Jury fails: no justice for Caylee Marie

Casey Anthony Not Guilty In Slaying of Daughter

The Casey Anthony verdict once again exemplifies our great criminal justice system at work. Twelve ordinary people sit and hear the facts of a case for six weeks and return a verdict that has most of us thinking, if not saying, “WTF?”. We can’t condemn the system that we so vehemently defend when the verdicts don’t go the way that we believe that they should. Or, should we be condemning a system, which is based on principles that some, such as myself, believe are inherently flawed? Principles such as society would rather let a hundred guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man. Good in theory but not when a guilty defendant gets off scot free. I wonder what the Caylee Anthonys of the world would have to say about our wonderful and fair criminal justice system, if only their voices could be heard.

Twelve ordinary people decide the fate of the accused, most probably never having set foot in a court of law, other than maybe traffic court, most having limited knowledge of criminal law, and less about the rules that govern a court proceeding. Do you really think that most jurors know or understand why a prosecutor or defense attorney may stand up and yell “objection” during a witness’s testimony? Do you think they understand the principles of trial law that compel a judge to either sustain or overrule that objection?

I remember the first few times that I testified at trials and hearings. I had no clue what the hell was going. I remember one prosecutor telling me during trial prep to pause before answering questions asked of me by the defense attorney.

“Pause,” I asked, why?”

“I may have an objection and I don’t want you blurting out answers to certain questions that we may not have to answer.”

I was a cop not a lawyer, and I knew nothing of trial law. I read up on it and asked questions, and eventually I got to the point where I knew while the question was still being asked that it was going to be objected to. Yet we expect these twelve ordinary individuals to decipher all the courtroom mumbo jumbo and listen to all types of testimony, from forensic experts to the defendant’s mother. For six weeks they sit and listen. Then a judge gives them instructions and if they find the defendant guilty, it must be beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that in my opinion is too high and often not tenable. Trials are no longer about guilt or innocence of the accused. They’re about defense attorneys who can create the slightest sliver of doubt in a juror’s mind, a doubt that at times can be based on no credible evidence, just on an assumption that an accused wouldn’t have done this or that, or have behaved in a manner so foreign to the rest of us after committing a heinous crime. Why wasn’t there DNA evidence like there is all the time on TV? Can’t ANY doubt be considered reasonable? If the defendant is guilty, why isn’t there 100% proof? It’s about emotion rather than facts.

Is it time that we change the current standard of guilt in criminal trials from beyond a reasonable doubt to the standard used in civil cases, preponderance of the evidence? Why, in a democratic society where majority rules, do we use a different standard in criminal trials? Why must a jury’s verdict be unanimous? The Supreme Court of the United States of America isn’t held to the same unanimous standard when deciding issues that affect a larger portion of the American public in ways more profound than the murder of a little girl.

So if Casey Anthony didn’t kill her daughter, who did? Someone murdered that little girl, and since no one else will ever be charged with the crime, no one will ever be held responsible for her death. There is, and will be, no justice for Caylee Marie.


Credibility Issues?

Strauss-Kahn Faces Test in Hearing

The New York Times is reporting on the possibility that the DSK case may be going down in flames. It seems that credibility of the victim has come into question – credibility on issues that have nothing to with the victim’s allegations against DSK. It seems that on the date of the incident, the NYPD was so convinced that she was telling the truth that they raced to the airport to arrest DSK moments before his flight left for France. Trust me when I tell you that the NYPD conferred with District Attorneys office prior to arresting DSK and that the District Attorney’s office gave their approval. Also trust me when I tell you that if the authorities had any evidence of criminal activity against the victim she would have been arrested by now.
I can only conclude that lying on an application for asylum, associating with a man charged with possessing marijuana, and having a conversation about benefiting from the charges against DSK are solid proof for the District Attorney’s office that she must be lying about being sexually assaulted by DSK. It’s the same kind of logic that says that prostitutes can’t be the victims of rape. Mind you that this victim has no criminal record and that just a few weeks ago she was portrayed as a saintly victim. 
Maybe protocol in the District Attorney’s office has changed since I retired, but I thought it was the job of the defense attorneys, not prosecutors, to discredit witnesses against their clients. This isn’t the first time that the District Attorney’s office or the police had a case in which the victim or a witness had a questionable past. I’ve worked many a case in which the victim had a criminal record, yet the cases were vigorously investigated by the police and aggressively prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office. If I didn’t know better, which maybe I don’t, it appears as if the District  Attorney’s office is intentionally attempting to derail its own case. I can only wonder as to the reasons why.
Once again our judicial system is making a statement that a woman who is a victim of a sexual assault is held to a higher and sometimes very different standard than victims of other crimes. I can think of no other crime where a victim’s allegations are met with skepticism, strictly scrutinized, and at times, not taken seriously. Did  Bernie Madoff”s victims have their past scrutinized or their credibility questioned? Yet society demands that women who are victims of sexual assault be saintly virgins with not so much as an outstanding parking ticket.

