Crime

Molly Wei didn't stop her friend for using her computer; now she could end up in jail.

Prosecutors looking into Tyler Clementi suicide indicated yesterday that they might not be able to charge Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei with a hate crime. Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan told the Newark Star-Ledger that his office was trying to see if they could charge Ravi and Wei with a second degree bias crime, but so far they don’t have enough evidence to support such a charge.

Right now, Ravi and Wei are charged with invasion of privacy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

Given that some people have pushed for prosecution that goes all the way up to homicide charges, the possibility that Ravi and Wei won’t be charged with a hate crime (or burned at the stake, or whatever the hell will satisfy people’s revenge impulse) will disappoint many — perhaps including prosecutor Kaplan, who said: “Sometimes the laws don’t always adequately address the situation. That may come to pass here.”

And sometimes the public’s outrage completely outstrips the actual crime committed. I’ve already shared my thoughts about Dharun Ravi’s crime. Now let’s take a closer look at Molly Wei — a girl who, as far as we know, is guilty of letting a high school buddy use her computer…

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Judge Jack Camp: Don't be fooled by his grandfatherly exterior.

The allegations against Judge Jack Camp (N.D. Ga.), which we mentioned earlier today, are far more salacious than we expected. In fact, they’re hard to believe.

“Learned Paw” posted this tongue-in-cheek comment, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, on our earlier post:

I am not surprised by the bust of Judge Camp, considering the last trip I took with him. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether….

There’s no indication that the 67-year-old Judge Camp tried ether. But if the allegations of law enforcement are to be believed, Learned Paw / Hunter S. Thompson is not far off the mark.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Judge Camp used a wide range of controlled substances — in the company of an exotic dancer / prostitute, who turned out to be a confidential informant….

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According to news reports out of Atlanta, which have been confirmed by U.S. Marshal Richard Mecum, Senior Judge Jack Camp (N.D. Ga.) has been arrested on federal drug charges by the FBI. He’s scheduled to appear in court later today.

Nominated to the federal bench by President Reagan, Judge Camp has been a judge for a long time — over two decades, since 1988. He has presumably presided over countless drug cases. If Judge Camp ends up pleading guilty to anything, that will be one interesting Rule 11 colloquy.

Let’s have a look at His Honor, shall we?

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Gov. Schwarzenegger should have a pretty mellow retirement.

It’s Friday, many of you ain’t got no job, and California is going to let you get high!

Don’t let the somewhat tepid headline fool you. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took a major step towards decriminalizing marijuana possession today.

If you don’t smoke up, the news can seem kind of minor. Schwarzenegger signed a bill that reduces possession of an ounce or less of weed from a misdemeanor to an infraction. That doesn’t make recreational use of marijuana legal or anything — and that’s too bad, because that means broke-ass California can’t slap a sin tax on pot and thereby get its financial house in order.

But the ramifications of the legislation are still significant for recreational pot users…

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I like the work, I like the people, I like the clients, I set my own hours, I set my own price structure, I call the shots with what I will and will not do.

Valerie Scott, one of the three sex workers who successfully challenged restrictions on prostitution in Canada’s Criminal Code (via Morning Docket).

This is the most bizarre story we’ve seen in quite some time. And we always appreciate the opportunity to use our State Judges Are Clowns tag. (Federal all the way, baby.)

So, Isaac H. Stoltzfus is a judge from Intercourse — yes, Intercourse — Pennsylvania. As for the rest of the story….

Eh, res ipsa loquitur. Just click on the link below.

Judge from Intercourse, Pa., gives women condom-stuffed acorns
[Associated Press via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Breaking this morning, there’s been a shooting at the Perry-Castaneda Library on the University of Texas – Austin campus. The Houston Chronicle reports:

A man opened fire with an automatic weapon on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library early Tuesday, UT police spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said.

“He subsequently shot himself. He is deceased,” she said, adding that no one else was injured.

Police and university officials urged students to stay indoors.

“A suspected shooter in PCL library is dead. Police are searching for possible second shooter. Lock doors, do not leave your building,” the alert said.

Based on reports we’ve received from students at the UT Law School, the potential second shooter might still be at large…

WE HAVE POSTED VARIOUS UPDATES BELOW.

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If you’re like most people who have an important drug test coming up — say, for a new law firm job or for probation (kind of the same thing) — you probably prepare by doing things such as guzzling water, sucking pennies, or ladling your roommate’s urine into a pocket flask.

A somewhat less effective way to prepare involves going on a cocaine and amphetamine binge hours before your drug test and hoping for the best. But that didn’t stop Lindsay Lohan from trying last week:

Lindsay Lohan’s probation has been revoked and a bench warrant issued for her arrest…. Although the bench warrant was issued, it’s being held — i.e., on hold — until Friday at 8:30 AM, when Lindsay is ordered to appear in court.

The move by Judge Elden Fox comes after Lindsay failed two drug tests recently … one showed the presence of cocaine and another showed amphetamines.

Under the terms of her probation, Lindsay could get 60 days for her latest misstep, and the bench warrant comes just weeks after Lindsay completed a 14-day jail stint and 23 days in UCLA’s in-patient celebrity-enabling sanctuary rehab for another parole violation.

As an occasional taxpayer (albeit in a different state), I’m annoyed California has to waste precious time and resources monitoring and jailing Lindsay, when they could be doing something useful, like banning Jay Leno. As a lawyer, I’m itching to blame someone or something(s) for her downward spiral, and I have found the proximate clause: her boobs.

Let’s take a closer look…

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Do public officials in Michigan need to jump in the lake? Last week, we covered an assistant attorney general in the Wolverine State who is on the hunt for a gay student at the University of Michigan. Today we bring you news of a misbehaving judge.

According to court records, Judge James M. Justin, a state district judge in Jackson County, dismissed nine traffic cases against himself and his wife. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that the judge fixed four illegal-parking tickets that he received from 2002 to 2004. He also dismissed five traffic tickets received by his wife, Kim R. Justin, over a ten-year span. Who says chivalry is dead?

Judge Justin’s tickets were, amusingly enough, “dismissed after explanation” — to himself. Presumably Judge Justin found his explanations very convincing.

So what does His Honor have to say about all this?

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Based on our earlier coverage of traffic stops, here are some dos and don’ts for the next time you get pulled over:

Now that we’ve covered the basics of traffic stops, let’s move on to the advanced course….

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