Month: December 2011

McQueary Testifies


Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary gave public testimony for the first time yesterday to a packed Dauphin County courtroom in Harrisburg.


Questioned by Deputy DA Bruce Beemer, McQueary told the court that he saw Jerry Sandusky having sex with a young boy in the locker room showers.


He described hearing a “rhythmic, slapping sound” and saw Sandusky standing behind a boy in the shower “having some sort of intercourse with him”.


The defendants are two Penn State administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, who are charged with lying to a grand jury about what was reported to them. Neither ever reported the incident to police.


McQueary’s father, John, also testified. His son called him shortly after witnessing the assault and they also discussed in person what to do about it. “I’m now in the position to say Gary Schultz did nothing about it,” John McQueary testified.

NYT story is here.



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Sandusky Will Face His Accusers Another Day

In a crowded ornate courtroom Jerry Sandusky told Judge Robert E. Scott that he wished to waive the preliminary hearing where some of his accusers were prepared to testify. Sandusky111213wide
These are a few sketches from his short appearance in court.



And you can read about it here.

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SCOTUS Watercolors

Here are some sketches I did – still working on my watercolor chops – of arguments in two cases before the Supreme Court today. SC111207_Shapiro

The first, Mayo Medical Laboratories v. Prometheus Laboratories, is a very complex case about whether you can patent a natural process, in this case monitoring the metabolites a drug. SC111207_Bress

I can’t begin to explain it, but Lyle Denniston can. Click here for his analysis.

In the second case, PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana, the Justices were asked to reference the journals of Lewis and Clark to determine if a river in Montana was once navigable. SC111207_Clement

It seems that title to the riverbeds beneath commercially navigable waterways belong to the states, and those of non-navigable rivers belong to the nation. I did not know that. SC111207_Garre

The dispute  is between a Montana power company that operates several dams on the river and the State of Montana which says it is owed over $50 million in rent and interest.

You can read about it here.








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Confrontation Clause Arguments

In two recent cases the Supreme Court has expanded Sixth Amendment right to confront a witness to include the lab technician who actually did the test.

In today’s argument the petitioner is challenging his conviction because the lab tech who performed a DNA test was not called to testify, but his report was introduced through the testimony of another expert witness. SC111206wide_Carroll

Justice Alito asked petitioner’s lawyer, Brian Carroll, “Hasn’t it long been accepted that experts may testify to the facts that form the basis for their opinions?” SC111206_Carroll

When it was State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s turn at the lectern Justice Scalia said, “We don’t know how good the individuals who did the test were. And that’s why it’s up to the state to bring forward testimony saying what the lab did. And the only testimony they brought forward was the testimony of this witness who was not there.” SC111206_Alvarez

Nor did Justice Kennedy seemed convinced as Mike Sacks tell it here.






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Unwarranted Warrant?

How far can the police go in procuring a warrant based on an affidavit “so lacking in indicia of probable cause” that the resulting search not only violates the Fourth Amendment, but exposes the officer to civil action? Beats me. SC111205wide_Wolfson

I wasn’t in court to cover the story, but rather to try out a new combination of sketching media. Here’s what I came away with. SC111205_Coates


This was not the usual audience of spectators. I don’t think they had anything to do with the cases being argued, and in fact they looked a little bored. SC111205_Arabs

The case is Messerschmidt v. Millender.





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Hinckley Back in Court

Every few years over the past two decades John Hinckley has gone before a judge seeking more freedom from St. Elizabeths Hospital where he has been a patient since being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Hinckley, now 56, was back in court yesterday asking to extend visits to his mother’s Williamsburg home to up to 24 days, and eventually transition to living full-time in the community. He is currently allowed 10-day visits away from the hospital.


Tyler G. Jones, director of psychiatry at St. Elizabeths, was the first witness called by Hinckley’s lawyer, Barry Levine, from a list that includes family members, doctors and therapists.


The government is vigorously opposing more liberty for Hinckley. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Chasson in her opening told the court that during one of his visits Hinckley lied about going to a movie and instead was observed by the Secret Service going to a Barnes & Noble where he browsed book titles on Reagan and presidential assassinations.

Del Wilbur has the story here.



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