Wednesday, July 26, 2006

People v. Queen (Cal. Ct. App. - July 25, 2006)

Want another reason why participation in the criminal justice system -- in any form -- sometimes totally sucks? Here's one, which derives from the opinion in this case:

"[D]efendant Allen D. Queen was found guilty of attempted murder of a public official . . . . In June 2003, defendant was in custody and on trial for felony charges of making criminal threats. When all but one of the jury’s verdicts were read, defendant attacked the prosecutor, Kenneth Puckett, in the courtroom with a shank, which he had constructed out of a plastic coat hanger. Defendant punched and stabbed Puckett in the chest, neck and head before he was subdued. In a letter to a reporter, defendant admitted he carried the shank in order to kill Puckett. During an interview with a police officer regarding the incident, defendant said to tell Puckett, 'Maybe next time.' At his trial on the matter, defendant testified he started making the shank more than a week before the attack and that he had brought it to court every day. Defendant said he made the weapon with the intent to stab one of the investigators who had worked on the case, but she was not present when the verdicts were read. Several weeks later, defendant again was found to be in possession of a shank, this one constructed of steel, which he held while resisting the efforts of six officers to remove him from his jail cell. Two officers were cut during the incident, and defendant admitted he tried to cut every one of the officers. Defendant was taken to a medical unit where he was placed in five-point restraints in an observation cell. Defendant escaped from the restraints and shattered a window with one of the leather belts."

Yikes! This is not -- I repeat, not -- a guy I want out on the streets. EVER.

Nor shall he be, since he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 259 years to life.