miranda compromises, lake and waterfall wallpaper, sculpture from evolution software

A footnote to a previous post about Miranda rights. There are exceptions and those can be a slippery slope. Obama Admin Pioneering Robust Use Of Miranda Exception In Terrorism Cases

Federal agents questioned both Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of planting a makeshift bomb in Times Square, and Umar Abdulmutallab, the failed Christmas Day bomber, under the so-called public safety exception to the Miranda rule for substantial periods before informing the men of their right to remain silent, and to an attorney.

It’s been said that a compromise is a solution that pisses off both sides. In this case – two actually – where Miranda rights were waved once for 50 minutes and the other for two hours under the “public safety exception” will not satisfy the far Right that would like to do away with Miranda rights when they appear to be inconvenient. Staunch civil libertarians are afraid the use of the exception becoming common practice – a de facto undermining of the SCOTUS and lower court rulings on Mirandizing suspects, even though the use of exceptions might be done with best intentions ( intent does matter in how courts decide some points of law). This was the court reasoning in a case where the suspect tried to have his conviction over turned because he was not read his rights on initial contact with law enforcement officers ( they did Mirandize him later) Defendant Rodgerick Labon Lackey appeals his conviction after trial for  possession of a firearm by a restricted person, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).

Procedural safeguards which deter a suspect from responding were deemed acceptable in Miranda in order to protect the Fifth  Amendment privilege; when the primary social cost of those added  protections is the possibility of fewer convictions, the Miranda  majority was willing to bear that cost. Here, had Miranda  warnings  deterred Quarles from responding to Officer Kraft’s question about  the whereabouts of the gun, the cost would have been something more  than merely the failure to obtain evidence useful in convicting  Quarles.  Officer Kraft needed an answer to his question not simply to  make his case against Quarles but to insure that further danger to the  public did not result from the concealment of the gun in a public area.

We conclude that the need for answers to questions in a situation  posing a threat to the public safety outweighs the need for the prophylactic rule protecting the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination.

Police officers had originally asked Quarles if he had anything on him that might harm the officers and Quarles had volunteered the fact he had a gun in his car.My two cents worth, actually worth less, is the Justice Department’s actions thus far, as regards the public safety exception, have not been especially grievous. The continuance of Constitutionally questionable Bush regime national security policy such as unconstitutional domestic surveillance warrant more concern.

windows mac landscape wallpaper

lake and waterfall wallpaper


Breed is a computer program that uses artificial evolution to grow very detailed sculptures. The purpose of each growth is to generate by cell division from a single cell a detailed form that can be materialised. On the basis of selection and mutation a code is gradually developed that best fulfils this “fitness” criterion and thus yields a workable form.

So far available in plywood, nylon and steel sculpture, but not yet roaming the sewers of some dark fog bound city near you.

Motherhood demographics shift as more women wait

The odds of conception get longer, and the health risks to mother and baby go up, each year a woman waits to get pregnant.

Babies conceived from older eggs have higher risk of Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. For a 40-year-old woman who is pregnant with her own egg, the odds of having a baby with Down syndrome are 1 in 100. At age 45, the odds climb to 1 in 30. By age 49, the chances are 1 in 10.

Women 45 and older also are likelier to have very low birthweight babies, defined as less than 3 pounds, 4 ounces.

No patented blog rant, just  interesting as a public health phenomenon. This article is from a Florida paper that reports the number of births to women over 45 is a mini-boom. The actual numbers are not that large – the number of babies born to women 45 and older in Florida increased from 200 in 2000 to 437 in 2008. The state’s female population is around 9.5 million. Older moms a blip on the demographic radar. One 48 year old woman said she did not think about how old she would be when her child graduated from high school – 66, and her husband will be 68.


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