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 8, 2003 |
Just three years after the Supreme Court affirmed its landmark Miranda decision, the rule that police must warn crime suspects of their "right to remain silent" is in danger of being effectively repealed, longtime defenders of the decision say. This week, the justices are scheduled to hear three cases -- from Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska -- that will determine whether there is a penalty when police fail to warn suspects of their rights before questioning them.
March 3, 2003 |
Thousands of juveniles tried as adults in the U.S. may be incompetent to stand trial because they are emotionally or intellectually unable to contribute to their own defense, according to a juvenile justice study released today. The study, directed by a University of Massachusetts professor, found that one-third of the 11- to 13-year-olds studied and 20% of those 14 or 15 years old had levels of reasoning and awareness comparable to mentally ill adults judged not competent to stand trial.
March 2, 2003 |
Hours after the nightclub fire here, the legal questions began flooding in. Children were left orphaned. What was the procedure for custody? Victims without health insurance faced costly and prolonged treatment for burns. Was there emergency protocol to help them? There was rent to be paid, mortgages to meet, car payments to remit. What if victims faced long-term hospitalization? What were they supposed to do for income?
March 1, 2003 |
Moving closer to holding military tribunals for captives from the war on terrorism, the Pentagon on Friday said it is considering a wide range of two dozen criminal charges that could be filed -- including murder, rape and poisoning. U.S. military authorities disclosed the list because they are seeking input from the public this month before finalizing the types of charges and deciding which, if any, captives should be taken before a military commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2003 |
When Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley announced three months ago that his office was wrapping up its investigation into the Rampart police corruption scandal, he made a point of informing the public that a key figure in the case -- former Officer Nino Durden -- implicated only himself and his partner, Rafael Perez, in any wrongdoing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2002 |
An unusual legal battle is shaping up between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Legislature over a new state law that lifts the statute of limitations for a year in certain molestation cases. Beginning Jan. 1, the law gives victims a year to sue any institution for employing a known molester who went on to claim another victim. By suspending the usual statute of limitations, it opens the door to cases that may be decades old.
September 15, 2002 |
It took guts plain and simple for Lawrence M. Friedman to write "American Law in the 20th Century." This is a topic of monumental scope, encompassing revolutionary changes in every aspect of law, from the rules regulating marriage to the basic structure of the U.S. government. Fortunately for those who seek an enlightening guide to this country's modern legal history, Friedman, a professor at Stanford Law School, has erudition and style as well as guts.
August 4, 2002
I disagree with the Aug. 1 editorial that supports repealing the Kansas (and all) criminal libel laws. While I support a strong free press, I am troubled by recent changes. Previously sacrosanct firewalls between the news division, management and advertising have been breached, and news gathering departments have been reduced, requiring reporters to rely on more limited sources for the facts. Many of the federal media regulations have been repealed, allowing single entities to control multiple media outlets in a single market.
June 14, 2002 |
The issue raised by jurors in the Arthur Andersen case Thursday--can the firm be convicted if they disagree about who at the firm is guilty?--is unsettled, with legal experts divided on the question. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon left the bench Thursday without answering the question, saying she needed to research the issue. "This is a gray area," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at Loyola Law School.