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Smooth Reactions

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In July, Charles Diez was charged with attempted murder for his angry reaction to a bicyclist who was carrying his 3-year-old son on the bike unsafely, on a busy Asheville, N.C., street. According to police, Diez was so anguished that he pulled his gun and fired at the bicyclist, grazing the man's helmet.

In October, just as Pennsylvania federal judge Lawrence Stengel was launching into his explanation for the sentence he was about to impose, bank robber Trammel Bledsoe grew impatient. "Can you hurry this up? I don't have time for this. Just sentence me. ..." ("You'll have all the time in the world," responded Stengel, who gave Bledsoe 41 years.)

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