Thursday, January 18, 2007

Texas Justice (cont’d): Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project got another Dallas, Tex., guy off the hook with DNA testing. Turns out that James Waller served 10 yrs for a rape that someone else got away with. His conviction (after 46 minutes’ jury deliberation) was based on . . guess what? Yep. An eyewitness! And that was even though Waller was 8 inches taller and maybe 100 pounds heavier than the eyewitness’s original description of the perp. It was Scheck’s 12th Dallas County overturn, which is more than for any jurisdiction except for the entire states of New York and Illinois. This occurred the same day that SCOTUS held oral arguments on three Texas death penalty cases, one of which involved the state’s being ever-so-chintzy in making a mandatory disclosure to jurors (that other death-penalty states make graciously) that they must consider mitigating biographical factors before condemning the killer.

Many officials in the UK gov’t must be grateful to the guys in the Dept. for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs for coming up with this one. The result is that gov’t leaders don’t have to cut back on their travel junkets at all, in spite of how much all that travel damages the environment! That’s because the folks at DEFRA figure that if they start burying rotten vegetables in Thailand (instead of just leaving them out), they’ll cut down an equivalent amount of carbon in methane. So it’s win-win, and the ruling class can get on with their perks.

Below The Fold
71 employees in the gov’t division called the Executive Office of the President are federal tax scofflaws for 2005 (owing $664k), and total deadbeats among all fed workers (including retired) number 450,000 . . . . . News guaranteed to tick off the Nat’l Org’n for Women: A chimp from the Little Rock (Ark.) Zoo escaped and, before she could be recaptured, grabbed a sponge and wiped down a refrigerator and grabbed a brush and cleaned a toilet (seriously) . . . . . Here’s a Nebraska perv who allegedly somehow got kicks by visiting an apartment house laundry room and cutting the crotches out of some panties . . . . . Daredevil swimmer Martin Strel said he’ll swim the 3,370-mile-long Amazon River, where he’ll have to brave piranhas and those little things that crawl up your urethra . . . . . Convicted child-abuser Shawn Mohan, 20, was charged with shooting his 12-day-old baby several times with a BB gun (which I’m guessing is a violation of his probation) . . . . . Shawn’s an even worse dad than Clint Engstrom, 32, who was charged with locking his 13-yr-old daughter up 22 hrs a day in a bare room for hardly-specified misbehavior [and he’s Guilty by Mugshot!] . . . . . The proprietor of Karl Kemp & Associates Antiques in New York City filed a $1 million lawsuit against, well, four unnamed vagabonds who hang out in front of his store and, he said, drive away his upscale customers . . . . . A New York City judge mysteriously ruled that if you’re experienced-enough at parachuting off of tall buildings in the middle of the city, it’s gotta be legal.