In Justice?

Has anyone seen commericals for In Justice, a midseason replacement on ABC?

The show follows "the team from the National Justice Project" - a team that sounds quite a bit like the Innocence Project.

Heck, I like the Innocence Project. I did some Innocence Project work in law school. So, this sounds worth a try...


These modern-day heroes are not naïve crusaders. They're led by David Swain (Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks, Sex and the City,), an attorney of questionable ethics but unquestionable talent, and by his chief investigator, Charles Conti (Jason O'Mara, The Agency), a former cop who's willing to put up with Swain's idiosyncrasies in order to make sure that justice is done.
So, the only thing I question is why the leader has to be "of questionable ethics?" I guess because all defense attorneys are, right?

Grrr... But you know I'll give it a chance. And probably even write a review of the first episode.

I've already set my Tivo-brand digital recording device.

*Update: Indefensible has apparently already seen the first few episodes of In Justice and has written about it here and here and in the New York Times too!

Christmas Eve at the Try-N-Save

"Blonde," my mother said to me last week, "I'm so glad you're home!"

"Well, of course. It's Christmas."

"...Because I need you to go to the grocery store with me."

"Sure. Whenever." I figured maybe she needed to pick up a few last minute things for Christmas dinner.

"Right now. Let's go."

"Um... alright." I dropped my bags in my old bedroom and headed back out to the driveway.

As we drove to the nearby grocery store, I asked, "So, what do we need? Do you have a list? Maybe we could split it up?"

The best plan, I figured, was to spend as little time in the grocery store as possible.

"No, we just need to go straight to the customer service desk."

"Why's that?"

Wait for it... wait for it...

"Because I was just there. And I told them, 'I'll be back with my lawyer!'"

Yes, that's right. Talk about embarassing. Of course, there was some kid I went to high school with, still working behind the customer service counter as he probably has for the past ten years. What am I going to do, walk up to this guy in his green vest and say, "You may remember me from algebra class, but I'm a lawyer...?"

In talking to him, it turns out that my mother must go in there every week to quibble about some price in the weekly circular - usually trying to get a competitor's price or insisting that the ad is some sort of "bait and switch."

In the end, I used the skills I've developed best as a lawyer - bargaining and persuasion - and absolutely no law at all, to get my mother half-price on an entire cart of groceries. She was thrilled. Finally having a lawyer daughter became useful.

And the customer service kid was thrilled to deal with me instead of listening to my mother again.

Me? I'm the least thrilled. I know this means that I will be dragged to the grocery store, my least favorite place, every time I go home ever again.

Chronic- What? -Cles of Narnia!

Slate says:

If you haven't seen Saturday Night Live's Chronicles of Narnia rap, then you don't have any friends.
I just finally saw it last night, after it sat on my Tivo for over a week. But since I don't want any of my blog friends to feel friendless (or, to just be more of a loser than me), you've got to check this out.

(Also available on NBC, but I thought the first link was faster.)

There are so many parts to choose from, but I think "It's all about the Hamiltons, baby!" may just be my new all-time favorite SNL line.

*Oh, and by the way: What is Red Vines?

Buzzed Driving Is... Legal

Alright, this new "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving" ad campaign is killing me. And I haven't even seen the first ad yet.

Actually, I have seen this photo of a billboard and I just watched the commercial which is available here from abcnews.com.

For those of you who don't want to bother to watch it, I'll give you the rundown:

The scene is a wedding reception, winding down, slow song at the end of the night. You see one young man who is obviously wasted, stumbling around, stumbling up to the stage and banging on the band's drums.

The voiceover says, "It's easy to tell when you've had way too many. But what about when you've had one too many?"

Now you see an apparently sober looking man, drinking a last gulp from his drink before he and his wife head out the door.

Finally, the voiceover says, "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving."

First, let me start with the personal and get it out of the way. I don't condone drunk driving, I don't drive drunk. Throughout college, my friends and I always had a designated driver or just walked home. Now, I'm lucky to live in an area where I pretty much never drive anywhere, so it's not much of an issue. But if I go somewhere and I know I'm going to have to drive, say a wedding, I would probably have only one drink, two at the most, depending on how many hours I'm going to be there. It's fair to say that I err on the side of caution when it comes to drinking and driving.

