Jury Duty

I was a senior in high school when the O.J. Simpson verdict came down. I was in a classroom in Indiana, everybody was watching on television. After the verdict was announced, the first thing I heard was my white teacher saying “bulls**t.” The next thing I heard was a bunch of black people screaming (I went to a pretty diverse high school). Then, basically, all the black people started streaming out of class. Nobody went back to school that day. I found my cousin. We high-fived. At that moment, I really believed that a racist cop had planted blood evidence to frame O.J.

Of course, that’s not what I think happened now. I think O.J. murdered those two people in a jealous rage, got caught and thought about killing himself, didn’t, then hired the best lawyers in the country, and beat the rap.

Still, I’m happy he got off. I know that is a controversial thing to say. It’s not really normal to be “happy” when a guilty person evades justice, unless you’re watching a mob movie. But I think Mark Fuhrman was a racist cop, and I think the O.J. case went a long way towards showing state prosecutors that basing your cases on racist cops is a bad thing. The state knows that putting blatantly racist people on the stand isn’t the best way to get a conviction. I’m willing to suffer the injustice of a guilty man going free to make the larger point that racist cops are not credible witnesses.

And so as I sit here, watching the news and reading Twitter accounts of people who are just “happy” that George Zimmerman was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the death of Trayvon Martin, I’m forced to wonder what “larger point” is being serviced today by the release of a man who shot an unarmed teenager to death?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will George Zimmerman Join O.J. Simpson In The Hunt For Real Killers?”

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty.

UPDATE (10:16 p.m.): Here are more details and commentary on the Zimmerman trial verdict.

* If you thought Stephen Kaplitt’s epic cease-and-desist response was awesome, then you’ll love this work of parody in response to the response, courtesy of New York Law School. [Legal As She Is Spoke]

* Eric Holder comes clean on his involvement with the James Rosen search warrant, and to the chagrin of many, he isn’t plotting the death of journalism. That, or he’s a big liar. You pick. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* George Zimmerman is going to be staring down an all-female jury for the next few weeks in his murder trial. And let me tell you, that’s going to be so much fun when everyone’s cycles start to sync up. [CNN]

* It’s amazing that the Framers’ intentions can be applied to true love. Best wishes to Ilya Shapiro on his new marriage. Professor Josh Blackman is one hell of a wedding speaker. [CATO @ Liberty]

* Is there an appropriate way to deal with cosmetic surgery — like a breast enlargement, breast reduction, or a nose job — in the office? Just be ready for people to talk about you. [Corporette]

* Former Above the Law columnist Jay Shepherd offers up the secret to lawyer happiness in just six minutes, while taking shots at the world’s largest law firm and the world’s shortest movie star. [jayshep]

Judge Debra Nelson charged through a string of motions in a pre-trial hearing this morning, including a ruling that the case will actually go to trial on June 10 as scheduled. The defense had sought a delay because apparently a one-witness case was too difficult to prepare in a mere 16 months or so.

But the real action revolved around the evidentiary rulings. Most of the rulings were pretty straightforward. A little, too straightforward.

What I mean is that most of the evidence at issue was so obviously prejudicial that the only purpose served by attempting to introduce the evidence is to take advantage of press coverage to poison the well of potential jurors…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Makes Obvious Rulings In Trayvon Martin Case”

Joe Francis

I want that jury to know that each and every one of you are mentally f–ing retarded and you should be euthanized because, as Darwin said, you have naturally selected yourself. You are the weakest members of the herd. Goodbye!

And if that jury wants to convict me because I didn’t show up, which is the only reason why they did, then, you know, they should all be lined up and shot!

– Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, offering comment to the Hollywood Reporter on his recent false imprisonment conviction.

