» Entries tagged with "power"

It’s Not Just About Them

I’m no expert at dog training. If you come to my house, the pony-sized dog will mercilessly lean on you while drooling. If she’s had any water recently, you will probably wish you were wearing a wet suit. If you don’t have one, consider bringing a change of clothes. All we have to show for our multiple failed attempts to train her are lots of hurt feelings. All hers. Any mild correction results in her pouting off to bed for about a day and looking like you’ve beaten her. Any failure to positively reinforce, even when she hasn’t done anything remotely resembling what you wanted her to do, results in her pouting off to bed and looking like you’ve beaten her until you feed her … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Government Rants

Power Over Life And Death

A brilliant young man killed himself. The defendant in a federal prosecution for downloading nearly 5 million articles from an organization whose mission is “to foster widespread access to the world’s body of scholarly knowledge,” his situation was clearly more than he could bear. The “victim” settled all civil claims against him this past summer after he returned the data he had in his possession. The government went ahead with prosecution anyway, reasoning as follows: Stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. His family’s statement contained the following: Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Aaron and his family learned in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors

The Grand Jury

The first rule of grand jury is that you don’t talk about grand jury. Luckily, the first rule doesn’t apply to state grand juries generally, just to specific grand juries. I can’t tell you anything about any of the poor folks currently being judged in their absence by a group of randomly selected residents in secret proceedings led by an agent of the state, but I can at least tell you a little something about the process in general. As you can probably guess from the first rule, grand jury proceedings are held in secret. In Arizona, it’s a crime to disclose the fact that an indictment has been found or filed before the accused person is in custody or has been served with a summons. It’s also a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

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