Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Never Assume Anything! Polanski & The Law

September 29, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Picture quality is off, but kindly listen.  Great scene from the Paper Chase)

Hello!  You know, with Mackenzie Phillips in the news for her decade long affair with Re-Run (did I say “Re-Run?”  I meant her dad), it seems only fitting we fill yet another void — the misunderstood case of Roman Polanski.

I’ve read and watched all the brilliant punditry in a full symphonic chorus.  The minds of most simply ask that Polanski’s testicles be sliced and Scotch-taped to his forehead.  And the like.  It’s as if they want him to have two noses.

Anyhoo, I can understand that!  I mean, he kind of RAPED a little girl.  And, as we all know, claiming RAPE is wrong is a most difficult argument to espouse.  Tap yourself on the shoulder if you’ve astutely pointed that out.

That said, it’s obvious the sheer visceral and emotional reactions we have to RAPE ought govern our thoughts and lives.  Law be damned.  I mean, we ought ignore the analysis of Jeffery Toobin or attorneys for the Defense.  Why even examine Polanski’s legal contentions?  The public, the brilliant legal experts all who went to Harvard Law, made up their minds.  Good enough for me!  Certainly  judges (or, humans) do not cower to pressures of the masses.  No need to worry about that.

Hell.  Lock this pedophile up and throw away the key and toilet bowl. I mean really, can’t we all assume Polanski’s legal defense is the runoff of hogwash after a bout with a rotten trough of bad apples?  Elementary my dear Watsons!  In the wise words of Sherlock Holmes, “This is a dead end and the Constable solved the entire motherfucking case.”

But, just for shits and giggles, for those who do not want to assume and can admit they don’t know all of the facts, for folks who can follow the law and blind themselves to grotesque admissions, for you heartless high-tech robots who must only be able to analyze law, I offer you this:

A California judge yesterday refused to approve a request filed by director Roman Polanski’s lawyers to have his child sex case dropped as long as he is still a fugitive.

The 75-year-old famed moviemaker, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, must appear in court personally to have his motion considered.

After watching the HBO documentary on the Roman Polanski case, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which aired in June, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza agreed there was misconduct by the now-deceased judge who arranged a plea bargain but reneged on it.

The judge said he would be willing to reconsider his decision only if Polanski, who fled the United States for France in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with an underage girl charges, returned to a Los Angeles courtroom by May 7.

“Having reviewed all the evidence in this case, there was substantial misconduct that occurred in the pendency of this case,” said Espinoza. But he said that if Polanski wants a ruling on that underlying issue, “He just needs to submit to the jurisdiction of this court.”

Uh-oh.  Looks like a judge thinks Polanski got screwed on a plea deal.  Screw him!  Polanski raped someone; time we gang rape the law.  That makes sense to you.  I mean me.

Do I know all of the facts on the Polanski case?  No.  Does the media?  By and large, the media jumped on the pithy Hollywood defenders of the holy (citing Woody Allen as a source.  You know him.  The director/writer who boned and married his wife’s daughter.  It’s like Kramer being a frontman for the NAACP.  Christ).   The media simply ignores, (aside from Anderson Cooper and (drumroll) Lou Dobbs) the legal arguments.

A clipping from AP briefly explains judicial and prosecutorial misconduct and some other facts the media did not examine yesterday.   Anyone even know Polanski already did time for a plea he entered into?

THE CASE:

The Poland-born Polanski was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape and sodomy, and faced up to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to one count — unlawful sexual intercourse — and spent 42 days in prison for diagnostic tests. Polanski was expected to be sentenced to time served, but he became aware that Judge Laurence J. Rittenband wouldn’t approve the plea agreement and the director fled to France. The U.S. placed a fugitive warrant on Polanski in 1978.

