Posts Tagged ‘law’

Elijah wakes up in a cage, and can barely remember anything about himself or his situation. He fights his way alone to escape a building full of bizarre and deadly monsters, while learning disturbing truths about himself. Once he finds the way out, he has to pass it up and keep fighting to rescue hiw wife and child from his nemesis.

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has previously published three other books and various short stories, as well as spending two years as a journalist for The Michigan Daily Newspaper. He studied creative writing under the tutelage of Jonis Agee, author of “Strange Angels” and “South of Resurrection.”

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Melissa6 portrait Growing up in Ontario, Canada, M.J. was the only child of a single mom.  Her passion for the arts ignited at a young age as she wrote adventure stories and read them aloud to close family and friends.  The dramatic arts became a focus in high school as an aid to understanding character motivation in her writing.  Majoring in Theatre Production at York University, with a minor in English, she went on to teach both elementary and high school for 10 years throughout Simcoe County. M.J. currently lives with her husband and young son in Caledon, Ontario.  She keeps busy these days with her emerging authors’ website Infinite Pathways: hosting writing contests, providing editing services, free publicity tips, book reviews, and opportunities for authors to build their writing platform and portfolio.  In addition she writes articles and edits freelance as she continues her own creative writing working toward completing the next book in the Chronicles Series. Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia (1) is M.J.’s debut science fiction novel.  She firmly believes that if she hadn’t been born a Virgo, she wouldn’t be half as organized as she needs to be to get everything done from one day to the next.

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1) Bear wrestling matches are prohibited. 2) It’s a crime to harm yourself to avoid work.


3) You cannot sponsor a fake wrestling match. 4) While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.


5) Mine workers may not write obscene messages in toilet stalls. 6) It’s illegal to leave fishing poles unattended.


7) Electrocution of fish is prohibited. 8) Pinball machines cannot give more than 25 free games to a high scorer.


9) If a frog dies during a frog-jumping competition, it may not be eaten later on. 10) You must warn buyers if your house is thought to be haunted.


11) In Boulder, it’s illegal to roll a boulder on public property. 12) In Aspen, snowball fights are illegal.


13) It’s against to law to cut down a tree to hunt a racoon. 14) A bushel of potatoes must weigh exactly 150 pounds.


15) You can’t advertise by billboard a person’s marriage in another state. 16) It’s a crime to sell the hair of a dog.


17) In Broward County, it’s illegal for female hot dog stand attendants to wear g-strings. 18) In Miami, dancehall windows cannot be dirty.


19) Selling the tail of a squirrel is banned. 20) It’s a crime to move a trout from one lake to another.


21) It’s a crime to use imitation milk in a milkshake without warning. 22) In Maui County, you are subject to a fine if you are building an atomic bomb.


23) A restaurant cannot sell eggs from another state without warning. 24) You could face 30 days in jail if you sell flour that isn’t enriched with vitamins.


25) A seller of reptiles must advise the buyer not to kiss them. 26) Happy hours are not allowed.


27) It’s illegal to fish with your bare hands. 28) Stores cannot sell cold beer.


29) In this landlocked state, surfing while drunk is prohibited. 30) Children under ten may not shine shoes.


31) To modify the weather, you need a permit. 32) Restaurants serving margarine must post a warning sign.


33) It’s illegal to handle reptiles during church services. 34) All new lawyers must swear an oath to refrain from dueling.


35) If you are marching in the Mardi Gras Parade, you are banned from throwing fish. 36) At sports events, you may not insult or disparage the players.


37) It’s a crime to place green crabs next to soft-shell crabs. 38) You may not barter for a bear.


39) A person keeping a disorderly house can serve six months in jail. 40) You may not possess more than three turtles at a time.


41) Owning explosive golf balls is a crime. 42) Gift certificates must be good for at least seven years.


43) It’s a misdemeanor to swear in the name of God. 44) It’s a crime to use bad language in front of a woman.


45) You can’t hunt with a ferret. 46) One cannot sponsor a greased pig contest.


47) It’s illegal to challenge someone to a duel. 48) You may not steal an animal struck by a railroad car.