Now the legal. The point of this ad campaign, I believe, is to draw the following line of thought:

Buzzed Driving = Drunk Driving = Illegal...
Therefore, Buzzed Driving = Illegal

Which just simply isn't true. It's a clear misstatement of the law. In fact, as a defense attorney, when we voir dire in drunk driving cases, one of the things that we want to be sure that every juror understands is that it is not illegal to drink and drive, it is only illegal to drive while legally intoxicated.

So, what is the legal definition of intoxicated? Simple. And very objective. A blood alcohol level above .08 is legally intoxicated.

How drunk is .08? Well, that's the part that's kind of subjective. Different people are going to feel and function differently at .08. This BAC calculator is kind of fun to play with and gives you an idea of what your BAC. Even MADD tells us that:
To reach a .08 BAC level, a 170-pound man would have to drink approximately four drinks in one hour on an empty stomach or a 137-pound woman would have to drink approximately three drinks in one hour on an empty stomach.

That's quite a bit. But, I think the question remains, how do you feel at .08? Do you feel, "Whoa, I'm wasted!" or do you feel, "Hey, I've got a little buzz on, but I'm good to drive?"

In speaking to experts on the subject (and I mean actual PhDs, not just people who drink a lot), it really just depends on the person. Experts tell us that people who drink very frequently may be able to function quite well, even at very high BACs. Likewise, ask around and you'll find that many people have been to parties where the drinks were either very watered down or not alcoholic at all, and yet one person who didn't know this stumbled around saying, "I'm getting sooo drunk!" Are they just faking? No, experts say that a large part of how drunk we feel or act is in our heads.

Other factors, besides a person's drinking history, is how much they've had to eat, their size, the types of drinks, the time period during which they had the drinks and the time period since the last drink.

(For example, imagine someone doing four shots of tequila and then immediately getting into a car to drive just a few blocks. Science tells us that they can't yet be intoxicated - the alcohol hasn't had time to enter their bloodstream. But imagine a cat jumps out in the street, they swerve to avoid it, and hit a parked car. When the police come, they're going to smell the alcohol. And by the time you get down to the station and take the test, he's going to blow a BAC much higher that what he had at the time of the accident.)

So, why is this ad campaign driving me nuts? What's so untrue about it? It's a real under-exaggeration of the legal standard for intoxication.

Look again at the "buzzed" guy. There aren't even any other empty glasses on the table! And he didn't even finish that one drink! True, he kind of bumped into the door. Maybe he's just klutzy. Or being gentlemanly and making sure there's enough room for his wife to get through the door. I don't think there's anything to lead us to believe he's had much to drink except that one gulp we saw - and there's certainly nothing to lead us to believe he has had "one drink too many." Unless we're going along with MADD and saying that even one drink is one drink too many.

Finally, what does all of this have to do with driving? Are buzzed drivers causing accidents? In general, the answer is no.

In the cases I've seen where a DWI arrest is made for someone driving with a BAC between .08 and around .12, nearly 100% of those arrests are made as the result of a checkpoint stop. In other words, the drivers with BACs at or near .08 simply aren't drivers that are causing accidents. Instead, in most of the DWI accident cases I've seen, and there's a lot of empirical evidence to support this, the BACs are higher - usually over .12. These are clients that, even when I interview them hours later, still smell like alcohol, still have slurred speech, and often can't remember what happened.

But I understand that a cutoff needs to be set. And I even agree that it should be set on the lower side, again, erring on the side of caution and keeping in mind that alcohol effects each person differently.

My real problem is with the use of the word "buzzed," a very subjective word, that to some people may mean that first warm feeling you get from just a sip of alcohol, and to others it may mean something a lot closer to "drunk."

(Kind of like some people think "hooking up" is something along the lines of making out or fooling around or whatever, and other people think "hooking up" means actual sex. It's all just slang. It's not like you can look it up in the dictionary and see what "buzzed" or "hooking up" means.)

And it seems that maybe this commercial wants you to believe that "buzzed" could mean one drink or less. There certainly is no further explanation as to how much the "buzzed" man in the commercial has had to drink. And yet, it's being equated to drunk and illegal driving.

It's misleading and it's a misstatement of the law. Many people rely on the media to tell them the state of the laws. When a new law goes into effect, or a law is changed, people expect to hear about it on television. I'm concerned that people will mistake this advertisement for a report on the current state of the law. And, I don't want any juror who has seen this commercial or who believes it, for fear that they may substitute this advertisement's misstatement of the law for the actual law, despite the correct instructions from the judge.

Someone's Been Eating My Porridge Too!

