Police and prosecution roundup

by Walter Olson on August 12, 2014

  • Did feds try to pass off bogus paperwork in Maryland forfeiture case? [Van Smith, my two cents at Free State Notes, Radley Balko (and thanks for mention)]
  • “I’m not saying that warrants are completely useless.” [Ken at Popehat]
  • “Massachusetts is the only state that incarcerates people suffering from addiction who have not been convicted of crimes” [ACLU of Massachusetts]
  • “Where Would We Be If Not For Police In SWAT Gear Raiding Poker Games?” [Amy Alkon]
  • Class of federal crimes that shows the biggest racial disparity isn’t drug offenses, it’s gun offenses [Balko on Shaneen Allen case in New Jersey]
  • Our merciful laws: “I Saw a Man Get Arrested For a Sex Crime Because He Made a Scheduling Error” [Lenore Skenazy, Reason] “Sex Offender Laws Have Gone Too Far” [Matt Mellema, Chanakya Sethi, and Jane Shim, Slate]
  • Police chief seeks to arrest one of own officers on brutality charge, state’s attorney says no [Scott Greenfield; Ed Krayewski, Reason; Enfield, Ct.]

{ 1 comment }

1 gitarcarver 08.12.14 at 4:25 pm

RE: “Where Would We Be If Not For Police In SWAT Gear Raiding Poker Games?”

This somewhat proves the adage that the internet is forever. The raid that Alkon is talking about happened in October, 2012. Seven people were arrested. Five had the charges dropped and two entered a plea to have the charges cropped to misdemeanors and after a pretrial intervention, those charges would be wiped away.

The sites from the original article she cites are all dead. Every one of them. The Nutz facebook page hasn’t had an update in over a year.

There are two lessons from this: 1) do we really need police in riot gear to raid a poker league that was operating out in the open with “prizes” of gift certificates? Wouldn’t a “stop that” call from the local prosecutor have done the trick?

And 2) at the time:

[State Rep. Will] Weatherford, the incoming House speaker, wants to re-examine the state’s ambiguous gambling laws, adding, “there needs to be what I’ve called an adult conversation of what gaming should look like in the state.”

source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/poker-league-play-may-be-free-but-it-is-gambling-in-eyes-of-the-law/1258385

Today, two years later, the statute remains the same.

I would bet that the casinos in Florida put pressure on legislators to not change the law to protect their businesses rather than to let people get together and have some harmless fun.

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