Monday, November 29, 2004

The Law v. Daredevil: Yellow #1

Since Bob Ingersoll isn't around to point out legal mistakes in comics anymore, someone's got to take up the slack. This may not be a new issue (I picked the tpb up cheap last week), but it's new to me.

After Jack Murdock is murdered, his killers are arrested and charged with the crime. Loeb then writes "But on the day of the bail hearing, suddenly they had a Park Avenue attorney." The prosecutors ask for one million dollars bail per defendant. The defense attorney responds by moving that the charges be dropped and dismissed, and further criticizes the merits of the prosecution's case. The judge agrees, dismissing the case and telling prosecutors they can refile charges once they gather more evidence.

Two things are wrong here.

First, while Loeb doesn't spell it out, it certainly sounds like there was enough evidence to go to trial. As the Scott Peterson case has illustrated, fingerprints and murder weapons aren't necessary for a murder conviction, and defintely aren't necessary to get to trial. Then again, there's the suggestion that this judge was paid off, so that could explain away this discrepency.

But it doesn't even begin to address the second problem, and that is that this was a bail hearing. That's made clear both in dialogue and in a caption box. Bail hearings are for setting bail. That's it. Charges are never dropped at a bail hearing, and if an attorney attempted to make a motion to do so, the judge would quickly put him in his place. Since the charge here was murder, and the defendants are already at a bail hearing, they must have been indicted by a grand jury. Once indicted, the judge lacks the power to dismiss charges before trial, because the grand jury has already found probable cause that the defendants committed the crime. The appropriate time for the defense attorney's motion would have been in the middle of the trial, after the prosecution had rested its case.

In short, Loeb got this all wrong. Not as remarkably wrong as he portrayed the court in Challengers of the Unknown, but yet another example of his lack of understanding of the legal system.

Crystal-clear resolution. And then some.

The 2.5 Gigapixel Photograph

If printed at 300 dpi, this photo would be over 20 feet long. Suddenly the satellite imagery in "Alias" doesn't seem that farfetched.

(Courtesy of Radley Balko)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Happy Sucksgiving!

It is November 22, and as all long-time CBRians know, that makes today the time-honored holiday of Sucksgiving.

The ancient origins of Sucksgiving are shrouded in mystery, but the date's effects on the events of the past century are unmistakable. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, and that sucked. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, beloved author and theologian C.S. Lewis and author Aldous Huxley both passed away on that same day. While that in and of itself sucked, their deaths was largely missed in the U.S. because of Kennedy's, and that sucked even more. Furthermore, the late Rodney Dangerfield was born on November 22, and he got no respect, and that sucked.

So on this least hallowed of days, gather together with friends and family, enjoy some succotash, and complain your little hearts out. This Thursday will be the occasion for all of us to give thanks for our blessings; today is the time to gripe about our burdens.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Comics in February

I had another post typed up, and then Blogger lost it when I tried to publish. So rather than retype it now, I'll just do the comic book thing, and take a look at the new Previews.

The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty #7
Captain America & the Falcon #12

Priest just announced that Dan Jurgens takes over the pencilling duties with #13. Works for me.

Ex Machina #8
Flash #219

Still not "Rogue War." Worse yet, it's a crossover with a title I don't read.

Gotham Central #28
JLA #111
JLA Classified #4

The last one's iffy. I enjoyed FKATJL, but given the speed that that story was collected, I'm tempted to hold off on this $3/issue arc.

JSA #70
Ultimate Spider-Man #72

Hmm. Suddenly I notice that not only is there no issue of "The Pulse" in February, but nor is there an issue of "Plastic Man." I know the former series was supposed to go bimonthly, but I hope this isn't a bad omen for the latter.

And people thought the Spider-mobile was stupid

Flash motorcycle