If the boys at Barely Legal let me leave comments (c'mon guys! how about a special privilege for me?), I could have told them that Santa also hit my house that year. And after he dropped off my Barbie Dream Kitchen (TM), he finished off a case of my father's Budweiser!

That Santa, man... just think about how many beers he must drink in a night! Next year, we might need to do an intervention or something...

Will Blog For Books

When I saw this book review at Public Defender Dude, my first thought was, "Why doesn't anyone ever send me books to review?" Actually, that was my second thought, after, "Hey, this book looks interesting, I'll have to get it."

But, no, seriously, why doesn't anyone send me books?

Then I thought that maybe it's because I never write about books here. But, that's because I worry that someone will read it and say, "Hey, I know a lawyer who has been reading that in court for the past week or two... hey, come to think of it, she's blonde... and she wears pink everyday... whoa. Coincedence? I think not."

Yes, I'm quite paranoid about the anonymity thing.

That, and it would probably take a lot before I'd give some random "author" my real name and mailing address.

So, nevermind, I guess I'm not getting any books to review any time soon. But I will find Death Row Defender and let you know what I think.

Merry Christmas!

There's this woman at my church who sings horribly.

Not that I should say anything, because I'm not exactly the world's greatest singer either. That's like the porcelain calling the enamel white. (How about that one? Do we like that one? I still feel like I can do better.)

But the thing is, she sings really loudly. Very loudly. The-whole-church-can-hear-her loudly. I have to avoid sitting anywhere near her because it will throw my almost-on-key singing off completely.

I was never quite able to figure out whether she doesn't realize how terrible she sounds, or maybe she just gets so into the music that she doesn't care. But then she joined the choir - which made me figure that she just doesn't know. The poor choir director. Just imagine.

But it gets worse. This year, she has taken it upon herself to organize a trip to the local jail to sing Christmas carols for the inmates.

There are just so many jokes to be made here... My mind is on overload... Help me out here, people...

"...Captive audience..."

"...Cruel and Unusual Punishment..."

"...John McCain and the torture bill..."


Ultimately, though, I feel like maybe I have some responsibility to do something. My clients will be the victims here. Maybe I should see if I could get my office to take some action. At least warn our clients.

I keep thinking that I should send my jail clients Christmas cards, that read, "May your holidays be merry, and may your ears not bleed too much!" Probably too late for that.

Luckily for them, though, many of my clients have recently converted to Islam. And after her holiday concert, the rest will soon be headed for that conversion too, I suspect.

Number Two! That's Who Did It!

Hey, did you all get a chance to see this line-up on Tales of a PD Investigator?

I'm the tallest of the bunch! (If you don't count the horns.)

With photoshop skills like that, I bet he can do a lot of good for his clients. If you know what I mean. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. I've got some pictures of my clients caught in the act that could use some of sanchovilla's treatment.

Go ahead, check it out. And don't be afraid... it's a one-way mirror, the suspect can't see you.

Queer Eye, Take Two

I guess there isn't anything left in this world that can't be commercialized somehow...

With Damon expected to shave his beard before the press conference later this week, Philips Norelco has extended an offer to the newest Yankee.

The company has offered a $15,000 donation to the charity of Damon's choice if he does the deed with an electric shave courtesy of Philips Norelco.

(From MLB News)

Pot, Meet Kettle

I used the expression "pot calling the kettle black" the other night, and the person I was speaking to replied, "That's a racist expression, you know."

Well, I had certainly never heard that, or thought of it that way. I've always just assumed that it came from both a pot and a kettle being black, and, therefore, for one to call the other black is just ridiculous when it is the same thing.

So, I turned to my old friend Google. Here's the best explanation I could find:
POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK - The "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris has more detail about this phrase than other reference books: "There are two slightly varying interpretations of this phrase, which is used figuratively to apply to persons. One theory is that such action is ridiculous because they are both black, presumably from standing for years on a wood-burning stove or in a fireplace. (Note from ESC: iron pots and kettles are already black when new.) So the pot as well as the kettle is black (evil) and neither one is better than the other. This supports the explanation of the phrase as given in 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable': 'Said of one accusing another of faults similar to those committed by himself.' The other theory is that the pot was black but the kettle polished copper and the pot, seeing its own blackness reflected in the shiny surface of the kettle, maintained that the kettle, not it, was actually black. In any event, it seems that the best, if slangy, retort by the kettle may have been: 'Look who's talking!' Usually the source of the phrase is given as Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' and simply as 'The pot calls the kettle black,' but another version of Don Quixote comes out as: 'Said the pot to the kettle, get away black-face!' Henry Fielding, eighteenth century writer, reverses the roles in 'Covent Garden Tragedy': 'Dares thus the kettle to rebuke our sin!/Dares thus the kettle say the pot is black!' Even Shakespeare used the idea in 'Troilus and Cressida': 'The raven chides blackness.'"


