Patterico's Pontifications

11/29/2005

A New Suggestion for Avoiding Execution of Innocents: Elevating the Importance of “Lingering Doubt”

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 6:53 am

This post builds upon my previous posts on a higher standard for the death penalty, and provides an improved suggestion for implementing such a standard: instructing jurors that they cannot impose death if they retain a lingering doubt about the defendant’s guilt.

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11/28/2005

Incendiary Devices: They’re Not Just For Wars Anymore (And They Never Were!)

Filed under: Terrorism,War — Patterico @ 10:09 pm

C.W. Taylor smartly puts the white phosphorus debate in context, by telling us about damage caused by incendiary devices here at home.

Captain Ed on the Fall of the Canadian Government

Filed under: International — Patterico @ 7:11 pm

Captain Ed reports on the fall of the liberal Canadian government — an event that Ed contributed to significantly.

To Achieve Peace, Sometimes You Must Prepare to Drop Some Bombs — Google-Bombs, That Is

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 7:06 pm

Little Miss Attila has a great idea: help Patterico get a Nobel Peace Prize by portraying Patterico as a man of peace. And the best way to do that is to Google-bomb the term Patterico so that it leads back to the “Peace” page at the Nobel Foundation — like this: Patterico.

I’m Patterico, and I approved this message.

What the Sixteenth Minute Looks Like

Filed under: General,Media Bias,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 5:18 pm

Amusing (if pathetic) pictures of Cindy Sheehan’s book signing, here. (Via Mary Katharine Ham at Hewitt.)

My favorite bit: the photo that Reuters ran with. Viewed in context, it screams: “We are trying to hide the truth!”

No Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Yet

Filed under: Crime,General,Morons,Nobel Peace Prize — Patterico @ 6:35 am

I am disappointed that no reader has yet volunteered to nominate me for the Nobel Peace Prize. What’s the holdup? I haven’t committed enough murders?

Let’s get to work, people. If you are 1) a judge, a legislator, or a social science, history, philosophy, law, or theology professor, and 2) incensed by the nomination of murderer Tookie Williams and by the prize awarded to murderer Yasser Arafat, make your statement now. Leave me a comment or e-mail me at patterico AT patterico DOT com.

UPDATE: There is a possibility in the works, but a vomiting cat has delayed the discussion. No kidding.

UPDATE x2: The cat vomit is cleaned up (it wasn’t my cat) and things are looking positive. No guarantees, but I have a promising lead.

UPDATE x3: Eugene Volokh opines that a professor should not nominate someone he or she thinks is undeserving, because making light of the seriousness of the nomination process does not justify dishonesty to the Committee. He has an interesting point; however, his concerns could easily be addressed by simply being completely honest with the Committee that this is a parody nomination.

What About the Three Strikes Proposal?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:34 am

The lead story in today’s L.A. Times is titled Voter Initiatives Taking Shape for ’06 State Ballot. It reports on several new proposals headed for the ballot in 2006. Nowhere does the article mention the new Three Strikes proposal I mentioned here the other day. I can only assume that’s because the proposal has not yet been cleared for petition circulation by the Attorney General’s office, according to this list of recently submitted initiatives.

Stupidest Man Alive: Geoffrey Huish

Filed under: Humor,Morons — Patterico @ 6:31 am

I’m filing this under “Morons” — but that’s really too much of a compliment:

A rugby fan who cut out his testicles with wire cutters to mark a Wales victory is at a loss to explain why he did it.

Geoffrey Huish, 31, performed the impromptu self-surgery in February when his beloved Wales beat world champions England.

After performing the deed, Mr Huish put his severed anatomy in a bag and took them to his local social club to show fellow fans.

(Via Dean.)

UPDATE: I thought the moral of the story was: “Don’t cut off your own testicles with wire cutters” — but Xrlq sees a larger lesson here.

11/26/2005

Use the Powers!

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 9:44 pm

Ann Althouse says:

Jeff Goldstein and John Cole have no idea what I would say if I actually used my full verbal powers to cut them down to size.

Neither do I, but I’d like to see it. If you’re going to cut someone down to size, you don’t want to use only partial verbal powers. You might as well use the full verbal powers.

See-Dubya: Patterico’s Firebird and the Phantom Satanists

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 1:34 pm

Ordinarily I’d be a little trepidatious of disagreeing too strongly with Patterico on his own site. But he’s suggested I go ahead and link this criticism of his new, unworkable standard of proof in death penalty cases.

Long and short of it: Doubts are either reasonable, or they’re not. Prosecutors should have to deal with the reasonable ones. The unreasonable ones, they shouldn’t. Either the reasonable doubt is there, or it ain’t. This is a qualitative standard, not some quantified percentage of certainty, which is pretty meaningless anyway.

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