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Spinning the Law

Kendall Coffey on Steve Malzberg 10.31.13

 


Kendall Coffey appeared on the Steve Malzberg show on October 31, 2013.  The Spinning the Law segment with Kendall Coffey discussed a serial rapist being allowed to live an a suburban area, the Marissa Alexander trial, an abortion law in Texas, and the NFL Headquarters status as a non-profit.  Quotes from Kendall Coffey below:

 

A convicted serial rapist in Los Angeles has been released from a state hospital. A judge ruled that he could move into a suburban community.

“It’s stunning. It’s not a lot of consolation to the people in those communities. In the 90’s the law changed dramatically in a lot of respects. Three strikes you’re out a lot of protection put in for protection for victims. But back in the 70’s or 80s, it was a different era and victims had much less protection and of course, this guy was sentenced under those old laws. Why he’s being allowed back in heavily populated communities, family communities, that’s mystifying. There’s got to be some desolate bleak areas somewhere in the country maybe where it’s very cold and people are much less at risk to others that some judge could have found for him. You could certainly understand why with this horrible career, which by the way if somebody is convicted 38 times, Lord only knows how many times the crime was committed.
“It’s being reported that officials have deemed him safe, I don’t know how that’s possible. It’s stunning, I’m sure for some it’s terrifying. The only consolation is that this kind of thing is hopefully rare and that modern laws wouldn’t allow a guy to be out like this, except coming out of prison in a wooden box.”

Marissa Alexander, who fired a warning shot through a wall and sentenced to 20 years, is getting a new trial.

kendall coffey marissa alexander

Marissa Alexander is in prison for firing a warning shot.

“Having gone through it, the appellate court did find some significant issues with the trial. No one said she’s innocent; there are always two sides to the story. There’s a very sympathetic side, which the defense has presented; but there’s a very different side that of course the alleged victim testified about at that the jury believed. But I think that with this case the new trial seems to be the right decision. There’s also got to be some examination of whether this case was overcharged to begin with. I don’t think anybody observing it, not even the alleged victim, thought that a twenty-year minimum sentence was a fair sentence. No one was hurt, discharging the firearm was certainly something that has serious consequences, but twenty years seems too much and a fair trial seems to be the right direction for this to go.”

Texas officials appealing a decision by a federal court striking down abortion restrictions in the new abortion law. Doctors have to be affiliated with a hospital to perform an abortion.
“That is certainly one of the issues. Advocates of the law would say that abortion doctors had to be admitted with privileges in a nearby hospital, within thirty miles. As you know, one of the things that establishes a credential for a doctor is to be granted privileges to practice in a local hospital. It’s not automatically done, it’s not rightly done, it’s not as easy, frankly, as getting admitted to the state bar association. It’s a significant validation of your professionalism and ability to grant the privileges to practice in a hospital. Apparently a number of the doctors that perform this kind of procedure don’t have those privileges within thirty miles. The Texas legislature has said that it’s a requirement and the judge following what is the law as of today presumably made the right decision of the existing law but advocates of these kind of laws, they aren’t simply trying to thumb their nose at the U.S. constitution. They have a very thoughtful strategy for picking particular issues. This is a type of strategy that no one should dismiss. The outcome of this particular issue at the lower court level is not surprising. But what’s going to happen when it gets to Washington and the nine Supreme Court justices will look at it? That’s much harder to predict.”

The NFL headquarters on Park ave is designated as a non-profit. How can the office be a non-profit if the league is for profit?

“There’s no consistency here. The National Basketball Association, for example, does not have a tax exemption. It’s being reported that the National Hockey League does have a similar

NFL Kendall Coffey

The NFL HQ is classified as a non-profit

IRS exemption. The explanation is going to be when you’re talking about the billion dollars, it all goes to the teams. The teams pay taxes. They don’t have any kind of exemption. A mere trade association office, such as a chamber of commerce or an association of local doctors is not typically a taxable entity. However, the difference here is that the NFL is not really a “football organization” it’s not a public interest for football thing. To the contrary, it’s the hub of private ownership, so this is getting a lot of attention. Do stockholders get paid dividends the NFL profits? No, but if it’s generating $255 million dollars in revenue, and for example the commissioner of the NFL is getting paid almost $30 million dollars in salary. There’s a lot of money splashing around somewhere, and maybe all of us who don’t really like paying taxes would like to see some of them paying taxes. I think members of congress are going to look at this.”

 

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