Thursday, January 30, 2020

Murder, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 30, 2020)

We started out the morning with a case of kidnapping and murder.  That's not especially surprising, since it's a death penalty case, and those generate decisions by the California Supreme Court, which publishes its opinions in the morning.  So it's not particularly uncommon to begin one's workday by reading about someone who's been killed.  Sad, but true.

Then, at around noon today, the Court of Appeal posted numerous published opinions at once.  On a personal level, that's a pain.  I try to read them right when they come out.  But on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach class:  an afternoon class, even (California Civil Procedure).  Which means I'm prepping for the thing at the time, and yet, suddenly, a half dozen or so cases to read.  The benefit of which is that I obtain a ready-made excuse to stop preparing for class and to do something else.  But I can't cancel or shortshrift my class either.  (Another sad, but true, reality.)

So I read all those cases.  And am struck by just how much killing is at issue.  Indeed, each of the last three cases -- all unrelated -- are like the first from today, and all involve someone being killed.  The last case of the day (thus far) involves someone convicted of first degree murder for stabbing to death someone who evicted his wife from her home.  The case immediately before that involves someone convicted of second degree murder for killing someone who "provided him with his daily needs in exchange for sex" by "obliterat[ing]" his face and head with twenty or so blows from a hammer (and who, for good measure, subsequently joined a white supremacist gang in prison).  And then the case right before that one involves yet another guy originally charged with murder for killing someone but who ultimately pled guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

In short:  Lots of killing.