Cop in Kelly Thomas Beating Death Wants Immunity from Federal Prosecution

Who wouldn't want these two around their kids?mugshotsHomeless schizophrenic Kelly Thomas, 37, was beaten to death by police in Fullerton, California, in 2011. Two officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Ciccinelli, were charged in Thomas’ death, but were found not guilty by a jury in January.

Thomas’ father, Ron, has filed a wrongful death suit against the Fullerton police for Thomas’ death, alleging assault and battery, negligence, and civil rights violations.

But there’s a new problem. The federal government is investigating the beating as well, and now Ramos is asking for immunity from federal prosecution before being deposed in Ron Thomas’ civil suit. From the Los Angeles Times:

Because of the potential for being prosecuted by the federal government, Ramos filed a motion on March 20 asking for immunity regarding any statements he made during the deposition about his violent confrontation with Kelly.

If Ramos isn’t granted immunity, he likely will ask a judge to limit the scope of questioning.

Ramos' attorney said that subjecting Ramos to questioning about what happened the night of Thomas’ death would essentially violate the former officer’s 5th Amendment rights.

To sum up, Ramos doesn’t want anything he says in a civil trial to be used against him in a possible federal trial because it would be a roundabout way of getting around his right not to incriminate himself. As loathsome as we may find Ramos, is it hard to disagree with that logic?

Katherine Mangu-Ward noted recently that in the wake of the acquittal, Ramos attempted a visit to Denny’s only to discover the community not very hospitable. Ciccinelli has also been tracked down coaching Little League baseball.

Below: Reason TV’s report on the Thomas case and the power of filming police abuse. Needless to say, the video was produced before Ramos and Ciccinelli were found not guilty:

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  • Paul.||

    To sum up, Ramos doesn’t want anything he says in a civil trial to be used against him in a possible federal trial because it would be a roundabout way of getting around his right not to incriminate himself. As loathsome as we may find Ramos, is it hard to disagree with that logic?

    Unfortunately, we end up with this whole double-jeopardy bullshit because they were actually able to find 12 semi-retarded cop-fellators to fill the Fullerton jury.

    How any single human being could watch that video and have all the facts of the case at hand and not sentence those two pigs to die in the gas chamber is beyond me. Beyond me completely.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Same here. These fucks cause me to reconsider my opposition to cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Paul.||

    Putting those cops in the gas chamber where they'd go night-night quietly is not cruel and unusual. They committed aggravated murder. They essentially tortured a man to death. On video. Then told the community to go fuck itself. And continue to do so.

    /end rant

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Yeah I was thinking of something more along these lines:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaphism

    Thus the, uh, cruel and unusual part.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    I like HM's Brazen Bull one best.

  • croaker||

    Wood chipper. Feet first. Half inch at a time.

  • Reverend Draco||

    I think that a public lynching is in order.

    I also like defnestration.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestration

  • Reverend Draco||

    Pardon my non-typing fingers - it should have read "defenestration."

  • WTF||

    The jury's reluctance could have had something to do with gangs of cops showing up in the court room every day to glare at them and intimidate them.

  • ||

    Agreed. What kind of person can watch that and not only think the cops didn't commit murder, but don't deserve any punishment at all? I'd be fascinated to see a documentary that interviewed all the jurors. It would probably be rage inducing and heartbreaking at the same time.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anything short of going limp as a fish is resisting, and he didn't go limp as a fish. Therefore any use of force was justified.

    /Tulpa

  • SugarFree||

    He assaulted the officers by bleeding when repeatedly struck.

    /Tulpa

  • ||

    I'd be fascinated to see a documentary that interviewed all the jurors. It would probably be rage inducing and heartbreaking at the same time.

    That's called "your real life."

  • ||

    No, in my real life I'll never get to know what those fucking jurors were thinking, which just means I don't know. Knowing would at least teach me something about human nature, even if it wasn't a pleasant lesson.

    Knowledge is power, nicole. If you'd watched more Saturday morning cartoons you'd know that.

  • ||

    You could probably interview 12 randoms to find out.

