Minority Religions and Esoteric Practices as Courtroom Evidence

The altar of Ruben Hernandez.

On Friday, the Contra Costa Times reported that an appeal to overturn a 2010 fraud conviction was denied. California's 2nd District Court of Appeal decided that prosecutors did not unfairly prejudice the case by bringing up a "voodoo" (though more likely Palo Mayombe, according to one expert) shrine that belonged to Ruben Hernandez, saying the evidence was "highly probative" of his "consciousness of guilt."In a 35-page ruling, the appellate court justices noted that Hernandez testified du … [Read more...]

Quick Notes: Christopher Vaughn’s Druid Beliefs, John Friend’s Scandal, and the Occult Crimes Taskforce

Image from the O.C.T. comic, featuring Sophia Ortiz/Rosario Dawson.

Just a few quick news notes for you today.Lawyers May Not Mention Druid Beliefs in Vaughn Murder Trial: Earlier this week I mentioned that lawyers for Christopher Vaughn, accused of murdering his wife and three children, were trying to block any mention of his Druid religion from court proceedings.  Public Defender Jaya Varghese said that “The word ‘Druid’ alone is prejudicial,” and would “significantly impact” his right to a fair trial. Today, Judge Daniel Rozak ruled that Vaughn's Druid bel … [Read more...]

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup + Crowdfunding Update)

PNC Managing Editor, Cara Schulz with Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson

Welcome to the latest installment of Unleash the Hounds, in which I round up articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans. Before we get started I wanted to give an update on the Pagan journalism crowdfunding experiment I launched on March 21st. The very excellent news is that not only have I reached my fundraising goal of $1850 dollars to send The Wild Hunt to Chicago in November so that I can cover the American Academy of Religion's 2012 Annual Meeting, but I've surpassed that goal by hund … [Read more...]


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