Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.”

1983. Little girl murdered. Perps are death penalty poster boys.
[John] Sam, the son of a Cicero police officer, was a DuPage County sheriff's detective who interviewed Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez and believed early on that they did not commit the crime. He didn't change his mind after they were indicted in March 1984.In the fall of that year, he recalled, he was called to then-Sheriff Richard Doria's office and told to stay out of the Nicarico investigation. He disagreed, then quit.
1985. Poster boys get convicted, sentenced to death.

1985. Some guy named Brian Dugan, having pled guilty to two unrelated murders, implicates himself in this murder and agrees to speak officially if granted immunity from the death penalty. Prosecutors refuse the offer.

1989. Appeals court reverses on a technicality; poster boys should have been tried separately. (all reversals are technicalities, right?)

1990-1991. Perps reconvicted.
Mary Brigid Kenney's first assignment as an Illinois assistant attorney general was to prepare written and oral arguments defending Rolando Cruz's conviction and death sentence. She examined the case, found what she considered numerous errors in the investigation and prosecution and urged then-Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to "confess error" and reconsider his position. She believed Brian Dugan had acted alone in the attack. That was in February 1992. Burris responded by taking her off the case. She resigned March 5, 1992, and wrote a memo to Burris, which stated, in part: "I was being asked to help execute an innocent man. Unfortunately, you have seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case."
1994-1995. Perps cases reversed again, one on the technicality that he should have been allowed to point out that somebody else's DNA (Brian Dugan's) was found on the body.

1995. First poster boy acquitted; second poster boy released for "insufficient evidence."

1996. Four cops, three DA's indicted for lying and concealing evidence in the case.

1999. Cops, DA's acquitted

2005. Well-known perp (Brian Dugan) indicted, 20 years after he told DAs and police he'd speak about the crime if the death penalty was taken off the table.

Thank you, former Detective John Sam.
Thank you, former AG Mary Kenney.

DA Patrick King, Jr.
DA Thomas L. Knight
DA Robert K. Kilander (now Chief Judge of the jurisdiction!)
(and you wonder why this is just so much BS)
Lt. James T. Montesano
Lt. Robert L. Winkler
Det. Dennis Kurzawa
Det. Thomas E. Vosburgh


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Today's Paraphilia is...

If some guy offers to pay you $20 and fix your daughter's MP3 player if you drink an unknown liquid while he videotapes it, DON'T!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

DA's Guide to Second Closing Argument

Scott Adams has published rules that all the DA's follow in their second closing argument:

1. Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)

2. Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.

3. Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.

4. Omit key words. For example, if someone says that people can’t eat rocks, accuse the person of being stupid for suggesting that people can’t eat. Bonus points for arguing that some people CAN eat pebbles if they try hard enough.

5. Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.

6. Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.

7. Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.

W. is the master of second close. When he's done, I think my client's guilty.
That's why waiving closing argument so the State doesn't get their second close is soooo tempting... W. would have an aneurysm.


Found on Have Opinion, Will Travel


Thanks for W., a DA, for telling me to submit a resume to the Boss here and for advising the Boss to give me a call.

Thanks for Mrs. Tripper and the Tripper kids who support me in following my calling and bearing the long hours apart, poor pay and pre-trial single-mindedness that they have to put up with.

Thanks for Originalist Christians like Nancy Harris, who forgave the man who killed her husband and their daughter.

"Because I value the gift of life and I know God forgives and loves all of us, especially you, Russell," Harris said, "I support a sentence of natural life."
"I really felt in my heart forgiveness," Nancy Eileen Harris said after the hearing. "I really know that if God can forgive him, why not me? That's where I am in terms of my faith and my understanding of life."
Mrs. Harris has more faith and love than I think I could have in the same situation. She is also a wonderful tonic for ecclesiastical activism that seeks to stand Christ on his head by invoking congruent satisfaction to ask "who would Jesus execute?" (To be fair, Tom isn't specifically discussing who would Jesus execute, but rather who would the Roman Catholic Church execute)

Thanks for sunsets with brighter yellows and deeper blues than even Maxfield Parrish could paint. Especially when you need it, like after you interview a guy accused of molesting his step-daughter, who is a month younger than your daughter.

Thanks for a job with good bosses, good colleagues and good pay.
Well, two out of three ain't bad.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Regret and the History of Lethal Injection

The American version of lethal injection was invented in 1977 as a more humane way to execute people. Bill Wiseman was a young Oklahoma legislator who bowed to the wishes of his constituency and voted to restart the death penalty in his state. His vote was against his conscience, and he set out to find a more humane way of killing people than the electric chair or the gas chamber.

Along with an anesthesiologist, Dr. Stanley Deutsch, he worked out the drug cocktail method of using three different drugs to cause 1. unconsciousness, then 2. muscle paralysis, then 3. stopping the heart. Oklahoma became the first state to have lethal injection, but Texas beat Oklahoma to the punch of killing somebody that way. (In 1982)

Wiseman has agonized over his place in history ever since.

