25 August 2010

A Round Tuit (42)

A Round Tuit

When it comes to legal blogging, there seems to be no shortage of writing worth reading once one gets around to it.

What's that? You have no round tuit? My friend, you are fortunate indeed, for never before in human history have round tuits been so readily available. If you need one, Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. has them in stock.

While you place your order, I'll share a few posts which are worth your attention.

Blagojevich Sketch

Former Illinois Governor and noted swearing enthusiast Rod Blagojevich allegedly attempted to "sell" the United States Senate seat vacated by President Obama and was implicated in other "pay to play" schemes while in office. Even before these scandals were played-out in newspaper headlines, Blagojevich was ranked as America's Least Popular Governor by survey company Rasmussen Reports. Early last year, he was impeached, removed from office, and prohibited from ever again holding public office after a trial in the Illinois State Senate. All in all, these are especially impressive achievements when one considers Illinois' legendary tolerance for political corruption and graft.

A few months later, accompanied by incriminating soundbites from months of wiretaps and hyperbolic statements from prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich's indictment seemed a mere formality on the way to his inevitable conviction on corruption charges. This past week, we were reminded that an indictment is not a guilty verdict.

On twenty-three of the twenty-four counts against him, Blagojevich's jury failed to reach a verdict; on only the twenty-fourth and final count, that the former governor made false statements to the FBI, did they find him guilty. At the Popehat blog, Ken characterized that count's underlying statute as overcriminalizing of otherwise inconsequential dishonesty and noted that it is routinely used by prosecutors to shore-up sketchy cases:
The jury found Blagojevich guilty on Count 24 of the indictment. That count charged him with violating 18 U.S.C. section 1001 by falsely stating to the FBI, during his interviews in the course of the investigation, that he kept a “firewall” between his political activities and his official government activities, and that he did not keep track of who donated to him.

Those assertions were, of course, bullshit. More to the point, they were utterly obvious bullshit. There is no chance whatsoever that Blagojevich’s patently ludicrous and self-serving boasts about his rectitude could have delayed or deterred the FBI for a nanosecond. Regrettably, when it comes to Section 1001, that’s not the point. The question, in determining whether a lie to a government investigator violated section 1001 is not whether it actually obstructed or influenced the investigation, but whether it was possible that a statement of that kind would influence the investigation. That’s such a loose and easy standard that almost any statement related to the subject matter of an investigation will satisfy the element.

Hence federal investigators frequently use 1001 to strengthen otherwise weak cases. They carefully build their proof about all the issues in the case, convince some credulous target and his foolhardy lawyer to talk, and then hope that the target will lie about some detail — or at least make some claim that a jury will believe is untrue. As I’ve mentioned before, the feds can even use this trick to convert a misdemeanor investigation into a felony investigation, and can certainly transform a losing case into a conviction. Just ask Martha Stewart (who was never indicted on the issues for which she was investigated). Or Rod Blagojevich, who now stands convicted for stupid lies that the FBI didn’t believe for a hot second.
Ken's co-blogger Patrick was appalled by the sheer waste of resources represented by the Blagojevich prosecution:
I’m simply going to suggest, with a hung jury on 23 of 24 counts against Rod Blagojevich, and a lone conviction on the penny ante charge of lying to the FBI, that the millions spent prosecuting him could have been put to better use.


Mind you, I think that Blagojevich is guilty as sin. But that isn’t why he was prosecuted. Most politicians are guilty as sin. Blagojevich was prosecuted for being stupid.
The waste will continue, of course; Fitzgerald's office announced immediately after the single guilty verdict was delivered that Blagojevich would be retried on the remaining charges. For his part, the once and future defendant has already begun raising money for the next stage of his defense by selling photos and autographs at a comics convention in Chicago. Dan McLaughlin suggested that those who bought Blagojevich's signature might not have spent their money as it might first seem. Referring to Roland Burris, appointed to the Obama Senate seat by Blagojevich and later admonished by the Senate when wiretap evidence revealed that he had negotiated a price for the seat, McLaughlin tweeted,"On the upside, you'll still have Blago's autograph longer than Burris has the Senate seat."

