Morning Links

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
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61 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Nipplemancer | 

    former Prosecuter Andrew Thomas and his deputy got disbarred for their crazy scheming with Joe Arpaio
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/04/10/20120410thomas-aubuchon-stripped-their-legal-licenses.html

  2. #2 |  nigmalg | 

    Re: Police1 article comments

    “People that recognize and respect the profession will accept whatever we have to do get the job done and go home at night.”

    Lovely comment. Ladies and gentleman, the line for boot licking begins to your left.

  3. #3 |  AlgerHiss | 

    A minor note on that WSJ piece on federal lying, it was front page, not buried elsewhere, in the print edition: Quite telling as to how important they thought the subject is.

    As for Fox News, I really hope they fail and go away. I’d prefer NBC, ABC and CBS were still the only place to go for broadcast news.

    If only Walter Cronkite was back to declare “And that’s the way it is.”.

  4. #4 |  Eric | 

    The Joel Stein article was fun to read, but it is a bummer that it was written and presented (and will likely be primarily received) as just a humor article. Even setting aside the one crazy result that he got from the self-prepared return, he paid three professionals to do his taxes and got results that were $5000 apart.

  5. #5 |  Dante | 

    RE: the Police1 article

    I couldn’t help but feel that the author pre-judged the issue, and then wrote an article to support his views. He made many “points” that just are not supported by the facts – kind of like “Nothing to see here, go back to your homes”, or “If you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about”. There are literally thousands of “isolated incidents” each year that prove him wrong. But he doesn’t see it that way and he never will.

    Gee, what is his background? Cop? I’m shocked.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  6. #6 |  Bobby Black | 

    First…to hell with the cops and their attitudes. The mantra they used to get cameras installed in their cars was “if you are doing nothing wrong, why are you hesitant to let it be recorded?” until the cameras were pointed at them without their ability to “Accidentally” lose the recordings or those ever so convenient “erased and/or corrupted” video that seem to happen so many times when their actions were questioned during the thousands of “siolated incidents” we read so much about, is suddenly “recording police in the line of duty never shows full context. And when it DOES show full context and they are obviously just murdering, tazing, and brutalizing people, their new “we have to prove they had INTENT to break the laws they were supposed to uphold. They scream STOP RESISTING at the unconcious victims of their brutality to establish that the camera all of a sudden isn’t actually showing what is happening before our eyes. They always have the old “i was scared for my life and the lives of my fellow officers who only wish to go home to their families at the end of their shift” crap that shows them as only wishing to do good and kiss their kids when all else fails, the prosecution and police unions just let them off the hook by finding their actions justified, and each cop can get a few of these free asses before they are actually punished with a few lost days of vacation pay and/or probation. It is sickening what cops do, the animals they have become and how they expect total capitulation from us in the end, because they have a hard job to do and blah blah blah. Liars, thieves, crooks and thugs to a man. i trust the cops as much as i trust Fox News.
    Whiuch rbings me to the last point i will make today…you said “Disgruntled Fox News employee will write an anonymous column for Gawker. I don’t know for whom I’d cheer in a Gawker-Fox feud. But it will be fun to watch. And one can always hope both sides sustain heavy damage”…werll I for one hope that FOX sustains the heaviest damage. They have hurt this country more than anything else with their lies, fake punditry and outright racial, sexual, religious, and class hatred. Screw Fox. Off with their heads. Gawker is just annoying. Big difference to me.

  7. #7 |  Charlie O | 

    If every American would spend just one week reading the comments to stories on PoliceOne, they would come to realize how dangerous most Law Enforcement officers in this country are. That website is the very source for showing what complete sociopaths most cops really are.

  8. #8 |  Miroker | 

    @#2 You have that wrong, the line actually begins on the right.

  9. #9 |  marco73 | 

    @ #4 – You are so right about the tax article.
    I can see someone bumbling through tax software and screwing up. But when people who do taxes every day of the year come up with such different answers, that tells you the tax code is just too complex.