Here's another good explanation.

The only real mention I could find of the possibility of this being a racist term comes from this discussion board. I, personally, don't rely too much on information from discussion boards - there is no reason to believe that any of the commenters are linguists or historians. For all you know, they can be the same dumb people you wouldn't bother to listen to in a debate in person.

Here's a quote that I liked though:
What is it that you (i.e. the objector, as a black person,) find so objectionable about the phrase? Would a Native American object to the phrase "A stop sign calling a fire engine red"? Would an Asian American object to "a banana calling a lemon yellow"?


Actually, I like that quote so much, I'm thinking about using either of those two alternative quotes now. Or, maybe in the interest of avoiding any possibly racist colors I should make up one of my own. How about "That's like the grass calling the pinetree green?" Yeah, I know, kind of lame. And it might insult the leprachauns. Or the Irish. Maybe I should pick a color that can't possibly offend anyone - but what color is that? I'll have to put more thought into it.

So, anyone else? Any thoughts? I may not trust strangers on a discussion board, but I trust my readers. Anyone else think that this is a racist phrase?

Songwriting 101 - Write What You Know

Here's a song I wrote on my way to work:

Pee River
(to the tune of Moon River)
pee river
running past my feet
you're running down the street
today


That's all I got so far.

Hey Lady!

Sometimes, when I'm in the pens behind the courtroom, speaking to my client, other prisoners decide that they want to talk to me too. Sometimes they want to know when their lawyer will be there, or if I can relay a message to their lawyer, sometimes they just want to vent: "I've been waiting back here all day!" Um, okay, sorry to hear that.

Of course, they don't know my name. So I've gotten used to a constant barrage of "Hey Lady!"

I'm thinking of getting one of these shirts to wear under my suit jacket.

If only they made a blonde version.

"Some Pig"

If you read any of those law student blogs (there's a bunch of them in my blogroll if you're having trouble finding one), you know that law school can be boring. And, if you're a lawyer who went to law school say, more than 5 years ago, you may not be aware of how technology has changed how students deal with boredom.

My first year of law school, I don't think that we had internet access in most of the classrooms. By the second year, we definitely did, but by then I only took classes I was interested in (that means, mostly only classes that I could see as being applicable to criminal defense), so I either didn't bring my laptop or wasn't that bored. By second and third year, I was also in a lot more small classes and clinic type classes that didn't allow me to hide behind a laptop.

But, first year, I was bored, I had my laptop, and I didn't have internet access. Like the rest of my class, I resorted to endless hours of computer games. My favorite was Snood. And, if you'll allow me to brag just a little, I was good at it.

I'll never forget, that one day after Con Law, when some guy came up to me and said, "Hey, I saw the way you play Snood. You're real good." I finally knew what it would have felt like to be the star of the basketball team.

Another fun thing to do, especially in Civ Pro, which was at the end of the day, when Snood exhaustion took hold, was to paint. Paint is free software that comes with almost every computer, so there's nothing to download. And you can really let your creativity run free. There's nothing you can't do.

I liked to pretend I was the court sketch artist of the classroom, and draw little classroom scenes. Usually with things like "Kiss Ass" written over gunners' heads, that sort of thing.

Sometimes I'd just draw random things. Landscapes, Animals.

Ah, those were the days. When we law students thought we had it so bad. But for months out of the year, we just played computer gams. And then, I'd go home for lunch and take a nap. Aaaah.

What made me just remember all of that?

Oh, I know. Just like I'll always remember the props I recieved for my mad Snood skillz, I'll always remember when a girl who sat behind me in Civ Pro.

"I just wanted to say that I really like all of your drawings. Anyway, I noticed that pig you drew today. I don't know if you know this, but you can tell a lot about a person by the way they draw a pig. That long curly tail you drew? It means you have a great sex life."

"Oh, um, okay." That was really all I could say.

Now you can draw your own pig here, whether you're a law student or not. (Link via The Happy Feminist.)

(Title thanks to Charlotte. And her web.)

