Law School Discussion


Why did Sarah Palin resign?

Personal scandal
5 (17.2%)
Probable indictment
7 (24.1%)
Just plain craziness
3 (10.3%)
Looooong lead up to 2012
4 (13.8%)
Something else
2 (6.9%)
Some combination of the above
8 (27.6%)

Total Members Voted: 29

The Thread on Politics


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #120 on: March 13, 2007, 11:55:01 AM »

If I told you what makes your view delusional, you would say I was just being pessimistic.

Alci: The schools in Jasper County, South Carolina are pretty good.
Me: No they're not - the ceilings are caving in and they are filled with mold. People even made a movie about it.
Alci: Well, at least they have a building. They are doing okay relative to other poor, rural, black people.
Me: That's not anything to be excited about!
Alci: You're just being pessimistic.

 :-\ :-X

Alci: Massa sho' is good ta us.
Mobell: No's he's ain't!
Alci: Ol' Massa Jackson used ta beat us e'ry week. Now his son only beat us e'ry month. Dat's impoobement! Stop bein' so pessimistic!
Massa: Pessa-what? Who taught you how to read?
Alci:  :-[ You's was right mobell afta'all
Look to the left -- Look to the right


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #121 on: March 13, 2007, 02:31:52 PM »
I's don't get dat deh lass line.

Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #122 on: March 13, 2007, 09:57:01 PM »
Zimbabwe's opposition leader taken to hospital from court

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Police released dozens of bruised and bloodied opposition activists to the custody of their attorneys late Tuesday, while the country's main opposition leader was treated at a hospital for injuries his lawyer said were the result of savage police beatings.

The activists were ordered to return to court Wednesday morning after police took them from a hospital to the magistrates court in the capital, Harare, on Tuesday night for an unscheduled appearance, said Beatrice Mtetwa, a lawyer for the group. She said no state prosecutor or magistrate was at the court.

"The fact that there was no prosecutor, no magistrate, no court officials -- only police -- says a lot," she said. "It says that we are in a police state."

Mtetwa said about 12 of the 50 activists who had been arrested Sunday remained at a hospital, including main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai, 54, and the other opposition figures were arrested at a prayer meeting in the latest crackdown on dissent by President Robert Mugabe's security forces and political supporters.

Mtetwa said police forced Tsvangirai and many of her other clients to lay face down and then beat them savagely and repeatedly with truncheons both at the scene of the arrests and at police stations.

She said the state intended to charge the activists with incitement to violence for holding the prayer meeting. Formal bail had not been granted to any of them, she said.

"We do not know why we are going back to court, if there is a case against them or not," she said.

During a brief court appearance earlier Tuesday, the bruised and bandaged activists shuffled into the room, many singing and chanting in defiance of the heavy police presence. Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, stood but did not chant or sing.

British Ambassador Andrew Pockock, who was in court, said the right side of Tsvangirai's face was swollen, including his eyes. "It was damn barbaric," the envoy told reporters.

A crowd outside sang and waved the party's open hand salute as Tsvangirai and about six other injured activists left. Tsvangirai, his soiled shirt almost completely unbuttoned, appeared disoriented as he walked slowly and boarded an emergency vehicle unaided. He was not among those who returned the salute.

One activist was taken from court on a stretcher, two stumbled on crutches, and a young woman unable to walk was helped into an ambulance by paramedics.

"The world community again has been shown that the regime of Robert Mugabe is ruthless and repressive and creates only suffering for the people of Zimbabwe," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of the activists.

Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway faction of Tsvangirai's party, also had head wounds, and Lovemore Madhuku, head of a militant reform group, suffered a broken arm.

Police used tear gas, water cannon and live ammunition to crush Sunday's gathering by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a coalition of opposition, church and civic groups, in Harare's western township of Highfield.

Police shot and killed one opposition activist, identified as Gift Tandare. Two mourners were slightly injured Tuesday at his funeral in skirmishes with police, witnesses said.

