Tag Archives: law

The Wang Defense

Defense

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Iran unveils finger amputating machine for use on thieves

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Photographs appearing to show a blindfolded man having his fingers severed by the mechanical amputation device have been published by an official Iranian press agency.

According to the story, the prisoner used to demonstrate the brutal contraption had been convicted of theft and adultery by a court in Shiraz last Wednesday.

A series of pictures show three masked officials, clad entirely in black, holding the man’s right hand in a vice while one turns a wheel operating the guillotine in the manner of a rotary saw.

So yeah, hooray for human rights!

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Photos via INSA

Resisting arrest

Dash cam on police car captures how a chase ends. Clearly this guy was resisting arrest. Dang. (via)

Resisting arrest dash cam video

Thugs need lawyers too

What lawyers do thugs call when they really need to represent? No evidence, no convicition!

Thugs need lawyers too

(via)

Crime & Punishment: Clever Sentencing

Alabama judge orders shoplifter to wear signboards outside a local Wal-Mart proclaiming "I am a Thief. I Stole from Walmart."

We are a nation that loves to put people behind bars. An estimated 2 million people (1 in 142 people in U.S.) in America are incarcerated. The cost on this is astronomical and is requiring many states to get creative on how we punish people who commit crimes.

Sentencing is most restrictive at the federal level, where judges tally up the offenses and use a formula set by Congress to determine prison time. Felony and misdemeanor judges in every state have legal constraints on sentences, but many have leeway to add “special” conditions. Municipal courts, which generally handle traffic and misdemeanor cases, typically leave the most room for creativity.
 
I believe that we need to differentiate between the criminals who we are afraid of and the people who we are mad at for doing something stupid. I want to lock up bad people, but I am also in favor of unique punishments that are personalized for the convicted.

Here are some examples of creative sentencing that I applaud.

  • Judge Mike Erwin of Baton Rouge first ventured out of the rulebook in the early 1990s. A young man hit an elderly man in an argument “over something really stupid.” Erwin ordered him to listen to a John Prine song, Hello in There, about lonely old people and write an essay about it.
  • In 2007, criminal defense attorney Michael Steven Sherman of Wexford, Pa., asked a Butler County judge to reconsider making his client carry a photograph of the man she killed in a car accident after his family chose a photograph of the man in his coffin.
  • Judge Larry Standley in Harris County TX added mandatory Yoga classes to a jail sentence for a man accused of slapping his wife.
  • Matthew R. Willis will serve 30 days every year for a decade on the anniversary of the crash that killed a passenger in his car. He had been speeding and driving carelessly.
  • Every Friday for the next 10 years, as part of his sentence, Brandon Blenden must write a $1 check and mail it the parents of a girl who he killed while driving drunk. He must also write in the memo, “for the death of your daughter Whitney.”