49) Pretending to be blind to get money is against the law. 50) It’s a crime to catch more than eight bullfrogs a day.


51) In Kalispell, all pool tables must be able to be viewed from the street outside a billiard hall where they are located. 52) Your water sprinkler may not get a passersby wet.


53) In Ogallala, it’s illegal to disturb public dirt. 54) In Lincoln, bowling alleys must be called Public Bowling Centers.


55) Hotel bed sheets must be at least 98 inches long. 56) You may not use obscene language in front of a dead body.

New Hampshire

57) You aren’t allowed to harvest seaweed at night. 58) It’s against the law to import wolves.

New Jersey

59) In Haddon Township, you can’t flirt with someone against their will. 60) In Patterson, an ice cream peddler may not be annoying.

New Mexico

61) Cloud modification without a permit is a crime. 62) It’s a crime to get on a ski lift while drunk.

New York

63) You can’t walk in public with an ice cream cone in your pocket on Sundays.

64) In New York City, butchers must grind hamburger meat in plain view of customers.

North Carolina

65) All garbage fed to a pig must be thoroughly cooked. 66) Checking into hotel rooms under a false name is a crime.

North Dakota

67) Falsely claiming to be married is a crime. 68) Kangaroo boxing is a crime.


69) Splashing water while fishing with a net is a crime. 70) It is illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait.


71) You can’t use a yo-yo to fish. 72) It’s illegal to break into a prison.


73) Hunting in cemeteries is not allowed. 74) It’s a crime to possess more than two undeployed car airbags.


75) In Harrisburg, you can’t wear lead nipple shields. 76) A fortuneteller can’t charge money to try to shorten someone’s life.

Rhode Island

77) You aren’t allowed to wrap a freshly caught fish in newspaper. 78) Stealing stone walls is a crime.

South Carolina

79) You need a permit to paint with turkey feathers. 80) Fishing with dynamite is prohibited.

South Dakota

81) Shooting animals from airplanes is a crime. 82) In Deadwood, casinos may not hang signs that say “Casino.”


83) Importing skunks is not allowed. 84) In Nashville, roller skaters must proceed in single file.


85) It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. 86) You are not allowed to fish from a bridge.


87) Drunk-driving laws do not apply if you are riding an animal. 88) “Look no hands” while riding a bike isn’t allowed. You must keep at least one hand on the handlebar.


89) In Middlebury, more than one person cannot ride on a skateboard at a time. 90) Use of foreign fats in dairy products is prohibited.


91) It’s unlawful to cast a spotlight on a hen house that causes the poultry to panic. 92) Realising more than 50 balloons per hour is not allowed.


93) In Everett, you cannot display a hypnotized person in a store window. 94) In Bremerton, you may not throw garbage into someone else’s container.

West Virginia

95) An unmarried couple living together can be sent to jail. 96) You’ve heard of no drinking and driving, but in West Virginia it’s also no drinking and skiing.


97) Livestock have the right of way on highways. 98) Cheddar cheese must be “highly pleasing.”


99) Opening a gate and not closing it is a crime. 100) It’s like shooting fish in a barrel…not in Wyoming where shooting fish is not allowed.

Pigs at it again

Posted: August 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Lawyers: Free man wrongfully locked up for decades

This March 15, 1980 proclamation by then Texas Governor Mark White commutes Jerry Hartsfield's death sentence to life in prison. Hartsfield has been locked up for more than three decades for a slaying even though the state's top appeals court ruled in 1980 that he doesn't have a valid murder conviction. His attorneys are asking a state district judge to dismiss the charge and free him because his constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)


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This March 15, 1980 proclamation by then Texas Governor Mark White commutes Jerry Hartsfield’s death …

BAY CITY, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a Texas man who was kept in prison for more than three decades after his murder conviction was overturned have asked a court to free him so he can get on with his life, saying he’s suffered enough from the mishandling of his case and that key trial evidence has gone missing.


Attorney Jeffrey Newberry wrote in a recent court petition that the state clearly violated Jerry Hartfield’s right to a speedy trial by waiting decades to retry him for the 1976 death of Eunice Lowe, who was beaten to death at the Bay City bus station where she worked as a ticket agent.

