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March 6, 2013

Ohio completes its 50th execution in modern era

As reported in this new AP report, headlined "Ohio executes man who fatally shot security guard," my own great state of Ohio has this morning reach a notable modern death penalty milestone. Here are the basics:

A man who fatally shot an adult bookstore security guard in 1994 at the end of a multistate crime spree was executed on Wednesday.

Frederick Treesh received a single powerful dose of pentobarbital and was pronounced dead at 10:37 by Donald Morgan, warden of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Treesh was sentenced to die for killing Henry Dupree in Eastlake east of Cleveland on Aug. 27, 1994.

Treesh, in a last statement, apologized for the death of Dupree, but said he wouldn't say he was sorry to family members of a video store clerk killed in Michigan who were witnessing the execution. "I've never been tried, I've never been charged," he said. After a few more comments he said, "If you want me murdered, just say it."

Treesh was the 50th inmate put to death by the state since it resumed executions in 1999.

Gov. John Kasich denied Treesh clemency last week, following the recommendation of the state parole board, which ruled unanimously last month that the evidence showed Dupree was seated when shot and hadn't shown any sign of being a threat to Treesh. The board also said Treesh's decision to shoot a clerk in the face as he left the store suggests Treesh's "murderous intent" when coming to the store. Treesh and his co-defendant "gratuitously brutalized, humiliated and killed innocent people, most of whom, like Dupree, posed no real or perceived threat to them," the board said.

Prosecutors say Treesh, 48, and the co-defendant robbed banks and businesses, committed sexual assaults, stole cars, committed carjackings and shot someone to death in a Michigan robbery during a spree that also took them to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Just a decade ago, Ohio was among a number of large industrial and western states with a fairly large death row but few actual executions. States still in that category include California, Nevada and Pennsylvania and used to include Illinois.

But now Ohio in among the ranks of mostly southern states that have completed more than 50 executions in the post-Furman modern death penalty era. Via this page at the Death Penalty Information Center, here is a list of the states that Ohio has now joined (with their total modern executions in parentheses):

Texas (493)

Virgina (110)

Oklahoma (102)

Florida (74)

Missouri (68)

Alabama (55)

Georgia (53)

March 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

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Texas (493), Virgina (110), Oklahoma (102), Florida (74), Missouri (68), Alabama (55), Georgia (53)

Number of their victims?
At least (955), & surely more than that (and they were innocent).

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 6, 2013 11:57:42 AM

--- "Treesh, in a last statement, apologized for the death of Dupree, but said…
"I've never been tried, I've never been charged," he said. After a few more comments he said,
"If you want me murdered, just say it."" ---
_____ _____ _____
Brutally murdering the innocent and
quickly executing the guilty killer is all relative, you see,
to an evil, warped slayer such as Treesh.

Is it also to opponents of his execution?

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 6, 2013 12:25:57 PM

AdamaKISSMYASS

Posted by: ANON | Mar 6, 2013 2:57:06 PM

“the pointless and needless extinction of life”

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 6, 2013 4:13:58 PM

Adamakis --

I have to admit that I'm impressed by the quality and refinement of the analyses that have been posted in response to you. Abolitionism does itself proud -- again.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 6, 2013 4:45:14 PM

better ???????????

A strange fruit, a bitter harvest.
Reflections on hangings.

Capital Punishment is like slavery: nobody has the right to impose it.
Death penalty is a clear violation of human rights: right to equality, right to life, freedom from torture.
It’s an “arbitrary and capricious” black hole in the Law: a land with unclear and inconsistently drawn borders, changing in time and space.
It is a “privilege” of the poor, because “capital punishment means that those without the capital get the punishment”.
It is an irreversible punishment that kills the insane and the innocent.
It is not self-defense, but revenge.
It is not a more effective deterrent than prison and makes worst the evil it pretends to cure, because death penalty brutalizes and makes society more violent.
Death penalty is a human sacrifice, a ritualistic slaughter carried out in cold blood by the State. It is a travesty of justice and “nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering”.
Sooner or later everybody will realize that capital punishment is an immoral, indecent, illegal, expensive, stupid, cruel, dangerous, racist, classist, arbitrary, capricious, inconsistent, not working violation of human rights: “the pointless and needless extinction of life”

