Gavel Bangers; April 2014

crime and punishment

* Jurors find that  police used excessive force but that the plaintiff wasn’t injured in the beating.  [The Florida Times-Union]

The trial began Tuesday and ended Thursday after three hours of deliberations, during which the jury answered two questions:

■ They agreed that Rhoden and Cole [defendants, two deputies] “intentionally committed acts that violated Mr. Fussell’s [plaintiff] federal constitutional right not to be subjected to excessive or unreasonable force during an arrest,” according to language in the jury instructions.

■ But when asked whether defendants’ “conduct caused Mr. Fussell’s injuries,” they said no.

Although the jurors were not privy to Mr. Fussell’s lengthy criminal record (dating back to 1970), they apparently didn’t like him.  At all.  In essence, via their decision, the jury tacitly stated, “You deserved the beating and probably more for crimes we don’t know about.  No money for you.”



angry dog


* The DEA wins this month’s most idiotic argument against marijuana legalization ever: it’s harmful to dogs. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

From Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration,

WASHINGTON — Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a message for those considering legalizing marijuana: Please, think of Fido.

Testifying on the DEA budget during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Leonhart said she expected a number of things to happen after Washington and Colorado were allowed to go forward with the legalization of marijuana last year. What she didn’t anticipate was the impact on man’s best friend.

“There was just an article last week, and it was on pets. It was about the unanticipated or unexpected consequences of this, and how veterinarians now are seeing dogs come in, their pets come in, and being treated because they’ve been exposed to marijuana,” Leonhart said.


Backstory:  Leonhart was referring a recent USA Today story in which Colorado veterinarians expressed concern about the “increasing availability of marijuana appears to be driving an increase in pot-poisoned pets.”

Fact: According to a study by Colorado State veterinarian Tim Hackett,  two dogs have “died from eating large amounts of marijuana-infused butter” since 2000, when Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use.

This is the DEA’s head honcho’s  best anti-pot legalization argument.   Apparently even thinking about drugs kills brain cells.

That’s what we have for you this week. If you come across any particularly interesting head-scratching gavel bangers – please, send them in.

Have a productive week.

BNI Operatives:  Street smart; info savvy.

As always, stay safe.


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