Marijuana Leads To Increase In DUI Charges In California

Having to go to court for a plant might seem a bit much, especially when the plant we are discussing is marijuana. Understanding the laws of this popular plant is so complicated that even local law enforcement in the state of California can’t seem to understand how to handle this decriminalized herb. Marijuana leading to increase in DUI charges in California has become an issue to the court system and to the individuals receiving the DUI.

Most DUI cases end up leaving the defendant in jail for approximately 3 days while the judge gets to hear the case and decide what the sentencing will be. Facing legal actions for being high on a plant that is known to ease tension should be a crime itself, due to the fact that more and more doctors are being summoned to court after dealing with patients all day to clarify that the defendant is in fact under the prescription of marijuana, and is allowed to smoke this non harmful plant. Driving under the influence of marijuana according to the State of Colorado and Washington is an acceptable thing, and although the Feds never really approved the use of marijuana, state law seems to be passing all kinds of legalities that tells the individual how to operate after smoking marijuana. However, given that the plant has not been fully legalized in California, it is leading to the increase in DUI arrests.

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Wal-Mart To Pay $82 Million Fine For Improperly Dumping Hazardous Wastes

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A recent ‘The New York Times’ article entitled “Wal-Mart Is Fined $82 Million Over Mishandling of Hazardous Wastes” reported that Wal-Mart Stores pleaded guilty Tuesday to improperly dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri and agreed to pay almost $82 million.

The retailer was charged with six counts of violating the Clean Water Act in California and one count of violating a federal law related to pesticide disposal in Missouri.

Since 2003, Wal-Mart employees tossed products like bleach, fertilizer, hairspray, nail polish and deodorant into trash or the local sewer system.

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Capital Sentence Set Aside for California Inmate

 

In a recent Wall Street Journal Law Blog Post written by Chad Bray entitled:California’s Longest-Serving Death Row Inmate Wins in Ninth Circuit, Mr. Stankewitz, a Native American, has been on death row in California since 1978, when he was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Ms. Greybeal had his capital sentence set aside.

Mr. Stankewitz was one of the first people sentenced to death after the state reinstated capital punishment in 1978. Thirteen people have been executed since.  In a 2-1 decision Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld a court order that Mr. Stankewitz’s death sentence be vacated unless California officials seek to retry the capital phase of his case within 90 days or resentence him to life without parole.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit tracked that of a lower court, which found that a lawyer for Douglas Ray Stankewitz failed to investigate circumstances leading up to the murder of Theresa Greybeal – namely Mr. Stankewitz’s abusive childhood and long history of substance abuse.

For further information, please read the entire Wall Street Journal Blog Post.

US Bizarre Laws

America is the place for wacky state laws. Each State has it’s own pretty unbelievable things including laws which are odd, laughable and downright bizarre. When packing your bags and heading off to any of these places you should be careful because you never know what weird laws may still be in effect! These laws may be funny, but finding yourself on the wrong side of the law is no laughing matter.

 Here they are, the dumbest laws in America:

  • Illinois: It is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.
  • Iowa: It is illegal to hunt from an aircraft.
  • Kentucky: It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.
  • West Virginia: It is illegal for children to attend school with there breath smelling of wild onions.
  • Alaska: It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
  • California: Illegal to set a mouse trap without a hunting license.
  • Connecticut: It is illegal to walk across the street on your hands.
  • Florida: It is illegal to fart in a public place after 6:00 pm on Thursdays.
  • Idaho: It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.
  • Maryland: It is illegal to take a lion to the movies.
  • New Jersey: It is illegal to slurp soup.
  • New York: It is illegal to greet each other by putting one’s thumb on the nose and wiggling the fingers.

No matter what State you find yourself in, be sure you visit www.legalbistro.com our on-line community where you are able to post your case anonymously.