  10. #10 |  Nipplemancer | 

    @#7
    Agreed. I read those threads frequently. I really loved their butthurtedness in the threads about the Indiana ‘right-to-resist’ law. “ZOMG Open Season on cops in Indiana!! O NOES!” Their apparent fear made me quite happy.

  11. #11 |  el coronado | 

    “the cop jock-sniffing/bootlicking line begins on the left/right.”

    Still falling for the same Blue vs Red Kabuki show are you, Miroker? So if “the left” you’re trying to hold up as an ally of freedom really is what you (foolishly) seem to think they are, quick:

    1) How many Drug laws did Clinton decriminalize and enforce that decriminalization via EO?
    2) How ’bout Obama?
    3) How many EO’s have Clinton & Obama *together* signed limiting police powers?
    4) Did famous freedom-lovin’ Lefty Obama blast the recent USSC decision permitting strip searches on arrest, even for piddly little misdemeanors?
    5) You know that gigantic NSA installation in Utah that’s about to come onstream? The one that’s gonna listen in on…AFAIK, *everything*…did Obama put a stop to it 3 years ago when he took office? Did he even try? Did he even talk about trying? (The guy who’s SO much in love with his own voice was strangely….silent on that one. Odd, ain’t it?)

    “No” on every one, right? I know it’s hard for you, man, but try to _think_, OK? It ain’t a left vs right thing – it’s a Police State vs The Proles thing.

  12. #12 |  Jerryskids | 

    Re – police militarization. @#5 – the guy is retired military, now cop. His definition of “militarization” is a bit suspect.

    First comment (emphasis added): “This type of thinking should scare the hell out of every American. LEOs are the frontline of defense. I don’t remember the military being on scene at 9/11 or other mass causalties events. We are under attack from within our country everyday.

    That would be “militarization”.

    And the author’s final paragraph: The public has little to fear from LE professionals so long as our constitutional checks-and-balances remain effective and new officers understand and embrace the difference between their service as a soldier and that of a law enforcement professional.

    That would be “question-begging”.

  13. #13 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “It’s unlikely, however, that the police will ever become truly “militarized” so long as police authority comes from the rule of law and our enduring though often-times eroded constitutional principles.”

    Sorry, police lost the privilege of falling back on the US Constitution
    when they started driving tanks, chucking grenades into our homes and shooting our pets…nice try, though…

  14. #14 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1512465/pdf/califmed00183-0077.pdf

    Somewhat (though indirect) about the plausible bad effects of tax seasons on accountants.

  15. #15 |  EH | 

    Well it’s certainly illuminating to see someone define respect for authority as supporting an “ends justify the means” attitude.

  16. #16 |  Mike T | 

    The argument that we shouldn’t worry about the militarization of American police departments because the American military is increasingly taking on the role of police.

    I could be down with that if police were prosecuted under the UCMJ. Imagine the one story from CopBlock where some cop killed the man whose wife he was screwing. Unlike civilian law, the UCMJ recognizes Adultery as a crime. The US military, unlike police, still has an old fashioned sense of right and wrong which would make for some nice popcorn snackin fun watching as the police have to live under that legal standard.

  17. #17 |  Passing thru, may stick around. | 

    Regarding #1 Nipplemancer on April 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am, from the linked AZCentral news report:

    … In an hourlong hearing Tuesday, a disciplinary panel convened by the Arizona Supreme Court repeatedly found clear and convincing evidence of ethical misconduct — even criminal acts — that it said merited disbarment for Thomas and former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon and suspension for six months and a day of former Deputy County Attorney Rachel Alexander.

    Scott Zwillinger, Alexander’s attorney, said his client was acting on the orders of her superiors.

    Wasn’t that excuse used in trials somewhere before, a long time ago, in some foreign country? I think they hanged the defendants anyhow.

  18. #18 |  EH | 

    Why do police website designs so accurately reflect the level of quality of policing in general? Is there any police website that even has a “reply” link for comments?