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 6, 2013 6:51:57 PM

claudio --

No, not better. Just longer. But you do get tonight's prize for the largest number of adjectives in one sentence.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 6, 2013 8:03:59 PM

@Claudio

"It is not a more effective deterrent than prison and makes worst the evil it pretends to cure, because death penalty brutalizes and makes society more violent."

Robert Gleason killed twice in prison and once as a free man. He has not killed anyone since his execution. Clearly it was a more effective deterrent.

And it can hardly be racist in this case since Treesh is a white man being put to death for killing a black man. He was also not insane or mentally retarded. He was a multiple murderer, armed robber and rapist who did nothing but inflict misery and excuse his actions by blaming drugs. The world is better off without him.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 6, 2013 9:19:44 PM

1.----- "human sacrifice, a ritualistic slaughter carried out in cold blood by the State"

¿ Translation problem or undiscerning equivocation ? Is this an intentionally absurd description, or am I failing to appreciate Latinate humour?

:: claudio giusti :: Do you know what killing in "cold blood" means? Can you not distinguish betwixt human sacrifices and....
never mind, sir.

2.----- "makes worst the evil it pretends to cure, because death penalty brutalizes..."

Has anyone proffered the death penalty as a cure for murder, pray tell?

Capital punishment is just punishment for capital crime, and the American mode of sober, lethal injection keenly—unmistakably--contrasts with the *actual brutality* of any and every aggravated murder, does it not?

Dreadfully, as I am coming to fully appreciate, apish equivocation is increasingly becoming the ‘order of the day’, as mankind devolves in intellect and in spirit.

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 6, 2013 9:44:30 PM

claudio --

In addition to getting the award for the most adjectives in a sentence, you also get the award for the most lies.

You say: "It is not a more effective deterrent than prison and makes worst the evil it pretends to cure, because death penalty brutalizes and makes society more violent."

1. It most certainly is a more effective deterrent. Imprisoned killers can do it again, and have, many times. An executed killer can't do it again.

2. No one is pretending that the DP "cures evil" anymore than prison (or a stern lecture from the judge) cures it. It is beyond the capacity of human beings to cure evil. But we can protect ourselves from it, you bet.

3. The idea the the DP makes society more violent is somewhere beyond absurd. Over the last 20 years, when the country has had an active DP, the rate of violent crime has fallen by 50% (or maybe slightly more). In the 20 years before that, when we had very few executions, the rate of violent crime skyrocketed.

Hey, claudio, but don't let facts get in your way. I mean, why start now?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 6, 2013 9:57:00 PM

Dear Mr Otis,
I am so happy you speak of facts, because facts are abolitionist.

There is NOT any single clue death penalty is a deterrent.
On 14th July 1976 Canada abolished the death penalty. Since then its homicide rate fell down consistently and now is a third of that before the abolition. Something similar happened in Italy in the twenty years following the end of capital punishment in 1948. Au contraire, in the same July 1976, United States call the hangman back and in the following thirty years the American homicide rate grew, fell, grew again and only in the last 20 years we saw a drop. Actually, in 2002, Americans were very happy because they had only 16.638 criminal homicides: and they were right because from 1984 to 1993 criminal homicides were about 22.000 per year and 25.000 in 1993 alone. On the other side, in the same 2002, in Italy we were very afraid because, with a population that is grosso modo one fifth of the American one, we had 638 criminal homicides, and we were very concerned about it, even if 638 were less than one third the homicides of 1991. Now you are proud of your 15.000 homicides and we are concerned of our 500.

Hanged persons do not commit crime as innocents do not come back. Think to Carlos De Luna, Ruben Cantu, Larry Griffin, Cameron Todd Willingham, etcetera.

