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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Perry Hatchet Job Continues; Lying Prosecutors; Grossly Incompetent Defense Lawyer; Thug Elite Athletes

I still believe that the prosecution against Rick Perry is a political hatchet job. For a more balanced treatment, two views actually see The Brief: Two Views on Continuation of Perry Legal Case

Holding Lying Prosecutors Responsible

Sidney Powell is a federal appellate lawyer who also has a very good blog - Seeking Justice : Prosecutorial Misconduct in the United States Legal System. I recommend her article about a lying prosecutor who denied under oath that he had a deal with a snitch:

Judges Kozinski, Fletcher & Wardlaw HAMMER California Attorney General’s Office Regarding State Prosecutor Who Lied Under Oath 

See a panel of serious Ninth Circuit Judges in action!  Watch this video, beginning at the 16 minute mark, and be sure to watch through to the end.  This case involves a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Napue.  This case presents conduct even worse than a Brady violation.  In this case, the prosecution infected the case with false testimony–including by a prosecutor himself–over benefits given to a “cooperator” or “snitch.”

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel - Don't be That Lawyer

How would you like to be this lawyer, disbarred by the Kansas Supreme Court. The State had charged Mr. Hawver's client, a drug dealer, with two counts of capital murder. From the opinion In re. Hawver, 2014 BL 321677, Kan. No. 111,425, 11/14/14).  

All totaled, the respondent spent approximately 60 hours preparing for the capital murder trial.
Prior to trial, as part of the evidence of the felon in possession of a firearm charge, the prosecution agreed to enter into a stipulation that Cheatham had previously been convicted of a felony, rather than seek the admission of the details of Cheatham's voluntary manslaughter conviction. Despite the stipulation, during voir dire and again during his direct examination of Cheatham, the respondent informed the jury that Cheatham had previously been convicted of voluntary manslaughter. During trial, the respondent described Cheatham as a 'professional drug dealer' and a 'shooter of people.'

'Hawver then said he attempts to win cases by "telling the truth and letting the facts set, an understanding of the full scope of the presentation."'
During the closing argument, the respondent 'conceded that asking the jury to ignore Cheatham's background when determining guilt required "some sort of superhuman fiction."'

Hawver, by way of excusing his lack of preparation, stated that in addition to his busy law practice,  "I was a candidate for governor of the State of Kansas, and as such I was spending considerable time attending public appearances throughout the state of Kansas. I appeared at all political functions dress[ed] as President Thomas Jefferson."
In  an affidavit, he stated:
Mr. Cheatham did not have any funds with which to pay for my services nor did he have funds to pay for any investigation of his case. I agreed to represent Mr. Cheatham on the murder charges in exchange for his promise to pay $50, 000 for my time, if he was found not guilty on the charges.

I was without funds to conduct a pretrial investigation of the case. 

I never asked the court for time to investigate the case or to conduct an investigation of the client's life history. I believe if I had asked for additional time to prepare the case the judge would have granted such a request.

this capital murder trial began less than 3 months after preliminary hearing. I now understand that on average capital cases take 20 months to prepare for trial

My decision not to hire an investigator to assist in the investigation of the trial facts was because I had no funds with which to hire an investigator. 

The client did identify a possible alibi witness, but without funds to hire an investigator I was unable to locate this potential witness. I failed to ask for time to find this potential exonerating witness.

I admit that I did not provide effective assistance of counsel when I decided to forgo a comprehensive investigation of the trial facts

I did not have co-counsel during either the pretrial or the trial stages of this case. I

I admit I used a flawed and prejudicial argument in the penalty phase with a jury that had just determined my client had killed two women, and then attempted to kill a third. Despite my knowledge that the jury had found my client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of double murder, I told the jury I thought the killer should be executed for the crimes. This argument was clearly prejudicial to my client, who the jury believed, as evidenced by their verdict, was the killer.

