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As many friends of Girl Ipsa know, I aspire to the prosecutor's office. I know, there is a lot more money to be made in private practice, or so I'm told, but I have an ideal. I wanna lock the bad guys up! (Not a lot of that in a wills & trusts practice...)
So, you can see why this frosted me. According to AP news:
A prosecutor known for being "tough as nails" in drunken driving cases was charged with DUI after police said they stopped her with three children in her car.
This is truly the pot calling the kettle black.
And how many of you wanna bet that she tries to make a deal with the prosecution? She is contrite and remorseful! And only three times the legal limit!
I want to hold her to a higher standard. And you should, too. She knows. It's her job to punish people who do this idiotic thing. Should there be any question about her keeping that job? She should resign. And if she doesn't resign she should be fired. Period.
Then turn your attention to her kids. Three kids in the car with mommy who "was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 percent, nearly three times the legal limit in Florida for drivers, police said." Apparently, in Florida, this is occasionally charged as child neglect. Neglect. Girl Ipsa is once more incredulous. This isn't neglect, this is endangerment. (In fact, if I ruled the world, it'd be attempted murder... I'd add Criminal Stupidity of a Mother to the mens rea for murder which would extend to this and all incidents where the kids are left in cars to bake or left with drug addict abusive boyfriends)
What more can I say? This makes me angry. I think that you reach a certain point in life and you have to choose. Choose between your penchant for booze and your life as a prosecutor. As our first year torts prof so aptly said "Don't mix the bottle and the throttle". This was not just general good advice, although it was that, but a specific entreaty to us as law students to respect the position in society we sought to fill. We weren't even there yet. But he endeavored to instill in us a respect for the ideal, a respect for our colleagues. And a respect for ourselves.
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Jurors in the Scott Peterson murder trial, well at least a single juror, engaged in a little experiment on Monday. Or so defense attorney Geragos would like us to believe. This is good news for the defense. Jurors are not allowed to experiment and then start thinking about stuff that has not been properly presented to them as admissible and relevant evidence. To allow a jury to make a "boat rocking" experiment would clearly be error. Geragos has an appeal issue there. Good for him.
More interesting to me, though, is his half-hearted request for a mistrial. He didn't really want a mistrial. What he wanted was for the judge to allow him to show a video tape, made by the prosecution, depicting the impossibility of Scott being able to toss Lacy over board with out tipping the boat. Does anyone else see the problem with allowing this in?
Rather like giving OJ the glove and saying "Please make a non-selfserving attempt to put your hand effortlessly into that glove and show the jury that YOU'RE THE KILLER!"
Silly Prosecutor, Tricks are for defense attorneys!
There is no doubt in my mind that this proffered video tape would make it very clear to the jury that any attempt to throw a pregnant woman's dead body, carefully weighted with anchors, over the side of this particular boat would be sure to result in certain death to Scott. He could not possibly have done it! We have no doubt!! Now lets all go home.
But gosh. I must be cynical and a little biased in favor of the prosecution when I suggest that I could make a tape which shows Scott doing this act with EASE. Shows him hurling her body with one hand and drinking a Manhattan with the other, cell phone tucked against his ear so he can decide which show time he'll be able to catch a movie at later.
So, I'm not sure how much of an "experiment" this juror could have made, standing in a boat out of water, without a body to shove around. I say "Excellent try!" to Geragos, though, in his attempt to get his movie in. Really good try there. It will be an issue on appeal, should Peterson be convicted. He is facing the death penalty, kids. Even we members of Dark Forces on the side of the State (and the people, don't forget the people) prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to sentencing people to death.
As long as we're on the subject of Dark Forces I'd like to thank everyone who went out to vote and helped Girl Ipsa defeat Prop 66 here in California. I'm still working hard, every day, to somehow avoid the first felony... Wish me luck!