Thursday Reading and Open Thread

I'll be in court most of the day, so here's an open thread for you. There's lots of good reading out today. Some things to check out:

  • Jason Leopold at Truthout reports the Senate Ethics Committee probe of Sen. Domenici is intensifying.
  • I have an op-ed in the Washington Examiner today, TV Payback Time for O.J., criticizing those who think he should go to jail as some kind of karmic justice.


The motive to fabricate testimony is inherent in a system that rewards snitching for personal gain. When the state offers a benefit in exchange for testimony, whether that benefit is explicitly stated or, as is often the case, implied, the incentive for an incarcerated person to fabricate evidence dramatically increases. With little to lose and much to gain, jailhouse snitches are often desperate to attain compensation – such as sentence reductions or even an agreement that they not be prosecuted at all – in exchange for testimony against another person.

  • Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest is trying to help The Justice Project and ACLU of Northern California raise awareness of three wrongful conviction bills - snitch, eyewitness and recording interrogations/false confessions - that are waiting for Gov.Schwarzenegger to sign. (He has vetoed similar bills in the past.) Check out the guest-post from John Terzano and another by Harold Hall who was wrongfully convicted.
  • Jeffrey Toobin's new book The Nine, on the Supreme Court is out. He's got some good stuff on how Justice Souter almost quit and revealing interviews with the Justices.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Dr. Tomothy Brantley (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:29:27 AM EST
    Is on to something others have been onto for some time.  The brain is key.  We are key.

    Here's one link that debunks a popular medical myth, one that makes drug companies rich nonetheless.  

    The Cholesterol myth.

    We need to wake up.  

    Forget Karma with OJ (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:46:43 AM EST
    To do what he allegedly did in Vegas requires a need to be punished.  On a very deep level.  Sure there's an aspect to it that "I'm above the law", but the need to be incarcerated trumps it by far.  If he is convicted and incarcerated, he can then say he caught a bogus case, that the system is prejudiced against him.  And yet, at the same time, his need to be punished for murder will be satisfied.

    The "invisible hand of the market" (none / 0) (#3)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    is completely amoral yet it's greatest champions consistently make common cause with the "values" crowd. Somehow.

    Meanwhile, they drug every other little kid with a "behavioral problem" and peddle Dr. Kilmers Swamp Root Remedy into the 21st century.

    oj (none / 0) (#4)
    by skippybkroo on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 11:51:15 AM EST
    i know you're a big defense lawyer, jeralyn, and think like one, but, taking the hyperbole of tv "journalism" aside (it is all tabloid all the time, after all), oj does deserve to be punished, but only for what he did in las vegas.

    certainly, innocent until proven guilty and all, but it's hard to imagine he had no idea that the other guys he was with had guns, when he was recorded as saying "keep the m*therf*ckers in the room."

    sounds like at least accessory to me.

    lock him up, for no more or less, than the law allows for armed robbery.

    Al true... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 12:26:10 PM EST
    but he deserves to be in jail for the vicous murders he was found innocent of so many years ago.

    No one with a iota of common sense thinks anyone but OJ commited those murders.

    That he is so stupid and so crazy that he would not run off to an island and enjoy his get out of jail free card shows that he is either extremely crazy or stupid.

    This is not his first run in with the law since he was allowed to walk by the first in a long line of idiot LA jurys (see blake, see spector).  He considers himself above the law because quite frankly our system hasn't treated him like a real person in any of his cases.

    Maybe finally justice will be served and it must take quite a high minded legal backbone to saying anything else Jeralyn.   The man is a murderer and we all know it.


    In my admitted anti-law&order bias.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 12:40:41 PM EST
    What was OJ supposed to do?  If I understand correctly, he gets a tip that there are guys in town in possesion of stuff that was stolen from him.  Obviously, he would be hard-pressed to find a law enforcement agent on this planet willing to help him, his name being Mudd and all.

    So he goes to get his stuff back.  What's the problem again?  As far as I know, he didn't assault anybody, and nobody is disputing that the stuff is his.

    I know, I know....you can't get justice on your own, you gotta just swallow the justice (or lack there of) that you get.  Just ask Fred Goldman.


    I'll tell you what he could (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 02:20:42 PM EST
    have done was call the police.

    Instead he brought a posse of armed men to the hotel room to take his stuff back by force IE taking the law into his own hands.  Dummy.

    On the Howard Stern Show today the man that made the tapes verified your story Kdog but he also mentioned that the original plan was for OJ to confront the men and give them two options.  1) Give him his stuff or 2) He calls the police.

    Instead hours before the meeting he put together his posse of gun toating men and raided the room.  He then told the tape guy not to talk about the guns (which is also on tape).  

    OJ is screwed.  Will he be charged pretty harshly, sure, but it couldnt' hapen to a nicer guy.


    One thing he should definitely do.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 03:09:09 PM EST
    is find better "friends".

    I would guess OJ figured the cops would be a hinderance to him instead of a help, and I can't say that is an unreasonable assumption from the social pariah of the century.


    Come on Kdog...In the real world (1.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 06:46:33 AM EST
    killing two people and then being let go by jury nullification makes you a pariah..

    OJ hasn't lived in the real world since high school when it was figured out what a great football player he could be... That's a shame, but it happens. That's why colleges should be required to make the players act like students.. and also pay them..

    Instead many schools let things slide, and the players see the hypocrisy of the school making millions.. That's a formula for warping values. Some kids aren't affected, some are.


    I never said he didn't deserve.... (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 09:38:42 AM EST
    the social pariah label...I'd sure say he earned it.

    But it explains why he wouldn't call the police.


    Kdog (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 01:44:15 PM EST
    If he chose to commit a crime, he's a criminal.

    Have you ever examined his motive for killing???


