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Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
May 20, 2004     Bath County News - Outlook
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May 20, 2004

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"A-8 • Forul:n Where is justice? How many times have you heard the losing litigant in a court case say, "I&apos;ll appeal to the Supreme Court, if neces- sary"? A new case fiom the United States Supreme Court raises questions, however, as to whether that is an option in many legal aclions. The case stems from Texas where Michael Haley was sentenced to 16 years in prison for stealing a calculator from a WaI-Mart. Haley, in 1997, walked out of the store with the calculator tucked into his pants. He was arrested and charged with theft, a misdemeanor. thdey had a criminal record; and was thus charged under Texas law as a "habitual offender". He was found guilty and received Ihc l’.year sentence. Several years later, a new lawyer discovered that Haley's prior offen,cs did not meet the standards of the "habitual offender" lx. tte sought to have his sentence reduced by the 'l'cxs CtlI'Is, Even fllough prosecutors agreed that a mistake had been made, they argued Haley had failed to raise the issue il lime. Texas courts rejected his appeal. Halcv then applied to the federal courts for habeas corpus relief. Both the federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appcal. ruled lhat ihtley should be freed because he had already crved six years in prison on a crime that carried a Inaxiu/tlltl lvv,,-,.-)cal sentence. lncrediblx, ecn though the Texas Attorney General admitted the original sentence was in error, he appealed to the [!.S. Supreme Court. The Court then reversed, saying the federal courts should not have gotten involved in the case to be,ml wilh. In a 6- ,pinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the case was really about "federalism'. In other words, the fed- eral courts owe respect to the states and the states' proce- dural rules when reviewing the claims of state prisoners. Unless a constitutional issue is raised she stated, the feder- al court should refrain from becoming involved. Texas had claimed that Haley could not raise the issue concerninF ihe discrepancy in his sentence when he did, because it was not raised in his original appeal as required by stale procedural rules. The Texas Attorney General argued it did not matter, that the judge, prosecutor, and defense :lttorney, misapplied the "habitual offender" law to Haley. The 'l'xas courts agreed with that interpretation. Justice t)'Comlor's opinion basically affirms this construal. Three iuiccs dissented. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "The unending search for symmetry in the law can cause judges 1o forget about justice." qb Juslicc Stevens, the fact that Haleyhad already served TOtl' 'hl< iiiol c lli,qn 'fiUglidd 11ax led fo one Simple cSn'- 'eltlsiofi':' hc had been detlied due'proc6ss of law. Further, since file constitutional error concededly resulted in the imposition of an unauthorized sentence, Haley was a victim of a miscarm igc of justice, entitled to release. Stevem. also chided Texas for appealing the case. He stat- ed the state had firgotten its overriding obligation to serve the cause ol justice. He also criticized the majority for los- ing sign of the basic reason flr the habeas corpus laws. For centuries, he wrote, habeas colpus has been a "bulwark against colwiclions thai violate fundamental fairness." He concluded that fundamental fairness should dictate the outcome of this unusually simple case. Age has a00/ay ,:,f, hanging thing;we can control, so might as well 1:<) Things to ponder: • Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you're in bed with a relative. • I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. So I said "Implants?" She hit me. • I don't do drugs. I get the same effect just standing up fast. • I don't approve of political jokes. I've seen too many of them get elected. • How come we choose from just two people to run for presi- dent and 50 for Miss America? • Snowmen fail from Heaven unassembled. ' • Every time I walk into a sin- gles bar I can hear Mom's wise words: "Don't pick that up, you don't know where it's been!" • A good friend will come and bail you out of jail.., but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Man...that was fun!" ..... KM ..... More unanswered questions: • Who do you think was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out?" • Who was the first persoh to say, "See that chicken there. I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's butt." • Why do toasters always have • Why does the OB-GYN look as old as leave the room when a woman own age. gets undressed if they are going While waiting for to look up there anyway? ment in the • Why does Goofy stand erect new dentist, a man while Pluto remains on all certificate, which fours? name of his dentist. • If Wile E. Coyote had Suddenly, he enough money to buy all that a tall, handsome Acme crap, why didn't he just same name had buy dinner? school class some 301 • If quizzes are quizzical, Upon seeing him, what are tests? discarded any • If corn oil is made from This balding, corn, and vegetable oil is made with the from vegetables, then what is way too old to baby oil made from? classmate. a setting thatburns fie toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat? • Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer? • If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him? • Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane? • If the pi'ofessor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can't he fix a hle in a boat? ............................ ,;"If' l'Kcit;'fidffi"tYdn' ..... Aft&: he had electrons, does morality come from morons? • Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse? • Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup? • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window? ••••KM•I None of us want to believe we teeth, the man if he had attended school. "Yes," he "When did man asked. The dentist 1971. Why?" "You were in man exclaimed. The dentist lookedt closely and then did you teach?" From the files of "RUSS METZ", 1 That mysterious fellow, the firefly.., or a new standard with C|ll :t For thotsands of years, gold has been the world's standard value, so it is only natural that the United States go on the Gold Standard with everyone else. This it did about 100 years ago and built a king-size vault at Fort Knox to stash it away in. But not tot long. The bars of gleaming yellow metal had barely cooled before it began to bum holes in a multitude of politicians' pockets. This gold reserve was supposed to be used to back the paper money Washington printing presses were turning out and might have worked except the presses worked thster than the boys toting ingots of gold into Fort Knox. This has made the countries of Europe, who we have loaned or given carloads of folding money, very nervous. They are no longer happy with our printed stuff and are demanding the real mazoola, so now we have to put up or shut up our grab bag department. All of which makes every- body wonder how longwe can stay on the Gold Standard betore Uncle Santa begins pulling our fillings to restock his gunny sack. Since we can't keep liticians or foreign leeches going in the manner to which they have been accustomed, seems we are going to have to either uncover a few fresh gold mines or get ourselves another standard to go on. The trouble with gold is it maintains an established worth and does not draw interest or keep pace in value with the times. So why not pick a new standard--something with a spirit, character and afflu- ent value we can 'all appreciate. I suggest we go on the Bourbon Standard. Seeing as how Fort Knox is about empty, let's board up its insides v,.'ih gtl Kentucky oak staves and pour it full of gx)d K c;cky bourbon and declare our economy both sol- veto :,,.; c:,:e:nely fluid again. That way, each year the value of ot. ,: ;;e goes up regardless of world conditions. 11 v< ::;a goHe on the Bourbon Standard when this whole thirL4 ,ed. right now we'd be the owners of millions of gal- lons of cenm O' old hootch which, obviously, would be price- tess. And mother thing about this standard, with the still fires burning lae, it wouldn't be too much trouble to restock the bank a:ter Charlie DeGaulle and his European pickixx:kets got their grubby fingers in the till. The way Congress is spending our money, it may be going out of style, so we will need a new standard more in keeping with the sobriety of our Great Society. We have found that money alone does not makes us friends among foreign nations. It could be that pouring bourbon into those countries instead of paperback doll, may have a glowing effect on the set miserable people. One thing for sure; it couldn't be a shakier standard than we now have. If things come to worse, we could always pass around the reserves and join our leaders on Cloud Nine. -RM- For years scientists have been studying the lowly lightning bug in an attempt to discover its secret of generating illumi- nation from body materials. The lightning bug's light is con- sidered the most effective known based, I suppose, on size of generator, amperage, line drop, candlepower and all the other ways they measure light. Like most kids, ours are great lightning bug catchers and seldom an evening passes that a fruit jar isn't filled with the things. They may be 'afraid to handle snakes, worms, frogs, crickets and hoss flies, but not many youngsters are afraid to grab a lightning bug. Doc Sutfles stopped in at home the other evening to chat a few minutes and our conversation took in a few important worldly subjects like the secret of the firefly. We agreed that if we could find the switch on the things, we would flip it on and have a steady source of light instead of all that blinking. After great gobs of research and bugological we made a most illuminating discovery. Did you you scrap off the outer covering of a lightning light stays on? This could indicate one of two things: either his all the time and the shutters on his bottom pop opel,, like a navyman's signal light, or we down his vest so much it put his blinker switch oUt Since neither of us are in the power generatmg thought we would pass this valuable utilities who now have to depend on hydro-electric and big steam-powered generators to produce current. They may want to scratch the bellies of a of lightning bugs and have them on hand just regular plants break down. Should they get bugged on operational can call us in as consulting lamplighters. -RM- Two Minnesota Depamnent recently that turtles, heretofore, considered household pets (they are cheap, don't bite. are require little care), can be the source of a disease, salmonellosis. They urge everyone with per turtles to wash after handling the creatures or their bowls or often kept in them. No one, including other should eat or drink from the turtle's bowl. The' that the water in which the turtle lives should neVa tied in the kitchen sink where it might contamina' -RM- People are always calling newspapers with which they can't f'md answers. And once in a help. But we have a correction to make answer we had for one gentleman just a few hope he sees this. He wanted to know who made that often about "I never saw a man I didn't like." It was sir, not as we informed you, Elizabeth Taylor. Ala., Times) Onward, Upward.