Category Archives: Justice System

Judge: Stripping Naked to Protest TSA is Protected Speech

Well, seeing this type of protest would certainly liven up my travel experiences!

And for those who know I do travel a lot, don’t worry.  I realize I’m several years past making this particular type of political protest statement and having “The Ruins” on display in the papers and on TV!  Talk about losing credibility….

From RawStory.Com

A circuit court judge has ruled that a man who stripped down to his birthday suit to protest against airport security was not guilty of indecent exposure, according to the Associated Press.

Fifty-year-old John Brennan of Oregon took off his all clothes while going through an airport screening at Portland International Airport in April. He was arrested after refusing requests from Transportation Security Administration officers to put his clothes back on. Brennan was charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge David Rees ruled Wednesday that Brennan’s airport strip show was an act of protest and therefore protected speech under the First Amendment.

via Judge: Stripping naked to protest TSA is protected speech | The Raw Story.

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Dead Man to be Sued Over Flying Body Parts

Let’s start the year off with a bit of the absurd…

It’s sure to only get stranger- it’s an election year in the USA!


An 18-year-old man who was hit and killed by a train in 2008 will be the subject of a present-day lawsuit after an appellate judge ruled that a woman injured by his flying body parts may pursue a claim against his estate.

Ruling that the man was negligent, and that the result was “reasonably foreseeable,” the judge granted the woman’s request to allow the suit to proceed.

The initial suit had been blocked by a lower court in Cook County, which said the elderly Gayane Zokhrabov may not sue the now-deceased Hiroyuki Joho because Joho could not have anticipated the potential for third-party injury posed by his actions.

Steve Schmadeke, reporter for The Chicago Tribune, noted that the decision was reversed on Thursday by an appeals court.

The vehicle was reportedly traveling over 70 miles-per-hour when it hit Joho, who was allegedly running across the track to catch another train.

Zokhrabov suffered a broken leg, broken wrist and an injured shoulder after a portion of Joho’s body was flung more than 100 feet, smacking into her on a train platform.

“If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it,” her attorney reportedly said.

It was not immediately clear what sort of “estate” the young man’s family has.

via Dead man to be sued over flying body parts | The Raw Story.

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Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Mayor Bloomberg and Occupy Wall Street


He says just what I was thinking:  Michael Bloomberg is now in the same league as George Wallace, Senator Joseph McCarthy and others of that ilk….

I’ll let Keith say it as only Keith can:

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Filed under Justice System, Law Enforcement, Occupy Wall Street, Politics, Uncategorized

Why Does the South Execute More People?

Fascinating story from the Institute for Southern Studies about racism, the death penalty and it’s roots in Slavery….


The regional disparity is striking. Since the Supreme Court lifted a ban on death sentences in 1976, 1,264 people have been executed in the U.S. And 921 of those executions — or 73 percent of the total — took place in 13 Southern states.

Its true that Texas — and what some call its death machine — skew the numbers: Its 474 executions account for nearly 38 percent of the U.S. total. But the fact remains: Of the many things you can call the death penalty, one fitting adjective is that its largely Southern.

What has made the South the home base of capital punishment? As you might suspect, executions have their roots in the history of slavery. As noted in A Short History of the American Death Penalty [pdf]:

“In contrast to capital punishment in the northern states, capital punishment in the South was not limited primarily to common law felonies. Rather, the death penalty was a powerful tool for keeping the slave population in submission. Crimes that interfered with the ownership of slaves were punished by death. In 1837, North Carolina, which lacked a penitentiary, had about 26 capital crimes including slave-stealing, concealing a slave with intent to free him, second conviction of inciting slaves to insurrection, and second conviction of circulating seditious literature among slaves.”

This racially-influenced law-and-order mentality spilled over into other crimes: In North Carolina, stealing bank notes, “crimes against nature” “buggery, sodomy, bestiality” and a second offense of forgery and statutory rape came to be considered capital offenses.

Racial disparity was literally written into the law with the Southern death penalty. After the Civil War, Black Codes created more crimes punishable by death for African-Americans than whites. In the 1830s, Virginia had five capital crimes for whites but an estimated 70 such crimes for black slaves.

Today, the well-documented racial disparity in death sentences has become one of the central arguments among opponents for ending capital punishment.

But less discussed is the racial divide in how people view the death penalty. For example, underneath the polls showing widespread support is one of the most well-documented facts in death penalty research: that it enjoys much higher support among whites than other racial groups, especially African-Americans.

For example, a 2005 Gallup poll was typical in finding that, while there was little difference in death penalty support among different age groups, and only a moderate 12-point gap between men and women, there was a 27-point difference between white 71% and black 44% support.

MORE:   ISS – Why does the South execute more people?.


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Troy Davis Execution Stay Denied by Supreme Court

I’m sorry, but we should never take the chance we are killing an innocent man…

That is nothing more than state sanctioned murder.

That’s why I do not support the Death Penalty.  There is no way to rectify the situation if something goes wrong…

We should be giving life without parole as the sentence in these cases so there is always the chance to fix it if the system goes astray.

Texas has already executed a man who was probably innocent- at least once.  And Rick Perry has tried to cover it up….

We have to stop doing this….

If you are poor, Black and in The South, you already have three strikes against you before the system even begins to move…

There is just too much doubt here….

Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Savannah, Ga., policeman Mark MacPhail, and had his execution stayed four times over the course of his 22 years on death row, but multiple legal appeals during that time failed to prove his innocence.

Public support grew for Davis based on the recanted testimony of seven witnesses from his trial and the possible confession of another suspect, which his defense team claimed cast too much doubt on Davis’ guilt to follow through with an execution.