    I gotta thank the UF taser victim.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 01:11:52 PM EST
    for providing me with a new catch phrase...."Don't tase me bro".

    From now on, anytime I gotta say something a person doesn't wanna hear, or do something a person doesn't want me to do....I'm closing with "Don't tase me bro."  It's got a nice ring and is very appropriate in these authoritarian days we live in.

    Rather in a lather (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 02:30:26 PM EST
    Dan-o sues CBS for $70 mil.
    The suit claims that Rather was made a scapegoat by CBS and Viacom for business interests after the September 2004 airing of the controversial "60 Minutes II" report on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard.

    A national imbarrassment (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:20:00 PM EST
    Remember Ms. Teen South Carolina, she of the relentlessly incoherent explanation why people need maps?

    Yeah, her.

    Well, she just got a job.  Hired by Donald Trump to do modeling-type gigs.

    Fee:  $25,000 a day or thereabouts.

    I can write in complete sentences.  I have a college degree - in one of the hard science-type disciplines - from one of the top 50 colleges (per US News & World Report) in the US and an advanced degree.  I actually understand concepts and can work with them.  I can speak intelligible paragraphs extemporaneously.

    You don't want to see my tax returns - I take them to my accountant because he's a friend and, by tax time, he needs the comic relief.

    I know.  I'm neither 18, skinny, hot nor blonde.  And today, that's all that counts.

    What a friggin' embarrassment.

    Your Achilles heel? Spelling! (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:24:34 PM EST
    Check subject.

    the error was deliberate (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:42:50 PM EST
    I spelt it like I think she might have been tempted to.

    Sure you did...I heard (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 07:02:33 AM EST
    a clip of her interview the next morning on GMA and she seemed rather intelligent....ever hear of stage fright??

    Besides.. I gotta tell you.. You aren't going to get ant better looking...,


    The "ant" was deliberate... (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 07:03:30 AM EST

    It's a rethug conspiracy. (none / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:36:02 PM EST
    That damn Rove!... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 06:18:19 PM EST
    Seriously though, it's Donald Trump, not exactly a beacon of class or taste.

    The dollar... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:32:25 PM EST
    is going away.

    "There is now a growing danger that global investors will start to shun the US bond markets. The latest US government data on foreign holdings released this week show a collapse in purchases of US bonds from $97bn to just $19bn in July, with outright net sales of US Treasuries."

    Not only is the dollar falling to record lows everyday against the Euro and Pound, it's now worth less than a Canadian dollar. $1.00 US = $1.0431 Canadian.

    A notable expansion of "Drug courts" (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 04:59:00 PM EST
    which divert offenders from prison to treatment.

    In an opinion by the NJ Supreme Court, they made clear that prior repeat offenses were not a bar to admission in the Drug Courts in that state.  

    The defendant had an extensive drug - and criminal - history, viz.:

    Defendant had four prior third-degree (felony) convictions:  in 2003 for bringing a stolen automobile into the State...  in 1999 for theft of an automobile... in 1998 for theft...  and in 1998 for receipt of stolen property.

    That evaluation of the twenty five-year old defendant detailed a dissipated life of drug dependency and crimes committed while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Defendant, who lives with his wife and two children, described an extensive history of daily drug abuse that included injecting heroin and cocaine, smoking marijuana, and taking large amounts of over-the-counter cold medications. He admitted to using marijuana at the age of eight, alcohol at the age of nine, hallucinogenic drugs at the age of twelve, amphetamines at the age of fifteen, and heroin and cocaine at the age of seventeen. He stated that he had overdosed on drugs three times, attempted suicide, and spent one-fifth of his life behind bars. He also had been previously treated in both inpatient and out-patient programs for his drug abuse without evident success. Substance Abuse Evaluator ... recommended that defendant "enter and complete a Long Term Residential treatment program and enter a Halfway House as part of a comprehensive aftercare program."

    He gained admission to drug treatment rather than prison over the prosecution's objection.  It needs be noted that, in New Jersey, the state supreme Court has a lot of power (spelled e-x-c-l-u-s-i-v-e) over the composition of lower courts and, in this case, admission into Drug Court programs.  So, they were interpreting their own rules and made clear that their liberal admission policies ruled.

    Nonetheless, they felt compelled to note the following as a further justification for their decision:

    Additionally, the State realizes substantial cost-savings through drug court programs. The average cost per year to house an inmate in state prison is $34,218 compared to $17,266 to give that same offender the rehabilitative services of Drug Court, including six months of in-patient treatment. New Jersey Judiciary, Drug Courts: A Plan for Statewide Implementation
    (Dec. 2000).

    It's about time.

    treat,ent/prison not exclusive (none / 0) (#18)
    by diogenes on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 07:56:15 PM EST
    If we're going to have our dreams, why not have drug treatment in prison so that such repeat felons get treatment and if they bomb out they don't steal my car or worse?  What are the odds that this guy will survive without a long period of clean time in a locked setting?  Sure you can get drugs in prison, but it's a lot easier to get them in residential treatment or outpatient.

    As I recall, there was a "faith-based" (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 08:05:58 PM EST
    drug treatment in some of my state's prisons; very effective, accordig to some of the wardens.  

    The way it is (1.00 / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 07:10:15 AM EST
    No one beats an addiction until they want to quit.

    when they decide (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jen M on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 07:20:06 AM EST
    they want to quit, they need help.

    Fake Sheik (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 21, 2007 at 12:03:16 AM EST
    The Anbar 'sheik', aka posterboy for the surge, who recently got killed just after shaking Bush's hand, , may not have been a sheik at all. He may have been picked up from the street by the US and posed just for for a high paying photo op.

    Greg Palast

    Rick Rowley's video is worth a look.