Blogs > The Law Blogger

The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prison Overcrowding Case to Get Extended Argument at SCOTUS

Did you know that at any given moment, up to 2.3 million citizens are confined in our prisons in the United States?  Unfortunately, we lead the world in the incarceration industry.

This week, the Supreme Court will hear extended oral argument (80-minutes) in the case of Schwarzenegger v Plata.  You may recall that the governor of our largest state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared in 2006 that acute prison overcrowding had reached a crisis stage, "that gets worse with each passing day."

In California, there are approximately 160,000 men and women behind bars.  The prisons in that state are operating at 195% capacity meaning that two inmates occupy a space designed for one.

If petitioners are successful, a favorable ruling from the SCOTUS could release up to 40,000 inmates in California alone.

So far, the Prison Law Offices in Berkley, a non-profit organization specializing in prisoners' rights cases, sucessfully petitioned for convening a special three-judge District Court panel to assess the prisoners' claim under the Prisoner Litigation Relief Act.  Once convened, the prisoners' lawyers next convinced that panel to find that all conditions for a prisoner release order had been met.

The three-judge panel (not an appellate court, mind you) then ruled that the prison population must be reduced (significantly) over a two-year period.  This order, along with some complex jurisdictional issues, will be argued at SCOTUS this week.

One of the core issues is whether the admittedly overcrowded conditions in the California prisons affect the inmates' constitutional rights.  This approach is distinct from your basic habeas corpus petition and could result in a landmark prisoners' rights case.   

Among several other arguments, California asserts that it is simply not equipped to cut loose tens of thousands of convicted felons into its collapsing economy.  It does appear there is no good solution to this knotty problem.

Our laws become meaningless unless enforced.  Violent offenders must be punished to deter other violent crimes.  At what point, however, do we become a nation behind bars?

Michigan Connection:  Attorney General Mike Cox has joined several other states in filing an amicus brief in favor of rescinding the prisoner release order.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Oakland County's Ax-Murdering Teacher-Housewife Receives Habeas Relief

Sorry about that headline.  But this case was all-over your evening news back in 2004, when kindergarten teacher Nancy Ann Seaman axed her long-time husband to death on Mother's Day.

Earlier this month, a federal judge granted Seaman's petition for Habeas Corpus.  Habeas relief is considered when a convicted inmate, having exhausted her state court appeals, sues the warden of her prison in federal court on the theory she is being illegally detained by the State of Michigan in light of constitutional errors in a state court criminal proceeding.

Ms. Seaman was jury convicted of first degree murder before soon-retiring Oakland Circuit Judge John McDonald.  Seven-months after her trial, Judge McDonald reduced Seaman's conviction from first to second degree murder.

Both Seaman and the prosecutor appealed.  The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and reinstated Seaman's first degree murder conviction.  [The linked MCOA opinion contains a fascinating in-court colloquy about premeditation between the prosecutor and trial judge at the hearing on Seaman's motion for a new trial, beginning on page 5.]

The Court of Appeals found (by 2-1) that the trial court abused its discretion by acting as a "thirteenth juror" in reducing the conviction to second degree murder.  The intermediate appellate court also held that premeditation has no set time-frame but rather, can be established in the fleeting moment that it takes to have a "second look" at an imminent homicide.

Dissenting Judge Karen Fort Hood was troubled by the apparent "disconnect" between Seaman's self defense theory and testimony regarding "battered spouse syndrome".  Evidence relative to the latter theory was limited by the trial court.  Judge Fort Hood also commented on what she perceived as a confusion of jury instructions on the two concepts.  See the last two pages of the above link for her concise dissent.

The Michigan Supreme Court declined further review of Ms. Seaman's conviction.

With her state appellate options exhausted, Seaman turned to federal court via Habeas Corpus.  In her initially successful petition, she asserted that she was denied her right to effective trial counsel, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when Attorney Lawrence Kaluzny did not challenge a ruling by the trial court that limited the testimony of Seaman's expert on "battered spouse syndrome".  [BTW: In Oakland County, you just cannot hire better trial counsel than Larry Kaluzny.]  The federal judge has ordered a new trial for Seaman.