Coffee and Donuts

 France’s Lagarde Named New Head of I.M.F.

If it looks like shit and smells like shit, it probably is shit. That was one of the first lessons taught to me by an old time detective who broke me into the business of hunting down criminals. The New York Times is certainly stinking up the place with this shitty article. I know that the Times caters to the elitist crowd and I only read it because I’m a firm believer in Sun Tzu’s philosophies such as, “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself”.

Nowhere does the Times mention the I.M.F.’s strategy of damage control in appointing a female, Christine Lagarde, as its new head. And the only mention of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in the last paragraph of a two page article, “As the new I.M.F. managing director, Ms. Lagarde will be taking over at a delicate time, following the resignation last month of Dominique Strauss-Kahn”. Delicate as in he resigned due to the fact that he was arrested for forcibly shoving his penis into the mouth of a woman who said no. Maybe the Times and its elitist readers, like DSK, are hoping that this will all just go away.

Lawyers for 2 Ex-Officers Ask Judge to Bar Accuser From Speaking at Sentencing

Am I alone in saying that Mr. Tacopina is being a bit of a dick? Or is he just doing his job and hoping that the judge sentences his scumbag of a client to probation?

Doubts cast DNA evidence in Amanda Knox murder case.

I don’t know about you but I’m not the least surprised with this latest development. It’s Italy and Italians. They probably processed the crime scene while smoking cigarettes and drinking espresso.

Anyone for lunch?

Strauss-Kahn’s Demeanor at Lunch May Play Key Role in His Trial

 It seems that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as he has come to be known, had a lunch date with his daughter Camille at a restaurant in Manhattan. Nothing unusual, you may say, other than it was on the same day and approximately one hour after he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the Guinean housekeeper who changes sheets and cleans the toilets of those who can afford to stay at a $3000 a night suite. Men like DSK, who obviously feel that their sexual desires must be satisfied whenever they want and by whomever happens to be available. The type of individuals that are not accustomed to someone saying no to them. I have come across quite a few of these characters in my career as a cop and a detective. I have also worked for a lot of them when I moonlighted as a bodyguard: one in particular who thought that he and his posse of 8 could ride through midtown Manhattan in a stretch limo with the windows and sunroof wide open, smoking pot like cigars. There was so much smoke blowing out that it appeared as if the inside of the limo was on fire. He gave me an incredulous look when I explained to him why that wasn’t such a good idea. 
By the way why is it necessary for the Times to mention the race of the victim?. Does  the color of her skin or her ethnicity matter?  Do Guinean women have a propensity for accusing rich and powerful men like DSK of sexual assault?

It seems that the lawyers representing DSK may try use surveillance video of the restaurant where he and his daughter had lunch in an attempt to establish his demeanor. The logic here is that how could DSK be so cool, calm, and collected just an hour after allegedly having forced his penis into the victim’s mouth. That no one who committed such a heinous act could act as if he had not just an hour earlier been an aggressive sexual predator. The answer is simple: DSK may not only a sexual predator but he also maybe a bit of a sociopath. I truly believe that he thinks that he did no wrong. That in his warped mind he feels that he is entitled to whatever he desires whenever he desires it.
Speak with any detective who has ever conducted an interrogation of someone charged with a committing a despicable and heinous crime. Ask them about the demeanor of the accused. I have interrogated stone cold killers whose demeanor was no different than a Sunday school teacher’s.  And who is going to believe a Guinean maid over the Director of the International Monetary Fund and the leading contender for the French Presidency? The French and their press don’t. They were initially shocked at first that DSK was treated like a common criminal by the New York City Police Department. Considering that he had a reputation as a ladies man and had garnered the moniker “the great seducer”, it wouldn’t surprise me if the French press has been keeping DSK’s other trespasses under wraps.

We shouldn’t wonder why other women have not come forward and pointed the finger at DSK. Society has proven that they have little chance for justice against rich and powerful men such as DSK. What chance do they have as long as it’s common practice to treat them as criminals instead of victims? What chance do they have when men like DSK believe that they are superior to women and above the law, so much so that they are able to sit for 90 minutes and have a nice leisurely lunch an hour after forcing themselves on a woman who makes her living by cleaning toilets? I hope that this Guinean woman gets her justice and that DSK will be sampling the culinary fare at Sing Sing for years to come. Maybe Camille can join him for lunch in the prison mess hall.

