We're all going to prison...

The police have raided an art exhibit, confiscating a famous photo owned by Elton John

'Klara and Edda Belly-Dancing'' is among 149 images comprising Nan Goldin's ''Thanksgiving'' installation.

Not the image in question

Northumbria police said the photo was taken from the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, northeastern England. They confirmed Tuesday that an image had been taken from an exhibit ''to assess whether or not an offense had been committed.''

Both Goldin and the gallery have declined to comment.

''The photograph exists as part of the installation as a whole and has been widely published and exhibited throughout the world,'' the 60-year-old rocker said.

''It can be found in the monograph of Ms. Goldin's works entitled `The Devil's Playground' (Phaidon, 2003), has been offered for sale at Sotheby's New York in 2002 and 2004, and has previously been exhibited in Houston, London, Madrid, New York, Portugal, Warsaw and Zurich without any objections of which we are aware.''

And yet, at least here, according to current thinking, to look at it, or even to think about it might be criminal.

Gotcha ya.


The Magna Carta for sale...

Somehow it's fitting to me that in this day and age the Magna Carta Is for sale.


Convicted of an Uncharged Murder!

Kudos to Simple Justice for bringing us the inside tale of a how the system really works.

Let's see as SJ recounts it, the real story behind People v. Flores goes as follows:

In the normal course, the top count of depraved indifference murder was dismissed after the court inspected the grand jury minutes for sufficiency. So far, great. But from that point on, the case went downhill fast.

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice--for shame!

The Assistant District Attorney wasn't very proud of this dismissal, so no one was told of it and the decision was buried in the file. The defense attorney never bothered to mention anything to his client, and was subsequently replaced by a new attorney, who never bothered to read the file for the decision on motions.

The Court Clerk who marked the count dismissed did so in the wrong place, the wrong side of the file jacket. When the case was sent to a new judge for trial, the new clerk looked in the correct place on the file jacket and saw nothing there. The trial judge never read the file and didn't know of the order dismissing the charge. And the prosecutor never bothered to mention anything to anyone as the case went to trial.

And so the case was tried, and the defendant convicted of murder. And no one knew. Well, not exactly no one, as the Nassau County ADA knew that he had gotten a conviction for a dismissed count, but he was npt about to screw up a good conviction by dredging up bad memories.

It took a court data input clerk, about a month after the conviction, to realize that something went wrong. Very wrong. So what does he do? As an employee of the court system, he naturally notifies the District Attorney (who else would he tell?). But this time, someone realizes that they have made a huge mistake and word spreads about the murder conviction on a dismissed count of an indictment.

And so, the Trial Judge promptly vacates the conviction and chastises all involved, himself included, for this shocking failure? No, no. The Trial Judge decides that it doesn't matter. A conviction is a conviction, even without a charge, and sentences the defendant to the maximum. For good measure, he maxes out the defendant on the lesser counts as well.


Thirty Million for the Duke Boys?

Thirty MIllion Dollars!

Normally I'm all for sticking it to the state when they screw up, but the Duke case is now officially out of control.
Nifong went to jail today. Fine. I can live with that, even though I believe he's a scapegoat and that his disbarment and jailing does more harm to the system by intimating that this sort of thing actually happens when prosecutors cheat when in fact most do it with impunity and never get caught or sanctioned. But now the times reports that "the three students he accused were in talks with the city for a settlement of $30 million "

Are you kidding me?

That's grotesque. The DA has now done more jail time than the kids. There are dozens of poor and yes, black exonerees who actually spent decades in prison or on death row for crimes they didn't commit and they get pittances. Why do these kids deserve 30 million dollars? (And this On top of the huge settlement Duke's almost certainly already paid?) What's happening here is just more big rich white daddy extortion. It's shameful.


DNA? We don't care about that round here...

This should shock you. Despite the DNA Test, a Prosecutor Is Retrying Case

After the DNA results came back in 2002, The defendant, Mr. Brewer was moved from death row to the county jail, where he stayed for five years. Why? Because Mr. Allgood the prosecutor was still seeking the death penalty, Mr. Brewer was not eligible for bail.

After the initial negative, Mr. Allgood tested the DNA found on the girl against that of two men who visited Mr. Brewer at the house the night of Christine’s disappearance. The men were not a match. He also ran a second test that excluded Mr. Brewer’s male relatives. But he did not run the profile against the state’s DNA database, saying in an interview that no such database exists.

That was a surprise to John M. Allen, the assistant director of the state crime laboratory, who said, “We’ve been up and running on our DNA database for years.”

Gotta love it.