News Roundup

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Unquestionably the most shocking story of the week comes from Wake County, where an assistant district attorney’s father was kidnapped, apparently at the behest of an inmate the prosecutor had helped put away for life. The father was held for five days while his family received death threats, but he was rescued in Atlanta and is apparently physically unharmed. WRAL has the story here. A year ago, I wrote about the dangers of being a prosecutor, but I didn’t even think to explore the possibility that family members might also be at risk. Scary.

In other news:

Supreme court justice becomes district attorney. Former state supreme court justice Bob Orr has been appointed the interim district attorney in district 24, encompassing Watauga County and four other along the Tennessee line. A local news report is here.

Federal drug sentences to fall. The United States Sentencing Commission voted yesterday to reduce the sentencing guidelines that apply in drug cases, meaning the guidelines will be reduced unless Congress intervenes in the next 180 days, which it is not expected to do. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered federal prosecutors not to object to defense requests to apply the reduced guidelines right away, even though they have not yet taken effect. The Commission will take up later the question of whether the reduction will apply retroactively. Relevant reading includes this post at Sentencing Law and Policy and this one at Crime and Consequences.

A jurisdiction that really needs to review its juvenile age. In North Carolina, there’s considerable controversy about charging 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. As the Topper from Dilbert would say, that’s nothing! In Pakistan, a nine-month-old baby has been charged with attempted murder in connection with an attack on a police officer, apparently by the child’s father and other relatives and neighbors. The New York Times reports here that “the screaming child was produced in court, and had to be comforted with a milk bottle as a court official recorded his thumbprint.” The infant is “free on bail until his next hearing,” but the reports do not discuss the conditions of his release. Electronic monitoring, perhaps? ABC News states here that the police have told the family that they are “dropping [the] investigation,” though the charges have not yet been dismissed.

Law grads’ job prospects bleak . . . but not any more bleak than last year. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports here on the latest batch of employment numbers from the ABA, and it’s a good-news-bad-news kind of thing: only 57% of 2013 graduates had long-term, full-time, J.D.-required jobs, which is terrible. But it isn’t any worse than 2012, and as class sizes shrink in the coming years, that number could improve.

Has marijuana reform gone to the dogs? Finally, Maryland is about to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and a controversial new article suggests that medical marijuana may reduce DWI fatalities. But the Administrator of the DEA testified before Congress that marijuana legalization is bad for dogs, who may ingest the substance and then have difficulty vomiting up other dangerous items that they have ingested. Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin responds that pot legalization would be good for pets because “every year hundreds or thousands of dogs are needlessly slaughtered in overaggressive police raids undertaken as part of the war on drugs.”

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2 comments on “News Roundup

  1. Since the head of the DEA, nothing but a shill for the prohibitionist lobby and those who profit from keeping insane laws on the books, cannot come up with science, history or reliable data to defend the laws against pot, she has to resort to ” protect the dogs ” as a last gasp tactic. First it was ” don’t legalize, protect the children ” which was destroyed as an argument by the simple and undeniable fact that kids can get pot more easily from dealers, who don’t ask for ID and may offer other and really dangerous drugs as well, and now it is ” protect the dogs “. Laughable, at best. More dogs are slaughtered every year by out of control cops than there are dogs being taken to a vet for eating some pot. No dog has ever been diagnosed as poisoned by pot, and effects soon wear off, leaving perhaps a desire for more expensive kibble as a solution to the munchies they may experience.

    This illustrates the depths that bureaucrats will descend to when their mandate is to ignore logic and science and history and to defend at all costs the status quo of profits to cartels, cops, lawyers and courts from the indefensible prohibition scheme that has failed miserably since it’s inception. Anytime the cartels and cops agree on something you know there is a skunk in the house. You won’t find the DEA chief discussing the foundation of the anti-cannabis laws, as they are no more than racist, insulting and ridciculous lies formulated to advancxe the supression of industrial hemp and to demonize minorities and stir racial prejudice. Ask Leonheart if she agrees with her predecessor, Harry Anslinger ( nephew in law of Dupont, who in that era was promoting synthetics made from fossil fuels ) who stated that “..marijuana makes white women seek sexual relations with Negroes ” and that weed was the cause of the ” satanic music, swing and jazz ” as well as many other horrific tales meant to scare the middle class citizens. Hearst, whose pulp paper holdings for his newspapers was vast, would not tolerate hemp, a superior fiber, and used his yellow journalism to promote the ” reffer madness ” fictions blazed across the nation.

    The foundation of most laws ca be traced to the protection of society, to prevent harm to others and can be easily defended from it’s roots as a moral imperative in a civilized world. The laws againt hemp, however, cannot be traced to a common sense and practical solution to a real problem, but to political and corporate skullduggery of the highest order. This is all historical fact, easily verified. The foundation of anti- cannabis laws is beyond corrupt, and all the DEA and the rest of the profiteers can do is parrot lies, no matter how disproven. the ady is comeing when the cops and cartels and their ilk will simply have to find another way to make money…surely they can write a lot of tickets in the time they would take to process one of the 800,000 victims of pot laws arrested each year.but of course they won’t go with dignity, they will keep on crying that the sky is falling until the people look up and realize that piggie little was lying all along.

  2. Of course, kidnapping prosecutors is to be condemned, and no solution to the problem of DA’s who can hide evdience of innocence, prosecute with malice, subvert grand juries by virtue of the ignorance of same, and gladly defend emprisoning the proven innocent until a efforts to keep them locked away and avoid facing the corrupt system that wrongfully convicted them and then fall back on ” absolute immunity ” as a means of escaping justice and oversight. There are only a few, less than a dozen, cases of prosecutors, over the last CENTURY, being exposed and held accountable. Getting disbarred is almost unheard of even when the proof of milicious prosecution is undeniable.

    One can well comprehend someone less than stable, or simply irrational, seeking to scanction these DA’s in the only way they see possible. Fair prosecutors, who actually believe in seeking justice and not in just getting convictions at all costs, are so rare that if one were to pick a prosecutor at random, the odds of them being beholden to the truth, fairness and the rule of law would be almost nil. State Bar associations are almost worthless, and few DA’s are ever called to task for their abuses.DA’s would not have to fear, and their jobs no more dangerous that any other lawyers, if they exhibited something other than a cold, inhumane and heartless demeanor when dealing with suspects. Most DA’s will claim that as long as they can prove a case, they feel vindicated, even though they may know full well that the accused is likely factually innocent. Innocence does not matter, only convictability. Most DA’s are trying to aspire to higher office, judgeships and they know that to pull the political game to their advantage is to appear ” tough on crime” and they see conviction rates as the holy grail, regardless of how many lives are destroyed in the meantime. behind every one of the exonerations we have seen of innocent prisoners , some of whom have spent most of their lives behind bars for crimes they did not commit, is a DA and cops who care only about losing the case and getting headlines.

    As long as DA’s can smugly hide their actions behind immunity, we will see people become desperate enough to act out ; of course there is no room for such criminal acts, but short of removing a DA in a manner not prescribed by law, there is no real chance of reigning them in..what a shame.

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