Domestic Terrorism

“What I said was terrible, mean and downright stupid…. I wasn’t trying to scare anyone, I was trying to be witty and sarcastic. I failed and I was arrested.”

– Justin Carter, in a letter to District Judge Jack Robison

On February 14, in New Braunfels, Texas, Justin Carter was arrested on terroristic threat charges. Carter, then age 18, had been posting on a Facebook page for the game League of Legends. When a friend called Carter crazy, Carter allegedly volleyed back that, yeah, he was messed up in the head and that he was going to “shoot up a kindergarten, watch the blood rain down and eat the beating heart out of one of them.” A Canadian woman who viewed the comment reported Carter to law enforcement officials.

Carter’s father insists that his son immediately followed his first Facebook comment with “LOL” and “JK,” clear indications that Carter was . . . laughing out loud and joking when he wrote. Lest you think that explicitly stating that you are joking is enough to insulate your comments from criminal liability, Justin Carter was arrested, then charged by the Comal County Criminal District Attorney. In Comal County, txtspk cannot save you….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Terroristic Threat Laws & A Texas Teen: There But For The Grace Go We”

So they finally read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his rights. Good thing we have that public safety exception to the Constitution. Who can be bothered to hold fast to our most sacred rights and liberties when there might be something bad happening! Obviously, once he was read his rights Tsarnaev immediately stopped talking and the government was unable to protect us from… oh wait, that didn’t happen. Tsarnaev kept talking (or nodding, as it were), even after informed of the basic rights guaranteed to him as a U.S. citizen.

But he did communicate that he couldn’t afford a lawyer. Luckily for him, the magistrate judge who read him his rights at his hospital bedside came with federal public defender in tow.

Let’s meet the people who will do this distasteful work so the rest of us can crucify the guy while being confident he’ll get a fair trial…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Lawyers Representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”

* With the capture of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, many legal questions are being asked, like if he’ll be Mirandized, where he’ll be tried, and if he’ll be considered an enemy combatant. [New York Times]

* Thanks for kicking this keg, Mr. Baer: the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev have settled their antitrust differences with respect to beer brewery’s planned acquisition of Grupo Modelo. [Legal Times]

* Which firm has a “generous tuition reimbursement” program? And by “generous,” we mean 100% of law school tuition, which is awesome. We may have more on this later today. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

* Stan Chesley, the “master of disaster,” is retiring — not because he wants to, but because he’s disbarred in Kentucky and surrendered his Ohio license before the state could take it from him. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* California may soon follow in New York’s footsteps when it comes a pro bono mandate before bar admission, but the New Jersey Bar Association has an active hit out on the idea. [National Law Journal]

* In an effort to avoid a trial that would’ve lasted longer than their sham marriage did in the first place, fauxlebrity Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries settled their divorce last week. [Reuters]

* Morris Kramer, an M&A pioneer and part of Skadden’s “Fab Four,” RIP. [DealBook / New York Times]


* The surviving bomber is still on the loose. [Boston Herald]

* The bombers’ uncle put his disdain for their actions bluntly: they’re “losers.” [Gawker]

* The attacks may not qualify under the the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, meaning insurance companies may not be required to pay out. [RT]

* On a related note, some have taken to the Internet to raise money for victims of the attack. The attached is a fund for the recovery of an injured Boston College law student. [Give Forward]

* Props to Goodwin Procter for its efforts to help Boston. [The One Fund]

* CNN is still doing a bang up job reporting on these attacks. The Onion points this out as only they can. [The Onion]

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system. While we don’t yet know the immigration status of people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.

How can individuals evade authority and plan such attacks on our soil? How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the United States? How do we ensure that people who wish to do us harm are not eligible for benefits under the immigration laws, including this new bill before us?

– Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), making some rather incendiary remarks during a hearing on immigration reform today in Washington, D.C.

Note that even this guy doesn’t actually use ricin.

In news that doesn’t involve 19-year-old, “dark-skinned” Russian/Chechen nephews held up in Watertown with FAKE Twitter accounts, there’s some more information this morning on the coward who allegedly sent ricin to the president, a senator, and a judge. Think Walter White, only without the badass.

We don’t plan to publish a lot of content today, given the circumstances. If we return to a state of “peace” today, we’ll certainly get back to trying to make that sure that Gawker sorority chick ends up applying to law school.

But since the ricin story relates to the general “Jesus Christ” WTF-ness of this week, let’s examine the new details on Paul Kevin Curtis, suspected ricin mailer nutbag…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Prosecutor Says This Ricin Guy Is A Real Whackjob Too”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Since last night, much has been discovered about the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, including their names: Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Suspect #1) and Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev (Suspect #2). While Tamerlan died overnight in a police firefight, Dzhokhar remains at large. On his Vkontakte page, which is essentially the Russian version of Facebook, Dzhokhar notes that his personal priorities are “career and money.”

Now, everyone who hasn’t been following the news about the employment/debt crisis for recent law school grads knows that if those are your aspirations in life, you should head to law school.

So, is Suspect #2 a law student?

(Now with important UPDATES after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Suspect #2 in the Boston Bombings a Law Student?”

So yesterday I was flipping between Fox and MSNBC as they continued their battle to see who could be the first to report that the other one was wrong. During the “they made an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombings… oh no they didn’t” kerfuffle, I got sucked into the Megyn Kelly program which devolved into a discussion on whether or not the ALLEGED suspect should be Mirandized when he is caught, or “sent right down to Guantanamo.”

It occurred to me that there are whole throngs of humans out there, Americans, who honestly believe that reading somebody his rights or making sure a suspect has access to a lawyer is deleterious to justice, as opposed to being one of ways we ensure justice is done.

I trust there aren’t any real lawyers out there who believe that rights hurts the administration of justice as if life is one big freaking episode of The Closer….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Do I Really Need To Explain To Fox News Why Miranda Warnings Are Important?”

Just days after the act of terror at the Boston Marathon, yet another bomb scare has occurred in Beantown.

According to media reports that have been confirmed by the police, the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston was evacuated due to a bomb threat after a “Code Red” was announced at the scene. Onlookers describe what’s going on as “utter mayhem.”

This “Code Red” is apparently the first in the courthouse’s history. We hope everyone there is safe, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): Sources report that the courthouse has been opened to employees only, but that the FBI media briefing on the Boston Marathon Bombing is postponed due to the bomb threat.

‘Code red’ prompts evacuation at South Boston courthouse [FOX Boston]
Heavy Security Around Federal Courthouse in Boston [WBSM]
Updates on the Aftermath of Boston Marathon Explosions [The Lede / New York Times]

Earlier: Explosions Hit the Boston Marathon

As you have probably heard by now, multiple explosions just went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The situation remains in flux, but early reports from the Boston police claim that at least two people have been killed and 23 people have been injured. You can follow the latest news about this tragedy at Boston.com, Fox 25, the New York Times’s Lede blog, and social media.

The Boston Marathon is one of the greatest events in American running and, for that matter, all of American sports. Lawyers and law students have performed very well in it over the years, as we noted back in 2007.

Please keep the Boston marathon victims in your thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE (8:00 p.m.): At least 100 people have been injured, according to Boston.com.

Two dead, 23 injured in Boston Marathon explosions [My Fox Boston]
Many Hurt in Blasts at Boston Marathon [New York Times]

Earlier: Congratulations to the Boston Marathon Finishers