Make Excessive Bail Great Again. is, if nothing else, a safe haven for dumb-assery.  It’s what we’re famous for. Sure, we look like a maybe-a-little-bit-but-probably-not-really-legitimate home for justice-focused opinion. We excel in stupidity, though.

Legit opinions about “gold standard” police departments killing developmentally disabled kids because they won’t leave the movies? Sure, we’ve got it. Just don’t let the falling whale chunks hit you while you’re looking for it. Criticism of Obama acting like taking a stand on the death penalty hurts his head? Yup.  But you’ll have to flip by our most read post about Edward Snowden and his stripper girlfriend to find it. Pulitzer-worthy writing on the absurdity of parking laws? Absolutely. But it’s only there to suck you into… dammit, have you seen the exploding whale post yet?

We love saying stupid shit. And we love people who say stupid shit.  That’s why we love Donald Trump.  It doesn’t get much more stupid than Continue reading “Make Excessive Bail Great Again.”

The Nancy Grace Effect.

Next time your grandma gets finished watching the Laurence Welk Show, puts on her bifocals, and flips on Nancy Grace for her “evening news” it might be worth watching for a few minutes (or until Nancy starts frothing at the mouth).  I’m not saying it will be easy. In fact, I know it will hurt.

Nancy Grace is a horrible person. She demonstrates that to the entire world on T.V. and Twitter.  She’s horrible because she ignores your presumption of innocence.  She’s a troll for thinking everybody ever charged anywhere is guilty.  She’s an idiot for not caring about science or reason, especially when it comes to things like narcotics and the war on drugs.

How, then, can Nancy be so popular?  Not because of the psychotic-looking, thousand-yard-stare she takes on when she’s getting ready to get worked up.  It’s clearly not because of her “long” career as an “ethical” prosecutor.  Is it because of Dancing With The Stars? Nah. She couldn’t move her hooves well enough to beat Rikki Lake.

She’s popular because she follows the same tried-and-true, pathetic formula that will make anybody  in the world of criminal justice popular: She panders to victims.  When you pander to victims, and do it well, the public will love you. Even if you victimize the victims in the process.

She certainly didn’t invent victim pandering. Long before your grandma started watching her show, politicians had perfected the art.  Want to get elected? Say you’re tough on crime. Want to beat the guy who’s already saying he’s tough on crime? Say you’re tougher on crime, and you’ll listen to the poor victims that nobody is ever wanting to help.  Want to be a lawmaker that’s popular with the constituents? Pass a law- any law- that somehow deals with giving the “victims” a better voice. Or a bigger voice. Or stronger voice in “the system.”  Even if the law really does nothing.

It doesn’t matter how bullshit the law or claims of toughness on crime may be.  It happens in because it works.

That’s why little, scared, old people love Nancy. She’s looking out for the meek, voiceless victims.

What Nancy does, better than any of the other victim panderers, though, is demonstrate how absurd victim pandering is, and just how blindly the sheep will follow anybody masquerading as a victim advocate.

Imagine a poor, defenseless little baby. You know, one so young she can’t walk, can’t talk and can’t even fire the brain synapses enough to form a bad thought.  Hell, let’s pretend it’s even your baby. Now pretend somebody tried to kill your baby by putting it in the clothes dryer.

Pretty morbid, no? Horrible, yes? Not very funny, right?

Here’s how champion of victim’s rights, and national media celebrity Nancy Grace chose to describe that poor kid to the world:

That’s right. She just joked about a little kid- a victim– being stuffed in a dryer and put on permanent press.  The result? 139 of her twitter followers shared it, and 52 marked it as a favorite tweet. Who the hell would do that?

Don’t ask me. I think it’s despicable.  Nancy obviously doesn’t, though.  “Dryer Baby” was only one, in a long line, of her crass characterizations of the people she claims to protect. Let’s never forget “Box of Babies”

Or anymore of her horrid, victim-preying descriptions.

Therein lies the most pathetic, non-nonsensical part of victim pandering. That’s the idea that, if you can convince people to believe you will cater to victims, nobody will care about any of the details-  Even if you’re mocking victims and their tragedies in the process of pretending to protect them.  Nancy Grace does it every night, and your grandma loves it.  That’s the Nancy Grace effect.

 Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois. He doesn’t like Nancy Grace… even a little bit.

Same Sex Marriage is Serious Business in South Carolina, Apparently.

Please read and enjoy this filing in South Carolina as much as I do.  Stick with it until the end. It’s not easy, but please do.  This “legal scholar” lays out the most compelling argument against gay marriage: that he would be forced to “assume a life of protester and wedding crasher” preventing him from keeping the sabbath holy (and, thereby infringing on his free exercise of religion).  You can start at about paragraph 17 if you just want the funny (although, skip 18 which just says “etc.,”).