We here at the LawBlogger, however, need you to stay tuned on this one as Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is appealing the federal district court judge's order to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation: SCOTUS Style

LawBlogger Editor's Note: This post is from Andrew Cohen, the Legal Analyst of the excellent blog Politics Daily. This is a fantasy recounting of a potential conversation between the Justices of the United States Supreme Court on the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, 2010. Cohen's humorous and tastefully irreverent insight is spot on; he also mentions several of the cases and issues covered by this Blog over the past year. Having stood before this august body of jurists last June, this blogger could actually see this conversation taking place. Enjoy:

The nine learned Americans, six men and three women, six Catholics and three Jews, all of them over 50 and one of them black, sat down for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. They said their prayers, they shook hands, they passed around the food, and then, as is their custom, they took turns speaking. There was no one else in the room.

“We have a lot to be thankful for,” John said solemnly. “We’ve survived another year, we’ve done our work as best we can, we still generally like each other on most days, and the Republic has not fallen apart. It’s a shame our brother John, Mr. Stevens, isn’t with us this year – I’m sure he’s watching football somewhere and glad to be rid of us – but we welcome Elena to the table and hope to share many more meals with her. Incidentally, I’d like to take a second to note that this meal is sponsored by the good folks at Citizens United. Citizens United, the corporation that’s been treated like a person for nearly one one-hundredth of a century.”

Antonin was the next to speak. "I am thankful, too, for the many freedoms I enjoy. The freedom to hunt. The freedom to speak. The freedom to yearn for a simpler time when there weren't so many constitutional amendments. The freedom to make all those liberal pantywaists apoplectic every time I open my mouth or draft an opinion. What a great country this is. Pass the yams, would you, Sam? Shoot, I've got gravy all over my shirt."

Then it was Anthony's turn. As usual, he was seated near the center of the rectangular table. "I am thankful," he said, "for my fellow Republican-appointed federal judges, the ones who spoke out last week against the Senate's refusal to confirm the president's judicial nominations. Even with life-tenure, it takes courage to do that. Incidentally, does anyone here want to borrow my Sharia Law Handbook? I'm boning up on it in the event the Oklahoma case reaches us, but I can always spare it for a night and start in again on Albanian law."

Next it was Clarence who, as usual, was seated to Antonin's right. "You starting again with that international law junk, Tony? Good lord," Clarence said. The other dinner guests were stunned. Clarence hadn't spoken like this in years. "I am thankful for being here. Whoever thought a fellow like me would end up sitting at this table for 20 years? But most of all I am thankful to my lovely wife, Virginia, for always having my back, even after all these years and all these allegations. She's the best and I plan to tell her that in court when her tea party group gets here as a litigant challenging the new health care laws."

"You are lucky, Clarence, to have your spouse," said Ruth. It was her first such meal without her beloved husband, Martin, who passed away this past June. "I think about my Marty all the time. I am thankful for all the wonderful years we spent together and for all the good graces we were given. I am thankful also for having Sonia and Elena here to watch the Lifetime Channel with me. It was lonely there for a while, especially after David and Bill stopped watching with me."

It was at this point in the dinner that Samuel, one of the younger members of the clan, shook his head and mouthed the words "not true." But it was not yet the time for him to speak.

It was instead Stephen's turn. "I am thankful for Amazon.com," he said, referring to his new book about the law. "Kidding. I'm getting just as much play on it from bookstores." Stephen had a habit of turning to look directly at his chums when he'd talk and he did so again on this night. "I am thankful for the rule of law, even when we don't explain it as clearly as we should to the American people. And I am thankful for our old friend Sandra, who has been so courageous in speaking out against judicial elections. Remember those fruit cobblers and lemon tarts she used to make for us?"

Sam spoke next. He was seated between Antonin and Clarence. "I am thankful for all the ordinary people out there who understand the Constitution," he said. "I am thankful for the American Spectator, for all the good food and talk a few weeks ago. And I am thankful for Roy Halladay, pitching that gem for my Phillies last month. If Roy Halladay ever has a case before the court, I am voting for him. Hey, John, can you please pass me the stuffing? Incidentally, as a reminder, today's turkey and all the trimmings are brought to me in part by the good folks at Citizens United -- Citizens United, the corporation that's been treated like a person for nearly one one-hundredth of a century."