THE AFTERMATH:

Polanski’s attorneys have sought to dismiss the case following the release of the HBO documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which raised questions about judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The film contends Rittenband, who has since died, was improperly consulted by a prosecutor not assigned to Polanski’s case about what kind of sentence the film director should receive. While Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza earlier this year found there was “substantial misconduct” in the handling of the original case, he dismissed Polanski’s motion to throw out the case because the director did not appear in court. Polanski risked arrest on a fugitive warrant if he returned to Los Angeles. He has appealed Espinoza’s decision, and a California appellate court is reviewing the case.  (Emphasis Added)

Ought the Swiss extradite Mr. Polanski?  I don’t know.  I only wish to examine all sides — something the Media gets an “F” on.   (Hi There Howard Kurtz).  Media and most persons fail to critically analyze the issues.  Most are lost in the despicable admissions made in contemplation of a plea deal.  How could that not blind you.  It ought not.  That’s the problem.  People already have reached conclusion without familiarizing themselves with the facts.

Rather than out those folks (I would need a new internet anyhow), I encourage those to look at everything with an unbiased eye.  A blind one.  Maybe get a… blindfold.  Is that a metaphor for something?  Echo?

You want to get mad?   If Judge Espinoza is right, get mad at the prosecutor who made the time served deal. If Judge Espinoza is to be believed, your anger ought be directed at the judge who initially approved the deal it seems. After all, what do you think precipitated the original judge and prosecutors to engage in “misconduct?”  Public outcry?  Maybe.  Probably.  Why do you think the deal was nixed?  Pressure.   You don’t cast aside rules in exchange for emotion.

No additional charges exist simply because Polanski fled.   Simply, a warrant was served and only one charge of the original six remain.  The bargain called for a credit for time served sentence (meaning, the time he already did in prison is given credit for and that’s the only stint of jail he would do).  His flight can not act as some fallacious and baseless pretext to amp the original deal up given the circumstances under Judge Espinoza’s logic.  Certainly, he is not looking at the five other charges already dropped as that would violate settled principles of due process and double jeopardy.  No one has argued such insanity.   In a nutshell, that is the gravamen of Polanski’s position.  At a maximum, the most he could get would be some sort of county sentence for a contempt charge and that hasn’t even been brought up yet.  If contempt becomes an issue, there is little bite to state contempt charges.  Simple as that.   As Polanski sits in custody now, his credit for time served accumulating as we speak will vitiate any real jail time he would have to do.   Alternatively,  rarely are contempt proceedings brought for someone skipping a sentencing date, and even if brought, it’s a wash in terms of actual time he will spend in jail relative to the original singular charge plead to.  [Additional note: The proper attack of the defense lies in the validity of the plea deal; to ignore the legal defense and duck the issue raised is willful ignorance]

The prosecutors already dropped five charges where he was looking at life.  That’s not on the table.  He may have to do a few months from now at most (mostly waiting for a disposition).  On the other hand, the Swiss can release Polanski and not extradite him.   Let’s find out truth rather than scream “RAPE” until a reader or viewer gets into a shower and scrubs oneself all bloody like.  The truth is, people who are upset should talk to the L.A. prosecutor.

This is not some tripe Hollywood argument or some nonsense you’d see on the tubes.  It is a legal contention.  One not minimizing the nature of the underlying offense, but one that need not get into that issue to evaluate what is just and fair.  Further, the terrible problem is the media ignores this issue almost entirely.  You didn’t hear about the California judge yesterday by and large. One, unless they were looking for it, didn’t see that Polanski did 46 days in contemplation of a bargain he pleaded to.  The horror is people refuse to acknowledge claims with legal merit in favor of emotion (rightly there by the way) for rape.  The law is the law.  A deal is a deal.  At least examine all sides of the issue — a simple task most do not do.  That’s all I ask.  Look at all of the arguments.

On the one hand, I have a great mistrust that public outrage will bias a result (whatever the truth may be).  Alternatively, America should be brave and tackle this issue in the name of justice — IF all can be objectively honest.  That’s a big “if” though isn’t it?

