Congratulations to Marquette, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Providence, and DePaul -- the Big East's basketball only schools -- for finally leaving the conference! (Knightly, left, is thrilled with the news.) For these basketball schools, it puts an end to the ship-jumping and conference realignment forced on them by football schools chasing an extra buck of television revenue while destroying their historical, regional rivalries in the process. I've been hoping for this break-away for years, and wrote about it more than a year ago. Hopefully this group of seven will pick up three more schools from the region to form a nice, ten-team league with each team playing every other team twice -- once at home and once on the road. These are exciting times for fans of the seven schools. It's like March Madness, but in December.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
With all the magical and religious thinking going on this time of year, I can’t help but miss the calming, rational voice of the world’s greatest iconoclast. For those of you who feel the same way I do, enjoy some of Hitchens’ most famous quotes, after the jump. But for those of you who enjoy the holidays, don’t read on; instead, watch this fun holiday rap video.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Aside from the passing of Beano Cook, it has been a glorious year of college football. And although I prefer watching thirteen straight hours of regular season games every Saturday, the bowl season is fun too. Here are The Dog’s picks for the BCS bowl games:
Ø BAMA crushes Notre Dame. This one won’t even be close. I could see Bama winning this game by 28 points, which means that if I were in Vegas (I’m not) and if I were a betting man (I’m not), I’d take Bama minus the points. In the end, Mark May will get revenge.
Ø DUCKS fly past the Cats. This is the best of the BCS. It will be a high scoring affair, and might even set a record for most combined points in a BCS bowl. But in the end, Chip Kelly’s crew is just too fast and too athletic for K-State. And their uniforms and their cheerleaders are guaranteed to entertain.
WISCO upsets the overrated (and overpriced) school named after a color. That's right, the Badgers will stun the Harvard Crimson
wannabe Stanford Cardinal. I’m not a
Badger fan, but I will admit that my former hatred for them has been completely
redirected toward Notre Dame, now that they’re winning again and Lou Holtz won’t shut
up about it. Anyway, "On Wisconsin!"
Ø FSU will beat NIU. The bigger question: Do the Huskies belong? Yes. Check the BCS’s complex criteria – the dogs have earned their bid. But do they really belong? Again, yes. If the ACC is still entitled to an automatic birth in a BCS bowl after going 2 – 13 for a .13 winning percentage in previous BCS bowls, I don’t think anyone has the right to gripe about the Huskies. I’ll be rooting for NIU, but in the end, FSU’s numerous soon-to-be NFL drat picks will be too much for the dogs to handle.
Ø GATORS chomp the Cardinals. That’s Cardinals, plural. That’s the bird, not the color. You see how that's done, Stanford? But despite getting their nickname and mascot right,
Louisville just can’t
hang with an SEC powerhouse. This will be the
biggest blowout of the BCS.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Tyler H., a thirteen-year-old Wisconsin kid, was having a really bad day. First, his brother didn’t like the way
was chewing his food, so he “hit Tyler
in the back.” Then, when the inevitable
wrestling match ensued, the boys’ mother got into the act and hit Tyler
in “his mouth.” After getting struck by
his mother, Tyler did not
react physically; instead, he swore at his mother and smartly “left the house.” But then Tyler’s
mother decided to exacerbate her disastrous parenting by calling the police—that’s
right: the police. And once these
government agents were invited into what should have been a family matter,
things got even worse for young Tyler.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
In State v. Frey, the defendant agreed to plead to certain charges and the state agreed to dismiss certain charges outright, rather than read them in, at sentencing. This distinction between dismissing charges outright and dismissing and reading them in has always been a critical one. In countless cases (including this one, for example) courts routinely recognized the distinction. Even the official plea form that the defendant is required to fill out and sign warns him that “the judge may consider read-in charges when imposing sentence[.]” Of course, in light of this warning, the only rational conclusion is that charges dismissed and not read in, i.e., dismissed outright or simply dismissed, cannot be considered by the judge when imposing sentence. This makes sense for a couple of reasons.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The defense lawyer often has to do three jobs at once: the prosecutor’s job, the judge’s job, and his own job. That is, when the prosecutor does something illegal at trial—whether intentionally or “accidentally”—the defense lawyer had better jump on it, bring it to the judge’s attention immediately and in exactly the preferred manner, and then ask for the proper remedy at precisely the right time. If the overwhelmed defense lawyer missteps in any respect, and if the defendant loses at trial and appeals, the appellate court will blame the defense lawyer for not freezing time and correcting the prosecutor’s cheating (or ineptitude) at the time of trial. But the law doesn’t just require that the defense lawyer keep one eye on the prosecutor while also doing his own job; the law requires that the defense lawyer do the judge’s job as well.
