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December 2004
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February 2005

althouse asks why

This evening, Prof. Ann Althouse tells about her "sad experience" in weblogging ("Right and left: my sad experience," Jan. 31, 2005):
"bloggers on the right link to you when they agree and ignore the disagreements, and the bloggers on the left link only for the things they disagree with, to denounce you with short posts saying you're evil/stupid/crazy, and don't even seem to notice all the times you've written posts that take their side."

Prof. Althouse asks why this sad situation exists.  At my weblog, f/k/a, I have given my perspective and hope others will join in, either here or there. 

Eminent domain events

Thanks to Eminent Domain Watch for posting my Liberty article on how government and corporations conspire to steal your property.

On Friday, I’ll be in Cleveland to speak at the Federalist Society conference on eminent domain. You will be able to watch my presentation live on the web. Information on that will be forthcoming shortly on this website. The (short!) paper on which my talk is based is here. Unfortunately, I will not have time to go over all of it, so please read it!

Also, I have updated my bibliography on public use.

Update: Prof. Bell has some thoughts.

--Timothy Sandefur

Who Wrote that Post?

I'm lucky to have several people blogging here while I study for the bar exam.  If you want to know who wrote a given post, look below the title of the post for the byline -- The author's name is in crimson text.

You can read my bio here.

David Giacalone, formerly an antitrust lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission, now mediates domestic disputes.  He blogs at f/k/a.

Norman Pattis is a Connecticut criminal defense and civil rights lawyer.  He also writes a weekly column for the Connecticut Law Tribune and owns a bookstore.

Timothy Sandefur is a staff attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he litigates economic liberties and property rights cases.  Mr. Sandefur also has an excellent blog of his own - Freespace.

Robert Sheridan lives in San Francisco, where he teaches constitutional law and works as a criminal defense lawyer.  You can read his full bio here, and his blog - Sheridan:Con Law - here.

If you wish to contact one of the contributors, leave a comment in one of his or her posts, and your contact information will automatically be forwarded to the author.

Although I respect everyone writing here, I don't necessarily endorse anything a contributor posts.  Each contributor retains full editorial control over - and copyright ownership of - his posts.

Execution Delayed?

Those of you following the Michael Ross saga in Connecticut have a new twist to contemplate: Having fought for the right to abandon his appeals and be put to death, and having fought back attempts from Public Defenders and his family to intervene, Mike has now decided to postpone today’s execution.


His lawyer, T.R. Paulding took a brow beating from United States District Court Judge Robert N. Chatigny late last week. The judge threatened to have the man’s law license unless the execution were stopped. Why? It just might be depressing on death row, the judge opined. Good golly, Miss Molly. Some judges sure do have penetrating insight.

Ross now plans to petition the court for permission to have another competency hearing. He wants to put to rest lingering concerns about his competency.

There is a small problem with this scenario. Ross has already been found competent after a hearing in December. Memo to the court: Look up res judicata.

The state plans to forge ahead with the killing as dawn breaks in New England. The families of the serial killer’s victims are crying foul, suggesting that the federal judge is a cry baby and has abused his authority.

It is unclear whether the execution will be delayed yet again. It is set to occur at 9 p.m. tonight. Expect the state to contend that the issue of competency has already been decided and there is no need to revisit the topic.

What can we expect from Chatigny? Apparently, anything. Give a guy a lifetime appointment and he’ll take whatever he wants.

Take a look at the transcript of Chatigny’s bullying of Paulding. Then ask yourself what is going on in Connecticut’s federal courts.

this Antelope won't play

I hope lawyers with more knowledge than I on issues such as self-incrimination and therapist privilege, will help clarify for us the importance of the 9th Circuit decision in U. S. v. Lawrence Antelope (Jan. 27, 2005) [ Recorder, "9th Circuit: No Forcing Therapy on Sex Offender," Warren Lutz, 01-31-2005].   Mr. Antelope refused to participate in "autobiographical" sex-offender therapy.   

The panel ruled Antelope had been unjustly denied his Fifth Amendment rights against incriminating himself.  The opinion is written by Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown and states:

"Antelope's successful participation in [the therapy program] triggered a real danger of self-incrimination, not simply a remote or speculative threat.  We have no doubt that any admissions of past crimes would likely make their way into the hands of prosecutors."

I'm not conversant enough with the issues to offer useful commentary (urging therapy for parents found to have abused several of my child clients, in Family Court proceedings, is my only brush with the topic).   Reading in the article that Antelope had been caught in a sting "after he joined a Web site advertising 'preteen nude sex pics' and began corresponding with an undercover law enforcement agent" did raise one question for me:  Just how much of the email and Comment kiddie-sex-spam that we receive is coming from law enforcement folk?   Can the Federal Trade Commission, or even Fed84, do anything about it?

A less serious response arose when I read that Montana's offender therapy program is called Sexual Abuse Behavior Evaluation and Recovery, or SABER.   It seems, given my immediate urge to purge, that I suffer from CRAP -- Cute-or-Ribald-Acronymo-Phobia.   Please, enough of this CRAP.   There oughta be a law.

New Contributor

I am pleased to announce that Norman Pattis has joined Crime & Federalism.  Norm and I go back about 3 years, and he is someone I admire.

I'll let him formally introduce himself.  In the meantime, you can read his first post, "Nutmeg Madness," which is available below.  He also writes a weekly column for the Connecticut Law Tribune

Also note that I am going to fix my blog so that the author of a respective post is indicated in each post.

Nutmeg Madness

Things are crazy in the land of steady habits where serial killer Michael Ross wants to die, but every officious intermeddler in the state seeks to stop the death penalty from being imposed. The Ross execution has been scheduled, and postponed, four times already this week. After all hopes for legal means of stopping the execution were exhausted, a federal judge took matters into his own hands.

United States District Judge Robert Chatigny corralled the lawyer for Mr. Ross, T.R. Paulding, and threatened to have his license unless the man stopped the execution. This unprecedented act of judicial arrogance is meeting with praise from liberals. Chatigny is a man of courage; an intellectual with a conscience. No one is questioning whether this judge is abusing his discretion by playing philosopher-king.

Blinded by opposition to the death penalty, there is praise for this judge on many lips. Those same lips will cry foul when this judge oversteps his bounds in some more mundane case.

Ross has been on death row for 18 years. The state has not executed someone since 1960. After Ross is executed, some courageous Senator ought to bring an article of impeachment as to Chatigny. I doubt he’d actually be impeached, but someone needs to call the bluff of this moralistic thug.