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Criminal Justice System

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AP

 The American Civil Liberties Union wants reality TV star Richard Hatch freed from a jail where he has been held on charges of giving unauthorized interviews.   Hatch was taken into custody after giving TV interviews that the federal Bureau of Prisons said it had not approved. He was serving home confinement for failing to pay income taxes on his $1 million prize for winning the first season of the show.

During the interviews, Hatch said the trial judge discriminated against him because he was gay. The ACLU says Hatch has a right to criticize the government.

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Washington Post

The Supreme Court's unusual hearing Wednesday on the role corporations can play in influencing elections carries the potential not only for rewriting the nation's campaign finance laws but also for testing the willingness of the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to defy the decisions of Congress and to set aside its own precedents.

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San Francisco Bay View

Once again, major violence between Raza and African prisoners has erupted within the United States Concentration Camp (Prison) System, this time at Chino California State Prison. Beginning at 8:20 on Saturday evening, Aug. 8, African and Raza (Latino) prisoners, in the most brutal fashion, slashing, cutting, hitting each other with anything that could get their hands on, battled for more than 11 hours. Over 200 were hurt, several critically, with severe head injuries or stab wounds. Blood was spilled everywhere. Many of those involved will be scarred and maimed for life, both physically and mentally.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Milwaukee police dept. was receiving assistance from Britain's National Policing Improvement Agency with experience in serial murder investigations and cases that relied heavily on DNA evidence.

"The fact that someone's DNA was there or not there by itself doesn't solve the case. [but] It gives us a terrific lead."

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Classically Liberal

The fear-mongering of Bush, combined with the hysterical cries of the "secure the border" crowd led to new restrictions. These restrictions actually restrict Americans not terrorists or would-be gardeners and day laborers.

The war on terror was a fraud from the start, it was always a war on Americans. Every measure that was passed was used, first and foremost, against Americans not against potential threats to the country. All the new spying on bank accounts isn't being used to crack down on drug cartels or international terrorists but on Americans who have funds overseas, where the greedy hands of politicians have a harder time grabbing them.

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McClatchy News

When it came time for a CIA employee to testify during the court-martial of Army Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer, however, officials went to great lengths to protect the employee's identity, erecting a high, Army-green tarpaulin to shield him from spectators. Even the unidentified man's employment by the CIA was off-limits, until Welshofer's civilian attorney mentioned it in a slip of the tongue.

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AP

 

JERICHO, Ark. – It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

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This September 14, 2009 at 8:30 in Maricopa County Superior Court Room #413 in front of Judge Paul McMurdie, 201 West Jefferson, Phoenix, Arizona the case of Arizona v. JOHN STUART. This is a status conference for the trial that is scheduled to start in October.  

John Stuart is pro per, meaning he is defending himself without an attorney. Although he has repeatedly told the court he does not want an attorney the court has refused to acknowledge this and has allowed a public defender to act as his attorney. (violation 1)

 

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Teknosis

Robert S. Schindler, Sr., of Gulfport, Florida, father of the late Terri Schindler Schiavo, passed away August 29, 2009 from heart failure at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Robert fought valiantly to save the life of his brain–injured daughter Terri in the landmark right to life case that culminated in her imposed death by court–ordered starvation and thirst on March 31, 2005. After Terri's death, along with his wife Mary, daughter Suzanne (Schindler) Vitadamo and son Bobby Schindler, he founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg dedicated to supporting other families faced with the same need to fight for the rights of their disabled or otherwise vulnerable loved ones.

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Washington Post

The FBI and a grand jury in Albuquerque have been investigating whether CDR Financial Products, a Beverly Hills-based company, received a contract with the New Mexico Finance Authority because of pressure from Richardson or other state employees. CDR was paid $1.48 million for advising the authority on investment decisions in 2004.

The firm and its president, David Rubin, together gave $100,000 to Sí Se Puede and Moving America Forward, both PACs started by Richardson, shortly before winning the state contract.

