BLACK DEFENDANT + PORTRAITS OF WHITE JUDGES = UNFAIR TRIAL
First Louisa, now Fairfax. As reported by VoxFairfax on September 21, 2020 (The Shot Heard Round the Old Dominion, https://wp.me/p9wDCF-1Mf), a Louisa County circuit judge ruled on a motion by attorneys representing a defendant in a first degree murder trial that a portrait of Robert E. Lee and a plaque by the United Daughters of the Confederacy are to be removed from their prominent place on the courtroom’s walls. The judge said, “The court is compelled to conclude that the level of controversy surrounding the image of Robert E. Lee is sufficiently intense that it is foreseeable that it may impair the fair administration of justice.” We commented at that time, “History may be unpredictable and even arbitrary, but it has a tendency to be consistent in the evolution of human rights. Time will tell the tale of the effects of the Louisa decision.”
A Fairfax County judge has now joined in agreement. In an 11-page Opinion Letter issued December 20, the judge said that a Black defendant can’t get a fair trial in a courtroom decorated overwhelmingly with portraits of White judges, and has ordered the paintings removed for the man’s upcoming legal proceeding. He added that the portraits of past judges from the Circuit Court could create the impression that the court is biased, and said that he won’t allow any portraits to be on display for any trial he presides over.
Judicial thought apparently has wings.
FORMER LOUDOUN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ARRESTED IN ABDUCTION OF CALIFORNIA CHILD
A Fauquier County resident who went to prison for more than a year for threatening to kill either President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama was arrested recently while attempting to abduct a 12-year-old California girl. The 40-year-old man trolled the girl online then flew to Fresno to abduct her; the pair were on their way back to Virginia when police intervened during a layover in Denver.
The suspect generated national headlines in 2018 when he announced he was running as an independent candidate in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, a campaign that lasted less than 3 months. At the time, he published a “campaign manifesto” in which he described himself as a fan of Adolf Hitler and said he wanted to restore “benevolent white supremacy,” rebuild the patriarchy, eliminate child labor laws and legalize early marriage. He has also advocated for the legalization of incest and child pornography.
He spent 16 months in prison after sending a letter to the Secret Service that said, “I am writing to inform you that in the near future, I will kill the president of the United States of America.” Upon his release, he moved from Boulder, Colorado, to his parents’ home in Fauquier.
Take a look at these photos: what a difference an arrest makes.
OUR TOLLS GO DOWN UNDER! HOW’S THAT, MATE?
Did you know that when you (electronically) throw your quarters into the toll baskets on the Dulles Toll Road and Greenway, the money travels 10,512 miles from Northern Virginia to Australia? Yep, the owner of these roadways, Transurban, is an Australian company, which just announced its intention to sell half its U.S. toll roads, all of which are in Northern Virginia. It is taking this action to “free up capital for other projects in the United States.” Transurban operates more than 50 miles of express lanes on interstates 95 and 395, as well as the Capital Beltway. It is extending Virginia’s express toll lanes on I-95 south to Fredericksburg and north on the Beltway to the Maryland border.
The company has a 75-year concession with Virginia to operate the express lanes and collect toll revenue. Under the contract with the state, Virginia has to approve any co-investors. Transurban has begun the process of seeking state approval. The deal is expected to close next year.
Money collected in Virginia traveling nearly halfway round the world seems inefficient. Do Australian toll roads have kangaroos with open pouches to collect tolls?