– I was chatting with Dan Robinson last night at DL, and he was telling me about an encounter he had during his latest call-in for jury duty. An older gentleman, when asked if he thought the accused had done something wrong, responded by saying “well, he must have done something wrong, or he wouldn’t be here.” The examples of why it’s a bad idea to believe that are far too numerous to mention, but another huge one surfaced last week.
Over at Reason, Radley Balko breaks another story involving corruption in Mississippi. In this case, an old video surfaced showing Michael West, a forensics expert working on a case from Monroe, Louisiana, intentionally putting bitemarks on a toddler who’d drowned in a bathtub. The defendant who was eventually convicted in the case, Jimmie Duncan, has been sitting on death row for 10 years.
Balko has long covered the case of Mississippi’s main medical examiner and West’s colleague, Steven Hayne (more posts here). Hayne has been doing autopsies in Mississippi for 20 years (and doing far more than other forensics experts say is even possible) and has testified in thousands of trials. There have already been a number of people who’ve been exonerated by DNA or other evidence after being sent to long prison terms, or even death row, by Hayne’s testimony.
– Josh Marshall writes about Sir Allen Stanford, the nation of Antigua, and how the latter owes the former $100 million.
Now, I have an affinity for the place because I’ve been there three times. Not that I’m some big Caribbean island hopper or world traveller. It’s the only place that I’ve ever been in the Caribbean. But I’ve been there three times. So I know the place a bit. And Stanford’s flameout has completely upended the whole place because he had made himself such a player there. As a funny illustration, a few days ago I went to the website of the local newspaper, the Antigua Sun, to try to find out the latest on what was happening down there. And I couldn’t find anything about it, which struck me as weird. And then I dug a little deeper to discover that … well, the Antigua Sun is owned by Sir Allen. So maybe that explains it.
The country has been hit by a major banking panic, not surprisingly. And the entire population has been in a panic over what’s going to happen to the country. Today the government announced that it is confiscating the land that Sir Allen owns in the island “to protect the national economy.” And that makes me wonder if more of that might be afoot because a few days ago the Prime Minister revealed that the government of Antigua owes Stanford “more than $100 million.”
And in good news for rich Americans looking to do business in the Caribbean, we might be able to play in Cuba again soon.
– Legendary drug warrior Calvina Fay speaks out against the California bill to regulate marijuana:
“If we think the drug cartels are going to tuck their tails between their legs and go home, I think we’re badly mistaken,” Fay said.
“They’re going to heavily target our children.”
Calvina, they already heavily target our children. Not just as customers, but as employees too. If you legalize marijuana, you’ll no longer have 16 year old kids standing on the street selling it. You’ll have old hippies in a head shop or maybe a state liquor store doing that. And the unscrupulous people who still try to sell drugs to young people? Well, we’ll finally have the police resources to catch them when we’re not wasting our time trying to arrest Michael Phelps.
– Finally, with Jenny Durkan looking to become the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, what will happen with the case against Marc Emery, the Canadian marijuana seed-seller who’s long been fighting extradition by the previous two U.S. Attorneys here?