"34. Lawyers must provide competent representation to their clients. KRPC 1.1. 'Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.' The respondent was not competent to represent Cheatham.
'a. The respondent had not tried a murder case for 20 years and had no experience in death penalty cases.
'b. The respondent did not appreciate the differences between trying a murder case and trying a capital murder case.
'c. The respondent did not obtain any training to defend a capital murder case.
'd. The respondent did not reduce his other caseload in order to devote additional time to the representation of Cheatham.
'e. Throughout the period of representation, the respondent was running for Governor of the State of Kansas.
'f. The respondent was unfamiliar with the ABA Guidelines.
'g. The respondent failed to hire co-counsel, an investigator, consultants, a capital jury expert, a mitigation specialist, and expert witnesses.
'h. The respondent did not accept assistance from the Board of Indigents' Defense Services.
'i. The respondent failed to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts.
'j. The respondent failed to assemble a trial team.
'k. Rather than hire a mental health professional and without any experience, the respondent judged Cheatham to be mentally healthy.
'l. The respondent did not know that he could compel the attendance of out-of-state witnesses.
'm. The respondent failed to track the cell phone to determine Cheatham's location at the time of the murders.
'n. The respondent failed to properly investigate possible alibi witnesses. Additionally, the respondent failed to file a notice of alibi.
'o. The respondent was not familiar with how to death-qualify and life-qualify a jury.
'p. While the respondent was familiar with the Marsh decision, he failed to file a motion challenging the death penalty.
'q. The respondent did not prepare a legal representation plan.
'r. The respondent spent approximately 60 hours preparing for the capital murder trial.
's. During trial, the respondent described Cheatham as a "professional drug dealer" and a "shooter of people."
't. The respondent believed that the manslaughter conviction would be admitted during the guilt phase of the trial.
'u. The respondent was not familiar with capital jury instructions.
'v. The respondent did not conduct investigation for the sentencing phase.
'w. During the sentencing phase of the trial, the respondent presented only one mitigator-Cheatham's innocence.
'x. In the closing argument of the sentencing phase, after the same jury had concluded Cheatham was guilty of the murders, the respondent told the jury that they ought to execute the killer.'
The respondent failed to represent Cheatham with the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. Accordingly, the hearing panel concludes that the respondent violated KRPC 1.1.
"KRPC 1.5 and KRPC 1.7(a)(2)
"35. KRPC 1.5 provides that '[a] lawyer's fee shall be reasonable.' KRPC 1.7(a)(2) provides:
'(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
(2) there is a substantial risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.'
"36. The respondent charged Cheatham a fee of $50, 000. The Kansas Supreme Court previously concluded that the fee was not a contingent fee, but rather a flat fee. Charging a flat attorney fee in a capital murder defense was unreasonable and created a conflict of interest.
"37. The ABA Guidelines 'unequivocally disapprove of flat fees in death penalty cases precisely because such fee arrangements pit the client's interests against the lawyer's interest in doing no "more than what is minimally necessary to qualify for the flat payment."' Despite the fact that Cheatham did not pay the fee, charging a flat fee in this case became a disincentive to the respondent to do more than what is minimally necessary to qualify for the flat payment. Accordingly, the hearing panel concludes that the respondent's flat fee was unreasonable and created a concurrent conflict of interest, in violation of KRPC 1.5 and KRPC 1.7(a)(2).
"KRPC 1.16(a)(1)
"38. A 'lawyer shall not represent a client . . . if the representation will result in a violation of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct.' KRPC 1.16(a)(1). In this case, accepting the representation of Cheatham resulted in a violation of KRPC 1.1. By accepting the representation of Cheatham, the respondent violated KRPC 1.1, as the respondent was not competent to represent a defendant in a capital murder case, as detailed in paragraph 34 above. The hearing panel concludes that the respondent violated KRPC 1.16(a)(1) in this regard.
"KRPC 8.4(d)
"39. KRPC 8.4(d) provides that '[i]t is professional misconduct for a lawyer to . . . engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.' The respondent engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice when he incompetently represented Cheatham in a capital murder case. As a direct result of the respondent's ineffectiveness, the Kansas Supreme Court reversed Cheatham's conviction for capital murder and the case will have to be tried again. Causing a retrial in a capital murder case is significant prejudice. Thus, the hearing panel concludes that the respondent violated KRPC 8.4(d).
"KRPC 8.4(g)
"40. 'It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to . . . engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.' KRPC 8.4(g). The respondent engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law when he informed the jury during the guilt phase that Cheatham was a 'professional drug dealer' and a 'shooter of people.' Further, the respondent engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law when, during the sentencing phase of the jury trial, the respondent told the jury that they ought to execute the killer. The hearing panel concludes that the respondent violated KRPC 8.4(g).

