Friday, October 3, 2008

Um...a lawsuit?

I know that people who are victims in criminal actions often turn to civil courts to seek additional restitution.

But somehow that seems unwise in this case:

A man claiming he is marked for death by a half a dozen people, including two San Manuel tribal members and two high-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia, is suing them for $50 million.

Leonard Epps, 37, filed the lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court on Sept. 24, alleging conspiracy to commit murder, negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress.

His Highland attorney, Frank Peterson, said Epps has been living in fear and secrecy since police warned him of the contract on his life in September 2006. The defendants named in his lawsuit have all been convicted of various offenses stemming from the murder-conspiracy case.

While I feel for Epps, I worry that any award of damages will just anger the Mexican mafia and perhaps the San Manuel tribe. And he wouldn't want that to happen.

Regarding the $50 million figure:

Epps believes the $50 million he seeks is justified because the Barajases each receive annually a $3 million to $4 million in stipend from the tribe's casino profits. In addition, they each receive, twice a year, between $500,000 and $750,000 in additional bonuses from the tribe, according to the lawsuit.

Now wait a minute - these people have been convicted of a crime, and they are still eligible for casino profits? This just shows that native American government is just as stupid as Euro-Afro-Asian American government (see the story in which Governor Schwarzenegger signed two bills "making it tougher for teachers who commit sex crimes to remain in California's public schools" - and the California Teacher's Association opposed both bills. Presumably the tribe members union thinks it's OK to continue to distribute casino proceeds to drug dealers and wannabe murderers.

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