I had my fill of politics this season as soon as I tuned-in to one of the presidential debates. First, I heard Romney claim—and I’m paraphrasing here from my flawed memory—that “President Obama raised taxes on the middle-class by $3,000 per household.” Then, I waited just long enough to hear Obama’s response. Again, paraphrasing: “I’ve cut taxes on the middle-class thirteen times during my term.”
I had just about enough by that point. My interest in politics died nearly as quickly as it began. Instead of making any effort to get to the bottom of their respective and mutually exclusive claims, the participants and the moderator moved swiftly forward, with each candidate trying to prove that he was more forceful, articulate, confident, and likable than his adversary. It quickly became obvious that the so-called “debate” was nothing more than a live political advertisement for each party. And, as Socrates knew, “Politicians are concerned only with making cheap rhetorical points” rather than getting to the underlying truth of the matters at hand.
So what’s Socrates’ solution? Skip the election. Flip a coin instead.
From a defense lawyer’s standpoint, the simplest cases to defend are non-domestic fights. You know, the good old-fashioned fisticuffs, often taking place in a bar or related setting, and often involving a self-defense claim. The reason they’re “simple” cases is that they don’t involve complex pretrial or trial issues. Normally, you simply have some eyewitnesses who testify as to what happened, and each side cross-examines them about their biases, motives, ability to accurately recount what they saw (or what they think they saw), etc. Then, each side argues about the strength of the evidence, burden of proof, etc. Unlike other cases, these self-defense cases usually don’t involve lengthy motions to suppress evidence, or time-consuming preparation for expert witnesses, or witness recantations to muddy-up the waters, or complicated “other acts” motions, or complex hearsay issues that can confuse the judge. In other words, the classic battery case with a self-defense claim is the ideal case for a second-year law student’s trial advocacy course, or even for the new attorney fresh out of law school. So how did one attorney get $100,000-plus in fees to defend a client in a four-day battery trial stemming from a simple throw-down at a trendy
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Maybe I’m a little edgy today. Maybe I’m still upset by the recent death of the great Beano Cook. Maybe I’m irritated that Notre Dame will likely win again against BYU before suffering the first of its two inevitable losses next week. But whatever the reason, it’s time to call-out college football and demand a change. No, I’m not referring to putting the “student” back in “student-athlete”; I’m referring to the dreaded halftime interview.
A recent study demonstrated that children and teenaged pedestrians who are distracted by their “mobile devices” are at greater risk of being hit by cars. Seriously. Someone or some group felt that a “study” was warranted to prove this. Equally inexplicable, some organization felt that this study should actually be funded. (I realize that it’s possible the study was designed for some other purpose, yet yielded this finding; if that is the case, the authors should have been too embarrassed to publish it.) But most alarming is that the authors proclaim “their findings should prompt pediatricians to advise parents and children about pedestrian safety during routine check-ups.” No. Stop right there. Medical doctors have better uses for their time. I don’t want them advising children on how to cross city streets any more than I want Charles Barkley to serve as a role model. And if this is the last frontier for medical knowledge, then our learning is done. We now know all there is to know. So please, stop the studies.
