Daily News April 13

Salmonella Dysentary Outbreak
Okay, there’s really no such thing as a salmonella dysentary outbreak, but there is another recall going on.  Certain Malt-o-Meal cereals have been recalled because people are getting salmonella.  Twenty-three people in 14 states have gotten sicken from eating the generic brand cereal that usually comes in a bag and is located at the end of the cereal aisle, way at the bottom.

If you bought unsweetened Puffed Rice or Puffed Wheat cereal after April 5 do not eat it and throw that shit away.  Salmonella symptoms include puking, excessive crapping, nausea, fever and stomach cramps.  Salmonella poisoning is not usually life threatening but it can be bad for small children, old people and people who have weak immune systems.

In addition to the Malt-o-Meal label, you should beware of store brand generic cereal that came from Wal-Mart (America’s Choice), Giant and Weis.  (I think these are all the stores listed in the Maryland/Virginia area.)  The bad cereal you should be looking for has a best used date of April 8, 2008 through March 18, 2009.

The cereal was produced in the United States.

Artillery Rounds in Girl’s Bed
Last week, military officials at a New Jersey base were practising when they made a miscalculation and accidentally shot an artillery round into someone’s house.  The artillery round landed in a girl’s bed.  Luckily, the girl wasn’t home, but her cat was.  The cat was seriously injured and had to be put down.  There were no human injuries.

Although I am in the military, I do not get to shoot artillery, so I don’t know how easy or difficult it is to make a mistake.  My only thing to this is that maybe they shouldn’t have an artillery range so close to public housing.  There’s a lot of woods and open space in America.  Here’s a crazy thought… maybe you should put an artillery range out there so that if you do make a mistake, the most that could happen is you blow up a few trees.

Thankfully, the girl wasn’t home in bed or she would have been blown up too.  I don’t like cats, but still….  Can you imagine having to explain how your child died?

Mom:  Our little girl was killed in an artillery attack.
Friend:  Oh no, that’s terrible!  Was she in Afghanistan or Iraq?
Mom:  Neither, she was in New Jersey.  At home.
Friend:  How bizarre.
Mom: Yeah, it was one of those freak things.  You just never know when an artillery round will drop on your head here in suburban New Jersey.  It’s a war zone out here.  I knew I should have bought those Kevlar helmets when they were on sale at Home Depot.

A Life Half Wasted
A man has been sitting in jail for 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit.  Yeah, we know the prisons are full of innocent people.  That’s just the way our legal system works.  It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got until someone comes up with a better way.  At least we don’t live in some whacked out third world country where you are guilty until proven innocent.  In the Phillipines, there is no right to a speedy trial, and you sit in jail until your trial date to prove you are innocent.  Remember that Youtube video with the prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson?  One of them had been in jail for 8 years waiting to go to trial on a minor drug charge.

But listen to this:

A man named Alton Logan has been in jail for 26 years on a murder charge.  It was alleged that he killed a police officer while robbing a McDonald’s restaurant back in the 80s.  Witnesses testified that he was the man and there was sufficient evidence enough to convict him and he went to jail, life without parole.

Enter another man named Andrew Wilson who looks so much like Logan that they could have been brothers.  While Wilson was on trial for another unrelated murder, Wilson told his lawyer that Logan did not rob the McDonald’s.  Wilson said, “I did it!”

Under attorney-client privilege the laywer CANNOT reveal what his client told him.  In most states, if a lawyer breaks his client’s confidence, the lawyer can be disbarred.  Something about legal ethics.  There are a few states that require the lawyer to report crimes, but only if they are apart of an already ongoing criminal investigation.  For example, your client is on trial for murder and he kills a witness to that murder.  That is an ongoing criminal enterprise.  The lawyer has to say something.

If the two crimes are unrelated, the lawyer can’t talk.  Even if the lawyer wanted to say something, there’s no guarantee that what he has to say would be admitted into evidence.  Even though the lawyer breaks the privilege, the judge still has to uphold the law.  That’s just how it works.

The lawyer was shocked to hear that another man was in jail for something his client did.  So instead of saying something, he wrote it down and signed it to make it all official and kept it in a box hidden in his house for 26 years.

Now, here in 2008, Andrew Wilson, the real murderer is dead.  The lawyer is now an old man and no longer practises law.  He decided to come forward with what he knew.  Alton Logan is not surprised.  He knew he didn’t kill that man.  He knew because he wasn’t there and he knew because Andrew Wilson went up to him while they were in jail and said, “I know you didn’t kill that guy because I did it.”  Logan pleaded with Wilson to tell the truth but Wilson only laughed and never said anything.

So, anybody would think that now that the lawyer has come forward with the truth they would unlock Logan’s cell and let him walk free.

Wrong.

The law is not that simple.  It is the prosecution’s burden to prove that Logan killed that man.  They did and that’s why he’s in jail.  The state cannot simple overturn a conviction.  Logan will have to appeal and he will have to be retried.  Wilson is dead and cannot admit that he was the one who really killed the police officer.  Other witnesses are also dead now.  One witness did change her story, saying that she is now not really sure it was Logan she saw.  The other witness is sticking to his story.

Alton Logan said that even though the truth has come out, he is not rejoicing.  He is still in prison and thinks he will stay in prison because the law is not on his side.  Just because some lawyer walks up with a letter doesn’t mean that the state is just going to let him out of jail.  A new investigation.  A new trial.  New everything.

Alton Logan’s life is pretty much over.  He has spent more than half his life in prison.  He never got a chance to go to college, get married, get a job, have a life or a family.  Even if he got out of prison, what would he do now?  He’s 54 years old and doesn’t even know what freedom is like.

He would have gotten the death penalty in the case but the sentence was reduced to life without parole because he was tortured in prison… and that’s why he confessed to something he didn’t do.  A number of corrections and police officers were indicted for torturing many prisoners during that time.

That’s just fucked on so many levels.  The lawyer was wrong for keeping the secret for so long.  My guess is that he didn’t want to be disbarred.  He wouldn’t be able to practise law anymore, but is your profession worth someone else’s life?  Obviously, it is because he waited until he was old as shit to say something.  The letter might have been tossed out, but the police would have been obligated to investigate.  What if the police officers hadn’t tortured him and he would have been sentenced to death?

I’m a firm believer in the death penalty, but it would have been pretty shitty for this guy to get the chair for something he didn’t do.  The lawyer and Wilson will burn in hell for not standing up.  Wilson was already in jail for life for that other murder.  It would not have made any difference for him to confess to the killing of the cop.

This could have happened to anybody.  I offer some advice:  always have an airtight alibi.

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