Then it was Sonia's turn. It was her second such meal and she finally had decided to say something. "How can you people eat all this bland food all the time? Where are the arroz con gandules and pasteles y pernil?" More seriously, she went on: "I am thankful I don't have to hear about Frank Ricci anymore. I am thankful I don't have to be the last person to speak at every conference anymore. But mostly I am thankful I was finally able to rent out my apartment in New York City. In this economy, boy, you just never know."

Finally, Elena, the youngest, took her cue. "I am thankful this year for my new job and for the nice things that Miguel Estrada said about me this summer. I am mostly thankful, though, that I'll never have to sit through another lecture from [Oklahoma Sen.] Tom Coburn. Hey, speaking of food -- Tony, would you please pass the chicken lo mein?"

LawBlogger's final thoughts:  It sure would be nice if our Michigan Supreme Court Justices could be as civil as this fictional depiction of the SCOTUS justices.  Unfortunately, the yawning chasm within our state's high court has been all too public with secret tape recordings, press conferences and censure votes.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spending Her First Years in Prison

Law Blogger Editor's Note:  From time to time, this blogger visits clients in Michigan's prisons as a roster attorney for the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System.  This blog post is the original content of the CorrectionsOne web site.  It is an interview with Deborah Jiang Stein who was born heroin-addicted in a federal prison in West Virginia and spent the first year of her life there.  Today, she tours women's prisons to speak of hope and rehabilitation to both inmates and prison staff.

What can you say about spending your first year of life in prison? How did that shape you?
I was born and lived my first year in the Federal Women’s Prison in Alderson, West Virginia. I embrace that year as a primal sensory memory, most vivid when I visit now as an inspirational speaker. I recognize familiar sounds -- something I can’t quite name -- and the food service, which hasn’t changed since the prison was built in the 1940’s. Other areas of the compound I feel with a cellular intensity.
Born heroin addicted, I’m told and read in prison files that in my first year I displayed the usual problems of drug-exposed infants -- sensory overload, and physical and emotional delays. It’s taken a lifetime to re-wire my brain and I’m still learning how to manage some of these delays.
Multiple broken attachments, from mother to foster care to adoption, shaped my early life as a timid and angry girl. That first year of attachment to my mother in prison saved me, I believe, because at least I bonded. Later, the movement and losses from mother to foster family to adoptive family took years for me to identify, then grieve, and integrate. This is a lot for a child to metabolize.
You’ve recently written a memoir. Why now?
I began my memoir because several agents and editors suggested I do so. My story is a lesson for others, I’ve come to understand, and touches common themes in many people’s lives, especially themes related to secrets and stigmas. I’ve turned mine from a burden into a blessing as I write and speak about my journey and what I’ve learned. I also write about coming of age in the 1960s, being multiracial, and adopted into a white family.
We all have secrets. Everyone. Mine might be more dramatic than some, but everyone has at least one secret. My story is a testimony to encourage others to face and move beyond their secrets, past whatever pain and shame they hold.
My agent is now shopping my memoir proposal.
You now have a career as a public speaker; what message are you trying to put out there?
These days I’m speaking about the havoc caused by shame and secrets. I’ve learned that it’s not secrets that destroy us -- it’s the keeping of secrets that destroy. I spent years on the run outside the law in a world of crime and drug addiction, all because of the stigma and secrets I held about my prison roots, and other damages I’ve faced.
My story also speaks to the common thread of how we all look for hope in our lives. I’m evidence that even when the odds are stacked against a person, we can rise and overcome adversity.
I see myself as a scout, a guide for women who seek an alternative reality to the one they live. I carry a message of possibility, that we can all somehow live with what’s irreconcilable.
Besides women in prisons, I address professionals in the fields of mental health, child welfare, corrections and other social services, as well as higher education. I’ve learned that professionals in the field also seek personal growth for themselves, not just for the people they serve. 

What are some particular challenges faced by women in prison who are mothers?
One problem is the stigma of prison for a mother and her children.
The biggest wound is the broken bond between mother and child. The list goes on: missing a baby’s first smile; that first step; even the baby throwing up on you. A missed birthday party, first day of school, first date, graduation, everything a parent normally shares with a child.
I’ve read stories about women whose “hormones ricocheted wildly, ached from the milk that would not be nursed out of her swollen breasts, and she [the mother] used heroin smuggled into the prison to deaden the shame and loneliness.” I’m saddened, still, that this is in part my prison mother’s story.
Children born into prisons aren’t something many readers hear about, and even many of our readers (most of whom work in corrections) probably aren’t very aware of the phenomenon. Do you have any numbers on how children born in prisons? How does the system handle these people?