  • ||

    No way. There's no way I could show that video to 12 random people and not have many of them be horrified. Remember, these people were chosen by voir dire, and so were hand picked for certain qualities. It would be fascinating to see what they were like. I can guess to a certain degree, but it would be very educational to have a case study to watch.

  • ||

    Do we actually know how many jurors voted to acquit? I just checked a couple news stories that didn't say.

  • ||

    Don't they all have to, or it's hung?

  • ||

    Yeah it looks like in CA it would have had to be unanimous.

  • sarcasmic||

    "What is going to happen to my family if I find this guy guilty?" would be my guess as to what they were thinking.

  • Restoras||

    Yes, basically this.

  • Restoras||

    And since this is in CA we know there is a very high probability that the none of the citizens on the jury are armed, and thus able to defend themselves.

  • sarcasmic||

    If they were legally armed, then they were registered with the police.

  • ||

    That's the part I don't get.

    His face alone should have been enough.

  • Andrew S.||

    It was just superficial bruising played up by the media! (I think that was the argument that was somehow bought by the jury)

  • Restoras||

    I do have to say that I find it hard to fault that logic. But if Kelly's father decided to administer his own justice I'd find it even harder to fault.

  • Reverend Draco||

    I Kelly's father decided to seek his own justice - I'd give him a medal.

  • MarkinLA||

    Yes, too many people always believe the cops no matter what.

    Still I don't like the whole idea of federal "civil rights"m trials when the spate court acquits. The federal juries are even more retarded.

    There was that case in Pennsylvania where the federal court used federal housing discrimination laws when they couldn't use civil rights laws over an illegal alien who started a fight and hit his head on the ground when he got decked and died.

  • UnCivilServant||

    "Anything you say can and will be used against you."

    If he testifies at the civil trial, it's public record. If he's afraid of it being used by the feds, plead the fifth on the stand.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "If Ramos isn’t granted immunity, he likely will ask a judge to limit the scope of questioning."

    Who gives a fuck? Let him ask to limit the scope of questioning. Doesn't mean he'll get it.

    I can't see any reason for a judge to accept that condition, so, yeah, good try copper. What else have you got?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It should also be noted that in civil trials, unlike criminal trials, the preponderance of evidence standards mean the jury is allowed to draw conclusions from your silence if you refuse to testify.

  • Paul.||

    Hopefully the jury will draw conclusions from the video where Ramos is beating a prone man to death while begging for his life.

  • sarcasmic||

    That prone man was resisting. He did not comply with a lawful command. The officers were following procedure. Had the prone man gone limp as a fish then the beating would have stopped. He brought it upon himself. Suicide by cop. If anyone should be pitied, it's the poor policemen who were forced to kill this evil young man. They are the real victims here.

  • Paul.||

    I believe one or more of the officers injured their hands on Thomas's face. So there's that.

  • Cyto||

    There is a nice photo of the boo-boo one of the murderers got on his elbow during the scuffle. Per the witnesses at the time the EMT's were directed around the bloodied body to document and treat the elbow scrape before treating the soon-to-die victim. You know.... evidence of assaulting an officer. Gotta maintain that chain of evidence.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Letting those murderers off scott free is already a gross miscarriage of justice. Making it a federal case will only compound that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I hope the cop(s) that beat Kelly Thomas get the justice they deserve.

    It makes sense to me that someone who is under investigation by the feds for beating Kelly Thomas would be reluctant to testify about his actions in a civil suit--he isn't even a direct party to. He should just be able to take the Fifth.

    But I'd appreciate it if one of our resident legal authorities would explain why prosecuting a cop in federal court for the same act he's already been acquitted of in state court doesn't constitute double jeopardy.

  • Paul.||

    Probably the same way it didn't for the Rodney King situation. You don't prosecute them for 'murder', you prosecute them for violating Thomas's civil rights.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, they felt it was necessary to, basically, impose martial law in order to quell that riot, too.

    And even though they did that then, and the cops who beat Rodney King were way out of line, I'm not sure that instance was justified either.