“The most serious prejudice a defendant can suffer in being denied a right to a speedy trial is to have his defense possibly impaired,” Newberry wrote. He urged State District Judge Craig Estlinbaum to free Hartsfield “with prejudice,” meaning the state couldn’t retry him on the same charges.

Hartfield, 57, was convicted in 1977 of killing Lowe and sentenced to death, but that conviction was overturned three years later. After prosecutors unsuccessfully appealed that ruling, then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield’s sentence to life in prison in 1983.

Hartfield, who is described in court documents as an illiterate fifth-grade dropout with an IQ of 51, didn’t challenge his continued detention until 2006, when a fellow prisoner pointed out that once his conviction was overturned, there was no sentence to commute. Appeals courts agreed and ordered Hartfield freed or retried. Hartfield is scheduled to stand trial again in April for Lowe’s slaying.

In a court filing, Matagorda County District Attorney Steven Reis rejected the assertion that Hartfield should go free. While acknowledging that the state “may be partially responsible” for the delay in retrying Hartfield, Reis argued that prosecutors didn’t act in bad faith and that Hartfield bears some responsibility.

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This handout image provided by the Texas Department …

This handout image provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Jerry Hartsfield. Hart …

Hartfield “failed to proffer any evidence that he wanted a speedy trial during this period,” Reis wrote. No evidence supports a finding that Hartfield “actually wanted a new and speedy trial,” that he did anything before 2007 to assert that his right to a speedy trial had been violated, or that the state deliberately acted to delay a retrial, Reis contends.

Newberry contends that the state was solely responsible for the retrial delay.

“Had the state carried out the (appeals court) mandate, Hartfield would not have needed to file the documents that he began filing,” he wrote. “Mr. Hartfield has affirmatively demonstrated that his ability to present a defense has been prejudiced by the delay.”

Newberry also says authorities haven’t been able to find some evidence used to convict Hartfield, including a pickaxe used in the attack or Lowe’s car, which was stolen and later recovered. Furthermore, a Texas Ranger who was a key witness for the prosecution at Hartfield’s 1977 trial has since died, he wrote.

Estlinbaum asked both sides to address some legal questions before he rules on the matter.

At the time of the killing, Hartfield, who grew up in Altus, Okla., was working construction at nuclear power plant near the bus station where Lowe worked. He was arrested within days of the killing in Wichita, Kan., and was convicted and sentenced to death in 1977.

Hartfield disputes a confession police said he gave them that was among the evidence used to convict him. Prosecutors also had an unused bus ticket found at the crime scene that had his fingerprints on it and testimony from witnesses who said he had talked about needing $3,000. Reis said Hartfield led authorities to Lowe’s car in Houston and that his fingerprint was on a piece of broken Dr Pepper bottle found beside Lowe’s body.

The parents of a boy suffering from severe seizures have filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona to ensure that their son will have access to medicinal cannabis oil without the risk of prosecution. Zander Welton, 5, was born with cortical dysplasia, a genetic defect that disrupts cellular patterns in the brain and is often the cause of epilepsy. Zander is non-verbal and suffered seizures daily before his parents started giving him cannabis oil.

Although Arizona allows marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, some state officials, including the attorney for Maricopa County, where Zander Welton and his family live, and the head of the Arizona Department of Health Services have said that products with resin extracted from marijuana, such as the oil originally used to treat Zander, are actually classified as an illegal narcotic according to the state’s criminal code. On Monday, Zander’s parents, Jennifer and Jacob Welton, working with the ACLU, filed a lawsuit that would protect the use of marijuana extracts or products with marijuana resin for medicinal purposes.

“When Arizona’s voters said yes to legalizing medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in 2010, they certainly meant the plant as well as extracts from the plant,” said Emma Andersson, an ACLU lawyer working with the Weltons. “After seeing not one but two brain surgeries fail to help their son, Zander’s parents finally found an effective treatment in a medical marijuana extract?they don’t deserve to be scared off from the best medicine available for Zander.” The lawsuit names the defendants as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services William Humble.

