Corpus Delicti

According to the 'Lectric Law Library Lexicon, "corpus delicti" is defined as:

The body of the offence; the essence of the crime.

It was a general rule not to convict unless the corpus delicti can be established, that is, until the dead body has been found. Instances have occurred of a person being convicted of having killed another, who, after the supposed criminal has been put to death for the supposed offence, has made his appearance - alive. The wisdom of the rule is apparent; but in order to insure justice, in extreme cases, it may be competent to prove the basis of the corpus delicti by presumptive, but conclusive, evidence.

My criminal law professor had a more succinct definition:

I like his better.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...the law comes alive...

For those of you who, like Steve, were confused by my post, the backstory on this post is as follows:

My professor came into class and said, "For those of you who might be confused, I'm going to show you what corpus delicti is."

He grabbed a plastic shopping bag from behind the podium and started opening it, saying, "If you don't have a strong stomach, you might want to look away."

He produced a doll with a knife through its neck, exclaiming, "This is corpus delicti," and showed it around to the class.

We all cracked up. Probably the funniest incident all semester.

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Epictetus Recap

I have a backlog of really good Epictetus quotes from Thus Spoke Epictetus that I wanted to share.

“It is difficult to unite and combine these qualities--the diligence of a man who devotes himself to material things, and the constancy of one who disregards them--yet not impossible. Otherwise it would be impossible to be happy.” -Epictetus,

2.5.9 [Matheson Trans.]

An almost Taoist embrace of the opposites. Stewardship of what one has without clinging to that which might be taken away. But if you get it right, you can be truly happy.

“Is my neighbor a bad one? To himself, but not to me. He exercises my good temper, my moderation. Is my father bad? To himself, but not to me. ‘This is the rod of Hermes. Touch with it whatever you please, and it will become gold.’ I say not so; but bring whatever you please, and I will turn it into good. Bring sickness, death, want, reproach, or capital trial. All these, by the rod of Hermes, shall turn to advantage.” -Epictetus,
Discourses 3.20.11-12 [Carter Trans.]

Whenever we are faced with people who are behaving badly, like the asshole in the SUV this morning who decided that a snow day was a good time to make a left turn in front of me from the right lane, it gives us an opportunity to grow and develop our own virtues.

This saying also provides me with a great neoclassicist pickup line. "Hey baby, wanna touch my rod of Hermes? It'll turn to your advantage."
“It is impossible for happiness and yearning for what is not present to be united.” -Epictetus, Discourses 3.24.17 [Oldfather Trans.]

Desire. Happiness. Choose one.

“What faculty is it that uses all the rest? Choice. What is it that attends to everything? Choice. What is it that destroys the whole man, sometimes by hunger, sometimes by a noose, sometimes by hurling him over a cliff? Choice. Is there, then, anything stronger than this in men? No. For how can things that are subject to hindrance be stronger than that which is not?" -Epictetus, Discourses 2.23.17,18 [Oldfather Trans.]

No matter how bad things are, you always have control over your own choices. Nobody else can control your choices, though they can kill you, fire you, take away your possessions, and destroy everything external.

That's enough for today. Do let me know if these quotes help you at all and whether or not my exposition is worthwhile. Epictetus is pretty concise, making it hard to expand on his ideas.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...on to the day's duties...


WWHSTD? Kill himself, apparently.

Hunter S. Thompson capped himself last night.

A man of superhuman genius, Dionysian appetites for mind-altering substances, and a deep and abiding insanity, Thompson was one of my heros. The gonzo ethic, balls to the wall at all times, served as an inspiration. I always wanted to meet the good Doctor. Now I don't get to. Maybe I'll play a round of shotgun golf in his honor.

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)

At this time of loss, we must all ask ourselves, "WWHSTD(What would Hunter S. Thompson do)?"

I'm raising the gonzo fist, pouring a tumbler full of whiskey, and writing an assignment mere hours before the deadline with an equal chance of producing staggering genius as insane rantings. Methinks he would be proud.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...rest in peace...

From The Star article:

In a statement, Thompson's widow and his son said: "It is entirely fitting that Hunter, as a master of politics and control, chose to take his life on his own schedule by his own hand, rather than submitting to fate, genetics or chance."

"Though we will miss him bitterly, we understand his decision. Let the world know that Dr Hunter S Thompson died with his glass full, a fearless man, a warrior."



I Can Die Now

I'm a poker player and all around degenerate gambler. Gambling's a vice, but it's my vice. That and drinking. Lately I've been playing online at Party Poker. A big sea full of fish. If I could stop being such a maniac, I'd probably do better, but that's another story.

So I'm playing a little low-limit hold'em tonight and the following ensues:

$0.5/$1 Hold'em - Friday, February 18, 21:59:12 EDT 2005
Table Onight time (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: KDixon ( $28.25 )
Seat 2: xleepn ( $23.75 )
Seat 4: davejonis ( $23.75 )
Seat 5: Larres ( $19.75 )
Seat 7: jpfoss ( $35.25 )
Seat 8: HappyStoic ( $39.75 )
Seat 9: kim_kris ( $17.5 )
Seat 10: Vetasss ( $26.5 )
Seat 6: IronRising ( $24.5 )
IronRising posts small blind [$0.25].
jpfoss posts big blind [$0.5].

** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to HappyStoic [ Ks Ts ]
HappyStoic calls [$0.5].
kim_kris calls [$0.5].
Vetasss calls [$0.5].
KDixon folds.
xleepn folds.
davejonis folds.
Larres folds.
IronRising raises [$0.75].
jpfoss folds.
HappyStoic calls [$0.5].
kim_kris calls [$0.5].
Vetasss calls [$0.5].