Please, Mr Otis, try to be intellectually honest. Start now.

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 7, 2013 10:03:02 AM

claudio giusti:: | "Hanged persons do not commit crime as innocents do not come back." |

Thanks for the elucidation, and since no one has heretofore hinted at Treesh's innocence,
we know that this guilty murderer can commit no more killings.
Or do you know something contrariwise?

▼Frederick TREESH, 48, was put to death...convicted of shooting security guard Henry Dupree four times... shooting cashier Louis Lauver twice in the head...Treesh then fired on police...arrested after Treesh ran out of ammunition.

▼Prosecutors said Treesh's arrest ended a week-long, multi-state crime spree, OH, MI, IN, IA, MN, WI…the murder of Gus Danno at a video store in Michigan, bank robberies and sexual assaults during several of the robberies, carjackings and a kidnapping.

▼Michigan authorities opted not to charge Treesh with Danno's murder after he was sentenced to death in Ohio. Relatives of Danno's were among the witnesses to Treesh's execution.

▼During the crime spree, Treesh inserted light bulbs in his victims' mouths, wrapped their faces in duct tape and then punched them in the face to shatter the bulbs, prosecutors said.

▼At trial, prosecutors presented a videotaped interrogation in which Treesh said he had been involved in several other murders, including the lynching of a black man. Defense attorneys said those crimes were unsubstantiated...

▼The Ohio state parole board stated that most of Treesh's victims "posed no real or perceived threat".
(Reuters; treesh_2013clemency)

Keep looking out for the "innocents".

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 7, 2013 11:13:46 AM

claudio --

"There is NOT any single clue death penalty is a deterrent."

Except that the decided majority of studies that have been done on it conclude that it IS a deterrent. The studies, both pro and con, are collected here, http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/dpdeterrencefull.htm

In addition, I note that you do not refute, or even attempt to refute, a single one of my three points. What you originally said was that the death penalty "makes society more violent." Of course if that were true, then in the era of renewed executions (roughly the last 20 years) we would have had a lot more violence than in the era of very few executions (roughly the 30 years before than). In fact, the opposite has happened.

Will you admit that fact?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 7, 2013 1:22:24 PM

Poor Billy Otis!
Your link is a pathetically silly one. Death penalty is NOT a deterrent and I agree with the big majority of the Americans: it’s NOT a deterrent.
In the last 20 years the murder rate was LOWER in the American states WITHOUT capital punishment, as it was before (Furman or not Furman)
There are famous studies about it.
I can understand your blind faith in the state sanctioned murder, but, please, get a look here
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-about-deterrence-and-death-penalty
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions-county
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FaganDeterrence.pdf
Zimring, Franklin E., Fagan, Jeffrey and Johnson, David T.,
Executions, Deterrence and Homicide: A Tale of Two Cities (August 31, 2009). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 09-206; http://ssrn.com/abstract=1436993
and read something before talk again


“During the 1930s, for example, there were a total of 1,676 executions in the United States. That represents 167 executions per year, 14 executions per month, and the most executions in any single decade of the twentieth century. The most executions in any single year since 1930, the first year records were kept by the U.S. government, were the 199 recorded in 1935. Furthermore, although data on the celerity of executions are not available for this period, data on celerity for 1951-1960 show that the average time between death sentence and execution was 14.4 (the range was from 4.6 to 46.1 months); the average for 1996 was 125 months. If capita1 punishment had a deterrent effect, and the frequency and celerity of executions were important, then one might expect a relatively low murder rate for the decade. The evidence shows, though, that homicide rates were higher in the 1930s than in the 1940s, 1950s, and early-to-mid-1960s-decades that had fewer executions. Historica1 evidence provides no reason to believe that increasing frequency and celerity of executions would dramatically increase the death penalty deterrent effect.”
Robert M. Bohm, Deathquest Anderson Publ. 1999 pag. 92

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 7, 2013 2:13:50 PM

claudio --

"Poor Billy Otis!"