The Legal Watchdog is pleased to introduce Popehat, “a group complaint about law, liberty, and leisure.” Popehat covers topics that typically fall outside of the Dog’s reach, and does so without pulling any punches. For example, Popehat exposes how the state of
intrudes into its citizens’ lives to control what they can learn and how they
can learn it. As another example—and
this post is my favorite—Popehat illustrates the extreme dangers of limiting our free speech rights. So check out
Popehat, and learn what our numerous governments are doing to infringe on our
rights in areas other than our criminal justice system.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
When reading my weekly cases, I just saw that yet another prosecutorial misconduct decision was handed down by the appellate court. Reading the decision reminded me how prosecutors are allowed tremendous leeway to blatantly violate the basic rules of trial practice—for example, by hiding evidence of innocence from the defendant or making improper comments to the jury—in order to win convictions. And when defendants appeal their convictions, the appellate courts repeatedly decide that it’s not their job to deter prosecutorial misconduct, so they routinely tell the defendant: “yes, the prosecutor cheated, but too bad, your conviction stands.” Now, that’s a big problem in itself, and I’ve written about it in the Seton Hall Law Review and the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog. But it’s what happens next that really has our nation’s prosecutors holding their sides in laughter.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
I’ve always been a bit of a contraian. For example, growing up in
I knew at the very young age of four that I really hated the
Packers. I just got so tired of seeing
Packer fans wear those horrific colors—I challenge anyone to find uglier shades
of green and gold—that I aligned myself with another team even before I started
kindergarten. (Unfortunately, I aligned
myself with the Vikings—a team with much cooler uniforms, but no super bowl
victories. This brought me some pain as
a child, but I’m happy to report that my interest in professional sports faded
a couple of decades ago.) In any case, even
though I have zero interest in the Packers today, it does appear that a rule-breaking
wide receiver for Seattle, and
three blown calls on a single play, unjustly cost “the Pack” a victory.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Big business loves to gripe about how government unnecessarily intrudes into our lives. (Agreed.) However, when big business needs a major bailout at taxpayer expense—a very common and costly occurrence throughout our country’s history—then the government is (temporarily) okay after all.
But big business and government unite in ways other than bailouts. One way (that I briefly touched on more than a year ago) is for big retailers to sell items to poor credit risks and then use the local prosecutor’s office to criminally prosecute the consumers (at public expense) to collect payment for the retailers. And it now looks like prosecutors and businesses are uniting to take this practice to a whole new level.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Michael O’Hear, law professor and writer at Life Sentences, just reviewed my new book, Tried and Convicted. Much to my delight, he called it entertaining, “in a dark, ironic sort of way.” But then things got even better with a comparison to the late, great one: “I don’t know if Cicchini is an admirer of the late Christopher Hitchens, but . . . Cicchini seems to take a similar delight in skewering hypocrisy and intellectual laziness.” (That kind of comparison, of course, is a writer’s dream.) O’Hear also adds that, “Although the book is intended for a general audience, Cicchini’s acerbic prose makes it a good read even for someone who is already familiar with the legal issues he discusses.” You can read the entire review here, which includes several of O’Hear’s own compelling insights into the criminal justice system, as well as a brilliant—perhaps even “dark”?—historical reference.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I love the 1995 case U.S. v. Boyd. After sitting through a four month trial that ended in a guilty verdict, the trial judge overturned the conviction and granted the defendant a new trial. Why? Well, the prosecutors' star witnesses against the defendant were actually incarcerated themselves. That, in itself, is rarely a problem. Instead, what bothered the trial judge was that the prosecutors were bribing their prisoner-witnesses leading up to and during the defendant’s trial. The gifts and favors included providing the prisoner-witnesses with access to illegal drugs, access to visitors with whom they had sexual relations, prosecutor-funded birthday parties, multiple items of clothing, and even phone sex with the prosecutor’s paralegals. In fact, the litany of gifts and favors was literally so amazing that it makes the case worth reading in its entirety—something that can rarely be said of a judicial decision.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Listen to my radio interview with Barry Lynn, a constitutional lawyer and longstanding civil libertarian. Barry and I discuss my new book, Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy our Constitutional Rights. The interview was broadcast nationally, including in major markets like Los Angeles and, closer to home, Madison, Wisconsin. But you can find the interview archived on the Culture Shocks website. Once you get there, just press the play button and enjoy the show, or navigate to the home page and subscribe to Culture Shocks via iTunes.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Listen to my interview about my new book, Tried and Convicted, on The Rude Awakening morning show out of
. My interview is toward the end of the Ocean
City, Maryland 7/26/12 episode, and is now available on podcast.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
is now available. Stay tuned for future posts linking to podcasts and radio interviews about the book. For information on my first book, visit my amazon author home page.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
I don’t mind when a juror is deadpan or stone-faced. What does bother me, however, is when I see jurors sighing, eye-rolling, sleeping (literally), and complaining in the courthouse hallways about how they don’t want to be there. (Is watching a jury trial and protecting a fellow citizen from a wrongful conviction really that much worse than their regular jobs?) Some jurors just don’t seem to realize that it could easily be them sitting at the defense table, instead of in the jury box. If they understood this, they would instantly appreciate the importance of having an alert (or at least conscious) jury.
