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Prosecutors' Morbid Neckties Add to Criticism
The New York Times ^ | 01-05-03 | JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Posted on 01/05/2003 8:59:07 AM PST by Pharmboy

Picture credit:Jonathan Cohen for The New York Times
Lawrence Jacobs, whose son will be retried on capital
murder charges, said prosecutors made light of the
death penalty with their neckwear, which featured
images of the Grim Reaper and a noose

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 3 — When Lawrence Jacobs walked into the courtroom a few weeks ago, he couldn't believe his eyes. There was a noose swinging from the prosecutor's chest.

Mr. Jacobs's son is being tried on capital murder charges. The noose was on a necktie.

Then he saw it again. This time two prosecutors were wearing ghoulish ties, one with a dangling rope, the other with an image of the Grim Reaper.

"That's when it really hit me," Mr. Jacobs said. "These guys are out to kill my son. And they're making light of it."

The prosecutors said the neckties were jokes. But their boss did not find it funny.

"Totally inappropriate," said Paul D. Connick Jr., the district attorney of Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans. "And unprofessional. I told them: `Don't wear those two ties to work. No nooses, no Grim Reapers.' "

There was no further discipline, and defense lawyers say the neckties are simply the latest proof of a racially tinged, bloodthirsty culture at the Jefferson district attorney's office, which has put more people on Louisiana's death row in recent years than any other parish.

Until recently, lawyers noted each lethal injection by handing out plaques decorated with hypodermic needles.

Yet prosecutors in Jefferson Parish, which actually has a low murder rate, are not alone in what apparently is a relish for capital punishment. It seems to be part of prosecutorial machismo in many places, especially in the South. In East Baton Rouge, 75 miles away, the district attorney celebrates death sentences with office parties, replete with steak and Jim Beam.

In Texas, one district attorney formed a "Silver Needle Society" while another one hung a noose over her office door.

In Mississippi, a former assistant attorney general had a toy electric chair on his desk that buzzed.

Defense lawyers concede that they make jokes too. It is inevitable when dealing with such heavy issues as life and death, said Sarah Ottinger, a New Orleans defense lawyer.

"But taking that humor out of the office and into the courtroom is another story," Ms. Ottinger said.

Several legal scholars concurred.

"It's a solemn event when the state decides that they want to kill one of their citizens," said Dane Ciolino, a Loyola University Law School professor. "To be cute and flippant about it clearly is wrong."

Jefferson is one of the most conservative parishes in Louisiana. It is where David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, was elected state representative in 1987. Four years later, he began his nearly successful campaign for governor from the subdivisions here.

While New Orleans, across the river, is two-thirds black, Jefferson Parish is two-thirds white.

This is where Lawrence Jacobs Jr. got into trouble in October 1996. Mr. Jacobs, then 16, and a childhood friend, Roy Bridgewater, then 17, both black, burst into an occupied home in Marrero, a white suburb. The teenagers stole guns and jewelry and raced away in a minivan. When police entered the ransacked house, they found two people, a 45-year-old man and his 70-year-old mother, slumped on the bed, shot to death.

It was never clear who pulled the trigger. Each teenager said the other did it.

The two were sent to trial during some of the bloodiest days in the Big Easy, when people were getting shot in the streets of the French Quarter for their leather jackets and there was a homicide practically every day.

In quick succession, each was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to die.

Juries here are not shy about capital punishment. In the last five years, Jefferson Parish has put 11 people on death row, compared with two from New Orleans. The suburban parish has far fewer murders than the city, 38 compared with 258 last year.

In 2001, Mr. Jacobs's case was overturned after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the trial judge had wrongly impaneled a juror who said the only punishment for murder was lethal injection.

As his new trial approaches, Mr. Jacobs, 22, is accusing prosecutors of racial bias on nearly every front, from who runs the courtrooms to who sits on the jury. Recently, his lawyers filed 91 pretrial motions. The one dealing with neckties, to be heard later this month, is called "Motion to prohibit prosecutors from wearing tasteless and improper garb in the courthouse."