  19. #19 |  30 year lawyer | 

    18 USC 1001 (the law that got Martha Stewart) is something every lawyer should know about early in their career.

    It’s triggered by a “false” statement in any federal context. THERE IS NO MENS REA REQUIREMENT. And this is why the FBI’s policy is to allow no audio recording of interviews (so the agent’s notes of what she remembers that she thought she heard becomes the “truth” – especially if the witness never said that). Any 1/2 hour interview will include at least one technical violation. The Feds love it.

    My first case as a criminal defense lawyer involved this statute. We beat it because my client immediately asked for a lawyer and said absolutely nothing and I was able to show the question (on a written Credit Union loan form was, in context, ambiguous). Just luck on our part. 18 USC 1001 throws a HUGE net that catches the evil, the venial, and the innocent. It’s a statute that gives truth to the old saying “It takes a really good prosecutor to convict an innocent man. Anyone can convict the guilty.”

    Since it always comes up over coffee in a pleasant office, it’s hard to remember the “Lawyer up ASAP.”

  20. #20 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Miroker,

    “@#2 You have that wrong, the line actually begins on the right.”

    And moves to the Left? That can’t be right, can it?

  21. #21 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I think you guys would have liked PoliceOne the weekend I was allowed to comment. As far as I could tell, they briefly, and without much notice, allowed non-LEOs to post there if they registered. I took full advantage. We engaged. It was much fun. That was a couple years ago now, though. When the admin got back on Tuesday, the rules changed (back) and hundreds upon hundreds of my posts were suddenly gone.

    Last week: I am supposedly going to be investigated by the FBI for impersonating a police officer on the internet — at least according to one of the commenters in Officer.com. *ay yi yi * The stupid, it burns.

  22. #22 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @16: I would love that law if they enforced it. If they had a law like that in the army, and it were enforced, then Eisenhower would have gone to the brig instead of the White House. Hello, Adlai! If they enforced that law then there would have been certainly no Iraq War, and probably no Afghnistan war either.

    But they don’t enforce it. American military men and women do whatever they want in foreign nations and that includes adultery. Lyndie England (reember her?) is the exception that proved the rule.

  23. #23 |  all day every day | 

    re: policei article

    I think the kids call it “institutional paranoia”

  24. #24 |  Miroker | 

    All lines start on the right, just like the in versus out doors. Why do you make it about something that was not even part of the comment?

    I do not like what is going on in this country any more than a lot of people I know, but since I started in the ghetto, I have a different sense of what is right and wrong compared to someone who may not have had to eat chicken feet for lunch and dinner. Or had ketchup sandwiches for breakfast.

  25. #25 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The first step in reining in aggressive prosecutors has to be a law making it explicit that they cannot prosecute you for “lying” if the lie is a statement that you are not guilty of a crime they haven’t the guts to try you for.

  26. #26 |  derfel cadarn | 

    It appears that Federal Prosecutors are the only ones that get to lie in court. Until Fed Prosecutors are held to an equal standard there should be NO convictions or charges for things that they can do.

  27. #27 |  CSD | 

    #4 | Eric

    “…but it is a bummer that it was written and presented (and will likely be primarily received) as just a humor article.”

    The only people unfortunately that I could see taking it too seriously are the IRS. If his story is legit his first audit is coming up soon. Taxslayer might get a close look shortly along with his long term accountant. I am guessing the high end accounting firm decided to miss some deductions after they were informed he was writing an article.

  28. #28 |  el coronado | 

    18 USC 1001. Sounds kinda innocuous, don’t it? Certainly doesn’t have the catchy zing of ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ or ‘Thoughtcrime’ – but maybe that’s the point. Seems to me the intent behind it is about the same, though.

