July 2005

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Sentence Enhancement Imposed for Bullshit

Hot off the presses, and from a source who I think would like to remain nameless (tell me if you don’t), comes the first known example of a defendant’s sentence being enhanced because he is a bullshitter. The sentencing memorandum…


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Latest Example of “Law Clerk Bingo”

Whoever wrote the concurring and dissenting opinion for Judge Fernandez in Southern Union Co. v. Southwest Gas Corp. has scored heavily in the game of who can get the most ridiculous words into a judicial opinion. The case involved whether…


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Kansas Police Return Confiscated Foot to Owner

Since I was born in Missouri but grew up in Kansas, I can claim either one as my “home state.” This week, I’m claiming Missouri. From Lawrence, Kansas, comes the story of Ezekiel Rubottom (which is really a name more…


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Can a Mug Shot Also Be Evidence of the Crime?

Probably not very often, but this one is. Hint: the charge is “abusing harmful intoxicants,” namely, spray paint. The site links to a number of other excellent mug shots. The Smoking Gun


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Poorly-Planned Flight From Law Ends in Courtroom

Wanted in connection with a hit-and-run accident, Jada Coover led Iowa police on a high-speed chase Wednesday after his pickup was spotted on State Highway 50. Coover fled down the highway, then into the town of Vermillion, where he stopped…


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Man Fakes Own Kidnapping to Avoid Wrath of Girlfriend

Here are some things to remember when planning to falsely claim you were kidnapped: If you say you were on the way to a store to buy something, check to see if that store really carries that item. Because the…




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Bank Robber Caught After Fifth Robbery of Same Bank

Persistent criminal Stephen Holliday was arrested this month after robbing the Summit Bank in downtown Oakland. Tellers recognized Holliday when he came into the bank, which may not be surprising given that this was (or would have been) Holliday’s fifth…


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Cell Phone’s Ring in Court Earns Man Jail Time

These days pretty much all courthouses prohibit cell phones, or at least require that they be turned off while in the courtroom. You should honor this rule at least in Chatham County, North Carolina. Sergio Cortez Herrera didn’t, and Judge…