Never assume anything.  Follow the law.

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Stimulus Checks Given To Citizens Bounce

August 30, 2009

check

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Joeseph Flannigan raced over to the War Memorial Auditorium to pick up his government stimulus check and follow his dream of opening the world’s largest stuffed animal emporium for children.   The South Florida Stimulus Coalition promised him a check for $653 and a heartwarming mantra to bring to the community:  “Helping jump start our economy.”

Joe, a lifelong Republican, invited Cube to join him and evaluate how President Obama’s plan actually worked in the community.  At first, he seemed a bit reluctant, but rationalized throwing his support behind the plan because as  Joe said, he’d “do anything to the kids.”  The burly and jovial lady at reception soothed his anxieties and led him behind a door to receive his free government paycheck.   We wouldn’t see Joe again for over two days.  As we sat there waiting for his return, we noticed over a hundred more citizens check in — and never check out.

They flocked by the dozens to the War Memorial Auditorium, lured by promises of fat stimulus checks. What they got was something else entirely.

In total, more than 100 qualified recipients scheduled appointments last week to see officials with the South Florida Stimulus Coalition in the hopes of a quick buck from a company with the slogan, “Helping jump start our economy.”

But instead, they found Fort Lauderdale police officers. And instead of a stimulus check, they were handcuffed and led off to jail.

Police announced the results Thursday of the two-day sting targeting Fort Lauderdale residents with outstanding warrants: 76 arrests of fugitives wanted for offenses ranging from grand theft to fraud to attempted murder.

Apparently, there was an active arrest warrant for Mr. Flannigan — a “brush with the law” for the unlawful use of a trenchcoat on a children’s playground.

When confronted with the allegation of exposing himself in pubic and masturbating underneath a London Fog, Flannigan demanded his check and told Cube:

“Obama is a Nazi and a socialist.  This is how it starts.  Spreading lies and false promises of hope.  Here’s your ‘Real America.’  Government interference.  By actual government agents!  I for one will not stand to see the destruction of a document I love — The Constitution.  Our Founding Fathers are probably convulsing in their graves.  This is Obamacare?  I want my country back!”

Cube does not take an official position on this case, but does note that an influx of stuffed animals into the economy would certainly stimulate debate.

UPDATE: Our tireless street lawyer (ahem) managed to find one of the 76 folks arrested for trying to cash in on the fake stimulus check in custody this morning.  Shockingly, he is a registered Republican.  However, Cube employees always work in a bipartisan manner.  We took the case pro-bono and the governement entered a nolle prosequi (dropped) for the case — dealing in stolen property, a second degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of fifteen years in Florida State Prison.

The Republican jailbird was happy to admit to being an idiot for believing the stimulus check was real stating, “fool me once, shame on something or another” and, “if it’s too good to be true, that is the question.”   The gentleman allowed me to poke a little fun at him since we did the case for free and all.   He openly admitted to everyone shackled to the chairs in the jury box that even after his warrant was served, and the cops slapped the ‘cuffs on him, all the arrestees still demanded their government stimulus checks (that never existed).  In fact, as the Ft. Lauderdale police transported the lot of them to the County in the paddy-wagon, an actual political debate broke out along with one shanking.    I get some pro-bono credits, the client is free, and he did promise to consider voting for Obama in 2012, but isn’t sure why.

Here is a redacted picture of the disposition where you can see “nolle prosequi” checked off.  Don’t ever say we never helped The Republican Party.

dispo

“Moo Means No!” — Cow Testifies Against Officer Who Raped Her

August 5, 2009

cow

Official Transcript

The Court: You may proceed.

Cow: Moo.  Moo.

Mr. Dickstein:  Thank you.  Um, Madam Cow, you claim Patrolman Robert Melia  mooed you is that correct?

Cow:  Moo.

Mr. Dickstein: I guess you don’t find it funny that he mooed you in a town called Moorestown do you?

Cow: Moo Moo.