Among those arrested Sunday in Highfield were two journalists on assignment for The Associated Press, Harare freelance photographer Tsvangirayi Mukwahzi and freelance television producer Tendai Musiya. Both were also released from official custody but Musiya was still undergoing medical checks and was expected to return home shortly.

"It's been a grave mistake by government. This has done more for reunification of the opposition than formal talks could have done," Pockock said.

As the clampdown continued, police raided the main office of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on Tuesday.

"Staff were harassed, threatened, some were slapped and beaten up. All offices were searched and fliers, files and some videotapes were seized," the labor group said. Its financial administrator, Galileo Chirebvu, was taken away by police who said they were looking for "subversive material."

The federation has called for a national protest strike in April.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Washington holds Mugabe and his government personally accountable for the safety of the detained activists.

"We're all deeply shocked and saddened that the government of Zimbabwe feels that it has to resort to such brutal tactics against its own people," Dell said.

He also expressed disappointment at what he called the passivity of neighboring states, including South Africa, in the face of the suffering of Zimbabweans.

"One would hope that in the glaring light of the growing brutality of the Zimbabwean government, those states would finally feel moved to act. They can no longer deny that there is a real crisis on the way here," Dell said.

"It was not Britain, it was not Tony Blair who was out on the streets the other day beating his own people. That was the government of Zimbabwe in open warfare with its own population," Dell told the BBC.

South Africa's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad issued a statement urging the Zimbabwean government to ensure respect for the rule of law and the opposition to work toward "a climate that is conducive to finding a lasting solution" to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said it deplored the government's "shamefully weak response," while the South African Council of Churches said "the silence of the South African government is aggravating the situation."

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour added her voice to mounting international criticism on Tuesday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Amnesty International and the human rights committee of the International Bar Association also have expressed concern and condemnation.

The European Union condemned "the ongoing violent suppression of the freedom of opinion and of assembly, as well as of other fundamental rights."

Mugabe's opponents blame the 83-year-old leader for repression, corruption, acute food shortages and inflation of 1,600 percent -- the highest in the world. They have demanded the ouster of Mugabe, Zimbabwe's only ruler since independence from Britain in 1980.

State radio Tuesday quoted Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu as saying opposition activists had attacked police and were to blame for the violence.

Authorities suspected an "underground movement" of opponents was planning a violent campaign against the government, he said.

Nathan Shamuyarira, chief spokesman for Mugabe's ruling party, said Tsvangirai defied a police ban on Sunday's meeting. "Tsvangirai really asked for the trouble in which he has found himself," he told South African state television.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
Everday I'm HUSL'in


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #123 on: March 15, 2007, 12:13:53 AM »
Young Sex Offenders Might Join Registry
Md. House Bill Targets Those at Least 13

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 14, 2007; B01

Prompted by the case of a 13-year-old Bethesda boy who sexually abused two young boys in his care, Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation that would remove the protection of privacy for juvenile sex offenders.

The bill would require juveniles to be listed in Maryland's sex offender registry if they were at least 13 when they committed their crime. In a departure from the judicial practice of guarding the confidentiality of young offenders, judges would be allowed to unseal the juvenile's criminal record for police and other law enforcement authorities with the goal of disclosure to the community.

The measure is one of several the General Assembly is considering this year to crack down on sex offenders after the passage last year of a broad law that enhances penalties for and monitoring of convicted adult offenders. Lawmakers who sponsored Jessica's Law -- modeled on a Florida law passed after a 9-year-old girl was killed by a convicted sex offender -- are back this year with a proposal to restrict mandatory minimum sentences by denying parole in the most egregious cases.

This year, the abuse of one of Jim and Michele Hunter's children prompted them to begin a legislative mission. A 13-year-old neighbor they had entrusted to babysit for their three young boys pleaded guilty last year to sodomizing and molesting their youngest child, who was 3 when the abuse started. Later, the babysitter was convicted of abusing another neighborhood boy.

