ABC News reports that the lead investigator in Trayvon Martin shooting wanted manslaughter charge against Zimmerman. The lead investigator, Chris Serino, stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events. His recommendation for a manslaughter charge was overruled by state attorney Norman Wolfinger, who subsequently removed himself from the case. Read everything you should know about the case here.
“Self-defense is now used more widely than it was under the old law in the State of Florida,” said William Eddins, the state attorney in Pensacola and the president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. “It is a very broad law in terms of the availability of the defendant to try to take advantage of this law. It has created more litigation for the state in cases involving violence and in murder cases, in particular.”
The state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, who fought the (Stand your Ground) law when it was proposed, said: “The consequences of the law have been devastating around the state. It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with.”
It is increasingly used by gang members fighting gang members, drug dealers battling drug dealers and people involved in road rage encounters. Confrontations at a bar are also common: Someone looks at someone the wrong way or bothers someone’s girlfriend. The cases are sometimes successfully argued, and sometimes not.
…Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says that his organization tracks laws in 21 states that extend the self-defense doctrine beyond the home. The usual label for such laws — “stand your ground” — is politically charged, he said, suggesting that a more apt label would be “Shoot first, ask questions later.”
Laws like the one in Florida allow situations like the Trayvon Martin killing, he said. “We’re heartbroken, but we’re not surprised.”
Combining broader boundaries of self-protection while weakening gun-control laws and promoting the “paranoid mentality” that people need guns for self-protection is “a mentality that leads to tragedy,” he said.
A gunman had pulled up on an expensive motorbike with a big engine, dismounted and pulled out two high-calibre handguns. He fired at “everything in front of him, children and adults,” the state prosecutor said.
He shot dead Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old French-Israeli rabbi who had recently joined the staff to teach Yiddish, and Sandler’s two sons, aged six and three. Then he stepped over the bodies and chased children into the school courtyard where witnesses said he pursued a child, the 10-year-old daughter of the principal, grabbed her by the hair, pulled her to him and shot her at close range.
“My sons saw the bodies, there was blood everywhere,” said Guedj as she stood crying, face contorted in horror, outside the school. “My son was saying, ‘We were praying, Mum, but our prayers didn’t work’. “
France is in a state of shock and revulsion after the rabbi and three children were killed in the most brutal attack on the French Jewish community in decades, which also left another 17-year-old boy fighting for his life in hospital.
The mood, described as “blind panic” by one witness to the shootings, is heightened by a fear that France has been struck by a serial killer on the loose who is targeting minorities.
One of the biggest manhunts in modern French history is under way after prosecutors confirmed that the gunman, who sped off on the motorbike, used the same stolen bike and same powerful high calibre handgun as was used in two “ride-by” motorbike shootings last week which targeted soldiers of north African and black Caribbean origin.
Three soldiers were killed, including two Muslims, and another is in a critical condition after the gunman opened fire on a soldier in Toulouse eight days ago and then targeted three paratroopers at a cashpoint in the nearby town of Montaubun on Thursday.
“Everything leads one to believe that these were racist and antisemitic acts,” said the mayor of Toulouse, Pierre Cohen.
The utter, blind hatred that must exist in this killer’s heart and soul.
Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.
The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it “almost certainly” had information relevant to the case.
The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”
Lawyers for the church and priests say they cannot comment because of a judge’s order. But William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a church advocacy group in New York, said targeting the network was justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
Mr. Donohue said leading bishops he knew had resolved to fight back more aggressively against the group: “The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”
William Donohue, that fucking attack dog and pig incarnate, speaks his defense of the Catholic Church with no irony whatsoever. What a vile dirtbag, just as vile as priests who sexually assault children.
- Get out of your car
- and empty the contents of your gas tank into a canister
- and take that canister to the nearest refinery
- and have them convert your gasoline into the petroleum it previously was
- and have them transport said petroleum back to its point of origin
- (if it came via pipeline, have the pipeline operator reverse flow and send it back that way;
- if it came via cargo ship, have them place your petroleum into one of the tanks aboard and send that ship back)
- and once at point of origin, have them transport your oil back to the well from which it was extracted
- (if said well is beneath the ocean surface and under the sea floor, then please ensure the re-introduction of your petroleum to said well is done carefully so as not to upset the already endangered ocean environment — just ask the Gulf of Mexico, sigh!;
- if said well is the oil sands region of Canada, ensure you mix said sand and other particulates well into the petrol for that nice, non-sweet crude viscosity;
- if said well is in a region of the world that is currently under threat of governmental instability and / or war, then, um, make sure your oil crew is wearing bulletproof vests, we guess? That’s up to you)
- and oh yeah, beware of the ability of major natural disasters like the earthquake / tsunami that struck Japan to upend whatever domestic energy policies your and other countries may have and cause a ripple effect on oil prices worldwide
- not to mention those pesky speculators trading in commodities like oil — those guys are greedy bastards who don’t actually USE the oil they buy and hoard! But shhhhhhh, no one needs to know that
- and then and only then should you feel free to blame any one individual on the face of the Earth for the rise in oil and gas prices, but make especially sure it’s the current President of the United States
- okay, dumbass?
Today in painful irony: A woman who is symbolically fighting against Obama’s health-care law in court (specifically the requirement to purchase health insurance) went bankrupt … partly because her medical bills were too high.
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama’s healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.
Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,” said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation’s case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.
But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.
Brown chose not to buy health insurance … and the result is that she owes thousands of dollars in medical bills that she can’t pay, bills that now have to be absorbed by the hospital where she got the medical care. Yikes.
So Sean Payton knew about this, and the saintly (as it were) Drew Brees probably knew about this, and team owners knew about their team’s “bounty system,” in which players pooled money to pay off colleagues who intentionally hurt opposing players, and nothing was done to stop it.
How fucking pathetic.
They’re just good for heterosexual sex, making babies and cleaning up the house, right, Rick?
Amazingly, about half of half of the country is nonetheless prepared to vote for this spiteful dick.
(via the New York Times)