Friday, January 25, 2008

Sean Bell Trial Set: NYPD Has No Trust in Queens Residents

Detective Michael Oliver
(NY Daily News)
The trial of three police detectives accused of murdering Sean Bell is slated to begin on February 25 according to State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman. The different thing about this trial, however, is that the typical twelve people will not be deciding the fate of Detectives Gescard Isnora, Michael Oliver, and Marc Cooper. Instead the officers, after losing a bid to get a change of venue, have opted for a bench trial, meaning that a single judge (in this case Justice Cooperman) will preside over the case and will render a verdict for the three.

This is highly advantageous to the detectives, as Justice Cooperman seems to like police officers. According to Judicial Reports Justice Cooperman is "reversed more often than any other judge in the city for overly harsh treatment of criminal defendants." Additionally, according to the same source, Justice Cooperman has been praised by the Daily News for "slamming cop-haters." The Daily News article that is alluded to is pretty mundane, however, as it seems that he has only given one guy an overly harsh sentence (a full year for biting a cop without injuring him). Additionally, Cooperman has sentenced cops to jail before, but the sentence seems a little light for the crime (a 1986 sentence of 2 to 6 years for cops who tortured a drug suspect with a taser.)

Detective Gescard Isnora
(NY Daily News)
In the taser case, two police officers - Seargent Richard Pike and Officer Jeffrey Gilbert - were charged and convicted in an incident involving their treatment of a drug suspect, Mark Davidson. In 1985 the 18 year old Davidson was held down in the 106th Precinct House and tased numerous times in an effort to get him to confess. The torture stopped when the officers threatened to tase Davidson's testicles and he falsely confessed. The case was indicative of a larger torture ring at the 106th Precinct House.

What is important here is that, while Justice Cooperman seems to hand down maximum sentences for those who hurt police officers, he does not do the same for police officers who hurt civilians. In a New York Times article published July 18, 1986 reporting on the conviction of Pike and Gilbert it states that Cooperman could have sentenced the two officers to the maximum sentence of 2 and 1/3 years to 7 years in prison for the torture but did not. While the maximum sentence is not much more than they got, it would have sent a symbolic message that police torture will not be tolerated, just as Cooperman had on other cases involving violence against police. This is slightly troubling, as it shows (albeit a relatively small) favoring of police officers.

Detective Marc Cooper
(NY Daily News)
About the trust issue: in our justice system we are supposed to trust 12 men and women to fairly assess the facts of a trial and make the correct decision. The cops tried to get a change of venue - a la Diallo's murderers - in order to get out of diverse New York City and go somewhere a bit more white (like Albany.)

This was denied, so in a last-ditch effort to avoid the judgement of the same people they have sworn to protect and to serve, they have opted for a bench trial. Unfortunately the Reverend Al Sharpton was right in his assertion that "we are asked to trust police who do not trust us." I say unfortunately because Sharpton tends to be a race-baiter who loves the limelight, but this time he has it right. We are asked to defer to police judgment and obey their every command at the risk of life and limb, but when the tables are turned those same police do not trust us and there is something inherently wrong with that.

The detectives said that they wanted a bench trial because they believed that the pre-trial publicity tainted the jury pool and they would not receive a fair trial. I would argue that the fact that they shot at Sean Bell and companions 50 times and then went out and partied after the indictments were handed down might sway the jury pool, but apparently in their minds it is the fact that media outlets are reporting on their behavior - not the behavior itself - that is wrong.

This trial is going to be interesting. Personally, I would like to see a justice not from New York take the case. In my opinion, the Department of Justice should bring in an outside judge to take it, but that seems like it is not going to happen. There is still hope for justice, as Cooperman might actually give these detectives jail time. Hopefully the citizens of New York will not be slapped in the face with another acquittal of murderous cops and Sean Bell's family will see justice.

Correction: A reader pointed out to me that in the second paragraph I stated that cops tortured a drug suspect with a taser in 1986. The sentence itself was handed down by Judge Cooperman in 1986. I have changed the wording of the paragraph to indicate this.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Girl Who Cried Wolf: Barnard Throws Accusations of Racism Around

This past weekend someone went around Hewitt Hall (a residential dorm at Barnard) and drew, as the Bwog describes it, some "graffiti of a questionable nature." Outgoing Barnard president Judith Schapiro (she has said that this is her last year at the helm of the all-female institution) jumped on the racism bandwagon that thrust Columbia into the spotlight of American media sensationalism last semester.

