Stop and Frisk Unconstitutional in the States

In the US, the Fourth Ammendment provides:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized
Before you ask, we don’t have something like that here. 
A US federal judge has upended a cornerstone of New York policing, declaring the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy a violation of the US constitution that unfairly targeted blacks and Hispanics.
In a 198-page ruling, Judge Shira Scheindlin said on Monday police randomly stopping individuals on the street and subjecting them to searches violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
It also runs afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, said Scheindlin, who stressed how young black and Hispanic males were most likely to be targeted.
“The evidence at trial revealed that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has an unwritten policy of targeting ‘the right people’ for stops,” the judge said.
“In practice, the policy encourages the targeting of young black and Hispanic men based on their prevalence in local crime complaints. This is a form of racial profiling.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says his administration will appeal the ruling, telling reporters that stop-and-search was a “vital deterrent” that had taken 8,000 guns off the street over a decade.
“There is no question that stop, question and frisk has saved countless lives,” he said.
Scheindlin, a US District Court judge, refrained from ordering a total halt to stop-and-frisk.
But in a move unprecedented in New York police history, she ordered the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure that such searches are carried out “in accordance with the Constitution”.
Bloomberg bristled at that idea, saying it was tantamount to putting the NYPD and its nearly 35,000 uniformed personnel “into receivership”.
Stop-and-frisk has been a centrepiece of New York’s efforts to bring criminality to heel after the drug-fuelled violence of the 1980s and early 1990s.
Of the 4.4 million cases between January 2004 and January 2012 in which New York police briefly detained individuals on suspicion of criminal involvement, 52 per cent involved blacks and 31 per cent Hispanics. Only 10 per cent involved whites.
“The city and its highest officials believe that blacks and Hispanics should be stopped at the same rate as their proportion of the local criminal suspect population,” Scheindlin said.
“But this reasoning is flawed because the stopped population is overwhelmingly innocent – not criminal.”
Full Story here.

Don’t Invite Police to your Drug Bonanza…

It’s a case of “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”
It’s the POLICE!

On the internet you can get almost anything for a price. But be careful, the local police may be watching.

Sunith Baheerathan, an “alleged” stoner and “aspiring mechanic” from Ontario, Canada, took to his peeps on Twitter to sort out his need for weed.

Unfortunately for him, the cops were the first to reply, asking if they could join the party.

Full Story here.

Ooops, Shopper Dockets Strike Again!

A UK student is the latest unlucky patron to receive an insult along with her latte, after ordering coffee and cake at a London cafe.

Naomi Bloomer, 22, visited Grind Coffee Bar in Westfield Stratford with friends. When she went to pay, she found the bill addressed to “f***ers all come at once.”

Full story here.

The Importance of a Good Typo

You’re booking a ticket, you get your flight confirmation.

You might even look at it to see what your flight combination number is. In case you need it before flying in a large hunk of metal that is roaring through the air at vast speeds.

The number?



Now that’s an airline that is building confidence with every single letter (and number).

Full story here.

Intervention Required – Naked Bieber Serenades Grandma

So Biber got naked, strapped on a guitar and sang to his grandmother – while having pictures taken of the whole thing.

An intervention is now surely needed. This person’s last twelve months are stamped with all the hallmarks of a deterioration that is headed in an all-too-well-worn path of destruction. Self destruction. When you are as famous as he, as big as he, any news becomes a big deal. And deviations from the ordinary, no matter how funny, become a deal.

How much longer do we watch another young product of the contemporary pop arts scene go off the rails before someone insists on putting up the safety rail and a bit of calm collected slow walking?

Full story here. Original TMZ story here.

Too Pretty for Work? YOU’RE FIRED!

Are you a beautiful man or woman at work? Do your work colleagues stare at you with wonder in their eyes at your astounding beauty? Are you, quite simply, “hot”? Then perhaps you need to be fired…

CNN) — Melissa Nelson lost her bid Friday to have Iowa’s top court reverse its ruling that held the former dental assistant did not suffer gender bias when she was fired for being “irresistible.”

The Iowa Supreme Court stood by its December finding that Dr. James Knight was legally able to fire the assistant after his wife became concerned about the relationship between the two.

Knight’s conduct was not sex discrimination in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the court said.

The all-male court had previously ruled against Nelson, finding that employees who are seen as an “irresistible attraction” by their employers can be fired in such circumstances.

Full story here.

Solicitors and Barristers

Someone commented to me recently that in NSW the only difference between a barrister and a solicitor is that the former wears a wig and a gown while the other dresses like a healthy person might.
In NSW the legal profession is supposedly fused. This means that the traditional distinction between a solicitor and a barrister no longer exists, except that it does, especially in form of dress in court. 
Everyone is now admitted as a legal practitioner and thereafter you can practice law as a solicitor and barrister (like the solicitors at Kernaghan and Associates) or you can practice as just a barrister.
Legal practitioners who are solicitors and barristers can, as the name suggests, do all the things that a solicitor and a barrister might otherwise do. A practitioner who works as a barrister only, is limited to the duties and functions of a barrister.
Barristers traditionally conduct litigation in courts on behalf of a solicitor who has briefed him or her for a client. Barristers occasionally provide advice to solicitors concerning aspects of a case involving their client. In such circumstances, it is not unusual for the barrister not to even meet the client.
Solicitors in NSW can appear in any court and regularly conduct all manner of litigation, including defended Local Court hearings and some, as in the case of Kernaghan and Associates, are experienced trial litigators. These solicitors are often referred to informally as “Solicitor Advocates”.
While barristers continue to play a role in NSW, there are some two thousand odd of them (according to the NSW Bar Association website). There are 24,543 solicitors in NSW (according to 2011 Law Society of NSW figures). It is now not uncommon to find barristers not running trials, but spending their days doing lists in the Local Courts of NSW side by side with Solicitors. In those courts you won’t be able to tell them apart (they don’t wear a wig and a gown).