Here is a video of an interview he did a few days ago.
Here's an article Wiseman did for the Dallas Morning News last month.


New(er) PD Blog

Justice Mountain has been blogging about news, experts and not being messed up psychologically from being a PD.

If I was still a prosecutor or still doing insurance defense, I'd be messed up. People have different tolerances for different things. Tom wouldn't be able to hack it as a PD. I couldn't as a prosecutor. When your job requires you to fight your psyche every morning, you're in the wrong job. When you can sleep well and get up motivated to work, you've found the right job.


Update: I'm only 6 weeks behind Skelly in welcoming Justice Mountain.


Why is it when we're negotiating with district attorneys they don't realize how much were giving already. My client is charged with three Robbery with firearm. We only did one... Okay we were there but only actively did one. The rec was 20 on all. I tell them no and they come down to dismiss one and plea to 18. I counter with dismiss two and plea to 10. They said no. I tell them they've only come down two whereas I've come up 10 and they need play ball. yes i'm probably setting this one for trial.

Where'd he go?

Indigent Journal is apparenly off the air - perhaps in a week it will be a porn site too.

But thanks to Google cache:

Messing with the new guy's head.

Establishing a rapport with clients.

It's not "how can you defend guilty people," it's "How can you not defend the people the government wants to throw away?”

And the NACDL article rants. (bah. can't find the 2d one)


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If Andre Breton were alive, he'd either be Unemployed or a Newsman

You Know the Domestic Violence Folks Have Gone Too Far When...
Squeezing the cheese on your wife gets you named the region's "Most Wanted."

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gutting of Habeas Corpus...
Now we can focus on the important stuff, like H.R. 4210, the Tupac Shakur Records Collection Act.

A long-term surrealist art installation sponsored by the citizens of the U.S....

And to bring the Domestic Violence circle to a close...
"And I pray that Christian has forgiven me for failing him when he needed me most". (After he shot me in the groin and held me hostage in his garage for six days.)

Ceci n'est pas un Jack

Monday, November 14, 2005

Can it Be...A Law Related Post?

CrimLaw II question:
A detective is questioning a suspect. About 7 1/2 hours later, the detective says this:

And…and…and it’s [inaudible] to defend yourself, see? So you already violated your probation, so its not gonna…its not gonna be anymore of a probation violation by having a gun. And it’s…if you explain this away by—OK, I had a gun, but it was because I was defending myself—and…and so you may do some time as far as the probation violation, but you won’t be no time as far as murder. Does that make sense to you? So what does that mean?

Immediately the suspect says it was self defense and makes a confession with the detective offering him helpful details, like what kind of car the suspect was supposed to be in, and what kind of weapon he supposedly used.
Spot the issue:
A. Jackson v. Denno, Schneckloth v. Bustamante, Malloy v. Hogan
B. Issue? The detective clearly must have been speaking hypothetically about a jury trial and no reasonable person could think it was an inducement to confess

If you answered A., that stuff may go over well in academia, but you're in the real world now. WRONG
If you answered B., you'll make a great judge and a better appellate judge.

Attorneys for years have been busting their butts to get the police to tape interrogations. Because after all, defendants always lie about these things. (page 6, first paragraph) After all, no responsible police oficer would make such an offer to a suspect!
You would have thought it'd make a difference, right? Wrong. The justifications just get more elaborate. So much for increased accountability of police officers.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The torch is in good hands; rest easy.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday, Marines!


Veteran's Day

A protest raged on a courthouse lawn,
round a makeshift stage they charged on
Fifteen hundred or more they say
had come to burn the Flag that day.
A boy held up the folded Flag,
cursed it and called it a dirty rag.
A man pushed through the angry crowd,
with an old gun shouldered proud.
His uniform jacket was old and tight,
he had polished each button, shiny and bright.
He crossed the stage with military grace,
until he and the boy stood face to face.
Then the old man broke the silence.

"Freedom of speech is worth dying for,
Good men are gone, and they live no more.
All so you can stand on this courthouse lawn,
and ramble on from dusk to dawn.
But before the flags gets burned today,
this old veteran is going to have his say.
My father died on a foreign shore,
in a war they said would end all wars.
Tommy and I weren't even full grown,
before we fought in a war of our own.
Tommy died on Iwo Jima's beach,
in the shadow of a hill he couldn't reach.
Where five good men raised this Flag so high,
that the whole world could see it fly.
I got this bum leg that I still drag,
fighting for this same old Flag.
There's but one shot in this old gun,
so now it's time to decide which one.
Which one of you will follow our lead,
to stand and die for what you believe?"

The boy who had called it a dirty rag,
handed the veteran the folded flag.
The crowd got quiet as they walked away,
to talk about what they heard that day.
So the battle for the Flag this day was won,
by a loyal veteran with a single gun.
Who for one last time, had to show to some,
that these colors will never, never run.