So did the graffiti use the N-word or other racial slurs? Did it have a picture of a burning cross? No. A Spectator article describes the graffiti as consisting of a whiteboard drawing and an index card posted on a hallway bulletin board. The drawing on the whiteboard was of a woman being chainsawed in half and the index card had a picture of a woman burning a bra and the word "feminist" with the f consisting of a swastika.

Now the swastika, obviously a hateful symbol associated with the Holocaust, often causes alarm. I think that it is pretty clear that in this context it is being used to compare feminist thought with fascism. I'm sure that many people have heard of the term "feminazi," used to describe feminists who aggressively push their mantras on other people whether they are open to discussion about the subject or not.

Even the swastika by itself is not considered racist. It is anti-Semitic, but racist is a stretch. There is an ongoing debate about whether Judaism is a race, and I certainly do not think that Judith Schapiro and the Barnard trustees want to stake a claim in that department. To call this act racist undermines other acts of true racism.

There is nothing wrong with opposing feminism as free expression is a cornerstone of this country. I don't agree with this person's method of expressing his/her viewpoint, and the way that this person went about it was irresponsible and potentially offensive. Judith Schapiro's condemnation of the graffiti as "racist" was also irresponsible and potentially offensive. They should have just erased the sophomoric graffiti and threw away the index card and wrote a little note to the floor that it occurred on alerting them to the situation. Instead they sent out an e-mail incorrectly identifying the graffiti as racist and gave the situation exponentially more attention than it actually merited. Peace.

Photos - Barnard College (c00lmarie's flickr), Hewitt Hall on a snowy day (tina.gao's flickr)

Friday, January 18, 2008

More Accusations Levied Against McCowen Juror

More charges of racism have been levied against Christopher McCowen juror Eric Gomes - the Cape Verdean man who loves white people - this time by his own great-aunt. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly is reporting that 74 year-old Julia Miranda has signed a sworn affidavit alleging that her great-nephew has been a racist since he was 15 or 16 years old.

The manner in which this has been brought before the court is an odd one. Apparently Miranda and another woman approached Peter Manso, a critically acclaimed and Pulitzer prize nominated author who has written biographies of Marlon Brando and Norman Mailer, is set to publish a book on the McCowen case and is also a Cape Cod journalist, at the court where the hearings regarding McCowen's jurors were held. According to Manso, Miranda made many statements about Gomes, noting that he has had some choice quips in the past which include, "These niggers come down here and they think they can do what they want. They are making us look bad," and "All niggers do is rob people, kill people and deal drugs."

If true, these statements will be damning to both prosecutor O'Keefe who would undoubtedly have to retry McCowen if he wanted to keep him behind bars and to Gomes himself. Besides looking like a complete jerk, Gomes would be guilty of perjury as he testified in court under oath denying that he made any racially biased comments. If guilty, he could face up to twenty years in prison (maybe his cellmate could be McCowen while he waits for his second trial).

Of course, perjury is a two-way street and if Miranda is lying in her sworn affidavit she faces the same penalty. Additionally, many people will point to Manso as grandstanding and merely drumming up publicity for his book. This could be true, but I do not buy it. The Worthington story is interesting enough without the jury bias issues. Plus, three separate people have said these things against Gomes and now his great-aunt is saying it about him. Remember, Manso did not seek this woman out, she sought him out to tell him her story about Gomes (at least according to Manso). In addition to all of this, Manso's unlicensed firearms have nothing to do with this (plus, he has yet to be arraigned and no charges have been filed, so the DA obviously doesn't think it's that big of a deal).

This whole case is a mess and Judge Nickerson would need to heavily explain himself if he were to allow McCowen's conviction to stand. Three jurors came forward with these allegations and that was enough to call back all of the jury to question them about what happened in deliberations. These new allegations should be enough for Judge Nickerson to call Gomes back, to call Miranda to clarify her statements and for prosecutor Michael O'Keefe to look into perjury charges against Gomes. I'll end this post with a Technique quote: "Cause the conflict is building within / The ultimate sin / Is to be ashamed of your skin..." Peace.