    As the lawyer above in #18 so helpfully points out, “it’s triggered by a ‘false’ statement in ANY (my emphasis) Federal context.” So, even though IANAL, I gotta think that includes statements of ANY KIND to….oh….IRS assholes, Border Patrol guys, TSA fuckwits, Park Rangers, Post Office zombies, Census takers……long list.

    Silence is golden: in this case, it just might keep you free. (in the ‘not in an actual prison yet’ sense, I mean.)

  29. #29 |  nigmalg | 

    Just did a quick search about the history of 18 USC 1001.

    “Its earliest progenitor was the False Claims Act of 1863, and in 1934 the requirement of an intent to defraud was eliminated to enforce the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA)…”

    “The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative program. ”

    *SIGH*

    Obama’s Hero?

  30. #30 |  clarkcountycriminalcops | 

    My favorite is “by lapd4287 “Assaults and murders of police officers are way up.”

    Proof that cops don’t know which way is up. As Radley and I pointed out over the weekend, police deaths are way down. As of today total police deaths are down 48% over last year, and police fatalities by firearms are down 58%.

    Yet the NY Times ran this (http://wp.me/p2bnGV-e5) on Monday telling us “Even as Violent Crime Falls, Killing of Officers Rises.”

    @MikeT the “story from CopBlock where some cop killed the man whose wife he was screwing” was Henderson Police Officer Edward Little. Copblock re-posted our examination of the Ruslan Zhgenti murder (http://wp.me/P2bnGV-1e).

  31. #31 |  zero | 

    Miroker,

    “@#2 You have that wrong, the line actually begins on the right.”

    And moves to the Left? That can’t be right, can it?

    Let’s do the time-warp agaiiiiiiiin….

  32. #32 |  nigmalg | 

    By the way people,

    My comment about “starting on the left” was apolitical. Big government of any direction deserves equal lambasting.

  33. #33 |  StrongStyleFiction | 

    Police constantly talk about the “war on cops” and the need for tanks and body armor. They talk about how dangerous their job is, yet they are the ones who constantly escalate the violence in every situation they encounter. It’s as if some of them were never taught to use their words as toddlers.

    Reading comments on police blogs and websites can be chilling. It’s astounding that a sane person would let some of these people have a loaded gun, let alone a tank.

  34. #34 |  EBL | 

    Zimmerman did everything wrong from a post incident criminal defense perspective…

    I am putting 30 year lawyers’ comment into this link because he is absolutely right.

  35. #35 |  David | 

    Regarding the false-statements law, if you think it’s bad now, take a look at King v. United States. The guy was convincted of making false statements on a subject “in the jurisdiction of” the federal government because he lied to a state investigator.

    Yes, read that again if you want, it still won’t make sense. The court ruled – and the storied Ninth Circuit confirmed – that if you say something that isn’t true, and the thing you’re talking about could be considered a federal crime, it’s a felony. Because that net wasn’t wide enough.

  36. #36 |  SJE | 

    I don’t agree with many of the comments re 18 USC 1001. Yes, prosecutors over-use it. However, in most of the cases I have seen there is a strong suggestion of criminal misbehavior going on, and 1001 is just the most convenient and easiest tool. e.g. Martha Stewart was trying to cover up insider trading.

    Also, while there is not a strict requirement for mens rea, most of the provisions in 1001 require some intent to deceive. I sign documents every day with the usual “I could go to jail for lying” clauses, and never have any concern that I will be in trouble for an honest mistake.

    I wonder if the WSJ is on this story because 1001 is being used to prosecute more Wall Street traders caught for insider trading.

  37. #37 |  Whim | 

    The FBI interviews a suspect while working in pairs, so that each agent can later testify to the veracity (or lack thereof!) of each others questions, and the respondent’s answers. The sessions are not recorded, intentionally.

    It becomes the word of two agents vs. one suspect.

    When asked anything by any Federal officer, agent or employee, the ALWAYS correct answer is:

    “I wish to remain silent. I want an attorney”.