According to defense lawyers, an assistant district attorney, Cameron Mary, wore a bright red tie with a six-inch white noose painted on it to several pretrial hearings last year. His colleague Donald Rowan was seen in a Grim Reaper tie at a number of hearings.

Mr. Connick said his prosecutors wore the ties "only a few times" and never in front of a jury.

The neckties were handmade gifts from the wife of another prosecutor.

Mr. Connick would not allow reporters to see the ties or speak to the prosecutors who wore them.

The silk accessories were first spotted by the elder Mr. Jacobs, a department store manager, who tries to attend all of his son's hearings. To him, they were clearly racist. Especially the noose.

"I mean, who else got strung up?" he asked.

The younger Mr. Jacobs said that at a recent hearing, one assistant district attorney turned to him and whispered: "We're going to hang you, boy."

Mr. Connick said he had not heard of this and would look into it.

Mr. Connick says the racism charge is what bothers him most.

"That's completely unwarranted," he said. "There's no selective prosecution here, and it's never based on race."

He pointed out that his outfit had come a long way in hiring blacks. When he took office in 1997, there were no African-American employees. Now, 9 percent of the lawyers and 20 percent of the investigators are members of minorities.

He also said he did not tolerate the type of punishment parties that his predecessors held.

Until a few years ago, every time a prosecutor won a death sentence, the office would take up a collection and buy a plaque. Each one had a needle on it and the condemned person's name, said Robert Burns, a retired Jefferson Parish judge, who saw them hanging in the chambers of a prosecutor turned judge.

But to the younger Mr. Jacobs, who marks time in Louisiana's Angola prison awaiting his retrial, it all looks hypocritical.

"I mean, these guys with their ties act like death is a joke," he said. "And that's what's crazy. They're the ones calling me a cold-blooded killer."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: courtrooms; das; gallowshumor; murder
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first 1-5051-72 next last
Well...when your son killed the guy, he sure didn't take his life very seriously.
1 posted on 01/05/2003 8:59:07 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
Did they happen to mention where one could aquire the aforementioned ties?
2 posted on 01/05/2003 9:01:22 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks
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To: Pharmboy
"That's when it really hit me," Mr. Jacobs said. "These guys are out to kill my son. And they're making light of it."

No a-hole, these guys are out to win a conviction against your son. Your son is the only killer in that courtroom.

3 posted on 01/05/2003 9:02:23 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: Pharmboy
Yeah...a murderer has the audacity to be affronted by a neck tie.
4 posted on 01/05/2003 9:04:07 AM PST by Happygal
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Pharmboy
Nevertheless, this is unprofessional and creates the wrong impression. Justice should be impartial and impersonal.

It is true that it may be necessary to execute guys like this, but we should not take pleasure in it. We would have been much happier if he had not committed the crime in the first place.
6 posted on 01/05/2003 9:08:33 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: Pharmboy
"...Jefferson Parish, which actually has a low murder rate...'

Well, no s**t!! If a potential killer KNOWS they are going to get him, it will deter him. This "not a deterent" myth was made up by anti-death penalty jerks who simply asked a bunch of prisoners if the threat of the death penalty would have stopped them from committing the crime(s) for which they were imprisoned.

This is truly Clintonian!! If your kid is a murderer, shift the discussion to something else. It speaks volumes about the kid's guilt that the only thing they could find was the prosecuter's tie.

"No, double sausage with breakfast is no problem, your arteries aren't going to have time to harden."

7 posted on 01/05/2003 9:12:41 AM PST by Tacis
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To: Pharmboy
"I mean, who else got strung up?" he asked.

Well, a real quick search shows that in Indiana, prior to 1913, all executions were by hanging. I also found that up until the 1890s, hanging was the primary method of execution used in the United States, and that Washington and Delaware still use it - although another site indicates that New Hampshire also still uses it and yet another shows that Montana still has it - and that since 1976, three prisoners have been executed by hanging.