Information for this post was taken largely from David E. Frank's article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly linked to in the first sentence of the post

Photos - Christopher McCowen during his trial (Cape Cod Online), Christa Worthington's cottage, where the murder occurred (Tru TV), Judge Gary Nickerson, who presided over McCowen's trial and the hearings involving racial bias in the jury (WBZ)

Laurean, Lauterbach, and the Inability to Communicate

As is being reported widely in the news, there is a massive manhunt on for Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean because he allegedly killed fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach. That's not all, however, as this involves a Marine love triangle. Laurean is married to Marine Christina Laurean and allegedly raped Lauterbach. However, evidence that has come out stating Lauterbach was a compulsive liar and attempted to withdraw the rape allegations against Laurean has complicated the issue immensely and could lead one to think that Lauterbach and Laurean may or may not have been romantically involved. There is another aspect of the case that is disturbing, as well.

The communication between the two law enforcement agencies involved - the Onslow County Sheriff's Department and Marine officials - has been horrible. When Lauterbach failed to show up to work on December 17th the Marines immediately began looking for her, declaring her a deserter in order to open up the use of federal resources to find Lauterbach. Additionally, the last time Lauterbach's family heard from her was December 14, and she was reported missing on December 19. Marine officials have said that the Onslow County Sheriff's Dept. did not contact them about the case until December 27, more than a week after Lauterbach was reported missing. Details about the case, which included key facts such as the discovery of Lauterbach's cell phone on a highway outside of her base's gate (Camp Lejeune), the discovery of Lauterbach's car at a local bus station, and an unauthorized use of her debit card by a man who covered his face while withdrawing money, were held back from Marine officials until January 9.

It's not just the civilian cops who kept information to themselves, however. It seems that the protective order put out on Laurean by Lauterbach following the rape allegation was information that the Marines felt did not need to be shared with Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown, the local DA or the base commander (I do not know whether this is a civilian or Marine post). Thus, when the cops talked to Laurean on January 8 they interviewed him simply as a witness and not a possible suspect.

This is unbelievable. Both sides (Onslow County and the Marines) had information that was crucial to the investigation that, by itself, offered little insight to what was going on, but together was telling of what happened. If someone dissapeared who claimed that a coworker raped her, but was proven to be a compulsive liar and may not have actually been raped by said coworker, goes missing, who would you focus on? I would make damn sure that Laurean was not involved in any way, including tailing him and doing whatever possible to keep tabs on him.

It seems like a bit of a tough call to point to Laurean at first due to her history of lying (according both to Lauterbach's mother and the NCIS). She also insisted that she was raped in March and April, but admitted to having consensual sex with Laurean, at first claiming that he fathered her unborn child, then reneging and saying that he did not (per the LA Times article). She also left a note saying she was, essentially, running away. Laurean still would be on my radar, given the two's past encounters. Of course, had the two authorities communicated with each other, then they would have known about both the protective order against Laurean and the strange man withdrawing money from Lauterbach's account and they could have put 2 and 2 together.

Of course, there is a third character in all of this: Laurean's wife. It seems that she pulled a Ted Kennedy: she waited almost a full day before reporting Lauterbach's death, despite the fact that she knew she was dead (she also met with a lawyer before contacting the po, a true Ted move). The police have said she will not face any charges and is cooperating fully (though, I suppose, tardily). I hope that the Marines see this conduct as unbecoming of someone in the service and remove her, as her late report allowed her husband to get a head start on authorities. In the choice between her criminal husband (even if his story were true, burying the body without permission to conceal a death is a Class I felony in North Carolina) and notifying authorities, she chose the former. Additionally, aiding, counseling, or abetting someone who is concealing a death is a Class A1 misdemeanor (though without specifics it is hard to make a judgment call as to whether Christina Laurean helped her husband conceal the death [though my instinct tells me she helped him flee and thus is implicated in this]). Even if no criminal charges are brought against Christina Laurean, I don't know if her actions befit those expected of a Marine.