3:13-cv-02351 #83 by Equality Case Files

LAW DUDE TV 12/20/2013

Coming to you not so live from the Excessive Bail Studios …

Law Dude spits the truth on other lawyers, Tweeting the names of DUI arestees, roadside field sobriety check points, and the ABA’s BLAWG 100. Bear with us while we figure out this magical new media.


Here is the road block You tube videos.

The Police in California killed a 13 year old kid today… but at least he wasn’t disabled, maybe?

UPDATE: According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Police crime log, the call came in for a “suspicious person.”

UPDATE #2: The official Sonoma County Sheriff’s Police press release can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

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Scary place, that golden state.  Not just because of officer “Smith,” the unnecessarily aggressive cop.  Also, because other police out there shot and killed a 13 year old kid yesterday.  Reports of the shooting are popping up all over the place:


(AP) Calif. Sheriff’s deputies shoot, kill 13-year-old
Northern California sheriff’s officials and family members say deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica assault weapon.

Two Sonoma County deputies saw the boy walking with the replica weapon around 3 p.m. Tuesday in Santa Rosa. Lt. Dennis O’Leary says they repeatedly ordered him to drop what appeared to be a rifle before firing several rounds.

The boy fell to the ground. Deputies handcuffed him and began administering first aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. O’Leary says deputies also found a plastic handgun in his waistband.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Hey Matt, you’re jumping the gun on this one.  The kid was carrying replica weapons.  What were the police supposed to do?”

I hear what you’re saying.  I’m still concerned, though. Even if that kid had real guns, I’m curious to know exactly what he was doing.  Did he point one at somebody?  Did he make a move as though he might use one of these guns?

It sure doesn’t say that. From the way the article makes it out, he was shot for not putting the gun down. I’d hate to think the kid was just standing there, not putting the gun down, and he was shot for that.  Killing people out of impatience has become a sort of pet peeve of mine.

The closest you will find of any details on the incident are in today’s story from “The Press Democrat“:

Davis said he likely pulled up moments after the shots were fired because he could see someone lying on the ground, several yards in front of the patrol car.
In his video, Davis can be heard saying, “Police standoff … gunpoint. He said, ‘Don’t reach for the rifle.’”
Moments later, Davis says, “I don’t want to be here, actually. I need to get out of here. I’m in the line of fire.”
As Davis quickly crosses Moorland to get away from the scene, the video shows two sheriff’s deputies taking cover near their patrol car. In front of the patrol car, a body lies partially on the sidewalk and in a field of dry grass.
The shooting took place just as neighborhood residents were on their way home from work and school. Others were home when they heard gunfire.
“First I heard a single siren and within seconds I heard seven shots go off, sounded like a nail gun, is what I thought it was,” said Brian Zastrow, a resident on Horizon Way. “After that I heard multiple sirens.”

The police are typically forthcoming when they’ve chosen to use deadly force because somebody had pointed a gun at them (or somebody else).  Curiously, that hasn’t happened here.  I anxiously await the use of passive-voice and flowery language in the police press release.

UPDATE #2: The press release has been obtained and is printed, word-for-word, as follows (note the use of the phrase “and at some point immediately thereafter”):

Officer Involved Shooting Incident

This afternoon at 3:00PM, two Sonoma County Deputies were patrolling in the area of Mooreland Ave. and West Robles Ave., Santa Rosa. At that time they observed a male subject walking with what appeared to be some type of a rifle. They immediately called for an emergency response from other deputies and officers that were in the area. The two deputies repeatedly ordered the subject to drop the rifle and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times. The subject fell to the ground and landed on top of the rifle he was carrying.

After several commands ordering the subject to move away from the rifle deputies approached and placed him in handcuffs. At this point the subject was unresponsive. After securing the rifle the deputies began administering first aid and requested emergency medical aid from fire and ambulance. The subject was pronounced deceased at the scene by the responding paramedics.

The subject of the shooting is an unidentified male who may have lived in the area where this incident occurred. Once the scene was secured deputies learned that the rifle was a replica of an assault weapon. When the deputies searched the subject they also found a plastic hand gun in his waistband. Attached to this press release is a photo of the replica assault weapon the subject was carrying..

Pursuant to the Sonoma County Chiefs of Police Employee Involved Fatal Incident Protocol, this case is being investigated by the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Petaluma Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.

The Sonoma County Deputies who were involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine for such events.
Any media inquiries for this incident should be directed to the Santa Rosa Police Department per the Critical Incident Protocol.

Press Release prepared by Lt. Dennis O’Leary
Sonoma County Case Number 12-1022-17

Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out in 30 seconds if you feel the heat.

It’s been a minute.  That could be good, and it could be bad.  Good if you deserved a vacation from our drivel… which you probably did.  We know we did.

Despite the famous “Don’t let yourself get attached…” line from Heat, we’re still attached to this little site.  So, we didn’t walk out. We just took life-mandated break.  Nothing major.  It’s just that the stuff we do to actually put food on the table has been taking up too much time.

Regular posting should resume next week.  Expect a rant about the Supreme Court.  Consider yourself warned.