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Random thoughts through January 24

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My Sunday blogposts sometimes veer beyond the law, including occasional consolidated random thoughts collected over the weeks on Twitter and elsewhere


In this day and age, we still find trial judges treating the voluntary sentencing guidelines as mandatory. U.S. v. Martinovich (4th Cir.)

4th Cir. affirms email threat conviction, including a rejection of complaint about an anonymous jury. U.S. v. White. 

Jonathan Turley on: “Orleans Parish Public Defender Announces That His Office Will No Longer Accept Serious Felony Cases.”

Missouri’s debacle with calibrating breath testing machines for DWI prosecutions is another example about how unjust it is to allow evidence of these machines’ testing results to convict people.

The Brutality Of Murder Does Not Justify Shortchanging Critical Protection At Capital Defendants’ Sentencing Trials

One-Size-Fits-All Prosecutorial Negotiating Approaches Disserve All Parties And Invite Patchwork Negotiating Over Jurisdictions And Time

Va. Ct. App. finds harmless error in separately instructing jury on flight from cop, in fleeing and eluding trial.

Virginia Court of Appeals affirms trial court’s denial of effort to withdraw guilty plea.

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of criminalizing refusal to submit to breath, blood and urine tests in DWI cases.

Former Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw got sentenced to 263 years for raping and otherwise sexually assaulting women in his custody.

It appears that Oklahoma juries simultaneously enter a not guilty/guilty verdict and sentencing recommendation. That is whacked.

ABA Journal asserts: “More than 25% of law students have had psychiatric and substance-use disorders; are they hiding it?” Mindfulness, meditation and non-duality can do wonders for depression.

In Hurst v. FL, SCOTUS confirms the capital jury, not the judge, must find the facts supporing any execution.


Georgia cop Robert Olsen has been indicted for killing unarmed Anthony Hill.

Alabama executes Christopher Brooks after he exhausts his appellate efforts. Each execution makes America more barbaric and not safe enough to justify the penalty.

Jonathan Turley has been writing about Hillary Clinton’s Email-gate.

Democracy Now on Ramsey Orta’s assertion of repeated police harassment after filming death of Eric Garner.

ACLU and EFF fight government use of evidence obtained from cell tower spoofer.

WGBH’s Vietnam collection.

Stephen Colbert tells it like it is about George Bush, II, in a White House correspondents’ dinner presentation that apparently catapulted Colbert’s career.

Sanders and Trump (dump Trump) come across as authentic, versus programed-sounding Hillary and Jeb.

Tina Fey reminds us how off the edge is Palin.

Full text of Palin’s endorsement of Trump. They are two peas in what must become a losing pod.


Carl Jung interviewed.

Thich Nhat Hanh on starting an internal conversation with those who are challenges to us.

Thich Nhat Hanh on letting go, beginning anew, and moving forward after booby trapping sandwiches eaten by children. See the video here.

Robina Courtin of Liberation Prison Project on being your own therapist.

A defendant recently asked how my effectiveness would be affected were I not so zealous for my clients. That zealousness is a key to my effectiveness and drives me in everything I do for my clients.

On Mingyur Rinpoche’s wandering.

Marc Lesser: Accomplishing More By Doing Less

It is great to treat others’ seeming trespasses against us as no more upsetting than we treat our own errors.

We can get angry at perceived trespasses and insults against us or else welcome whatever intelligence and learning those actions provide us.

If anyone says I am inhuman not to get upset over seemingly upsetting circumstances, I can check whether I am engaging (good) or disengagement (engagement always is needed).

Someone recently told me that he saw his business owner employer repeatedly yell into the telephone. What a poor example in all ways. When I am prone to yell, it can help to remember how ugly others look when they yell, plus a mindful breath.

When I first called to visit my teacher Jun Yasuda in Grafton, NY, in 1996, she said: “It’s Gandhi’s birthday.”

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us: “There is nowhere to arrive except the present moment.”

My webmaster is an example of calmly leading the way to cut through a multitude of technical issues.

Last weekend on a northbound Jersey Turnpike highway stop, I bumped into Enemy Within’s engaging and very expressive lead singer Bruce Ricci.

Looking beyond the plight of captive zoo animals, panda Tian Tian shows us what pure bliss is about.

Check out the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at the corner of Mass. Ave. & 21st. St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Phone customer service people can become anonymous targets for callers’ anger. Compassion is essential by both.

Ella sings of solitude, and I write about its power.

If Grace Jones were a trial lawyer, watch out!

Twenty-five hidden iPhone features.