Following the Blagojevich verdict (or lack thereof), many speculated about the reasons for the government's failure and the "message" the jury wanted to send. Amongst those speculating was bestselling author Scott Turow, who suggested that the hung jury represented a protest against dysfunctional political financing rules; Scott Greenfield dismissed that idea and others which credit the Blagojevich jurors with complex and high-minded motivations:
Nah. Not that it isn't a very thoughtful position, but Turow ascribes an awful lot to these jurors. Given how few people can name the three branches of government, the idea that this hung jury resulted from ambivalence brought about between the Massey and Citizens United decisions is a rationale only a lawprof could love.


One juror, a woman, who held her ground for 14 days, that she didn't see guilt. Is this a screwy system or what? It's likely that we'll never know for real what went through her mind during those 14 days, whether she gave any thought to Citizens United or didn't like the way the government lies to get its evidence. If someone can get her to talk now, she'll likely try to explain herself in some way to make it appear that she had a reasonable doubt, and sound explanation for holding out.

Chances are pretty good that there isn't any good explanation for being a hold-out. The juror isn't required to explain herself, either to her fellow jurors or anyone else. She doesn't have to give interviews. She doesn't have to engage in a philosophical discussion with the other eleven. She can if she wants, but there's no obligation. A person can just decide that she's unconvinced.


For all the discussion and analysis, whether of the law, the selection of jurors or the facts, it all comes down to the unknown variable, the vote of a single juror, even if that juror's vote against the will of the other eleven is just because she feels like it.
Ashby Jones discussed the criticism and "advice" which Fitzgerald received this week:
The advice runs from the extremely harsh to gently chiding. Let’s start with the most damning.

That would come courtesy of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. After referring to Fitzgerald’s decisions to go hard after Conrad Black and Scooter Libby, the ed board writes:
This pattern points to a willful prosecutor who throws an exaggerated book at unpopular defendants and hopes at least one of the charges will stick, even as he flouts due process and the presumption of innocence when the political winds are high.
The Journal’s advice for Fitzgerald: to resign. “If Mr. Fitzgerald doesn’t resign of his own accord, the Justice Department should remove him—especially after such other recent examples of prosecutorial bad faith or bad judgment involving Blackwater contractors in Iraq, the forgotten backdating accounting scandal and the late Senator Ted Stevens.”

The editorial folks at the Washington Post didn’t follow the Journal’s path, but still aren’t throwing hosannas Fitzgerald’s way. Their advice: “Patrick J. Fitzgerald should back off his vow to retry former governor Rod Blagojevich.”
Norm Pattis wrote that the Blagojevich prosecution underscores the need for us to hold our government accountable for the injustices it commits in Blagojevich's case and many others:
I am no fan of Blagojevich. The conversations he reportedly had on tape were ugly. He is a guttersnipe. But he is a politician, after all. He is such stuff as Congressmen and Governors are made.

But I wonder how many lies the government told Blagojevich during the course of its investigation? I wonder how many witnesses were intentionally misled? I wonder how often jurors were kept in the dark about how prosecutions of this sort are made?

Let's begin with fundamentals: It is a federal offense to lie to a government agent performing his duties. But guess what? The United States Supreme Court has stated it is all right for government agents to lie to you. In other words, if you lie to the Government, you face five years in prison; if the Government lies to you, that's business as usual. Why the asymmetry? Shouldn't the Government be held to the same standard as the people it serves?


Twenty-four counts of fraud and claims that he tried to sell a United States Senate seat and all the Government can prove is a lie to federal agents? This is a humiliating defeat for the Government. Period.

We say that our courts are open, but does the public really know about how many cooperation agreements are struck between the Government and witnesses behind closed doors in a judge's chambers, with half-truths then placed on the record in open court?
In another post, Pattis discussed the government's increasing tendency to misuse the grand jury system, claiming secrecy for its damaging fishing expeditions:
Federal grand juries, which were once a means of protecting people from the infamy attendant to being investigated for a crime, are now the secret tool of prosecutors free to rummage with subpoenas through virtually every area of your life. Fear of the unknown has become a prosecutor's best friend. Prosecutors play on that fear, claiming all the while that grand jury secrecy is sacrosanct.


The history of the grand jury is rooted in a different source: A grand jury was supposed to protect a citizen against the abuse of government power. Today the grand jury has been transformed into an investigative Star Chamber.