Oh, but you're trying to show some sort of racial motivation here. I don't see it - unless the prosecutors showed up in hoods or some such as that. Your son killed a man - how much kindness was there in that act?

8 posted on 01/05/2003 9:14:05 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Pharmboy
"These guys are out to kill my son. And they're making light of it."

DUH!
9 posted on 01/05/2003 9:16:48 AM PST by M. Peach
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To: Pharmboy
I've never had a prosecuter do that to me. Of course, I've never murdered anyone either. Probably a connection there.
10 posted on 01/05/2003 9:19:09 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: Pharmboy
".... Mr. Jacobs, then 16, and a childhood friend, Roy Bridgewater, then 17, both black, burst into an occupied home in Marrero, a white suburb. The teenagers stole guns and jewelry and raced away in a minivan. When police entered the ransacked house, they found two people, a 45-year-old man and his 70-year-old mother, slumped on the bed, shot to death..."

"..."That's when it really hit me," Mr. Jacobs said. "These guys are out to kill my son. And they're making light of it."..."

If I could be at the execution of your piece of shit offspring, 'Mr.' Jacobs, you'd know what "making light of it" really looks and sounds like.

How did you raise your little savage, 'Mr.' Jacobs, that he could do what he did?

Shouldn't you be slumped in a corner, 'Mr.' Jacobs, nearly paralyzed with grief, self-hatred and overwhelming guilt?

Why are you embarrassing yourself like this 'Mr.' Jacobs?

Don't you have some rope? And a bucket? Isn't there a tree with a stout limb somewhere near where you lived?

See how good that sounds in the past tense, 'Mr.' Jacobs?

11 posted on 01/05/2003 9:20:51 AM PST by DWSUWF
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To: Pharmboy
There is an interesting legal precedent wherein two male lovers of a woman arranged a meeting with her at a motel to discuss their conundrum.

One of them shot and killed her, and at the trial they both said that the other pulled the trigger. Since there was no way to prove which one did, they had to let them both go.
12 posted on 01/05/2003 9:21:00 AM PST by M. Peach
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To: Pharmboy
The killer's pa will use this to get unfavorable decision overturned. He's just laying the groundwork.
13 posted on 01/05/2003 9:23:47 AM PST by dennisw
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To: proxy_user
I do not agree that it was unprofessional and wrong. The prosecutors were sending a subliminal message that the defendant was going to get their full and complete efforts. Society should demand the death penalty far more frequently in cases of homicide. It certainly cuts down on the recidivisim rate for those executed.

Stay well - Stay safe - stay armed - Yorktown

14 posted on 01/05/2003 9:25:14 AM PST by harpseal
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To: Pharmboy
Yet prosecutors in Jefferson Parish, which actually has a low murder rate, are not alone in what apparently is a relish for capital punishment. It seems to be part of prosecutorial machismo in many places, especially in the South

After reading this, I checked the source (Slimes) and stopped reading. By that time, I heard everything I wanted to hear.

15 posted on 01/05/2003 9:29:18 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: pgkdan; Happygal
No a-hole, these guys are out to win a conviction against your son. Your son is the only killer in that courtroom.

No, man! This guy was on trial; he wasn't a convicted murderer. I strongly support the death penalty, but the attitude toward its execution is very important for our whole society. From the report:

"It's a solemn event when the state decides that they want to kill one of their citizens," said Dane Ciolino, a Loyola University Law School professor. "To be cute and flippant about it clearly is wrong."

Well said.

16 posted on 01/05/2003 9:31:52 AM PST by agrandis
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To: proxy_user
Your post 6 is right on. We let emotions run away with us in these cases. All the getting drunk and macabe celebrating during an execution is a sign of a babyish society. It gives capital punishment itself, which is not practiced enough in our country, a bad connotation of mob delerium, and the lynching of innocents, and the cheering crowds at the burning of Christians at the stake, the guillotines in France, or the gallows in 18th Century England.