  38. #38 |  nigmalg | 

    SJE,

    You’re not going to find many friends on this blog supporting the use (or misuse) of a questionable law to nail individuals guilty of unrelated violations. This almost universally leads to problems.

    From what I understand there was some previous language in 18 USC 1001 requiring intent that was explicitly removed; perhaps by an administrative that favored discretion as you’ve argued.

  39. #39 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    SJE,

    I agree with nigmalg. Your comment makes 18 USC 1001 sound like a law that was passed in a frenzy of “We know (fill in name of favorite whipping boy) was guilty, but we couldn’t prove anything. We need to change the law so would could have nailed him.”. That almost always results in laws that can be used to convict just about anybody, based on the discretion of the State.

    NOT a good idea.

  40. #40 |  Chris Auld | 

    (TLDR version: the claims in the Police1 article that felonious killings of police officers are much higher than they were in the past are very much wrong.)

    Both the Police1 article and many of the commentators there claim that there has been a large increase in the number of officers killed in the line of duty in the U.S. Perhaps their conclusions are based on articles such as this one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/us/defying-trends-killings-of-police-officers-are-on-the-rise.html

    which is statistically illiterate.

    I don’t think I can post images in the comments, but here’s a graph showing officers feloniously killed from 1973 through 2005, clearly indicating a marked downward trend (even as the absolute number of LEOs rises):

    http://www.project.org/info.php?recordID=280

    and here’s another graph on this page filling in more recent years, 1996 though 2010:

    http://ncguns.blogspot.ca/2011/10/updated-more-officers-killed-in-line-of.html

    With such small numbers there is a lot of year to year variability due to noise, but taken together both the absolute and, in particular, per capita number of LEO’s killed in the line of duty in the U.S. have been trending down for decades and are currently substantially lower than they were several decades ago.

    To get a handle on what would be a statistically unusual number of officers killed, suppose there are 800,000 officers in the U.S. and that the true probability an officer is feloniously killed in a given year is 55/800,000, based on an average of 55 officers killed per year since 1996. Then a simple calculation shows the standard deviation of officers killed per year would be about 8.3, and we’d expect between 38 and 72 officers to be killed in 95% of years. The data from 1996 on show a minimum of 41 officers killed in 2008 and a maximum of 72 killed in 2011, so 2011 is merely borderline statistically unusual.

    Chance will cause seemingly large changes in number of officers killed if changes are misleadingly expressed as percentages—for example, a change from 40 one year to 60 the next is a 50% increase, but unremarkable given the amount of variability due to chance, and would not suggest there is some underlying increase in true risk to officers.

    The NYT article’s breathless assertion that there’s been “a 25 percent increase from the previous year and a 75 percent increase from 2008″ sounds like a description of a large upward trend, but only because it fails to point out that we should expect to see large percentage changes due to chance, and because 2008 was an unusually safe year for officers. Anyone can find “trends” where none exist by cherry picking start and end dates like that.

  41. #41 |  Xenocles | 

    “[F]ederal prosecutors can always fall back on a vague “lying” charge when they can’t find evidence of any other crime.”

    Not if you don’t say anything.

  42. #42 |  Sean L. | 

    Re: Crime spree –

    Nice! If that guy committed 10 felonies in one day, that means I don’t have to commit any for *three* days!

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/three-felonies-a-day/

  43. #43 |  el coronado | 

    You don’t have a problem with 1001, SJE? Really. So it’s OK that I can lie my ass off to YOU – so long as I’m not under oath – and you can lie your ass off to ME – so long as you’re not under oath – but neither one of us, in fact NObody can tell a lie to *any* Federal employee at *any* time, for *any* reason. Even though they’re not under oath while doing so. Even if, as in Martha Stewart’s case, the Fed in question gets to decide that the statement that **you sincerely believed to be true but turned out to be incorrect**, (that’s what that whole “no mens rea requirement” in comment #18 was about), that statement constitutes a “lie”, and off you go to prison, sucker!

