Archive for March, 2010

Serial Killer Rodney James Alcala:  Bachelor #1 Has Reached His Expiration Date

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Yesterday, in an Orange County courtroom convicted murderer Alcala was finally given the death penalty. Through DNA, blood and fingerprint evidence, Alcala’s sordid resume includes the late 1970′s murders of 4 young women ranging in age from 12 to 32. Additionally, he raped and beat an 8 year old girl in 1968; that woman, now age 50, sat with the 12 year-old victim’s family as the sentence was administered.

Interestingly, Alcala has the dubious distinction of being a winning contestant on “The Dating Game” in the 1970s; ironically, the bachelorette who chose him later refused to go through with the date. Lady Justice can only speculate how that courtship might have ended.

March 10th, 2010

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Corey Haim: Another Falling Star

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38 year old 1980′s teen idol, Corey Haim, died early this morning in a Burbank hospital after collapsing in front of his mother at his nearby apartment. Early reports from authorities state his untimely passing was due to an accidental overdose, but a coroner’s office spokesperson said an autopsy would confirm that suspicion. If drugs (prescription or otherwise) are indeed the cause, then Haim would join the unfortunate pantheon of celebrities such as Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and Brittany Murphy to die from similar circumstances. A saddened Lady Justice is equally disturbed by this Tinseltown tragic trend.  

March 10th, 2010

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Privileges and Immunities: The Supremes Huddle Over the Second Amendment

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Last week the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago where the Court was presented with the restrictive gun registration laws of  Chicago, Illinois.  McDonald won a mail-order bid on a gun sold in Arizona, to be mailed to him in Chicago.  He had to wait for the gun to arrive before he could register it, in order to obtain the serial number and other information directly from the gun.  This information was necessary to finish the registration application process.  But the Chicago law said the gun must be registered PRIOR to its possession, and if not, it could never be registered.  Catch 22.  When he received his gun in the mail, he took it to the police desk to finish the registration, but they were unable to do so, due to the Chicago law.  The Chicago gun law is the same as the gun law in Washington, DC, which was overturned.  This case may well decide the scope and nature of gun laws for decades to come, and the final decision should be handed down within a few months.

Let’s put a smart 6th grader in charge of reading the simple language of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, which plainly state that the right of citizens to bear arms shall not be infringed.  What part of “shall not be infringed” is unclear?

Here is an article published in the LA Daily Journal by Southwestern University School of Law, Professor Joerg Knipprath, illustrating the history of the 14th Amendment as it relates to the McDonald case. \"Gun Rights\"

NB:  There will be a Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Attendees will gather on the northeast corner of the Washington Monument grounds at 10:00 a.m.

March 9th, 2010

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Goodwin Liu: The Latest Stone Thrown From A Glass House

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UC Berkeley Law Professor, Goodwin Liu, was nominated last week by President Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth is the largest of thirteen similar courts in the United States with the highest percentage of active judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Should Liu be confirmed, what ramifications will there be? Liu has been outspoken, to the point of being offensive, about Chief Justice John Roberts: “[His] record is cause for concern…his legal career is studded with activities unfriendly to civil rights, abortion rights, and the environment.” Unfriendly? The role of the judiciary is not to be friendly, or, unfriendly to any particular viewpoint, but to interpret the law as it exists in an impartial fashion.

Kent Scheidegger, a California-based expert on criminal law, points out Liu’s standpoint on the death penalty:  ”[He] takes the murderers’ side on every debatable point.  If confirmed, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be a vote to obstruct the enforcement of capital punishment in virtually every case.” For someone about to assume such an influential post, Liu appears to have just purchased property on Glass House Lane; he should take a few moments to drop any heavy objects in his possession and reflect upon his volatile and potentially hazardous views.  

Liu recently became chairman of the board for a progressive group that calls itself the American Constitution Society; it (and Liu’s publication, Keeping Faith with the Constitution) champions his view of the document keeping pace with the country’s current norms and values. Our nation’s current norms and values are founded in the same fundamental principles espoused by our founding fathers. A departure from such, by way of extremist ideals, threatens the very freedoms this country was founded upon and has continued to enjoy. Perhaps Liu should have considered the legislature instead of the judiciary so he could CHANGE the law as it seems he is driven to do.

Over time, these shifts will invariably deviate from tenets set forth by our founding fathers, setting a dangerous precedent indeed. This concept finds many feeling that he would not fit within the mainstream of a ruling body. Lady Justice shall keep tabs on the nomination process as it unfolds.

March 5th, 2010

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