I would tell you to grow up, but it would be useless.

"Your link is a pathetically silly one."

Then you should have no trouble refuting the numerous studies it lists. But you don't even try to.

"Death penalty is NOT a deterrent and I agree with the big majority of the Americans: it’s NOT a deterrent."

Do you agree with virtually the same big majority that we should retain the DP? Do you agree with a majority that it's imposed fairly? Do you agree with the massive majority that the DP is imposed in this country with about the right frequency or not frequently enough (67%), or with the small minority that thinks it's imposed too often (25%)? http://www.gallup.com/poll/1606/death-penalty.aspx

How's that? You want to appeal to majority sentiment when it agrees with you, but leave it unmentioned when it doesn't??? Gosh, claudio, your intellectual honesty is overpowering.

"In the last 20 years the murder rate was LOWER in the American states WITHOUT capital punishment, as it was before (Furman or not Furman)."

Assuming that what you say is true (always a risky assumption with you), it doesn't even come close to validating your claim that the DP produces more violence.

But I've been through that before. You won't admit adverse facts because you're to juvenile, to ideological, and too dishonest.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 7, 2013 2:51:38 PM

Being on the 50-or-more list seems like a totally meaningless apples-to-oranges fact unless it's proportionate to something. Are we comparing the number to the state's population? The total number of homicides over some relevant span of years? The total number of death sentences imposed but not carried out over some relevant span of years? It does seem like a compare and contrast between Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania where there are some similarities of demographics and perhaps political culture but very different stats on executions actually carried out might be instructive.

Posted by: JWB | Mar 7, 2013 3:05:54 PM

oh mamma!
they did
An Eye for an Eye
Time Mag.
Monday, Jan. 24, 1983

The most persuasive research compared the homicide rates of states that did and did not prescribe the death penalty. For instance, Michigan, which abolished capital punishment in 1847, was found to have had a homicide rate identical to adjacent states, Ohio and Indiana, that were executing. Similarly, Minnesota and Rhode Island, states with no death penalty, had proportionately as many killings as their respective neighbors, Iowa and Massachusetts, which had capital punishment. In 1939 South Dakota adopted and used the death penalty, and its homicide rate fell 20% over the next decade; North Dakota got along without capital punishment for the same ten years, and homicides dropped 40%.

Similar before-and-after studies in Canada, England and other countries likewise found nothing to suggest that capital punishment had deterred murderers any better than the prospect of long prison terms. And in Britain during the 1950s, a typical "lifer" actually served only about seven years, compared with a much tougher average U.S. "life" term today of 20 years. A comprehensive study in the U.S., by the National Academy of Sciences in 1978, also found that the death penalty had not proved its worth as a deterrent.

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 7, 2013 3:54:22 PM

Poor Billy Otis Two

You have not a blind faith in capital punishment. You are blind.
Fagan destroyed all your silly studies time ago
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FaganDeterrence.pdf
as Thorsten Sellin destroyed the deterrent theory a long time ago.
TWO MYTHS IN THE HISTORY OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT http://vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/files/Sysoj/(091116192015)_Sellin_1959.pdf
Capital Punishment, New York, Harper, 1967
The Penalty of Death, London, Sage, 1980

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 7, 2013 4:00:16 PM

claudio --

Your file cabinet needs cleaning out. The numerous studies I have referenced are considerably more up-to-date than your news and magazine articles from thirty, forty or fifty years ago.

You're stuck with the fact that the majority just aren't going to swoon over Timmy McVeigh like you do. Too bad about that.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 7, 2013 5:42:51 PM

McVeigh yes and Posada Carriles no? Well Carriles killed just 100 black cubans...

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 3:51:39 AM

Otis,
You forget a new study is not necessary better than the olds. Do you remember Ehrlich? A new and totally wrong study about the (false) deterrent effect.
have a nice day

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 3:55:12 AM

McVeigh yes and Posada Carriles no? That's because Carriles killed just 100 black Cubans.