True Life Law & Order

Let's talk about the first three minutes of this past week's Law & Order. You know, the first scene, which usually ends with a "witty" one-liner and leads into the theme song.

Ok, so this past week, the scene starts with pages and papers flying around the street. An older woman is clutching some of the pages, and she approaches a police officer, who is writing a parking ticket.

Immediately, the police officer says to her, "It's too late, lady, I already started writing the ticket."

After she tries to explain, he realizes that the pages she's holding have blood on them.

He finds the dead body, Detectives Fontana and Green show up. They talk to the woman briefly about what she saw, and tell her that they'll get a car to take her home.

Stop! What's wrong with this scene?

Yes, they would've gotten a car for the woman. A police car. To the station. Where she would have been charged for bribery. For approaching an officer who was writing a ticket, while holding papers out to him.

The fact that it wasn't her car, or that she wasn't trying to get him to stop writing the ticket don't really matter. That can all be sorted out after she spends a night in central booking.

And some brand new D.A., who took the job thinking she'll get some trial experience and make a difference in the world, makes a bail application about how this old woman obstructed justice AND bribed a police officer. That she's a flight risk because she has a winter home in Florida. Maybe, with the wrong judge on the bench, her kid will have to come post bail for her.

Don't believe me? Come follow me in arraignments one day.

Book For New PDs

I have a book to recommend for the new public defenders out there.

It's called What Patients Taught Me : A Medical Student's Journey by Audrey Young.

I read it a couple of years ago, when I was a brand new public defender. At the time, I thought it was just interesting timing, how it seemed to tie-in to some of the things I was learning.

Now, working with the brand new public defenders, I feel like maybe they'd get something out of reading this book.

I'll admit, I have terrible reading comprehension. Actually, just a terrible memory. I can't remember the ending of a movie I saw a few weeks ago. (Which is nice, I can watch it again, and it's always a surprise!)

But, here's what I remember from What Patients Taught Me: The author, who is a medical student, is doing her internships or rotations. She meets with the patients, gets their basic information - symptoms and medical history, and then has to go to the actual doctor before she does anything to say, "This is what I think the problem is, this is what I'm going to recommend."

In the beginning, she gets frustrated, because the experienced doctor, always asks her, "Did you check for this? Did you do this? Did you ask this?" and always wants her to boil the medical history down more concisely.

And, eventually she learns how to do it! And then she's a good doctor!

There's a lot more to the book (and it's all good), but that's what I see the new lawyers having a lot of trouble with - looking at a client and their case, and knowing what's important, and what's not.

So, for example, a brand new attorney will come to me in arraignments and say, "Ok, I talked to this client. It's a shoplift. He says he did it."

My response? "Ok, How old is he? Does he have a record? What kind of sentence did he get on his last shoplift case(s)? Could he be ROR-ed? Could he make bail? Drug problem? Drug program?"

And the new attorney's usual response is "Oh, I don't know. Let me check."

And I think that's about learning what's important (for arraignment, you're looking at whether or not the client will be released, whether or not they can or should take a plea, and, if so, what is the best plea you can work out), and what's not as important (whether or not he says he did it).

So, I recommend this book. (I feel like I'm on Reading Rainbow! I always wanted to be one of those kids!)

I will warn you, I remember there being very sad parts to this book. I probably cried. But, then again, I cry at almost anything. Oh, and, the good news: There is no law involved whatsoever. Because you're dealing with enough of that every day.

Da-da-dun!

And The Nominees Are...

The 2005 Weblog Nominees have been posted. I'm sure checking out the list of Best Law Blog Nominees will keep me busy for a few days.

Ahem. No Blonde Justice? That's ok, many of my favorite blawgs are missing, but at least all of the great ones have the honor of being on my blogroll!

The Guards On The Bus Go...

Look at me! I'm up on current events!

A fan, who has been my tipster for a couple of posts now (and who wants to be a Public Defender when he grows up - that is, graduates from law school - because he thinks I'm super cool), pointed me toward this story.

It seems that this woman, Deborah Davis, was arrested in Colorado for failure to show proper identification when riding a bus.

This leads me to wonder... what is the proper identification required for riding a bus? A passport? Driver's license and birth certificate? Proof of citizenship? A letter from your mom?

The case has now been dropped, but a rally is still planned for tomorrow (Friday). People are also encouraged to ride the buses without identification tomorrow (and anytime thereafter, of course).