(We’ve got some video clips from that interview, and they are… well, there’s no real way to put it eloquently, so let’s just say they’re pretty f**king awesome.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild Calls Jurors ‘Retards’”

* Online gambling wants to come back to the U.S. after the government cracked down last year. Anybody want odds on whether this works? [Wall Street Journal]

* In news that only affects those who want to dress like whores, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister may systematically mistreat the disabled. [Fox News]

* Post-disaster price gouging is sad, but inevitable. Oklahoma’s Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt is having none of it. [The National Law Journal]

* Obama will address drone policy and Gitmo in a security speech today because, after the last couple weeks of scandal, he’s hoping to introduce fodder for another round of withering criticism. [Huffington Post]

* The Daily Caller is all over the idea that Michelle Obama may have dated the Inspector General of the IRS at Harvard Law. Which proves… actually, I have no idea if the Daily Caller even knows why this might be significant. [Daily Caller]

* U.S. and Chinese law schools are collaborating more. American law schools are really desperate to open themselves to more students, aren’t they? [China Daily]

* The Jodi Arias jury may not be able to make a decision on sentencing. If you cared about this story at all, you’ve already heard Nancy Grace’s opinion. [NBC News]

* Elie argues with folks about Greece v. Galloway and legislative prayer. Video after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Morning Docket: 05.23.13″

Jodi Arias

If it seems like the Jodi Arias murder trial has lasted for weeks, that’s because it has — the courtroom drama began on January 2, 2013, and the proceedings have dragged on until today. HLN legal commentator Nancy Grace has had a field day with all of the allegations in this “who-done-it” murder mystery, just as Grace did in the earlier murder trial of Casey Anthony.

Arias originally blamed the killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, on masked intruders. Years later, she admitted that she killed him, but chalked it up to self-defense — in the form of 27 stab wounds, one gunshot wound to the head, and a slit throat.

Lo and behold, after more than 15 hours of deliberations, the jury has finally reached a verdict….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: The Jodi Arias Verdict Is In”

* The saddest thing about prisons getting rated on Yelp is owning the bar down the street with fewer stars. [Simple Justice]

* Sending “LOL totes glty” is a bad idea. [IT-Lex]

* The chief of the Brooklyn DA’s gang bureau probably should have spent more time with the civil rights bureau. [NY Post]

* People don’t really pay attention to the U.S. News Best Intellectual Property Program rankings — though it’d help if they did. [Science to Law]

* UNLV’s Nancy Rapoport thinks law schools are no better than Enron. That sounds about right. [TaxProf Blog]

* When it comes to the Boston bombings, Logan Beirne answers, “What would George Washington do?” [Reuters]

* Tenure has put a crimp in the ability of law schools to excel in the ranking system that considers publication. [Ramblings on Appeal]

* Kickstarter plug: A progressive Yale student took a year off to make a documentary about a conservative activist group, the Tennessee 9-12 Project, to show civility and respect. [Kickstarter]

* Ashley Pearson is a second-year associate at O’Melveny and has figured out what we already knew: being an associate is the worst thing ever. She’s entered a contest to ditch Biglaw and become a lifestyle photographer in Australia. To help out our colleague, be sure to “like” her FB fan page! [BestJobs Australia]

* Michael Silver thinks Jadeveon Clowney should lawyer up and challenge the NFL in court. If he’s anywhere near as terrifying in the courtroom as he was in the Outback Bowl, the NFL will be screwed. [Yahoo! Sports]

* Paul Caron has a solution to the sequester problem that just might work… [TaxProf Blog]

* Trivia competition: Identify the foreign courthouse. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Deleting social media can result in a spoliation instruction. [IT-Lex]

* Greta Van Susteren has endorsed a new book about jury duty, Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action (affiliate link). I’m still waiting for her to endorse a tour guide for her favorite country. [GretaWire]

I am not so sure if I would like to serve on a jury.

– A response generated by an artificial linguistic internet computer entity during an interview in response to whether the device, a program that simulates conversation, would ever go to jury duty. This interview was conducted because researchers are currently studying robots’ capability to gauge false testimony.

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