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Prosecutor: “You look nice. Would you like to serve your country by sticking your head in a toilet so I can see if you’ll drown?”

April 14, 2009

The WSJ Law Blog is reporting something that, at first glance, is, well, a shocking call for volunteers.  The Vilas County Prosecutor in Wisconsin is seeking women who are 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 140 lbs., who would be willing to stick their head in a toilet to see if it they’ll drown.  Apparently, the victim in the murder was depressed, so maybe they should do a depression screening of the volunteers.  It seems that might be probative.

It’s shocking, I suppose, but not really.  Why doesn’t the prosecutor just ask Donald Rumsfeld?  That’s what he authorized in Abu Ghraib and beyond, so I’m assuming there must be select government evidence on this issue and, since it is government evidence, it will likely show that one cannot drown in a toilet.  That would be torture.

Anti-Money Laundering Movement Strong & Steady in EU

April 14, 2009

Global Witness, an NGO wisely realizing that money is what drives many of the atrocities in Africa, recently published its report: Undue Dilligence (it can be downloaded on the link).  Not the type of NGO that worries about stepping on toes, it actually provides the names of banks doing business with corrupt regimes.  On the one hand, it would seem that it’s not the banks’ responsibility to ensure the actual practice and implementation of the web of ethics comprising a regime; however, anti money-laundering laws shift the burden to banks and businesses engaging with high risk governments and businesses to verify the source of any monies transacted.

At the same time, the UK Treasury issued the following warning to UK (and essentially, by extension, EU firms) doing business with countries deemed to not have adequate money laundering safeguards in place.  That means, law abiding businessmen have a legal obligation to outsmart some very intelligent criminals in verifying funds used to transact business.  Meanwhile, be careful to avoid all the politics involved, for where there’s money, there’s power, and where there’s power, there’s politics, and where there’s politics, there are indictments.

None of this is an easy task for a regular businessman trying to make a living and support a family in hard times.  Just ask the preeminent Ben Keuhne (albeit his case was on a smaller scale, but it demonstrates impeccable ethics and a reputation beyond reproach won’t necessarily be considered when the government uses 20/20 hindsight to second-guess decisions made).  As money is tighter for everyone, the laws are shifting law enforcement costs to the local businessman who is struggling to survive.

These were important topics scheduled for discussion at the G20, so expect more to follow as I get caught up.

Pakistan is going to crack down on money-laundering in caves everywhere

April 14, 2009

Under the heading don’t count your eggs before they hatch, Pakistan is passing anti-money laundering laws.  I classify this as akin to a dancer’s curtsy.  Pretty meaningless.

Miranda: You have the right to remain silent, the duty to tell the truth, and the misfortune of being questioned by a government with no such duty. “Trust me.”

April 6, 2009
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SCOTUSblog offers some characteristically excellent insight into Justice Thomas’s stay of a Florida Supreme Court decision addressing the contours of the ubiquitous Miranda warning. That got Simple Justice’s Scott Greenfield thinking as he offered some spectacular suggestions concerning potential modifications to the Miranda warnings (a must read), concisely reducing the problem surrounding the efficacy of Miranda warnings to simple bullet points anyone could understand.

Finally, even the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog chimed in on the issue.

I have nothing to add, for Scott Greenfield’s observations underscore that the problem is not Miranda, but so many other precedents, blind eyes, and realities that most of the judiciary will not acknowledge. I fear I’m becoming jaded in wondering whether it makes a difference one way or the other whether the Supreme Court takes on this “issue” when, inevitably, it will, at best, offer the illusion of fairness and justice and, at worst, affirm the reality of the criminal justice system.


Update to Gekommen Fliege Mit Mier

March 29, 2009

Though it was much anticipated (and not as bad as expected), GE’s Standard & Poore rating was cut from AAA to AA, as reported on March 13, 2009.

See Gekommene Fliege Mit Mier

Under Re-Construction

March 8, 2009

I am in the process of transferring this blog from Blogger, so please hang in there with me as I get all the links transferred over while also working to maintain the blog. Ultimately, this will be much better than before and, with your feedback, will grow to being worthy of being called a “blog.” Thank you! melisa l. rockhill

Update: Khodorkovsky Trial begins with a Deadpan

March 7, 2009

Click here to read the BBC’s update on Khodorkovsky’s trial (which began with the judge denying his recusal motion, while also dismissing top prosecutors).