2 Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty Of Rape Charges
from Huffington Post
The jury heard two weeks of dramatic testimony from a parade of witnesses, including police, former and current Vanderbilt students and the woman, who said she didn't remember what happened that night, only that she woke up in a strange dorm room. They also saw cellphone images from the night of the attack that Vandenburg sent to his friends as it was happening.
Despite the photos and video, and witnesses seeing the woman unconscious and at least partially naked in a dorm hallway, no one reported it.
Rumors about what happened quickly spread around campus, and the assault might have gone unnoticed had the university not stumbled onto the closed-circuit TV images several days later in an unrelated attempt to learn who damaged a dormitory door. The images showed players carrying an unconscious woman into an elevator and down a hallway, taking compromising pictures of her and then dragging her into the room

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Heroin Addict FBI Agent; Argentine Prosecutor "Suicide" Night Before Testify; The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven Admits He Lied

FBI Agent's Theft of Seized Heroin for Personal Use Could Wipe Out Dozens of Drug Cases
An FBI agent's downward spiral could wipe out months of work by a heroin task force, the Washington Post reports, writing that more than 100 cases against criminal defendants could be in jeopardy because agent Matthew Lowry skimmed seized heroin for his personal use. (Lowry has admitted to "repeatedly" stealing heroin, the Post says.)

Former judge pleads guilty, admits taking bribe to cut jury verdict from $5.2M to $1M
A former Arkansas judge waived indictment and pleaded guilty Friday to a federal criminal information (PDF) charging him with accepting a bribe for reducing a nursing home negligence verdict from $5.2 million to $1 million.

Michael A. Maggio, 53, admitted being “improperly influenced” in the nursing home case by campaign contributions in 2013 for his planned run for an appellate court seat, according to Arkansas Business, the Log Cabin Democrat and the Times Record.

Law firm ripped up bloody carpet to hide sex assault by partner, ex-associate alleges at bias trial
A Manhattan law firm ripped up carpet stained by blood when a partner “painfully and forcefully” had sex with an associate following a 2011 holiday party, the former associate’s lawyer alleged as her bias trial got under way on Monday.

The now-former associate, Alexandra Marchuk, is seeking $9 million in her bias suit against the law firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, the New York Post reports. A preview of the trial by the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) says Marchuk claims $2 million in damages and is seeking at least $10 million in punitive damages.

Argentina: Jewish Bombing Prosecutor Found Dead
rgentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires on Sunday night, the day before he was due to present to a parlimentary committee about allegations that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner concealed Iranian involvement in the 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing. Nisman was found in his bathtub with a small caliber bullet wound in the head just before midnight. Early analysis suggested it was a suicide.
Yeah, right.
Contractor Pleads Guilty in Navy Scandal
Hours earlier in the same San Diego courthouse, Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek entered a guilty plea and admitted to revealing military secrets to Francis in exchange for prostitutes, money and luxury trips. Dusek allegedly provided details about Navy ship schedules to Glenn Defense Marine so Francis could inflate invoices and overcharge the Navy.