These prosecutions for perjury and false statement would be less frequent with a more transparent grand jury process. I am not suggesting that the grand jury should be opened to public view. What I am saying is that a process that was intended to protect citizens from over aggressive government officials should be open and transparent to those targeted for prosecution. Using grand juries to develop secret cases against folks and then playing hide and go seek with the truth when interviewing targets is obscene; it wreaks of Stalin, not Jefferson.
Would that we had a "poster child" for prosecution reform who wasn't such a repellant personality, but if the notoriety of Blagojevich's case and the spectacular setback suffered by the overreaching prosecution this week are what focuses much-needed public and political attention on these abuses, so be it. Tolerating a government which empowers its agents to manipulate and lie has served no one's interests but theirs.

British Dalek

Though I mention British legal topics and posts here from time-to-time, I'm ashamed to admit that these Round Tuit posts generally give these short shrift. There were several posts this week, however, which give me an opportunity to redeem myself somewhat.

Writing at the Guardian website, Carl Gardner argued that, notwithstanding our abiding love for celebrity gossip and scandal, the public's defense of its own privacy rights should apply equally to the private lives of celebrities and he downplayed concerns that such protection would undermine meaningful press freedoms:
It's sometimes claimed that the development of this relatively new privacy law could inhibit investigative journalism and the exposure of important public scandals – such as MPs' expenses. But where's the evidence for this claim? Nothing has been reported at greater length and in greater depth than the expenses story, which involved publishing all kinds of details about work done at MPs' houses, what TV channels they watch and even their shopping receipts. Privacy law didn't get in the way, because it doesn't stop reporting in the public interest. It already strikes the balance McNally is looking for.

To understand what's at stake here, we need to notice the types of cases that are actually causing concern in press circles. They aren't those involving politics, corruption or public money. On the contrary, they more often involve celebrity, sport and sex. But what's the public interest in exposing the sex life of a golfer, footballer or motor-sport administrator, any more than yours or mine? None, is the answer: the interest is overwhelmingly commercial. If it's true that privacy law has begun to prevent such exposures then that should be reassuring rather than dangerous. The fact that it didn't do so in Mosley's case or John Terry's ought to make people think before concluding that those stealthy privacy judges have gone too far.
Gardner continued to defend his position at his personal blog, Head of Legal, reiterating that privacy rights should not be watered-down to benefit the tabloid press.

I've seen it ventured that Britain's capacity to export its population around the world in centuries past was a prime factor in the building and success of its empire. Its willingness to export its people, seemingly upon request, to face even petty criminal charges elsewhere in Europe (while not requiring the same of its neighbors) reminds us that the once-mighty British Empire is no more. Charon discussed the increasing use of "no evidence needed" European Arrest Warrants:
It would seem... that while we are keen to export our people, we are less than keen on importing offenders – perhaps, being cynical, this is just too much of an effort and costs too much?

I am sure that the European Arrest warrant is valuable and ‘warranted’ in the more serious crimes – but driving without insurance, driving off without paying at a petrol station? I’m not so sure in the case of minor fines which could, surely, be dealt with by fine and paid by credit card with agreement of the person charged?
This is not to suggest that all British exports of late reflect badly on Old Blighty. Two notable — and much-beloved (at least in my household) — British exports, Doctor Who and Top Gear, were the subjects of legal blog posts recently. At the Legal Satyricon blog, the Satyriconistas discussed the trademark status of the iconic Doctor Who TARDIS (which, for those of you non-Whovians, appears in the series as a blue police box):
In 1996, the BBC applied to register the TARDIS as a trademark with the UK Intellectual Property Office. The London Metropolitan Police District (LMPD) opposed the registration on the grounds that they owned the mark and despite giving their consent to the BBC to use the iconic Police Phone Box as the TARDIS, they did not give any further permission. The LMPD took the position that if the BBC was granted the mark, it would confuse and deceive the public into thinking that the MPD endorsed the products and services.

The UK IPO held that the police did not own a mark to the iconic phone box, but if they did, it would only be in the narrow category of law enforcement services – not time travel.
Lilian Edwards discussed the efforts undertaken by the BBC to ensure that Top Gear's "tamed racing driver" The Stig remains an enigmatic and anonymous figure and considered whether the driver under the famous white helmet has a right to be identified:
From one perspective, the right to assert your "nymic" identity seems clearly like something that should be an intrinsic part of private life. In more modern instruments than the ECHR, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a right to a name and an identity is explicit. In the ECHR, case law has extended the right to family life to something very similar, with numerous cases on the rigt to a name, to a state affiliation qand to an immigration or domicile status. These cases are complex and go both ways but the underlying notion that private life includes identity is one which most scholars would I think acknowledge.

