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The Heroin is for Grandma:  The Associated Press reports that Stevan Patong Thao was caught by customs at the Detroit Metro Airport bringing in $50,000 with of heroin he claimed was for his ailing grandmother in Oklahoma.  Thao had arrived from Laos with 490 capsules of the drug.  After the drugs were discovered Thao initially said they were for granny and that he had a prescription.   When that story was rejected he then claimed that his nephew bought the heroin for his diabetes and high blood pressure.

Speaking of Grandma: James Taranto writes in the WSJ's Best of the Web blog, "Why do grandmothers get frisked at airports? For years this rhetorical question has been a trope of the Transportation Security Administration's critics. But maybe the TSA was on to something all along. FoxNews.com reports that 'a 46-year-old Indiana grandmother is under investigation for her possible ties to suspected and convicted international terrorists.'"

DP Reinstated for Kentucky Murderer:  The 6th Circuit has reinstated the death sentence of rapist/murderer Parramore Sanborn in a unanimous decision which reversed a District Court ruling contending that questing by a psychiatrist had violated the attorney-client privilege.  Brett Barrouquere of AP reports that Sanborn was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1983 kidnap, rape and stabbing murder of Barbara Heilman.  Shortly before she died, the victim was raped, sodomized and forced to engage in oral sex with Sanborn.  The murderer was retried after the state Supreme Court upheld a claim of prosecutor misconduct. Facing overwhelming forensic and testimonial evidence of guilt,  Sanborn initially attempted to claim that he suffered from EED (extreme emotional distress) at the time of the murder.  Failing at this, he attempted to mitigate his guilt with evidence that he had been drinking when he killed Ms Heilman. 

The main issue turned on the psychiatrist's asking Sanborn about a change in his story between two parts of the mental examination and the fact that he had talked with his attorney in the interim.  The opinion is by Judge Boggs, joined by Judges Merritt and Moore.  Judge Merritt does not often vote to uphold death sentences.

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"When that story was rejected he then claimed that his nephew bought the heroin for his diabetes and high blood pressure."

I wonder how long it will take him to get to his third cousin once removed.

This is emblematic of criminal defense. Still, you have to give them credit. For creativity, they are at the very top.

P.S. The irony is that it would make no difference whether his nephew bought them for an alleged medical purpose. He had possession of them, knowing what they were. That is the predicate for a conviction regardless of their intended "medical" purpose. If you rob the bank to buy perfectly legal medicine, you might get a break at sentencing, but you're still guilty of bank robbery.

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