From what I can gather about this, the FBI seems to be leading the investigation. Hopefully the Marines and the Onslow County Sheriff's Department put their egos aside and gave up all the information that they knew and stepped aside to allow a third party (in this case the G-Men) to take over the investigation. This seems like a tragic case and I hope that the Marines do not have any more people like these three in their ranks. It sounds like Lauterbach had some mental health issues that should have been addressed more aggressively and the relationship between her and Cesar Laurean is still very foggy. Laurean's story that Lauterbach killed herself seems untrue given his running away (and it's hard to kill yourself by blunt force trauma to the head). All in all, a sloppy investigation due to poor communication skills between the civilian and Marine law enforcement agencies. Maybe civilian law enforcement should be handling things on Camp Lejeune and other Marine outposts so future debacles like this do not occur. Peace.

Photos - Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach (, Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean (, Camp Lejeune HQ (fybix's flickr), Onslow County Sheriff's Department (

Monday, January 14, 2008

Was Christopher McCowen Convicted Because He is Black?

Christopher McCowen
In a truly bizarre case, Christopher McCowen, a trash collector down the Cape, was convicted of first degree murder, aggravated rape, and aggravated burglary in connection to the death of Christa Worthington, a wealthy fashion writer killed in 2002 on Cape Cod. It has recently come to light that three jurors separately approached the defense lawyer following the conviction and alleged that racial bias may have played a role in the verdict (McCowen is black and Worthington is white.)

The case itself - without the racial bias allegations - is worth a closer look. Christa Worthington's body was found by her ex-boyfriend, Tim Arnold, on January 26, 2002. She had been stabbed in the chest and was covered in blood, as was her unharmed 2 year old daughter. Arnold immediately called 911 and a three year investigation netted Christopher McCowen, whose only connection with Worthington was the fact that he collected trash from her house.

Before arresting McCowen, however, police looked at a long list of suspects because DNA evidence had been found on Worthington's body and Worthington had numerous boyfriends and lovers around Truro. One of the suspects was Tony Jackett, a married man who had an affair with Worthington on and off for two years (and the father of Worthington's 2 year old daughter Ava). Another suspect was Tim Arnold, who Worthington became involved with shortly after her affair with Jackett fell through over her pregnancy. The case seemed to stagnate for a bit (Worthington's father's 29 year old girlfriend [he was 73 and a former Massachusetts ADA] who was a prostitute and a drug addict was looked at, but was eventually ruled out) until the April 2005 arrest of McCowen.

Christa Worthington (Dateline NBC)
McCowen initially denied knowing Worthington, but eventually admitted to having consensual sex with Worthington and that his friend had committed the murder after Worthington accused him of stealing from her. Given Worthington's history, the fact that McCowen claims to have had consensual sex with her does not seem far off. In fact, Cape Cod DA Michael O'Keefe was quoted in Maria Flook's book about the case, Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod, as saying Worthington was "an equal opportunity employer. She'd [expletive] the husbands of her female friends. The butcher or the banker." Additionally, it was reported that Worthington had sex before her death - not that she was raped. This is all very interesting in light of the fact that McCowen's lawyer, Robert George, stated that police and investigators disregarded McCowen's claims of consensual sex because, "As soon as they see the black garbage man, it's rape."

The evidence at trial seemed to be lacking. While McCowen's DNA was found on Worthington's body, the crime scene itself may have been severely compromised by first responders. Additionally, physical evidence could not place McCowen at the scene of the crime, as his hand or fingerprints were not found in the Truro cabin where Worthington was slain. McCowen's "confession" came under fire as well due to police tactics during interrogation. This case was no slam dunk by any means.

Marlo George (L) and another juror (Cape Code Times)
Despite shoddy evidence, McCowen was convicted of first degree murder, aggravated rape, and aggravated burglary in 2006. But recent allegations have arisen that suggest the jurors who convicted McCowen may have been motivated by his race. One juror, Marlo George, is alleged to have said that the bruises on Worthington's body were consistent with those that "a big black man" would inflict. As opposed to a large white man? Marlo George admitted to Judge Gary Nickerson (the judge who presided over McCowen's conviction and who questioned the jurors about racial biases coming into play in deliberations) that she referred to McCowen as a "200 pound black man," but that it was only a descriptive term. This confuses me. Why would the jury need to describe McCowen? Were they not clear as to who was on trial that they had to reassure themselves that it was the big black guy?

