Crazy People Are Dangerous™


That headline belongs to my friend, co-defendant, and co-podcaster Stacy McCain. I’m just borrowing it for this post.

Jarrod Ramos, the shooter at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, has apparently had some sort of feud going with the newspaper for several years, feud triggered by the paper’s truthful reporting of the facts of a previous harassment case. The shooter’s attempt at lawfare failed when a judge threw out his defamation suit. CBS News reports:

In July 2012, Ramos filed suit against Capital Gazette for defamation, according to the 2015 court filing. The complaint was just four paragraphs long, but Ramos filed a longer 22-page claim several months later.

In 2012, a judge dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that “there is absolutely not one piece of evidence, or an assertion by you that the statement [in the article] was false.”

“I think people who are the subject of newspaper articles, whoever they may be, feel that there is a requirement that they be placed in the best light, or they have an opportunity to have the story reported to their satisfaction, or have the opportunity to have however much input they believe is appropriate,” Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said when dismissing the case. “But that’s simply not true. There is nothing in those complaints that prove that anything that was published about you is, in fact, false.”

The Truth was a complete defense in court, but apparently not effective against a crazy person who would continue to hound the paper for years on Twitter. I will be interested to see what measures the Capital Gazette (and its parent the Baltimore Sun) take to improve the safety and security of their offices and employees.

UPDATE—Stacy has more to say about this at The Other McCain.

13 thoughts on “Crazy People Are Dangerous™

  1. I seem to remember another MD judge saying “There is not one scintilla of evidence in this case that any statements that were made by these individuals were false.” when the Tiny Pedo objected to being called a Pedo.

    Luckily for the defendants in that case, the plaintiff didn’t come after them with a shotgun.

  2. The local police responded in an amazingly fast 60 seconds. And yet 5 people died.
    This is a result of insane gun control legislation in Maryland.

    Lesson not learned again: Crazy, violent people don’t obey laws.

    Had someone at the paper been armed, this might never have happened, or it might have ended much more quickly with fewer casualties.

      • GIven the longstanding concern over this specific crazy person, probably more than one. His death threats were oblique but pretty frightening.
        Why he didn’t go to jail, I don’t know.
        Maryland, I guess.
        But clearly he was under psychiatric treatment, it was a condition of his criminal sentence. I wonder how much will be made public about his diagnosis.

  3. From the appellate court’s decision on dismissing Ramos’ appeal, “A lawyer would almost certainly have told him not to proceed with this case,” the court wrote in the opinion. “It reveals a fundamental failure to understand what defamation law is and, more particularly, what defamation law is not.”

    That sounds so familiar. Almost like it could have been lifted from one of William “Stolen Valor” Schmalfeldt many defeats in court.

    • When I asked for documents showing how I defamed Thoms Mix what I got was my screen caps of his posts, my posts about gay marriage and my posts about Thomas Mix support for statutory rapeist Kaitlyn Hunt..Apparently lawyers have NEVER even looked at his documents!

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