Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I'm all fired up this morning

Florida gun law to expand self-defense
It is either a Wild West revival, a return to the days of "shoot first and ask questions later," or a triumph for the "Castle Doctrine" -- the notion that enemies invade personal space at their peril.

Such dueling rhetoric marked the debate over a measure that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) could sign as early as Tuesday. The legislation passed so emphatically that National Rifle Association backers plan to take it to statehouses across the nation, including Virginia's, over the next year. The law will let Floridians "meet force with force," erasing the "duty to retreat" when they fear for their lives outside of their homes, in their cars or businesses, or on the street.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in an interview that the Florida measure is the "first step of a multi-state strategy" that he hopes can capitalize on a political climate dominated by conservative opponents of gun control at the state and national levels.


Woman held illegally at St. Elizabeth's
A homeless Haitian immigrant who speaks little English was illegally held at St. Elizabeths Hospital for nearly three months despite a ruling that she be treated as an outpatient, according to an emergency motion filed by her attorney.
I never saw myself as the type to get into prisoners' legal services or mental health services, but the more I learn about it, the more it draws me in. I'm sold on it now. This article is about a woman who was ordered released from St. E's. When she was released, the staff called the police who arrived, arrested her, and placed her right back at St. E's. I like this line: The assessment that her client suffers from delusions of persecution, Davis said, "fails to take into account" how she was handled by St. Elizabeths last Tuesday. I'm probably the only person in the world who feels bad for John Hinkley, who is also at St. E's. He was crazy when he shot Reagan, was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and has been held at St. E's under the guise of his dangerousness to the community. It's my understanding that no one who is treating him believes that he is still a danger. But he will never, ever be released from 'treatment.' There are so many people who are locked up for 'mental health treatment' who are really experiencing nothing more than prison. Or what prison would look like if it offered any sort of rehabilitation.

A Maryland Mother's Regret Spurs Painstaking Legal Fight
The case has burrowed its way into Ettinger's psyche. He believes he has what many lawyers consider their greatest burden: an innocent client and no way to prove it.

City judge to enforce timely jail hearings Over the past couple of days, the Maryland Public Defender has secured the release of individuals who have been held for days for charges that won't even be prosecuted. The State's Attorneys are worried that there's a chance that someone who shouldn't be released will be released under the 24-hr order. I know that I'm meant to be a defense attorney because I'm appalled that there are innocent people lingering in jail for days without so much as a hearing.

1 comment:

carpundit said...

You are certainly the only person with any sympathy for John Hinckley. You have a big heart.

I used to investigate things at St. E.'s; I won't say more than that because I am anonymous as Carpundit. But I will say that I am not at all surprised someone was held unlawfully. It is a horrible, filthy, confusing, and mismanaged place. A warehouse for the forgotten and un-cared for.

As for that Florida law, I think it is probably a mistake. I am not aware of any rampant problem involving people having to retreat from danger in public and being harmed as a result. This is probably a case of "if it ain't broke...." But I think we should change the laws in states that impose a duty to retreat in your own home.