But another way to look at it - and one I am sure the BBC lawyers are quite keen on - is that this was a simple commercial transaction where the Stig was paid for silence. Non disclosure agreements (contracts) or NDAs are of course ubiquitous. As with the general domain of privacy and personal data online, the question then becomes the more controversial one of how far should you be able to sign away your basic rights by contract. Adopting the language of restrictive covenants, it would be surely be unreasonable if The Stig was not allowed to use his own name in any walk of life, or with any employer. But is it reasonable that be be bound indefinitely by his consent even by the BBC? The question also arises of what remedy would be reasonable here if the BBC were say to seek an injunction to prevent any name-attached autobiography of The Stig being published. In libel law, , the common aphorism is that common law courts prefer not to grant allow prior restraint of speech on allegations of defamation, but to impose damages subsequent to publication if damage to reputation then ensued: "publish and be damned". In pure contract or confidence actions, such a bright line does not pertain. Should The Stig have the right to assert his name and pay the BBC if they suffer loss as a result? Or should he be stoppable by injunction as is possible in the ordinary law of breach of contract?
Jeremy Phillips discussed the BBC's claim that it is simply trying to prevent publishers HarperCollins from unjustly profiting from a forthcoming (perhaps) autobiography from the man beneath the helmet:
According to the IPKat, the intriguing thing about this story is that the BBC spokesman is reported as identifying the primary reason for a confidentiality and copyright suit as protecting the BBC against an attempt by an external party (HarperCollins, actually) to profit from the unauthorised use of the Top Gear brand. This confusion between causes of action might not reflect the usual press ignorance about IP. Instead it probably genuinely identifies why the BBC has sued in this case -- the mighty corporation is only a frustrated brand owner trying to protect brand values but against activities that are not infringing its trade mark rights.

Merpel says, the BBC is trying to protect the entertainment value is something that is entertaining only because it is secret. The Stig's real identity doesn't matter at all - what matters is the fact that it isn't known. In other words, the value of this secret is only the fact that it's a secret, since that gives it entertainment value -- and entertainment value is real value for an organisation whose business is entertaining. She adds, HarperCollins might be better advised to publish a children's book revealing Father Christmas's true identity. The BBC would have no basis for stepping in to stop that!
It's an intriguing case to be certain, and both Edwards' and Phillips' insights are worth reading in their entireties. Sadly, however, both are off the mark. Here's the real reason for the BBC's desperate legal efforts: After public outcry in recent years over the high salaries paid to BBC presenters, embarrassing misbehavior by a few of those presenters, and concerns over bias in the Beeb's coverage of Middle East issues, not to mention ongoing dissatisfaction over the "license fees" Brits are obliged to pay each year to support the whole scheme, the BBC's leadership is simply trying to preserve what they can. They know that while their venerable institution has survived public image crises, funding difficulties, and even a World War, it will certainly be destroyed if The Stig's identity is revealed and the nation learns with whom this government-supported agency has associated itself.

You see, The Stig is... Geeklawyer.

Odds n Ends Shop

For months, Above the Law has reported on the plights of newly-hired BigLaw associates for whom the first day of the rest of their lives was deferred, often repeatedly, as their firms struggled in the present economy with their outdated business models. Inevitably, some of those deferred associates drifted-away to other firms or other pursuits entirely and, just as inevitably, some of the deferred starts ultimately became withdrawn offers. Elie Mystal for one has been waiting for the other shoe to drop — for someone affected by a deferred-then-withdrawn offer to file a lawsuit challenging his or her treatment; he described a close-but-no-cigar lawsuit filed recently:
This was bound to happen at some point. There have been countless associates who were promised jobs at law firms. They stopped looking for other jobs in reliance on that job offer. Then during the recession they were deferred, or their offers were rescinded. They are the leading citizens of the Lost Generation.

Do they have any legal claims against their would-be employers?

Almost certainly not, but it looks like somebody is ready to try to find out.


