We’ve all heard the saying, “…Blowing smoke up your @ss.” On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri catch you up on current legal cases they’ve been following and explain the seemingly never-ending ways in which the system is “blowing smoke”.

Topics discussed include Marissa Alexander being granted a new court case, the case of Marlon Brown, who was mowed down by a police cruiser, the release teacher who only received 30 days for the rape of a teen student (who later committed suicide), Shellie Zimmerman saying that she was unsure of whether Zimmerman killed Trayvon in self defense, spider webs that descended upon Dallas, the recommendation that e-cigs need to be regulated by the FDA–just like tobacco, Tim Wise taking heat for Facebook post he made, and more!

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  • Discussion about Marissa Alexander being granted a new court case.

    A Florida woman serving 20 years in prison for firing a shot at her estranged husband during an argument will get a new trial, though she will not be able to invoke a “stand your ground” defense, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

    The case of Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville mother of three, has been used by critics of Florida’s “stand your ground” law and mandatory minimum sentences to argue that the state’s justice system is skewed against defendants who are black.

    The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Alexander deserves a new trial because the trial judge handling her case did not properly instruct the jury regarding what is needed to prove self-defense.

    The ruling, written by Judge Robert Benton, said the instructions constituted a “fundamental error” and required Alexander to prove self-defense “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    But the court also made it clear in its ruling that the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state’s “stand your ground” law as a way to defend her actions. That law generally removes people’s duty to retreat in the face of possible danger and allows them to use of deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger.
    Source: ABC

  • Discussion about the case of Marlon Brown, who was mowed down by a police cruiser. Benjamin Crump is his family’s attorney.

    In a letter delivered today to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Medical Examiner’s Commission, the family of Marlon Brown requested an independent investigation into his death for the third time in two weeks.

    Brown is the 38-year-old man who was struck and killed by rookie DeLand police Officer James Harris on May 8 as he was attempting to flee after a traffic stop related to a suspected seat-belt violation.

    A Volusia County grand jury concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing by Harris, who was fired after the crash.

    Brown’s death was ruled an accident in an autopsy conducted by Dr. Shiping Bao and a Special Death Investigation Report prepared by Dr. Maria Herrmann, Volusia County’s chief medical examiner.

    Herrmann’s report said Brown was never struck by the patrol car but ruled his cause of death as mechanical asphyxiation because he was pinned under the car with his head bent down so far that his was unable to breathe.

    In her letter, Krystal Brown said Herrmann’s conclusions “defy logic, common sense, and seemingly scientific principals.”

    Brown’s family is represented by attorney Benjamin Crump, who helped make the Trayvon Martin case a national story. Crump on Tuesday called the autopsy report and Herrmann’s investigative report “inaccurate at best and, at worst, intentionally deceitful.”
    Source:Orlando Sentinel

  • Discussion about the teacher who only received 30 days for the rape of a teen student (who later committed suicide) was release after serving the short sentence.

    A former Montana high school teacher who has served a 30-day prison sentence for the rape of a teenage student was released from prison on Thursday morning – as the victim’s mother said the teacher is “still skating” justice.
    Stacey Rambold left prison after serving the sentence imposed last month for the rape of student Cherice Moralez six years ago, said Judy Beck, a spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Corrections. The 14-year-old Moralez committed suicide in 2010, and her mother Auliea Hanlon has said that she believes the rape was a contributing factor.
    Along with activist groups and the Billings School superintendent, Hanlon has protested what she feels is an inadequate sentence for Rambold’s actions. The teacher, 54, pleaded guilty in April to a count of sexual intercourse without consent.

    Auliea Hanlon, speaks of her daughter, Cherice Moralez, on Wednesday in Billings, Mont. Hanlon said Stacey Rambold, who raped her 14-year-old daughter, is still eluding justice as he will be freed from prison Thursday after serving just 30 days.

    “I figured he’d be fired, go to jail, and she would be vindicated, and that would be the end of it,” Hanlon told the Associated Press a day before Rambold’s release. “Instead, here it is six years later, still going on, and he’s getting out …. He’s still skating.”
    Now, she said, she faces the possibility of bumping into the man who raped her daughter in Billings.