That's not how the death penalty should be. We should mourn that it has to be done at all - that anyone among us was murdered in the first place. It should be somber, and sober. It IS the STATE taking a life, after all, and we should be deadly serious about that.

17 posted on 01/05/2003 9:45:31 AM PST by agrandis
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To: proxy_user
Nevertheless, this is unprofessional and creates the wrong impression. Justice should be impartial and impersonal. It is true that it may be necessary to execute guys like this, but we should not take pleasure in it.

Well said. Justice must be impartial and sober, or else it will descend to the level of jingoism and mob violence. I would bet that those who make light of executing another person -- however justified -- have never seen anyone put to death, let alone killed anyone themselves. Officers of the court are invested with special trust and confidence, and their behavior must be beyond reproach. Most trial judges would firmly but quietly admonish these prosecutors to dress up and behave to the high level of their responsibilities.

This is a changing world, with changing values. One never knows when he might desire an impartial trial of his own...

18 posted on 01/05/2003 9:52:57 AM PST by Always A Marine
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Add the tie to the fighting whities t-shirt wardrobe.
19 posted on 01/05/2003 10:10:47 AM PST by RWG
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To: agrandis; proxy_user
Justice cannot be impartially administered while the prosecutors are wearing nooses and grim Reaper ties.

And to think that many on this thread support such barbaric nonsense is embarrasing...
20 posted on 01/05/2003 10:10:47 AM PST by motzman
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To: Tacis
Does Sherrif Harry Lee still rule Jefferson Parish?

He didn't take any guff off of anyone.

JP had a low murder rate from '88-95 (the years I was in the area) for that reason above all others.

As for racism... Lee was CHINESE-AMERICAN.
21 posted on 01/05/2003 10:12:11 AM PST by demosthenes the elder
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To: proxy_user
It is true that it may be necessary to execute guys like this, but we should not take pleasure in it. We would have been much happier if he had not committed the crime in the first place.

Thank you. The death penalty is probably necessary. But that doesn't mean it is a matter for joking or celebration. God loves that murderer as much as he loves me. He has fallen so far that our society needs to take his life. I find no joy or humor in that.

This is as bad as the 'huzzahs' that burst forth whenever someone posts an article about a homeowner shooting an intruder. I am prepared to defend my family, with deadly force if necessary. But if that happens, and if I should find myself rejoicing in his death, I know it will be time to ask God's forgiveness.

22 posted on 01/05/2003 10:19:26 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: agrandis
I was ambivilent at first, and you and some others have clarified my position in this matter. I have come to the conclusion that you are correct. This type of discussion is what makes FR so great and truly allows one to see all different sides of issues so that one can make up their own mind.
23 posted on 01/05/2003 10:34:13 AM PST by M. Peach
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To: Pharmboy
I'd have a problem with this if it was a clip-on.
24 posted on 01/05/2003 10:36:35 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: motzman
How true , though it has always been that people
celebrate capitol punishment.
It should be used ( more than it is ) but
justice should be served quietly , quickly,
effectively , and with a solomn reverence.
25 posted on 01/05/2003 10:40:06 AM PST by squibs
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To: M. Peach
In AZ they would have both got it...
26 posted on 01/05/2003 10:47:31 AM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: Pharmboy
" simply the latest proof of a racially tinged, bloodthirsty culture ....