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 3:56:44 AM

claudio --

Are you sayng you support the DP for Carriles? Now that's odd. In April 2011, a jury acquitted him of all charges. Are you saying you support the DP for those acquitted? Wow! And here I thought I was a hard liner because I (sometimes) support it for those who have been convicted!

Was it a mistaken acquittal? Possibly. I have no idea. But mistake or not, we have to live with it, see Evans v. Michigan. That's what the rule of law looks like.

Your buddy McVeigh, by contrast, was convicted. I mean, you do know the difference between "convicted" and "acquitted"? You do know that, right, claudio?

Claudio?

Hello?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 8, 2013 9:42:27 AM

The guy was in prison for 17 years. If he killed in prison or something, I can understand [though like torture and such, I think the d.p. should be denied across the board ... are their hard cases? definitely. this makes this issue like any number of things where a principle can be hard] executing him. Don't think it worth it to execute him. Like lots of people, he did really bad things and prison is the right place for him. It is not evil or anything to disagree with me though I understand the emotion of Claudio as much as Bill on this issue.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 8, 2013 10:04:30 AM

\\ like torture and such, I think the d.p. should be denied across the board...prison is the right place for him //

But Joe, why is prison "right" for TREESH, the murderer-sex assaulter-kidnapper-torturer-carjacker-robber?

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 8, 2013 10:31:18 AM

STRONZATE!
Carriles is the "good" terrorist and was not acquitted for the murder of 73 persons. He was not even at trial for this
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/10/luis-posada-cuba-denounces-us-acquittal-cia-agent

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 10:37:03 AM

Because the death penalty has various problems, in principle and/or as applied here. What are they, you ask? Huh. Maybe, someone should write something about that sort of thing. Seriously -- the arguments on each side are well known. Repeating them over and over again with spleen is repetitive, but I welcome Bill and claudio to do so as desired. He should be left in prison like the loads of others of the arbitrary number of real bad criminals ultimately not executed in this country.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 8, 2013 10:51:35 AM

claudio --

"Carriles is the 'good' terrorist and was not acquitted for the murder of 73 persons. He was not even at trial for this"

He was acquitted on every charge brought against him. If you want more charges brought, take it up with Eric Holder. I can't help you there.

Bit I will let you in on a secret: Just as you can't impose punishment on someone who has been acquitted, you can't impose punishment on someone who hasn't been tried.

The thing that has to come before criminal punishment is a conviction. That's C-O-N-V-I-C-T-I-O-N.

You did know that, didn't you, claudio?

Claudio?

Hello?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 8, 2013 11:19:38 AM

Joe --

"Seriously -- the arguments on each side are well known. Repeating them over and over again with spleen is repetitive..."

It is nowhere near as repetiitve as at least three other arguments made on this forum: That pot should be legalized, that sentences should be shorter because of the budget squeeze, and that there should be more use of executive clemency.

If you have objected to the repetition of those arguments, I must have missed it. Have you?

I suspect you object to the repetition of the DP arguments on this tread because you can see that claudio is getting skunked by using half century old sources and, just recently, by getting all frunmy that we haven't imposed criminal punishmnet on a person who hasn't been convicted of any crime. When the anti-DP side shows its fascist underbelly, well, yes, I can see why that might disturb you.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 8, 2013 11:27:16 AM

HALF CENTURY WHAT ???????????????????
Otis, come on and get a look here
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13363
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/discussion-recent-deterrence-studies
be careful you can be buried under 10 tons of fresh studies about the idiocy of the deterrent hypothesis

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 12:38:28 PM

"Friday's verdict, which found the 83-year-old not guilty on all 11 counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and immigration fraud, showed the US continued to protect a known terrorist"
Terrorism is terrorism and murder is murder even if the murderer is a friend of US
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/10/luis-posada-cuba-denounces-us-acquittal-cia-agent

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 1:25:05 PM

claudio --

My goodness. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that a civil libertarian like yourself has such bloodlust for a man acquitted 11 times and convicted 0 times.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 8, 2013 2:17:15 PM

I am shocked by an hangman-friend who do not ask why a bloody murderer is free. I am really shocked because had Posada Carrilles killed just one American you will be shouting about justice refuted. To be against the death penalty doesn't mean to be stupid.