Alex Malarkey, 'The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,' Admits He Made It All Up
A bestselling Christian book that claims to detail a boy's trip to heaven and his return to Earth is being pulled from stores after one of its co-authors admitted he made the whole thing up.

The 2010 memoir, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," was written by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist in Ohio.
But on Tuesday, the boy, who was left a quadriplegic in the accident, took it all back. The Pulpit & Pen website published "An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven,” written by Alex.

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven," Alex wrote in the open letter, adding:

"I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible."
Christian tourism

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Richard Ellison - Board Certified in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Civil Trial Law

Richard Ellison now Board Certified in Criminal Law
I received confirmation today from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization that I am now Board Certified in Criminal Law. This is in addition to my certifications in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law. There are only 7,000 lawyers in Texas (out of what seems like a million lawyers) certified in any area. I don't know of any certified in my three areas.

The Missing Pages of the 9/11 Report
by Eleanor Croft, at Daily Beast
The lead author of the Senate’s report on 9/11 says it’s time to reveal what’s in the 28 pages that were redacted from it, which he says will embarrass the Saudis.
A story that might otherwise have slipped away in a morass of conspiracy theories gained new life Wednesday when former Sen. Bob Graham headlined a press conference on Capitol Hill to press for the release of 28 pages redacted from a Senate report on the 9/11 attacks. And according to Graham, the lead author of the report, the pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the 9/11 hijackers.

Feds Want Felony Charges for Petraeus
from Daily Beast
Prosecutors from the FBI and Justice Department are recommending that Attorney General Eric Holder indict former CIA head David Petraeus for providing classified documents to his mistress. An investigation found Paula Broadwell had classified information on her computer, but Petraeus claims he never provided it to her. The retired four-star general left the CIA in 2012 after it was revealed that he had an affair. He's currently teaching and working as a partner in a leading private-equity firm.

Yes, Marcus. They did die in vain
From Foreign Policy
by Jim Ghorley

Throughout history, our nation’s greatest leaders have understood on a deeply personal level that however honorably a soldier acquits himself, he can die in vain, and that it is the responsibility of the leaders and citizenry to see to it that they don’t. Our country has lost its sense of that responsibility to a horrifying extent. Our generals have lost the capability to succeed and the integrity to admit failure. Our society has lost the courage and energy to hold them accountable. Over the last decade, our top leaders have wasted the lives of our sons, daughters, and comrades with their incompetence and hubris. After each failure, our citizens have failed to hold them accountable, instead underwriting new failed strategies as quickly as their predecessors with our apathy and sense of detachment. And then we use the tired paeans of "never forget" and "honor the fallen" to distract ourselves from our guilt in the affair. When we blithely declare that they did not die in vain, we deface their honor by using it to wipe the blood from our hands.

George Zimmerman Arrested On Aggravated Assault Charge
from Huffington Post
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law:

— He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Samantha Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives and prosecutors didn't pursue the case.

— Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed. No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.

Mainline Street
from Esquire
Ory has several explanations, the first of which is simple and rote: "the power of addiction." Not to drugs—though Ory clearly has a problem—but to being a low-grade outlaw, to cutting deals in the shadows, to knowing that one nosy state trooper or chattering meth head could end it all. "All of it, the whole thing," he says. "It's exciting. It's a rush. You feel alive. I mean, the power of addiction is incredible.

"In this world, everybody's missing something in their lives, and that's why they're doing drugs. It's taking the place of something they're missing, something they've lost, something that makes them feel inadequate. So everybody's looking for acceptance, looking to be something, wanting to feel." A pause. "Myself included."

That is almost identical to an assessment of Ory filed as part of a pre-sentencing report last year. It noted that Ory used a lot of superlatives when talking about himself—he wanted to have the biggest concrete company in Laramie, he supplied the best dope, he has a near-genius IQ. "The attitude is one of overwhelming arrogance," the report noted, "but the Probation Officer suspects the underlying motivation is deep-seated insecurity which he attempts to overcome through his personal exploits."

