The Jury Talks Back

12/17/2008

Engaged to future victim #5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 12:09 pm

Drew Peterson, the Chicago-area man suspected in the disappearance of his 4th wife (and frankly, I would like to talk to the first three) is now apparently engaged to a 23-year old, or so says his publicist…

His publicist…  I don’t care if you have never done anything bad in your life, but the moment you start speaking though a publicist, you need to go to jail.

Anyways, this 23-year old idiot apparently can’t read, nor owns a TV.  This is what we call “Forced Darwinian Action”, the culling of the herd.

In a few years, we’ll be wondering where SHE is, too.

This was my favorite part, though…

Peterson said today that media attention tends to sabotage his relationships.

Really?  I think that killing them would put a damper on a romance…

Why does the UAW want a bailout of the Big Three?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 9:39 am

Well, obviously, if the Big Three go under, the UAW won’t be able to use dues paid to cover the almost $5-million-per-year-over-the-last-5-years loss for their Black Lake Golf Club.

Over the last 5 years, the golf resort has operated at a total loss of $23 million.  It is part of the UAW’s Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, which is situated on 1,000 heavily forested acres along the southeast side of Black Lake.

Seems the cost for a round of golf is $95, and I don’t know about you but I know of very little worth $95 that isn’t something I can take home and use over and over again.  Dropping almost a c-note on freaking golf is one of the silliest things you could suggest to me.

BTW, the UAW has approximately $1.23 BILLION in assets.

I say let the fockers fund their own pension system.

What’s it Worth?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JRM @ 7:29 am

One of the fairly common issues facing those in the criminal justice system is, “What is this case worth?” How much time should the defendant serve?

We end up with a somewhat standardized (though flexible depending on conditions) view on standard cases, though lots of cases are non-standard. I occasionally survey my colleagues on what a case is worth.

So, here are two scenarios. For each, assume you are the judge and the defendant has pled guilty at an early stage. For a jail or prison sentence, you can impose the exact amount of time a person will do (two years is two actual years in custody.) If you sentence to a year or less, you can also attach whatever terms you like; for more than a year the prison authorities will do that. You can sentence to any amount of time you like for the purposes of this exercise. You must sentence to a specific amount of time, or life without parole.

Please give your proposed dispositions before reading the other comments. (This is important; I do this in my real life surveys, too.)

Situation one: The recidivist. Steven, 55, likes heroin. He does not like working. Working isn’t fun. Steven steals for heroin, and from the ages of 21 to now, has been in custody, on probation, or on parole for all but three years of his life. He has been convicted in the past of six separate cases of residential burglary, four cases involving possession of drugs, two counts of possession of heroin for sale, and some DUI’s and other miscelleaneous misdemeanor offenses, including thefts from stores early on before he switched to the more lucrative residences.

Steven’s last case was a residential burglary he committed 12 years ago; he served right about 12 years and lasted a week on the street before he was caught stealing cold medication from a drugstore (the case you are sentencing him on). He says he was going to exchange the cold medication for heroin. (He also rather suspects the recipients were going to use it to make methamphetamine, but that wasn’t his concern; he just wanted heroin.)

Steven says he is an addict, and does not deserve a lengthy sentence because he is non-violent. He ain’t never hurt anyone. The prosecution says that Steven doesn’t do well outside, so he shouldn’t be outside any more.

What say you?

Situtation two: Youthful offender While this is a story about three friends, the guy we’re really interested – since you’ll be sentencing him – is Marcus, 19. Marcus, Joey, and Juan are all freshmen at State University in Middletown. Marcus has no record.

They are all hanging out one night. “I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored,” says Juan.

Joey says, “I’m bored too. Let’s go rob some people!”

Marcus says he doesn’t like the personal robbing part, but he’ll drive the guys around.

The first guy they see is a 22-year-old guy with an Ipod. Ipods not being boring, Joey and Juan get out of the car and tell the guy to give them his Ipod. When he says he wants to keep it, Joey pulls out a .45, which is persuasive.

Marcus wasn’t aware that they had a gun before, but they then go and rob three more people of cell phones, Ipods, and wallets that night. By the time of the fourth robbery, approximately every police officer for 20 miles is patrolling the area with a description of the car, and they end up getting pulled over and arrested. Police find Joey’s gun in the trunk, and it is loaded.

Marcus admits that he shouldn’t have done this, but he says he was only the driver and didn’t think before getting arrested. He is distraught in court and says he will testify truthfully against the others. (The prosecution didn’t make a deal for the testimony because the other guys are caught dead to rights.) Marcus’ mother is also there and says Marcus was doing very well before getting in with this crowd.

The prosecution says armed robberies lead to fear, disorder, and corpses. Once Marcus knew there was a gun, he’s endangering lives and should go to prison for a long time. Even assuming the dubious proposition that Marcus has learned anything, others need to be restrained from participating in armed robberies.

What say you?

San Franciscans support shoe thrower by 12-1 margin – Updated

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 5:38 am

Letters in today’s Chronicle expressed support for the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush by a ratio of 12-1.  Twelve writers expressed support for, satisfaction of, or humor in the attack.  My understanding is that editors seek to publish letters on an issue in a similar ratio to the letters they receive.

While it’s no longer surprising, it’s still disappointing, that so many can justify in their own minds an assault as a legitimate manner of expression — apparently not realizing that a shoe can fly in more than one direction.  Equally disheartening is the popularity of the notion that reporters, who are supposed to at least appear unbiased, should instead take sides.

Update 12/18: Five letters critical of the previous day’s mob mentality, including at least two from self-identified Bush opponents, appeared in today’s Chronicle.  Perhaps there’s hope yet for civilized debate and journalistic accountability.


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