But despite my own feelings on the subject, one recent criminal defendant must have been furious with his jury. The evidence showed that he had taken a passing interest in a woman who—oops!—was an undercover cop. He was then criminally charged with propositioning her for sexual intercourse, which required the state to prove that, roughly speaking, he (1) requested sexual intercourse (2) in exchange for money.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Criminal law is riddled with double standards. For example, suppose that -year-olds get into fisticuffs in the state of
and one of them gets a bruise on the cheek.
Typically, the winner of the fight gets prosecuted regardless of who
started it, so let’s further suppose that the kid without the bruise
gets charged with felony child abuse.
How can this be? In Wisconsin,
he’s considered an adult because he’s seventeen, and therefore can be charged
criminally in adult court. But wait: the
kid who got the bruise on his cheek is also seventeen, so how can this be
“child” abuse? Because there’s a double
standard: when considering the age of the accuser, seventeen-year-olds are
considered to be mere children, rather than adults. But as absurd as this double standard is, it
pales in comparison the double standard for motive and the third-party defense.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
As I sat on my couch watching the latest edition of
, I happened to catch a Kay
Jeweler’s commercial. You know the ones:
“Every kiss begins with Kay.” Well, this
one was marketing jewelry for kids. A
handsome chap was presenting a little gem to, well, a little gem, and he told
her “I’m so happy to be marrying your mom, and I’m really happy that you’re
gonna be in my life, too.” And, because
it’s a commercial, the child absolutely loved the gift, and the mom
looked on lovingly from the background. Sports
I wasn’t able to find this commercial on YouTube, so I can’t link to it. But most people who watch this commercial will see a brilliant marketing campaign (after all, they’re opening up a whole new market for their product), or maybe the frivolous side of capitalism (does a child really need jewelry?), or maybe even a sweet moment (there’s no way this marriage will end in divorce). You wanna know what I see? I see grooming behavior.
Friday, May 4, 2012
As a criminal defense lawyer, I fear cases where children are the ones making the accusations. The reason is that no matter how bizarre, implausible, or flat-out false the accusation might be, some people seem to have an inherent pro-child bias which can, in some cases, cause them to suspend reality. It also enables them to see and hear things that don’t exist. But this pro-child bias is not limited to jury trials; rather, it infects most aspects of our lives, and was on full display when a nice looking couple went to a baseball game and caught a foul ball. Because of this, they made national news and were demonized for failing to cater to a nearby crying child that wasn’t theirs, and that they didn’t even see.
Friday, March 16, 2012
The Legal Watchdog is going on a brief hiatus. I have a lot of editing and proofing to do on my forthcoming book, Tried and Convicted (Roman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.), and a lot of preparing to do for an upcoming jury trial. During the hiatus, Knightly (pictured) will rest and gather his strength for The Dog’s next post, which is expected early to mid-April. In the meantime, you can read some advance praise for Tried and Convicted, which is due out this summer, after the jump.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
|Ring Out Ahoya!|
Welcome, once again, to the most wonderful time of the year! The NCAA tournament is the greatest sporting event in the world. Heroes will be born. Hearts will break. Cinderellas will rise. Giants will fall. And Bill Raftery will, at some point, say “Lingerie on the deck!” “Square the puppies!” and “A little nylon!” (And his able partner-in-crime, Verne Lundquist, will laugh heartily.) Meanwhile, Knightly (left) celebrates
’s 3-seed and picks the Final Four: Marquette
(South). The question isn’t whether Kentucky will get to the Final Four again, but rather, will the appearance later be vacated? His two previous Final Four appearances (with U-Mass and Coach Cal ) have been wiped from the books due to later-discovered NCAA violations, though he, personally, was not “directly implicated in anything.” Memphis
State (East). After knocking off both Duke and Florida , the ACC tournament champion Seminoles (and their ACC coach of the year Leonard Hamilton) are a tough out. North Carolina
( Kansas Midwest). is too erratic. The Big Twelve’s regular season champion will emerge from the North Carolina Midwest. Now all they need is a new fight song.