In addition to Marlo George's comments, it seems that a lot of the jury members mocked Roshena Bohanna while sequestered for the trial for confronting Marlo George about the differences between white punches and black punches. Bohanna is also one of the jurors who approached Robert George after the trial about the racial remarks and is also accused of calling another jury member a "Southern cracker" during deliberations, so it is good that there are two other jury members who corroborate Bohanna's story. Other stories of jurors being scared of McCowen due to his race and size have come out through Nickerson's questioning.

One of the more disturbing allegations coming out of revisiting the jury deliberations is what Eric Gomes, a dark-skinned juror, allegedly said. Bohanna stated, under oath, that she heard Gomes saying that her calling out of Marlo George and her comment about Worthington's bruises looking like they came from a big black man was "why I don't like black people, because of the way she acts." She also stated that she heard him say that he hangs around white people, considers himself white, and that he has relatives who are married to whites. If what Bohanna says is true (this one could go either way), then it seems that race was at least on the forefront of some jurors's minds during the trial.

In any event, it is clear that this case needs some revisiting. A lot of allegations have been thrown around about what happened behind closed doors during jury deliberations and it appears that some of them may be true. Are all of them true? I can't say. Does McCowen deserve a new trial? Given everything that is coming out about what happened during deliberations, it does not sound like the jurors agreed that McCowen did what he was convicted of "beyond a reasonable doubt." Will Nickerson grant him a new trial? I did not really follow the trial throughout and thus I do not have a good read on the judge and which way he may lean in this one. Just the fact that he called the jurors back to court is important, however, and my gut tells me that McCowen will get a new trial. Beyond that, however, it is simply a guess.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pring-Wilson Admits Killing

Pring-Wilson testifies at a hearting in 2004 (Boston Herald)
It was announced today that former Harvard grad student Alexander Pring-Wilson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. This means that he did not kill his victim, Michael Colono, in self-defense but rather killed him within the following definition: "an unintentional killing occasioned by an act which constitutes such a disregard of the probable harmful consequences to another as to be wanton or reckless" or "an unintentional killing resulting from a battery." This, of course, goes against Pring-Wilson's original story that he was attacked by Colono and Colono's cousin, Samuel Rodriguez, as he walked back from a nightclub in 2003. In the words of Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone, "He has admitted his guilt, and he is a convicted killer."

Unfortunately, that may not be enough for the Colono family. In his deal, Pring-Wilson is expected to receive a 2 year prison sentence, of which Leone says Pring-Wilson will have to serve at least one. Pring-Wilson was already convicted on a charge of manslaughter in 2004, but this was overturned when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a victim's past criminal history should be allowed to be introduced as evidence when a defendant claims self-defense - something that was not allowed in Pring-Wilson's first trial. Pring-Wilson's second trial ended in a hung jury, prompting the Middlesex DA to vow a third trial. According to the Boston Channel, which cited a Pring-Wilson family friend, Pring-Wilson avoids a possible 7 year sentence, which he could have recieved if he were convicted in trial number three.

Victim Michael Colono and girlfriend Cindy Guzman
(The Crimson)
The disparities between the two people at the center of this trial are stark. Pring-Wilson, a Harvard grad student hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado was walking home after partying with friends at a nightclub when he passed Colono, a GED graduate who worked as a hotel cook and had a few past brushes with the law. Words were exchanged between the two, with Colono apparently making fun of Pring-Wilson for being "shitfaced." Pring-Wilson said he was then attacked by Colono and his cousin and that he stabbed Colono to death in self-defense. Other stories about the events of that night abound, including one that states Pring-Wilson challenged Colono to a fight after being laughed at by Colono and his friends.

Pring-Wilson's actions that night were criminal, but what added to suspicions of the validity of his claims of self-defense were his actions following the incident. On a 911 call he stated that he was simply "a fuckin' bystander" and that he "just saw it happen." He also gave conflicting reports to police shortly following the incident. Certainly not the actions of a man who acted in self-defense.

Additionally, many people are making a big deal of Colono's past criminal history. All of his prior arrests were for crimes against property orverbal threats against police officers; nothing physically violent against other people. No prior assaults. Colono's cousin, Samuel Rodriguez, however, had several prior arrests for assaults, yet he was not charged with assault in this case and he was not stabbed. It was based on the fact that the jury did not know the specifics of Colono's past arrests (though jurors admitted they knew Colono was not a "solid citizen"). But should Colono's past be so important in the case, given that Pring-Wilson himself did not know it when he got involved with him that night?