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 8, 2013 2:45:52 PM

@claudio
It doesn't matter that he killed no Americans, it matters that no one has proven his guilt or convicted him of the bombing. As such he cannot be executed. You're grasping at straws.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 8, 2013 9:31:10 PM

Had him killed an american (or suspected to had) he had been droned or guantanamed long ago,

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 9, 2013 4:05:38 AM

claudio --

Congratulations on coming out of the closet: What REALLY gets your goat is not that Carriles killed a bunch of people, but that there weren't more Americans in the bunch. If Carriles had killed Americans, you'd have nothing more bad to say about him than you have had to say about McVeigh, to wit, zip.

Well that's totally far out, claudio. You're a real humanitarian after all!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 9, 2013 9:32:22 AM

I didn't say "on this forum."

Query if this is "moving the goalposts."

The budget squeeze matter in particular has been a recent thing given events. On the other hand, the death penalty has been debated generally since long before either one of us was born. But, take the pot issue. I would also find it of little value to yet again reference common arguments on that.

Not wishing to repeat the same old arguments over and over again -- on either side -- does not have anything to do with CG or you in particular. If you want to believe he has been "skunked" be my guest. I see more of the same from all of us here. No one is being 'skunked' here. But, you know, fwiw etc.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 9, 2013 11:29:48 AM

Otis,
my congratulation for your talent to falsify everything. I am against the death penalty, but I am not for killers on the loose. YOU ARE!
I cannot bear the idea of mass murderers happy and free: YOU CAN.
You are a lawyer at the end.

Posted by: claudio giusti | Mar 9, 2013 11:53:44 AM

Joe --

You objected to the repetition of arguments about the death penalty, but you have not, so far as I have seen, made any similar objection to Doug's enormously repetitive campaigns for (1) pot legalization, (2) reduced incarceration, or (3) more executive clemency?

Why so selective?

"No one is being 'skunked' here."

Remind me to quote you the next time (and it won't take long) one of your allies snorts that I (or federalist or Kent or TarlsQtr1 or Adamakis) has been skunked.

As it happens, people do get skunked here. This happens when they insist on provably false things, such as that a majority of federal judges are former prosecutors or that 247 people executed have been proved innocent by DNA evidence.

Usually the pro-crime crowd is smart enough to hedge, but not always.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 9, 2013 4:08:07 PM

Bill, why do you even bother---Joe says not a lot with a lot of words. He's tired of debates about the death penalty--well let's see him justify some of Sotomayor's dimwitted opinions on the subject.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 9, 2013 4:43:27 PM

federalist --

What can I say? Hope springs eternal.

At least Joe isn't a bomb thrower and, unlike claudio and some of the other abbies, has manners above those you'd expect to find in fourth grade.

I don't think he's a lawyer, so I'm not looking for him to justify SCOTUS opinions. And in fairness, for DP purposes, Kennedy has caused more damage than Sotomayor.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 9, 2013 7:48:55 PM

Bill, not sure what the contours of "skunk" is, but you are welcome to quote me if someone says you are being so "here."

The death penalty has been much more talked about, analyzed and everything else than the other topics you cited. So, I don't think I was being selective.

And, I'll that that last post as a compliment. Thanks for "bothering." f. has lost total faith with me, though since Doug Berman didn't meet f's high standards either, I feel some comfort of the failure. Still, isn't saying not a lot with lots of words the definition of your typical judicial opinion these days?

Posted by: Joe | Mar 10, 2013 12:35:08 PM

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