Category Archives: 6th Amendment

The Jury Question



Many years ago, back in the 1970’s, you could, on rare occasions, actually learn something watching a TV crime drama. And so it was that way back when, Dave watched an episode of Quincy, M.E., during which he learned a fact about how Jury trials can work that he retains even today. That single fact is helpful when we recall the purpose of the Jury is to serve as a mighty bulwark against government. To make certain that government isn’t allowed to just run roughshod over accused citizens.

At the same time, that simple fact also makes certain that a person who is guilty can’t hide behind confusion and misdirection.

Back in 2012, a man stood accused of hacking into PriceWaterhouse and stealing the Romney’s tax returns, which he threatened to release to the highest bidder if he didn’t get paid $1Million in digital currency. The self-named “Dr. Evil,” was about as competent as his nom de guerre, and ended up in the custody of the US Secret Service, who take a dim view of people threatening potential Presidents with blackmail. He denied being involved, of course, and eventually found himself sitting in front of a Jury as the Secret Service laid out their digital case against him.

It was extremely complicated, and for people who aren’t computer experts, somewhat confusing. To make sure that the Jury understood the case, the Judge allowed the same thing that Dave learned watching Quincy, M.E., all those years ago to happen…

Carson Walks Out of Jail

I’ve said this many times and before I say anything else today, I’m going to say it again: The justice system that we have not only should be but in fact must be slanted towards the defendants. Gaining a conviction for the government – at any level – should be difficult and should require that the State have its ducks in a row and to prove its case against a defendant who has effective counsel before a jury.

Defense Lawyers are usually squirrelly and evasive, but that’s their job. DA’s on the other hand must be above question and transparent in everything they say and do. You may ask why, since so many of the dirtbags the Police work so hard to get off the street would then be the beneficiaries of rules that favor them instead of the State or the victims. It is simply because if the government can start slam dunking convictions, the protections that we all have against the government go out the window. If the State can violate the 4th Amendment because “we all know” he did it, why can’t it violate yours if it deems it necessary? If a defendants 6th or 8th Amendment rights are pushed aside in the name of “justice” because of the severity of the crime, what happens to your rights?

You may not like it. But “I don’t like that,” is not a Constitutional argument.  Read the rest of this entry

Just Use The Standard Talk Show Thought Process

Everybody keeps telling me how horrible 2016 was. Celebrity deaths, violence, the cancellation of The Jim Gaffigan Show. I get it, it was a bad year.

It’s hard for me to think in those terms. In January, I couldn’t walk without horrible pain. In February I went to Seattle for my Uncle’s funeral. While there it was clear that I could hardly stand up, let lone walk for more than a minute without swelling and the most intense pain I have ever had. I say that as a man who has gone through a shattered hand, three bouts of kidney stones and an infected pilonidal cyst (trust me, do not Google that). By the end of February the pain was – up to that moment – the worst I have ever had, and had essentially crippled me. Read the rest of this entry

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