A clean test case on the issue of offer rescission? Not quite. As with most things, there’s a racial angle…


Is it possible that minorities and women are getting hit more by this phenomenon? Certainly. And if so, firms should be held accountable. But let’s not lose the forest for the trees here. If we’re interested in unfair hiring practices by firms when it comes to minorities, let’s talk about that.

If we’re concerned about the entire process of offer-deferment-rescission, then that’s really an entirely different discussion.
Mystal's co-blogger, David Lat, prompted by a recent New York Times article about two deferred associates who'd found their callings elsewhere in the profession, suggested that while deferrals may have started as an economic stop-gap, these might offer something of a permanent solution to a longstanding problem for hiring firms:
As the NYT piece discusses, the deferral programs were welcomed by both deferred associates, who gained valuable experience, and by public interest organizations, who received free (and talented) labor. But were the deferral programs also useful to law firms — and not just in terms of helping them keeping overhead low during a slow period? Might these programs be something that law firms should consider doing on a more long-term basis?

One problem that large law firms have — or used to have, before the Great Recession, and will probably have again — is associate attrition. Firms invest considerable time and resources in training young associates. Some of these associates stay at the firm for many years, and some — usually just a few — make partner. But many of these associates leave the firms after just two or three years (or less), well before they become profitable to their firms (i.e., generating more in revenue than their salaries and associated overhead).


Deferral programs could be useful to firms by helping them weed out those associates who are most likely to leave the firms prematurely, before the firms have realized a return on their investment. Think of the deferral programs as the Biglaw version of Rumspringa: a set period of time for young lawyers to explore the great wide world, to test their commitment before they “join the faith.”

If these lawyers enjoy their deferral time so much that they don’t come back, then it was never meant to be — and the firm just saved itself a few hundred grand on an investment that was going to walk out the door in a few years. But if these lawyers return, ready to tackle commercial litigation or corporate transactions, then the firms should baptize these associates into the Biglaw church. Their commitment to private practice was tested — and came out strong.
Seven months in the making, Eric Goldman posted a detailed critique of Google's participation in its own AdWords auctions for placement of its "house advertising":
Many publishers run “house ads” to self-promote their own offerings. Google does too. However, Google differs from most publishers because it auctions ad space on its network. Thus, when Google runs house ads, it simultaneously conducts the auction that it is bidding in—an impermissible conflict of interest.


Google’s spokesperson told me that Google’s house ads “are subject to internal marketing budgets.” I assume this means that a Google department running house ads must “pay” for its clicks by transferring money from its department budget to a different Google department. In theory, the scarcity of marketing budgets forces Google departments running house ads to internalize the opportunity cost, even if no cash changes hands.

However, I don’t believe this cures the defects in auction integrity for at least four reasons. First, Google’s behavior lacks any auditability or verifiability; as outsiders, we have no idea what Google is doing under the hood. Second, Google has access to better information to optimize its bidding than any other bidder. That information may not be functionally available to individual employees placing auction bids, but because of the first point (lack of auditability/verifiability), we as outsiders don’t know that either. Third, because all Google bids just involve internal funds transfers and no out-of-pocket cash payments, Google can easily increase departmental budgets to enable more aggressive bidding—after all, if no cash changes hands, it’s just funny money anyway. Fourth, actual ad placement depends on ad quality scores, and Google has acknowledged that it has “exceptionally high Quality Scores” which should automatically give it a bidding advantage over everyone else. And, once again, no one else can audit or verify Google’s self-designated ad quality scores.

As a result, Google’s advantages over other bidders should allow it to “win” its auctions whenever it decides to bid.


I feel a little silly writing nearly 2,000 words explaining why auctioneers should not bid in the auctions they run. We all already knew that. Yet, Google apparently violates this basic rule every time it runs house ads in AdWords auctions. Google should fix this—and restore integrity to its AdWords auctions—by no longer competing with its advertisers in those auctions.
As The Register noted, Google's brief, dismissive response to Goldman's criticisms suggests that the search giant doesn't think much of that "basic rule".

Mike Sacks discussed a Texas case, Fisher v. University of Texas, which is making its way toward the Supreme Court; if it arrives there, it promises to clarify Affirmative Action law as it currently stands after the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision, in which Justice O'Connor (now retired) was in the majority and Justice Kennedy dissented:
Affirmative action in higher education is the remaining hot-button issue on which Kennedy and O’Connor disagreed, but has yet to be tested since Alito joined the Court. When O’Connor sided with the liberal bloc in determining that the University of Michigan Law School’s race-conscious admissions policy survived strict scrutiny in 2003′s Grutter v. Bollinger, Kennedy dissented.