You can find more interesting State Laws here: http://www.dumblaws.com

Constitutional Reprieve For California Death Row Inmate

On December 01, 1989, Hector Ayala joined his brother Ronaldo on Death Row when a judge affirmed a jury’s recommendation for the death penalty for a drug related killing of three men in a Southeast Dan Diego garage on April 26, 1985.  At the time of the conviction, lawyers for Mr. Ayala alleged that prosecutors struck jurors from hearing the case on the basis of their race.  The judge who presided over he case heard the prosecutors arguments for disqualifying certain jurors but failed to reveal these reasons to either Mr. Ayala or his lawyers.

On Wednesday, August 28th, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge’s handling of the juror strikes violated Mr. Ayala’s constitutional rights and ordered Mr. Ayala released from custody unless the state decides to retry him.

For further information about this ruling, please refer to the Wall Street Journal Law BlogPosting written by Steve Eder entitled Death Row Inmate Scores Legal Victory in the Ninth Circuit. 

Happy 75th Birthday to San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

This Sunday, the Golden Gate Bridge turns 75.(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

On Sunday, May 27th, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 years old.  The famous red bridge connects San Francisco with northern Marin County.  Prior to the construction of the bridge, the only way to get across was by ferry.

The Golden Gate Bridge, a wonder of the world for 75 years, an article posted in CNET by author Daniel Terdiman, provides an excellent summary and history of the bridge and is well worth reading.

All was not smooth during the construction of the bridge which did not begin until January 5, 1933.  Disaster struck several times:

  1. A steamship on its way to Portland, Ore., crashed in heavy fog into the just-finished access trestle — which was extending 1,100 feet into the Golden Gate Strait.
  2. High seas smashed and destroyed several sections of the bridge.
  3. Another storm battered the construction, wrecking 800 feet of access trestle.
  4. Work had been underway for more than three years when a traveling derrick toppled in October, 1936, killing a worker named Kermit Moore. He was the first to die during the construction. Ten more would perish in a scaffolding collapse in February, 1937.

Some Interesting Facts about the bridge:

  • Total length, (Including approaches), is 1.7 miles (8,981 feet or 2,737 m) ; width is 90 ft (27 m); and middle span i9s 4,200 ft (1,966 m)
  • The average clearance above the water is 220n ft ((67m)
  • Total weight (when built) is 894,500 tons
  • Total weight (today) is 887,000 tons
  • 128 lights are installed on the bridge roadway. They are 250-watt high pressure sodium lamps installed in 1972; The 24 tower sidewalk lights are 35-watt low pressure sodium lamps; 12 light illuminate each tower, 400 watts each, and an airway beacon tops each tower
  • There are 1.2 million rivets
  • Repairs are constantly needed due to high winds and fog
  • Approximately 110,000 cars cross the bridge every day
  • The bridge cost $35 million to build ($39 million including interest paid on the bonds).  In today’s dollars, the bridge would cost $1.2 billion to build.

 

The Number of Lawsuits Filed Against Debt Collection Companies Increased Five-Fold

 

In the last seven years, the number of lawsuits in California accusing collectors of violating federal law has increased fivefold, The Sacramento Bee found in an analysis of more than 5,000 debt-collection cases filed in California’s federal courts since 2005. The number of federal lawsuits in California alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act jumped from 230 to 1,255 last year.

Complaints to California’s attorney general about debt collection practices also climbed steadily in the past six years, hitting its highest peak last year.

“The economy is so bad that it’s getting more and more difficult for these debt collectors to get money from people who just don’t have it,” said Tammy Hussin, a Carlsbad attorney who handles debt collection cases for consumers.

“So the collectors are more frustrated, and they’re getting more aggressive.”

Abusive and profane telephone language has fueled many of California’s lawsuits. Debt collectors are accused in court papers of calling consumers a “jackass,” a “(expletive) idiot,” a “big baby,” a “low-life,” a “crackhead,” an “irresponsible flake” and “stupid.”

The article entitled: Debtors seethe, sue over collectors’ tactics, was written by MARJIE LUNDSTROM and SAM STANTON and can be found on SouthCoastToday.com.