"are not alone in what apparently is a relish for capital punishment. It seems to be part of prosecutorial machismo in many places, especially in the South. In East Baton Rouge, 75 miles away, the district attorney celebrates death sentences with office parties, replete with steak and Jim Beam. "

"Bloodthirsty culture,relish for capital punishment,prosecutorial machismo,especially in the South"- The NYT tries to paint a picture of the prosecutors as knuckle dragging,KKK members,who get aroused at the thought of the electric chair!! Did Maureen Dowd write this?? Maybe this pro criminal NYT writer should spend some time in a prosecutor's office. He'll see crime scene photos that will haunt him forever,he'll see the families ,especially the mothers of the victims, begging him to find justice for their child and maybe he can even go to the morgue and actually see the victim.And in many,many cases-the victims will be black.And when he goes to court,he can see a smirking,unrepetant and cocky defendant. Why do the eastern liberals at the NYT only demand justice for Matthew Shepard and not for an inner city teenager, who was stabbed in the back,because he refused to submit to a street robbery? Does the NYT only support the death penalty, if the victim was white and gay? Why does the NYT think it's wrong for the prosecutors to have a steak and a drink,after winning a case? Didn't OJ's Dream Team,do the same thing-now,that was offensive !
27 posted on 01/05/2003 10:49:16 AM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: motzman
He's the prosecutor... its the jury and judge's job to administer justice...
28 posted on 01/05/2003 10:49:20 AM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: ModelBreaker
We don't need this kind of bloodthirsty behaviour from our prosecutors. I think that this kind of juvenile crass disregard for the system of justice is way over the top. Sure, a high five behind closed doors is OK, I guess, but steak and bourbon? Plaques with needles on them? These jerks need to practice some solemnity when dealing with these cases. There is no need to fan the flames of racism on either side; all that will accomplish is making it more difficult to mete out justice.
My second problem: the system of prosecution rewards convictions, not truth. Something has got to change in a big way, so we can have a little more confidence in the system. I don't personally support the death penalty in America at this time. The numerous individuals exonerated under what are usually very obvious cases of innocence has changed my mind on this issue.
Give me a prosecutorial system that encourages and rewards honesty and truth, with noone getting the needle without solid forensic evidence, and I will gladly support the ultimate punishment.
29 posted on 01/05/2003 10:49:23 AM PST by CalvaryJohn
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To: CalvaryJohn
I agree, the views I am seeing here turn my stomach as well. Some of you really need to pay attention to that hot feeling on the back of your neck. It's called SHAME.
30 posted on 01/05/2003 10:53:59 AM PST by CalvaryJohn
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To: marajade
I know you might say that right now, but I'll give you a hypothetical and see if you can honestly respond back to me?

You were having a relationship with another, and her spurned lover (previously unknown to you) entered the room and shot her. There were no other witnesses, testimony and evidence could expulcate neither of you.

What would you then think of your ruling?
31 posted on 01/05/2003 11:04:41 AM PST by M. Peach
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To: marajade
I know you might say that right now, but I'll give you a hypothetical and see if you can honestly respond back to me?

You were having a relationship with another, and her spurned lover (previously unknown to you) entered the room and shot her. There were no other witnesses, testimony and evidence could expulcate neither of you.

What would you then think of your ruling?
32 posted on 01/05/2003 11:04:42 AM PST by M. Peach
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To: CalvaryJohn
If the prosecuter is representing ME, the PEOPLE, I want him to WANT to put that sonavabitch to death. I want him to eat it, sleep it, love it. The defendant has an attorney who should be that devoted to him, the judge keeps order, the jury decides. If you don't like that system, don't murder anyone.
33 posted on 01/05/2003 11:10:22 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: Republic of Texas
Your hypothetical doesn't wash. There is the eyewitness(me) and ballistic forensics. Try again, you sophomore.
34 posted on 01/05/2003 11:15:22 AM PST by CalvaryJohn
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To: M. Peach
At least the murderer of my love would go down with me.
35 posted on 01/05/2003 11:31:18 AM PST by ExpandNATO
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To: CalvaryJohn
Welcome to Free Republic, CalvaryJohn, FR Member since 2002-12-21!

Perhaps your views would be better appreciated on sobsistersunited.com!

