Monday, July 02, 2012

Justified and unjustified killings, south-bound spillover, the old mumpsimus, and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers attention:

Killings deemed justified rise after passage of Castle Doctrine
Homicides considered justified ticked up after Texas approved its version of the "stand your ground" law.

Wrongful death suit over Arlington ATF raid
An Arlington man's family has sued after he was was shot and killed by an ATF agent in his home at 6:30 in the morning while he was preparing school lunches for his grandkids. They were executing a warrant targeting his son, a member of the Texas Syndicate prison gang.

Texas Legislature has most lawyers of any statehouse
At 30.4%, the Texas legislature has a larger percentage of attorneys than any other state legislature.

Nueces performs pre-July 4 breath tests on DWI probationers
In Nueces County, police and probation officers will be visiting the homes of DWI probationers Tuesday and Wednesday to perform breath tests prior to the July 4 holiday. Said the police chief, "If we need to put them in jail for a technical violation to keep an eye on them, we will."

We're all safer now
In East Texas, a man was given a 12 year sentence for possession of just more than 4 oz of codeine cough syrup.

Prosecuting spillover violence
Regular Grits readers know most "spillover violence" along the Texas-Mexico border runs north to south, with Texas prison gangs operating as soldiers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. The feds just extradited another member of Barrio Azteca, a prison gang affiliated with La Linea in Juarez, who was one of 35 BA members charged last year, including 10 accused in the Mexican-side murder of a US Consulate employee, her husband, and the husband of a co-worker in 2010.

On 'vanishingly rare' criminal trials
Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice opined on the implications of "vanishingly rare" criminal trials, reacting to this New York Times story on Supreme Court jurisprudence.

The old mumpsimus
Yesterday's Dictionary.com "word of the day" was "mumpsimus," which means "Adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy." It dates to a story first told by Erasmus of a monk who mistakenly used "mumpsimus" instead of the correct "sumpsimus" in his latinate litany. When confronted with the actual verbiage, the monk replied that he'd said it that way for forty years and “I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus” How could Grits not have known this excellent word? It describes a phenomenon this blog rails against all the time, and Erasmus' "In Praise of Folly" is one of my all-time favorite satirical works.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Evidently that "purple drank" ain't as kosher in Anderson County as it is in Harris County! Good job Anderson Co. D.A.'s office!

Edward Greff said...

As Clint would say, "There is nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot." Why is it if someone decides to commit a robbery or a burglary, (armed or not), do we need to send them the message that it can be done safely? As to home invasions well, that's really different. You have figure if someone is willing to break in to your home knowing you are there, they are prepared to deal with you. So, let's send them the message that they have no worries either. We'll have a law for them that will stipulate if they break in the front door the home owner must flee out the back door. Everybody wants crime to go down. Disarming our citizens and or taking away their right to defend themselves won't help.

Anonymous said...

Edward Greff writes: "You have figure if someone is willing to break in to your home knowing you are there, they are prepared to deal with you. So, let's send them the message"

Are you saying the grandfather in Arlington should have shot the ATF agent to "send a message"?

Vincent van Gogh said...

Anon 1031

Comment so off subject it is not worth a reply.

Anonymous said...

A cough syrup addict, with a prior conviction of illegal possession of the stuff, pulled over while under the influence and driving 87 mph? Yeah, it was time to get this moron off the road before he killed somebody, and not after.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what 10:31. If any trigger-happy law enforcement comes kicking in my door with their finger on the trigger pointed at me, and the question becomes his life or mine, I wouldn't hesitate.

rodsmith said...

well 10:31 i agree with him. That message would be!

"No matter what costume your wearing you break into someone's home unannoucned YOU DIE!"

I LIKE IT!

Anonymous said...

Texas Ledgislature 30.4% lawyers; that speaks volumes. No wonder...

Anonymous said...

Really?

Nueces County probation officers will be knocking this week on doors of people on probation for drunken driving convictions. The DWI offender check brings together the Nueces County Community Supervision and Corrections Department and Corpus Christi police. The initiative is an effort to monitor offenders to ensure they don't imbibe and drive during the historically busy holiday.

The initiative is not about locking people up but protecting visitors and residents alike during the popular holiday.

Anyone else besides me get nervous when Texas talks about "protecting" it's citizens?

1 in 25 in jail, prison, on parole or probation. More felonies than any other state. 70,000 on the sex offender registry.

Before long, it is very possible that ALL of us will fit in some criminal category. Whose protecting us from the idiots in the legislature or the Governor from Paint Creek?

Anne Roberts said...

An interesting collection of stories. I think it is important to be able to protect ourselves whenever neccessary. And if it includes shooting a stranger in your home, so be it. By the way, mumpsimus does not roll out the tongue smoothly, but a very useful word indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anne Roberts said...
An interesting collection of stories. I think it is important to be able to protect ourselves whenever neccessary. And if it includes shooting a stranger in your home, so be it. By the way, mumpsimus does not roll out the tongue smoothly, but a very useful word indeed.

7/02/2012 04:57:00 PM

Anne, I'm not picking on you but I find it strange that people put blind trust in the "state" to protect us until it comes to guns and in that situation we have a right to shoot whomever we damn well please.

Anonymous said...

NUECES COUNTY PROBATION OFFICERS WILL BE KNOCKING ON DOORS...

Well let's see now. What do a lot of people do on the 4th of July? Back yard barbecues with family and friends comes to mind. Most probably there are ice chests filled with beer at these gatherings.

Now the way I understand it, if you are on probation for a DWI, drinking even if you are not driving can be a violation of your parole. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that probation officers have picked this coming Tuesday and Wednesday to make home visits and do breath tests. Remember, the police chief said, "If we need to put them in jail for a technical violation to keep an eye on them, we will."

Now don't misunderstand my point here. DWI is a terrible crime that is perpitrated with horrific results on the public evryday. It is just that sending probation offices to homes to crash backyard barbecues and lock up people because they are cooking hamburgers with a beer in their hand seems a little over the top and 1984 to me.