Mr. Dickstein:  I mean, it is New Jersey.

Cow: Moooooooooo.

Mr. Dickstein: Would you like a Kleenex?  It’s not your fault you’re from Jersey and wear cheap lipstick from 1982.

Cow: Moo Moo.

Mr. Dickstein:  I have one last question Your Honor.

The Court: Give the poor girl some grass and proceed counselor.

Mr. Bovine: Objection!  Leading the winess.

Mr. Dickstein:  I was just taking her to our inner courtroom pasture.

The Court: Overruled.  I’ll give you wide latitude.

Mr. Bovine: (mumbling) I’ll bet Cow has some wide latitude.

The Court: What was that Mr. Bovine?

Mr. Bovine: Nothing.

The Court: Continue.

Mr. Dickstein: Thank you.  Cow, did Patroman Melia moo you four times on four separate occasions?  Moo or Moo Moo.  Answer the question!

Cow: Moo!  Moo!  Moo!   Mooooo Moooo Moooo Mooooo Moooooo.

Mr. Dickstein:  Let the record relect that was a single “Moo.”  Someone get her a Kleenex.

Did you consent?  Did you say “Moo?” Or, ‘Moo Moo?”

Cow:  Moo Moo!

Mr. Dickstein: Thank you.  Nothing further.

Cow. Moooooooooooooooooooooooo.  Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

WHEREUPON, udder converstations were held off the record.

Cop Con Leche: Worst Officer Of All Time?

August 5, 2009

Really Bad Cop

Got Milk?

A cop charged with sexually assaulting multiple illegal immigrants apparently likes vitamin D.

After you’ve finished gagging…  That didn’t come out right.  Click on the link for the entire affidavit and you’ll know why.

UPDATE: Another Cop Busted Boning Cows (via Prof. Turley’s Blog)

Video after the jump with the details…

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President Obama, Please Take The Witness Stand!

July 28, 2009

“Beer here!  Get your ice-cold beer!  How about you sir?  Or you?  Beer?  Please?  Maybe a nice sparkling wine?”

Unless you have been breathing fresh air and enjoying the forgotten frivolities of life over the past week, in one way or another, you’ve made some sort of stand and are caught in the middle of the pop-off at the Cambridge Corral.  President Obama is set to meet with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley on Thursday for beers at the White House.  All three are poised to shoot the breeze about race relations and learn from this very “teachable moment.”  Ironically, the one person who might be taught a lesson in the law of unwittingly becoming a witness is President Obama.

In this not so tepid climate concerning race relations, police misconduct, and alleged unpleasantness hurled at an officer’s “mama,” there is one kernel of veracity everyone can agree on — President Obama is already in the unique position of personally speaking with both parties.  Without question, Mr. Obama is a witness to statements made by both Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates.

This raises a somewhat novel question left unaddressed by every major and minor media outlet in the world (yes, this is a Cube exclusive) — will Obama have to produce sworn testimony as a witness at some point should the legal napalm drop?  Yes.

The president is privy to conversations which would absolutely be relevant to any sort of lawsuit launched by either party.  Crowley stated he is contemplating suing Gates for “defamation.” Certainly, Gates has a plethora of options if he decides to sue Crowley and the Cambridge Police Department.

The constitutional implications of a sitting president being compelled to testify as a non-party witness (in deposition, interrogatories, or actual live testimony should a trial ensue) are, at a minimum, murky. Issues with regard to immunity would probably arise at the behest of any White House Counsel worth a darn, however, this is not a case where the President is being sued or charged with a crime — he is a witness.  This much, one can easily conclude.  Furthermore, whether his testimony is taken during or after his term is not an issue.  At some point, should a lawsuit hit the court files, President Obama will be a witness.  Statements by the parties are unquestionably discoverable under the rules of civil procedure (both federal and state).

