Pirates Strike Again: This Is No Disney Film

While sailing their vessel on a dangerous section of the Indian Ocean last Thursday, a Danish family was captured by Somali pirates. A report issued today from the Danish Foreign Ministry lists the condition of Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, and their three children, ages 12 to 16, as being “well, under the circumstances.” A professional security firm handled negotiations with the pirates who took the hostages onto a larger ship on the Somalia coast.  One of the pirates, supposedly a reliable source with the pseudonym Muse Abdi, reported their safety.  Apparently some of these pirates consider themselves to be a kind of “coast guard.”  They can be a small, concerted band of locals attempting to scare off international travelers fishing in Somalia’s waters. Yet piracy is now responsible for 660 hostages from about 30 different ships, and the average ransom paid to release a ship and crew has reached close to $5 million USD.  Preservation of a fishing village aside, there is no place for these modern day Long John Silvers. Lady Justice would like nothing more than to match swords with them on any ship, any galley, any time…

Defendant Conrad Murray: Trial and Error

Is there a cure for what ails Dr. Conrad Murray? Judge Michael Pastor may delay the March 24th trial of Michael Jackson’s infamous physician. Judge Pastor is concerned and “extremely distressed about the state of this case and whether the defense is prepared for trial and its obligations to Dr. Murray.” Though Murray’s fate may be delayed, his current state of affairs is no enviable matter. Consider the following: 1) Since his famous patient’s demise, defendant Murray’s ability to practice medicine was compromised when the California Medical Board revoked his license. 2) Murray’s diminished income surely impacts his ability to pay escalating legal fees, prompting defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan to say that he needs “to go to trial right away” because they “don’t have the budget that would let [them] draw this out.” 3) The prosecution has not yet provided surveillance tapes from Jackson’s estate to the defense, and the defense has failed to disclose expert witness statements to the prosecution. Judge Pastor, in an effort to secure the March 24th trial date, will impose a $1,500.00 daily sanction on each attorney should the evidence remain undisclosed. Lady Justice will update with more as events unfold.