    Just because they've done unconstitutional things in the past and gotten results that I approve of, that doesn't mean it wasn't unconstitutional.

    Double jeopardy should be a real thing all the time.

  • Paul.||

    I agree, but there seems to be a precedent. I think it's on a case-by-case basis-- and often largely politically motivated. The Rodney King situation got the Right People's attention, so it was an easy call.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, something had to be done in that case...

    I lived down the street from Florence and Normandie and worked on the edge of Inglewood at that time.

    There was no political recourse. Gates couldn't be removed by the city council or any political authority--all they could do was beg him to resign, and he wouldn't.

    In the meantime, the cops in the area were brutal. The initial riot after the verdict--not the opportunist looting that followed--was a straight social contract violation that I was actually sympathetic with.

    The looters made a mockery of it, unfortunately, but "No justice, no peace" was instinctive social contract. President Bush had to do something to reestablish the social contract, so to speak.

    But doesn't it seem like extraordinary situations often have a way, somehow, of becoming the new rule of thumb?

  • Paul.||

    There was no political recourse. Gates couldn't be removed by the city council or any political authority--all they could do was beg him to resign, and he wouldn't.

    How did this happen? How does a democracy have no authority to remove the the people it appoints to positions of authority?

  • Paul.||

    I mean, how does a functioning democracy remove someone in authority without reverting to the real meaning of our second amendment rights?

  • Andrew S.||

    It's called the dual sovereignty doctrine. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....y_doctrine

    In my mind, yeah, it's double jeopardy. But that's the prevailing law in the US right now (I also don't feel terribly bad about it being used against cops, given how rarely they face justice from the state)

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I like to see cops prosecuted for brutality, generally, and punished appropriately when convicted, too.

    But I'm not sure we want to get rid of double jeopardy just to see that happen.

    Also, I think there's a case to make (I guess this is the hard, stone cold, side of my libertarianism), a case that injustice has a legitimate function as a means to reform. If you acquit brutal cops, the injustice of that acquittal should provoke reform.

    In the face of an unjust acquittal, what has been done to make sure something like this never happens in Fullerton again? If the way things are isn't good enough to prevent obvious injustices from happening, like Kelly Thomas being beaten to death, then things need to change, right?

    But the local police doesn't need to be reformed if the "bad apples" were retried until they were finally convicted. Aren't convictions supposed to mean that the system is working properly? No reform required!

  • Cyto||

    The dual sovereignty thing is interesting because it presumably exists to prevent corrupt officials from attaching jeopardy in a court they control in order to avoid potential conviction for crimes in an unfriendly court.

    The simplest example would be a big-city organized crime syndicate that controls the local politicians and judges. Any time they get a whiff of a federal or state level investigation they could bring their own charges and get a quick acquittal. Kinda like money laundering only for criminal charges instead.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The same way that you are liable under the UCMJ (reservists too)even if acquitted in a civilian hearing. They just clain "different jurisdiction".

  • gaoxiaen||

    *claim

  • ||

    What are the heroes over at that police site saying about all this?

    In any event, police chiefs are gonna hold out as long as they can in using the 'they followed procedures' line. I'm not sure what it will take to change the mentality and culture.

    Beating people to death, killing dogs, shooting them in the back - sheesh. Everyone feel safer now?

  • John||

    Ah, no that is not how it works. You are free to assert your 5th Amendment Rights in a civil suit. And since it is a civil suit, the judge and or jury is free to draw a negative inference from it. You don't get immunity from prosecution so you can defend yourself in a civil suit.

    This guy had every right to fight the criminal charges in court without answering a single question. The civil suit is an entirely different matter. If he can't answer questions in the civil suit without incriminating himself in the criminal case, well that is just tough shit. The judgement in the civil case against him won't be admissible in the criminal case anyway since the standard of proof is different.

  • ||

    Is it just me or does it seem that most of the time, the officers who do brutal things look exactly like what you think someone who would do this would look like? Bloated, nasty-looking thugs? Because these two sure do. I've always wondered about the "psychology of appearance" and whether looking a certain way actually causes people to react to you in correspondingly certain ways, which may in fact cause a person to start acting that way, within certain limits.

