Tag Archives: courts

Shooting in Defense of Self-Defense?

16 May
Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Photo by Flickr user WerthMedia

In the unlawful homicide of Trayvon Martin, accused killer George Zimmerman’s family are peddling his medical records from the day after Martin was shot and killed with a single bullet to the chest

Why are they putting this out? To poison the jury pool? To generate sympathy for the living shooter and make it seem as if the dead pedestrian armed with snacks was at fault? 

Zimmerman apparently had a nose fracture, black eyes, a few cuts, and two cuts on the back of his head. Martin had injuries to his knuckles. 

The difference is, of course, that the living Zimmerman’s injuries were revealed at a doctor’s appointment the day after Martin was killed. Martin’s knuckle injuries were revealed during his autopsy. 

Zimmerman is claiming that he killed Martin in self-defense. 

Yet this is a case where the known facts seem to indicate that Martin was walking home from the store when stalked and accosted by wanna-be cop Zimmerman, who was clearly upset at the prospect of a hoodie-wearing Black kid being in his neighborhood walking home. Zimmerman then disobeyed the demand of the 911 operator to not chase after Martin, and chased after Martin, accosting him

Understand that, from Martin’s point of view, he had no idea who Zimmerman was, or what he was doing. All he knew is that there was a large man who had been staring at him from an SUV, who was now chasing him down and trying to – what? Beat him? Kidnap him? Kill him? 

The only person in this situation who had the right to defend himself was Trayvon Martin – he was completely reasonable to defend himself against this unprovoked attack from an armed lunatic – by punching the lunatic in the nose, and trying to throw him off him. 

Zimmerman got his cuts and broken nose because he attacked an innocent and unarmed person. Shooting and killing Martin for getting a busted nose and cuts on his head? Totally unreasonable force from someone who admits he didn’t know whether Martin was armed. Zimmerman attacked the kid, and the kid was fighting for his life, and started beating the crap out of his attacker. Zimmerman isn’t just a dummy who should let the cops do their jobs, he’s a horrible fighter. So, when you start losing a fight you provoked and started, that gives you the right to shoot to kill? 

Nice try. 

It Was the Parsnips that Did It

3 Feb

Two updates to the Valenti’s saga

1. Verizon confirms that the restaurant’s phone was in the name of a dead woman. Commenter RoN aka Karma suspected that the reverse phone number search for D.A. Britting constituted fraud or identity theft. I suspected the online resource may have been out-of-date. 

Verizon was able to confirm that the phone number for Valenti’s restaurant (716-692-4339) was, indeed, in the name of “D.A. Britting”. Other online records show it as being in the name of Verne L. Britting.

Verne Britting died in 1985, but his wife, Dorothy A. Britting, died in 2009.

Why was the phone for Valenti’s Restaurant in the name of a woman who died 3 years ago?  Former employees charge that Valenti and Brocuglio used false social security numbers, or numbers belonging to the dead, to set up the phone lines. In one instance, Terry Valenti was heard to say that they could not pay the phone bill in person for that reason. 

2. Terry Valenti was brought before Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy on Thursday morning, where he waived a hearing on his extradition. He will be held in the Niagara County Jail for up to 30 days awaiting transportation to Texas, where he stands accused of forging his name on documents to fraudulently convert, and transfer title in a motorcycle to unjustly enrich himself. Judge Murphy’s clerk says he likes the other state to pick up prisoners on warrants within 10 days.

Be Not Afraid

17 Nov

The decision to try some of the “masterminds”, as they’re being called, behind the 9/11 attacks is being met with a lot less controversy than I thought it would. I think that trying these people in a civilian criminal court re-establishes the fact that we are a place governed, above all, by laws.

These trials will not be any more of a circus than the blind sheikh’s trial was in the 90s. These trials will not be any more of a circus than that of Timothy McVeigh.


What they will do is do justice. What they will do is remind ourselves, and the world, that our system is stronger than a madman; that our system is too resilient to be destroyed by their bombs, or brought to its knees in fear of them. We are not afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and his brand of lunatic nihilist radical islamist terrorists. We remain vigilant against it, we punish it, we do what we can to prevent it, but we cannot cower at the mere sight of a bearded mass murderer.

I can certainly understand how and why someone might disagree with me on this.

What I cannot understand is idiocy such as that displayed by John Shadegg, (R-AZ), who said this:

“I saw the mayor of New York said today, ‘We’re tough. We can do it.’ Well, Mayor, how are you going to feel when it’s your daughter that’s kidnapped at school by a terrorist?” Shadegg said.

“How are you going to feel when it’s some clerk — some innocent clerk of the court — whose daughter or son is kidnapped? Or the judge’s wife? Or the jailer’s little brother or little sister? This is political correctness run amok.

Well, there’s point, counterpoint, and fucking stupid. Representative Shadegg went directly for fucking stupid.

This particular line of opposition, which posits that the trial of these people in NYC makes NYC a target for more terrorism is so obviously silly. Isn’t NYC a big enough target for terrorism as it is? You could try these guys in Guantanamo, you could try them in Zanzibar or Timbuktu, and Qaeda would still come after New York City because it is a place that symbolizes everything that America stands for or aspires to. Bigger than life. Commerce. Entertainment. Multicultural melting pot. Immigrant magnet. Cosmopolitan.

You know, Shadegg forgets that Bloomberg was a Manhattan resident when 9/11 happened. He didn’t see specific individuals get “kidnapped”, but he did see airplanes fly into the tallest buildings in town. We don’t have to make up paranoid kidnap fantasies when New York has already lived through the terrorists’ worst.

Our response to Qaeda nihilism has so often made us jettison our principles, our laws, our courage, and our resolve over the past 8 years. It’s nice to reclaim those things by having the fortitude to expose these bastards to the law of our land, which will treat them with fairness and due process as their past words and deeds damn them to imprisonment or death, whereby justice will be served.

The Livery – Postscript

1 Jul

The handling of the Livery Building situation by the city and the court system has been nothing short of impressive. I never thought they could pull it together, but they did. Judge Burns did what he always does – he was thoughtful and came up with a solution that everyone could stomach.

The evidently neglectful Freudenheims are not getting off scot-free, the building is going to be saved thanks to an angel developer – Savarino Companies, and a solution was reached with lightning speed, by Buffalo standards.

Judge Burns and the city’s Law Department are to be commended, and Savarino just bought a whole bunch of goodwill along with that building. Score one for Buffalo, for a change.

One hopes that the preservation community (and community-at-large) might prioritize buildings that may not be designated landmarks, are endangered and need saving. Perhaps they could take lessons learned from the Livery fiasco and be more pro-active rather than re-active when it comes to saving buildings deemed important. These things shouldn’t have to happen at the point when emergency injunctive relief is required to prevent demolition. A plan. Priorities. It would do a lot to not only save buildings, but dramatically improve the reputation of the preservationist community. By being pro-active rather than re-active, they lose the “obstructionist” epithet altogether. Just a thought.