Apr 30, 2014
Back in March we wrote
about Mark Witaschek, a man who was convicted of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” in the District of Columbia.
The “ammunition” Witaschek possessed (not attempted to possess – it was in his office) was a box of Knight brand sabots used in muzzle loading weapons. The sabots have no powder or primers with them yet the District of Columbia said they were “ammunition” akin to modern cartridge type ammunition.
Witaschek and his lawyer have vowed to appeal the conviction in part because the sabots are not ammunition and also because the District of Columbia allows antique muzzle loading weapons such as Witaschek owns in the District. It makes no sense that you can have the weapon but not the projectiles for it. Without powder, the sabots cannot be fired from the weapon so what is the Attorney General concerned with? That Witaschek would threaten to throw a handful of sabots at someone on the street?
Faced with the lunacy and public backlash over the case, the District of Columbia doubled down on their persecution of Witaschek.
Apr 30, 2014
Melissa Bonnette of Whitehouse, Texas was out for her morning walk when she was approached by Whitehouse motorcycle Police Officer Shawn Johnson who told her to stop because he wanted to talk to her.
Bonnette did not want to talk to the officer and in fact, was somewhat creeped out by the whole situation.
“I thought that maybe he was flirting,” she said. “I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn’t really sure
but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn’t anyone around.”
It’s not as if Bonntte did not have a good reason to be concerned. The area in which Bonnette was walking has had a history of illegal activity. In fact, Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton says that one of the reasons Johnson wanted to talk with her was she was in a “bad area.” (The other reason was that Bonnette was walking on the right hand side of the road, which is allegedly against Texas law. For safety reasons, you are supposed to walk on the left hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.)
So while the Police say they have the right to stop Bonnette for being in a bad area, Bonnette does not have the right to be worried about being alone with an officer in a bad area. After all, nothing could happen with the police, right?
From San Antonio, Texas:
SAN ANTONIO – Friday morning. On duty. Full Uniform. Marked Squad Car. Officer Jackie Neal, 40, made a traffic stop and then allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman, according to the San Antonio Police Department.
Police said the 11-year veteran pulled the victim over on the south side and managed to get her to stand behind his squad car. San Antonio police Chief William McManus described the events that followed as “unthinkable.”
From Dallas, Texas:
DALLAS — La’Cori Johnson, a five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, was arrested at police headquarters Tuesday, just after he resigned.
He was charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony.
According to the arrest affidavit, the assault occurred September 9, 2013. Johnson detained a woman and a man in the 9200 block of Larga Drive, near Bachman Lake. He ordered the man to leave, but told the woman she had an outstanding warrant.
The affidavit states he ordered her into the back seat of his marked car and when she began to cry, he said, “Why are you crying? You don’t have to go to jail if you do what I tell you to do.”
According to the affidavit, Johnson drove his squad car a short distance, to a dead end circle in the 3300 block of Storey Drive, behind an apartment complex. The affidavit said he got into the back seat, took off his gun belt, placed it beside them, and raped the woman.
As both these incidents from 2013 took place in Texas and were widely publicized, it is understandable that Bonnette wasn’t interested in talking with Officer Johnson.
In addition, Bonnette said she was worried that the police office may have been an “impersonator.”
In Bonnette’s defense, in an earlier interview, she told CBS 19 she wasn’t sure if the officer was an impersonator.
“I watch a lot of shows and I err on the side of caution with those situations.”
“The motorcycle has a patch on both sides of the gas tank. It’s black and white and says ‘Whitehouse Police,’ and has red and blue lights on it,” Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton said. “So you have to take it for what it is. Do you think he’s a Whitehouse police officer? Why would you think he’s someone impersonating a police officer?”
Why would anyone think he is someone impersonating a police officer?
Ask a woman in Plano, Illinois who was stopped by a fake cop and then raped.
Fake Cop Pulls Over Woman In Plano, Rapes Her
He was wearing a uniform, and driving a car with flashing lights, but police say the man was just pretending to be a police officer. He pulled over a woman driving in Plano, and sexually assaulted her in a cornfield.
Knowing she had done nothing wrong, instead of talking, Bonnette crossed the street and started to jog away.
Apr 30, 2014
This is hysterical.
Yankees fans think they’re booing a cardboard cutout of Robinson Cano – until the real Cano steps out from behind it and surprises them.
Apr 29, 2014
The State of Oklahoma has two high courts. The Supreme Court handles civil matters while the State Court of Criminal Appeals hears criminal matters.
This “duality” of courts makes some sense as it allows both courts to become “specialists” in the nuances and precedents of the law in their area of legal jurisdiction. Well, it did make sense until two convicted killers managed to get their criminal penalty of execution stayed by the Oklahoma Civil Supreme Court.
