#TheodoreWafer: Day 2 of Jury Selection in Porch-Shooting Case

July 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good morning:

Total potential jurors excused yesterday for cause:

By the court: 21

Challenged by the prosecution: 2

Challenged by the defense: 3

Here we go again following on twitter, since there is no live coverage.


Monday Evening Open Discussion

July 21, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good evening:

Welcome to the Monday Evening Open Discussion where off topic is on topic.

Jury selection started today in the Renisha McBride porch-shooting case with the judge conducting voir dire, instead of the attorneys.

Terrible idea.

No live television or live-stream coverage.

Terrible idea.

Jury selection resumes tomorrow at 9 am EDT.

The twitter feed is #TheodoreWafer

The burglaries, death threats and hacker attacks of last week appear to have stopped since Crane contacted the FBI. Unfortunately, Crane’s computer took a hit and had to go to the hospital.

We should sell tee shirts that say, Start a Blog Get Murdered

What’s on your mind?

This is our 1147th post.

If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation to enable us to keep the lights on.

Thanks,

Fred


Theodore Wafer porch-shooting trial starts today

July 21, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good morning:

The Theodore Wafer porch-shooting trial starts this morning with jury selection. Unfortunately, there is no live coverage, so I will be covering the trial on twitter.

Wafer is represented by a father-daughter legal team, Matt and Cheryl Carpenter. He is claiming self-defense, which is problematic because he shot Renisha McBride, 19, through a screen door after opening the locked front door of his house.

She was unarmed and he has compromised his claim of self-defense by admitting that she was asking for help and he accidentally fired his shotgun.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway is presiding over the trial and she will be conducting the voir dire of prospective jurors.

She has advised the panel that the trial will last approximately 10 days.


NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be charged with second degree manslaughter for killing Eric Garner

July 20, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good morning:

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be charged with second degree manslaughter for killing Eric Garner. If convicted, he could be sentenced to sentenced to serve up to 15 years in prison.

Section 125.15 of the New York Penal Code defines second degree manslaughter:

A person commits second-degree manslaughter when he or she (a) recklessly causes the death of another person; (b) commits an unjustified abortional act upon a female which causes her death; or (c) commits assisted suicide.

Section 15.05(3) of the New York Penal Code defines recklessness:

A person acts recklessly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect thereto.

The New York Daily News is reporting today that the NYPD ban on the use of choke holds is unambiguous.

The rule couldn’t be clearer.

“Members of the NYPD will NOT use chokeholds,” the NYPD patrol guide clearly states. “A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing to reduce intakes of air.”After several people were asphyxiated while in police custody, the NYPD forbade the use of chokeholds in 1983, stating it could only be used when an officer’s life was in danger. Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly banned the use of chokeholds all together in 1993.

The New York Daily News yesterday identified NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo as the cop who placed Eric Garner in the choke hold.

Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran, was placed on modified duty Saturday as cops and the Staten Island district attorney investigated the case.

Pantaleo was stripped of his gun and his shield and assigned to work desk duty. The police union immediately denounced the move as “knee-jerk” and “completely unwarranted.”

But detectives arrived at his Staten Island home Saturday afternoon, leaving about 25 minutes later with one box and three bags taken from the residence.

/snip/

Officer Justin Damico, on the force four years, was also pulled off the street — but he was not forced to turn in his badge or his weapon.

Manslaughter in the second degree is a class C felony which carries a minimum sentence 1 to 3 years in prison and a maximum period of incarceration of 5 to 15 years.

This is our 1145th post.

If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation to enable us to keep the lights on.

Thanks,

Fred


Frog Gravy: An Evening Spades Game

July 19, 2014

by Crane-Station

Author’s note: Frog Gravy has been around for quite a while. It is a non-fiction incarceration experience in Kentucky, in jails and in prison, during 2008 and 2009. Frog Gravy is reconstructed from voluminous notes that I took, during the time I was locked up. Three of the essays are published. I will seek to publish all of it; however, there has been an unfortunate delay because during the course of a home invasion, the original hand-written notes were stolen by someone unknown to me. This stalker is also an identity thief and a cyber stalker. Frog Gravy has graphic language and the inmate names are changed.

This is a new essay. While thieves may steal my identity and everything that I have written or scribbled over the last 30 years (because they did), my sincere wish is, that the voices of the women in Frog Gravy can be read by many who are interested in this subject.

Frog Gravy: An Evening Spades Game, KCIW ‘PeWee Valley’ women’s state prison, near Louisville, sometime in 2009.

I am seated at a steel table for four in Ridgeview Dormitory, in the ‘day room,’ only it is evening. The room is packed and loud, with the television blaring, the microwaves going, the washers and dryers going. Inmates are talking on the inmate phone in succession, near our table. Since our table is near the stairwell, people are constantly walking by.

My hillbilly friend in the wheelchair, Sandy, is my Spades game partner. We are playing against Suzy and Erica. We have been dealt a mediocre hand, and we will lose. But we are having fun. And my morning did not begin with the belief that the entire world was out to fuck me over. After all, the birds greeted me and escorted me during my walk to school.

We are discussing various reasons that inmates get sent to cell block, which is the jail within the prison, and serves as a euphemism for the ‘hole.’ Erica says, “Up in Shelby they was making dildos out of rubber gloves and pads and they was getting away with it.”

