Latest news on Navy Yard shootings and a poll regarding corruption in criminal justice

September 16, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good afternoon:

The big story out of our nation’s capitol today is the shooting at the Navy Yard. The Washington Post reported 18 minutes ago:

At least seven people are dead after as many as three shooters dressed in military style uniforms opened fire in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities tried to contain the incident.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a mid-day news conference that one of the suspected shooters is dead, while authorities are looking for two other suspects wearing green and tan military style clothing.

“The big concern for us right now is that we have potentially two other shooters that we have not located at this point,” Lanier said.

Lanier described one as a white male wearing what appeared to be a khaki tan military uniform and a beret, and carrying a handgun. She said police also are looking for a black man, about 50, wearing an olive military-style uniform, and possessing a “long gun.”

Police are asking anyone with information on these two people to call 202-727-9099.

What is the Washington Navy Yard?

Wikipedia has the answer.

The Washington Navy Yard (WNY) is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy.

The Yard currently serves as a ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy, home to the Chief of Naval Operations, and is headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Historical Center, the Department of Naval History, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Naval Reactors, Marine Corps Institute, the United States Navy Band, and other more classified facilities.

In 1998, the yard was listed as a Superfund site due to environmental contamination.

I do not want to assume too much, but it sounds like a place that might reasonably be expected to be surrounded by a fence with a main gate. The building probably has one entrance with a security checkpoint manned by armed guards. I imagine the entrance also has some type of metal detection device and video cameras.

Presumably, the shooters passed through that checkpoint to enter the building

My question is, how did they manage to get through security?

A possible answer is they had sufficient ID to bypass security.

In other words, an inside job.

Nothing new to report on George Zimmerman today, except to note that the level of prosecutorial and judicial corruption in his trial reminds us of what happened during Crane’s trial.

Her case is fresh in our minds because we have been reviewing all of the evidence and documents in order to file bar complaints against the prosecutor and the defense attorney and a complaint against the judge with the Judicial Conduct Commission.

The level of dishonesty, misconduct and corruption of justice in both cases is shocking.

I thought I had no illusions about the criminal justice system when I quit practicing law at the end of 2004 and switched to teaching. Nevertheless, despite all of my knowledge and experience, I have to admit that I am shocked by the level of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct and corruption that we have seen in both cases.

Over the weekend, Crane and I discussed whether there has been a nationwide surge in the level of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct and corruption, or whether the two cases are mere anomalies.

I believe the two cases represent business as usual in our legal system.

What do you think?

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