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Comment Re:When will he be arrested? (Score 1) 666

You know what the cause of most fatal accidents is? Not alcohol, not drugs, not inattentiveness, but speed. Plain old speed.

Hence, laws against speeding. You know what we do in our county to folks who do over 90 miles per hour? They go to jail for a weekend... so, we SPEND MONEY on them (i.e. housing, food). Real revenue generator there!

Comment Also, false complaints drop too... (Score 2) 320

As somebody who frequently works with law enforcement, they get blamed for a lot of ridiculous (and completely false) stuff - I've seen officers get accused of assaults (and then exonerated when surveillance footage from a building shows they didn't even touch the suspect). A lot of our officers just recently got uniform-mounted cameras and the footage always shows that the complaints are completely unfounded.

Comment A very few games, yes. (Score 1) 127

When I was a poor college student, I sold my copy of "Star Fox Weekend Competition Edition" for beaucoup bucks... like close to $500. I also sold my copy of EarthBound for a considerable amount of money (I want to say like $200).

I recently wanted to purchase Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii, but found out I can't, because it's like $300 for a used copy. I can't do a pirated copy using an ISO image on the Wii because the game is apparently a dual layer disc and the Wii freaks out over that.

So, yes, some games will be (and are) worth money.

Comment Re:Why is this news? (Score 1) 457

Mail can't be opened without a warrant because it is against federal law to open mail without a warrant (unless it looks suspicious or dangerous), not because of the 4th amendment. Different animal entirely.

Again, email is a business record in the possession of a third party. You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in it.

Comment Why is this news? (Score 1) 457

Email, phone records, bank statements, etc. are all business records in the possession of a third party (i.e. your provider). Anybody can lawfully subpoena those records...

Maybe it's just because I'm a lawyer, but you have no right to privacy in something that you don't control and that other folks (read: employees of your provider) have access to.

Comment Re:VLC (Score 4, Informative) 210

That one asshole developer claims on his blog that it is "uncertain" whether or not the terms of the Windows Store are compatible with the GPLv2 and then goes on an incomprehensible rant about the App Store and Applidium (the developers of the short-lived iOS VLC app), all in the name of 'freedom'. As in beer.

So, yes, in short, he's still an asshole.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm Not Evil

A while back, I responded to "How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial," with my point of view - that of an assistant prosecutor in a very busy circuit court. I was sharply criticized and called everything from "the problem" to "evil", and just figured I should respond to some of those accusations...

Comment Re:Prosecutor's POV (Score 2) 897

Your right to a speedy trial only kicks in when the prosecution isn't ready, generally speaking. There's nothing that can be done if the Court isn't ready or isn't able to handle the case load. And on top of that, good luck getting the circuit judge to rule in favor of your motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial - the appeals court won't help you, either.

And speaking of unfair prejudice, what about prejudice to the State and the victims? Victims generally get tired of waiting around for justice... They move on, they get over it, and in some cases, they even DIE. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a victim who has told me, "I don't care anymore, just get rid of it." That's not fair to the victim or the State (but it's sure as hell beneficial for the defendant, who has been out on bond for 2 years waiting for his trial).

As for the State being ready, we're set for 40-60 jury trials a month and we can generally go on almost all of them. I'm pretty sure any challenge on speedy trial grounds in our circuit would not survive, as it would pass the speedy trial balancing test.

Comment Prosecutor's POV (Score 3, Interesting) 897

I'm an Assistant Prosecutor in one of the busiest (and understaffed) circuits in Missouri. We have two associate judges (who generally hear misdemeanor cases, one more than the other) and one circuit judge (who generally hears felony cases and most civil cases). We share our circuit judge with the other county in the circuit.

We get about one jury a month. Yes, ONE JURY A MONTH. In the third or forth busiest circuit in Missouri. How many jury trials do we have set in any given month? 40-60. We can only try one of those a month because the legislature won't give us another circuit judge. As a consequence, some of these cases are several years old -- some people remain in custody that entire time. And if a civil case is ready to try, forget it - unless you're accused of murder, you're gonna have to wait.

And you know what? The vast majority of them don't need to be jury trials. For instance, our ONE jury trial this month was an Assault 1st, Burglary 1st, and Armed Criminal Action. The defendant confessed on video tape to detectives - the confession was good and was not coerced in any way. We offered him a deal two years ago that would've resulted in probation along with drug treatment. The defendant demanded his trial (along with jury sentencing), was found guilty within an hour, and sentenced to 6 years in prison within another hour. While he got his trial, somebody in custody had to sit downstairs another month while this guy had his trial that wasn't needed (or could have been handled in a bench trial).

What's the solution? It ain't bogging the court system down, I can tell you that, because it's already bogged down enough!

Comment Kodak Scanmate (Score 1) 311

I work in a prosecutor's office that has gone "paper less" (because, unfortunately, law enforcement and the courts haven't gotten rid of their paper requirements) and we use Kodak Scanmate scanners to scan in thousands of sheets of paper everyday. They're excellent, moderately priced ($400ish), and I've never seen any of our ladies really have any problems with 'em.

Comment Re:Nothing new... (Score 1) 334


There's a difference between buying a phone off contract, which is what Apple (U.S.) previously offered and buying an unlocked phone off contract. One allows you to get your own service through AT&T without a commitment. The other allows you to get service through ANY GSM carrier without a contract.

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