Attorney James E. Stern tried for several years to make a living as a lawyer, but eventually gave up in frustration and moved to France with his French wife. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, hoping to shed about $150k in educational loans. But the court found that he hadn’t made the requisite showing, and refused to discharge the debt, according to this.
News & Politics
After thirteen death row inmates were found innocent, Republican Governor George Ryan, with two days left in office, concluded that the system was “broken” and commuted the sentences of the more that 150 remaining death row inmates in Illinois. I think he’s a hero. Read all about it here.
Outgoing Illinois Gov. George Ryan is expected grant four complete pardons and to commute as many as 150 death sentences due to malfeasance — including torture — on the part of the Chicago police, according to this.
Just today, some high school kids in Cleveland filed a lawsuit against their school district for violating their First Amendment rights by confiscating copies of their school paper because it contained an article about student drinking, the AP is reporting. Coincidentally, also today, my favorite Supreme Court reporter, Dahlia Lithwick, published an article about students’ First Amendment rights and school censorship, which you can access here on Slate.
It may have all been a misunderstanding, but at the end of the day the Justice’s Vietnamese gardener cut down some 120 big-leaf maple and indigenous cherry trees (some of them 40 years old) in a Seattle public park so the Justice could have clear views of the lake from his luxury home. Those pesky Seattle nature buffs are none too pleased about Justice Jerome Farris’ actions. The DA has decided against charging him with a felony, and he’s offered to pay to restore the damage, according to this.
Arapahoe, Colorado County Clerk Tracy Butler is trying to block the release of some six hundred luridly sexual emails he exchanged on his work computer with his female deputy. Doh! TheDenverChannel.com reports it here. UPDATE: A court has blocked the release of the emails for 20 days, giving Mr. Butler an opportunity to appeal the earlier court order saying they should be released, according to this.