Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

01 March 2009

Weekend Reading Roundup (Weedman edition!)

When last week's weedriffic news that the N.J. state senate voted for medical-MJ (it's in the House -- of Representatives -- now) arrived, I'm pretty sure every last person in the region thought of Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion, who moved out to Cali a while back. An Inquirer columnist, however, talked to Ed.
The top photo is from a 2004 story we did at CP. He just may be Phelpsing on the roof.
Also, Legend of the Game Mickey "The Mick" Morandini is at Spring Training (as an instructor) and a 19-year-old literal mick -- I can say, because I am too -- lasted longer that Tiger Woods at the match-play tourney that marked the latter's return to the game. I speak for all the Irish when I say, Go Rory McIlroy Go.
And, finally (as I haven't got to the A-section of the Times yet), I'd like to wag my finger at the Death Penalty Policy Director of Northern California's ACLU, who wrote propaganda, er, a letter to the NYT leapfrogging on the latest strategy to do away with the proper punishment for murderers.

Re “In Push to End Death Penalty, Some States Cite Cost-Cutting” (front page, Feb. 25): California is paying more for its dysfunctional death penalty than any other state. Our comprehensive analysis revealed that the death penalty costs California taxpayers more than $137 million each and every year.
This study was the first to review the accounting records of actual trials in California, including records of time spent on the case by prosecution staff members. These records revealed that one death penalty trial cost more than $10 million, and another required more than 20,000 hours of prosecution time. One county could not hire needed police officers because of outstanding bills from a death penalty case.
Like the majority of our states, California wastes resources on the death penalty while most murders go unsolved and most killers walk the street. It’s time to invest in real justice for all, and stop wasting money on symbolism for a few.

Natasha Minsker
Death Penalty Policy Director
A.C.L.U. of Northern California
San Francisco, Feb. 25, 2009

Translation: Hey, I got it! Maybe we can get rid of it because it's expensive. I mean, everybody's upset about, and pinching their pennies because of, the economy right? Brilliant!
Um, no. It's not brilliant. It's petty and irresponsible. Didn't think we could put a value on a murder-victim's life, but I guess the ACLU can.


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