Renewed attention to Amirault case contributed to Coakley’s political nosedive [e.g., Jacob Weisberg of Slate via Kaus, earlier] First time a Massachusetts prosecutor has paid a political price over that episode?
Many, many Democratic elected officials call for rethinking/renegotiating Obamacare rather than trying to force it through [e.g. Barney Frank] Blue Mass blogger: talk radio fueled ire at Coakley, let’s have FCC shut it down [Graham]
The Massachusetts attorney general and Senate candidate poses as the guardian of justice and civil liberties. Dorothy Rabinowitz knows better (earlier on the Amirault case here and here; on Coakley’s prosecutorial record here).
“In December, North Carolina state legislators barred sex offenders from coming within 300 feet of any place intended primarily for the use, care or supervision of minors. Three months later, Nichols was arrested at his home after attending Sunday services. He said he was ‘floored’ to learn that he had been picked up because Moncure Baptist Church has a child-care center for families attending services.” [AP/Google] More on sex offender laws: The Economist (“Unjust and ineffective”); Lenore Skenazy (predicate is often teen misconduct with other teens); Radley Balko, Reason (several Georgia offenders told to camp in woods, then told not to); earlier. Related: Oklahoma Citizens for Change.
California: “Feds Say Lawyer Took Bribe to Encourage Client to Lie in Immigration Case” [NLJ]
“Before you celebrate [the] seemingly wise anti-litigation statement [of the "Skanks in New York" blogger], take note that she’s suing Google…” [Althouse, earlier here, here, etc.] Dispute is female-vs.-female, but feminist lawprofs inevitably spot gender discrimination [Citron, ConcurOp; Greenfield]
“Ousted members of Florida chess board sue to reclaim their volunteer positions” [St. Petersburg Times]
Man freed after serving 22 years on dubious child abuse charges, but prosecutor who went after him is doing fine [Radley Balko, Reason "Hit and Run", Bernard Baran case, Massachusetts]
Khalid bin Mahfouz, plaintiff in celebrated “libel tourism” case against Rachel Ehrenfeld in England, is dead at 60 [Wasserman/Prawfsblawg]
Colorful University of Connecticut law professor lands in a spot of bother again after girlfriend’s arrest [Above the Law]
Federal judge says prosecutor in Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office allowed witness to testify falsely [WSJ Law Blog]
If even they can’t comply you know it’s bad: Federal Labor Relations Authority found to have committed unfair labor practice [Workplace Prof]
Poor England, perhaps it’s time to retire its reputation as a place of civil liberties [Ken @ Popehat] Related: we’ve cleared you of child abuse, but it’s too late to get your children back, beastly sorry about that [Neatorama]
When the judge writes well, even a slip and fall verdict can make for agreeable reading [Turkewitz]
Setting spies and informers against us in our houses dept.: I’m quoted about a bad idea under consideration by the New York legislature (Benjamin Sarlin, “Child, Animal Abuse Linked Under Albany Bill”, New York Sun, Aug. 20).
The old joke is that chutzpah is defined as the case of the orphan who kills his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he’s an orphan.
A pair of Philadelphia parents, however, may redefine the idea for all time. Danieal Kelly, who suffered from crippling cerebral palsy, was 14 when she starved to death in a West Philadelphia rowhouse, covered in bedsores, weighing just 42 pounds. Her mother, “Andrea Kelly was charged with murder on July 31. Daniel Kelly, who authorities say abandoned his daughter despite knowledge of her mother’s neglect, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.” (Three friends of the mother were charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury; four social workers were also charged with felony endangerment, which will no doubt screw up incentives further for over-reacting child protective services everywhere.)
The parents responded as any parents would, and sued the city, the state, city and state agencies, and four social workers, blaming them for Kelly’s death, and seeking damages for “love, tutelage, companionship, support, comfort and consortium” as well as the “economic value of her life expectancy”–which couldn’t possibly be anything other than the taxpayer-funded disability benefits. Public outrage has caused the lawyers, Brian Mildenberg and Eric Zajac, to substitute other parties as plaintiffs so that there is no direct hint of Daniel and Andrea Kelly profiting, but the underlying appallingness of the suit remains. (Julie Shaw & Catherine Lucey, “Lawsuit by Danieal’s parents called ‘disgusting’”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 13; Nancy Phillips and Kia Gregory, “Danieal Kelly’s parents sue the city”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 13; John Sullivan and Craig R. McCoy, “Nine indicted in fatal neglect of girl”, Phil. Inquirer, Aug. 1; ongoing Inquirer coverage).
Family members of the children Banita Jacks murdered, who apparently cared so much about the children that they didn’t notice Jacks had starved them to death months before they were discovered, “have hired lawyers to pursue claims against the D.C. government for failing to prevent months of neglect and abuse. … In interviews yesterday, the grandmothers’ lawyers declined to say when their clients last saw Jacks or her daughters.”
DC taxpayers will be thrilled to note that the city is refusing to rehire three workers fired in a scapegoating frenzy after the Jacks revelations, even after a hearing officer has held that the firings were unwarranted. More lawsuits to come. (Keith L. Alexander and Petula Dvorak, “D.C. Could Have Done More To Help 4 Sisters, Families Say”, Washington Post, Feb. 28).
For an example of the post-Jacks overreaction, see Hans Bader at POL, who has beat me to the Greg and Julianna Caplan story, which was also extensively covered in the Marc Fisher blog.
Get your copy today!My new book tackles the question of why so many bad ideas come from the law schools. "Cutting-edge commentary, hard-hitting, witty, astute." -- Publisher's Weekly. "Excellent... A fine dissection of these strangely powerful institutions" -- Wall Street Journal.