  • John||

    I have never seen a fit one come up on charges. There are fit cops out there. But yeah, they always look like fat toads who sometimes lift weights.

    And there is most definitely a "psychology of appearance". It is why the military is so maniacal about uniform and appearance standards and why corporations have gone away from business casual. I can't explain why but your appearance definitely affects your mentality.

  • ||

    John, the military thing is more of a "if you look clean and well dressed and spiffy, you feel good about yourself", and that's definitely something that seems to work. I'm talking about the reverse: you're ugly, and therefore people don't respond to you well, so you actually become ugly personality-wise because you think "well, if that's all you think I am, then that's what I'll be!"

  • John||

    I think it is the same phenomenon in both cases. In your example, it is not just how people treat you. The fact that you are sloppy and hairy and dirty and such causes you to act sloppy and dirty. The military example is not just "look spiffy and feel good about yourself". It is also "if you don't dress like a dirtbag, you are less likely to be one." Yes, I think letting yourself look like a dirtbag makes you more likely you are one and the causation goes both ways. People who are dirtbags are more likely to dress like them and people who are not are more likely to become dirt bags if they dress like one.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In the military, I always thought the uniforms were to make you think of yourself as part of a group rather than as an individual. You're not supposed to do what you want--you're supposed to do what the group wants you to do.

    In business attire, it's about making people feel comfortable with each other. Making a deal with someone like you is much easier. It's a trust issue.

    There's a guy who looks exactly as expected, so I can expect him to do what's expected.

    It's even that way in a job interview--is this a guy that I can trust to do what I expect? If he's wearing a suit (and that was expected), ...

  • gaoxiaen||

    The Madoffs of the world depend on it.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Appearance feedback loop, interesting.

  • ||

    Exactly. "People think I look like a stupid thug and treat me like a jerk, so I'll show them! If that's what they expect, that's what they're going to get!" kind of thing. I would think it would affect stupider/more insecure people much more than intelligent, confident people. Or where people will assume that a beautiful girl has to be a ditz, so she just goes with that because it makes things simpler. Or where people find a very, very ugly person's appearance to be so offputting that it's palpable to the ugly person, so they internally vow revenge and become Henry Waxman.

  • ||

    I don't know if you remember the story I told a bit ago about the one kid I knew from HS who turned up a cop years later, but he went from looking CUTE, like, baby-faced 6'4" giant adorable thing, to MEAN. Baby face puffed up, constant sneer, etc.

  • ||

    It is definitely a cult-like existence. I have an acquaintance who is a DC cop. She used to be very free-spirited, kind of gothish, into some kinky underground stuff.

    Now all I see from her on Facebook is cop culture stuff, defending cops at all costs, etc.

    The indoctrination makes me sad.

  • ||

    Did he get huge too? Because cops love roids, and the puffed-up moon face is one of the side effects.

  • Mainer2||

    I recall one of the reason writers suggesting a new internet meme of "gangbanger or cop" when these two mug shots appeared.

  • The Laconic Marc F Cheney||

    When I saw those pictures without knowing who they were, I assumed they had chromosomal abnormalities.

    Do you think they have 100 IQ points between them?

  • ||

    It's an interesting thought. It could be that ugly fucks are more likely to become cops out of a desire to punish society for being cruel to them.

    I suspect that the job makes a dude ugly, as well. On top of the peer pressure to get the cop haircut and the copstache, which are ugly and aggressive-looking in and of themselves, cops tend to work long hours, have a lot of stress, eat like shit, and drink and smoke a lot. None of that makes you look like a happy, healthy man.

  • ||

    It could be that ugly fucks are more likely to become cops out of a desire to punish society for being cruel to them.

    This is one of the more basic components of what I'm talking about. It's the idea that if society (in general) treats them like ugly goons because they sort of look like that (though aren't yet), they become the thing they are thought to be (ugly goons) because of this attitude, since it's the easiest thing for them to do (become what is expected) and also affords revenge against society through the power they gain. As DEATFBIRSECIA said above, a feedback loop.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I've always wondered about the "psychology of appearance" and whether looking a certain way actually causes people to react to you in correspondingly certain ways, which may in fact cause a person to start acting that way, within certain limits.

