Casual Friday presents: The Brutally Honest Judge

Canadian junior hockey player Chris Doyle was charged with hitting his ex-girlfriend in the face with a door, breaking her nose. He claims he punched the door in frustration, but didn’t intend to hit her in the face.

The judge found him guilty … but not as charged. [].

Junior hockey player Chris Doyle was found not guilty of assault Friday, but received some harsh words from P.E.I. Judge John Douglas.

“If he was charged with being a colossal a*****e, I would find him guilty,” said Douglas, chief judge of the provincial court.

“Of assault causing bodily harm, I find him not guilty.”

HT: Deadspin.

I think the hairstyle was enough evidence for the judge’s “verdict.”

Someone told him to wear a suit, but forgot to advise him to lose the fauxhawk.

OMG, you guys! If we’ve learned anything from watching John Hughes1 movies over the years, it’s that parents totally suck. So do siblings. And teachers. And pretty much anyone else who would ever get in the way of skipping school or attending some raucous high school party that would never exist in the real world because a) logistics, b) the neighbors would notice 100 people hanging out on your lawn and loud 80s music blaring and most likely call the police.

But no one’s parents ever sucked as much as this 16-year old Arkansas kid whose mom posted things on his Facebook page, then changed his password. So he filed a harassment lawsuit. First the facts, from the AP:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The mother of a 16-year-old boy said she was only being a good mom when she locked him out of his Facebook account after reading he had driven home at 95 mph one night because he was mad at a girl. His response: a harassment complaint at the local courthouse.

“If I’m found guilty on this it is going to be open season” on parents, Denise New said Wednesday.

New, of Arkadelphia,[2] a small college town an hour southwest of Little Rock, said many of her son’s postings didn’t reflect well on him, so after he failed to log off the social networking site one day last month, she posted her own items on his account and changed his password to keep him from using it again. But her son claims what she posted wasn’t true, and that she’s damaging his reputation.

“The things he was posting in Facebook would make any decent parent’s eyes pop out and his jaw drop,” Denise New said. “He had been warned before about things he had been posting.”

Lane New, who lives with his grandmother, filed a complaint with prosecutors who approved a harassment charge March 26. Neither New would say Wednesday which items on his Facebook site the boy had found slanderous.

“I probably made maybe three, maybe four actual postings — the rest of it was a conversation between my son, me and his personal friends,” Denise New said.

OK, this is where it starts getting interesting.

In his handwritten complaint to prosecutors…

And here I was thinking there was a professional involved. I think it looked something like this:


…Lane New asked that his mother have no contact with him and wrote, “Denise first hacked my Facebook and changed my password. She also changed the password to my e-mail so I could not change it. She posted things that involve slander and personal facts about my life.”

Denise New acknowledged changing both passwords to keep her son from getting access to his Facebook page. She denied hacking into the account.

“He left it logged in on my computer,” she said. “It’s not like I stole his laptop.”

Denise New said the boy had written on his Facebook page that he had gone to Hot Springs one night and drove 95 mph on the way home because he was upset with a girl. Several other posts on his site also bothered her, but she refused to elaborate.

She said he has since opened a new Facebook account.

Prosecutor Todd Turner declined to comment because the boy is a minor. His office issued a statement later saying the woman’s alleged statements about her son justified the harassment charge — though he would not describe the comments.

Denise New said Lane moved in with his grandmother about five years ago, after she went through a difficult divorce, was having mental health problems and didn’t feel she could provide her son with the supervision he needed.

She faces a hearing on the misdemeanor at the Clark County Courthouse on May 12.

And an update:

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (AP) — The lawyer for a 16-year-old who filed a complaint against his mother that resulted in a misdemeanor harassment charge says it’s OK for parents to monitor a child’s internet activities, but impersonation isn’t.

The charge against Denise New of Arkadelphia was filed last month, based on an affidavit her son, Lane New, filed with the prosecutor’s office. In the complaint, Lane New said his mother “posted things that involve slander and personal facts about my life.”

Lane New’s lawyer, Travis Berry,3 told the Arkadelphia Siftings[!!!] Herald newspaper that “monitoring your child’s Facebook is OK.” But he said impersonating someone else, posting inappropriate language or disclosing private facts on the site is not OK.

Neither party has said publicly what specific actions by Denise New upset Lane New.

Anyone who has lived in a dorm room or even with a roommate knows you NEVER leave anything open on your computer, unless you want to come home and find that your roommate just traded Albert Pujols for Gerald Laird. Or that you just posted on Facebook that you love Jane Austen novels. Call that a life lesson, young Mr. New.

Also, as for the things he allegedly posted that set his mom off, your future HR professional will warn you to post things on Facebook at your own peril.  Sure, he was locked out of his page, but, who knows? Post negative things about your office on Facebook and you can get fired. You have no right to privacy for the things you intentionally put out to the public.

1 John Hughes was born in Lansing? Who knew?!

2 Arkadelphia? Is there a city named Ark Angeles? Arkramento?

3 You mean there IS a professional involved?!

Lighting the Batsignal I was checking the AP ticker and saw this:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a measure allowing mothers to use deadly force if their unborn children are threatened.

House members passed the bill by a 131-21 vote. It now goes to the Senate.

Some Democrats questioned whether the legislation is necessary because a woman already has the right to protect herself if threatened.

Sponsoring Rep. Jeanie Riddle of Mokane says the bill comes in response to the case of a Michigan woman who was convicted of manslaughter after killing her boyfriend for punching her unborn baby. The conviction was later overturned.

Republicans say they don’t want to leave any chance that a Missouri woman could go through a similar situation.

Oklahoma passed a similar law last year.

When I saw this story, I thought the law was unnecessary and probably political grandstanding (Understanding that I don’t know specific Missouri law here, but the fact that a woman was originally convicted of manslaughter here is disconcerting.), since, in my opinion, it’s beyond reasonable for a juror to presume/imply that an unborn baby is inside the mother’s womb, thus a threat to it would be a threat to the mother, therefore, standard self-defense laws would apply. I recognize the argument that a threat to “punch an unborn baby” may not rise to fear of “imminent death” but the Michigan self-defense statute clearly states”:

(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:

(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.

Without delving into the morass of a futile debate over the morality of abortion, can’t we just agree that forcibly trying to kill a fetus with blunt force not in the interest of saving the mother’s life and against her will would place the fetus into the “another individual” category?

The reason for the Batsignal is that I want to read the case referenced in the story. The article says the conviction was overturned. I’m hoping there’s a COA case out there. Does anyone remember it?

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