 

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AP

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a $102 million judgment against the government for withholding evidence that could have cleared four men who spent decades in prison — including two who died there — for a murder they didn't commit.   "While we reject its finding that the government is liable for malicious prosecution, we uphold the court's alternate finding that the government is liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress," the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.   The district court judge said FBI agents were trying to protect informants when they encouraged a witness to lie, then withheld evidence they knew could prove Limone and the three other men weren't involved in the Deegan killing.

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Conor McCarthy

If you haven't heard yet, it's "illegal" to download music online without "paying" for it. It's hard to believe, but being a fan isn't accepted as legal payment anymore. They call it "piracy," and the consequences for it can be very, very dire. Therefore, I've compiled a list of other crimes that I suggest you look into before you decide to download "Sweet Child of Mine" or "Poker Face."

First, let's look at the fines in the only two music piracy trials that have taken place to date. The first is the case of Jammie Thomas, a single mother of four from Minnesota. She downloaded 24 songs off of Kazaa. A jury of her peers decided that she owed the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) almost $2 million for her crimes, a ruling which the Obama Administration recently told a federal judge was constitutionally sound. The second is the case of Joel Tenenbaum, a young grad student at

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AP

For nearly four hours before she gave birth, Venita Pinckney had a chain wrapped around her swollen abdomen. Her ankles and hands were shackled.

The 37-year-old was in a maximum-security prison for violating parole. An officer told her the use of restraints on pregnant inmates was "procedure."

"I'm saying to myself, 'I feel like a pregnant animal,'" said Pinckney, who gave birth to a boy at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility last year.

 

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Mari Herreras

On Oct. 15, 2004, Mary Elizabeth Schipke entered the Oracle post office to buy a 47-cent stamped envelope. When she got frustrated with the clerk behind the counter, she told her: "God, I pray a bomb falls on your stupid, fucking head."

Almost a year later, Schipke was convicted of threatening a federal facility with weapons of mass destruction. Schipke describes what she told the clerk that day as an "imprecatory prayer"—basically, a simple curse—but that defense didn't keep her from serving a four-year prison sentence, with the last two years at Carswell, a women's federal medical prison outside of Fort Worth, Texas, that has been the subject of allegations about the questionable care of prisoners with physical and psychiatric conditions.

Although now free and on supervised release, Schipke, 51, continues to fight the federal government—this time, over a DNA sample forcibly removed from her in prison. After her release, priso

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AP

California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass plans to strip the most controversial provisions from a Senate-approved plan that would have trimmed the state's prison population by 27,000 inmates.  The Assembly version would keep about 10,000 more inmates behind bars and leave the state with a new, nearly $200 million budget hole, Bass said early Friday.

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Washington Post

The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, were unlawfully provided to detainees charged with organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Lawyers were apparently attempting to identify CIA officers and contractors involved in the agency's interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the United States, where the agency employed harsh techniques.

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CRIME & FEDERALISM

Adam Reeves is the latest edition to the Prosecutorial Misconduct Wall of Shame: The record demonstrates that the prosecution [Adam Reeves] argued to the jury material facts that the prosecution knew were false, or at the very least had strong reason to doubt. Deliberate false statements by those privileged to represent the United States harm the trial process and the integrity of our prosecutorial system. We do not lightly tolerate a prosecutor asserting as a fact to the jury something known to be untrue or, at the very least, that the prosecution had very strong reason to doubt... There is no reason to tolerate such misconduct here. The ABA Journal has this report. Unfortunately, even though the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a criminal conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct, AUSA Reeves was never identified by name in the opinion. Instead, he was referred to as "the prosecution." With all due respect, your honors, "the prosecution" d

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New York Times

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva.

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Pro Liberate


This was probably not the product of an oversight, but rather a deliberately deceptive partial disclosure by an opportunistic prosecutor: The bloodstained underwear were discovered when the purported victim, a pre-pubescent girl, was living in Phoenix, Arizona, nearly 1,000 miles from the man accused of molesting her.

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NY Times

Scientists demonstrate it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.   If they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

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