    Chaucer thought so. Read The Wife of Bath. Essentially, treating her like a woman with all of the stereotypical bullshit it implied in 14th Century England essentially made her act out the way she did.

    In short, if you're gonna treat me like all I do is scold and cuckold, whether I do or not, well then I'm going to be a scold and cuckold you at every opportunity.

    I'd say the theory translates. If you treat me like a thug, I'll act like one.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    As loathsome as we may find Ramos, is it hard to disagree with that logic?

    I'm still too dumbfounded by the acquittal to know what to think.

    This evil motherfucker murdered somebody on camera, and walked away a free man. He deserves to be hung by his heels and gutted.

  • John||

    As loathsome as we may find Ramos, is it hard to disagree with that logic?

    I find it very easy to disagree with that logic for the reasons I give above. It is not a "roundabout way to get people to incriminate themselves" at all.

    If you applied that logic, you would create a 5th Amendment right against self incrimination in every civil trial. Any party who didn't want to answer questions could just claim the 5th and there wouldn't be anything the other party could do about it short of getting both the DA and AUSA to grant the other party immunity from criminal conduct the nature of which might not even be known.

    I don't see a problem with this at all. Life just sucks sometimes. You can tell the government in a criminal case "hey prove it" but you can't do that in a civil case.

  • Winston||

    This evil motherfucker murdered somebody on camera, and walked away a free man. He deserves to be hung by his heels and gutted.

    So where can I sign up for the People's Reovolutionary Tribunals?

  • sarcasmic||

    If you were on that jury, and had a couple dozen uniformed officers staring you down all day in court, would you have risked your family's safety for a dead homeless guy?

    I'm not sure what I would have done. Well, if I didn't have a family I know what I would have done, but now that I do I'm not so sure.

  • ||

    And is Cincinelli getting the same public treatment at Little League tha Ramos did at Denny's? Hope so!

  • Mainer2||

    I read the linked article...the guy who tracked Ciccinelli down and took his pic was chased away by one of the other coaches.

    So...no.

  • ||

    I'd pull my kid off that team and out of the League in a NY minute.

  • gaoxiaen||

    No. They just made him the batting coach.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If Ramos isn’t granted immunity, he likely will ask a judge to limit the scope of questioning.

    I'm not sure why this really matters. Do they seriously expect this lying cocksucker to answer honestly? Do they think he will reveal his "state of mind" at the time?

    Play the tapes over and over and over. Plaster the walls of the courtroom with four foot by eight foot picture of Kelly Thomas' battered face.

  • Free Society||

    Double jeopardy, is a travesty of justice and it pervades our system. As tempting as it would be to see these pigs repeatedly prosecuted until something sticks, a rightful conviction in this case does not outweigh the systemic injustice.

    Fuck yes they should have immunity to federal double jeopardy. Like everyone else should.

  • Winston||

    You Know Who Else thought it was okay to break their principles to punish people they hated?

  • Free Society||

    99% of all people who ever lived

  • Winston||

    I'm reminded of how Robespierre opposed the death penalty....except for his enemies obviously who had to be killed in the name of liberty and equality.

  • Free Society||

    'Power' at it's most unrefined and brutal form is found only in states. So even a state promoting some noble moral principles will inevitably breed injustice. It's why rulers like Robespierre are eternally reincarnated into monsters even more supposedly moral than their predecessors.

  • Paul.||

    The cops?

  • John||

    I disagree. I think you and I should not have to worry about the Feds prosecuting us after we are acquitted at a state trial, but public officials should. If you don't let the feds try public officials, it will be impossible for the feds to ever hold state officials accountable, since all they would need to avoid federal charges is a sham trial and jury acquital and the feds couldn't touch them.

    The point of having a federal system ride herd over the states is for the feds to step in in cases where the state system is truly corrupt. Prevent federal trials after a state acquittal would prevent that.

