Sympathy for the Vampires

by guest author Rebekah Maxwell

Bela Lugosi as Dracula

As if being Undead isn’t complicated enough, vampires also seem to suffer from (or cause) a variety of legal problems. Did you know that you can jeopardize your visitation rights for letting vampires babysit your children? Ditto moving in with a vampire. Bass v. Weaver, 101 Ark. App. 367, 278 S.W.3d 127 (2008).

A Michigan carjacker explained his car theft spree as an attempt to “escape from flesh-eating bats and vampires.” People v. Morgan, No. 284986, 2009 WL 1397132 (Mich. App., May 19, 2009). An Arizona defendant testified to stealing an ambulance and running it into a building in order to break a vampire curse. State v. Ward, 2015 WL 1516506, (Ariz. App., April 2, 2015).

A Massachusetts defendant testified to believing that he had been a vampire for years. Com. v. Riva, 18 Mass. App. Ct. 713, 469 N.E.2d 1307 (1984). A judge’s noting on the record that a defendant had been a practicing vampire since the age of 13 does not denote bias that would warrant the judge’s recusal. U.S. v. Lawrence, 88 F. App’x 913 (6th Cir. 2004).

What does this mean for you? Well, for starters, if you come across a despondent vampire this Halloween, be kind. S/he may have had a bad day in court.

G-Man Exhibit Opens in Law Library

by guest author Pamela Rogers Melton

Melvin Purvis display at Law Library
Melvin Purvis: American Tragic Hero

Melvin Horace Purvis. To many people today, the name means nothing. But it was not so long ago that Purvis was a household name, and over 260,000 boys and girls were digging through boxes of Post Toasties breakfast cereal to get their very own decoder rings and Junior G-Man badges.

Purvis, the Timmonsville native with the unassuming name, skyrocketed to fame in the 1930s as the leader of the FBI team that took down some of the biggest gangsters of his day, including John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson and “Pretty Boy” Floyd.  At the height of his short career with the FBI, he was more popular and recognizable than J. Edgar Hoover, which was his undoing.

Learn about meteoric rise and fall of one of the most famous graduates of the USC School of Law in the South Carolina Legal History Room on the first floor of the Coleman Karesh Law Library.