the newspaper:

    Richards also filed a motion last week asking a judge to order officials to allow the defense access to the crime scene, Stewart’s home, to conduct its own investigation. The motion claims every informal request for access has been denied by prosecutors, saying its investigators were still examining the scene.

    “It has now been six weeks since the shooting,” reads Richards’ motion, “and defense counsel desperately needs access to the home in order to prepare a defense, preserve evidence, take pictures and other investigative testing before time and weather or other factors deteriorate evidence.”

  9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Coming to California: A new law inspired by a dead person.

    It’s hard to imagine how we ever survived as a species without this law.

  10. #10 |  crazybob | 

    Regardless of the merits of this particular law, laws regulating the safety of automobiles have saved tens of thousands of lives and 100’s of billions of costs. Safety laws should be evaluated on their merits not ideology, many of them have significantly contributed to the prosperity of this nation.

  11. #11 |  Onlooker | 

    Regardless of the actions described here, Ray Lahood is a prototypical govt bureaucrat jackass. And I wholeheartedly agree with C.S.P. above.

  12. #12 |  Roho | 

    Jeez, Utah should just cut to the chase:
    “In any case involving a civilian charged with an offense against an officer of the law, the civilian shall not be permitted to present a defense.”

    There, was that so hard?

  13. #13 |  marco73 | 

    How can investigators still have work to do at the crime scene in that Utah shooting?
    I mean, the prosecutor already decided this is a death penalty case weeks ago.
    It seems like the entire prosecution will be: ” Dead cop. Death penalty.”
    Then have a kangaroo jury just say “guilty.”
    And the neverending drug war can claim another victim.

  14. #14 |  MacGregory | 

    Yep, throw another body on the “winning the drug war” pile. The warriors think that if the stack gets high enough, they can climb it and take their rightful place amongst the gods.

  15. #15 |  Mattocracy | 

    Again crazybob, you’re assuming this safety features wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for regulation.

  16. #16 |  Whim | 

    Great post #14 MacGregory: “throw another body on the “winning the drug war” pile. The warriors think that if the stack gets high enough, they can climb it and take their rightful place amongst the gods.”

    After the police and prosecutors climb the mountain of drug war dead bodies, they’ll plant a flag pole in the asshole of the last one they killed in a No-Knock Late Night Drug Raid, too
    .

  17. #17 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    crazybob,

    As the husband of a short, overweight woman, who’s life is threatened by the Air Bag mandated by such safety laws, I take a dim view of all government buttinskiism on the subject. This particular law may make some sort of sense, but my first instinct is to assume it is so much tripe, and the regulatory system has not proved me wrong often enough to change my approach.

  18. #18 |  BamBam | 

    @12 for The Win

  19. #19 |  Mike T | 

    You have to wonder how much of the cops’ behavior WRT apologizing is actually mandated by the organization as a way of keeping the ambulance chasers from saying “aha! You admit you wronged this man, sue sue sue!” Granted, many cops are dicks, but the civil laws are crazy enough now that you cannot admit you wronged someone in a professional capacity and not take a legal risk.

    Unless you’re a lawyer working for the government…

  20. #20 |  JOR | 

    “Safety laws should be evaluated on their merits not ideology . . . ”

    This is a purely ideological expression. Now nothing is wrong with that, per se (there is no getting away from ideology), but it happens to be an unreflective and thoughtless ideological expression, a strong hint that the underlying ideology is at least, well, unreflective and thoughtless, and possibly dishonest.

    (Yes, libertoids sometimes do this as well, when appealing to “reason” etc.)

  21. #21 |  StrangeOne | 

    VI Amendment (according to Utah):

    “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense

    Wow, you need a government permit in order to exercise your sixth amendment rights to assistance of counsel? I’m sure that has nothing to do with the trend of needing permits for first, second, fourth, and fifth amendment rights. They stop being “rights” when the default is that you need government permission to exercise them.

