Re: Occasionally there is good news, too.

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That certainly looks like a screwed-up jury instruction. Interesting to note the counsel on appeal, too -- I doubt she could pay Quinn Emanuel's rates, so they probably took it on pro bono. Good for them.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:57 AM
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Occasionally there is good news, too.

Hmm. Somehow this story doesn't make me feel very good.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:13 AM
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Possibly because this part was news to me:

Remember the woman who was sentenced to 20 years for firing at the ceiling, while her abusive ex-husband was trying to get at her?

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:13 AM
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OP: You might want to google around a tad more on this case, because from what I recall she sounds like a nut who belongs in jail.

IIRC
1. The bullet ended up in the ceiling, but only after entering the wall at head height or so, meaning she cranked a round at him in direction of the living room where he was with the two kids.
2. She went to the garage to get the gun and came back in the house to shoot at him, claiming she did so because the garage door was working right, but the police who responded couldn't find any malfunction with the door.
3. While out on bail, she violated a judges no contact order, went to her ex's house, and punched him in the face, resulting in her having to plead no contest to a charge of domestic battery.

The other half of this sounds like a real piece of work too, and doubtless they both need to be fed to the gators and their children given a better chance at life by being given to a pack of raccoons, but this doesn't look like any kind of miscarriage of justice.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:22 AM
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No, no, my version is much simpler. VIVA LA REVOLUCION.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:29 AM
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4: There's actually a decent summary of the facts from both the defendant's perspective and the government's perspective in the court of appeals opinion, which you can get to from the link in the OP (but here's a direct link). The majority summarizes the facts in the best light for the defendant and the concurrence quotes at length from a trial court opinion (apparently denying a motion to dismiss based on the SYG ground law) which summarizes the facts in the best light for the government.

I have no idea which side is telling the truth, of course, but it looks like there was something to have a trial (with a properly instructed jury) about.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:31 AM
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Ah, thanks for the link. Looking at that and some other googling, it's not exactly shocking she was convicted. I'd forgotten other things like how he left the house with his kids and called 911 (she never called the police), and she barricaded herself in the house and only came out after a SWAT team got there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:59 AM
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The whole SYG immunity thing is nuts. And the sentence grossly disproportionate. The instructions were clearly bad, though, and retrial is the right answer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:11 PM
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Yeah, I mean, there's too many people in prison right now, but she hardly seems the most innocent of them. 20 years is too long for something like this, and indeed, the "victim" doesn't seem like Prince Charming. Yet and still. It would be really awesome to see people flip out as much about all the women in prison for long sentences for non-violent drug crimes or theft by uttering. Same for the men, for that matter.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:48 PM
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Thanks for teaching me something new, 9. I've been through law school and still have never seen "uttering" used in that sense. I was sure it had to be an yglesias-class typo.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:21 PM
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That is new to me as well. Word for the Day!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:06 PM
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First heard it from one of my dad's college buddies who's a real estate lawyer. But I've seen it pop up in newspaper articles here and there too.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:56 PM
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My brother got a bunch of forgery/utterance charges, I remember, for trying to get a fake ID. It never occurred to me quite what that meant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:48 PM
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Law French strikes again. "Utterance" (utiler+ance) just means to use the forged document, as opposed to the forgery, which is making the forged document.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:53 PM
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I've run into it on prescription forgery where they call it in.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:20 PM
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I've run into it on prescription forgery where they call it in.

Even our criminals are demotivated slackers these days.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:16 AM
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I have to call the pharmacy. Thanks for the reminder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:17 AM
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