In emotional testimony, Michele Hunter, 42, told the House Judiciary Committee in explicit terms yesterday how her son revealed the molestation during a casual conversation in the family car in 2005, six days before Christmas.

"Our child had been abused right under our noses," Hunter testified.

Current law would require that the abuser's record be wiped clean when he is released from the residential treatment center where a Montgomery County juvenile judge sent him last fall.

"The judge told us: 'This is a case that warrants punishment,' " Hunter said. " 'But my hands are tied. If this was an adult, we would be looking at 55 years in prison.' "

Del. Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery), the bill's House sponsor, called the measure a "major departure from how we handle juvenile cases." She noted what she said is a conflict between the juvenile system's goal of confidentiality and rehabilitation with the need to disclose a sex offender's identity to a community, no matter the offender's age.

Dumais said 32 states, including Virginia, have similar laws.

"Should we open that door? If it's a violent sex offense, yes," Dumais said. Several of the Hunters' neighbors testified that although their children had not been abused by the teen, they were aghast to learn that the only way they could find out that the neighborhood babysitter was a sex offender was through the Hunters' revelation.

"The rest of us in the neighborhood had no way to know there was a rapist in the neighborhood," Rena Godfrey testified.

Several committee members asked Montgomery prosecutors why they did not seek to have the boy, who was almost 15 when the case went to court, tried as an adult. The delegates were told that because it was his first offense, a judge would not have agreed to remove him from the juvenile system.

But a few delegates said they were concerned that by exempting the confidentiality of one category of juvenile crimes, the path would be opened to excluding other crimes.

"What about crimes of violence?" Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) asked. "Or identify theft? Where do we draw the line?"

Karla Smith, chief of the family violence division for the Montgomery state's attorney's office, responded that because sex offenders victimize children and are not obvious criminals to the public, they should be held to a different standard than juveniles who commit other crimes.

A panel of public defenders opposed the bill, saying juvenile offenders are less likely than adults to abuse again and should not be on a registry. "If you want to do something to make sure these children are not dangerous, offer better treatment," said Brain Dento, district public defender for Prince George's County.

Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George's) suggested that the bill be amended to limit its scope to juveniles a judge concludes are pedophiles, unlikely to be rehabilitated, and that such an amendment might increase the bill's chance of committee approval.

Other bills would designate sexual abuse of a minor younger than 14 a "crime of violence" that would prevent child sex offenders from early release.

Another would prevent convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, playground, swimming pool or day-care center. Registered offenders would be required to update their photographs when they have a substantial change in appearance.


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #124 on: March 15, 2007, 12:15:03 AM »
I don't think I like this.  While sex offenders are probably society's biggest modern-day witches, I think the line has to be drawn somewhere age-wise to take into account mental capacity.


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #125 on: March 15, 2007, 06:18:32 PM »
I don't think I like this.  While sex offenders are probably society's biggest modern-day witches, I think the line has to be drawn somewhere age-wise to take into account mental capacity.

Not a very utilitarian posiition.



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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #126 on: March 15, 2007, 06:39:42 PM »
Lol.  Like I said, it's not my moral philosophy.  I just find it generally useful for guidance.  But either way, I would approach it differently: Is society better or worse off by punishing 13-yo sex offenders?  I would argue worse off, since many of those might not have the mental capacity to appreciate fully the consequences of their actions.  Subjective values of pleasure mean little to me.


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #127 on: March 15, 2007, 06:50:47 PM »
many of those might not have the mental capacity to appreciate fully the consequences of their actions.

Many adult sex offenders also have this problem. That's why they're sex offenders.

True, but below a certain age, such an inability is common enough that we should not impose adult punishments on those who fail to act as normal adults.  Above a certain age, we should.  We shouldn't punish children for being children, as we are all children at some point and different rates of development are possible, yet still considered normal.  But by the time someone is an "adult," normal age-related incapacities should have been eliminated from the population, and therefore anyone unable to appreciate the full consequences of his actions, and who subsequently does something bad, should have his freedom restricted or taken away.