  • Discussion about Shellie Zimmerman saying that she was unsure of whether Zimmerman killed Trayvon in self defence.

    Source:Huffington Post

  • Discussion about giant, white spider webs that descended upon Dallas.

    Why, yes, Dallas, those are spider webs streaming from street lights — and tree branches and car antennas and flagpoles and you-name-its — this morning.

    Reports spread from Northwest Dallas to downtown to Oak Cliff to Irving to Arlington, at least. They were all over the Dallas North Tollway this morning, between Walnut Hill Lane and downtown, clearly and eerily evident in the sunrise’s glare. It sparked the question heard ’round Twitter and Facebook this morning: Are we under attack? Spider-Man? Spidernado? But, no, not quite.

    The city’s decorated with thin white ropes of silk this morning thanks to spiders attempting to make their annual move for the fall — baby spiders especially. (It’s called ballooning.) Problem is, there’s nothing to help them with their travel plans. Per EarthSky, spiders move from tree to tree, say, via their silk-secreting spinnerets, which they lift into the breeze for a free ride. “It’s the breeze that is the secret to the spider’s ability to spin a web from tree to another,” says the sum-up.

    Problem is, it’s still out. Too still. A crawling baby could stir up a breeze.

    “Spiders move from tree to tree, or building to building, by sending out strands of webs into the air in order to catch a current,” says Dennis Cavanaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth who says he’s received a few calls concerning the webs this morning. “But the winds are so light they’re not going anywhere. They keep shooting out webs, and the wind’s not carrying them anywhere. So they do it over and over and over again, and it builds up.”
    Source:Dallas Morning News

  • Discussion about the recommendation that e-cigs need to be regulated by the FDA–just like tobacco!

    Attorneys general from California, New York, North Carolina, and 37 other states have sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging her agency “to take all available measures” to issue rules regulating the manufacturing, advertising, and marketing of electronic cigarettes (or “e-cigs”).

    “With the protection of our States’ citizens again in mind, the undersigned Attorneys General write to highlight the need for immediate regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes, an increasingly widespread, addictive product,” wrote the attorneys general.
    Source:Think Progress

  • Discussion about typical e-cig use.
  • Discussion about people who have Freudian oral fixations. Wonder how many people use e-cigs who didn’t actually smoke before.
  • Discussion about how women used to smoke to control their weight back on the day.
  • Currently, the e-cigs are cheaper than regular tobacco cigarettes.
  • Discussion about Tim Wise taking heat for Facebook post he made.

    I Don’t Want Tim Wise As An Ally. No Thanks.

    Tim Wise had some sort of meltdown on Facebook recently, for which he later apologized. But this meltdown reveals more than someone angry at critics. Look, if he spouted the rhetoric that he does in a different context, not one where he is paid to be some sort of anti-racism educator and speaker, then I would still critique the White supremacy and White privilege and at times racism that shapes his responses to criticism. But he isn’t some random banker or right wing pundit or someone I critique but realize that the context of their espoused ideology is distant from mine. This is a person who claims expertise on that which he does not live yet rejects criticism. But rejecting criticism when you’re in a place of privilege is very dangerous especially when you do justice work.

    This is a part of what he recently wrote on Facebook. How someone can claim to be anti-racism yet writes this is beyond me:

    And this is what’s funny…every second that fools troll my site, complaining about how I take up all the antiracist space so they can’t be heard, is a moment they aren’t setting up their own website, blog, or writing their own book…but they wanna blame me for why no one knows who they are…it’s not on me sweetheart..plenty of people of color get book deals and speaking gigs each year…if u didn’t its not on me…it’s cuz u havent said anything that anyone finds valuable…deal with that rather than wasting time trolling…Maybe another POC blew up your spot rather than me…ever think of that? No, of course not…cuz that would require critical thought rather than simplistic hater bs and stuff u can put on tumblr…seriously, it’s time for people to be told to step off…feel free to jump off the page trolls….or I can bounce you…and would love to…trust me, u will lose this beef..badly…
    Source:Gadient Lair

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