Several witnesses recanted their testimony that Davis fired the shot that killed MacPhail. His impending execution has brought those efforts to a head.

via Troy Davis Execution Stay Denied by Supreme Court – ABC News.

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Mom on Facebook Sentenced in Son’s Drowning Death

She ought to be sentenced to life in prison due to self absorbtion and stupidity….

A northern Colorado woman who was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old baby drowned in a bathtub was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

Shannon Johnson, 34, of Fort Lupton, cried as District Judge Thomas Quammen told her he didn’t think she was a bad person or that she killed her son on purpose, the Greeley Tribune reported. But, he added, that doesn’t mean her action wasn’t criminal.

“You left this little boy in a bathtub so you could entertain yourself on the computer by playing games,” Quammen said. “And you left that 13-month-old human being, little Joseph, incredibly for those reasons.”

Johnson pleaded guilty in March to negligently causing the death of her child. The charge carried a sentencing range of four to 12 years, but it also left open the possibility of alternative sentencing, which means she might have avoided spending time behind bars. Authorities rejected both of those options, saying they didn’t want to play down the seriousness of her crime.

According to court documents, Johnson put her son in the tub for his bath a little after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. She then left him unsupervised as she went to another room to share videos, check status updates and play Café World on Facebook.

via Mom on Facebook Sentenced in Son’s Drowning Death.

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Clarence Thomas Faces Call For His Disbarment in Missouri Supreme Court | AlterNet

If only….

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be disbarred for his failure to truthfully complete financial-disclosure forms over a 20-year period, according to a complaint filed by the watchdog group Protect Our Elections (POE). This would not affect his ability to sit on the Supreme Court, but it would add to mounting pressure on the Department of Justice to investigate Thomas.

via Clarence Thomas Faces Call For His Disbarment in Missouri Supreme Court | AlterNet.

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Charlie White, Indiana Elections Chief, Indicted On Voter Fraud Charges

And of course he’s a Republican…

The GOP is always screaming about “voter fraud” in an attempt to suppress Democratic voters- mainly minorities-even though there has never been any evidence of Democratic voter fraud.

Glad to see the Republicans caught in another act of hypocrisy….

From the Huffington Post:

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s top elections official was indicted Thursday on voter fraud and other charges for allegedly listing his ex-wife’s address as his own on voting and loan forms, and ineligibly serving on a town council, a prosecutor said.

The Hamilton County grand jury charged Republican Secretary of State Charlie White with seven felony counts in all, including three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury, and one count each of theft and financial fraud, said John Dowd, one of two special prosecutors asked to investigate the matter.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels called on White to step aside until the case is resolved.

via Charlie White, Indiana Elections Chief, Indicted On Voter Fraud Charges.

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Is Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Going to Jail? | | AlterNet

Please, let one of my dreams come true!

In short, the Times report has managed to shock everyone. It’s shocked media insiders for the sheer recklessness of Ailes’ behavior. It has startled Fox News critics (like myself) who are amazed how cavalierly Ailes would counsel an employee to break the law. And the report has shaken Ailes loyalists who can’t believe the Machiavellian Fox News chief was so sloppy in his execution.

So yeah, this story is kind of a big deal and it has immediately been pushed to the head of the line in terms of pending Fox News troubles for 2011, right in front of Glenn Beck’s ongoing caliphate conspiracy madness and the conservative attacks it has sparked on him,

Indeed, the Times report would mean that Ailes and Beck, Fox News’ fiercest lightning rods, have quickly morphed from assets to liabilities.  We know Beck’s increasingly a liability because, thanks to his incendiary, hateful rhetoric, he’s unable to retain virtually any nationally recognized advertisers. And that’s been the case for almost a year-a-half now. No only are advertisers steering clear of Glenn Beck, but ratings continue to decline. That is not a formula for cable news success.

But even more scandalous is the specter of Ailes, who runs Fox News as his personal fiefdom, being thrust into the spotlight for potentially breaking the law; for allegedly telling an employee to lie to federal investigators.

via Is Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Going to Jail? | | AlterNet.

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John Edwards Is Out of Sight, but Not for Long –

The next chapter of this sad saga is yet to come….

This is an unending soap opera….

Almost a Shakespearean tragedy…

Or at least, a modern “Dynasty”….

Or probably more like “Flamingo Road”….

Over the past few weeks, people in this tight-knit university community have not seen much of John Edwards.

They used to. He would hang out on a metal stool at Bowbarr, a short walk from the environmentally friendly condominium complex where he moved after details of an extramarital affair sent him from the family home.

He would swing into Crook’s Corner, a legendary Southern restaurant, for an order of fried oysters to go, talking to anyone around and looking like the polished but approachable Democratic presidential candidate he once was.

After his estranged wife, Elizabeth Edwards, died of cancer in early December, the chef at Crook’s Corner, Bill Smith, would slip in an extra dessert for their children.

“We all just feel for him, no matter what he’s done,” Mr. Smith said. “And you know there is more to come.”

That “more” is the possibility that a federal grand jury in Raleigh could soon hand up an indictment against him in a case centering on campaign finance practices.

One issue is whether Mr. Edwards knew that some of the millions of dollars given by at least two wealthy donors was being used to help support — and hide, some contend — Rielle Hunter, the campaign videographer with whom he had a prolonged affair, and the daughter they conceived.

The money used to support Ms. Hunter could be considered campaign contributions if prosecutors can show that Mr. Edwards helped orchestrate donations for that purpose, or that he knew the money would be used to keep the affair hidden so it would not hurt his 2008 presidential candidacy.

Much More:   John Edwards Is Out of Sight, but Not for Long –

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