 Nelson Bernard Clifford Jr.By Jessica Anderson and Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
9:53 a.m. EDT, October 27, 2013
A man charged in five sexual assault cases since 2010 based on DNA evidence was acquitted a fourth time Friday in Baltimore City Circuit Court, as prosecutors vowed to continue to try to convict him.
The acquittal is the latest move in a cat-and-mouse game between Nelson Bernard Clifford and the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office. As Clifford headed to trial on the most recent case, prosecutors refiled charges stemming from 2007 allegations, keeping him locked up without bail despite the result Friday.
Each of the recent trials has followed a similar pattern: Authorities accuse Clifford, 35, of attacking a woman in her home; he takes the witness stand and testifies that he acted with the women’s consent.
“We are disappointed by the verdict in this case. We now turn our full attention to preparing for the next trial against this defendant,” said Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the city state’s attorney’s office.
And on Friday, the city police union lashed out at Clifford on Twitter.
“Our detectives & prosecutors are frustrated,” read a post on the union’s social media feed. “When evidence is there, Juries need to convict.”
But Marilyn Mosby, a former prosecutor who plans to run against incumbent State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein in next year’s Democratic primary, wrote in an email to supporters that the repeated acquittals show how Bernstein’s office is failing.
“How do you let this happen? I’ve been saying it all summer, everyone but Gregg Bernstein is doing their jobs,” Mosby wrote. “The police got this guy off the streets and the judges have held him without bail. The state’s attorney’s office is simply incapable of getting a conviction.”
In the most recent case, Clifford was accused of breaking into a third-floor apartment in West Baltimore and sexually assaulting a woman Dec. 3, 2011, but his attorney, Gregory Fischer, told jurors that his client had a “consensual encounter.”
Prosecutors had DNA evidence linking Clifford to the case, as in past ones, where the victims told police a man broke into their homes in the middle of the night and attacked them.
Police and prosecutors took the unusual step earlier this month of refiling a case involving two alleged sexual assaults that happened days apart in 2007. The original charges were dropped a month after they were brought.
Fischer could not be reached for comment after Friday’s verdict. Clifford testified in past cases that he met the women at clubs or on chat lines and had been invited over with the expectation of sex.
Prosecutors have tried in the past to join some of the cases together, which would allow jurors to consider a number of separate allegations at once. Those attempts have been blocked by city judges.

A federal judge on Monday denied part of a recently signed Texas law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the provision violates the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman’s access to abortion clinics.
Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an emergency appeal of Yeakel’s order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
“As everyone … has acknowledged, this is a matter that will ultimately be resolved by the appellate courts or the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas.
They also complained that requiring doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s original label for an abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.
The Texas attorney general’s office argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus. 
Mississippi passed a similar law last year, which a federal judge also blocked pending a trial scheduled to begin in March. Mississippi’s attorney general asked the 5th Circuit to lift the temporary injunction so the law could be enforced, but the judges have left it in place signaling they believe there is a legitimate constitutional question.
Unlike the Mississippi case, Yeakel’s order is a final decision, setting the groundwork for the 5th Circuit to review the merits of the law, not just an injunction against it.
The proposed restrictions were among the toughest in the nation and gained notoriety when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis launched a nearly 13-hour filibuster against them in June. The law also bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and beginning in October 2014 requires doctors to perform all abortions in surgical facilities.
The filibuster forced Gov. Rick Perry to call a second special legislative session for the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass the law. Davis is now running for governor on a women’s rights platform. Since Perry is retiring, Abbott is Davis’ likely Republican opponent, adding a political layer to the legal drama.

During the trial, officials for one chain of abortion clinics testified that they’ve tried to obtain admitting privileges for their doctors at 32 hospitals, but so far only 15 accepted applications and none have announced a decision. Many hospitals with religious affiliations will not allow abortion doctors to work there, while others fear protests if they provide privileges. Many have requirements that doctors live within a certain radius of the facility, or perform a minimum number of surgeries a year that must be performed in a hospital.