About 85% of women in prison are mothers. Almost 2 million children under the age of eighteen have a parent in prison, and most of these kids are under age ten. That’s a population larger than the city of San Francisco, larger than the state of Delaware. According to the Bureau of Justice, anywhere from 4%-7% of women sentenced are pregnant. This translates into close to 10,000 babies born to mothers in prisons. There are currently seven women’s state prison nurseries. My recent article for the Child Welfare League of America “Babies Behind Bars” highlights these nurseries and the issues involved with babies in prison.

How are pregnant women behind bars viewed by other women?

Since the majority of women in prison are mothers, I’m told for the most part, inmates can relate to those who are pregnant. One “old timer” told me that when she was in jail and in the early stages of her pregnancy in 1974, if she’d needed any protection, her friends would’ve “stood up for her.” 

Many states still shackle pregnant women, and a chain around the belly can harm a fetus. A number of groups lobby to improve the services for pregnant women in prisons. I look forward to seeing these changes, look forward to the day when adequate resources for mental health and addiction in our communities. This alone can help reduce our rising rate of incarceration.
 

Deborah Jiang Stein is a writer and keynote speaker, and tours women's prisons as an inspirational speaker. She's working on a memoir and short story collection. Visit www.deborahstein.com for more information.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Overreaching, Post-Divorce Style: Michael Douglas' Ex Demonstrates "Greed is Good"

Michael Douglas divorced his ex-wife, Diandra, in California back at the turn of the century.  She reportedly received $45 million as well as rights to half Douglas' earnings from the "spinoffs" of his completed movie work.

Demonstrating the chief principle from Douglas' hit movie Wall Street, that "greed is good", Diandra filed suit in Manhattan last summer seeking half the actor's royalties from the reprise of Douglas' character, Gordon Geckko. A Manhattan Supreme Court Judge dismissed the case on procedural grounds, finding that venue was improperly laid.

The judge got it right.  Diandra's rights to Douglas' earnings would come from the terms of their divorce decree or prenuptial agreement rather than a separate cause of action filed in another state.

Here at the Law Blogger, we have to wonder why Diandre's attorney advised her to file in Gotham rather than California.  The reason stated in the pleadings was that both parties currently reside in New York.

Procedural defects aside, Douglas' lawyer asserted that Diandre was not entitled to any of Douglas' earnings from his new movie to the extent they are derived from a "sequel" to the original movie and thus does not qualify as a "spinoff", as referenced in the divorce judgment.

Sequel vs Spinoff?  Sounds like Diandre's lawyers have twice let her down...

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Macomb Woman Obtains Divorce From the Grave


In a recent case originating from Macomb County, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a woman, scorned by her long-time but absentee husband, could effectively divorce him from her grave. The case, Tkachik v Mandeville, reversed the Court of Appeals' decision that ruled she could not do so.

In this case, the wife became ill and died of breast cancer after nearly three decades of marriage. Although the long-married couple was estranged at the time of wife’s death, they never filed for divorce or legal separation (known as separate maintenance in Michigan).

Because her husband had abandoned her during the 18-months she battled breast cancer, the wife executed a trust and will which left him nothing and appointed her sister as personal representative of her estate. At the time she died in 2002, the wife had spent years maintaining the “marital home” as well as a vacation property near West Branch. She paid all the property-related expenses without contribution from her husband.

Six-months after his wife’s death, the husband filed a petition in the Macomb Probate Court to set aside his deceased wife’s will and trust and to remove the cloud his wife placed on their marital properties. In the resulting probate court battle, the wife’s sister, relying almost extensively on out-of-state caselaw, asserted equitable contribution and abandonment theories, arguing that allowing husband to posthumously reap the benefits of his deceased spouse’s labors amounted to an unjust enrichment.

The sister was granted summary disposition and the Husband's challenge to his deceased wife's will and estate plan was thrown out of the Macomb County Probate Court.  In doing so, the probate court made a finding that Husband should not be considered a "surviving spouse" because he had abandoned his wife for more than a year.

Next, the sister went on the attack, suing her former brother-in-law on behalf of her sister's estate and seeking a determination that the probate court's finding (i.e. that Husband was not a "surviving spouse") destroyed the "tenancy by the entireties"; the mode of ownership of the former marital home.