    But of course, it’s perfectly a-OK for a federal employee to lie to you – after all, you’re just a prole. Oh, and BTW, the FBI doesn’t ever record interviews/interrogations, so Mr. Fed might just _accidentally_ remember wrong at your trial as to what you said or didn’t say those several months ago, and off you go to prison, sucker!! (No no, not you, Mr. Corzine. It’s all been arranged, sir.)

    So it’s one rule for THEM, another, infinitely more strict and open to abuse rule for US. And you don’t have a problem with that, SJE? Because it’s a convenient and easy tool for prosecutors to ramrod folks they _think_ are guilty? (or they don’t like; or some guy someone at Justice wants disappeared for awhile…) And heck, they wouldn’t be prosecuting the guy/gal if he *wasn’t* guilty, right?? Interesting. Now, where’d that old Sam Adams quote get to…..

  44. #44 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    But of course, it’s perfectly a-OK for a federal employee to lie to you – after all, you’re just a prole..

    Jesse Ventura said it best, making inferences from Martha Stewart
    (lying/jail) and WMD (rationale for war):
    If you lie to the gov’t, you go to jail…
    If they lie to us, we go to war…

  45. #45 |  David | 

    From the Police1 article:

    “[Some people say police militarization is] an understandable and justifiable answer to increasingly violent criminal behavior.”

    If anybody does say that, then they’re lying or ignorant, as violent crime has been steadily plummeting for years (since 1990), as Radley wrote about in this great column (http://reason.com/archives/2009/10/19/were-all-felons-now), as was written about in ‘Freakonomics’, and has been thoroughly documented in a billion other places.

    Once again, we get a drama queen who loves prostrating himself before the police and military and he gets his worldview from TV, movies, and the mainstream media which all portray violent crime as worse than ever, rather than observing the real world around him.

  46. #46 |  SJE | 

    I suggest you look at the actual text of 1001. I checked it before I wrote my comment, since everyone here seems to think it is the spawn of the devil. No, its pretty much as I remember it. The relevant section says

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
    (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
    (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
    (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
    shall be [punished by fine and/or prison]

    The plain language of the statute requires intent to deceive. Now, intent CAN be inferred by actions, but the problem is not the law, its the prosecutors and judges who allow them to argue intent based on flimsy evidence.

  47. #47 |  Deoxy | 

    I don’t know for whom I’d cheer in a Gawker-Fox feud. But it will be fun to watch. And one can always hope both sides sustain heavy damage.

    not that Fox is just wonderful, or anything, but which station isn’t far worse? Seriously, which station would you recommend? CNN (that has admitted lying to maintain “access”, among other ridiculous things), ABC/NBC/CBS (yeah, let’s see how they’ve handled the Martin/Zimmerman thing for just the most recent example, not to mention how they’ve SO SO SO in the tank for one party)?

    To borrow/bastardize a famous quote: Fox is the worst possible news station… except for the all the others that actually exist.

    Or am I missing one?

  48. #48 |  Jerryskids | 

    @#43 – any of the “news” media are okay sources, as long as you are aware they almost certainly are not giving you the whole story. At that point, you go online and actually do some research. You can find a dozen sources for news stories and a thousand sources for news analysis – you are certain to find additional ways to interpret or understand the news.

    And speaking of “catch-all laws” like 18 USC 1001, Ken at Popehat has a piece on 18 USC 1030 – which is like 1001 for computers. Pray to god they don’t find you reading this on your work computer, that’s a crime.

  49. #49 |  John | 

    “Both suggest that those wearing a darker, more military-style uniform may act more aggressively, matching their tone with their dress. However, their conclusions are not conclusive. The uniform implies trust and authority. Only an individual officer can earn respect or alienate those whom he or she contacts by exercising authority before common sense.”

    To translate: there is evidence, but I don’t like what it says, so I’ll instead just throw out my opinion without evidence as gospel truth and continue to make decisions from that viewpoint.

