Podcast: Guatemala, Polygamy, and Free Legal Information (Episode 21)

For Sunday 24 May 2009, this is the Law Is Cool Podcast. On today’s show, Omar Ha-Redeye’s feature interview with Nancy Kinney, creator of AdviceScene.com.

The Suspicious Case of Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano

We begin in Guatemala with a story that combines a political intrigue, a slain lawyer, and Twitter. The story begins with Guatemalan lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano, who was shot dead while bicycling on May 10th. The next day, a remarkable video (see below) was released to the Guatemalan press. The video features Rosenberg predicting his own assassination, saying “If you are watching this video, it’s because I was murdered by President Alvaro Colom.”

Rosenberg had been representing a client who was approached by the government to sit on the Board of the state-owned Banrural Bank. Rosenberg claimed that there was corruption within the government related to the bank and alleges that his client was murdered by the government before he could go public with details of the corruption.

Following Rosenberg’s death, activists mobilized an anti-corruption campaign. One blogger posted a message on the social networking site Twitter encouraging Banrural customers to withdraw their funds. As a result of this message, he was arrested on charges of inciting financial panic. He has since been bailed out of prison after an online fund raising campaign.

Update on BC’s Polygamy Trials

From Guatemala to British Columbia where we continue to follow the trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler who have been charged with the criminal offence of polygamy. The Mormon leaders of the BC community of Bountiful have both pleaded not guilty and elected a trial by judge and jury. The case is now facing an roadblock. Blackmore has applied to the British Columbia Supreme Court to order the government to pay his legal costs. Blackmore already applied for legal aid and was turned down. However, his lawyer Joe Avray will argue that no defendant should bear the costs of a constitutional test case. If Madame Justice Stromberg-Stein grants the application, it could have far-reaching implications for criminal defendants.

Update: Below is a copy of Mr. Blackmore’s Notice of Application, for those of you interested in learning more about the legal argument being presented to the court.

Notice of Application – R. v. Blackmore

1 Comment on "Podcast: Guatemala, Polygamy, and Free Legal Information (Episode 21)"

  1. Joseph Smith | May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am |

    The assertion that Blackmore and Oler are “Mormons” is absurd. While the name of their religious organization is similar to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they are not Mormons.

    They should be characterized more like their good friend and co-conspirator Warren Jeffs who was indicted of incest and sexual misconduct with a minor. Their correct title should be what they refer to themselves – as Fundamentalists or simply Polygamists.

    Law is Cool: The term appears to be used by Fundamentalist Mormons themselves, but not uniformly. The term “Fundamentalist” without the qualifier of “Mormon” is not easily identifiable anywhere as a descriptor used by the group themselves or those referring to them.

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