Wednesday, September 15, 2010

U.S. v. Waters (9th Cir. - Sept. 15, 2010)

I like this opinion by Judge Tashima. It's a classic example of an opinion that uses judgment, and identifies (in my mind) the essential nature of that quality.

There are areas in which I'm less persuaded than Judge Tashima is that the defendant has a good point. But regardless of any potential disagreements, I still think the opinion reflects a great deal of thinking and consideration. Qualities that are, sadly, sometimes lacking.

Parenthetically, when you burn down a building in the name of the ELF -- which someone surely did, although whether Waters herself was a lookout may indeed be subject to legitimate debate -- make sure that your target is actually what you think it is. Unless you think (as perhaps some do) that burning everything down is the correct way to go. "Smash The State" and all.

In the end, Briana Waters gets a new trial. We'll see how that one goes. I think it will be a lot fairer than her first one. Precisely for the reasons Judge Tashima identifies.