Patterico's Pontifications


Burying the Lede: An Example

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:20 pm

The AP buries the lede in classic fashion today, in a story about the Supreme Court argument in the Texas redistricting case:

The subject matter was extremely technical, and near the end of the argument Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dozed in her chair. Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito, who flank the 72-year-old, looked at her but did not give her a nudge.

Well, who can blame her for dozing off? The subject matter was extremely technical! We don’t pay our Supreme Court Justices to pay attention to (or stay awake for) extremely technical arguments! Especially ones where they’ve already made up their mind . . .

I mean, this is Tom DeLay’s redistricting. Any of you really think Ruth is voting with Tom DeLay on this one?

No wonder she considered it a chance for a snoozefest.

By the way, the quoted paragraph is paragraph 16 of a 26-paragraph story.

(Via Bench Memos.)

UPDATE: Maybe Ginsburg hasn’t made up her mind after all, and was snoozing because her health is poor. See this post for more.

Blogads Survey and Pass the Word

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 8:37 pm

Other people run pledge weeks, but I don’t. Instead, if you appreciate what I do here, I’d like you to do two things:

1) Please tell a friend (or six!) about the site.

2) Please take the Blogads survey at this link, and answer question #23 (referring blog) with “Patterico’s Pontifications.” I think this is supposed to help me somehow, though I’m not sure how.

Even if you have already filled out one of these surveys, and answered question #23 with the name of another blog (how could you?!?!) . . . I think you’re still allowed to fill out another survey and answer question #23 with the name of my blog. I’d appreciate it if you would.


The Compton Courthouse Shooting

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 7:48 pm

The trial is over and the jurors have gone home, so I guess it’s safe for me to tell you about the incident at the Compton courthouse that I alluded to in this post.

I suppose it’s really nothing that unusual: a shooting in Compton. I found it worth mentioning because it happened just outside the courthouse where I work, at 9:05 a.m. last Friday morning.

A gang prosecutor down the hall had a sentencing on Friday, in a case in which one man had been murdered, and another had been shot and badly injured. As I understand it, the sister-in-law of one of the victims (the man who was shot but lived) came to court Friday to be heard at the sentencing. She was on Acacia Avenue, waiting in line to park her car, when her back windshield was blown out by gunfire. A strike mark from a bullet was found on her steering wheel in the two o’clock position.

She wasn’t struck, but it’s an absolute miracle that she wasn’t killed.

One of our paralegals was in a car right in front of her.

It’s unknown whether the shooting was related to the sentencing. It could have been coincidence; a bystander caught in crossfire. This is Compton, after all.

The police collected numerous shell casings on Acacia Ave. about 100 feet south of Myrrh Street, the street that runs just south of the courthouse. (That’s right in front of the entrance gate to Compton High School, by the way.) I had driven by that precise spot about 45 minutes earlier.

At the time of the shooting, I wasn’t at the courthouse. I was with a Sheriff’s Deputy about 3 miles away, taking photographs at the scene of the crime in the case I was about to try (possession of a firearm by a gang member). But the expert on my gang case ended up being a primary investigator in the shooting, which is how I learned the above facts.

My jurors were questioned about their knowledge (if any) of the incident. A couple of members of the jury knew that there had been some sort of incident involving the police on Acacia. These jurors had been required to change their route to get to the parking structure because the police had blocked off Acacia, between Alondra Blvd. and the courthouse parking lot entrance. But these jurors didn’t know what had happened, and were instructed not to discuss the matter with other jurors.

As a result, I decided not to blog about it until the trial was over.

Hardly worth writing about, right? No story ever appeared in the L.A. Times. It’s just another shooting in Compton.

Dog bites man.

L.A. Times Finally Reports (In a Whisper) Immigration Status of Man Who Killed CHP Officer

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:17 am

The L.A. Times today finally reports on the immigration status of Domingo Esqueda, the suspected illegal immigrant and drunk driver who recently killed a CHP officer. In a story about the motorist’s arraignment, The Times reports:

Immigration authorities have placed a “hold” on Esqueda, a Mexican national, because they believe he may be in the country illegally, said Lori Haley, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman. He will be turned over to immigration officials after his criminal proceedings.

The L.A. Times has now finally caught up to its desert counterparts, the Victorville Daily Press and Barstow’s Desert Dispatch, both of which scooped The Times on this story.

Of course, the revelation in today’s Times story is given no prominence; it appears in a story on page B6. Meanwhile, the paper’s lead story on Page A1 opens:

Wading back into the growing debate over illegal immigration, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony on Tuesday denounced what he called “hysterical” anti-immigrant sentiment sweeping California and the nation.

Tell that to the family of CHP officer Gregory John Bailey.

Previous posts on this issue here, here, here, and here.

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