Tourist With a Typewriter

Oh, Uncle Adrian, I’m in the reservation of my mind.

Tag: Crime

Blunt Truth

Profile of a small time dope dealer.

Published in C-VILLE 7/29/08

Blunt Truth

He isn’t nervous yet, because there isn’t any reason to be.

Is there?

Nothing in the car. Nothing in his pockets. Expired tags. Just popped into the office to grab something, his wallet with his ID left at home.

A cop asks him to step out of the car, please, sir.

Another officer says he smells pot and asks if they can search his person. Yes you can, officer, because he knows he’s got nothing on him. Can we search the car? The car is a mess, boxes of stuff from the move, clothes all over the place, it’ll take forever for them to go through it. No, you can’t search the car. It’s Saturday. He works full-time. Wants to get home and enjoy his weekend. The cops take their sweet time filling out the ticket and as he’s signing it, a K-9 unit pulls up. The dog sniffs around outside the car and then sniffs around inside. When it gets to the back, it starts to paw at the seats, scrabble, scrabble, skritch, skritch, and so now too bad, sucker, we’re gonna search the trunk. And they find a backpack and look inside.


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Huguely Trial (Slight Return)

An inability to mourn the sentencing, by judge, of a lacrosse player in Charlottesville.

Waiting for Huguely, August 30, 2012

In Norway last Friday, Anders Breivik was sentenced to 22 years in prison for killing 77 people and wounding 242. One week later I sat in court and watched as George Huguely’s jury-recommended sentence of 26 years for the murder of one woman was reduced to 23. American prison sentences start big and then dwindle as the years go by. With time served and good behavior, Huguely could be out in 20 years. Norwegian law does the opposite, starting small and adding time if the person continues to be a danger to society.

Breveik is unlikely to ever get out alive, but still, the fact that his original penance was less than Huguely’s only reinforces my belief that trying to quantify the consequences of our actions is nonsensical. Outside of the courtroom, there’s no such thing as moral mathematics. Read the rest of this entry »

Blood on the Tracks

C-VILLE cover story for the week of 5/1/2012:

Blood on the Tracks: A biography of Charlottesville’s Coal Tower

A partly cloudy day, late March, unseasonably warm. Two men look up as I step into a small clearing in the woods beyond the coal tower.

“Hope I’m not bothering you.”

“It’s cool,” one of them says. He moves over on the makeshift bench so I have room to sit down.

“I saw you taking pictures,” he says. “You know two kids were killed here?”

I know, and that’s part of the reason I’m there. But only part of it.

Read the rest of the story.

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