6 Things You Need To Know Right Now: Crime and Punishment

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According to my Twitter feed, most everyone was on pins and needles Wednesday evening as the jury announced its verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Spoiler alert: shooting someone in the face, stabbing him dozens of times and then slicing his throat does not help your argument that you acted in self-defense. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other headlines that will inevitably wind their way into an episode of Law & Order.

1. Nancy Grace Pulls a Nancy Grace. As if the world weren’t sufficiently abuzz with news of the Jodi Arias verdict, Grace managed to turn up the electric shock. She narrated it with her trademark dramatic flair, managing to talk-shout in a monotone that varied only to punctuate words like “repeat!” and “guilty!” She also seemed to get choked up and to be speaking through tears during certain points of her summary. And, as she is wont to do, she managed to become a trending topic through her reporting on an already-sensational trending topic.

2. Judge Sets Bail in Cleveland Kidnapping Case. Ariel Castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, and his bail is now set at $8 million. Castro is the man accused in the case of three women who were kidnapped years ago and allegedly held hostage in his home ever since. One of those women had a daughter during her captivity; Castro allegedly held the child hostage, too. The women and child were discovered and freed after one of them managed to break out of the house with the help of an unsuspecting neighbor. In addition to the surviving daughter, who was born inside the home in an inflatable swimming pool, the women are said to have suffered multiple miscarriages. Castro, a former bus driver who is currently unemployed, is not expected to be able to make bond, which would amount to $800,000.

3. Improvised Explosive Device Found in Teen’s Bedroom. A housekeeper found a suspicious-looking device while cleaning the bedroom of 18-year-old Joshua Prater. The housekeeper took the device to the local fire department in Tempe, Ariz. The fire department, in turn, summoned the city’s bomb squad, which confirmed the device to be an active bomb. As the police sergeant described, the device had a fuse that only needed to be lit to cause a relatively significant explosion. Police found more bomb-making materials in the teen’s home. Prater admitted to building the bomb, but said he did so eight years ago (yes, as a 10-year-old) and didn’t know that it was filled with explosive powder.

4. Kids Shooting Kids with Unattended Guns. On Tuesday night, a three-year-old Florida boy found a gun in his uncle’s backpack. The boy shot himself with the gun and died. The uncle wasn’t in the room when the boy shot himself, but the boy’s parents were present. Last week, a five-year-old Kentucky boy shot and killed his two-year-old sister using a .22 caliber rifle. He had received the rifle as a gift, and it was kept “in a corner.” According to the county coroner, the gun is “for kids,” and this particular boy was “used to shooting” the gun. His parents were also home during the shooting, and say they did not realize there was a shell in the weapon.

5. Tweens Detained in Separate Arson Incidents Blocks Apart. Two twelve-year-old boys are accused of intentionally starting fires that destroyed multiple buildings in incidents that police say are unrelated. The small, economically depressed town of Lewiston, Maine has been rocked by the events. One of the boys was living in a condemned building with his mother, brother and two half-sisters, aged 14 months and one month. They had been served with eviction papers, and the family suspects the boy started the fire at someone else’s urging. The second boy has not been identified, and much less is known about his circumstances. Each boy has been charged with multiple counts of felony arson. The proceedings against them are going forward in juvenile court, and they are set to be arraigned early next week.

6. Amazon Sells “Ex-Girlfriend” Target-Practice Doll. All you need is $84 and an Internet connection to amazon.com. With that, a “Bleeding Zombie Target Ex-Girlfriend” can be yours. She is a life-size, three-dimensional, barely dressed doll with large breasts, blond hair, and blood gushing from her mouth and where her hands should be. According to the product description, the doll will bleed even more when hit, and can take “1,000 rounds from multiple calibers.” After overwhelmingly negative reviews and demands that the product be pulled, Amazon stopped listing the doll for sale and disabled the page on which she had been offered.

Now, do yourself a favor and go look at a unicorn or something. And remember to check back here next week for the latest edition of “6 Things You Need To Know Right Now.”

Image via wikimedia.org

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