The Pizza Ring, outside of which Pring-Wilson killed Colono
(coylesh's Flickr)
My main issue with this verdict/plea deal is this: if the roles were reversed, would Colono be given the same opportunities as Pring-Wilson? Would Colono be given $400,000 bail pending his retrial? Would the judge who presided over the case personally overturn the verdict before being ordered to do so by the Massachusetts Supreme Court if Colono were the defendant and Pring-Wilson the victim? Would Colono be convicted of manslaughter in the first place? Would Leone offer Colono such a softball of a plea deal? My instincts tell me no. Pring-Wilson's background (both his parents are lawyers, one of them a former assistant district attorney), coupled with his Harvard education and white skin versus Colono's background (high school dropout) and his minority status proved to help Pring-Wilson in this case. I highly doubt that if the roles were reversed the case would not conclude in the same way.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire Changes Things

I know it has been a ridiculously long time since my last post, but I have been savoring some vacation time that was desperately needed. I am returning to the blogosphere on the news that Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Personally, I think that the worst thing for the Democratic party is for Clinton to win the nomination. She is a highly polarizing figure and, in my mind, the Democratic candidate with the largest possibility of losing. With the GOP in the state that it is in, thanks to Bush and his colleagues (Hastert, Libby, Gonzales, Craig, etc.) and the overwhelming unpopularity of the Iraq war (or conflict or whatever it is called), a Democrat losing would be a feat. Unfortunately Hillary, with her highly polarizing qualities, has that possibility of losing in 2008.

Would I consider a Republican candidate? The ones in this race don't particularly excite me. You all know how I feel about Giuliani. Romney is just too fake for me. Huckabee's evangelicalism is a bit much. McCain has been a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq, saying its failure is simply due to mismanagement and that victory can still be achieved. Whatever happened to Duncan Hunter? What a joke.

So, I will not be voting Republican this election. As far as the Democrats, the only one I would vote for is Obama. Looking at his stance on issues, I agree with him on many fronts, and the only major disagreements that I have with him is his opposition to gay marriage (it seems that he argues marriage is a religious endevour, but it has legal bases as well and the only reason I would still vote for him despite his stance on this issue is his clear aim for equal rights for gays - including civil unions that are equal to heterosexual marriage), and while his call for separation of church and state seems sincere, a big deal has been made of his faith (not necessarily his fault because the media loves that shit). Lack of experience? To me, experience in Washington means you have many connections with lobbies and private interests. Obama is clearly an intelligent man and he has made it to the Senate, so he's not stupid when it comes to American politics.

John Edwards does not particularly appeal to me. I disagree with him a little more than Obama on the issues, but what is most troubling is the fact that Edwards not only voted for the war in Iraq, but said two years later that he would do it again. Additionally, he voted for the Patriot Act in 2001, one of America's worst legislative moves in the past century. As far as his tort-lawyer past goes, some of the lawsuits seem excessive on their faces, but I do not have enough information about them to comment on their credibility directly.

So, back to New Hampshire's winner: Hillary Clinton. She is a very frustrating individual. She claims that Obama and her rivals have received easy rides in the media and she is the only one subject to scrutiny. Edwards' haircutting has been reported, which I would consider scrutinous. Obama has been accused of being educated in a madrassa and his religion has been called into question. She also voted for the Iraq war, voted against a timetable to return our troops to America in March 2007 (she voted for a timetable in November 2007), voted for the 2001 Patriot Act, then voted for the 2004 Patriot Act. If Hilary wins the nomination, I will not be voting for her.

In summation, Clinton is the only Democrat I see who could possibly lose the presidency for the Democrats. Obama is a candidate that I can actually vote for with confidence - something I was unable to do for the 2004 election. If it is a Clinton-Giuliani showdown for the presidency I may just move to Canada. Hopefully Obama will win the candidacy, the presidency, and then deliver the change that he promises and that is so desperately needed in Washington. Peace.

Photos - Clinton at Rutgers (coolskipper's flickr), Obama at Keene High School (NH) (fugitiveblue's flickr), What the candidates are vying for (intersubjectiv's flickr)