April 14, 1994 |
It was a warm August evening in 1888 when distillery owner John Laws shot dead a man he caught stealing two bottles of whiskey. Laws was convicted of murder. But a Texas appeals court overturned the verdict under a state law that allows residents to kill to protect their property at night. A Houston grand jury, relying on the century-old law, refused last month to indict a homeowner who fatally shot a man who appeared to be stealing his truck in the middle of the night.
December 11, 2008
In keeping with Shakespeare's observation that "he that filches from me my good name ... makes me poor indeed," someone suing for libel ordinarily seeks financial compensation from the person or publication that injured his or her reputation. But archaic laws in several states also allow libel to be prosecuted as a criminal offense, and a Colorado man accused of defaming his ex-girlfriend online now faces the possibility of 18 months in prison. The prosecution of J.P.
August 7, 1989 |
The right to privacy is at the center in the current battle between two candidates for governor over whether a proposed criminal law reform initiative could end up making abortion a crime. The wide-ranging Crime Victims' Justice Reform Initiative contains a section saying a defendant's right to privacy--among several other rights--"shall not be construed" to provide greater protections than those granted by the federal Constitution. State Atty. Gen. John K.
March 11, 2006 |
WHAT IF THE Supreme Court overrules Roe vs. Wade by allowing South Dakota's new abortion statute to pass constitutional review? Abortion, which has been governed in our time by constitutional law, again would be a matter of criminal law. The chief question would be: Who goes to prison?
January 27, 1994
Two teacher's aides at a Lawndale school who strip-searched students in December looking for a teacher's missing $400 will not face criminal charges, the district attorney's office said this week. The aides exercised "extremely poor judgment" in conducting the search of 15 students at Will Rogers Intermediate School, but did not inflict sufficient mental suffering to warrant criminal charges, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Monica Blodgett. Ten boys and five girls were searched Dec.
December 9, 2003 |
On July 16, 86-year-old George Weller plowed his 1992 Buick LeSabre through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. According to a preliminary California Highway Patrol report, road conditions were fine and Weller's car did not malfunction; he was the "sole possible cause" of the accident. Yet despite the fact that he killed 10 people, no decision has yet been made on whether to prosecute Weller for the incident. Then in August, another accident occurred.
December 9, 1998
Today, the White House defense continues. Testifying on the subject of prosecutorial standards for obstruction of justice and perjury: * Thomas P. Sullivan is a trial lawyer and a former U.S. attorney for Illinois. He is a senior partner at Jenner & Block law firm, specializing in civil and criminal law, and has taught at Loyola Law School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. * Richard J. Davis is a partner with the New York law firm of Weil, Gotschal & Manges. He was an assistant U.S.
October 17, 1994 |
Proposition 184, the "three strikes" initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot, would make no change in the law. Yet nearly every politician in the state embraces it--and the few who have doubts keep quiet. The opposition campaign is all but broke. A Times poll shows that likely voters favor the measure 58%-32%. But the prime sponsor, Mike Reynolds, on a nonstop crusade to avenge his daughter's murder, barnstorms the state as if legions of well-financed foes were attacking his initiative.
February 11, 1986 |
Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp sued three Kern County farmers Monday for allegedly applying a restricted pesticide on watermelons that sickened about 250 California consumers last summer. The civil complaints carry penalties ranging from $45,000 to $162,000, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1995
Sometimes we learn most about criminal law and its problems from the cases that do not receive much public attention. Who could have guessed that a seemingly simple North Hollywood case would connect the interests of battered women and animal rights and highlight an astounding discrepancy? In the case, a man stood trial last week on a charge that he knocked his girlfriend into a staircase with a blow to the face and then choked her.