I say, “Yeah but that’s jail. Rules are different everywhere you go. I’ve heard that here, you get more time in the hole for getting caught with tobacco, than just about anything, right?”

Suzy says, “You remember Amy? That white girl? She had “cocksucker” tattooed onto the inside of her lip? She went home.”

I say, “But she didn’t get that tattoo while she was here.”

Sandy says, “Fuckin’ Sheila got ninety-for-one-hundred-and-eighty twice, for fuckin’ tattoos.”

I realize that I don’t have any idea what a 90-for-180 is, and I decide that, I actually don’t want to know. On the news, there is some sort of a headline story that our country is nearly broke, or something to that effect. An inmate news-watcher and card player at the table beside us poses two questions, relating to the news story: “Where did all the money go, are they smoking crack in the White House? Can’t Obama go suck some dick, and get it back?”

Meanwhile, near the phone, two inmates are conversing, and I only catch the last of one of them saying, “…murderer. Over dope. He burnt ‘em up in their trailer.” She adds, “Did I do anything to turn you off?”

“And, you can go to the hole for cussing someone here, I’ve heard,” I say.

Alecia, the inmate with horrific OCD, pauses as she walks by our table and says, “Well. At least if I go to the hole, I’ll go to the hole with a clean pussy.”

As she is leaving, I say, “Better not. Once you get there, there is no such thing as having the water cut on all the time.”

Your internal clock gets acclimated to a prison routine, in any given setting. We are losing the spades game, and I begin to keep a closer eye on the phone, wishing for some phone time with my family. The inmate on the phone hangs up and says, “Foster care just took her kids. It’s just a misdemeanor, so her dad’ll go pick her up from jail. So I told her sister, you know what, just don’t worry about it. And she didn’t.”

“How does that all work, foster care taking the kids and all?” I ask Sandy.

“The way Kentucky works is that it doesn’t,” she says. “You can murder your parents and then get on with your life. Just don’t get caught with weed.”

“Give me one saying you learned growing up, Sandy, please? It doesn’t have to be true hillbilly, you know, just a saying.”

“Well, slap my ass and call me a whore, I’ll call you Daddy and ask for more,” offers Sandy.

“Sandy. Not all the detail, and information.”

“Oh all right: He’ll tell a lie, and the other one’ll swear to it.”

It is nearly time to leave, and go to a night class. Tory, my classmate, is waiting for me to get up and walk to class with her. She asks me, for no particular reason, as we begin our walk, “Bird Lady, what do you think your plans will be, later this summer?”

I think about how to answer the question. I do not know what my plans are. What could they be? I say, “Maybe I’ll move to Pine Bluff Dormitory. What’s Pine Bluff like?”

Tory says, “They have lives. They cook. They have dogs.”

We walk to our evening class.


The cops who killed Eric Garner must be prosecuted and sentenced to prison

July 19, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good afternoon:

The police officers who placed Eric Garner, 43, in a choke hold and asphyxiated him by sitting on him and ignoring his complaints that he could not breathe should be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for killing him.

They are thugs in uniform.

Violent criminals wearing badges.

NYPD regulations forbid the use of choke holds.

I have written about the dangers of positional asphyxiation.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways:

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

Given the emphasis on educating first responders regarding the dangers of positional asphyxiation and the ban on using choke holds, no police officer can credibly claim today that they did not know they were endangering Garner’s life when they placed him in a choke hold and sat on him ignoring his protests that he could not breathe.

If they did not intentionally kill him, they certainly acted with reckless disregard for his life, which is manslaughter.

He was unarmed, peaceful and none of the officers were in any physical danger. They did not have to arrest him. If they were so hot and bothered about him selling untaxed cigarettes, they could have issued him a citation.

But, no. They just had to show him how tough they were, so they killed him.

Not one of them even attempted to resuscitate him.

Unless police departments are looking forward to a future where armed civilians gun them down at will in the streets, every one of them needs to go to prison.

This is our 1143rd post.

If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation to enable us to keep the lights on.

Thanks,

Fred


Jury selection starts Monday in Detroit porch-shooting trial

July 18, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Good morning:

The Theodore Wafer trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning with jury selection. Unfortunately for both sides, the judge is going to conduct voir dire. The lawyers will be limited to recommending questions for the judge to ask. This is consistent with the practice in federal courts.

Although I tried lots of federal criminal cases before judges I respected, I was never satisfied with the way the way they conducted voir dire.

Can you think of a reason why you can’t be fair to both sides, is a useless question because with rare exceptions everybody believes they can be fair, regardless of their biases or prejudices. In fact, most people are not aware of their biases and prejudices.

In Washington State courts where I also tried many criminal cases, the lawyers are permitted to conduct voir dire. I would start with a general question, such as, “Do you believe you have any biases or prejudices?” Regardless of the response, I would ask them, “Why?”

My purpose in asking that question was to start a discussion that inevitably led to an increased awareness of the role played by biases and prejudices on perception.

For example, a detective’s wife denied having any biases or prejudices until I asked her if she could imagine a situation where she would not believe a police officer’s testimony that conflicted with a civilian witness’s testimony.

She shook her head and said, “No.”

Have you and your husband ever had a disagreement about an event that both of you witnessed, where your memory differed from his and you were sure you were right and he was wrong?

This question elicited laughter followed by an embarrassed and knowing smile.

“I see what you mean,” she said.

This is our 1142nd post.

If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation to enable us to keep the lights on.

Thanks,

Fred


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