As luck would have it, we can look to the case of William Jefferson Clinton v. Paula Courbin Jones for some guidance.  In fact, we can go all the way back to the treason case of Aaron Burr when he popped a cap in Alexander Hamilton and killed him in a pistol duel to the death.  While not on all fours and barking, Clinton v. Jones speaks to this and other matters concerning the sworn testimony of a sitting president.  Justice Stevens cites a few examples of such in our rich history:

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Why Officer Crowley Should Be Fired

July 26, 2009

lady justicYou are not you today.  Today you are someone else.  Tabula Rasa.

Today, you are going to jail.

Sometime after noon,  you will be handcuffed, arrested, taken from your family, your home, booked, photographed, fingerprinted, and imprisoned before you can bond out after four hours of police custody.

To take this journey, you will need to bring a few things other than a toothbrush.  You must bring your imagination.  You will have to leave matters of race, politics, and other mind-benders behind that poison the contents of your cranium.

You must make decisions on what is just and fair from behind a veil of ignorance.

In taking up this point of view, we are to imagine ourselves in the position of free and equal persons who jointly agree upon and commit themselves to principles of social and political justice. The main distinguishing feature of the original position is “the veil of ignorance”: to insure impartiality of judgment, the parties are deprived of all knowledge of their personal characteristics and social and historical circumstances.

In this hypothetical journey, forget about politics.  Blind yourself behind the veil — a construct by which society can reach reasonable, just, and fair conclusions.  Race is irrelevant.  Party identity is not and can not be an issue.  All we know is you are a person who will be arrested shortly.

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The President Is Not Color Blind

July 24, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

President Obama “clarified” his comment concerning a Cambridge police officer and retreated from his initial position.  This proves once and for all Obama’s twisted agenda and preference for a particular color…

Yellow.

Popping “Downers,” “Quaaludes,” And “Sotomayor” On Hardball With Chris Mathews

July 15, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Chris Matthews “shouldn’t have said that.”  I mean comparing The Senate Judiciary Hearing and Judge Stomayor to “Quentin Quaalude” is really an unfair statement. Even worse is Pulitzer Prize winning communist and celebrated African-American writer, Eugene Robinson, speculating whether they were on “downers.”  Pat Buchanan is drug free, but his typical sane self.

I mean, Matthews should know the majority of his audience requires some form of a heavy narcotic ingestion when watching the show and Robinson should be more sensitive to the triumph of Diprivan.

“You got “Ludes?”

“No.”

“But I wish I had some ya’ know?”

Poll after the jump…

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Liveblogging The Sotomayor Hearing: Part Dos Holmes!

July 14, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vatos!  You can watch the confirmation here live (I hope) at 9:30 AM (EST).  Justice (non-Freudian slip) Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy is “simple.  Fidelity to the law.”  Much like Governor Sanford: “Fidelity to an undetermined amount of vaginas not belonging to his wife.”  Feel free to follow along as I use my Jedi legal skills to explain the philosophy of noted mathematician, Senator Kyl.

9:30 – Sotomayor speaks!  After Leahy washed her down with a luffa.

9:34 – Judge Sotomayor will “keep an open mind.”  By keeping an open mind, she means tar and feathering every last white creature on Planet Earth.

9:36 – Leahy questions the judge on criminal law.  Specifically her job as a D.A. in New York.  This is where she learned to practice law and distinguishes between “fact” and “legal theory.”  She learned about the facts of life at the D.A.  As for me, I learned about the Facts Of Life from Tutti — A hooker on the Boulevard in Miami… but that’s not important right now.

9:40 – Sotomayor, as a prosecutor, relates a case about murder cases and the impact on the victim’s family.  Obviously, this was not used for any sort of emotional impact and is consistent with sympathy, not empathy.  She also gets into evidence code.  Specifically, using evidence for purposes of establishing identity in a criminal case (murder).  To be even more specific, she is talking about relevancy under FRE 404, identity, and modus operandi.  Nevermind all that, she busted down a murderer and that’s just… awful.