When that didn't work, the sister amended her complaint to seek contribution from the Husband for Wife's sole maintenance of the properties.

The Court of Appeals was not persuaded by the sister's legal arguments in equity, deciding that a married person cannot execute an estate plan that effectively acts as a “posthumous divorce”. The appellate court’s ruling emphasized the sanctity of marital property intact and declined to “invent a claim” from which a decedent spouse can reach her surviving husband from her grave.

In reversing the intermediate appellate court, the Supreme Court extended the doctrine of contribution to find Husband liable for his portion of the maintenance of the property.  The high court was persuaded to fashion an equitable remedy where Sister had no remedy at law.

Essentially, the Supreme Court found that Husband had been unjustly enriched by reaping the benefits of his wife's maintenance and improvements to the properties, while contributing nothing.

The case is illustrative of how our court system processes a case.  The initial decision is never final.  In this case, the sister's case went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court; went back down to the Court of Appeals for an opinion after that court passed on the case; then went back up to the Supremes.

After its epic journey, this case is binding common law and will determine the result for other subsequent and similar cases.  Lesson: if your spouse abandons you with ongoing obligations, he or she may be liable, either in family or probate court, for past maintenance and the cost of  improvements on an equitable contribution theory.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Privacy & Intellectual Property on Facebook

This post is the original content of Geoff Livingston, a blogger from the Washington D.C. area recognized as a social media and blogging "expert" by the Washington Post.  His 2007 book, Now is Gone was hailed by the WSJ as a valuable resource for those interested in mining social media.

The topics of privacy and intellectual property relative to Facebook are intertwined and receive recurring attention.  Here is Geoff's recent post:

Have you read Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities? I decided to after talking to a Facebook IP lawyer. There are some serious dangers for content marketers on Facebook:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”).”

AND

“You will not tag users or send email invitations to non-users without their consent.”

If someone is using content as a means to market to their potential customers, the first statement presents huge issues. It’s clear that protecting IP is hard on Facebook given these terms.

While the same statement offers IP protections, Facebook is clearly soft on enforcement. Basically, for someone to get in trouble for using your copyrighted content without your permission, it requires someone to “repeatedly infringe” for Facebook to take action.

All in all, your content is not safe on Facebook, IMO. It’s best to use secondary services such as a blog, a video site or a photo site, and link back in if protecting copyright is an issue.

On the tagging front, I was particularly interested as this is a common form of marketing wares on Facebook, one I often interpret to be spam. Apparently, if you tag someone in a manner that they do not approve, it REALLY IS spam.

Reading the same policy, “You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.” Facebook has demonstrated it is adamant about policing spammers on its network. It is actively prosecuting abusers of its spamming policy and suing them.

In essence, if you use tags with your content or posts to market your services, you are spamming people. No ifs or ands about it. If the people who are being tagged decide to report you, it’s likely that you will find little leniency from Facebook.

The lesson for content marketers, don’t hard sell on Facebook. Tagging should be soft, clearly benefiting the community members mentioned. Otherwise it’s best to try other social network services to achieve your goals.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Michigan Supreme Court May Adjourn Oral Arguments as it "Resets" After Election

Soon-to-be-Former Justice Alton Davis
The Michigan Supreme Court has nearly 20 oral arguments scheduled for December on a wide-variety of important cases.  Whether those arguments will be heard as scheduled is now in question due to circumstances arising from the mid-term election results.

Some background is needed here. 

When I clerked for the Michigan Court of Appeals back in the late 1980s, recently-elected Court of Appeals Judge Betty Weaver was one of the few judges that took the time to stop by and discuss issues with us lowly clerks.  She made no secret of the fact that she was Supreme Court-bound; she was elected to the court in 1995.

After 15-years on the high court, Justice Weaver, a "moderate" Republican, abruptly resigned in August, providing Governor Granholm the opportunity to appoint Weaver's successor, Alton Davis, who could run, and who did run, as an incumbent sitting justice.

Apparently, Weaver resigned in disgust over long-running and well-publicized rifts with her colleagues; particularly Justice Robert Young, Jr.  The Davis appointment allowed the court to shift, at least temporarily, to a Democratic majority.

