Posts by Andrew Branca  (Page 10)
 

Freddie Gray Trial: Defendant Officer Porter Testifies

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Posted by    Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 5:00pm 12/9/2015 at 5:00pm

Today the defendant in the “Freddie Gray” trial, Police Officer William Porter, took the stand from about 11:00am to 3:30pm to testify on his own behalf.  He testified both on direct examination by his defense attorneys and on cross-examination by prosecutor Schatzow.  (The following recounting, and particularly any quotes, is largely...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Famous Pathologist Vincent Di Maio terms death an accident

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Posted by    Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 11:05am 12/9/2015 at 11:05am

The defense has opened with a bang in the “Freddie Gray” trial of Police Officer William Porter, bringing to the stand as their first witness noted forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio, who is testifying that Gray’s death should have been ruled an accident, not a homicide.

As reported by Kalani Gordon...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Mistrial Denied after State Fails to Disclose Evidence (Update – Prosecution rests)

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Posted by    Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 1:00pm 12/8/2015 at 1:00pm

UPDATE (2:17pm): The prosecution has rested its case, Judge Williams denied a defense request to dismiss the charges, and the court has recessed for the day. The defense will begin presenting its case to the jury tomorrow.  None of today’s testimony for the State was particularly notable.

The legal arguments remain clear, and the...

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Freddie Gray Trial Day 4: Medical Examiner Cross-Examined by Defense

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Posted by    Monday, December 7, 2015 at 4:15pm 12/7/2015 at 4:15pm

Cross-examination of Medical Examiner Carol Allan, continuing from last Friday, was the highlight of this fourth day of the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter over the in-custody death of Freddie Gray. The officer is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

Prosecutors based these charges...

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Freddie Gray Trial Day 3: Officer’s Video Statement Played

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Posted by    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 5:00pm 12/4/2015 at 5:00pm

Today is day three (excluding two days of jury selection) of the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment following the in-custody injury and later death of community drug dealer Freddie Gray.

As part of the day’s proceedings the jury...

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Freddie Gray Trial Day 2: Prosecution’s Case Looks Weak

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Posted by    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 4:30pm 12/3/2015 at 4:30pm

UPDATE: In response to numerous requests, we provide additional information on the demographics of the jury selected for the trial of Officer Porter:

Three white women (all over the age of 50)
Three black men (all over the age of 50)
Five black women (range of ages)
One white man

And thanks to commenter Ragspierre:  Additionally, three white men and...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Jury Selection Begins Amid Protests

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Posted by    Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11:45am 12/1/2015 at 11:45am

[Correction: An earlier version of this post characterized the defendant, Officer Porter, as the driver of the police van in which Gray was riding. In fact, the driver of the van was Officer Goodson. Porter’s role has been corrected, below.]

Yesterday jury selection began in the first of the six expected trials...

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Laquan McDonald Video Not Dispositive of Police Criminal Misconduct

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Posted by    Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 9:00pm 11/25/2015 at 9:00pm

About 13 months ago, on October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old 180-pound black male who was non-compliant with police orders and threatening Chicago police officers with a knife, was shot and killed by officer Jason Van Dyke, a white man.

Yesterday Chicago authorities, under orders from a judge, finally released some...

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Texan Who Videotaped His Own “Self-Defense” Convicted on Re-Trial

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Posted by    Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 6:00pm 11/21/2015 at 6:00pm

This past Monday we wrote about the start of the re-trial of retired firefighter Raul Rodriguez who was previously convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in jail after shooting a neighbor over a dispute about the neighbor’s noisy party. Rodriquez had claimed self-defense justification for the killing.  That prior...

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Changes Proposed to Florida’s Infamous “10-20-Life” Sentencing Law

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Posted by    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 11:30am 11/20/2015 at 11:30am

NOTE: This post has one correction and one clarification, as noted below.

One of Florida’s more interesting laws is the so-called “10-20-Life” statute, properly cited as §775.087 Possession or...

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Self-Defense Immunity Motion In Florida Movie Theater Shooting

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Posted by    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 11:30am 11/18/2015 at 11:30am

I’ve previously written here about the Florida movie theater shooting, in which retired police officer Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson in claimed self-defense after the two men argued about Oulson’s use of his cell phone in a movie theater:

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Florida Effort to Change Burden on Self-Defense Immunity Fails

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Posted by    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 5:50pm 11/17/2015 at 5:50pm

A couple of months ago we posted here about the effort of Florida legislator Dennis Braxley to change Florida’s self-defense immunity law: Major Change Proposed for Florida Self-defense Immunity Law.  

Under the proposed change a person claiming self-defense immunity for their use of force against another could be denied that immunity...

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Retrial Begins for Firefighter Who Selfied “Stand-Your-Ground”

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Posted by    Monday, November 16, 2015 at 6:10pm 11/16/2015 at 6:10pm

A re-trial begins this week in Houston for retired firefighter Raul Rodriguez who was previously convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in jail, reports the Houston Chronicle.  Rodriquez had unsuccessfully argued self-defense at trial. The notable oddity of this case was the fact that Rodriguez had videotaped himself rather bizarrely...

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Stand-Your-Ground Study Authors Concede They Didn’t Study Stand-Your-Ground

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Posted by    Friday, November 6, 2015 at 10:00am 11/6/2015 at 10:00am

I know I promised that my prior post would be my last on the thoroughly debunked “scientific” paper, “Race,law, and health: Examination of ‘Stand Your Ground’ and defendant convictions in Florida.”

The debunking took place in these posts:

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Social Sciences Study of Stand-Your-Ground Strikes Out

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9496568
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Posted by    Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 5:45pm 11/5/2015 at 5:45pm
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9496568

This is my third (and hopefully final actually, one more coming!) post on a recently published social sciences paper: “Race, law, and health: Examination of ‘Stand Your Ground’ (SYG) and defendant convictions in Florida” (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 142, October 2015, pages 194-201; pay-walled )

The paper applied a Public Health...

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Stand-Your-Ground Racial Bias Study used “media definition,” not “legal definition”

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Posted by    Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 1:00pm 11/4/2015 at 1:00pm

Last week here I wrote a post about a “scientific” study of Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground (SYG) law. That paper was published in the Elsevier journal “Social Science & Medicine.”

The paper: “Race, law, and health: Examination of ‘Stand Your Ground’ (SYG) and defendant convictions in Florida” (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 142, October...

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NY Times’ mindless editorial over Stand-Your-Ground law

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Posted by    Monday, November 2, 2015 at 10:00am 11/2/2015 at 10:00am

I imagine we’ve all chuckled at the mindlessness which the New York Times provides opportunities to observe the Murray Gell-Mann amnesia effect in action.

From my own perspective as an expert in use-of-force law I fail to recall a single instance in which the NYT has so much as approached factual accuracy or displayed contextual understanding in a piece on...

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