Although Kennedy is not hostile to affirmative action itself, he believes the Grutter majority watered down the Court’s strict scrutiny standard formulated in Justice Powell’s concurrence in 1977′s Bakke, which approved of a narrowly tailored use of race to achieve the compelling state interest of holistically diverse student bodies in higher education. In other words, Kennedy approved of the use of race, but would give higher-ed affirmative action schemes more searching review than the Grutter majority had demonstrated.


Whether or not Kennedy believes that UT’s consideration of race for applicants beneath its top-10% auto-admit program satisfies his application of strict scrutiny, what is certain is that his application of strict scrutiny will supersede Grutter as precedent.
Finally this week, a very unusual case, procedurally at least, was discussed by Lyle Denniston and Jeff Gamso. Denniston reported the latest development in the case of Georgia death row resident Troy Anthony Davis:
A year ago, the Supreme Court sent Davis’s latest challenge — one filed directly with the Justices — to the District Court in Georgia “for hearing and determination.” The order said that the lower court should “receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis's] innocence.”


Judge Moore closed his opinion by noting that he had carried out the Supreme Court’s mandate by holding a hearing and now ruling on Davis’s habeas challenge. “This Court,” he wrote, “concludes that executing an innocent person would violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution” — a point long hinted at but not yet specifically decided by the Supreme Court. However, the judge went on to reject Davis’s claim of innocence, summing up: “The evidence produced at the hearing on the merits of Mr. Davis’s claim of actual innocence and a complete review of the record in this case does not require the reversal of the jury’s judgment that Troy Anthony Davis murdered City of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail on August 19, 1989.”


...Judge Moore proceeded to analyze how much proof of innocence would demonstrate “actual innocence.” He noted that Davis’s lawyers had proposed a standard that innocence could be found based upon proof of “a clear probability that any reasonable juror would have reasonable doubt about his guilty,” with “clear probability” meaning a 60 percent chance. By contrast, the judge noted, the state of Georgia proposed that innocence could be found only if “no rational trier of fact could find proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The judge resolved the dispute by ruling that, to establish a claim of actual innocence, a person previously convicted at a fair trial “must show by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable juror would have convicted him in the light of the new evidence” that was developed after the trial. The judge then applied that to the new evidence upon which Davis’s lawyers had relied in claiming that he was wrongly convicted.
Casting-about to determine "how much proof of innocence would demonstrate 'actual innocence'" gives me, a somewhat tepid death penalty supporter, an uneasy feeling; it's infinitely-more troubling for Gamso, an unequivocal capital punishment abolitionist, in this matter where there's considerable (if not "clear and convincing") evidence of actual innocence:
You remember Troy. All those witnesses who recanted. And the guy who confessed. And the Supremes told the lower court judge to determine if he was innocent but didn't say on what basis or how or what would follow from the determination. And the judge held a hearing and excluded much of the evidence Troy's lawyers wanted to present. And now he's issued this 174 page Order.

The bottom line is in the first paragraph.
For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Mr. Davis has failed to prove his innocence.
That first clause is terrific. It may seem self-evident, but it's not. The Supremes have never said it. It's never formally been adopted as the law of the land. It is, in fact, a wholly controversial claim. If executing one who is actually innocent, by whatever measure we use to test it, is a constitutional violation, then the courts have to grapple with freestanding claims of innocence in capital habeas cases. Until now, the courts have refused to entertain those claims.

Like I said, no small thing.

But for Troy Davis, it's nothing at all. Because there's that second clause. He didn't prove it to the satisfaction of Judge Moore.

But when you get right down to it, isn't it the same point? Given what we know now, would a reasonable jury have found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Would it have decided to kill the guy?

Header pictures used in this post were obtained from (top to bottom) Carbolic Smoke Ball Co., Scott Wykoff's Blog, Andrew Sherman's blog, and Paris Odds n Ends Thrift Store.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What that statement really means is: "Do your own dirty work. I can't prove he is innocent, but that is your problem, not mine."

Or do you think something else is written in between those lines?