It is the veteran, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician,
who has given us the right to vote.
It is the veteran, who salutes the Flag,
who serves udner the Flag,
whose coffin is draped by the Flag.

God bless All Veterans And those Boys in the Sand, Who are about to become veterans. Thanks to my dad and his dad and my other grandfather. In your honor I go to court and fight for the Constitution and make sure the sacrifices you made for the Flag are honored.

Awesome Quote and a new word - Fascinatingly Repugnant

Indefensible has a post about his trip to Georgia which includes an excellent quote:

"We, as criminal defense lawyers, are forced to deal with some of the lowest people on earth, people who have no sense of right and wrong, people who will lie in court to get what they want, people who do not care who gets hurt in the process. It is our job – our sworn duty – as criminal defense lawyers, to protect our clients from those people."


Mrs. Tripper came up with an excellent descriptor that was originally applied to matchmaker/ singles ads and reality TV: Fascinatingly Repugnant. It describes why we all have that guilty attraction to watching whatever cultural train wreck is going on at the moment. It applies to a few clients, too.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Jack don't know Jack

This picture is here because I don't know how else to get it on our profile, since the profile wants a URL and has no provision for upload that I can find.
Anyway, now it will have a URL.
By the way, I took this pic at the FDR memorial in DC on memorial day 2000. My brother came up for a conference and we went around the area that night taking pictures.

Friday, November 04, 2005

sadness abound

I've been here eight years the beginning as an intern and then later on as an attorney. One of my mentors brought me aside and told me he's leaving in December. Although I wish him well and will see him occasionally as he'll be taking conflict cases, I feel as if my rock that i've clung to when i could barely see above the crashing waves of the ocean is sinking into the sea. I'm not happy.

IndianaPD Shrine

Indiana had some great things to say about the law. I've dug these out of Google's cache:

To Defend Wow. I still get a lump in my throat every time I read this.

Code of Hammurabi The authors of the Constitution were the last people with power to have learned this 4500 year old lesson.

Measuring Success Our victories are fewer, grayer, but sweeter. And everyone wins, even if they don't know it.

Take a look for yourself. Just click 'Cached' instead of the link.


Thursday, November 03, 2005


Blog world give a big shout out for Chrissy bloggin!!!!!

Chrissy Blogs!

1. Go to Google Image Search and type in the city and state/province of the town where you grew up, no quotation marks. Then select the picture you like best from the first page of results and post it on your blog.

2. The city and state/province of the town where you currently reside.

3. Your name, first and last.

4. Your grandmother's name.

5. Your favorite food.
6. Your favorite drink.
7. Your favorite smell.
8. Lastly, your favorite song.

History Will Tell

There are three classes of men; the retrograde, the stationary and the progressive.
Johann Kaspar Lavater

The flags flew at half-staff Wednesday for Rosa Parks.
The flags flew at half-staff for nine days for William Rehnquist.

Who will be better remembered in 50 years?
Whose actions were retrograde and whose actions were progressive?

Granted, Rosa Parks only did one thing (but it was a biggie)
and Rehnquist was a government official.

But it's an illuminating glimpse into their importance in the Administration's eyes.
P.S. Rehnquist's proclamation came out the day after he died; Parks', 5 days.
Jack (feeling snippy)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dammit, Jack (cont'd)

4. Next your grandmother's name.

5. Next your favorite food.

6. Next your favorite drink.

7. Next your favorite smell.

8. Lastly, your favorite song.

Dammit, Jack

its bad when your own partner challenges you. Here's my answers to the questions. Its amazing how similar yet different they turned out. Janet

Go to Google Image Search and type in the city and state/province of the town where you grew up, no quotation marks. Then select the picture you like best from the first page of results and post it on your blog.

2. the city and state/province of the town where you currently reside.

3. Next your name, first and last, but no quotes.

Cross-modal Semantic Priming through Memetically Randomized Lexical Ambiguity

Going along with the meme analogy, I think this is the equivalent of junk DNA, or the gene that encodes for nipples in males.
HOWEVER, it's a heck of a lot of fun playing word association with GIS. I like Skelly's new one:

1. Go to Google Image Search and type in the city and state/province of the town where you grew up, no quotation marks. Then select the picture you like best from the first page of results and post it on your blog.
Assuming "growing up" means up to age 18, here goes:

To be continued...

Cross-modal Semantic Priming through Memetically Randomized Lexical Ambiguity (Apportionment II)

2. Go to Google Image Search and type in the city and state/province of the town where you currently reside, no quotation marks. Then select the picture you like best from the first page of results and post it on your blog.

3. Next your name, first and last, but no quotes.

4. Next your grandmother's name.

(There is no GIS for my other grandma)

5. Next your favorite food.

6. Next your favorite drink.

7. Next your favorite smell.

8. Lastly, your favorite song.