Monthly Archives: May 2013

O.J. Simpson Testified Today in his Hearing on a Motion for New Trial

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

OJ took the stand to testify today in his bid for a new trial. It appears the main thrust of his claim as to why a new trial would be appropriate are shortcomings in his representation by his attorney. As Defendants are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to representation, the courts have held that if their attorney makes egregious errors, they were not properly represented at trial and can potentially get a new trial.

Not only do the errors have to be extreme, they must seriously indicate there would have been a different outcome. Also, the courts will usually not grant a new trial if the claim is based on strategic decisions, as opposed to outright mistakes. The burden is on the Defense to demonstrate the extent of the errors, and the likelihood of a different outcome.

Simpson testified that he had been given bad advice by his attorney before the incident- basically claiming that his attorney approved his actions in attempting to collect the property. If true, that could be a conflict of interest since the same attorney represented him at trial. Also, he claims that his attorney failed to inform him of the plea offer, which he would have been done serving his time by now had he accepted it. Also, he testified that his attorney kept him from testifying, thereby depriving him of his key defense. Again, the burden is on OJ to convince the judge of these claims. Such motions are generally long-shot, last-ditch attempts to overturn convictions. However, the allegations made by OJ are more dramatic that most. As far as I can tell from news reports, the hearing has not been concluded.

Some Florida Communities Caught Shortening Yellow Lights

Red Light camera

Red Light camera

People often claim that traffic citations are more about fund-raising for cities and counties than they are about the safety of drivers. While the communities continually deny this, they rake in money from the citations, especially red light cameras. Well, it’s hard to claim that the communities are concerned about safety when it turns out that some communities are deliberately SHORTENING yellow lights, which directly leads to more red light tickets. Studies have shown that shorter yellow lights lead to more accidents, but politicians are still using the camera company’s talking points to claim justification for shortening the yellows. Some of those same politicians are receiving campaign donations from the camera companies!

More insidious is that camera supporters put through a change in the law to allow the yellow lights to be shortened. Still, communities in the WTSP story are still shortening the yellow lights below the new minimum standards. Watch reporter Pransky confront the spokesman with evidence of the intentional shortening. This is sickening.

The red light cameras are clearly a racket for communities to tax drivers for the most minor of infractions. Amidst some tumult about the cameras, Collier took theirs down a few months ago. One of the commissioners there admitted it was a revenue generating program, and they weren’t making as much money when the law changed to prevent the camera company from making a commission based on the number of tickets issued. This is shameful by these other Florida communities who are putting drivers at greater risk, just to ticket them for more revenue. It’s government working against the people who it should be working for, and I applaud the investigative efforts of Noah Pransky and the WTSP, Channel 10 news team in Tampa for bringing this racket to light. Great job, I can safely say we Mr. Pransky’s reporting in Southwest Florida.

Thanks to Drudge Report for pointing out the story.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=316418

FHP on Patrol

Noticed a lot of FHP cruisers patroling I-75 and elsewhere today in Southwest Florida. Anybody heard about any stepped up enforcement details? Perhaps they are just breaking in the recently graduated academy class… Continue reading

O.J.Simpson Back in Court Today

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson will be back in court today for a post-conviction motion on his Nevada robbery conviction. It’s a long shot motion, and really O.J.’s last ditch shot to get out of prison earlier than the minimum 9 years he must serve before he is eligible for parole. The co-defendant who was convicted with him at trial was previously released after his conviction was overturned on appeal, leaving O.J. as the only one of the robbers serving time for the robbery.
nbc oj story

Man Flees Cops, Is Caught by Alligator

Bryan Zuniga mug

Bryan Zuniga mug

Bryan Zuniga ran from the cops. He turned up later at the hospital, with multiple puncture wounds, and explained that he’d been bitten by a gator. Kids… it’s a bad idea to run from the cops. It’s an even worse idea to do so in Florida where the wildlife comes equipped with big teeth!

Zuniga got lucky, in spite of the nasty injuries you can see in his picture. Another man in Miami-Dade county was killed by a gator when he fled cops.

Daniel Ventura Pleads Guilty in Sikes Murder

Daniel Ventura mug shot

Daniel Ventura mug shot

Daniel Ventura is the second defendant to be convicted for his involvement in the murder or Larrick Sikes in 2010. He will be sentenced to 16 years in prison for his involvement. He may have been working as a contract killer on the case.

Brian Casey DOC photo

Brian Casey DOC photo

Earlier, Brian Casey entered a plea for his involvement in the murder. Casey had given a statement to law enforcement that he had hired Ventura to do the killing. Casey was previously convicted of another murder and sentenced to life in prison, after a dramatic trial last spring. Casey cut a deal to plead to manslaughter as an Habitual Felony Offender, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison, plus probation afterword, for his agreement to cooperate in the case against Daniel Ventura. Casey is clearly banking on have a release date on this case, if he is successful with the appeal in the other case. Otherwise, his life sentence on that case means he will stay behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Big Brother is Watching You from the Air

NBC-2 did a story on the Florida Highway Patrol’s use of airborne surveillance to catch speeders on I-75. The trooper is correct when he states that it is very hard to challenge such speeding tickets. There is no equipment to calibrate, since it is done via stopwatch. The key thing to remember from this post is to drive cautiously. Much of I-75 is under construction, and that can lead to enhanced fines if workers are present. And as you can see from the NBC screen capture, the troopers are just lining up, waiting to bust people.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/22172744/nbc2-investigators-fhp-spotting-speeders-from-above#.UYp86bWkpKI

FHP Troopers from NBC-2 Story

FHP Troopers from NBC-2 Story