Welcome to The Briefcase

Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »

×

Some stuff for the blogroll

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, Cleveland Mayor Frank "Sleepy-Time" Jackson has announced a campaign to get guns off the streets of the city, acknowledging that this could result in more shootouts between the police and private citizens.  So I was somewhat intrigued the other day when I ran across a 9th Circuit decision reported by the Decision of the Day blog.  The case was a civil lawsuit involving a police shooting of an unarmed man, within seconds after he'd been stopped while driving a luxury sedan in a "high-drug activity" neighborhood.  The legal issue revolved around the arcane question of whether there was a difference between "reasonable belief" and "probable cause," but what caught my eye was the dissent's summary of the testimony of the plaintiff's expert's testimony:

[The city used] a so-called "slumper" scenario in its training regimen, in which officers encounter a sleeping suspect in a car who, upon being awakened, immediately pulls out a hidden gun and fires at the officer. [In addition,] officers are trained on a computer simulation system in which suspects invariably attempt to kill the officer being trained. [The plaintiff's expert] ultimately concluded that the City's training program "creat[ed] a mindset for Portland officers that every citizen encountered may have a gun, and there is nothing the police officer can do to avoid being killed by a 'bad guy' unless the officer shoots first."

I'd never thought of it like that, but yes, if you do train police officers to believe that a certain situation is always dangerous, they will treat it that way, even if it isn't. 

So I decided to stick Decision of the Day on my blogroll, the list of links on the right.  In fact, I've revamped the blogroll a bit, adding some new ones.  One of them is the Confrontation Blog, which, despite its title, is not a respository of "in-your-face" legal arguments, but instead focuses on the evolving case law since Crawford v. Washington came down.  It's a handy resource if you've got that as an issue.

In fact, while checking to see what blogs I might want to add, I came to the conclusion that we're perilously close to a parallel to Andy Warhol's observation that, in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes; instead, in the future, everyone will have their own blog.  There's Indefensible, by a public defender, which has this take on the top 10 legal stories of the past year.  There's a blog called Boston Criminal Lawyer run by a firm in that city; Friday's post features a news story about a man recently charged with raping an unconscious woman in a men's bathroom, and then brightly announces that "our law firm would be happy to discuss your rape case with you during a free consultation."  And that's for a run-of-the-mill rape.  Imagine their excitement at discussing your child molestation case with them. 

There's even a blog called Angry Pregnant Lawyer.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I was also going to add Above the Law, which bills itself as a legal tabloid, because they do have some interesting stories from time to time.  But mostly, they feature a lot of stories on what the big firms are paying to their associates, and after reading that the going rate for someone fresh out of law school is $160,000 a year, plus a $35,000 bonus if they meet their target of 2000 billable hours, I felt like opening a vein.  Our former docket runner just got hired for a summer associate's position at a big firm here in Cleveland, which means she'll get hired the following year after she graduates.  So I guess she's not going to be crawling back to us for her old job anytime soon. 

Maybe she'll loan me some money...

Tomorrow I'll throw a tantrum about yet another foray by the 8th District in to the Crawford thicket, in which no one emerges unscathed.  See you then.

Search

Recent Entries

  • January 11, 2018
    Case Update
    Three new decisions from the Ohio Supreme Court
  • January 10, 2018
    To the barricades!
    Why I'm a threat to the Ohio state government
  • January 5, 2018
    Search and seizure in the digital age
    Do the cops need a warrant to get cell phone data?
  • January 3, 2018
    What's Up in the 8th
    We talk about me a lot, but there's some other stuff, too
  • January 2, 2018
    He's baaaack
    So I thought I'd start my first post in six weeks by explaining why it's my first post in six weeks. Ever run into somebody and ask the obligatory question, "How are you doing?" And they proceed to tell you...
  • November 15, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Plea withdrawals (again), sexual predator hearings, and an appellate law question
  • November 7, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Don't listen to prosecutors about the law, good new/bad news jokes on appeal, and the Byzantine course of a death penalty case
  • October 24, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Trying to change the past
  • October 16, 2017
    En banc on sentencing
    The 8th District takes a look at what State v. Marcum means
  • October 13, 2017
    Friday Roundup
    Musings about the death penalty and indigent defense