Not within commuting distance to Colorado? Letters to the editors of the local newspapers are also appreciated, as are donations to the ACLU.

Absolute MUST READ

If I could pick only one blog post in the whole world that I wish everyone, and I mean everyone (especially potential clients, and friends of friends that call me to ask me about their case) would read, it's this one:

Not Guilty: And then I said

Please. Go read it now.

And don't ever whine to me again, "But they didn't read me my rights!" or "But the cop told me that if I just told him where I got the gun, the case would be dismissed!"

Went to a party last Saturday night...

A little dinner party.

Before the party, I put some thought into coming up with an alternate career for the night. But, since I know the host through law school, I thought it might be hard to pull off. I also thought about coming up with another term for my job...

You know, like how garbagemen are now "sanitation engineers," and hairdressers are now "aesthetic assistants," or some crap? I thought maybe if I could make my job title confusing enough, no one would ask me any questions.

I tried to make up something like "case manager for a non-profit" or something... but, no, that would only lead to "What kind of non-profit?" and, then, I'd have to admit what I do and it would probably just make me look like a liar for saying "case manager."

But, as luck would have it, the man I ended up sitting next to never really asked me about my job. Instead, we chatted for a while about his job. He's a stockbroker or investment banker or something. We talked and talked about stock tips, my (non-existent) portfolio, my (nearly-non-existent)retirement fund, and my parents' portfolio.

After a while, I started to feel guilty. I knew I was doing to him exactly what I wanted to avoid.

So, I 'fessed up.

"Ok, I feel bad. I'm a criminal defense lawyer. If you have a cousin that got arrested that you want to ask me about, go ahead."

"No, not really."

"Well, ok, a friend? You? Do you have a case you want to talk about?"

"No, no one I know has been arrested."

"Well, do you want to give me a hypothetical? Ask me if you could get arrested for doing something? Maybe you could ask me about a celebrity's criminal case? Something well publicized?"

"No, that's ok."

And, finally, I felt guilty about not revealing my true identity. But I did get some good stock tips out of the deal.

Or... I'll Get The Reward and Post Your Bail!

I love it when people write to me to tell me how much they love the blog, that they are big fans, or that they want to be a public defender someday. I don't always write back, but that's because I really am unbelievably busy.

A week or so ago, "a big fan" wrote and referred me to this story out of Albany, NY.

It's an interesting read. Definitely sounds like the juicy kind of plot that doesn't come along that often. (Law & Order take note, you might have a potential plotline here.)

It seems that a woman, who was previously a man, has been arrested for killing her mother. When she was a man, she had been convicted of murder, so this is her second murder (but first as a woman). The police didn't have anything but a theory, so they brought in all of the suspects' crack-addicted friends and questioned them, all the while leaving a poster on the table which offered $150,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. The poster also had, in small letters, "This is not real, you stupid crackhead."

The article seems to focus on the use of trickery, in the form of a poster. I don't have a real problem with that. I hope that most people know (and I wish that more people knew) that the police are allowed to lie to you or trick you in whatever way they can think of, to get you to talk.

I am slightly concerned that they thought they'd get anyone to talk to them after using the words "you stupid crackhead." I would hope that most of their witnesses would say, "Hey, I was going to tell you what I knew, but not after you insult me like that." But I guess it didn't stop someone from talking, so who am I to second judge?

More than that, I'm concerned that the police are making an arrest where they don't have any evidence besides the word of one of these "stupid crackheads." It seems a lot like the problem of the jailhouse snitch to me.

Finally, I'm most concerned with this:
Last week, Thompson was released on $100,000 bail after having spent the last seven months in Albany County jail. A grand jury has not reviewed any evidence in the case.
7 Months? They can hold someone for 7 months without an indictment? Knowing that you can indict a ham sandwich, they couldn't throw this case into the grand jury? Maybe someone who has practiced up in this area can shed some light, but that seems like an awfully long time to hold someone without an indictment. The only possibility I can think of is that her attorney waived her speedy trial rights in exchange for... her release on bail possibly?

Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

An attorney came up to me just outside the courthouse.

"Hi, are you Blonde Justice?"

(No, not like she "outed" me. She just asked me to confirm my name. She used my real name. You get it, right?)

"Yes..."

"Hi, I have this client... he wouldn't really talk to me when I tried to interview him. The only thing he would say is, 'If you want to know anything about me, just ask Blonde Justice.'"

"Uh oh."

I immediately knew what this meant.

My favorite client has been re-arrested.