SSCC #447–Snohomish County

A longtime Snohomish County judge who presides over DUI cases will not face charges after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Aug. 29, the Everett Herald reported.

The claim is they didn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute.  Evidently this centered around the fact that another judge was going to testify he wasn’t impaired and the prosecutor then wrote to the arresting officer:

"Although Judge (Ryan) lied to the trooper about the type and quantity of alcohol he consumed, the amount of alcohol that he did consume (i.e., 2 glasses of wine) is still insufficient to prove impairment under the circumstances of this case," Norgaard wrote.

Do you think any of us lowly peons would be given such courteousness if we found ourselves in the same position?  Yeah I don’t think so either.

State Sponsored Criminal #447: Judge Timothy Ryan

Because it’s only a problem when it’s a peon not a judge.  Judges can do whatever the hell they want and we’ll just look the other way.

via Ry.

What Is Wrong With This Story?


Image courtesy of Robb Allen found via JayG

A 90-year-old Greenbrae man who was shot in the head during an alleged burglary has been sued by the alleged burglar.

Samuel Cutrufelli, who was also shot during the incident, claims Jay Leone “negligently shot” him during the confrontation inside Leone’s home.

Cutrufelli, 31, claims Leone caused him “great bodily injury, and other financial damage, including loss of Mr. Cutrufelli’s home, and also the dissolution of Mr. Cutrufelli’s marriage.”

I don’t think so there Sparky.  You want to know what happened, you broke into another man’s house and you were upset that he fought back.  In what world can you claim that a person negligently shot you after you broke down the door into their house?

Negligently would imply that you were struck by a ND.  There is no ND here my friend. Especially since you shot at the home owner as well and then claimed to the police you shot yourself.

You are one lucky man that Mr. Leone’s bullet didn’t send your body to room temperature.

You know, they tell you that you should stop once the person is no longer a threat… About the only way it seems to permanently stop the threat is to make sure their body cools to room temperature.*  Failure to do so leaves you life and financial livelihood in peril.  Especially since there is no such thing as winning a lawsuit.

*Don’t go just plugging him though after the fact if he’s still breathing…  That just lands you in a world of crap.

A Compare and Contrast Exercise…

Let’s compare and contrast the following two people, what they did, and the reactions by the American Media.


For those who don’t recognize the pictures, on the left we have former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, on the right we have Attorney General Eric Holder.

The significant similarities necessary for this discussion:

  • Both are tied to the highest position within the Department of Justice.
  • Both committed questionable acts while in that position.
  • Both were disliked by large parts of the American people for their actions.
  • Both acted in a manner with the express intent of undermining and destroying enumerated rights.


  • Eric Holder’s decisions resulted in the deaths of both American and Mexican civilians.
  • Eric Holder refused to process cases where the American public was intimidated from exercising their rights.
  • Alberto Gonzales was forced to resign while Holder continues to retain his position.
  • Eric Holder was found in contempt of congress.  Eric Holder has not been arrested despite the ability for congress to do so.
  • The Congressional “no-confidence” vote against Gonzales did not succeed.
  • Alberto Gonzales was appointed by President George Bush.
  • Eric Holder was appointed by President Barack Obama.

For those who may not remember the details.  Here is the quick rundown of the two big scandals under Holder.

The details you more likely need a reminder of is the incidents involving Alberto Gonzales

So while the comments and behavior of Gonzales was despicable and worthy of question, why has AG Holder been allowed to remain?  There is a man responsible for creating programs with the express purpose of illegally undermining a constitutional right.  Programs that resulted in the deaths of members of the public.  A man who has been found in contempt of congress, yet no one seems to have the balls to actually fire him.

Ultimately the biggest difference between these two is the men who were responsible for appointing them.  Because honestly that’s the only reason Eric Holder has been able to continue in his position.  Remember that the next time some tells you about how the media isn’t biased.

Quote of the Day – Scott Greenfield(10/10/2012)

Because of this, all the other safeguards of the criminal justice system kicked in, from due process to double jeopardy.  People at HuffPo and Boing Boing usually like these aspects of the law, except when they don’t. Then they become technicalities and produce injustice, because the outcome doesn’t comport with their sensibilities. Rape is one of the sacred cow crimes, and no law should get in the way of conviction.

It’s all about outcome?  As Ken at Popehat points out, people across the political spectrum pick their positions based on outcomes, just different ones.  It’s not about thinking, but feeling.  The law, however,isn’t about feeling.

(Emphasis mine.) Scott GreenfieldThe Future Of Law and The Fool’s Utopia, Rape Edition
October 10, 2012

[I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  There is no correlation between the law and justice!  Seriously folks, realize this right here and now.  The point of the law is not just to convict the guilty but to protect the innocent from the power and wrath of the state.

In the end we hope that the law will give some form of justice.  However it is also up to the players within the system to aid in that outcome.  The prosecution in this case clearly screwed up and charged this person with the wrong crime.

Am I sad that this monster is getting away with the actual crime he did?  You bet your ass. Am I angry at the legal system and think it failed?  Yes and no.  I am angry at the prosecutor for doing a piss poor job, I am not however upset that the rest of the system worked as it should to protect the defendant.

The thing to understand is you cannot have your cake and eat it.  While one wants to both protect the innocent and convict the guilty, concessions must be made to protect the innocent.  In doing so the possibility for error can allow the guilty to go free.

This isn’t a bug folks, it’s a feature.  A feature that as Scott points out are more than happy to be cheered about by the same people who now condemn it when they feel it was wrong.