(West). Louisville might not even be the best team in, well, Kentucky . Slick Rick has the Cardinals' press in high gear, and Peyton Siva might be the fastest man on the planet, with or without a basketball in his hand. Kentucky
Saturday, March 3, 2012
|Is this man in custody?|
When the police have a suspect “in custody” and they want to interrogate him, they must first read him his Miranda rights, which still include (arguably) the right to remain silent. And the test for whether a suspect is “in custody” has produced some very interesting cases. For example, assume that the police are questioning a suspect at his home, but while pointing their guns at him; is the suspect “in custody”? Or what if the police use the old bait-and-switch and “invite” a suspect to come to the police station under false pretenses, and then start interrogating him once he gets there; is the suspect “in custody” in that situation? You might be able to formulate good arguments on both sides of these coins. But, when a suspect has been formally imprisoned and put in a jail cell, and the police go to question him, surely that prisoner is “in custody” and entitled to the Miranda warning, right? Not so fast. The Supreme Court says that we have to look at whether there was "custody within custody."
Saturday, February 18, 2012
|The Electric Car|
I’ve never been too swayed by movements to save “the environment.” After all, the only reason we enjoy the quality of life that we do is that our species has been able to keep nature in check, at least for the most part, most of the time. But whether it’s a tsunami, a volcanic eruption, a deadly mutating virus, a near-miss asteroid, a dangerous solar flare, a flesh eating bacteria, an earthquake, a deadly spider, the ice age that’s right around the corner, or even our own highly imperfect evolution, nature and “the environment” are aligned against us and could kill us at any time in any number of terrifying ways. True, I live in
where I happen to be shielded from many, but not all, of these completely natural but deadly creatures and phenomenon. Also true, I’ve yet to fall victim to my aging and disease-prone genes (although I likely have lived more years than I have left in front of me). But my point is that “the environment” strikes me as more of an adversary than a thing worthy of my charity or concern. Wisconsin
In a recent post I wrote about a college student who was kicked out of school for engaging in "unlawful individual activity." His crime? In a free-writing exercise in a creative writing class at a public university, he wrote that his teacher was attractive. A few days after The Dog's post, ABC News picked up the story, and you can now see a video of the student explaining his side of things. Even the Van Halen News Desk is paying attention. (Scroll down the VH News Desk link and you can enjoy Hot for Teacher—quite possibly the greatest rock video ever made.) You can also find the student's actual journal entries, as well as a letter written by the hot teacher, all on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education website. I love it when education and Van Halen come together. (Pictured left: Eddie Van Halen's guitar.)
Dealing with prosecutors on a daily basis, I often get to hear some pretty outlandish spin on both facts and law. But even the most motivated prosecutor would get dizzy from the spin put on these two former
employees. Duke University
First, there’s the case of a former Duke medical research doctor. As 60 Minutes just reported in Deception at Duke, the doctor was involved in what might turn out to be one of the “biggest medical research frauds ever.” In a nutshell, the doctor claimed to have decoded the genetic makeup of cancer tumors which allowed him to match a person’s cancer to the best treatment with 80 percent accuracy. His work was hailed as groundbreaking, but when two
doctors analyzed the results, they found something odd: the Duke doctor’s data was riddled with what were thought to be errors. Duke ultimately concluded (many years later) that far from being filled with errors, the data was being manipulated to reach the desired outcome. The result, unfortunately, was that patients in the Duke clinical trials might have been receiving “not the best drug for their tumor, but the worst.” You can imagine what happened to them. Houston
Saturday, February 11, 2012
|Poster available at|
While wanting to believe may be necessary for the religious and Fox Mulder, I think society could benefit from a healthy attitude shift toward the don’t-rush-to-judgment end of the spectrum. An objective, skeptical, cautious, and even indifferent approach to life has its rewards. Unfortunately, however, the attitude on some college campuses these days seems to be leaning—or, more accurately, falling over—in the opposite direction.