    Also, the logic of “people don’t respect the people wearing our uniform, so we need to change our uniform” is all sorts of fun.

    Other than the lack of evidence or reasoning, a brilliant op-ed.

  50. #50 |  JOR | 

    The police have always been militarized (think 4GW). They just lag behind the imperial armed forces in terms of doctrine, tactics, and equipment (sometimes, and to some extent).

    It’s worthwhile to keep shining the light on this reality, but it’s nothing new.

  51. #51 |  JOR | 

    The line for bootlicking starts at both ends and proceeds towards the center. Left, right, repeat.

  52. #52 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#42

    …but the problem is not the law, its the prosecutors and judges who allow them to argue intent based on flimsy evidence.

    In my opinion this means the problem is the law.

    Personally, I do not claim to possess the ability to read minds, but the state on a regular basis relies on their own ability to divine intent of many minds that they have either just met or have never met. People seem to think this mind-reading is OK even though Miss Cleo got sent to jail for it…after someone probably read her mind.

  53. #53 |  Deoxy | 

    Personally, I do not claim to possess the ability to read minds, but the state on a regular basis relies on their own ability to divine intent of many minds that they have either just met or have never met.

    The alternative to this is to make laws without a mens rea requirement, and those are FAR FAR FAR worse, as evidenced by their obscene abuses (only partially) cataloged here.

    any of the “news” media are okay sources, as long as you are aware they almost certainly are not giving you the whole story.

    There is certainly some truth in this, but my question was about why Fox seemed to be targetted particularly, when they are the least offender of the group (and not by a small margin).

  54. #54 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Headline of the day: “Gravy-wrestling model suffers horrific facial injuries after being hit with monkey wrench when she interrupted a friend having sex”

    And she really did take a serious eye injury.

    Pretty women are human beings, even if they do something undignified.

  55. #55 |  Jay | 

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/04/11/fox-mole-outed-admits-to-being-a-weasel/

  56. #56 |  SJE | 

    My point re 1001 is that it is a distraction.

    Prosecutors use and abuse ALL the laws. If you changed 1001, they would move to something else. And, as we know, law enforcement seems to have no problems going well beyond the law to achieve their ends.

    Better to focus on the abuse of power by prosecutors and police.

  57. #57 |  SJE | 

    Laws without a mens rea requirement ARE a problem. An innocent mistake that harms no one could get you years in jail: e.g. neighbor hacks into your WIFI and uses it to download kiddie porn, and you are guilty merely for facilitating the use. Or, you import lobsters from Honduras, and try to comply with all federal and state laws, but the Feds decide that you have broken the law.

  58. #58 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @56 – And the problem is that they’re “prosecutors”. Their interest is prosecution. Worse, many of them are looking after their statistics for re-election.

    It’s why I defend the UK’s system of having a professional civil service organisation doing the prosecution, with a strong test of the public interest before they bring charges. They can, and frequently do, drop charges.

    (Which is even more important now there’s increasing political pressure on police and judges)

    It’s interesting how the definitions of negligence and recklessness in UK and US law differ, too….

  59. #59 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Ow! #57 SJE droppin’ the hard science of jurisprudence all over our nogs. Righteous and tru!

  60. #60 |  SJE | 

    Well, if people think I am wrong, I might as well go to the facts.

  61. #61 |  nemo | 

    In re cops and the dangerous work they are involved in.

    If they don’t like that, they are free to quit. At any time they want. Just as is every other civilian. Starting all over again in middle-age is hard, yes. I had to do it after running afoul of the drug laws and being reduced to penury. But I worked my way back up after some very, very hard years. They won’t have the problems that I did and should have it lots easier.

    Which calls the mind the fact that they volunteered to attach themselves to the public treasury teat. How many of their neighbors got down on their knees and pleaded and begged for them to become police officers? I doubt very many did. They certainly have not been dragooned into it.

    So..if they don’t like the working conditions, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. A hallmark of a ‘free’ society. Isn’t this a great country, or what?

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