Popehat also put this quite well:

If we’re going to defend rights — if we’re not going to let them be chipped away, bit by bit, in cases involving rape or terrorism or anything else that engenders strong feelings — then we’re going to have to be ready to be called terrorist-sympathizers and un-American and even rape apologists by the likes of Antinous. But I can’t think of any earthly reason why we can’t inform these people that they’re full of shit.

Because folks, that’s how they do it.  They invoke emotion and claim necessity.  Some of us are patient, calm, and rational enough to think the whole problem through.  Most however would prefer we just “do something” because doing something is better than nothing.  Except sometimes doing nothing is actually the best thing to do because someone just screwed the pooch.

More power and depredation of rights is never a solution. -B]


SSCC #420 – New Orleans

Seriously I didn’t not plan for this in advance, the number and crime are purely coincidental.

Assistant city attorney Jason Cantrell was issued a summons after he dropped a joint while talking to a police officer in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

Cantrell, 43, was cited for simple drug possession and released under a city policy for low-level marijuana cases, according to police.  

Now while apparently the law was followed in this case, there is a reason I’m placing this under the criminal count.

Cantrell has practiced civil and criminal law in New Orleans for 17 years, including six as a public defender in Juvenile Court. In an ironic twist, the 43-year-old also worked as a drug court attorney.

(Emphasis mine.)  While it does seem that most of the work may have been on the defense side instead of the prosecution, he still was a city employee.  Charged with enforcing and upholding the law.

Now he has promptly resigned and the punishment matches what the rest of the public should see in that municipality if the article is to be believed.  Still, this fits perfectly with the, “Laws for thee, not for me” tag.

State Sponsored Criminal #420: Jason Cantrell

Because laws only apply to the lowly peons.  Those who work for the king are allowed to have any noun they want.

h/t Dave Hardy.

Today’s Lesson

My dad drilled something into my head growing up and the following reminded me of it:

One of the more depressing things in the life of being an activist for rights is that more often than not, rights are lost because people didn’t want to defend the bad guy. It’s easy to look the other way when Scummy McScumbag has his rights violated because… well because scumbag!

To which another person stated the following which further rung the bell:

But his legal rights were violated in the name of Justice. And as Robb points out, the violation of this man’s legal rights is a loss of rights for everyone. It gets easier to break the rules once you’ve done it once, and in this case, when you’ve been officially blessed by the Powers That Be.

Here is today’s lesson folks, it is simple and only a single sentence:

There is no correlation between the law and justice.

Did everyone get that?  Please read it out loud and repeat it to yourself a few times because it is very critical you remember and understand it.

It is important to understand because that line succinctly describes both the positive and negative in the justice system.  On the one hand you have the issue as Robb pointed out with Mr. Scumbag.

Mr. Scumbag gets a pass because his rights were violated, this boils back to the principal of protecting the innocent.  This principal is important and is one that as a free people we should never lose sight of.

The second side of this is that the law can just as easily screw someone who doesn’t actually need screwing.  It’s pretty darn unjust to annihilate someone’s rights and make them a felon over what really amounts to something that isn’t an actual danger to society.

We must remain vigilant for that exact reason.  As our “elected betters” create laws, there is nothing actually guaranteeing that those laws are just.  This especially holds true  when the phrase above is tied in conjunction with the following:

The purpose of the law is to keep those who have money and power with the money and the power.

Lets also not forget about prosecutors and how they also fit into this entire mess.  They provide yet another prong in the long illustration how there isn’t a correlation between the law and justice.

Yeah, at times it sucks when you think about the fact you have to defend some dude who truly should go to jail.  The thing is, he would have if law enforcement played by the rules and the prosecutor did his job correctly, making sure to charge him with the applicable crime.

h/t Uncle

SSCC #357 – Portland PD

Good on this young man for telling that officer in polite way to foxtrot oscar mike.  Now while the supervisor sent him on his way after he showed up, there will be no punishment or reprimand given to this over zealous officer for his transgressions.

His assumption was that oh you have a gun so all your rights are hereby surrendered.  Listen here sparky, that’s not the way it works, nor should it work that way.

Since I know you won’t be punished for your decisions that day, you make the count.  Lack of being held accountable is like quietly stating, “it’s OK unless you come across one who knows his rights.”

Get a different job there officer McDonald, because you suck at this one.

State Sponsored Criminal #357: J. McDonald

Because carrying a gun means that an officer can do what ever he wants, including sweeping your legs with your own weapon and confiscating your property.

h/t SayUncle

Quote of the Day–Joe Huffman (06/19/2012)

What is extraordinary here is that Issa didn’t have Federal Marshalls rip his jacket and shirt off, tie him face down on the table, stuff a copy of the subpoena in his mouth, give him 30 lashes with a bull whip, then tell him there would a whipping every day at 9:00 AM until he fully complied or his flesh had been stripped off and his bones were polished clean.

Joe HuffmanExtraordinary Offer

June 19th, 2012

[Personally I think Joe’s response would have been way too kind.  Give me a bucket, a rat, and a blow torch.  Some assembly required.  If you don’t know how it works, don’t worry about it, it prevents you from knowing how mean, evil, and sadistic my mind can be towards those who willingly endanger my friends and family in the name of destroying my rights.*

Don’t worry Joe, it’s not cruel or unusual.  At the time the Bill of Rights was written lashing was still a standard punishment on the high seas.  In fact so was keelhauling which I think would also be a fantastic venture for Mr. Holder. –B]

*In my defense, I would feel bad for the rat.