Which brings us to the case of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner who were convicted of crimes so heinous we cannot ever imagine that such people walked the face of this earth:
One of them had shotgunned a teenage girl and buried her alive, the other had raped and murdered a young child.
The two men sued to learn the names of the drugs used to execute them as well as the drugs’ manufacturer. Oklahoma law prohibits disclosing the names of the people and companies that take place in executions for the safety reasons. It is the same reason the home addresses of police officers and Department of Corrections officers are not disclosed: a legal act should not put the lives of innocent people (family members and employees) at risk. At a hearing in a lower court the state disclosed the drugs being used: midazolam, which causes unconsciousness, along with pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, which shut down breathing and the heart.
The disclosure left the issue to whether the names of the drug manufacturers should be made public. The lower court ruled the privacy provision of the death penalty law was against the Constitution.
The State appealed the ruling and it is here that things began to get strange.
Apr 27, 2014
We have written about attorney and author Andrew Branca previously here at Raised on Hoecakes.
Branca’s bio says:
Andrew F. Branca is in his third decade of practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He wrote the first edition of the “Law of Self Defense: A Guide for the Armed Citizen” in 1997, and is currently in the process of completing the fully revised and updated second edition.
Andrew began his competitive shooting activities as a youth in smallbore rifle, and today is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a Life Member and Master-class competitor in multiple classifications in the International Defenseive Pistol Association (IDPA). Andrew has for many years been an NRA-certified firearms instructor in pistol, rifle, and personal protection, and has previously served as an Adjunct Instructor on the Law of Self Defense at the SigSauer Academy in Epping, NH. He holds, or has held, concealed carry permits for Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Utah, Virginia, and other states.”
This past Tuesday, Branca participated in a debate at the University of Berkeley Law School which focused on “Stand Your Ground” laws. Branca is a supporter of the laws and was on the same side of the podium as lawprofessor Andrea Roth who:
was nominally on [Branca’s] side, but in fact did not take a pro-SYG position. Her position would more accurately be described as “undecided on SYG.”
Opposing Branca and Roth on the agreed upon topic of “Florida state law may be flawed, but Stand Your Ground is a fundamentally sound policy that protects the innocent,” were attorney Rice-Lave and CNN analyst and attorney Sunny Hostin.
Hostin’s bio includes:
Sunny Hostin has covered many of the major legal and political stories of today, including the George Zimmerman, Casey Anthony and Conrad Murray trials, Bernie Madoff, Elliot Spitzer, the FLDS polygamy case, the Michael Vick dog fighting ring, OJ Simpson’s civil trial, Brittney Spears’ custody and mental illness battles, the Duke rape scandal, and many more.
She has published numerous popular and scholarly articles in many outlets on topics including securities fraud, ponzi schemes, sex crimes, crimes against women, foreclosures, and everyday financial legal issues. Publications that have profiled, featured and quoted her include Forbes Woman, Uptown Magazine, Essence, The New York Post, WSJ.com, Latina, and Ebony. Sunny Hostin is a highly sought after public speaker known for her lively and engaging speaking style at corporate and academic events. She has spoken and moderated panels for the Investigative Reporting Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Association of Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, PRLDF and National Bar Association.
In short, it appears that Branca and Hostin are well educated and should be able to discuss the facts in this debate.
During the debate, Rice-Lave offered this:
Rice-Lave: Let me ask you this, Mr. Branca. You indicate that, you told the people here today, that all of the prongs of classic self-defense law have to be met, except for the duty to retreat. And I would just ask you about the Trayvon Martin case, which of course we’re all familiar with. It is indisputed in that case that Mr. Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator to remain in his car, and Mr. Zimmerman left the car and pursued Trayvon Martin. In fact there was a jury instruction in the case which specifically talked about how the jurors should consider the fact that Mr. Zimmerman left and helped to create the situation, and what I’m wondering is how, if it’s the case that all these prongs of the case and that someone has to be completely innocent to prevail under self-defense, how is it the case that Mr. Zimmerman could have prevailed in this trial? (emphasis ours)
Branca does dispute the “indisputable” idea that Zimmerman was told to remain in his car which leads to a bet with Hostin on whether Zimmerman was told to stay in his car.
(It should also be noted that Rice-Lave gets the facts wrong on who Zimmerman spoke with. Zimmerman called the non-emergency number of the Sanford Police Department – not 911.)
This is the video of that portion of the debate:
Apr 26, 2014
We aren’t sure if this is a solution looking for a problem, but it does show that there are simple things that can make life a tad easier without a whole lot of effort.
And besides, we like Alton Brown.
Apr 26, 2014
A company called “Deal Extreme” has this really spiffy touch screen wrist watch they want to sell.
It seems like a great deal to us because not only does the watch tell you the time in either a 12 or 24 hour format, it sticks to your wrist!
It’s amazing! It’s magical!
Please Digital Extreme, put the mouse down, close Photoshop and walk away.
Just walk away.