Animal Liberation Activist Jonathan Paul on the Grand Jury Process as a Tool of State Repression

By: Friday November 9, 2012 9:05 am

It’s been about six weeks since two anarchist activists were thrown in a Seattle jail to force their testimony in a grand jury hearing ostensibly convened as part of an investigation into vandalism at a May Day rally. Neither activist has been charged with any crime, nor are they suspects in the case. They are simply people who may or may not have knowledge that could potentially help the FBI with its investigation.

Since their testimony could tend to incriminate themselves, their fellow activists and the causes they stand for (that’s the whole point of the exercise, after all), the two activists have refused on principle to participate. Now they could be locked up for as long as 18 months without a single charge being filed against them, for doing nothing but refusing to help the government crack down on their movement.

 

Zimmerman Case: The Defense Subpoenas for School Records and Social Media Accounts Were Proper

By: Saturday October 20, 2012 5:00 pm

Assume GZ were convicted of murder 2 and O’Mara had not presented any character evidence that TM was kown to be an MMA-style fighter and aggressive bully who picked fights. As I have stated elsewhere, such character evidence would have been admissible regarding who was the aggressor.

Let’s put aside and forget for the moment that introducing evidence of that pertinent character trait would open the door to allow the State to present evidence that Zimmerman was an aggressive bully.

Further assume that O’Mara had not subpoenaed TM’s school records and they did contain evidence that TM was an MMA-style fighter and aggressive bully who picked fights. I do not believe this is true, but let’s assume that it is for purposes of this teaching moment.

Yet another federal court rules DOMA unconstitutional – in an opinion by Republican-appointed judge

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 4:00 pm

From the federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, news that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is about to go on life support.

Medical Marijuana Gets Its Day in Federal Court Tomorrow

By: Monday October 15, 2012 11:04 am

Medical marijuana will finally get its day in federal court tomorrow. On Tuesday the United State Court of Appeals for the DC district will hear oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration regarding the scheduling of marijuana.

Marijuana is currently listed as a Schedule I drug, which according to federal law Schedule I substances “have a potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” Because marijuana is legally considered to have no accepted medical use it can’t be legally prescribed under federal law, even though 17 states have approved the medical use of marijuana.

The State Is a ‘Black Hole’ Seeking to Swallow Up People for Their Radical Beliefs

By: Friday October 12, 2012 4:40 pm

“My convictions are unwavering and will not be shaken by their harassment. Today is October 10th, 2012 and I am ready to go to prison,” declared Leah Plante, in a statement issued before going to jail.

Plante was imprisoned at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center in Seattle on October 11 for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury. She entered a jail cell knowing she could be imprisoned until March 2014. But, she was resolute and chose to resist because talking to the grand jury would mean succumbing to fear and isolation. It would mean enabling the targeting of people in society for their political beliefs.

Studies Show CEOs Not Subject to Same Rule of Law as You

By: Friday August 10, 2012 12:40 pm

The prosecutors, the rich, the politicians: all buddies in the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and power. How could one of them possibly be a cheat? And if there is a slip-up, they cover up.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Contraceptive Mandate in Health Care Law

By: Saturday July 28, 2012 11:00 am

A federal court has temporarily blocked the Obama Administration’s contraceptive mandate for one Colorado air conditioning company, in the first of what promises to be several legal fights over the regulation, ultimately winding up at the Supreme Court.

The ruling comes in a case brought by Hercules Industries, which argued that they should not have to comply with the mandate of providing free contraceptive coverage for their employees because it violates the religious beliefs of the owners.

Late Night: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury

By: Saturday July 14, 2012 8:00 pm

“In exactly 10 seconds when the clock over the door in the back of the courtroom strikes 12, the alleged victim in this case will open that door and walk into this courtroom alive and well.”

Innocence Ain’t Good Enough to Get Out of Prison

By: Friday June 15, 2012 11:45 am

Despite the change in the law in 1993 reducing the maximum potential penalties for many minor felonies to less than one year incarceration (i.e., changing the offenses to non-felonies under federal law), the state continued to refer and the feds continued to accept and prosecute cases charging people with felon in possession of a firearm where the prior felony conviction was no longer technically a felony conviction under federal law.

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