36 posted on 01/05/2003 12:12:31 PM PST by albee
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To: M. Peach
Law isn't based on hypotheticals... In AZ we have a capital murder statute where it doesn't matter who pulls the trigger... if two are suspects are involved in the case, they both get charged...
37 posted on 01/05/2003 12:15:32 PM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: marajade
I realize the law isn't based on hypotheticals, but I'm asking you to (for the sake of this conversation) put yourself in the position I just referenced.

If in fact the laws in Arizona provide for what you just stated, would you feel that the law was fair, and would you agree that you should die for being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

I know this is a tough one, but be honest.
38 posted on 01/05/2003 12:23:40 PM PST by M. Peach
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To: M. Peach
Actually I like the law myself...

Like Forrest Gump says: stupid is as stupid does...

That includes the company one keeps...
39 posted on 01/05/2003 12:26:18 PM PST by sabe@q.com
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To: CalvaryJohn
" Your hypothetical doesn't wash. There is the eyewitness(me) and ballistic forensics. Try again, you sophomore. "

I didn't post a hypothetical. And yes, after your snide, incorrect and irrelevant comment back to me, that burning feeling on the back of YOUR neck, is called SHAME.

40 posted on 01/05/2003 12:31:26 PM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: DWSUWF
how do you REALLY feel about this? come on... don't be shy...

LOL

41 posted on 01/05/2003 12:38:37 PM PST by smoking camels
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To: Pharmboy
When Lawrence Jacobs walked into the courtroom a few weeks ago, he couldn't believe his eyes. There was a noose swinging from the prosecutor's chest.

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

42 posted on 01/05/2003 1:10:09 PM PST by Dan Day
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To: Pharmboy

43 posted on 01/05/2003 1:17:54 PM PST by Momaw Nadon
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To: Pharmboy
I must insist on some royalties on these ties.
44 posted on 01/05/2003 1:30:39 PM PST by TheGrimReaper
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To: Calcetines
The prosecutors shouldn't have been wearing such neckwear in the courtroom. It was unprofessional. The prosecutors' personal views on capital punishment should not be a factor brought to the attention of the jury.

I know of a case that was overturned partly because of what a judge did in front of the jury. A child testified against the defendant. When she finished her testimony, the judge (N.O. Judge Miriam Waltzer) reportedly gave her a little bag of candy, and a smile. The judge didn't do this b/c she liked the content of the child's testimony, she was just being nice, I think.

It was successfully argued that this action, done in front of the jury, might have suggested to them that the judge (the authority figure) somehow approved of the child's testimony against the defendant, and that this testimony was thought by the judge to be especially good and believable.

Having said that, I agree with the poster who said, essentially, "The son ends too lives, and this father is offended by NECKTIES????" Hello? Two people were slaughtered in their home, and a necktie with a rope on it is deemed unbearably cruel? Come now.

This case has apparently passed the selection committee (being facetious, don't know if there is or isn't such a committee) of Amnesty Int'l. and The Worldwide Liberal Fraternal Organization--people who think that the only issue that has ever had any importance in the entire history of mankind is that some whites have been extremely mean to some black people during some eras. They have decided to make Lawrence Jacobs a cause celebre. Do a google on this D.A.'s name (Paul Connick) and you will find correspondence/coverage to and about him in Swedish, among other things. And you will find heartfelt letters about this case, written by British students. This is one of their fashionable "causes." Just like Mumia Abu Jamal.

And look at the defiant stance of that father in that picture. Maybe he's one of those parents who, when their little darling got in some minor trouble, always assumed it was the teacher or storekeeper or rec center manager who was "picking on" their son. The type of parent who goes down to the school, store, or rec center in high dudgeon, to give that adult "a piece of my mind." That sort of upbringing, in which your parent is always telling you you are the victim of some mean authority figure, can indeed create a monster.

I guess Dad doesn't concede that it was his son who actually murdered the people. But no one seems to deny that they robbed them. Isn't he the least bit ashamed that his son would violently rob someone?