Coffee and Donuts Monday News Roundup

TSA defends decision to make 95-year-old cancer patient remove adult diaper for security screening

There are probably some very good reasons why the majority of TSA agents were stacking shelves in Wal Mart prior to joining the agency. I can think of one reason right off the top of my head: they lack  common sense that the good lord gave them. Janet Napolitano, or ‘Big Sis’ as she’s affectionately known, could do a a few things to help improve the image of the 8 billion dollar a year agency that she runs. She can start off by hiring agents that have a little common sense and who know the meaning of the word discretion. There’s a reason why these buffoons are not allowed to carry guns. Maybe someone can explain to me why any 95 year old woman has to be humiliated in this manner. And how in America can we give former shelf stackers the absolute power to “touch our junk” under the guise of keeping us safe?. Be careful or maybe the next time you, fly a TSA agent maybe ordering you to open wide. And it may not be your mouth that they are referring to.

Ohio woman, Stephanie Robinette, sprayed police with breast milk after fight with husband: cops

I wonder if the state of Ohio is now going to include women’s breast to its penal law list of deadly weapons. Or would that have to be breasts filled with milk. I wonder if those officers were able to contain themselves or did they break out in uncontrollable laughter? I know that I would have. I thought that consuming large of amounts of alcohol was a no-no for women who are breastfeeding. Where’s the video?

Police Cadets Sworn in, Laid Off

Talk about dedication and commitment to civic duty. These cadets deserve to commended for completing their training even though they knew they would be laid off immediately after graduation. How bittersweet. The laying off of cops is never a good idea in my opinion, especially now with the state of our economy.  It’s no wonder that crime in most of our major cities is on the rise.  Why is it that in our society the workers that we rely on so much are the most expendable?

Garry McCarthy, Chicago Top Cop, Calls Gun Laws ‘Government-Sponsored Racism’; Right Responds

What ever happened to the concept of intelligent conversation and debate in our country?. It seems that it’s just a lot easier to label someone as “nutty” if you disagree or don’t like with what they are
saying. If that doesn’t work, then play the “race card”. That’s one that always works regardless of the color of skin of the one who’s playing it. And why is it that ‘men of the cloth’ are accused of being radicals when they fight against the ills that affect their communities?

Ask A Cop: “Please call me at your earliest convenience”

In my ‘Question of the day cause I ain’t got shit to write about’, Elizabeth writes:

I would like to know what you would suggest doing if you ever find a detective’s business card with a note that says something to the effect of “please call me at your earliest convenience” in your mail box or shoved in your door.

Elizabeth, have you been a naughty girl? The answer is quite obvious, give them a call. There could be a host of reasons why the police are looking to speak with you. They could have simply been conducting a canvass of your block where a serious crime may have been committed. A canvass is a simple investigative tool that detectives use in hopes of locating a witness or an individual with some valuable information that may assist in the investigation. Or it could be that are trying to locate a missing person or a person of interest that you may know or may have known.

Whatever the reason, if it’s pressing that they speak with you in particular, they will be back. And you would really hate it if they knocked on your door during an inconvenient or inappropriate moment, or worse, showed up at your place of employment.

So if you’ve committed no crime, give them a call. If you have, well, call your lawyer. Hey, maybe they just think that you’re a hottie and want to ask you out on a date. Detectives have been known to do that now and then.

Saturday Links – Coffee and Donuts

In Southern Mexico, a Neglected Frontier

Another waste of the taxpayers’ money in the ‘War on Drugs’. Two hundred million dollars that can be used for treatment and education programs here in America. I didn’t know that Central America participated in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Murder Rate and Fear Rise in Puerto Rico

Just the fact that no sitting U.S. President had visited Puerto Rico in 50 years just goes to show you in what regard the US holds its ‘colony’ in the Caribbean. My brother just happened to on the island during Obama’s visit and tells me that the ‘Ricans’ are really pissed at him. Seems President Obama was there just long enough to collect campaign contributions and didn’t even have a plate of arroz and habichuelas (rice and beans for those of you who don’t habla espanol). I’m sure he had time enough for a cocktail or two with the pharmaceutical company honchos (companies which, by the way, don’t pay taxes in Puerto Rico). The timing of this story by the New York Times is suspect, considering Obama’s visit. The Times also fails to mention Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate of 16 1/2 per cent and its poverty rate of 45 per cent, both of which are prime indicators of why the crime rate is so high and why the narcotics trade flourishes. Maybe President Obama should send some of that 200 million dollars earmarked for fighting the failed ‘war on drugs’ in Central America to our ‘colony’ in the Caribbean. Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

Did New Orleans Media Contribute to Police Violence After Hurricane Katrina?

Could it be that the press dropped the ball on this one? Or were they okay with the police murdering alleged looters because they were black? By the rhetoric espoused by then Gov. Kathleen Brown and Warren Riley, it appears that it was open season on blacks in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina. I wonder if any of these reporters worked for Fox News. And why hasn’t this story been carried by the main stream media? “Extra, extra read all about it.” Let’s hope we do.