Affidavit: SAPD officer arrested for stealing pot, cash and a gun
from S.A. Express — A San Antonio Police Department officer was arrested Thursday night after allegedly stealing money, drugs and a gun from a man and woman while on duty last week.
Konrad Chatys, 32, faces a charge of theft by a public servant.

Ron Paul: "Reality Is Now Setting In For America... It Was All Based On Lies & Ignorance"
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.

Addiction, Drunk Driving, and Suicide: The Struggles of Audrey Conn, Founder of ‘Moderation Management’
from Daily Beast
Audrey Conn founded Moderation Management as an alternative to A.A. In December, almost 15 years after killing a father and daughter while drunk driving, Conn killed herself.

BTW, I didn't know that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the 2013 DSM-V, now calls alcoholism "alcohol use disorder."

Lawyer beaten to death with hammer during fight over drugs in Queens: police sources
Jesse Smith, 29, was attacked during the dispute in his Astoria apartment Monday afternoon. Smith is a practicing lawyer but was struggling with a heroin habit, a police source said.
New York Daily News

Friday, January 9, 2015

Welcome to Kerrville - Home of Meth Labs and Rattlesnakes

The Kerrville Daily Times lead story Thursday is headlined
"Domestic call nets meth, rattlesnake - two arrested on drug charges"
Really would make me want to visit or move here.

After the disastrous Groundhog Day ceremony last year when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped and killed the animal, Staten Island Zoo officials say they will not ask the mayor to handle this year’s groundhog.

Wendy Davis Admits Lying About Supporting Gun Rights to Get Votes
From Breitbart.com
It actually makes sense that Davis is out of touch with how Texans think: she can’t even talk like a Texan. National Review’s Kevin Williamson, a native born Texan, mocked the Rhode Island-born, Harvard-educated Davis’ attempt at colloquialism in her use of  the phrase “wrong Texas gal.” “Oh, Wendy: Nobody talks like that in Texas, or anywhere else, except in movies and dumb campaign commercials,” wrote Williamson. And when linguistic experts at the University of Texas at Austin analyzed her speech, they described it as closer to “a mainstream U.S. accent” than the “Texas-accented English” of Wichita Falls native Abbott. Humorously, the linguists also found that she actually displayed some features of California speech. Davis has never lived in California, they noted, and so “we find ourselves only able to conjecture why she might exhibit this [California] accent feature. It is possible that she aims toward an accent that stands for a modern, Californian, female American.”

Ex-Cyber Chief Sentenced for Child Porn
The former acting director of cybersecurity for the Department of Health and Human Services was sentenced to 25 years in prison on child-pornography charges Monday. Timothy DeFoggi, who was covicted in August 2014, began using an underground online network to solicit child pornography in March 2012 before the FBI shut down the site the same year.

Airman guilty in sex assaults at Wilford Hall
From S.A. Express

An Air Force medical technician was found guilty Wednesday of assaulting a woman as she came out of anesthesia following surgery at the Wilford Hall military hospital.
If this fellow is representative of the USAF's fitness standards, it confirms what Marine friend of mine said about its fitness standards 'three pushups and you're in!'

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kerrville - Land of 10,000 Geezers, Meth Labs and Rehab Centers

I’m working on a paper where I will use census data to prepare a table comparing the populations and economies of Kerr, Harris and Travis counties. I got the idea from a reader’s comments suggesting that a big problem here is that we produce nothing, the population is old and stodgy, and won’t invest the money to create an economic base that encourages young, educated people to live here or stay here. As he or she wrote,

“Here is one headline you will never see in the KDT. ‘Google to open R&D center in Kerrville…..as the young engineers and scientists crave the Hill Country lifestyle.’ Conservative centers like Kerrville and its soul mate Hobbs, act as centrifuges, spinning off the real talent, and leaving behind the lighter elements. The smart young ones get out of conservative areas as soon as they can, never to return. The remainder settle in forever.”