    Beyond that, they are not being charged with the same crime, so I don't think double jeopardy even applies. They were acquitted of murder. That they were not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of murder says nothing about their guilt or innocence with regards to violating the victim's civil rights.

  • Free Society||

    If you don't let the feds try public officials, it will be impossible for the feds to ever hold state officials accountable, since all they would need to avoid federal charges is a sham trial and jury acquital and the feds couldn't touch them.

    A valid point. But to that end the trial shouldn't have been held in the local court to begin with.

    If we must endure a justice system where the enforcers get to play by a separate rule book than everyone else, then by all means that special treatment should include a much higher burden of proof in proving their 'justifiable use of force'. If it's murder when I beat someone to death for no good reason, then it should be murder when I beat someone to death while wearing a special costume.

  • John||

    It should be. But there is no federal murder statute that applies here. But there is a federal statute that makes it a crime to violate someone's civil rights under the color of law. That would seem to apply here.

  • sarcasmic||

    We live in a feudal society. Only the costumes have changed..

  • Winston||

    We live in a feudal society. Only the costumes have changed.

    I suppose Libertarian TOP. MEN. will prevent their Reign of Terror from going too far?

  • sarcasmic||

    Unless a system is set up where there is a real incentive to repeal bad rules, and no such system has ever existed because rule makers prefer to deal with the consequences of their rules with more rules rather than repeal, the logical conclusion of any government is totalitarian tyranny.

    And even if such a system were to exist, it would only be a matter of time before it was corrupted.

    Go here and control-f for "repeal." I think Heinlein was off to a good start.

  • Free Society||

    Beyond that, they are not being charged with the same crime, so I don't think double jeopardy even applies. They were acquitted of murder. That they were not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of murder says nothing about their guilt or innocence with regards to violating the victim's civil rights.

    I will have to call BS on this one. 'Not being charged with the same crime' hardly precludes that this is not a case of double jeopardy. The Federal Register of laws is nothing if not full of redundancies and descriptions of different 'crimes' that are actually the same thing. Those redundancies are there specifically as a tool for prosecutors to exponentially increase prison time and inflate the penalties of not taking plea bargains. You'd have to be a Supreme Court Justice to conclude that these redundant laws are not double jeopardy in disguise.

  • John||

    It most certainly can. The state criminal case litigated whether they were guilty of murder. Murder is a completely different charge than civil rights violations.

    For example, a cop could decide to harass and arrest someone just because they are Mexican then get into a confrontation and end up killing the guy. A jury might very well find them innocent of murder, but finding that says nothing about whether he decided to initiate the confrontation because the victim was Mexican and that is what the civil rights trial will determine. Those are two totally separate issues even thought they relate to the same event.

    Think of it this way, if it came out he decided to arrest the guy simply because he was a Mexican, the state could sure as hell try him for that. There is no obligation on the part of the state to bring every possible charge into a criminal trial.

  • Free Society||

    It most certainly can. The state criminal case litigated whether they were guilty of murder. Murder is a completely different charge than civil rights violations.

    Kelly Thomas only had a right to life. He didn't also have a "civil right to life". Yes I realize there are statutes called 'civil rights', but we're talking in terms of what 'ought to' be considered justice, not how the state defines it.

    A jury might very well find them innocent of murder, but finding that says nothing about whether he decided to initiate the confrontation because the victim was Mexican and that is what the civil rights trial will determine.

    Ahhh yes, thought crime. A crime is a crime. A crime doesn't become a supercrime because the perpetrator didn't like the cut of his jib.

    There is no obligation on the part of the state to bring every possible charge into a criminal trial.

    The prosecutor has plenty of his own incentives on that count.

  • John||

    1. Thomas a right to more than life. He has a right to not be harassed based on his race or religion.

    2. Call it what you will. But saying "hey cops can't go out and just harass and pick on people because of their race and can't treat people worse because of their race sounds like a pretty good thing to me. If that is a "thought crime", then I guess it is one thought crime that is just.

    3. The prosecutor has all kinds of incentives. So what? That doesn't make the first trial about the same issue as the second.

