Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

The Duke Lacrosse Case is one of the wildest cases of false accusations by a prosecutor in our nation's history, and I can't recommend enough ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary, "Fantastic Lies." Concerning an update for my bullet point above: "In November 2013, she was found guilty of second-degree murder after she stabbed boyfriend Reginald Daye, who died 10 days after. She argued that she acted in self-defense, fearing that Daye would kill her. She was sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison."

  • I don't know what LeBron James was thinking by targeting the officer involved in the shooting of the teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio. If you want to express concern over whether deadly force was the only option, then fine. But the post below, which he quickly took down, is out of character for him. He doesn't make mistakes like this. 

  • There's a weird aspect about Derek Chauvin's conviction of the greatest charge which I finally completely understand.  
    • He was convicted of "Felony Murder" on the greatest count. That is kind of a weird law that says if you commit a felony and someone dies as a result of the felony, even if you didn't intend for them to die, you're guilty of murder. He was never charged with intentional murder, so even the prosecutors believed Floyd's death was unintentional. 
    • Here's an example of Felony Murder: Say you intentionally commit the felony offense of arson by setting a home on fire but someone dies inside the home even though you didn't know anyone was inside. In that example the "underlying felony" was arson but you've committed "Felony Murder" even though you didn't intended to murder anyone. 
    • In Chauvin's case, the "underlying felony" was "Third Degree Assault" which, when coupled with the unintended death of Floyd, gets you to Felony Murder.  From the Court's Charge:

    • So what exactly is this underlying felony of "Assault in the Third Degree"?  Third degree assault in Minnesota means you intended to commit misdemeanor assault (intentionally cause someone "bodily harm" which is defined as just "pain", that's it) but the result of your misdemeanor assault led to "substantial bodily injury" even if you didn't intend to commit substantial bodily injury.  That's the real kicker in this case. Here the jury found that Chauvin intended to commit simple assault (kneeling on Floyd's neck causing him pain) but they also found that it led to "substantial bodily injury" even if unintentional.  That gets you to an underlying felony of Third Degree Assault. (If Floyd would have lived but had been, say, in a comatose state because of being deprived of oxygen, the greatest charge would have faced was a Third Degree Felony Assault.)
    • Here's how Third Degree Assault was explained to the jury. Simple Assault + Unintended Consequence of Substantial Bodily Injury = Third Degree Felony: 

    • So step #1 is an intended misdemeanor assault got turned into unintended felony assault under Minnesota law.
    • But step #2 is that the case got elevated from Third Degree Assault to Felony Murder by yet another unintended consequence: Floyd died as a result of the Third Degree Assault. 
    • So you have Intentional Misdemeanor Assault + Unintended Consequence of Substantial Bodily Injury => Third Degree Assault + Unintended Consequence of Death => Felony Murder Charge.  
    • That's all a little crazy, right? Sure, no one cares when those "dirty criminals" are charged with nutty laws like this, but it looks a little different when the charge is used against a police officer.
    • Note: Most states, like Texas, require the "underlying felony" in Felony Murder to be a felony other than an assault. Arson as an underlying felony makes sense. Robbery makes sense. Burglary makes sense. If someone dies, even if unintended, while you commit one of those felonies then you rightly bought yourself a charge of Felony Murder. But Minnesota is different. I found this, and it explains it pretty well: 

    • Question: Do you think the jury understood any of this? 
  • I'd pay money to watch this. (Side note: Marjorie Taylor Greene hasn't read the 14 pages of the "Green New Deal" which she constantly complains about?)

  • Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed several references to "carjackings" in the news in the metroplex. And yesterday I heard firsthand of an attempted hijacking of someone I know in Denton. Examples: 

  • Something doesn't seem right to make it a crime to simply "watch" something without doing anything to encourage or promote it. 

  • A former Tarrant County prosecutor and district judge gets a quote in The Washington Post. He also represented Roy Oliver, the Balch Springs police officer who was convicted of murder. 

  • It looks like the Texas transgender bill will die in committee, and hard-liners are not happy

  • The UT Band will be required to play The Eyes of Texas this fall, but UT is also forming "another" marching band where the members won't be subject to such a requirement. I have no idea how this will work. When does this "other" band perform? And is it just an "additional band" or an option for an "alternative" band? I mean, do you have to participate in the main band to be able to also join the new band? 

  • You got to admit that the scheme is pretty impressive. 

  • It's NFL Draft time an my annual irritation of people saying, "You should draft the best athlete available" regardless of need. Sheesh. The draft is a crapshoot. You don't know who the best athlete is. Heck, most of the time NFL teams don't even know who the best quarterback is.