Archive for June, 2005

Know your legal rights

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Know your rights and when to claim them
We’ll start out with a basic bit of criminal procedure.

I think it is safe to say everyone has watched the television show, Cops, and seen the police arrest someone and read them their Miranda rights. Often, the arrestee (the person in handcuffs) shouts “I know my rights!” just before they start answering an officer’s questions without requesting an attorney.

So let’s talk about rights.

Miranda refers to a case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, wherein a thoroughly unpleasant individual was taken into custody without being informed of his right to keep his mouth shut, or his right to an attorney, and questioned for two hours. He admitted to the theft for which he was arrested ($8.00), as well as kidnapping and raping an 18-year old woman 11 days earlier. This confession got him a ticket to jail for a long time. He appealed, claiming the police failed to guarantee his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney, and the Supreme Court agreed. (He was eventually re-convicted without the confession.)

As a result, the police now have to recite the Miranda rights—the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney—to anyone taken into custody before they are interrogated.

You are taken into custody when you reasonably believe you are no longer free to leave. If you are in handcuffs or the back seat of a cop car, you are in custody. It isn’t so clear when you have simply been pulled over.

You are being interrogated when a police officer is asking you questions and you are in custody.

Anything you say before the Miranda warning can still be used against you under some circumstances, like if you said something incriminating spontaneously. Watch your mouth.

You have the right to remain silent; anything you say will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you.
If they think you did something wrong, the police will do anything to get you talking. They will say things like “this is your chance to clear yourself.” They are wrong. You can never be punished for invoking your right to keep your mouth shut, so claim the right. Don’t try to talk your way out of the situation.

The one exception to this rule is simple. The only thing you should say is “I want to speak with an attorney.” And that’s it, the cops will back off. They have to back off once you have requested an attorney. Definitely call an attorney at this point. Apply for a public defender or pay for your own attorney. The alternative may be prison.

Is there any time you might not want to invoke your rights? Yes. Only if you truly did nothing wrong, and you have a simple and believable explanation. But if you were caught on the scene with blood on your hands, so to speak, you should probably talk to a lawyer before answering any questions.

Medical Marijuana

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

Time to stop the Hypocrisy.

By Simi Lipsan
25 June 2005

Medical Marijuana

The use of marijuana for medical treatment remains illegal and the enforcement of that law,highly active at present.But with almost 70% of Americans thinking that the use of marijuana for such purposes are fine, isn’t it time to stop the hypocrisy, not to mention the millions of dollars spent on arresting otherwise gentle law abiding citizen? More..

Tribunal Releases Saddam Hussein Video

Monday, June 13th, 2005

The special tribunal developed to look into Suddam Husseins actions post his 1982 assassination attempt, released a video today of Hussein and some of his administration, being questioned on the massacre of dozens of men from a small Shiite village. The Presiding Judge was Raad Jouhi and upon release stated it had been filmed on Sunday.

The killings from 1982 in Dujail are a smaller incident in relation to other things the ex-dictator has been accused of in the last several months, but should prove to be a good test case for prosecution.

One spokesman for the new elected government stated earlier this month that it was interested in the death penalty for Suddam Hussein for his actions at Dujail and that it did not matter what other charges would follow. It is also believed that it will be easier to link evidence to Hussein on the Dujail incident, which makes it a start point for his prosecution.

It is alleged that Suddam Hussein ordered the deaths of more then 100 people as a reprisal for an assassination attempt made on him as his Motorcade passed through in July 1982. The executions were accompanied by the villages date crops being burnt to the ground and hundreds fled to the south of Iraq.

Saddam’s half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan have both been said to be willing to testify against Saddam and have said that he ordered the villages pillaging.

4 other people were mentioned today by the tribunal in its address including , Barzan Abdel Ghafoor, Commander of the Special Republican Guard, one of Suddam Hussein’s cousin, and former Air Defense Commander, Muzahim Saab al-Hassan. All above were questioned about the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds, where poison gas killed 5000 civilians.

Michael Jackson Acquitted

Monday, June 13th, 2005

World renown pop star Michael Jackson was found innocent on all 10 charges in Santa Maria, California Monday afternoon. The child molestation charges stemmed from back in February of 2003 when Jackson’s unbecoming documentary/autobiography “Living With Michael Jackson” was broadcast which showed him holding hands with a young boy who later became the accuser. In that broadcast Michael Jackson showed his so called “love” of children and also his “loving” approach, like sharing his bed with young boys.

After months of investigations the US authorities searched Michael Jacksons Neverland Ranch, after they recieved child molestation allegations. Jackson was arrested with Child Molestation Charges and then shortly released on a three million dollar bail.

The trial was nothing short of hollywood. Through celebrity defense witnesses and dramatic testimonies the world had its eyes on the complete trial. Witnesses included child star McCauley Culkin, who testified to Jacksons innocence, and squashed rumors that Jackson had acted unacceptably with him in the 90’s.

Dramatic and graphic testimony came from the boy (now 15 years old) about 2 seperate occasions in early 2003 where he claimed Mr Jackson had performed molestation on him. Despite having told a administrator at his school befor that nothing had happened. Other drama came from the boys mother who was on the witness stand for 3 days and a ex-Jackson security guard who testified he saw Jackson and the boy engaged in oral sex.

The 8 woman 4 man jury came from 200 people selected from Santa Barbara County California. They deliberated the verdict for about 32 hours befor reaching the decision. The court room fell gloomingly silent as Judge Rodney Melville opened the jury decisions one at a time befor allowing the court clerk to read the verdict.

Jackson seemed almost stunned when exiting the court room with his family and body guards, and a couple jurors dabbed tears from their eyes.

The boy received a undisclosed out of court settlement in the familys molestation case, where Jackson also professed his innocence and denied wrong doing.