  22. #22 |  Personanongrata | 

    •U.K. police raid the wrong house after stolen iPhone pings to the wrong address: “Nottingham Police refused to reimburse Kerr for the repairs to his door — because officers ‘reasonably believed’ an offender was in the house.”

    Robinhood and his merry band they were not.

    A man’s home is his castle unless the police say it is not.

  23. #23 |  nigmalg | 

    Regarding the charity fund permit issue, based on comments alone:

    1.) Stewart deserves no defense whatsoever. Immediate summary execution is most appropriate.
    2.) People who come up with “crazy charities should have to pay [for a permit]”

    I want to believe people are more careful than this. Every time I read these news article comments I want to find a nice quiet place in the backcountry to live the rest of my days without ever interacting with people again.

  24. #24 |  DarkEFang | 

    Can we just make a honking the maximum penalty for violating all those ridiculous “distracted driving” laws? And make administering those honkings LaHood’s full-time job?

  25. #25 |  Brandon | 

    #10, “saved tens of thousands of lives and 100′s of billions of costs. Safety laws should be evaluated on their merits not ideology, many of them have significantly contributed to the prosperity of this nation.”

    Had to reach reaaaaalllll far up your ass to pull these out, huh? I still think the vice president should find better things to do than post random fallacies on libertarian blogs.

  26. #26 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    In re hate crimes: should there be a difference between possible motivations, and blatant public threat?

    CSP, I’ve heard that being short puts a person at risk from airbags, but what difference does weight make?

  27. #27 |  strech | 

    From one of the Dharun Ravi articles:

    But even if we discount Ravi’s mitigating explanations, he is guilty, at worst, of being an immature jerk

    Actually, when Ravi’s mitigating explanations – which contradict the evidence – are discounted, he’s guilty of invasion of privacy and destruction of evidence, even considering his failure to do either properly.

    No, it doesn’t look like he’s guilty of a hate crime (whether or not that’s a justifiable law), but the “boys will be boys” is bullshit. The base charges are justified – even if they aren’t always pursued – and it’s not just the hate crime law / “bias enhancer” that’s causing Ravi’s problems.

  28. #28 |  NAME REDACTED | 

    “Two years after he was stopped and illegally searched, Raleigh man just wants an apology. He hasn’t received one.”

    Thats his mistake. He would be much more likely to get a settlement than ever get an apology.

  29. #29 |  Pam | 

    Mississippi has barred the “hole” errr…solitary confinement for juveniles by consent decree. Uhh huh, and cross my heart, hope to die and I swear on my dead grandmother I’ll never eat another piece of chocolate for as long as I live.

    Hmmm….I’m thinking…what will be the new form of torture for the kiddies?

  30. #30 |  Chicagojon | 

    Wow, that older white guy at Reason.com sure knows everything there is to know about hate crimes.

    Give me a break…the first article is crap. His quotes around “bias intimidation” which is the alleged crime compared to the headline using “Expressing Unapproved Views” is Fox journalism 101. Save that bullshit for someone who can’t see through it.

  31. #31 |  Radley Balko | 

    Wow, that older white guy at Reason.com sure knows everything there is to know about hate crimes.

    Which part do you find objectionable? Do you think the guy should get 10 years for being a jerk?

    Do you think hating gay people should be a crime?

  32. #32 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Radley I won’t be glib like Chicagojon, but I admit to being conflicted on hate crimes laws. For the record, no I don’t think the guy should get 10 years for being a jerk and no I don’t think it should be a crime to hate gay people. I would add, however, that hate is ugly and unhealthy for both the hated and the hater. As the Buddha suggested in the Dhammapada, animosity never solved anything.

    Anyway, the one redeeming feature of federal hate crime laws, IMHO, is that it allows such incidents to be tracked. Thus, agencies may be able to spot patterns of attacks on certain groups across jurisdictions. In other words, I don’t care much about the penalty enhancer aspect of hate crimes laws, but I do think having a subcategory for crimes directed at certain people can aid in the investigative effort.

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