January 6, 2008
January 1, 2008
December 14, 2007
December 6, 2007
November 19, 2007
November 18, 2007
October 29, Drew Peterson reported his wife Stacy missing. She is his fourth wife. His third wife died under suspicious circumstances; and Stacy’s disappearance led authorities to exhume the ex-wife’s body, and Friday’s autopsy revealed that her “accidental” drowning was, indeed, murder.
Now, let’s assume for a moment that Peterson killed both women: What is the thought process by which, having gotten away with one murder, you would risk a second one when even the mere suspicion of the second murder would probably lead to the exhumation of the first body (right now, it might be easier to prosecute him for killing his ex-wife than for killing Stacy, because there’s physical evidence)? Stupidity? Peterson’s a police sergeant: He knows how investigations work. Arrogance and a sense of invincibility? Even O.J. Simpson waited until after he was acquitted and immune from further criminal prosecution before breaking the law (again) in any major way. (more…)
November 14, 2007
In Virginia, Judge James Michael Shull was faced with of two divorced parents, each wanting custody of their child for Christmas. Since there was no compelling reason to choose one parent over the other, Judge Shull tossed a coin. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled last week that Judge Shull “failed to uphold the dignity of the judiciary,” and removed him from the bench: a rather draconian punishment, given the behavior of some judges who are allowed to keep their gavels and robes (such as Philadelphia judge Teresa Carr Deni, appointed to another 6-year term earlier this month, despite her decision last month to downgrade the alleged at-gunpoint rape of a prostitute to a “theft of services” charge).
And exactly how should Judge Shull have resolved this issue? This was the proverbial coin-toss decision, which made tossing a coin rather appropriate. Would the Virginia Supreme Court have preferred he ask for a sword and suggest a more Solomonic solution?
- No Charges For 10-Year-Old Firestarter and other crime news both serious and not
November 9, 2007
California authorities have determined that one of last month’s California wildfires – one which destroyed 21 homes and injured several people in the Los Angeles area – was accidentally started by a 10-year-old boy playing with matches. Now they have to decide what to do about it, the options including removing him from his parents’ custody, placing him in juvenile detention, and handing his parents a multi-million dollar tab.
The rule of thumb when dealing with juveniles is whether the child understood that his actions were wrong – but it’s not so simple in this case: It’s one thing to understand that playing with matches is wrong, and quite another to anticipate that you might be laying waste to your entire neighborhood.