News Roundup

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made some racist remarks to his girlfriend, she recorded them, and they were leaked on the internet. This appears likely to cost Sterling the ownership of his team, but he bought it for $12 million and will sell it for $1 billion, so he will be able to dry his tears with his $988 million profit. What’s the criminal law angle? Whether the recording was legal or not, of course. The Legal Blitz addresses the issue here.

In other news:

Prejudice among Durham’s finest? A local commission thinks so. According to WRAL, “Durham’s Human Relations Commission says in a new report that racial bias and profiling does exist in the Bull City’s police department, and it plans to present a list of nearly three dozen recommendations to city leaders on how to fix the problem.” Durham’s police chief denies the claim.

More-al Mondays? The short session of the General Assembly is about to start, and according to the News and Observer, Rev. William Barber II says that Moral Monday protests will start back up as well. The Wake County court system has disposed of less than half of the 900+ original Moral Monday cases, so I doubt there’s much enthusiasm for a possible infusion of hundreds more.

Oklahoma execution disaster. Oklahoma had a botched execution this week. Corrections personnel had trouble finding a suitable vein for the injection, and the vein that was used apparently collapsed during the procedure, leading to protracted suffering by the inmate. A doctor called a halt to the proceedings, but the inmate died several minutes later anyhow. The incident has attracted substantial national attention. The New York Times story is here.

The ultimate answer to distracted driving may not be a law. It may be a self-driving car (an update on Google’s remarkable progress on that front is available here at Gizmodo), or it may be a smart cell phone that knows not only whether it is in a car, but even whether it is being used by a driver (Apple seems to have that technology in the works, as discussed here at the Mac Observer).

But lawyers are still important. Kind of. Lawyers accounted for 14 percent of Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, but as Above the Law notes here, “only a handful of them were recognized for their work in the legal profession.”

2 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. Interestingly, the NYT article makes no mention of the Oklahoma defendant’s crimes. Neither did the first round of media coverage. But the second round of coverage did note that the defendant was convicted of killing a young woman and then watching as she was buried alive. I realize that legal scholars and anti-death penalty advocates will argue that the nature of the underlying crime is irrelevant to the botched execution–and this execution was clearly botched–but it seems that public outrage is rapidly waning as more and more people become aware of why this rather unsympathetic figure was on death row. This will be an interesting case to follow in terms of tracking the legal issues and the accompanying public sentiment (or lack thereof).

  2. He was a “rather unsympathetic figure”? If only I had known, I’m sure my outrage would be “rapidly waning”…. And I’ll bet some of those prisoners at Abu Ghraib were similarly unsympathetic….


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