In The Headlights™
Dateline: April 25, 2021 Minneapolis
Let’s make one thing clear right at the top. Convicted murderer Derek Chauvin is a dirtbag. The judge is sure to max him out at sentencing. Given his age and what’s about to hit him, Chauvin should die in prison. Good riddance.
But, criminal trials are about more than guilt or innocence. They are also about the fairness of the process. For example, because juries are susceptible to outside influences, our justice system has safeguards designed to ensure that those factors do not sway the verdict.
In Chauvin’s case, the judge put a herculean burden on the jury’s shoulders to overcome extraneous threats in order to arrive at a fair verdict. But, juries aren’t supposed to be left to their own devices in reaching just results.
Given the negative pretrial publicity and the rioting, Chauvin’s attorney filed a motion to change venue. The judge denied it claiming that the publicity was so broad it could be seen from the moon. So, if the process was unfair in Minneapolis, it had to be unfair everywhere in the State.
The judge also refused to sequester the jury until closing arguments began. Sequestration is used to insulate the jury from the influence of negative publicity and other outside forces. The judge denied the motion because of the ‘hardship’ that sequestration can cause to jurors.
The judge’s rulings created an issue of jury tampering, which, if found, would overturn the verdict. Specifically, jury intimidation is a form of tampering. The rioting, and threats to do worse, were indisputable attempts to coerce a guilty verdict from a jury that could tune in every night.
But, proving that the jury was, in fact, intimidated can be a difficult row to hoe. In his case, Chauvin should see ice caps in Hell before his verdict is reversed.
The point is jury intimidation is anathema to our system of justice. It won’t always be Derek Chauvin on trial.
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Blog From Sidney
February 27th, 2019
President Trump walked away from denuclearization talks with North Korea in Hanoi last night. Demands made by Noko’s war-loving, crazy dictator were unrealistic. As the President said, no deal is better than a bad one.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and India are at it again over the India-controlled section of Kashmir.
This week, they both claimed to have shot down military planes belonging to the other side. Both are threatening escalation, which is no laughing matter. They each have a nuclear arsenal including about 100 warheads and each has test fired nuclear-capable missiles.
Pakistan is now doing some nuclear saber-rattling to ward off a superior conventional attack by India.
The prospect of international nuclear war may not be as threatening to this Country as hearings going on in Congress this week. The Michael Cohen’s Spectacle of Self-Serving Slander is a prelude to impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
But last year, Cohen pled guilty to lying to Congress, among a host of other felonies. On Tuesday, he was disbarred from the practice of law. En route to serving a three-year prison sentence, he stopped by the Hill to chat up Congress again.
For our representatives to seek the unsubstantiated testimony of a felonious liar who has duped them in the past is an act of desperation. It is looking like the Mueller investigation will end with a whimper rather than a bang. So, Dems are casting about trying to find another source to feed the Trash Trump Frenzy. In Cohen, they caught a big, fat bottom feeder.