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #128 on: March 15, 2007, 07:16:18 PM »
In that mental capacity is inextricably tied to the concept of "child," yes.  The point is this: Below a certain age, you are a "child," and above a certain age, you are an "adult."  Children, by definition, generally have diminished mental capacities relative to adults.  Therefore, it doesn't make sense as a society to hold them to adult standards.  We violate the very purpose for drawing the distinction if we do.


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Re: The Thread on Politics
« Reply #129 on: March 15, 2007, 07:33:07 PM »
Man in 12-step apology case gets 18-month sentence
Story Highlights
William Beebe sentenced to 18 months in prison for 1984 college sexual assault
He apologized to the victim as part of a 12-step program
Liz Seccuro reported the confession to police

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A man who sexually assaulted a University of Virginia student in 1984 and apologized to her two decades later as part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday.

William Beebe, 42, pleaded guilty in November to one count of aggravated sexual battery for his attack on Liz Seccuro.

Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire ordered a 10-year prison sentence with all but 18 months suspended, as long as Beebe performs 500 hours of community service related to issues of sexual assault and alcohol abuse on college campuses. Prosecutors had recommended two years.

"I'm not trying to excuse my behavior, but I was a different person then," Beebe said. "I have a purpose, and that gives life meaning. I didn't have that then."

The case was revived in 2005 after Beebe wrote Seccuro a letter of apology in an attempt to make amends for the assault as part of AA's recovery program. The program's ninth step calls on alcoholics to make amends to those they have harmed -- unless doing so would cause further injury. In an exchange of e-mails that ensued, Beebe wrote: "I want to make clear that I'm not intentionally minimizing the fact of having raped you. I did."

Seccuro, 40, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was given a drink at a party that made her feel strange, and she later passed out, leaving her memory hazy. She said she vividly recalls being attacked by Beebe, but always had a vague impression she'd been assaulted by additional members of the fraternity.

Beebe, of Las Vegas, originally was charged with rape and object sexual penetration and could have faced a sentence of life in prison if convicted. But in November, he entered into a plea deal after investigators uncovered new information suggesting Seccuro was attacked by more than one person that night.

Seccuro eventually called Charlottesville police to report what had happened. There is no statute of limitations on felonies in Virginia, and Beebe was arrested in Las Vegas.

Seccuro said that she reported the assault to university officials in 1984 but that a dean and the campus police treated her dismissively.

Seccuro, who says she has forgiven Beebe for assaulting her, said an apology is not a substitute for punishment. The attack changed her life dramatically, she said, and she deserves to finally see justice served.

Several people testifying on Beebe's behalf Thursday said he is a kind and generous friend who often helped other recovering substance abuse addicts.

"Will didn't tell me what to do, he showed me," said William Daniel Griggs Jr. of Richmond, who credited Beebe with helping in his recovery. He also said that Beebe helped care for his sick son several years ago.

Seccuro sat grimly through the testimony of Beebe's supporters. At one point she put a hand on the shoulder of her visibly agitated husband.

Prosecutor Claude Worrell described Beebe's decision to apologize as selfish, and said it traumatized Seccuro all over again. Defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana responded that it was "sad and tragic" that Beebe's apology was depicted that way, and said Securro made a choice to respond to his letter.

Securro, visibly shaken, left the courtroom. Later, Worrell shot back, "As it relates to mister Beebe, Elizabeth Seccuro has never had a choice."

Seccuro went public with her name and story, hoping to lead other sexual assault survivors to seek help. She launched STARS -- Sisters Together Assisting Rape Survivors -- to raise money for rape victims and their families.

Hogshire clearly struggled with the sentence, saying what Seccuro went through was horrific, but that Beebe went on to be a leader in the recovery community.

"Is he remorseful?" the judge asked. "I think so."