Trial by Combat – As Outdated As You Think?

We’ve all seen the dramas, times when people are insulted by another person or they’ve had some disagreement over actions someone has done. In modern days, this normally involves a few choice words and maybe a small brawl outside, but these can even end up in court, with people claiming financial revenge for their actions. One that is very rarely used, but is seen a lot on TV is trial by combat, but the tradition is all but dead.

Trial by combat was originally created in germanic law, with two people fighting in single combat, the winner being proven right in the eyes of the law and the witnesses. The tradition died off as legal systems relied more on facts and evidence, with it rarely ever invoked because of the “barbaric” nature of it.

Back in 2002, Leon Humphreys challenged the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) to trial by combat. His original charge was to pay a £25 motoring fine for not informing the DVLA about his motorcycle being off the road. The magistrates saw this as a waste of time though and fined him £200 with another £100 in costs; it didn’t quite work out for him.

In 2015, this came before the Staten Island Supreme Court when a layer cited the right in the case where he is being accused of helping a client commit fraud. Richard Luthmann states that trial by combat was never outlawed in New York state or even the United states. Luthmann, a Game of Thrones fan, stated that “They want to be absurd about what they’re trying to do, then I’ll give them back ridiculousness in kind”.

So while an old tradition, you never know who would invoke the right to single combat in order to defend their actions in the eyes of the law and their makers. Something work keeping in mind next time you’re stuck with an odd fine, just be ready to fight if they agree!

Latvian Malware Creator Pleads Guilty to Hacking Charges

Deniss Calovskis is a Lativan man who helped code part of the Gozi virus and has finally accepted his role in the project during a court hearing. The virus was first discovered way back in 2007 but ran rampant for many years and supposedly infected over a million computers worldwide. During the court proceedings, Calovskis said:

“I knew what I was doing was against the law,”

The Lativan government originally resisted against the USA’s deportation request because they strongly believed the 60 year jail term did not qualify as “proportionate punishment”. However, after a prolonged and heated legal discussion, the Lativan government agree to deport Calovskis providing he only served a maximum of two years, and agreed not to appeal the result. Now a compromise has been achieved, the court hearing is scheduled for the 14th December. Controversially, it’s unknown if the 10 month term Calovskis spent in jail in Latvia counts towards his final jail time.

Calovskis and two other people are responsible for stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts. One of his accomplices, Nikita Kuzmin has been in jail since 2011 in relation to hacking and fraud. Another individual called Mihai Ionut Paunescu is currently in the middle of an extradition dispute. At least the hackers are being brought to justice after long and drawn-out legal proceedings.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information. 

I Spy With My Little Eye…. A Drone Watching Me?

Fox News reportedly got word of a first-ever case of a U.S. citizen being convicted and sentenced to prison based in part on evidence gathered by a drone. Farmer Rodney Brossart, from Lakota N.D., got a three-year sentence for his role in an armed standoff with police that began after he was accused of stealing his neighbors’ stray cattle in 2011.

Bossart reportedly was arrested after him and his family restricting ‘at gunpoint’ authorities armed with a search warrant to investigate the reports of his neighbors. But later, he was released on bail. Warrants were then issued for his three sons, but the family refused to show up in court. In this extreme case, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke spoken to the U.S. Border Patrol to deploy a Predator drone in order to conduct live video surveillance of the farm.

The drone monitored the family’s movements on the farm following the armed standoff. It was not clear how long the drone was deployed or whether it gathered evidence of the alleged cattle theft. However, the drone gathered enough evidence to prompt Janke’s men to finally move in November 2011, arresting five family members on terrorizing charges. Brossart was found not guilty for the cattle theft accusations, but did get three years for his part in the armed police standoff based in part on video recorded by the drone.

The case could prove significant, because Brossart’s attorney tried unsuccessfully to have the terrorizing charges related to his standoff with police dropped because evidence was gathered by the drone without a search warrant specifically allowing for it.

Should we be worried that our privacy will not be so private in the future? According to Fobers magazine, they predict it won’t be the last time drones are used to put Americans in prison, and reported the use of drones for police missions is on the rise. Between 2010 and 2012, law enforcement agencies used CBP Predator drones for 700 missions, the media outlet reported.

Thank you Fox News for providing us with this information