Drunk & Disorderly

On the Docket of a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

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Made in America


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Wild Bill Hickok used to boast that the bullet hadn’t been made with his name on it — until, of course, someone made the bullet with his name on it.

The soul-crushing cover of this week’s The New Yorker magazine has all the bullets made with the names on them of all the people who died in the Las Vegas massacre.

The investigation of the shooter is massively beside the point.

It doesn’t matter whether this man was mentally ill or just outrageously angry. What matters is that one man could so easily gather so many weapons of so great lethal power.

The founders of this nation wrote a Second Amendment with muskets in mind. We need to rewrite it with Las Vegas in mind, with Orlando in mind, with the twenty first-graders of Sandy Hook in mind, with so many other American slaughter fields in mind. You don’t need a semi-automatic weapon to bag your doe; you don’t need tracer ammo and incendiary rounds to protect your family.

Now is the time for what some in government leadership keep calling for: Repeal and Replace.

Repeal and Replace, for every person whose bullet had been made with their name on it this awful October.

For Heather.

For Austin.

For Bill.

For Charleston.

For Rhonda.

For Adrian.

For Kurt.

For Jenny.

For Brennan.

For Brian.

For Jessica.

For Victor.

For Neysa.

For Christopher.

For Brett.

For Angela.

For Jack.

For Cameron.

For Thomas.

For Calla.

For Jordan.

For Pati.

For Jordyn.

For Carrie.

For Lisa.

For Christiana.

For Michelle.

For Denise.

For Dana.

For Sandy.

For Rachael.

For Rocio.

For Tara.

For Quinton.

For Keri.

For Denise.

For Bailey.

For Chris.

For Dorene.

For Candice.

For Susan.

For Steve.

For Derrick.

For Carly.

For Hannah.

For Carrie.

For Laura.

For John.

For Nicol.

For Jennifer.

For Erick.

For Austin.

For Andrea.

For Kelsey.

For Stacee.

For Melissa.

For Sonny.

For Lisa.

For all the dead, of all the shootings. For all the living, whose names are yet to be written on the bullets made for them.

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Job Opportunity


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Tremendous news for DUI lawyers looking to expand their practice: by royal decree Saudi women can soon drive just like a man, though you still won’t be able to tell for sure whether it’s really a woman behind the wheel, because of the clothing restrictions.

The decree came thirteen years earlier than King Salman said it would, though one hundred thirty-two years later than Saudi women hoped it would. You can see the jubilation in their eyes; you can’t see it anywhere else, again because of the clothing restrictions.

It isn’t clear whether they’ll be allowed to drive everything on wheels (four-wheeling may still be restricted to citizens who don’t have clothing restrictions), or whether they’ll be allowed to park in spaces normally reserved for their men.

Saudi mamas still can’t let their lady babies grow up to be cowboys, but starting next June they can go ahead and let ‘em pick guitars and drive them old trucks.

[NOTE: A dear colleague of mine points out that I myself may be prematurely jubilant about the newly created job prospects for DUI lawyers in Saudi Arabia. Apparently it’s illegal there not only to drink and drive, but to drink at all. Punishment is a public lashing, and I think they lash the lawyers, too.]

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Poems, Prayers, and Protests


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

I don’t watch much football. While I used to play the game, I was never much for watching. Sometimes I’ll watch a Bronco game (Broncos game?) — see, I don’t even know how to talk about it — with my son-in-law, but it’s really for his companionship, and the cheese dip.

So when players started taking a knee during the National Anthem, I didn’t notice it much, because I wasn’t there to see it. As a kid I stood with everybody else to take the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t dodge the draft. I loudly sing the National Anthem whenever I get a decent chance — some folks think I sing a little too loudly.

After a time I inadvertently learned the reason Colin Kaepernick started the movement to take a knee during the anthem. It was the same reason I’ve often written about in these pages: the continuing racial injustice people of color have experienced since the first slave was kidnaped to the American shore. In particular, the injustice they’ve suffered at the hands, and guns, of the police, the people appointed to protect and serve them.

Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and more have been mentioned here. All victims of criminal injustice. But there are hundreds more in the year since Kaepernick first fell to his knee that have not been mentioned. Thousands, over time.

Where better for an NFL player to express his protest than during the National Anthem that opens the game, when everybody is watching? During Vietnam, Buddhist monks set themselves afire in the streets because they knew the whole world was watching.

These players shouldn’t be fired for First Amendment expression, as some moron called for yesterday. They’re patriots. Patriots who believe in the American dream. That all human beings are created equal.

What about our American dream, is all they are saying.

What about our dream?

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Inhuman Rights


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Amnesty International says the President of the United States has abandoned his country’s commitment to human rights.

“This is not hyperbole,” Margaret Huang, the organization’s U.S.A. executive director, says. “Trump embraces leaders whose policies and actions are antithetical to human rights.”

She makes a good case.

Trump’s bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example. Trump has said Putin has done “a really great job outsmarting our country;” praised Putin when he invaded Crimea; insists overall he’s “done an amazing job;” says “Putin is a nicer person than I am” (probably true); gives him an “A” for leadership; calls him his stablemate; doesn’t believe — “in all fairness to Putin” — that he’s killed anybody — and anyway, we kill people all the time; has “always had a good feeling about him;” calls him “a strong leader;” thanks Putin for expelling seven hundred fifty-five diplomatic workers from Moscow, “because now we have a smaller payroll;” often praises Putin while at the same time bashing allied leaders and former American presidents.

Trump often invites the worst despots in the world into the White House — more often, it seems, than democratic leaders. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who has locked up tens of thousands of his political opponents (arguably better treatment than the thousand or so he has murdered) and “decimated the human rights community” in his country, according to Huang, gets the full red carpet treatment. Maybe, because Sisi was the first foreign leader to call Trump with congratulations on his election — one despot to another.

But others get the royal treatment, too: Trump has reached out to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Rodrigo is Donald’s kind of guy: they’re the same age; both love locker room talk (Donald boasts of grabbing women by the pussy and Rodrigo asks reporters how their wives’ vaginas smell); each considers himself a radical populist; neither can, or wants, to control his mouth. Duterte has promised to kill tens of thousands of criminals, and claims actually to have already killed a few; Trump’s presidency is yet young.

Last May, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan made his White House visit all the more memorable by gazing approvingly as his own security thugs beat peaceful D.C. demonstrators senseless, with nary a discouraging word from President Trump, who’s expressed similar gratification about the beating of demonstrators at his own campaign rallies. Maybe if someone told Trump about Erdoğan’s crackdown on Twitter in Turkey, he’d be less thrilled about his latest autocrat buddy. Maybe not, because Erdoğan is living the Trump dream by having jailed more journalists than any other country in the world.

Huang thinks “Trump’s warmth toward oppressive regimes will only embolden them.” She fears Trump’s view on human rights will become the new normal.

For President Trump, she’s already right: it’s just another day at the office.

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Beautiful Dreamers


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

We love the Dreamers.

We love them so much that we gave a shout-out to all the fine people who marched in Charlottesville to call for their extermination.

We love them so much we pardoned a man who defied a federal court order to stop arresting people for the crime of being brown.

We love them so much because they’re just kids, not like the rest of the Mexican rapists and drug dealers here illegally, not like that Mexican U.S. federal judge here legally only because he was born in Indiana and now was trying to ruin our “University” deal.

We love them so much that today we told them, get out.

On Inauguration Day, the new American President told a United States Senator not to worry about the eight hundred thousand young people protected from deportation by his predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Donald Trump assured Dick Durbin of Illinois, “We are going to take care of those kids.”

By ending DACA today, he’s kept his promise: that should take care of them, for good. Unless Congress is willing to let Trump hold these children and young adults hostage for his ridiculous border wall, “those kids” are toast.

Donald Trump probably has never read “Mein Kampf,” because it isn’t likely that he’s ever read anything longer than a few paragraphs. But that’s the dream he’s living.

Well, he’s convinced me. We’ve got to get these deportations going, for sure. First to go, please, that dunderhead who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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