Jared Loughner, who killed 6 people and injured 13 (including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords) in Tucson, Arizona in January of 2011, pleaded guilty to 19 felony counts Monday (August 7), in return for a life sentence. He could have faced the death penalty (which in Arizona is meaningful; though the average time between sentencing and execution is well over 20 years, the state did execute four men so far this year) The plea bargain / How 6 Other Mass Shooting Cases Were Resolved
In a less serious update — well, it’s serious to him of course, though to the rest of us the case was an opportunity to snicker — former Congressman Larry Craig is back in the news.
Craig was a United States senator from Idaho when, in 2007, while using the bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, he ran afoul of a sex sting by allegedly moving one foot under the barrier between stalls and tapping his foot, which is apparently a means of soliciting sex from the adjoining stall.
He further endeared himself to late-night talk-show monologuists with his explanation that when he uses the bathroom, he habitually positions his legs in a “wide stance.” He pleaded guilty of disorderly conduct. He declined to run for re-election the following year.
Five years later, and the Federal Election Commission is suing him over the $217,000 in campaign funds he used to defend himself: since none of this was related to his re-election campaign, they say, Craig illegally appropriated the money for his personal use.
Craig’s defense? The legal bills were actually neither a campaign expense nor a personal expense: they were an official Senate expense, and should therefore be reimbursed by the government. He was on his way back to Washington DC from Idaho, after all, and all expenses he incurred are therefore covered. (More)
And at a Cleveland area theatre last Saturday night, Scott A. Smith walked into a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” with a loaded 9-mm Glock and four knives. He arrived early and seated himself all the way in the back, his back to the wall.
He wasn’t planning a James Holmes-style shooting spree, however. He just didn’t feel safe in the theatre without being heavily armed. “This was simply an instance where a man felt fear going into a movie theatre in light of recent shootings and incidents around the country, and he wanted protection for himself,” his attorney Matthew Bruce, somehow managed to say with a straight face.
Here’s a suggestion: if you feel insecure enough going to the movie that you have to be decked out like Rambo, you’re probably not going to enjoy the film much anyway, and you should just wait for the DVD.
Smith faces four separate weapons charges, including illegally carrying a concealed weapon. (More)
© 2012 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.