We all know what happened in the Duke Lacrosse case a few years ago. I’m not referring to the false allegation itself; that sort of thing happens all the time. Even a poorly constructed web search will reveal hundreds of proven false allegation cases, including those at Duke University, in small
, WI, and at town Port Washington in Northeast High School And of all the false allegations that are levied, only a fraction of those can be conclusively proven false, and only a fraction of that fraction are ever reported by the media. In reality, then, there is good reason (and evidence) to believe that a very large percentage of all accusations are, in fact, false. But again, that’s not my point. Macon, GA.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
As far as employment went, I somewhat enjoyed financial analysis and accounting-related work. But what drove me out of the business environment and into l
was the intellectually hollow corporate babble that seemed to invade most aspects of the job. There was the constant talk of “driving the business,” the prodding to “think outside the box,” and even the brilliance of “management by walking around.” (They seriously called it that, and management gurus made a fortune selling it to brain-dead business leaders.) And of course, any employee who refused to place his faith in the latest management buzzwords and catchphrases, and instead questioned the underlying thinking, was not being “a team player.” Fortunately, in response to all of this stupidity, Matthew Stewart has written what should be mandatory reading for everyone in the corporate world: The Management Myth: Debunking Modern Business Philosophy. aw s chool
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Criminal defendants are often shocked when they wind up in jail or even prison for minor transgressions. In such cases, their crimes run the gamut from negligent and strict liability crimes (where there is no criminal intent and often no direct or indirect harm to anyone) to small-time property offenses (where the financial harm is very minimal). The best example of harsh punishment for property crimes can be found in
, where the California ’s infamous three-strikes-and-you’re-in program often puts petty shoplifters behind bars for decades or even for life. But Golden State is no slouch either, as one criminal defendant recently found out the hard way. Wisconsin
Sunday, January 15, 2012
If you're interested in criminal law but you're not yet following Michael O'Hear's Life Sentences Blog, well, tic toc. Check out his latest post describing how a pro se defendant got caught up in a maze of state and federal law and narrowly missed a filing deadline with disastrous results. The post -- titled Delay in Criminal Procedure: What's Good for the Goose Is . . . Well, Never Mind -- has a nice ironic twist, too, which makes it well worth the read. It is also cross-posted here on the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Bowl games aren’t just for the big corporations and not-for-profits anymore. Area doctor Joseph Mathew has just announced the Joseph Mathew Don’t Overeat Bowl, which will be played next year after the PoppaJohns.com Bowl and before the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Don’t Overeat Bowl will be held in Springfield Memorial Park Stadium, located in Dr. Mathews’ home town of
and will feature the sixth team from the Big Ten "Leaders" Division versus the fourth team from the Sun Belt Conference. Springfield, Illinois,
Saturday, January 7, 2012
By now, most people have heard of the
Wisconsin prosecutor who threatened to criminally charge school teachers for teaching sex-ed classes, even though parents could opt their children out of the sex-ed program, and even though the sex-ed program itself had been approved by the state legislature. But not all prosecutors take this anti-legislature approach; some will justify their acts, no matter how absurd, by attempting to align themselves with the legislature. That is, if the legislature fails to specifically forbid the bizarre, unimaginable thing they want to accomplish, then, they reason, their actions must be acceptable. That’s the tactic a different Wisconsin prosecutor used to justify charging a six-year-old child with felony sexual assault for "playing doctor" with a five-year-old.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Ridiculous laws can be interesting and fun to read about. But the fact is that they are not anomalous; rather, they engulf us all. From people being detained for taking pictures of law enforcement officers or pictures with “no aesthetic value” (as determined by law enforcement officers), to people being imprisoned for failing to sod their lawn, to teenagers being forced to register as sex-offenders for typical teen shenanigans, author Ann Sattley demonstrates that we’re all at risk for detention, formal arrest, conviction of a crime, or even worse. If you want to be entertained—or possibly infuriated—by our multiple levels of overreaching government, check out her blog, “Technically, That’s Illegal,” along with her book by the same name. You’ll be happy—or possibly angry—that you did.