9:45 – Leahy goes on to the Ricci case.  A/K/A The White Firefighters Case.  In law, we call this a preemptive strike or stealing thunder.   In the Senate, I call it the same thing.  Leahy is trying to take wind out of the sails from the likes of Sessions, Kyl, and to a lesser extent other Republican senators who are pussies and afraid to bring it up for fear of losing the Hispanic vote.  Nevermind this is not an issue worth intellectual discussion, it is an issue that is sexy.  And when I say “sexy,” I mean “sexy” in a Morton Downey, Jr. after 300 cigarettes smoking corpse kind of sexy.

9:50 – Sotomayor is ready to pounce on Leahy and answer questions before before he finishes asking it.  Leahy is a noted Right-Wing Bible Thumper.

9:55 – The judge has learned to control her Tourette’s by scribling down what I’m postive are doodles of white men swinging by a noose so as not to interrupt Leahy.

9:56 – OK!  Her answer to her statement concerning “Funky Wise Latinas.”  She wanted young Latina women to be inspired.  Unequivocally, she believes all ethnicities or groups have equal opportunities.  She further states she will be fair and impartial and that her words were taken out of context.  She goes onto cite to Justice O’Connor (why I don’t know) as a means for garnering credibility.  I have to say, this is shocking.  Seriously, I really thought she would say, “OK.  Let me be honest.  I’m tired of fucking crackers.  Eat me.”

10:00 – The Heller case!  Guns baby!  Sotomayor moves on to the Second Amendment!  She is talking about “The Incorporation Doctrine.”  Whether the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states visa vis the 14th Amendment.   Unless you are a lawyer, you have no idea what she is talking about.  Basically, she will keep an “open mind” and will not “prejudge” this issue.  To translate, we will have to move to slingshots.  And now… of to discussion with Leahy about prostitutes.  Can’t think of joke here.

10:04 – Senator Sessions at the plate.  He will have different questions than Leahy I suspect.  Probably softballs, cotton candy, and a square-dance.  He does like “fidelity.”  Just like (Insert Politician Here).

10:06 – “Funky Wise Latina” line of inquiry by Sessions.  Also, he delves into the  “policy” remark by Sotomayor.  He wants to know what she really believes, because, as we all know, this entire chamber is devoted to what people really believe.  I know.  I’m optimistic.

10:08 – Sotomayor responds to “policy” remark she made at Duke.  She explains precedent and stare decisis.  Precedent has policy implications.  For example, should Justice Thomas’ dissent have held the day on the children strip search case, the policy implication would be schools could search the anal cavities of younglings without the consent of parent or child.  Sessions must be right.  Supreme Court decisions do not have policy implications.

“Life experiences” are important says the judge.  We are not “robots.”  People have “feelings and experiences.”

Sessions “understands that” but for some reason he just gave her the stink eye.

Ed. Note: There are cyborgs everyone discriminates against.  CYBORG POWER.

10:15 – “The law is what commands the result.”  No.  Dick Cheney does that.

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Liveblogging The Sotomayor Hearing: Legal Eye For The White Guy

July 13, 2009
Lady Justice Was Also A Dominatrix

Lady Justice Was Also A Dominatrix

Lawyer (n) : “One Skilled In Circumventing The Law.” — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary.

10:05 – Welcome to the liveblog of Juanita Sotomayor.  Ese.

10:10 – Racist White Democrat from Vermont (Senator Leahy) asking a very short question.  One not loaded with accolades for the judge.

10:11 – Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, will certainly provide a view for the elitists in New York.  Fuck him.

10:14 – Sessions continues by elucidating a most elusive concept with regard to jurisprudence here in real America — judges should be fair and not bigoted, racist, members of La Raza.

10:15 – Oh yeah!  The “Empathy” domino.  Dominoes are mulattoes by the way.

Sessions is correct.  Empathy is evil — unless it is to empathize with say… white firefighters.

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