Patterico's Pontifications

8/3/2006

L.A. Times Makes Numerous Misstatements Regarding Mel Gibson Case

Filed under: Crime,Current Events,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:28 pm

Yes, there are more important things going on in the world right now. But I know something about this, so I’m going to talk about this.

The L.A. Times reports: Some Attorneys Voice Surprise as Gibson Is Charged Only With DUI.

Some veteran DUI attorneys said they were surprised that an “excessive speed enhancement” was not filed against Gibson — a charge that would mandate jail time.

“If you’re going 25 mph over the speed limit, that would greatly increase your chances of jail time,” said attorney Jonathan I. Kelman. “The fact that they didn’t file the speed enhancement — that makes me wonder,” Kelman said. “Ninety percent of my clients out of Malibu would face that enhancement if [law enforcement officials] thought they could prove the speeding.”

Under state law, a driver under the influence whose speed exceeds the posted limit by 20 mph or more on streets or 30 mph on highways faces a minimum of 60 days in jail.

Wrong.

It is not enough to be DUI and drive over 20 mph on streets or 30 mph on highways. You also have to be driving recklessly.

California Vehicle Code section 23582 states:

Any person who drives a vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, and in a manner prohibited by Section 23103 during the commission of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 shall, in addition to the punishment prescribed for that person upon conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, be punished by an additional and consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.

Section 23103 prevents reckless driving.

So it’s not enough to be DUI and speeding — you also have to be driving recklessly. And the presence of the word “and” means that being DUI and speeding is not enough. There must be something more to amount to reckless driving.

I don’t know all the facts of this case, but I’m not aware of any facts that would satisfy that element.

Next we have Laurie Levenson weighing in, as she always does:

Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School, said Gibson’s bellicose behavior toward the deputy made it a borderline case for resisting arrest and making criminal threats, both felonies.

Criminal threats? That requires a victim who says they feared for their safety. But:

In an interview with The Times on Monday, Mee called the incident “just another routine stop that just got a little escalated…. This is just another drunk driving incident. It just happened to be a celebrity versus Joe Blow public.”

Doesn’t sound too threatened. There goes any “criminal threats” case.

And for resisting arrest to be a felony, it has to be by means of force or violence. I have no knowledge of any such behavior by Gibson. So where is the felony???

I don’t know whether these silly statements are the paper’s fault or Levenson’s. Favoring the former theory, she seems to agree with the charges — I think:

“Prosecutors had to use their discretion. A different defendant, a different situation, you might have seen those charges added,” Levenson said, adding that the charges filed appeared to be appropriate. “But I think people will be suspicious as to whether he has received celebrity treatment because of the way this case has been handled from the beginning.”

To recap, as a certain sock-puppet might say: the speed enhancement requires more than speed, despite what the paper says. Criminal threats cases require someone who was scared, which we don’t have here. And felony resisting requires force or violence, which we don’t have here.

Other than that, it’s a great story.

Kevin Cosgrove’s 911 Call

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Everyone else has linked this, but in case you haven’t seen it, you should. Warning: it’s rough. It’s a 911 call from someone trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11. You hear him talking frantically to the operator about how he and his colleagues need to be rescued and need oxygen. Then, when the building collapses, he screams: “Oh God!” and the line goes silent.

You probably won’t want to see it twice — maybe not even once. But you should see it.

Hopefully Final Word on the TBogg Deal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 pm

[UPDATE: Here’s the short summary if you don’t want to make your way through the whole post. In a comment thread to a nasty post of his about Malkin, I did something I shouldn’t have done. I let TBogg know that I know his name, by making allusions (that nobody but him understood) as to how one could find this publicly available information — information that HE HIMSELF HAD CHOSEN TO PUT ON THE INTERNET. It was wrong of me to do, but it wasn’t an outing. He dared me to go ahead and out him, and I then said repeatedly that I wasn’t going to. He then falsely claimed I already had, and played the martyr, revealing his own name and pretending I had — all to make me look bad. To teach me a lesson, he let one of his commenters post what he thought was my HOME ADDRESS and HOME PHONE NUMBER — which he left up all day, and took down only when I told him it wasn’t really mine. That’ll learn me!

Stephen at Politburo Diktat nails it. — Patterico]

Well. I have quite a few folks upset at me for supposedly “outing” TBogg. The false implication that I outed him was enough for lefty unhinged blogger Atrios to dub me the “wanker of the day.” Which, coming from him, I wear as a badge of honor.

I’m sorry you folks had to endure a day’s worth of comments from his horde.

And then there are other fans of his who hate me and think I’m stupid, but nevertheless say: “Of course you didn’t really out TBogg.”

And of course I didn’t.

As is proved by these comments from TBogg’s site today:

(more…)

On TBogg’s Self-“Outing”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:55 am

TBogg is claiming I “outed” him. Actually, he outed himself — and clearly wanted to do it. Good on him and more power to him.

Here’s how this came to pass.

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