Taking a knee.

According to twitter today El Presidente is trying to pressure NFL owners to prevent their players from “taking a knee” during the anthem. NFL commissioner Roger Goddell has penned a letter to NFL owners telling them the players should stand.

I’m sure it’s just an odd coincidence those two things happened within hours of each other. Sometimes things fall out of the sky like that.

Just like the coincidences I see in court. Like, the one where all the clients I’ve ever represented who got pulled over for minor traffic offenses but ended up laying on the deck with tazer electrodes stuck in their skin were African American.

Just an odd coincidence as well. I’m sure that, in the tens of thousands of cases I’ve touched, if a white guy ever stayed on the cell phone after Continue reading “Taking a knee.”

Before We Kill Dylann Roof Let’s At Least Pretend To Give Him A Fair Process.

I don’t want Dylann Roof to die. I know that if anybody in the country right now deserves to die, it’s probably Dylann Roof.

However, killing him is putting a seal-of-approval on the legal journey that led him to death row. From the police investigation, to the pretrial motions, trial and death sentencing hearing, we shouldn’t give ourselves the power to kill people if they haven’t had the benefit of an accurate and precise system at every step of the way. Continue reading “Before We Kill Dylann Roof Let’s At Least Pretend To Give Him A Fair Process.”

Saying Nice Things (about Dylann Roof).

It might not have been the first day I started at the Public Defender’s office, but it certainly wasn’t long after.  I knew nothing about the day-to-day operations of a criminal defense attorney (law schools don’t teach such things). I was about to be turned loose into the confusing, complicated, chaotic world of juvenile delinquency court and my new boss was trying to boil my role down to terms my inexperienced self could easily grasp.

“Sometimes,” he said, “your job is to be the only person in that courtroom willing to say something nice about a kid.”

Continue reading “Saying Nice Things (about Dylann Roof).”

Making a Murderer: Did Steven Avery Actually Do It?

“What do you think about Making a Murderer?”  By the end of December I had to answer that question several times a week.  The answer was, of course, “I don’t know.”  I hadn’t really planned to watch another criminal trial documentary.

I don’t own the remote, though. I bought the remote. Paid for it with my own money, even.  I don’t get to touch it in any substantive way other than passing it over to The Boss, though.

Now I’ve seen the whole series. People are still asking me what I think about it. I still don’t know if he is “really innocent” or guilty.  I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Making a Murderer: Did Steven Avery Actually Do It?”

Actually preventing DUI is the goal, right?

I’ll be intently following the political future of Randall Scannell in Green Bay. I know zero about his political beliefs or party affiliation. What I do know about the man, though, I like.

He’s all for eliminating parking tickets for drunks.  “What?????? He’s going to REWARD people for getting drunk?” You heard it right- no tickets for drunks. He’s not “rewarding” anybody, though.

Actual Effects Are More Important Than Theoretical Debates

Law and politics are, sadly, too much like Philosophy- lots of people with strong opinions sitting around in a room talking about what should (or will) happen in the “out there” world if everybody in the world acted (or was forced to act by passage of law) in the way they wanted. “Cut taxes and nobody will starve.” Or, “raise minimum wage and nobody will s Continue reading “Actually preventing DUI is the goal, right?”