Monday, September 27, 2010

Towery v. Schriro (9th Cir. - Sept. 22, 2010)

Let's say you want to do a drug deal. Or to kidnap and murder someone. Or perhaps all three. Where do you meet?

That's right. Denny's.

It seems to be the location of choice for your undesirable elements. Which wouldn't surprise you if you've ever been to one, as my family and I have on multiple occasions. (Let's hear it for the free kid's meals on Tuesdays!) So many opinions mention the place. Including but not limited to this death penalty case from Arizona.

But far be it from me to simply rely upon anecdotal evidence. (Though to give another example, check out this Ninth Circuit opinion -- rendered only the last week -- where the conspirators to an arson met at a Denny's to plan the crime.) So I dug a little deeper.

There are 78 Ninth Circuit cases that mention a "Denny's." Some of these involve the name of a participant, alleged race discrimination, franchise disputes, etc.

Taking those out. At a Denny's: three murders, one arson, one potential suicide, one illegal gambling, two robberies, one prostitution, one racketeering, and twenty-two different drug deals. Not to mention one sale of a stolen IRS badge and one fixing of a horse race.

And remember. These are only the federal cases. In the Ninth Circuit. We're leaving out all the state stuff, the cases in other circuits, and the cases in which the written opinion doesn't bother to mention the name of the place.

In short, Denny's motto should probably be: "Denny's. Where People Meet. To commit crimes."

Oh, and don't be thinking that it's the pancakes that made 'em do it. I looked up IHOP as well. Not a single Ninth Circuit crime there.

So don't you dare drag down the good name of the International House of Pancakes into the Denny's muck. Please. The criminals there are of a much higher class.