** Dealing Flop ** [ As, Jc, Qs ]
IronRising bets [$0.5].
HappyStoic raises [$1].
kim_kris calls [$1].
Vetasss calls [$1].
IronRising calls [$0.5].

** Dealing Turn ** [ Js ]
IronRising checks.
HappyStoic bets [$1].
kim_kris calls [$1].
Vetasss calls [$1].
IronRising folds.

** Dealing River ** [ Tc ]
HappyStoic bets [$1].
pokermjo has joined the table.
kim_kris calls [$1].
Vetasss calls [$1].

HappyStoic shows [ Ks, Ts ] Royal Flush.
kim_kris doesn't show [ Ah, 3d ] two pairs, aces and jacks.
Vetasss doesn't show [ 8h, Jd ] three of a kind, jacks.
HappyStoic wins $13.75 from the main pot with Royal Flush.

Yes, you read that right, I was dealt a Royal Flush. My poker life is complete. Now if only I could start winning a little more...

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...first timer...


On Choosing Better Targets

Greenpeace protesters decided that they wanted to interrupt energy trading in London as some sort of counterpoint to International Petroleum Week ("I scream, you scream, we all scream for light crude.") According to the Times story, young energy futures traders do not the best targets make:

What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Another said: “I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: “Sod off, Swampy.”

Well imagine that. A bunch of twenty-something men, hopped up on adrenaline, capitalism, and probably speed, weren't amenable to listening to the Greenpeace point of view. Not only that, but were pretty damn interested in working out some of their stress with a little bit o' the ultraviolence.

Note to Greenpeace: Stick to fucking with old IMF bankers. And watch for the canes.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...warming the cockles of my heart...


Lightening the Load

As most of you know, I work full-time while taking 9-10 law school credits a semester. This semester has been pretty killer, with trial memos, classes, work, and general life stuff piling on.

Always wanting to be the super-hard law student, I signed up for the moot court qualifying competition. As part of the competition one must write a 12-page appellate brief after having done legal research on the problem presented. Keep in mind that, at this point in my law school experience, I've never written an appellate brief. Completely unfamiliar stuff.

This task, due by 5:00 pm on Thursday, combined with my trial memo, due on Monday, to bring crushing stress. I've slept an average of 3-4 hours per night for almost a week now.

Last night I made a choice. I can't do everything. If I try, I will do everything badly. So I wrote the following email this morning:

Dear Tournament Co-Directors,
Due to other commitments this semester, I must regretfully withdraw from the Spring Qualifying Tournament.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

As I pushed send, a great weight was lifted off of my shoulders, I got a new spring in my step, the heavens opened to surround me with a shaft of beautiful sunlight, and birds began to sing. And I'm happier too.

As a part-time student, I'm eligible to try out for the moot court team again next year or even the year after that. I should have this law school thing in a groove by then and be ready to knock it out of the park.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...thought I'd share...


HoT: Libertarian Girl Is Russian Bride/Ugly Guy

Looks like our favorite Ann Coulter wannabe is in fact a Russian mail-order bride (link no longer good). My suspicions of something funny going on were raised when I found the same blog post on two different vapid pink pages of crap, and they have been confirmed by Catallarchy.

For those with strong stomachs, there's an updated picture on LG's blog. Caveat emptor.

Hat tip: Hammer of Truth.

Yours truly,
Mr. X



Second Amendment Challenge to D.C. Code Dismissed

According to Matt at Stop the Bleating!, the D.C. Circuit dismissed an NRA-supported challenge to the D.C. gun laws. The good news is that the dismissal was procedural; the court held that the appellants didn't have standing unless there was an imminent threat of prosecution. The reasoning seems a little stretched, applying a different standard for justiciability for the Second Amendment than the First (see Circuit Judge Santelle's dissent), so perhaps an appeal would help.

Unfortunately a post-prosecution challenge would be in D.C. Court, which has previously held that, "District of Columbia firearms statutes did not violate defendant's constitutional right to keep and bear arms." Sandidge v. U.S., 520 A.2d 1057 (1987). So even if one of the claimants was willing to get arrested, it wouldn't help.

As a poor little 1L, I'm not sure where one could go from here (en banc review?), but the decision doesn't bode well for me ever moving into the District.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...bearing bad tidings...


Life Imitates Art: Stripes Edition

According to the New York Daily News, the guards at Camp Bucca, a military prison in Iraq, have been having some interesting hand-to-hand combat competitions.

In front of a cheering male audience, two young women wearing only bras and panties throw themselves into a mud-filled plastic kiddie pool and roll around in a wild wrestling match.

At one point a man in the audience raises a water bottle and douses the entwined pair.

At another, a "referee" moves in to break up the scantily clad grapplers.

A young blond lifts her T-shirt to expose her breasts. A brunette turns her back to the camera and exposes her thong undies.

It looks like the Army has finally adopted the training regimen prescribed by the 1981 movie "Stripes." Astute readers may recall that John Candy's character, Dewey 'Ox' Oxburger, engaged in a similar hand-to-hand combat as part of his training.

In other news, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis will be taking over operations at Abu Gharaib and the Army is working on a new attack Winnebago to crush the insurgency.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...I want you...

The Cuddly Menace

Myke sent me an urgent warning about The Cuddly Menace. Spread the word while there is still time. We must unite to fight the Zogg.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...sounding the distress beacon...


Rockin' Bush Track

The Hammer of Truth clues us in to an 18-minute mashup of our fearless leader.

It's groovy.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...kicking it...


Hostage Development

The Hammer of Truth reports that a very special hostage has been captured by Iraqi terrorists.

Damn you Cobra Commander!

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...real American hero...