  • Free Society||

    1. Thomas a right to more than life. He has a right to not be harassed based on his race or religion.

    Of course Thomas had a right to "more than life", and you know that's a strawman. He also has rights to numerous other things that also do not come from government. The 'rights' that come from the feds are statutory codes of preferential treatment, they're legal privileges enjoyed by politically favored groups. That's not justice.

    2. Call it what you will. But saying "hey cops can't go out and just harass and pick on people because of their race and can't treat people worse because of their race sounds like a pretty good thing to me. If that is a "thought crime", then I guess it is one thought crime that is just.

    Everyone has the same rights and liberties regardless of the color of their skin or costume. What the cops did was a crime because they violated the rights of another human being. It wasn't a crime because they violated statutes of politically preferred treatment. Politics are not justice.

    3. The prosecutor has all kinds of incentives. So what? That doesn't make the first trial about the same issue as the second.

    So you have no misgivings about tremendous prosecutorial discretion. You can stop there if you want, I was already convinced that your opinion here is worthless. You had me at your support for thought-crime.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Ciccinelli has also been tracked down coaching Little League baseball.

    What kind of parent would allow their kid anywhere near these scumbags/

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So where can I sign up for the People's Reovolutionary Tribunals?

    Send money to Kickstarter.

  • Winston||

    Send money to Kickstarter.

    So the libertarians will be the first to be guillotined as Enemies of the People?

  • wwhorton||

    As loathsome as we may find Ramos, is it hard to disagree with that logic?

    Well, no, but, by the same token, I wouldn't have had a single moral qualm or conflict over the guy getting lynched in that Denny's parking lot. I'm not comfortable with the idea of the state having clinical policies regarding when a person loses the right to live, but I have no issue with individual people making the choice to kill someone who has done something truly evil without a shred of remorse. NAP and all, but sometimes there are people who just need killing.

  • Winston||

    You Know Who Else opposed the death penalty except for Enemies of the People?

  • Paul.||

    The cops?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Re: Double jeopardy:
    As far as I'm concerned, jeopardy was never really attached in the state trial. As soon as the judge allowed armed associates of the defendants into the courtroom to observe the members of the jury and heckle witnesses as they gave unfavorable testimony, this whole thing became a farce.

    In hindsight, the trial should have been held at least 2 counties away from Fullerton.

  • John||

    Shackelford is missing the point here. This dirtbag has a right to take the 5th in his civil trial. The Court won't be able to hold him in contempt or enter a default judgement against him, like they could if he just refused to answer questions without taking the 5th. But, unlike a criminal trial, the fact finder can hold his silence against him.

    That is what he and his lawyer is bitching and moaning about. They want to be able to tell the plaintiff "fuck you I plead the 5th and the jury can't hold it against me". That is not how it works in civil trials. If you want to take the 5th, have fun but understand the fact finder is free to make of that what they may.

    I honestly can't see how this is in any way unfair. There are good reasons to not hold someone's silence against them in a criminal trial. In a criminal trial the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the government. The accused should be able to win without saying a word. Civil trials are not like that. No one is going to jail over it and the standard of proof is more likely than not. You have never had the right to just not answer and tell the other side "prove it" in civil trials the way you can in a criminal case. That is what this asshole wants or he want immunity so he can confess to his various crimes without worrying about getting in trouble.

    Fuck him. And shame on Reason for not getting an attorney to write about this case.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Who is Shackelford?

  • John||

    The author of the post. If all you can get out of that post is "he misspelled the name of the author", then you are too stupid to understand what I am saying anyway. So you are not really the audience I am writing for and shouldn't worry about the post.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Wow. Just wow.

  • John||

    I find the "who is that" post after a misspelled author name to be one of the more offensively stupid and annoying pieces of pedantry done on here.

  • ||

    That's probably because you're an asshole.

  • John||

    Well yeah, who ever said I wasn't?

  • BakedPenguin||

  • Virginian||

    Yeah Ramos looks like a fatter Marcus Alvarez from Sons of Anarchy.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Winston sounds like a Law and Order Libertarian.

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