There’s a lot of truth to this. My daughter graduated from Tivy HS in to top 10%, went to UT and graduated, and took a job with a real estate development company in Houston.  She lives in the Museum District, has a steady boyfriend, also a UT grad, very bright and ambitious, and they have their choice of hundreds of good restaurants, music venues, and professional sports teams to see play live. Now that I think about it, none of her friends she went to school with here came back. They are in Houston, Dallas, Austin and so on. I don’t want her back here. I miss her terribly and wish she was closer, but there is nothing here for her.

When I’m in Houston or Austin, there is an energy in the air, and there are young people with ambition and talent, making things, or providing real services that add value. What do we have in Kerrville? Houston has the biggest medical center in the world, Rice University, NASA just down the road, refineries, and it is of course the center of the world wide energy business.

Kerrville has - - - a lot of game ranches, rehab centers, senior citizens, and, frankly in my honest opinion, way too many lawyers who are like a pack of jackals and buzzards that fee off what others produce.

I do like some of Fox News, especially Megyn Kelly, but I’ve noticed that most of the ads are targeted at old people, for products like adult diapers, and meds for erectile dysfunction, COPD, itchy/bruisy skin, etc. One they run incessantly is for a pharmacy that features a couple of old geezers checking out the walking canes and skin bandages.  Really, really depressing.

More later when I figure out how to use Excel.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Texas gun nuts harass police; civil forfeiture abuse

From Daily Beast

Texas Gun Slingers Police the Police—With a Black Panthers Tactic
On any given night in Arlington, Texas, a group of open-carry activists turned self-appointed cop-watchers can be found walking by the side of the road, in safety-yellow reflector vests with cameras pointed at police. They carry “FILM THE POLICE” signs, and sometimes, in a habit that’s become of increasing concern to the officers being watched, they’re carrying guns of their own.

These armed activists’ mission—ostensibly to hold the police accountable by recording every interaction—has found new meaning in light of recent deaths of unarmed citizens like Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, members of the Texas group have adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry popularized during protests of the men’s deaths.

Are Police Stealing People’s Property?
Our asset forfeiture laws are a mess, and they’re letting cops confiscate property. Left and right ought to agree on this one.
Earlier this year, Paul started a national conversation about civil asset forfeiture when he introduced the Fifth Amendment Restoration Act, or FAIR Act. This proposal would require federal law enforcement agencies to present “clear and convincing evidence” connecting seized property to a crime.
The FAIR Act also removes the incentive that law-enforcement agencies have to police for profit by redirecting seized assets from the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Fund, the value of which has swelled from some $500 million in fiscal year 2001 to nearly $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2012 (PDF).

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Idaho Court Throws Out Conviction After Prosecutor Recites 'Dixie'

Prosecutors have until Jan. 9 to decide whether to appeal a ruling tossing out the conviction of a black Idaho man because the prosecutor quoted lyrics to the Southern Civil War anthem "Dixie." The man, James D. Kirk, 46, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his 2013 conviction on charges of lewd conduct and sexual battery of a minor child. But in a ruling made public this week, the Idaho Court of Appeals overturned Kirk's conviction, finding that Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin's recitation of "Dixie" during closing arguments unconstitutionally tainted his trial by "injecting the risk of racial prejudice into the case."

Why we have the Fourth Amendment

A year ago this New Year’s Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.
The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis‘ Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)

A special report highlights the growing disparity in America, and the issues many are having in keeping up with payments, which can even lead to incarceration for failure to pay – in spite of constitutional protections.

Thanks in part to the growing trend of private collection agencies – including those who service fines and penalties assessed by government agencies – the inability or failure to pay debts is resulting in arrest warrants, mounting costs and, yes, jail time.