Bishop & Brown

It may sound like a law firm, but no, it’s two quick updates on characters I’ve written about before, Bishop & Brown:

Remember Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama professor who shot up a faculty meeting back in 2010, killing three of her colleagues and wounding three others?  She’s one of a relatively rare group of female mass shooters, and now, she’s headed to prison for life without parole.  Initially, Bishop claimed that she was not guilty by reason of insanity (which I opined was utterly bogus), but ultimately, she changed her plea to guilty.  Under Alabama law, a guilty plea to a capital crime has to be corroborated by a jury in a brief trial (even though the death penalty was taken off the table early in this case because some victims’ family members objected to it), and that happened on Monday, with the jury taking just 20 minutes to reach a guilty verdict.  But this may not be the end of Bishop’s story.  Apparently, she also shot and killed her then-18-year-old brother in Massachusetts when she was 21, but she claimed, at the time, that it was an accident (that she had been trying to unload the gun when it discharged).  Back then, Massachusetts authorities believed her, but after the murders that she committed in Alabama, they reclassified the brother’s homicide as a murder and charged Bishop.  Given that she’s already headed to prison for the rest of her life in Alabama, however, the prosecutor in Massachusetts may yet decide that it’s not a good use of that state’s resources to try Bishop for her brother’s murder, particularly in light of the inherent difficulty in trying a case after so many years have passed (evidence degrades, memories degrade, etc.).  A decision is expected within the next week or so.

And you probably all remember Chris Brown, the “singer” who’s been serving probation — a ridiculously light sentence — for the brutal battery of his ex- (and some say their relationship’s still not over) girlfriend, fellow singer “Rihanna,” back in 2009.   Well, surprise, Brown reportedly has tested positive for marijuana.  But guess what?  He also reportedly has a “prescription” for “medical” marijuana.  See what a crock this whole “medical marijuana” thing is?  What do you think are the chances that Brown has a medical condition for which there’s no relief available other than marijuana?  Right about…oh, say…zero?  And this isn’t his only alleged probation violation either.  He’s also allegedly violated other behavioral restrictions and failed to complete his court-ordered community service on time, despite being allowed to complete it in the state of his choice, Virginia, even though his crime was committed in California.  Given all of the leniency that this creep has received thus far, I have little hope that he’ll find himself in the steel cage where he belongs anytime soon, but seriously judge, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in psychology to see that this guy has little if any apparent compunction about breaking the law.  He committed a violent crime, against a woman (not that it’d be okay if the victim were a man, just pointing out that these domestic-violence guys are almost always cowards), got a slap on the wrist with a few custom-tailored conditions, and allegedly hasn’t bothered to even follow those conditions, despite the (ostensible) possibility of going to jail, which would be extremely costly to him in terms of career disruption.  So what does that tell you, judge?  It tells you he doesn’t appear to be at all worried that you actually might put him in jail, which means, if he has in fact violated his probation, now more than ever, that’s exactly what you should do (unless of course you don’t mind reinforcing the self-entitled attitude that appears to be alive and well in this guy, thereby compounding the likelihood that he’ll be back in trouble sooner rather than later, quite possibly injuring another innocent party along the way)!

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