45 posted on 01/05/2003 3:33:08 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: M. Peach
Your hypothetical differs in a very key fact from the actual incident to which this article devotes about one or two sentences--the crime.

"Mr. Jacobs, then 16, and a childhood friend, Roy Bridgewater, then 17, both black, burst into an occupied home in Marrero, a white suburb. The teenagers stole guns and jewelry and raced away in a minivan." In other words, they were working in concert. Together. As partners. They came in together, and they left together.

In your hypothetical, one person does the crime, unknown to the other person, who then appears on the scene and is thought to have done the crime. That's a very different situation.

In fact, that difference would certainly be noted when it came down to deciding whether the law considered the two people to be equally guilty.

I know of a case in which a group of about 5 black teenagers burst into a black home. In the home were a number of middle-aged black adults. They were using drugs. The "teens" made them all strip down to their underwear. They robbed them. The "teens" had some big, powerful guns. Then the "teens" fled. As the little gang was running away, some of the victims came to the door and started shooting at them. Some of the "teens" shot back as they were running away. One of the "teens" (the robbers) was shot dead in his tracks. Guess who went on trial for murder, because of his death? His fellow robbers. Yes--even though the bullet came from the gun of one of the victims. It was their robbery scheme that, in the beginning, caused the "teen's" death. No one would have been shooting at them if they hadn't been running away from a violent robbery.

46 posted on 01/05/2003 3:48:08 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Devil_Anse
Notice how the story makes a point of telling us they were "both black," and that Marrero is (supposedly) a "white suburb."

Before anyone goes visualizing Marrero as some ritzy, Beverly Hills-looking, super-high-income type place, let me say that it looks more working class to me. And I definitely don't recall it being all white.

Isn't if funny how race is suddenly a KEY factor? When, any other day, people who read and write the NYT would be outraged at a crime report that stated something like: "A black man approximately 6' tall, wearing a black stocking cap and a white jacket, robbed a white woman aged 56, in the K-Mart parking lot." But now, suddenly, we're SUPPOSED to pay attention to race.

And why would a hangman's noose be considered "racist?" Did the tie depict the noose around a black man's neck, with little X's over his eyes? That's not what I read. Currently, I am reading a book called "Bloodletters and Bad Men." It's a compendium of various criminals' histories. So far, every criminal mentioned has been white. Almost all those listed as executed, before 1950 or so, were listed as having been HANGED. Yes, there is a history of lynchings in which black men were hanged. Guess what? More white men, both lynch victims and criminals, have been hanged in this country. So why is a hangman's noose, WITHOUT MORE, considered a racist symbol?

And notice the ludicrous way in which the writer baldly states that the two men did the home invasion and robbery, but then switches to the mysterious passive voice, saying the victims were "found dead." Gee, we need a super detective to figure out how they died, don't we? Murder-suicide, you think?
47 posted on 01/05/2003 3:57:45 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Devil_Anse
You are right it is at least borderline unprofessional, but it depends on the circumstances. This sounds like a slam-dunk case that is only going to trial because it is a capital case. If the prosecutors were in a case that had any true element of contest about it, I would have more of a problem with the ties.
48 posted on 01/05/2003 4:56:41 PM PST by eno_
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To: harpseal
IMO it was definitely unproffessional and not too bright either. I've seen "gag" ties at appearances (e.g. Case Management Conference, etc.) but never at trial. What's worse, defense counsel should have immediately advised the clerk that he wished to speak to the judge on the record and outside the presence of the jury at which time he should have made his prompt objection.

Again, its just my opinion but this is more evidence, as if any were needed, that lawyers are NOT all smart people.

49 posted on 01/05/2003 5:02:49 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: agrandis
You're right. I regretted posting that almost as soon as I hit the button. I also said the man's son was the only killer in the court room...stupidly ignoring the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Thanks for calling me on it, it was a stupid thing to post.
50 posted on 01/05/2003 5:44:18 PM PST by pgkdan
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