The recent election provided two spots on the bench for four candidates; two of the candidates, Davis and Justice Young, were incumbents.  Justice Young, considered a conservative justice, linked his campaign in ads and signs with trial judge Mary Beth Kelly.

The tactic worked.  Justice Young retained his seat and will have the opportunity to introduce his "running mate" to the bench in January thereby preserving the narrow 4-3 majority that the judicial conservatives have maintained at the high court for years.

A problem, however, has surfaced since the election.  Should oral argument proceed on the cases scheduled for December when Justice Davis will not be around to participate in the judicial conferences leading to the formation of the common law of our state?

This problem also arose when conservative former justice Cliff Taylor was defeated by Justice Diane Hathaway.  In that instance, the oral arguments were adjourned until the new justice could assume her seat on the bench.

Adjourning the arguments is the best practice.  We should not have a lame-duck justice participating in oral arguments on some very important cases when that justice will not be around during judicial debate and opinion-drafting time.  These are not just any ole cases.  This is our common law.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Progressive Marijuana Initiatives Lose Ground

California's Proposition 19 lost by a vote of 56% to 44%.  If successful, the proposed law would have been the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

In Arizona, the medical marijuana proposition was too close to call as of Thursday, with the nays leading by less than one half of one percentage point.  That contest will most likely be called sometime today; looks like Arizonans will reject medicinal marijuana after all.

In California, the pot initiative lost because too few voters under age 26 turned out and moderate voters rejected the initiative.  Recent violence with Mexican drug gangs in both California and Arizona did not help either initiative.

Mixed messages float around the issue here in Michigan.  Recently, a huge pot-expo scheduled for the Pontiac Silverdome, billed as the largest pot-party in the world, was canceled at the last minute.

All this raises the questions: do we really need to legalize pot?  Is ours a pot-smoking nation?  Does marijuana have genuine palliative properties?

One of the major problems of perception with medical marijuana laws is that folks are simply going through the administrative steps to get "medically" certified to use pot, but are smoking on a recreational basis.

No good comes of a law that sets requirements that are perceived as a farce.  It would perhaps be better to legalize marijuana outright, then regulate its production, sale, and distribution.

California was really looking forward to billions in pot-derived state revenue.  Here in Michigan, there is confusion about who can legally grow pot and how it should be grown and distributed to "patients".  In Arizona, the question is too close to call 3-days after the mid-term elections.

Yeah, right.  Good luck with all that...

UPDATE:  A month after the election, it seems the "mainstream" media outlets are adopting the position asserted in the above blog post; medical marijuana certificates are being acquired to insulate recreational users from criminal charges rather than for legitimate palliative purposes.  Here's an article on this point from Nolan Finley in the Detroit News.


UPDATE on the UPDATE: Here's a great article from the Traverse City Record Eagle on this subject which details the case that most likely will go to the Michigan Supreme Court to test the viability and scope of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

MORE UPDATES:  Now, the feds, via the DEA, have subpoenaed the Michigan Department of Community Health (the state agency in charge of administering the MMA) for all records relating to seven individuals under investigation by the DEA.  Read more here.

EVEN MORE UPDATES:  Now, Holland is getting in on the act, asserting it's attempt to "regulate" the MMA.  Here's the link.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cheating Spouse App Gets Pulled by Droid

A controversial new application for Motorola's popular Droid phone has apparently been pulled before it had a chance to hit the cell phone application market-place.

The idea behind the "Secret SMS Replicator" application is to forward text messages from the target phone to a designated phone.  What's more, the application on the target phone is invisible and cannot be detected.

Similar applications have failed Apple's application store approval process.  In the case of the SMS Replicator, Google said the covert application violates the "Android Market Content Policy."

Just because this application did not make it to market does not mean it won't be applied.  The technology is available to those who do not mind installing rogue applications.

In Michigan, it is illegal to download the emails of another person without permission by using spyware and keystroke programs.  These products, however, remain on the market.

Perhaps the best policy if you are in a marriage or a committed relationship is to stay faithful.  On the other hand, if you believe your spouse or significant other has strayed, or is thinking of doing so, it may be time to move on through separation or divorce.

Often, a cuckholded spouse feels the need to acquire rock-solid proof of infidelity. Sometimes, this is sound pre-divorce strategy. Getting the goods on your significant other, however, should never come via breaking the law.

Good luck out there!

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