Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's That On Your Shelf?

From this story in Medford, Oregon:

Two Medford men who burned a cross and the letters "KKK" into the lawn of a mixed-race family will go to prison for violating the family's civil rights.

At the federal courthouse in Eugene Tuesday, Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Gary David Moss, 37, to 41 months in federal prison while his codefendant, Devan Klausegger, 30, was sentenced to 51 months.

While justice certainly appeared to have been served, I do have a slight problem with this reporting.

With his statements and those of the woman on Hamilton Street, Medford police got a search warrant for Moss' house. On May 30 they seized fireworks, white gas, empty Mickey Beer bottles, a copy of "The Goebbels Diaries" (written by Hitler's second in command) and a photo of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

If you read the entire story you'll see why the fireworks, white gas and empty beer bottles are important. What gets me is the mention of the book and picture. I think this would be notable if this was the only book the suspect owned and the photo was displayed in some sort of exalted manner as opposed to just saying they were seized. I have copies of The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital but that doesn't make me a communist. Selective choices of books in my humble library could be used to paint me in a number of political, religious, and social colors.

Yeah, I'm being persnickety. It's a slow day.


Sherry said...

This story reminds me of a closing argument I heard one time in a criminal trial in the EDWA. AUSA recapped deft's activities over a period of time, and kept [rhetorically] pausing to ask the jury: "What ELSE could he have been doing? He MUST have been committing this crime!" (I am paraphrasing somewhat, but that was certainly the gist of it.) I kept thinking about the ridiculously random actions of most of MY Saturdays...and the ways they could be interpreted. Yikes!

Lucas said...

I don't like the way they portray Mickey's beer. What's wrong with a little malt liquor?